Patrick McManus – Great Writer Now Gone

I just found out that a year ago, in April of 2018, Patrick McManus died.

My heart tightened as I read about him no longer being on this earth.

He was right up there with the best of the best, as far as wordsmiths go, and yet most people, when asked by me if they’ve read his writing, have never heard of him.

Pat’s collections of short stories are mostly outdoor humour – things to do with hunting, fishing, camping, and other adventures. That right there is interesting to me, but with his humour and writing style, he could have set his stories on such distasteful (to me) topics as football or politics and caught my attention, as long as he spun them with his classy but crazy humour and smooth word choices.

“He was a gentleman and a scholar and a wordsmith,” the article below says of Pat.

I wish I knew him in person. I wrote to him once, in the mid 1990s, and he wrote back to me. What an encouragement that was!

Here is a link to an article someone wrote about Pat:

Patrick McManus Dies at Age 84

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Spelling and Grammar Matter

Bad grammar and poor spelling are not conducive to good blogging.

Do your readers a favour and check out this brief article by Melissa Culbertson: https://blogclarity.com/grammar-spelling-blogging/

A Good Sign!

This is the sweetest billboard I have ever seen. It always made me smile as I drove past it on Highway 97 when heading south out of Prince George, BC.

Sadly, as of a few months ago, that sign is no longer there. If I knew who to ask, I’d inquire as to its disappearance, and as to whether or not there is a plan for its return.

Wooden printed sign or not, though, I know God loves me, and His Son Jesus, who gave His life for me, WILL return. I hope you will be with us.

Here’s a chunk of Scripture from God’s word to consider if you are not sure you’re saved:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

(Romans 10:9-13)

Encouraging Young Writers

Someone else wrote this:

 

“When I was a child my fondness for writing was often met with smiles and praise, but rarely with helpful or genuine encouragement. In fact, when I announced that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, most people tried to talk me out of it. There’s no money in it, they would say. You can do it as a hobby, but you need a proper job. Luckily for me, their words never discouraged me. … (Continue reading)

Poutine, Tires, and Pardon My French

Here is a photo of my favourite road sign, at 70 Mile House, BC.

I’ve never actually seen anyone in a horse and carriage there. Still, the sign is cool and it suggests the possibility exists.

There is an eating establishment along the highway in that tiny community. We were leaving its parking lot when I shot the picture. It used to be a tire shop till a dozen years ago. It’s now a great place called The Sugar Shack and it is owned by one of the most charismatic characters I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

Robert is l’entrepreneur from Quebec who has built the Sugar Shack here in BC, practically with his bare hands but also with the help of some dented but heavy machinery that dots his property along with the outdoor wood-fired furnace, the sawmill, the log truck, and the piles of perfectly machine-delimbed logs. His various mixed breeds of dogs wander the property, too, calmly greeting visitors and never running out onto the highway.

While we sat there eating poutine today, waiting for summer tires to be installed on our car by the tire dealer (a friend of ours who is a preacher in a small fellowship of Christians, is owner-operator of a logging truck, and has a tire shop at his house a short drive down the road past that sign in the photo), I said, “I’d rather be here than in the finest restaurant decked out with crystal, china, and elegant cuisine.”

The poutine at Sugar Shack is like none other, and Robert is not just boasting when his signs say “You just missed the world’s greatest poutine” on the highway as you drive by.

The fries are from fresh potatoes, golden and crisp on the outside, and perfectly soft and fluffy on the inside. The cheese curds are rumoured to come all the way from Quebec, as is the gravy recipe, and the optional topping of smoked meat really should not be optional if you know what’s good for you. Even if you are a vegetarian, I don’t know if you can honestly say this is not delicious when you taste it.

As we sat there, we listened to Robert and a friend of his talking on the other side of the big wood-ensconced room.

The topic being loudly discussed was a battery charger Robert had apparently loaned to his friend.

Robert said, in his very French-Canadian accent where most of the multi-syllabled words received their emphasis on their last syllable, “I told you to take the batteRY chargER with you to PG.”

PG is what we in the Cariboo region and other parts of BC call Prince George. Of course, Robert pronounced it with the emphasis on the G.

The friend replied in a bland Canadian English voice, with a hint of humour, “Well, I always have a hard time understanding you with your French accent so I didn’t know what you meant.”

