Friday, November 25, 2011

A Prayer - For Our Family

“Thank you Father God for many blessings. For my precious wife, children, siblings and grandchildren. May they come to appreciate the full measure of your Love. The many times You carried them on Your shoulders, the moments You remained nearby waiting patiently with fingers crossed as they made critical decisions. You are the God of choice. You desire us to praise and honour You. We desire, with Your guideposts from Biblical Words, a pathway along the straight and narrow in this world which at times discourages and harasses our good intentions. You never give up on us. Amen.”

In this day and age, families are beset by a variety of challenges. Somehow they scratch by, yet others survive at a higher level. Is it prayer? Or is it possible to accomplish successfully without a personal faith? Call it luck of the draw some may say. No. Without God in our lives we are like the Israelites living in Egyptian captivity, hoping something will happen to change miserable living standards. And things did happen. It took a man after God’s heart, someone who had been to the top of the mountain and through the valley. Moses was that inspired man, who led a nation out of bondage.

As parents, we too must lead. Our families depend on us. Our footprints are our children. Our mates are our support. But the God of our lives is Jesus. He came like a whirlwind in the New Testament, in our likeness, as a man with responsibilities; Saviour of our Souls. As adults with families, whether they are spouse, children or parents, we must show the way, teaching and living by example, for all. And walking with Jesus can provide us with blessings, knowledge and discernment in our everyday lives.

* * *

© Richard & Esther Provencher

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Secrets of Prayer: Mary, a Mother

Secrets of Prayer: Mary, a Mother: She did watch her son upon the cross this lady of divine intentions felt her heart throb matching the pulse of the man called Jesu...

Mary, a Mother

She did watch her son upon the cross

this lady of divine intentions

felt her heart throb

matching the pulse of the man

called Jesus, her first born

her baby

the same one who cried when He

fell and blistered His hand

the same one who

asked why friends looked at Him

with amazing eyes

knowing He was destined for

something special.

After the angel came to her

and shared the Immaculate Conception news

she prepared herself for this moment--

her son upon the cross

her son limp after conversing with His father

her son the Saviour of the world.

© Richard L. Provencher

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Spiritual Quest

As a layman I used to get confused, thankfully long ago, with reasoning on whether there be a God or not, the value of prayer or not, even the differences between evil and goodness. Now I have established through many years of life, convincing truths to follow.

Re God---if we compare fossils supposedly millions of years old to earth being created in six days and only 2,000 years old; what then? In God’s language the snap of a finger could easily be one or ten million years, so to my way of thinking, the adage about aging earth is not really relevant. In any case we will find the true answer to this one after we pass on. In the meantime, direct communication with God, through prayer, is very re-assuring to many of us.

Re Praying---in my case, I had a stroke in 1999, and do not doubt for a moment the combination of a great wife, an attitude of perseverance and an avalanche of prayers from family and friends, allowed me to reclaim most of my previous health. Rather than say, no to praying, I embrace any spiritual opportunity to my chest. I can declare it works, as I can now wiggle my toes, hold onto a cup of coffee and lean over to kiss my wife.

Re Evil vs Goodness:
Evil---sadness prevails in the hearts of too many, young and old. And it manifests itself through drug usage, robberies, and intimidation. It can take place on streets, in schools and homes. The end results are despair and self-accusations. Where did we go wrong? Is asked too often. For some reason, proper reasoning and self-discipline went on holidays.   
Goodness---Why is it we meet some people who exude kindness, and human caring, even when it appears they should be upset or take on an offense. They make such good parents, husbands, co-workers, and a joy to be around. These people must have prayer as a foundation, something helping them decide right from wrong. Sound right?

© 2011 Richard L. Provencher  
Posted October 3, 2011
Provencher Paths

Saturday, October 1, 2011


In the living room, a grandfather clock bongs three times. It’s now three am. And for those used to these sounds, it is a normal intruder in their sleep patterns. For others, it’s more of a wake-up call…
"Are you awake George? Answer me, are you?"
"I am now. What's your problem, Ryan?"
"Wake up."
"I am awake. You can be a real pest for a little brother. Besides, how come you stole all our blankets last night, Ryan?"
"I did not. How come you blame me all the time?”
"Did too, Ryan. There’s no one else sleeping in our bed. Just the two of us."
"Did not!"
"Watch your mouth. You'll wake up Mr. and Mrs. Archibald."
"Maybe they already woke up, George."
"Nah. Look, it's still dark out."
"You sure?"
"Grown-ups like to sleep in. How come you woke me up so early?"
"Something kept making noises. I'm real hungry, George."
"You're still hungry?"
"After pigging out on Kentucky Fried Chicken last night?"
"Yup, still hungry."
"Well...what do you want me to do about it?"
"A cookie. I'd love to have a great big peanut butter cookie."
"Yah. I remember all them cookies Mrs. Archibald baked yesterday. Want more?"
"Let's go, if you're not a scared-cat.”
Now bare feet slapped against the floor. They added to the usual creaks in an older home with creaking floors.
“Quietly...I said quietly."
"Your feet ever cold last night, George."
"Wadya expect? You tried to steal all the blankets."
"Did not."
"Did too, Ryan."
"Did not, George."
"SSSH! