No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Arlyce Schiebout

 

"Summertime and the living is easy…"

 My thanks to George Gershwin for this wonderful song.  Perhaps you have enjoyed a wonderful long weekend of garage sales or planting a garden or flowers, or doing nothing or something else.   

Whatever you were doing or not doing, I hope that you had a moment to be open to the presence of the Spirit.  Sometimes we are too busy in work or leisure to think about the One who brought this all into being.  The One who is Wholly Love for all creation.

The following psalm from Edward Hays in his book Prayers of a Planetary Pilgrim is one of my favourites for this time of year.  

I hope that you find yourself in this song.

A Summer Sunset Psalm

O Beloved Friend and Earth Designer, 

this day’s light is seeping away,

and dark night crouches

beneath the amber horizon.

I am tired from work of this warm day,

but not so weary that I can forget

this day’s rich harvest of gifts.

I lift up my heart to you,

singing a sunset song of gratitude.

I praise you for the blessings that fill my life,

for the gifts I can recall

and for treasures I take for granted.

Gently refresh me now

with your evergreen pardon

for my failure to drink deeply of your love,

hidden cleverly in each gift

that has come my way today.

Forgive my rushing past

the countless visions of you, unique to this day,

held so tenderly in the beauty of your love.

Forgive my absent-mindeness, the deafness of my ears,

my senses blinded by my busyness today.

Blessed are you, Holy Parent,

who will soon wrap me in sleep

and cradle me in the womb of your peace.

Take a moment, breathe in and let that breath out, knowing that God is as close to you as the breath that you breathe.  Give God thanks for another day and for this glorious season of summer.

Peace and Blessings

 

Rev. Arlyce Schiebout

Lakeshore United Church

Morrisburg

 

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No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Clarence Witten

 

Does Anybody Love Me?

Not long ago I heard a guy on the radio mocking Jesus. “Who needs him?” he said. The sooner we get rid of our silly belief in Jesus the better, he added. 

According to this guy, believing in Jesus was just an old-fashioned out-dated idea. He especially thought it comical how those NFL football players point up to the sky after making some great play. As if there’s anyone up there, he went on to say.

Now we may not be ready to chuck our belief in Christ completely, but I think many today wonder about how relevant he really is. I mean, when life seems to be going half-decently, who needs Jesus? When we’re relatively happy, have friends, family and food on the table, hey, who needs Jesus? Right?

Sure, we may think that way, but if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that there’s another side to our lives. Despite how well we may pretend that our lives are going, despite how well they may appear to be going, all of us have our struggles and issues.

We have these places in our lives where all is not well. Where we have questions, doubts, hurts, and heartaches. Our relationships aren’t going as well as we pretend they are. There is stuff going on in our lives, sometimes in our hearts, that not everyone knows about. That we don’t want anybody to know about.

The issue may be a gnawing emptiness. We ask, “Does anybody really love me?” Or “would anyone love me if they really knew me?” 

Maybe it’s a deep sense of worthlessness. “Everyone else seems to have it so together, but not me. I’m a failure.” 

It could be loneliness. “How come everyone has friends, but not me?” 

Maybe it’s deep pain from hurts or abuse from the past. It could be an issue with a violent temper. Or some addiction, maybe hidden from others. Or maybe we wonder and worry about death.

Henry David Thoreau, the great American philosopher and writer once said that “most men live in quiet desperation.” 

It’s when we admit that we often live lives of ‘quiet desperation,’ and it’s when we acknowledge our deeper struggles and issues that we will finally see that, hey, maybe we do need Christ after all. 

In fact it’s because of this ‘quiet desperation’ and these struggles that we so much need him. It’s because of these things that Christ came. 

He himself said that he didn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick. He didn’t come for those who have it all together (or pretend to), but those who don’t.

When we cry out ‘Does anybody love me?’, we need to know that Christ does, and he proved it by dying on a cross for our sins. 

When we wonder if we have value, we need to realize that Christ dying for us gives us amazing worth. 

When we feel friendless, we need to know that when we receive him as Saviour we have a friend forever. 

When we struggle and hurt, we need to know that he understands and cares. 

When we worry about the end of life, we need to know there’s eternal life available in Christ.

Soon the churches of South Dundas will be working together for another year of Love South Dundas. 

It’s our attempt to reflect God’s love to our community. To show the love of Christ. Sure, we’ll hardly do it justice. It’ll be a tiny and imperfect expression of God’s love. Yet it’ll be us trying to point our community to Christ. The Christ we all need. Where we struggle. Where we are broken. Because we are sinners living in a sinful world.

