I was scheduled to fly out of Moncton at six in the morning on Monday, May 10th. As soon as church was over and we had eaten our lunch at Swiss Chalet, we were off to Moncton, about two and half hours away from Halifax and an hour north of Sussex. I wanted to spare Stephen the task of driving me from Sussex at 3AM on Monday morning so I booked a room about two miles from the airport with the idea of visiting with former Bethany College of Missions students, Jeff and Sarah Hughes.
Jeff and Sarah have now been married eight years and have three children to show for it. The names of the children go something like this, Shiloh, Willow, (can’t remember the third though I am sure that it is something very distinct).
Jeff served as a Youth Pastor in Ottawa for a time and then moved back to Moncton (Sarah’s home town ) where he started a pizza and hamburger restaurant. I was picked up at the door of my motel and shuttled to Jeff’s restaurant where I had a free meal (and very good I might add). Jeff’s pizza has claimed third for best pizza in the country. He also turns out what appears to be giant-sized, gourmet burgers.
The scripture says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.” Such is the case for me as well.
Invited to preach, I presented the gospel as clearly as I could and it seemed to land on good soil. The gifts of the Evangelist are discernment and faith. The Evangelist must be able to detect where people are at and then believe that words (God’s Word) has the power to transform someone. As I spoke, I noticeably recognized the power of God at work in the room. I had tremendous liberty in both proclamation and explanation. When I invited a response at the end of the hour, several raised their hands indicating that they fully understood the implications of the message. Hopefully, there will be fruit in the days and weeks to come.
Mother’s Day brought out three delightful and attentive sisters and their husbands…
I had to work hard to keep the very enthusiastic Raya from jumping up and taking over the pulpit. As they say, “All is well that ends well.”
Edie Cole, (Ted Tibbetts), Pat Donkin, (Don Donkin), Raya Duggan (John Duggan)
Dr. Stephen Elliott
I enjoyed working with Dr. Stephen Elliott who led the worship time. Sadly, poor Stephen has been deprived of gifting. He only plays piano, sings, church plants, Pastors and is now a professor. I have known Stephen for at least twenty-five years and have always considered him to be a bit of a ministry Renaissance man.
The Elliott’s drove out-of-the-way to take me to the historic port city of Lunenburg. It was now after lunch and the day had grown worse with a cold, spitting rain but we journeyed onward under the impression that we could get inside and under the roof of the nautical museum which features the famous “Blue Nose” schooner among other things. When we did arrive we found few touristy things to do so we had fish and chips while looking out of the window at this lovely tall mast being outfitted for an upcoming sea voyage.
So what is a “Busman’s Holiday?” When a bus driver takes a day off he most often has so little money that all he can do is drive about in his car (something he does every day of his or her life). So, here we have it. I travel all of the time but when I get a day to myself, I wind up traveling once again. Yet, this provides a good time as long as my cultural informers won’t mind pulling over every so often so I can take a picture.
Then people think that I have lots of fun when I travel. What they don’t know is this. When I was in Norway, I spent a total of $5.80 in seven days. Then in Sussex, if it were not for the Tim Horton’s and Smitty’s Restaurant down the hill from the college, I would have had no outings at all. I certainly don’t spend my days in museums or laying on the beach. Generally speaking, when I am on a teaching or preaching assignment, I spend almost the entire time in a dormitory room or someone’s spare bedroom.
Peggy’s Cove is a rustic, authentic fishing village on the edge of the world. It boasts a splendid lighthouse and some magnificent and massive wave smoothed rocks that jut out into the cold Atlantic Ocean.
Regrettably, we didn’t get the best of days for taking photographs for watercolor paintings. It was a “close” day as Canadian’s call those days that are grey or foggy. Still, you’ll enjoy these pictures. Hopefully, I will one day get some of these quaint images on to watercolor paper.
This is shot from the car as the Elliott van crossed over the border from New Brunswick. I briefly visited Nova Scotia once before as we drove through on our way to a Prince Edward Island vacation. P.E.I. is beautiful as anyone who has viewed the made for TV series “Anne (with an “e”) of Green Gables” PEI is beautiful but let me assure the reader that it is one week of beautiful and not two as we learned.
