Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Ridge Road Wesleyan!

The snow is softly falling upon my window sill and the weather people are telling me that more snow may be in the forecast for the days leading up to the celebration of our Savior’s birth.

We are nearing the six month mark since we crossed the mountain to become a part of your family. These months have been rich as we have gotten to know you and have served as your leaders, shepherds, and friends. The relationship that is being formed between us is from God, as He most certainly led us here, and He has been active in melding our hearts to beat as one for our church, the lost of our community and the millions of souls around the globe who right now live without the knowledge of why we’re celebrating Christmas or the significance of the manger in tiny Bethlehem. It is for them that we give our hearts and lives in communicating God’s love during this wonderful season of the year and it is for you that we labor tirelessly so that we might present you as spiritually mature followers of the Lamb before whose throne we all will one day stand.

These six months have been full of focused activity as we have sought and found God’s Mission and Vision for our church and as we have begun to embrace the five Core Values that guide us in the activities that fill our church calendar. We are sharing our faith more, we are inviting more, we are giving more, we are creating more, and we love one another more. All this so that Jesus will be seen in us, and that through us, He will touch Queensbury and beyond with His love. Thank you for all you’re doing to make our church a spiritual haven for everyone around us.

We will not be traveling this Christmas season. Rosalie is now a permanence resident of these United States and we would rather jump off Glens Falls Bridge in a straight jacket than travel to Canada again so soon. Our daughter, Naomi, will be with us from December 23-26th and we will thrill to spend time with her. Ryan and Sarah and baby Michal will be in Canada for Christmas as he is pastoring in Hartland, NB, and cannot get away. They will be flying out to Seattle in January to see his parents and to introduce our granddaughter to his side of the family. Dad and Nan will be with us Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and we’ll gather with other family members for dinner on the 25th.

For a man who spends his days and nights communicating with words, I find a lump in my throat as I try to find just the right words to share with you my deep and abiding love for what God has given us at Ridge Road. Your many thoughtful remembrances, your cards, your kind words of appreciation, and the hours we spend interacting with one another in ministry has made you much more than a congregation or job assignment to me. You are my brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and fathers, and friends - all because of the faith given us by God’s Holy Spirit that is being strengthened by the many experiences we’re sharing together in life. You are my joy this Christmas season and I am honored to be called “Pastor!”.

A Very Merry Christmas to You,

Pastor Dean and Rosalie Brown

Ridge Road Church: A Spiritual Haven in Queensbury and Beyond!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 Things You Don't Know About Me

I was surfing the internet tonight and came across a blog post with this title in the subject line. Thought I'd give it a try, too!

1. I really wanted to be a physician when I was a kid and read every single book I could get my hands on on medicine and how to become a doctor.

2. I sleep with my right hand underneath my pillow to prop up my head. Always have!

3. One of my favorite places/pastimes on earth is walking the beach at Whale Cove on Grand Manan Island and sensing how powerful God is and how small I am compared to the Bay of Fundy that stretches out before me.

4. I feel very close to my Creator when I sing this part of a familiar chorus:

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down.
Here I am to say that You're my God.
You're altogether Lovely,
Altogether Worthy,
Altogether Wonderful to me.

5. I will cry in the car while driving alone whenever I think about my daughters, and how much I love them, and how grateful I am to God for their faith and trust in His saving grace shared at Calvary.

6. My father is still my hero - yep, after all these years!

7. I hold my breath and pray whenever I take off or land in an airplane. I'm really not afraid for me - but for the souls of the people who are on the plane with me. I wonder where they would spend eternity if something unfortunate happened to us.

There you have it. Did you know about any of these things before you read this post?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wake Up!

As is often the case, the first few minutes of my spiritual reflection time each morning is overshadowed by the feeling of being half asleep. I read scripture, pray, and then wait for the fog to lift.

This morning was no exception. The bed was warm, the morning still, and only the sound of the heating pipes expanding and contracting in the house told me that I was even awake. I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed, and turned on my Mac to look up for my online Bible. Here's what I read this morning:

"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."
(Rev. 3: 1-3)

Like a fisherman sailing on the ocean in the early hours of the morning in thick fog, I peered into this passage not really expecting to suddenly see a battleship message bearing down on my spiritual settledness, interrupting my quiet morning. But there it was: "Wake up!" (v. 2).

I don't know about you, but I have a good life. God has blessed me with so much and that feeling of being loved and cared for by my Creator sometimes make me a little lazy spiritually. I'm like POTUS who knows that Secret Service personnel are caring for my security and so I don't need to worry about spiritual hit squads trying to take me out of the God Game. This too often makes me sluggish and almost half-hearted about my pursuit of godliness. I don't like that about me.

