September 27, 2012


The weather has definitely taken a turn to cooler nights, with sunny days between the rainy cloudy ones. Good sleeping weather. It is beautiful to see the harvest being gathered in, a rich token of God's mercy to us. There is so much to be thankful for. We are debtors to God for His lovingkindnesses. 'O for a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemers praise.'

We enjoy freedom to worship and we have ready access to the Bible, good books, inspirational sacred music, Christian magazines, and technology that facilitates the use of all these beneficial resources (internet, SermonAudio, church telephone, etc.) God is still gathering in His Church, it is still the day of grace. We are accountable to God for how we make use (or neglect) these blessings.

How great it is to belong to a church and godly family where so much love, support and encouragement is given from the Word of God. I don't know how people can face a terminal illness like ALS without God and the support of his people.

One of our family traditions on Thanksgiving Day is after our church service to have the traditional dinner together with the entire family. At the beginning of the meal I ask everyone to come up with one thing, and only one thing, we are thankful for. Then during dessert we go around the table and each person shares their heart conviction - from oldest to youngest. You will be surprised what you hear.

The fall season is so full of wonderful colour: Orange pumpkins and gourds, red apples and maple leaves, yellow corn and squash, green beans and brussel sprouts, purple cabbage and pickled beets, white mashed potatoes and cauliflower, brown gravy and golden brown turkey, etc. A bountiful rainbow of colours, smells, and flavours. God is so good to us, and patient with us, despite our sins and shortcomings.

Above all, we thank Him for His only begotten Son, Who died and rose again as our Saviour. Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family.

This week I traded in my power wheelchair for a manual one because my hands and arms have become too weak to operate the controls. This development further reduces my freedom and increases my dependence on Lena and others to push me around. I am still weight bearing when making transfers, but my knees are beginning to weaken and buckle at times. It is all part of the gradual but progressive loss of nerve control to my muscles. God is helping me to cope with these losses one day at a time, step by step. I am thankful that He gives me grace sufficient hour by hour, and day by day. (2 Cor. 12:9) He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me as the Good Shepherd. (Psalm 27:9)


September 19, 2012

Fruit Bearing Christianity - J.C. Ryle

The Christianity which is from above will always be known by its fruits. It will produce in the person who has it repentance, faith, hope, love, humility, spirituality, kindness, self-denial, unselfishness, forgiving spirit, moderation, truthfulness, hospitality, and patience. The degree in which these various graces appear may vary in different believers. The germ and seeds of them will be found in all who are the children of God. By their fruits they will be known. Is this your faith? If not, you should doubt whether it is authentic. ~ J.C. Ryle

September 15, 2012

September Update

I haven't posted anything for a couple of weeks now, so I thought it was time to write a few things.  The Lord has provided so wonderfully for us through His people in the church and school community. Visits, phone calls, email, cards, meals, house cleaning, cutting the lawn, doing my physio, staying with me so that Lena could run errands, are examples of the help we have been given. Our children, and even our grandchildren, have been so supportive and helpful as well.

Our ALS journey has been particularly difficult for my elderly parents. My father is 91 years old and my mother is 85. They would love to trade places with me in a heartbeat. It is not easy for them to see me deteriorate.

I cannot go to church anymore, but I am thankful for the church telephone and Sermon Audio. I am still eating and drinking but difficulty breathing is becoming my biggest physical challenge. I have to say that my greatest emotional loss is the lack of ability to communicate with my wife, my family and visitors. I am slowly being imprisoned in my body, and left with my own thoughts and ideas.

The Lord has a lot of work to do in order to make me fit for His kingdom. God is teaching me to be patient as I wait for others to do things for me. I now realize how good I had it when I was healthy. I am slowly being stripped of all my physical abilities, privacy, pride, self - righteousness and left
to depend on God alone.

During one of his pastoral visits, Pastor Pronk encouraged me to follow the Good Shepherd wherever He leads, even through the dark valleys and difficult places, because the end is good. I often think about that statement, and I
am trying to live that out hour by hour, but it is not always easy to do. I take comfort in the words of the apostle Paul: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)