Getting back to the guy on the radio… the guy who asked sarcastically “Who needs Jesus?” I would suggest that the answer is “Everyone.” If we’re honest.

 

Pastor Clarence Witten

Community Christian 

Reformed Church

Dixon’s Corners

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No Picture
Opinion

Letter to the Editor – Hunger Awareness Week

 

Dear Editor,

Hunger Awareness Week is May 7 to 11.

During the month of May, we are asking workplaces across Dundas County to pick a day for everyone to bring their lunch to work, and donate what they would otherwise spend to the Dundas County Food Bank.

We are also, during the month of May, offering food bank tours for groups and individuals and ask that you call ahead to indicate your interest. 

Dundas County Food Bank is seeing a steady increase in the number of visits for the first quarter of 2012, with approximately 15 per cent more compared to last year.

Current needs include canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, Kraft dinner and pasta sauce; also needed are toiletry items and school snacks.

It is with the kind support from individuals like you, in our community, that enables us to continue on-going efforts to our neighbours in need.

Your donations are greatly appreciated and recognized.

Those looking for more information can visit www.hungerawarenessday.ca, or contact our local food bank for more information.

Sincerely,

Donna Quesnel, Administrator

Dundas County Food Bank

Winchester and Morrisburg

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No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives with Rev. George Frey

 

Jesus is Lord!

Are you a Christian? Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Too many people say they are Christians without any consideration to the relationship they actually have to the Christ they are identifying with. 

Jesus is identified in the Bible as the Lord. This designation is not to be taken lightly as both the Father and the Son are very serious persons. The fact that even a word of idle talk is subject to judgment necessarily implies that God does not speak or write an idle word (Matthew 12:36), and that the biblical references to Jesus as Lord are not without grave significance. 

The Bible identifies Jesus as Lord in a very concrete and enduring way. Jesus’ designation as Lord is in no way like the often vacant titles we sometimes use in today’s society. Jesus Christ is Lord in fact and whether or not a person has respect for that fact has grave consequences. 

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. – Romans 14:10-12

Notice that in the scripture quoted above Christ is identified as both the LORD and God being spoken of in the interpretive quote of Isaiah 45:23.  It is Christ the Lord’s judgment seat before which “every knee shall bow … and every tongue shall confess.” It is the Lord Jesus Christ to whom “each of us shall give account of himself.” 

The context of Romans 14 makes it clear that this scripture is referring to Christians in particular. 

As a Christian, Jesus is the Lord over your life, and how you responded to that reality will determine how He will judge your life. 

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. – 2 Corinthians 5:10

Have you ever said to someone, or had someone say to you, “who are you to judge me,” or “you have no right to judge me?” No Christian can say that to Jesus. Jesus has the right to judge you because He is your Lord and your God. (John 20:28) 

When you became a Christian you embraced the confession that Jesus is your Lord? Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

I once spoke to a small group of men about the promises they made to their brides on their wedding day. None of the men were sure about exactly what they promised, and all of them looked guilty because they were divorced and knew they had broken whatever promises they had made. They were all adulterers in the biblical sense violating the covenants they had made. 

I believe the problem began with the fact that not one of these men ever took the promises they made seriously, and from the very beginning they were willing to break those promises. 

How seriously do you take your relationship with Jesus your Lord? What did you say to Him when you became a Christian? Are you faithful to Jesus’ Lordship over your life?

Take time in prayer today to speak to your Lord, Jesus the Christ, and reaffirm your commitment to Him as your Lord.

Rev. George Frey

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No Picture
Opinion

Our story in pictures

 

Who will save the South Dundas murals? At this point, three of the murals, all in Morrisburg, are at the end of their lifespan. The Township of South Dundas is responsible for either taking them down and refinishing the walls beneath OR making a fresh start and hiring someone to redo them.

From what I’ve heard so far, the second option doesn’t appear to be under consideration. Rather, it would appear that hope has been laid at the feet of residents who might consider stepping forward as ‘champions’… which, as I already said, has not yet happened and may not happen at all. Let’s face it, not everyone has $10,000 and change lying around for donation toward commissioning a replacement mural. (I’m lucky when I have $10 lying around that hasn’t already been spoken for…!)

Getting down to the ‘nitty gritty’… Why is saving the South Dundas murals important? Because they’re unique and they’re beautiful. They each depict a different part of the history of South Dundas. They generate interest from outsiders… perhaps even draw people into our township. I think they’re an asset to each of our communities within South Dundas and, as such, should be funded by and cared for by… our township. 