So this morning served as a (ahem) "Wake Up!" call to re-engage with the Spirit and become fully focused on the things in my life that must matter most.

How about you? Are you awake yet?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catch-up Day in My World

I've been away ten days so you can imagine the backlog of things left undone over that time period. So today has been a full day of catch-up for me:

*Process mail with administrative staff
*Email glaore
*30 phone calls to catch up with people I've not spoken to since going away
*Several Meetings
*Processing my Projects and Next Actions Lists
*Gearing up for the weekend that will be FULL of activity!
*Printing and processing Mission, Vision and Core Values work I did while on vacation and adding my Horizons of Focus to my planner for review and reference
*My joy today was interacting with a number of our senior citizens by phone. They have their own unique challenges, you know, and a call and a work of encouragement goes a long way!

I've been at it for about nine hours now so I'm going to take some me time to balance out a busy, Quadrant I-II day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 10 - We're Home!

I walked to the mail today to see if the immigration papers had arrived - no luck there! We decided to go out for breakfast before I left to drive the 12 hour trip alone. On our way out, we saw someone walking to the mail box. Could the mail have come in the few minutes we were at the house? I stopped, Ro checked the mail, and the papers from Montreal were there. Yes!!!!!!!!!

We left immediately for the border, she was processed within an hour, and we were on our way - I had a permanent US resident in my car for the first time!

It's now late, we're very weary after the long trip, but relieved that she is finally home for good. Thank God and thank you for your prayers for us. They made the difference!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 9 - Last Day in Canada

Today's weather has been the topic of conversation thus far: sunny and warm, then a freakish hail storm, then blue sky, then dark sky, then red sky, and then windy. Weird!

Rosalie and Ryan went to the postal box this morning - no papers! So I've decided to wait until tomorrow's mail (10 am). If her paper's arrive, we both head for home, traveling the entire way in one day. If her papers do not arrive, then I'll be making the journey alone. Whatever!

Looking foward to getting home on Thursday.

So today I'm doing sermon work, processing emails, and basically trying to get work done as I'll be a day behind and will need to hit my office seat on Thursday ready to fly.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 8

Spent a good part of my day with Mum, who is THE greatest mother-in-law a guy could have. We traveled to Grand-Sault to shop. Visited the mall there, too, which was small but well put-together, for sure.

At Wal-Mart, I wandered around while the girls shopped. I had people from the area watching me closely as I was obviously "from away". One fellow was particularly intrugued and kept passing by and staring at me to see who I might be. I later realized that my car, with NY Firefighter plates attached, was probably the reason for the attention!

No mail for us today - TOMORROW??

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Days 6 & 7

Days 6 & 7 are very slooowww days for us as we've just lazed around and enjoyed being together with family and catching up on some personal projects.

I'm getting a lot of ME work done, the kind of things you don't take the time to do when in full gear at work but truly need to be done sometime soon. It's been great to review and revise my Horizons of Focus and get started on a more pristine method of tracking goals and objectives. My Projects and Next Actions lists have gone a little wonky on me while I've been focused on the issues of the day-to-day. So I've had time to drill down into the maze of thoughts and ideas and shape things up. This will be a great help to me next week when I return to the office.

I've particularly enjoyed podcasting these two days and being able to grow intellectually through listening to some very good information.

It probably goes without saying that I've been deeply thankful for time with my daughter and her husband and with my beautiful granddaughter, Michal. I even changed my Facebook photo to reflect one of our times together just getting to know each other better. I sure wish my "baby" was here with me but she's in Halifax being the top-flight medical professional that she is. I'm so very proud of her but do miss her dreadfully. Christmas!

Soon the house will heat up again with activity so I'll close for now. I'm having a really good vacation.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vacation Day 5

She's in!!

We waited for seventeen months for an interview, filled out paperwork, and prayed a lot before finally meeting with an immigration consellor this morning in Montreal. After some questions, points of clarification, etc,. Rosalie's application for permanent residence in the US was approved. It was such a powerful moment when the lady said, "Rosalie, welcome to the United States of America."

I am a happy boy tonight!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vacation Day 4

We're off to Quebec for retrieving doctor's tests for our immigration appointment tomorrow. After all this tme, Rosalie will finally get her appointment for possible immigration to the US of A. Yeh!

We'll look forward to blogging about our experiences once we get back to NB on Friday night.

