Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Tomorrow it will be 2014. An entire year opens before me. Even at my age that speaks of potential for rewarding and productive activity. I am grateful for my health. I have my complaints but I'm OK.

I have much to which to look forward.

I have the opportunity

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Still smiling after a couple of days of work
Allen Kotanen has led groups of students and alumni of Trinity Western University for many years to make a difference for people through Habitat for Humanity. Christine and I were members of a 14 person team this month. From the 8th to the 21st of December we were on Ohau Hawaii to assist in the construction of homes for people who otherwise could not afford to have their own home. Allen and his wife Sylvia are members of our church, Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church, and on this occasion they took the two of us as well as two other church members, Rundall and Judi Maree.

I select the word "gratifying" to summarize my experience, because it is true for me on several levels. I am gratified that I was actually able to contribute to the physical work output; that I helped to make a difference for people; that the first impressions I had of team mates was inaccurate and that I love each of them at the end of our time together; and that I was able to enjoy the rewards of teamwork again, having missed the rewards of team which I have missed after retiring five years ago.

All 14: Melinda, Julie, Sylvia, Diane, Allen, Sara, Bob, Cory, Christine, Christa, Mariel, Ron, Rundall, Judi
We didn't complete any of the five homes on a small cul de sac but we were informed by Habitat supervisors that we had put them ahead of schedule by several weeks, such was our work ethic. We were up each work morning by 5 am and ready roll at 6 am for a 1.5 hour commute to the job site. Then we made that trip back to the Salvation Army Camp where we stayed during our twelve day trip. The camp is located on a property that could not be more appealing, 600 yards away from breaking surf which roars 24/7/365. Unspeakably beautiful and enjoyable to walk into the ocean after a hard day of work. And to have left Canada's deep freeze during December to work and play in 85 degree sunshine is annoyingly great to those to whom we texted, tweeted and emailed.

Time off to shop and to beach
Christine, Ron, Melinda, Sara, Judi, Cory, Rundall

Sunday, December 8, 2013


It is still important to pray for Selah two weeks after this initial entry. Here is what I wrote on Dec 8th 2013.

Selah is a beautiful child. Here she is years ago as a small think. Facially, she today is strikingly similar in appearance but she has stretched and the only picture I have of her as the tall slender child she is now is rather obscured below.

She is unwell presently and this is a great concern to her parents Eric and Beth (Unruh) Woelk. Beth is my niece, Murray and Diane Unruh's daughter.

She will be further examined and tested and diagnosed this week. This extended family is praying for God's intervention, to identify the issues and prescribe the treatment that restores her to health.

Today, Christmas day, I have learned that she is still very tired, weak, anemic and this is as yet unexplained; further tests must be carried out over the next weeks. We love her very much.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I was Canadian and he was American. I was a college student and he was the President. On November 22nd , 1963 I was delivering blueprints to an architects’ office in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. On that same day, President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie were in a motorcade entering Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas. As I left my van, a radio reporter announced that JFK was dead. He was 46 years old, and I was 21.

The dissimilarity between our lives, his and mine couldn’t be more evident. Yet, that event collided with my young adult life with surprising impact. I was wrapped in the pseudo Camelot like legend that was the Kennedy era. From the moment that he was elected on November 8, 1960, I read all that I could find about Kennedy. In 1960 at the University of Illinois during an Urbana conference for young Christian adults, I made a decision, a commitment, to set aside my aspirations to be a graphic artist, and to train to be a church pastor. At 18 years of age, with my life filled with dreams and possibilities, Kennedy’s relative youth in a North American political culture comprised of ancients, inspired me. I was undiscerning about Kennedy to be sure, never allowing myself to believe the poisonous press that suggested his marital infidelity and his addiction to prescription drugs. History’s truth became defined with passing years. Yet at that Dallas moment fifty years ago, a tragic reality distressed my worldview. King Arthur sang, “Don't let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot!” My consequent conclusion was that the Kennedy years were not a real Camelot story after all. My own life was my compelling story, which, impelled by implicit trust in God would propel me through the decades to satisfy the dreams of a distant youth.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Cascading brunette hair falling over her shoulder, Christine would smile so infectiously that an entire room became happy. Waspish waist and with long legs under pleated skirts, she would walk with a confident stride. She had me. I mean I was a goner. I wish my children could see her like that and hear her sing with that young voice still finding its strength yet already hitting soaring notes. I wish they could know her with that fresh faith in God that emboldened her to be willing to follow God anywhere.
I wonder what my children might have thought of her, of us. And if they could see me as I was, lean, strong body, a sprinter’s legs like lightening on the two hundred-metre track.