As for where the money would come from in the South Dundas budget… I don’t know, but I’m certain that it’s doable. These murals showcase our township… the beauty that surrounds South Dundas… the history… the story. Perhaps the budget for economic development should be raised to encompass the murals… for the probability that they serve to entice visitors to our area… visitors who shop here, eat here, stay here for the night… or for visitors who may decide to put down roots and set up shop in South Dundas.

Adding to that thought, should someone with power… council maybe… decide that murals are to remain in South Dundas indefinitely, perhaps there is an argument to be made for regular maintenance and upkeep, to preserve these murals for as long as possible. 

And, if I haven’t gone too far already, might I make another suggestion… why not add more murals? Not too many, just a few… maybe some with scenes from our recent history. (FYI: I hope to never see any murals with wind turbines in them!)   S. C.

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No Picture
Opinion

Letter to the Editor

 

Our trees, their importance and beauty, versus the $$$

Dear Editor, 

This week, on one of our sunny spring days, we took a drive through the country–a favourite pastime of ours.

That afternoon brought back one of my greatest concerns–the clear-cutting of lan d for crops, by farmers, who are receiving unusual cash rewards.

We hear and see how developers are using fertile farmland and orchards, especially around cities, to build subdivisions and shopping centres.

Trees that are considered weeds by some, certainly have an important purpose in nature’s scheme. Bushes and swamps keep water levels high. Trees and hedgerows keep soil from blowing away. They provide a habitat for birds and animals. Tree are a pleasure to every eye.

Of course some of these changes are necessary. However, it seems to me some common sense restrictions need to be put in plav to keep control of this land clearing.

We all have a voice–a voice to let our elected municipal leaders, our federal and provincial members of parliament, know our convictions. It is vital to keep nature in balance.

If we neglect this issue, our actions will bring about a requiem instead of a resurrection for our beautiful countryside.

June Herriman

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No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Duncan Perry

 

Life Discipline

Maybe you’ve seen the Dempster’s commercial in which two scenes are played simultaneously. One scene is of a farmer who rises early to prepare his fields to sew seed that will produce grain that in turn makes the very best bread. The other scene is of Sidney Crosby, who also rises early and is at the arena practicing while it’s still dark because he wants to be the very best hockey players.

Many today, despite his injuries, would say that he is, without a doubt, the best hockey player in the world, even better than “the great one”.

Truth is, whether your aim is to make the best loaf of bread or be the best hockey players, neither of these will just happen. Much work is involved in attaining anything that is of any great worth.

Discipline became not just a word to be talked about, but a life style to be lived.

I read that Patrick Chan, one of the world’s premier athletes, denies himself certain pleasures because of his passion to be the best. He takes a life of discipline very seriously. He watches everything he eats, how he sleeps, even the water he drinks.

Why do I refer to all of this? Well, I want to make a point.

In Christian circles, we have a word that means the same as discipline. It’s a word that no one seems to want to talk about anymore. It’s a word that conjures up all kinds of negative thoughts in people’s minds, maybe because it has never been rightly understood, or maybe because some people presented a false understanding of what it really is.

What is that word? Well, it’s “Holiness”. It is really having a passion  for Jesus, desiring to be like Him and Living a life that is pleasing to Him.

It’s not about a list of do’s or don’t’s, that only leads to a life of legalism, which God hates by the way.

So a Christian who wants to live a life that is pleasing to God is going to say “No” to some things because, like athletes, they are willing to discipline their lives to be true witnesses for the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Holiness is not a word that we should take out of the vocabulary if we are born again believers. It is really through living a life of discipline that we announce to the world that we have a passion to be like Jesus and to present Him to the world as the Hope for Humanity.

May I encourage you to pursue a life of Holiness for, “Without holiness no person shall see the Lord”. Heb. 12:14.

Rev. Duncan Perry,

Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle

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No Picture
Opinion

Letter to the Editor

 

Hospital Hiring

Friends,

My name is Christopher Cameron and I am a Registered Nurse employed full-time at The Ottawa Hospital and casual at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH). On two separate occasions I was denied full-time employment at CCH because I did not speak advanced French. In addition, I had over seven years of experience and certification in the specialty. The nurses who were awarded the positions spoke advanced French; however had no training or experience in the specialty. The Hospital spent approximately $12,000 to $15,000 on each separate occasion to train both nurses in the specialty. Please take the time to view my You-Tube video: type “Language Discrimination”

Over the past several months, since Dr. Tombler wrote his infamous Letter to the Editor, “Loss of Good Nurses” (Standard Freeholder-Feb.2, 2012)-exposing CCH discriminatory hiring practices, I have been protesting in front of the Hospital.