Enjoy this day filled with many exciting opportunities to do good in your corner of the world.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vacation Day 3

We spent the night away and enjoyed just being in the same room with each other and watching TV together, enjoying a delicious NB meal, and then catching up on our reading and emails.

It's great to be back in Canada as this was home for soooo many years. The sights and sounds and personalities are familiar and welcoming. I've especially enjoyed CBC Radio as it's the national news broadcaster here in Canada and keeps the entire nation informed of national, provincial, county and local news. I find I have to work harder to stay up on world news in the US as much of it is primarily US-centric in nature. This is not bad, just different.

Tonight we celebrated US Thanksgiving: all the turkey and fixins one could eat. My happy moments are watching my granddaughter lay on her daddy and sleep. So peaceful they can be at this age!

An out-of-pattern exercise for me was reading 2 computer magazines from cover to cover in one sitting. Ah, to do nothing is so much fun and restorative to the soul!

Day three is coming to a close and I can truly say it's been a great day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacation Day Two

I drove for 12 hours yesterday to get from the states to Canada. At about the 9 hour mark, I was weary of being in the car but pushed on the final three hours so I could be with family for the week. Good choice! Ryan made lasagna and it was SUPERB!

Slow day today - a welcome change from the last few months!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gettng Back to the Right Road

As I strive to become all God would have me to become, this quote speaks into my life today:

"Thinking and doing, doing and thinking – these are the sum of all wisdom. Both must move ever onward in life, to and fro, like breathing in and breathing out. Whoever makes it a rule to test action by thought, thought by action, cannot falter, and if he does, will soon find his way back to the right road."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, November 17, 2008

Being Purposefully Lazy

After a morning appointment and some heavy counseling responsibilities this afternoon, I've decided to become purposefully lazy for the rest of today as it's my day off and I should have a few hours to myself anyway. I've been facebooking, readings some sites, and talking on the phone.

I saw snow flurries this morning in the western sector of our city. No!

I've been a bachorlor for a few weeks and will for another week or two as the grandbaby takes precidence over everything else. I just wish I could be there with baby and not here with my HP laptop and ADM. Mike Mullen on C-SPAN.

Got some housework to do so should do that, I guess. Yuk, I hate housework like I love the plague.

Another Monday comes and goes!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm One of Those People

While I still shake my head in disbelief, I'm now one of those people:

I will now talk incessantly about my grandchild, showing you pictures from my wallet (well, Blackberry!), regaling you with stories of her first sneeze, her long and lovely fingers, her obvious intelligence, and her stunning beauty. I will be energized by her picture even after the longest and most grueling of days. Why this funny behavior?

I'm one of those creatures called a grandparent!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michal Marie

She's here!

My beautiful granddaughter, Michal, was born today at 3:30 pm (Atlantic Time). She weighed in at 7 lbs, 9 oz. and was 21.5 inches long. My daughter's labor was very short (for a first baby) and she delivered in just 2 or 3 pushes 45-minutes after her water was broken by the physician.

My mother-in-law and I could not go into the delivery room but we stood right outside and heard it all. Tears streamed down my face as I heard Sarah struggle but those tears turned to joy as I heard Michal's first cry!

The baby looks a lot like Sarah did when she was born with the addition of a few of Ryan's handsome features to add to her beauty. I see a bit of red in her hair.

Tonight she received her first bath (with her daddy helping the nurse) and two needles. She did okay with the first, but didn't like the second one at all!

I was enveloped with a powerful sense of God's abiding presence as I waited for Michal to be born. Tonight, with the Psalmist, I'm asking, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His goodness to be?"

Thanks for your prayers, everyone. Pictures to come as soon as we get them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Election of a New President

Tonight we elected a new President of these United States. He is a man of color, an amazing thing really when you consider that just a few years ago this would seem to be an impossibility based on the prejudice and blind hatred of lesser persons.

As a church, what is our view of the outcome of this election? While we may hold our private opinions, we are now called by God to pray for those who lead us and give them our prayerful and civic support. This is God's call to each and every one of us and our challenge is to fulfill it without guile.

Please join me in praying for President-elect Obama and his family as they will surely need our prayers as the months fly by and he stands before the world to take the oath of office and enter the most powerful seat of influence in the world.

Pray, too, for God to bless America so that good will rise on the wings of the prayers of a nation that longs for good to prevail and spill over into the world we share.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Almost Through

I'm waiting now for my last meeting of the week to begin. It'll be a prayer gathering to pray for the US election taking place on Tuesday and for the special offering we'll be taking on November 23rd for a small building renovation project.