And even before I knew Christine, that is, when my hair was full, a curly wisp falling on my forehead and the sides held in place by Brylcream. What might they feel if they could know my passion for art and see my artistic abilities then, and experience my depth of courage in telling God I would set that aside to serve him as a pastor.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Some deaths are startling, tragic, not at all easily accepted. They never knew it, but when I was already pastoring and they were missionaries in Zambia, they influenced my walk with Christ. Keith and Cynthia Frew went to Zambia because they were highly motivated by the conviction that unless someone tells people about Christ, people won’t hear, and unless they hear the gospel, they won’t believe and if they don’t believe, they remain lost in their sins. However, if someone trusts in Christ there is a guarantee of eternal life and that means union with Christ, and eventual reunion with all the others who have believed in him. The Frews had years of service behind them already and their three older children, Mark, Nadine, and Rene had remained in Canada for studies while Keith and Cynthia and their fifteen year old son Ian, returned to Zambia where they worked under the auspices of Africa Evangelical Fellowship. During a river trip in Zambia, Keith and Ian and two other men struck some rapids and they spilled into the water. The three men fell from the side of the boat nearest the shore and Ian fell on the other side but all swam for the same nearby shoreline. The men managed to get to shore, but Ian was attacked by a crocodile and was taken under the water. His body was never recovered. The heartbreak was profound and Christians on several continents prayed.

The greatest decision that fifteen-year-old Ian Frew ever made in his life was to trust in Jesus Christ as the way to the Father and to heaven. Ian loved Jesus and committed his life to him. At the time of their family tragedy the Frews were called upon to trust with all their hearts that Christ’s words are true and in that to find comfort.

They live in Abbotsford now and still go back to Africa periodically to teach.

Monday, September 16, 2013


I have a great deal to say this morning, I can feel it. I have other things that I should be doing, but writing gives me a sense of wellbeing as I begin my day.

AYN VAN DYK - I don't get to this blog site as often as I should because I am preoccupied with other writing, such as advocating on GPS for the return of a 12 year old autistic girl to her parents, since she has been withheld by the Ministry of Children for no morally justifiable reason for over two years. 

FRIDAY - It was my birthday on Friday, Friday the 13th, that sinister phrase is laughable to me. I don't care who knows it except a potential employer but since I am not applying for anything for the foreseeable future,  I am 71. That's my new 70. I know the trend is to exaggerate numbers and I should have cleverly said it was my new 50, but that would not approach the truth. I am not anything like I was at 50, or 60 or 65. I am what I am.

SYRIA - Syria, who knows what Assad will or won't do. U.S. intelligence proudly boasts it can know whether the regime is transporting, concealing or destroying its chemical weapons cache. I'm sure that surveillance capability exists, but did you know that the U.S. cold-war chemical arsenal is vast and still sits in Colorado and Kentucky. That's how complicated the destruction of these hazardous nerve agents is, but the U.S still vows to destroy them all by 2012. By when? Oh that's past already! Syria may be hard pressed to comply to the demands of the Russian/American plan.

