Monthly Archives: February 2012

Finishing Strong

Every team goes through times like this, when the regular season draws to a close and there will be no playoff run or excitement to follow. As you are well aware,  that is where we sit this year.  The reasons for this situation may vary from team to team, but the stark reality is the same; we will be golfing soon. (As much as hockey players love to golf in the off season, getting out there too soon it not a good sign.) 

At last night’s game against the Spruce Kings, I was amazed.  The crowd was simply awesome,  it was large and loud at Royal LePage.  Even though we did not win the game, I thought the evening was a great win.  I appreciate people coming out to support the Warriors at any time, but especially now when our playoff hopes have flickered and gone out for this year.

In this picture I am sitting in section 109 with a couple of wonderful friends at Friday’s Warriors game against the Spruce Kings.  It was a wonderful evening; what I appreciate more than anything is the way the Warriors fans are finishing strong.  I know that our Warriors are trying hard to finish well, and so to, the fans. Way to go people!

Be encouraged, there are great days for Warriors nation ahead!

In the love of Christ,  Chaplain D

 

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Zamboni Man

I recall a certain player that I played with years ago who we named “Zamboni”.  The reason we did of course, was that he was constantly on the ice, either diving for a puck or getting hit. It seemed like every few second he was flat on his stomach or back, sliding into the opposition, into the corner, into anything!  We joked that with Mark on our team we didn’t need the Zamboni to clean the ice between periods, he did the job every shift he played!

Hockey is a lot like life: as the clock ticks by, crazy stuff happens.  Notice that at the beginning of the game how smooth the ice appears.  Players seem to skate much easier, the puck slides flat, and the game is up-tempo and exciting. High skill players find it much easier to play when the ice is perfect. As the period progresses, the stuff of the game happens.  A couple guys get into a tussle, and someone leaks a bit of blood on the ice.  Someone else gets high-sticked, and more blood hits the ice. After trying to scrape over the evidence, the ice no longer looks nearly as good as it did at first.   Snow begins to appear by the players benches, along the boards and at the sides of the nets, making the puck slow down, and at times bounce. The play generally gets more scrambly as the period wears on.  Occasionally as players makes sharp turns and cuts, they carve ruts in the ice that need a linesman’s attention.  Out comes a water bottle, together with some excess snow to fill in the rut.  This concoction is flattened out by a puck, in an attempt to smooth over the potentially dangerous rut.  By the tine the period is over, the players are glad to head to their dressing rooms, not only to take a rest but to have the Zamboni clean and flood the ice.

Our lives are remarkably similar; with time comes the odd tussle, things aren’t nearly as smooth as they once were.  Ruts appear along our days where once there were none.  Life is not nearly as smooth as we had planned, and sometimes it is downwright scrambly.  We are trying hard, but relationships have gone south, and we can’t seem to fix them.  The ice surface in our life is scarred, filled with ruts and evidence of serious struggles….. and that is where as a chaplain, I turn to Christ my Saviour, the Zamboni man. 

Your chaplain,  

DR

Memories of a Love for the Game

I have been a hockey fan for probably 45 years now, starting way back in Melville Saskatchewan. In 1965 and for years afterward, my Dad made a great rink by our 11th Ave West house, complete with hockey nets. (Way before anyone even thought of store-bought nets.) Dad obtained metal piping from a local plumber and had it bent just perfectly, and my Mom sewed burlap sacks together and stretched them over the framing.  We had lights strung across the centre of the rink, and played until long after dark.  I recall many hard fought games on that rink which included the odd scrap.  Good old time prairie hockey….. I wanted to be Stan Mikita back then, I even had a ‘Hawks jersey as a kid.  By the way, to me the red Blackhawks jerseys are still one of the very best in the NHL.

Winters were cold in south eastern Saskatchewan, and I never recall having to worry about whether the temperature would be too warm. We had to flood the rink every night, and had to shovel it off after each snowfall and before every flood.  That was a lot of work, but man, was it worth it!  Players came from all over our towm to play at “Richmond Gardens.”  Mrs. McCullough next door wasn’t that happy with all the yelling, the pucks flying into her yard, and the general commotion, but for me, it was our prairie version of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  

I thank God for my family, and for the memories that I still cherish from another world long past.  My parents taught me about loving God and my community; maybe that is why I am a community pastor/chaplain today.  They showed me how to serve God well, to read my Bible daily and to choose faith in Christ. I still do those things to this day. My memories of Melville days are very rich, and I pray they inspire you to love this game of hockey, to honour God, and to choose faith in Christ as you read this.

For life,

Chaplain D

 

“….. because I care!”

When I was a youngster in my parents house,  I recall my Mom saying this after many ‘vigorous’ conversations; “I yell because I care!!”  God bless my Mom! She has sinced passed on, and I miss her terribly. Mom was a fiesty, fiery lady, who didn’t hold back terribly much.  I can still see her in my mind’s eye, with voice raised saying the she yelled because she cared. 

Caring for people is one of the highest qualities we can have.  As a chaplain, I try to show that quality, valuing people in and outside of the arena.  One of the challenges many have is simply how easily we tend toward valuing people on a sliding scale; the ones we deem as ‘more’ important carry a slightly higher care quotient, and others, slightly less.  If we judge people to have signigicant visibility or status, it is easy to designate higher value.. If people are wealthy, or hold a high position, the same principle would apply.  Valuing people is not about how we can benefit, or how we can serve our agenda.  Valuing people is about lifting others up, encouraging those who are discouraged, and leaving people  filled up and not drained.

I know how it feels when someone cares for me. There is really no feeling like it.  There is no doubt that it makes a difference.  I conduct my life as a Christian on this principle, found in First Peter 5:7 in the New Testament;  ‘Come to God with all your cares, because He cares for you.’  Whether it is a Warriors player or a fan in the stands, care is always a winner. I know, because I know Someone who cares for me.

Keep looking up,

Chaplain Don