Pastor Kevin Wilson
We are on the way to Halifax where we will stay with Pastor Kevin Wilson, Bev, his wife and daughter Emma (who gets a longer name when she is scolded). Emma is an absolutely delightful Shirley Temple of a little girl of five years who quickly warmed up to my Grandpa-ness. She reminded me of my own precocious granddaughter, Adriah.
Here the entire bunch are pictured standing on the boardwalk along the Halifax harbour. You might say that we were just “chillun.”
Bethany is a Wesleyan denominational school that trains pastoral personnel, Christian school teachers and missionaries (and other things as well). I have seen remarkable changes in the three or so years that I have been involved there. For one thing, the new chapel is astoundingly beautiful. Then the library has been moved to a larger space and significantly upgraded. Here a few pictures of the library and computer room.
Here is the view of the sanctuary ceiling from the pews below.
This morning I woke up with allergies. People tell me that it is Birch pollen. I began the day with a runny nose. It’s a good thing that the lecture portion is over and this morning I listened as a number of students preached their required twenty to twenty-five minute sermons. Tomorrow morning I will pack up, go into the town, take some photographs and then find my way to a coffee shop where I will grade papers and sip a cappuccino. At noon we will leave for Peggy’s Cove and on Sunday morning I will preach in Halifax, eat lunch and be driven to Moncton where I will spend the night before flying home on Monday morning.
I have a had a good time and especially enjoyed my roommates. Rod Martin (left) is a specialist in Instructional Technology and drove his Honda Gold Wing motorcycle all the way from southern Indiana, about 1,400 miles. I worked along side of Rod two years ago.
My other roomy, John Morgan (right) came to Bethany from Marquette University in Milwaukee where he is doing his PhD. He taught Young Adult Ministries.
I once heard that hobo’s would mark the house that had a generous kitchen with some sort peculiar but recognizable mark. I have often made preaching trips to cities, towns and small villages, preached the morning meeting and then left to fend for my own lunch. The church had failed to arrange for my lunch that Sunday so I was on my own. This has not happened often but it has happened and not a happy way to spend the day before the evening meeting. On several occasions I spent the day in the front seat of my car. The good news here at Bethany Bible College is, I have a meal ticket and can eat pretty good food three times a day. Yet, Helen and Steve have insisted that I eat with them each night. Helen is a good cook (not to be left out, Stephen made chicken on the grill the first night). Monday night I had the chicken with a table full of other good things. On Tuesday they hosted me, the Jamaican Superintendent, his wife and graduating student, Terrianne at the local restaurant and then last night the table was surrounded by a family of three, a young lady named Jessica and me. We had tacos, cherry pie and chocolate cake. The Elliott’s understand the concept of a generous kitchen so I (a hobo) have marked their house. If ever in Sussex and in need of a meal, I suggest you inquire where thy live. I think they take all comers, all of the time.
Preaching to the Seminar Students at Bethany College Chapel
Have you ever heard of this concept? Low Predictibility=High Impact whereas, High Predictibility=Low Impact. Well, if this theory is true then I had very high impact on this body of students. This idea comes from the notion that Jesus had high impact because he was nothing like the Pharisees. His style completely shook the staid, religious culture to the core. To the Pharisees, Jesus was like someone running his or her fingernails down a blackboard. This concept is taken to include high impact Christians and churches. Predictable Christians and churches apparently do not impact the culture in any significant way. If all of this is even only slightly true then my message at Bethany Chapel was full of high impact.
I do this sort of delivery everywhere and especially when I am talking to young people. I am, as they say, “very animated.” They do their best to try to make “very animated” sound like a good thing but the truth is, I’m not sure they’ve ever seen anything quite like my presentation in their short lifetimes. You must remember this is the Maritimes and folks don’t get around much so truth be told, they thought I might assault them by jumping over a pew.
For some of you who wonder what I talked about, I talked about risk and told the rabbit story. The rabbit story is legendary! Almost everyone knows it and is perhaps my most requested story. I am pretty sure that once is enough for this group. They were dumb struck by my antics and I have no idea of whether my message found its mark or not. Only time will tell. Those that did like it, really liked it.
To hear the “Rabbit Story” in all of its’ unabridged glory go to www.adventive.ca, at the top tab click “Resources,” then click, “Risk.”