GRANDCHILDREN - I love my grandchildren. Five of them bring me so much pleasure. Cari's oldest, 13 year old Kailyn is a witty sweetheart, imaginative, sharp and she lovingly treats her 6 year old cousin Kadence like a little sister. That little Kadence, youngest of the five has a face that can produce endless expressions, most of which make me laugh. They both enjoy the relationship and it is obvious by the time they spend together. 11 year old Ryan is growing taller, slim as a bean pole, and fast like the wind. He is a runner whether sprints or distance. He may eventually identify is strength. Ryan and Kailyn are siblings and they have a younger brother Jayden whom I call JJ and he is 8 years old. Jayden is short of stature presently but strong, athletic and with a never-give-up will, possessing a love for trains, cuddling under my arm. His cousin, 8 year old Kale, is Kadence's older brother, and Kale is capable of playing almost any sport well, pitches with accuracy, rides motorcycle, snowboards like a pro. What a group and they enjoy being together. I couldn't ask for more and they love me but they know how to use Grandma, because she always gives them food, bakes stuff, slushies and other stuff.

PREACHING - I have been asked to preach six times through October and into November at Immanuel Fellowship Baptist Church in Abbotsford, two services each Sunday morning. I am a bit rusty but I do enjoy the research and composition and opportunity to teach effectively.

And it rained for 12 hours straight for perhaps the first time in 90 days. We have enjoyed atypical warm and sunny weather in this part of the Pacific Northwest and I have loved it, but the sound of the rain and what it does for our plants and grass is welcome. Okay, back to the priorities. I feel good.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Will we see WORLD WAR III.

Wasn’t Obama the questionable recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize shortly after inauguration, having done nothing for peace but to talk about negotiation and discussion being the preferred means by which to end the greatest and deepest conflicts. Well he didn’t close down Guantanamo Bay detention camp. And he did authorize the bullets that took down Saddam Hussein. Now, Britain and USA are in geographical and philosophical positions at Syria’s doorstep to launch an attack, ostensibly to punish Bashar Hafez al-Assad for using chemical attacks on innocents in his own country. UN inspectors have been allowed to conduct an investigation but it has not been completed. The UN wants more time.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Young Then Old
by RON UNRUH, © 2013

Slow to wake, frisky in bed,
in bed slumber waited its turn.

Swift to bed, eager to read,
in bed frolic forfeits its turn.

Turns settled by one individual
once ageless, then antique
can’t help what is happening.
Same individual nonetheless loving,
drives throttled down over time.

Identical person at stages in time,
Living choices affected by life,
Uneasily coping with life’s limitations,
Settling for what time controls.
What’s done is done, what’s ahead, who knows.

Then old men dream dreams
and young men see visions,
so the statement goes.
Once merely verse, seen now as prophetic
The older one now fully knows.


BY RON UNRUH, © 2013

Unusual summer for this coast
atypical heat and thirsty soil.
Rain gear stored, we don’t complain
We rather sear and boil.

Forecasted rain is on its way
Damp and melancholy skies return
Donning macs and umbrellas
Dry our somber concern.

Winter months are sodden snowless
Incessant rains beat unending song
darkness staged with supper hour
black mornings for too long.

In cyclical rhythm seasons pass
From dormant seeds new vegetation
Everywhere the sounds of springtime
Vibrant celebration.


by Ron Unruh © 2013

A morning drive
top down and airy
we both love sunshine.

Off we go
across Golden Ears Bridge passed eagles
to lakes unseen til now
walking beaches with sandled feet
along paths where bear warnings turn us back.

We pause at Stave Lake power house
watching water convert to power
for homes we pass as we drive back
at last to dine atop
the Boathouse on the ocean shore
until the sun has set and sleep comes later
closing the day that marked
our 46th anniversary. 

BACKGROUND: Christine and I celebrated our 46th Wedding Anniversary by driving the MX4 Miata top down in the sun across Golden Ears Bridge to Dewdney Trunk Rd where we visited Whonnock Lake and the Stave Falls Dam and Power Plant and came home via Mission Bridge thru Fort Langley, and then to an evening roof top dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant in White Rock.