I finished up my time at the District office on Thursday. I ended up staying on after my original completion date (9/5) because of the need for continuity until the new DS got settled in. He's in office now so I'm all through. New options here at my local church as I fold those outside hours back into the ministry.

My Mac has been giving me troubles after a software update on a third party sync program. I'm back using my PC laptop and making the adjustment until I hear from tech support.

Great church service today - so good to see some friends whom we haven't talked with for a while. I finished up my holiness series, too. I know I learned a lot more than what my people did as I studied this fall. :-)

Gotta run - my day is almost through!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tired of It!

I'm so tired of the rhetoric and close-mindedness of the political left!

For those who claim to be so "enlightened" I'm surprised at how quickly they close off debate as soon as they are shown to be in error or that their reason is faulty. Shouting during a dialogue, in order to drown out your opponent's pointed questions, is not strengthening your position nor very cute.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holiness in Community

I saw the church at work this morning and it was very cool!

We have some people in our church who are struggling with all kinds of life issues. Our church banded together with love, support, prayer and genuine caring and it was a thing to behold!

Way to go, church!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


She would have been 70 years of age today had she been able to survived her battle with dementia and Lord knows what else that might have plagued her tired body. While she wasted away in relative mental obscurity those final months of her life, she was very much in our family's thought and earnest prayers.

Mom had a really good sense of humor when you could get her to slow down long enough to talk and carry on with you.

She raised 5 kids to adulthood and carried one child to her grave due to a drowning accident. Mom never recovered her love for the water after Beth Louise died in the creek behind our home on Mallory Street.

Mom was a very hard worker. She never shirked her duty or stated defiantly, "I'm not going to work today - I'm gonna lay here on this sofa and watch TV all day!" Mom could work like nobody's business and she set a keen example to her kids about work and the ethic that went behind it.

Like a lot of women of her generation, she smoked some, drank some, and cussed, too. That is before she made amends with her Creator. After that, she went to church whenever the doors opened and sang from memory (imagine - with dementia!) line by line the old hymns of the Faith. I wish I could have stood next to her in those days to hear her voice opine her trust in Christ as her own Savior and Lord. My loss, for certain.

My Mom and I did not get along for many years: misunderstandings, misplaced anger, and too many troubled years added to the height of the wall that we erected between ourselves and a meaningful mother-son relationship. I now know that some of the pain I felt from her was caused by behaviors impacted by a dementia that stayed too-well hidden in those formative years. I grieve that I couldn't have understood then what I do now!

I am a sojourner on my way to another Land - one called Heaven. My Mom is there and I'll join her one day to pick up where we left off when things were better. We'll both have insight into the real issues that came between us and the walls will be torn away brick by brick by the Master Contractor of Mended Relationships. I'll enjoy hearing her voice again, not in shouts, but in soothing tones of recognition and joy. I can hardly wait.

Happy Birthday, Mom. My gift to you is my love, my longing, and my leanings toward a life of godliness that will enable me to reach your new Home where I can come in and sit down with you and enjoy a meal worthy of The King you now see and know and worship.

Keep the kitchen light on, Mom, for I'll be right along!

Friday, October 24, 2008


While I'm not a Catholic, here is something you may wish to think about when you step into the voting booth:

Train of Life

Some folks ride the train of life
Looking out the rear,
Watching miles of life roll by,
And marking every year.

They sit in sad remembrance,
Of wasted days gone by,
And curse their life for what it was,
And hang their head and cry.

But I don't concern myself with that,
I take a different vent,
I look forward to what life holds,
And not what has been spent.

So strap me to the engine,
As securely as I can be,
I want to be out on the front,
To see what I can see.

I want to feel the winds of change,
Blowing in my face,
I want to see what life unfolds,
As I move from place to place.
I want to see what's coming up,  
Not looking at the past,
Life's too short for yesterdays,
It moves along too fast.

So if the ride gets bumpy,
While you are looking back,
Go up front, and you may find,
Your life has jumped the track.

It's all right to remember,
That's part of history,
But up front's where it's happening,
There's so much mystery.
The enjoyment of living,
Is not where we have been,
It's looking ever forward,
To another year and ten.
It's searching all the byways,
Never should you refrain,
For if you want to live your life,
You gotta drive the train!

~author unknown~

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here We Go!

I've been away for a long, long time - I stopped writing and gave in to the busy-ness of life. No more! I look forward to recording my life observations with anyone wishing to read them.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's Coming!

New and exciting things are happening in our world and we look forward to sharing this blog with you in the days to come.

Stay tuned!