On March 3, 2012, a rally was called and over 200 people came out to support Equality for All.

Many Hospital staff, over the last few months, have expressed their own stories of discrimination and the stories of others who are too afraid to speak up. One staff member was so distraught about the bullying and abuse she has encountered from administration that she broke down in tears.  How does a public entity condone bullying behaviour towards staff whose main objective is to care for others?

Since this peaceful protest started, I have met many wonderful and supportive people in our community, but it’s not all good. Hospital administration has called the police three times, complaining about me stopping traffic at the hospital entrance. When in fact, I was called over by drivers to sign our petition asking for the Provincial Government to assess CCH’s discriminatory hiring practices. 

I have been called many things, including–bigot, hillbilly, thug, KKK and Anglo-Saxon extremist…I have gotten many honks and a few “birds”. One retired nurse protester’s life was even threatened by a group of young men. Local media groups have even been approached by some groups to stop printing “Hospital Protest” stories. Furthermore, Francophone interest groups and associations have decided to get involved and divide our community.

The fact of the matter is all this never had to happen if CCH administration had really cared about the community it serves. When the two English Hospitals–Cornwall General and Hotel Dieu amalgamated in 2004, CCH applied for the FLSA (French Language Service Act). Since the FLSA’s implementation, countless people have been discriminated against either because they did not speak French or did not speak French well enough. 

The Administration has the ability to change the French requirement from mandatory to asset, but is unwilling to budge. This does not serve our community or our patients’ best interests when language trumps education and experience.

Chris Cameron RN

Long Sault, ON

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No Picture
Opinion

Letter to the Editor

 

Saving the Woodlot

Dear Editor,

This is in reference to Tyler Mills’ letter April 11, referring to the 400 acre woodlot. I am writing about money saving for SD&G. My origin is Middlesex County, where Lake Huron Pipeline replaced dry wells from a low water table.

One cause of a low water tables is removal of woodlots, bush which act as a reservoir for water. Tree removal is now by permit only. Replanting and wood lot maintenance is ongoing.

Pipeline installations involve millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Plus land owners pay their own installation and for metered water.

Such water pipelines experience shut down, sometimes for day, endangering livestock and personal water use.

In order to pay for maintenance and repairs, metered water increases in price.

SD&G needs rules to stop clear cutting woodlots and thus save the water table by issuing and policing permits for woodlot maintenance only.

To paraphrase the song, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone: clear cut a soy bean plot.

Sincerely, Eileen Webb,

South Mountain.

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No Picture
Opinion

Don’t be fooled!

 

“Due to our recent security updates and several fraud attempts in April (month of fraud prevention), we find it necessary that you should verify your account details that we have on file to ensure that your online banking service is not interrupted. We request you to confirm and update your information today by following the link below:”

This is an excerpt from an email that I received from “*Canadian.Imperial.Bank.of.Commerce*” and in case you haven’t figured it out yet… it wasn’t actually from the CIBC at all. In fact, this is just one of three emails I received in less than two days. The other two were “from” RBC and BMO. And, about five minutes ago, I received yet another warning email from Scotiabank.

Having seen these types of scams before and knowing that my bank – and I’m sure the ones listed here as well – does NOT ever ask you for you banking or personal information via email or the phone, I knew immediately this was a scam to gain access to funds.

The criminals who send the emails or make the phone calls try to trick unsuspecting victims into giving out key information by pretending they’re from reputable companies. The trick for the average would-be victim is to think first AND, more importantly, contact your bank or credit card company right away. Don’t be a victim. 

My intention for sharing this information with you is to ensure that no one in our readership falls prey to these scams.  The “BMO” email threatened deactivation of my account, however they didn’t have my name, contact information or account number… so just how were they planning on deactivating my account? As for my accounts with RBC, Scotiabank, and CIBC… I don’t have any.   

This banking scam is just one of the many ways these creative but lazy criminal types have thought up to try to “earn a living.” 

There are phone scams asking to help with credit card debt… this is a scam focussed on getting your credit card information so they can help create more credit card debt for you. There are phone scams about problems with your computer, which are basically an attempt to access your computer remotely or get you to buy unnecessary software at exorbitant prices. Don’t be fooled!

My advice to the lazy criminal types: Get a REAL job!   S.C.

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