Sunday, January 31, 2010

I finished reading The Bible books of "Proverbs" and "Ecclesiastes" reading a chapter a day.

Trying to get back to the cats we fostered. I am a long way behind so am really going to try hard to catch up.

The next two up were Mistletoe (Black and white, left) and Tinsel. They came into us on November 20th 2006 and weren't with us long. Tinsel got adopted on December 3rd and Mistletoe following shortly afterward on December 13th.

It snowed yesterday in North Carolina. An unusual event. Nilla loves the snow and had a great time running around and playing in it. This made me think about how we view things. We are generally complicating things and making life difficult. Yes, life can be hard, but, surely we can also learn lessons from Nilla or children in that it is also what we make it?

Through Nilla's Eyes.

It snowed
Cold and fluffy.
I thought "what a pain
Can't work
Can't get out
Can't work
What will I do?"

With a wag of a tail
Despite no longer a puppy
Nilla thought "wow
"How cool in this?"
And ran around and around
A white blaze lost
In the white carpet
That is now the back yard.
So much fun!

It's a complicated world
We live in
But, sometimes why can't we
View the world
In the eyes of a puppy,
Or, a child
And just....
Have some fun?

"And he said. "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven". Matthew 18:3


Saturday, January 30, 2010

I finished reading:

"The Wire in the Blood" written by Val McDermid. 496 pages.

Book#4 of 2010. 1427 pages at an avg of 357 pages per book.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

I finished reading:

"The Sun Chemist" written by Lionel Davidson. 284 pages.

The third book finished in 2010. 931 pages at an average of 310 -pages per book.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

We have had another week of nothing but bad news on the TV with the horrific Earthquake in Haiti. Also, work was really rough this week. Sometimes, despite my faith, it all seems so much. However, every time I feel like this something happens that restores my faith in people and humanity.

Today, I volunteered at the Children's Church. There was a new little girl who was very frightened and scared. During the play time at the end another little boy sat down with her and her Mom and showed them how to play UNO and played with them putting her at ease. A small, spontaneous gesture showing maturity and compassion well beyond his years. Inspired me and made me think that how welcoming am I as a forty year old and would I have done that. Probably not. How we can learn as adults from the "little children". This is the reason why Jesus said we should have a "childlike faith".


Monday, January 11, 2010

I finished reading:

"The Centaur" written by John Updike. 270 pages.

Book #2 of 2010 for 647 pages at an average of 323.5 per book.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Open or Closed? That is the question to start the year off. A good teaching at Church today.

So, for 2010 the question is an I going to be open to God's voice and leading this year and even more for the new decade, or, will I go my own way and be closed to God's voice? I prayer is the former and as one of my favourite worship songs proclaim "Open the eyes of my heart Lord!"


Saturday, January 02, 2010

I finished reading:

"XPD" written by Len Deighton. 377 pages.

This is the first book I have finished in 2010.

For 2009 I finished 69 books, 22,540 pages at an average of 327 pages per book. This compares with 97 books, 32,099 pages at an average of 331 per book in 2008.


Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year and a New Decade (sort off!!).... I am copying the Christmas letter that I send out this year from Jenn and I as it kinda sums up last year. For the future year I have one real goal. That is to really trust God more. There are some uncertainties in the short term future. One other thing I want to do is blog more (apart from books) and finally catch up on all the cats that we have fostered over the years.

Richard and Jenn’s 2009

It’s Christmas Morning 2009 and as I sit here reflecting on the miracle of Christmas and the year that has past it is time to right our quick review of the year for our friends spread around the World. I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I’ve done this!!
A year of milestones with me turning 40 (that has to be wrong??) and Jenn 35. We also celebrated 12 years of marriage. Our family gained Olivia a crazy cat, that for some reason adopted me. A long story, but, her life had a bad start with a lot of abuse, but, she is now settled and happy.

Our working life has not changed:
I am doing the same job. However, it’s been a tough year. The recession added a lot of extra pressures and stresses and the year started off badly with a RIF (Reduction in Force / Lay Off’s) where I had to lose two of my employees which was very tough. We also has the news that we are getting acquired by a different company which added a lot different equation to the situation. Currently the move is scheduled for Feb 1st so it’s a matter of waiting to see what happens. I did less travel with the job, but, managed to get to three States I had not been to: Missouri, Kansas and Connecticut which means I been to 39 now out of my quest to go to all 50. I believe I have nearly caught Jenn up!!

We are still actively involved in Snowflake animal rescue which keeps Jenn out of trouble. She has many roles including Kitten intake coordinator, Application screener, Census keeper etc.. etc.. and certainly keeps her out of trouble!! I have now the “dubious” honour of being Secretary on the Board of Directors. As in anything this year the economy has taken it’s toll with adoptions and therefore intake down. We did have some staggering good news in November when we were “gifted” about $500,000 from someone’s will. It came at a time were completely out of funds and could not pay our bills. We have no idea who this gentleman was, but, we are all very grateful at this miracle which will allow us to continue our mission for years to come. We did have a couple of sad events as two of our long term foster cats Katrina and Nimbus died this year. Although they were foster cats they had been with us a for several years so they were really part of our family.
We are still helping teach computers at the local Rescue Mission. A very rewarding and humbling experience we do a few times a year.

We started the year deciding to look for a new Church. The old one got a new Pastor that we did not like, nor, agree with. After going to several (you would not believe how many Churches are in Raleigh, North Carolina!!) we found one called Connections Church, a small, but, growing contemporary non- denominational church. Jenn always felt that this was were we were supposed to be, but, I was not sure. However, now we are both convinced this is the Church we are supposed to be at. One reason we really like it is that teaching is focused on “trying” to live your faith 24/7, putting it in action and not just on Sundays!! Starting in the New Year we are both going to start helping out a little in the children’s church.

We also did fun stuff!! Jenn is still scrapbooking and went on a scrapbooking weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I went along for the ride and at restful weekend reading. We also went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the first time which is a pretty cool place. We went to some good concerts: The Eagles who were amazing. Last time we saw them was at the old Wembley Stadium years ago. I also went to see U2 and Must in Raleigh another great experience. We had the ultimate “red-neck” experience by going to see George Strait. Talking about red-neck I went to my first NASCAR race and thoroughly enjoyed it. As if I had another sport to be hooked on I am now for some reason addicted to cars driving around in a circle. I also went to my first NHL ice hockey game and College (American) Football game. Despite the years I’ve now lived here I still find amazing that college sports are so big. The game I went to: East Carolina University Pirates vs University of Alabama Birmingham had about 45,000 fans there and this one of the smaller teams. I did have one of the most unusual experience ever at a sporting event. Sitting next to some old guys shouting ‘First Down Pirates…Aaaarrrrgggghhh” in an attempted Cornish accent every time ECU got a first down.
We had a couple of visits from home which was great. Pauline and her family were in the US and we managed to meet up for the day in Ashville and Gavin and his family spent a good few days in Raleigh. We also spent two weeks in Texas visiting Jenn’s family and friends. This trip also gave me another “first”. I went to my first ever American High School Graduation Ceremony and yup, it is just like the movies.

I think that’s the quick summary so we and our family would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Blessed and Prosperous 2010.
Lots of Love,

Richard and Jenn