Robert let several seconds of silence pass. Then we heard his gravelly voice declaring a solid, “F*** YOU!” with hardly a French accent at all, and with no asterisks, either.

I burst out laughing and turned my head to look over across the room at them. My husband did, too, and laughter was echoing throughout the building by everyone present, Robert included.

I said quietly, “That’s so much like in our family, giving each other the middle finger all over the place. If ya can’t swear at your friends, are they really your friends?”

(This video was made after the other customers left. You can hear Robert talking in the background from the kitchen.)

Why I Escaped (And From What Did I Escape?)

Bruised Steen (2)

Here is a picture of me a week or two after I’d been thrown face-first into a wall in the late 1980s. I went to the doctor about the face wounds at the time, but I never thought to get my neck checked out. Several years later, I started getting headaches and neck pain that would last for five days, every few weeks.

In 2012, a chiropractor did a full spine X-ray on me. His assumption is that it was that unhealed whiplash type of injury, way back then, that is the cause of my spine having grown in a twisted manner, somehow flaring up into these frustratingly painful “attacks” that don’t respond to even strong medication like morphine.

That’s the drama part. It’s ugly. I deal with the outcome. But, I keep in mind that a lot of people have their own predicaments that are worse than mine.

The good news is that I am free from that destructive relationship.

The better news is that I am free from an even worse destiny of missing out on the most loving relationship I could ever imagine – one with the Creator of all life, thanks to His Son, Jesus, giving His life to pay for my ticket to Him. Call it crazy if you will, but it’s a long, long story, longer than mine, and it’s all there in the Bible for you to read yourself. If you’ve read it and still don’t believe it, I urge you to consider that if the Bible is right in that the only way to eternal life is through faith in Christ, and you reject that, you risk ending up in a situation you will deeply regret. If with even the tiniest bit of faith you can accept it, it is better than risking eternity in hell – IF hell really is as real as the Bible says it is. If it isn’t, we who believe lose nothing and we turn to dust. It costs you nothing to believe. I figure it’s not worth the risk to reject such a simple deal.

As for my own long story, it’ll take me awhile to get it copied to this WordPress blog properly, with all the photos and links, so for now I will just provide a link to where it is currently located, on my old Google blog. I never did properly edit it, as I wanted to get it out there in a hurry at the time, several years ago now. I apologize for that, and for any photos that don’t show up where they should.

Why I Escaped (And From What Did I Escape?)

If you are in an abusive situation, please know that at least one person understands. I would pray for you if I knew about it, and try to help you find a way out.

 

Persecution Doesn’t Correct Error

A picture that has nothing to do with the blog post.

“Teaching, not persecution, is the Scripture method of dealing with those in error.”

This is an excerpt from Matthew Henry’s commentary on 2 Timothy 2:23. And here is the Scripture with the verses that follow it:

23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (ESV)

Those who know me will know that I prefer the King James Version, but on occasion I will quote from other versions of the Bible if they read easily and don’t distract from the point. The best way to understand Scripture is to check the original languages. That’s a big job for those who aren’t versed in Hebrew and Greek, but there are tools on the internet that help when you want to look something up, one being Blue Letter Bible with its Strong’s Concordance feature.

And now on to that which inspired me to write this blog post – Matthew Henry’s commentary on 2 Timothy 2:23

“The more we follow that which is good, the faster and the further we shall flee from that which is evil. The keeping up the communion of saints, will take us from fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. See how often the apostle cautions against disputes in religion; which surely shows that religion consists more in believing and practising what God requires, than in subtle disputes. Those are unapt to teach, who are apt to strive, and are fierce and froward. Teaching, not persecution, is the Scripture method of dealing with those in error. The same God who gives the discovery of the truth, by his grace brings us to acknowledge it, otherwise our hearts would continue to rebel against it. There is no peradventure, in respect of God’s pardoning those who do repent; but we cannot tell that he will give repentance to those who oppose his will. Sinners are taken in a snare, and in the worst snare, because it is the devil’s; they are slaves to him. And if any long for deliverance, let them remember they never can escape, except by repentance, which is the gift of God; and we must ask it of him by earnest, persevering prayer.” (2 Timothy 2:23 Commentaries)

Just something on which to think.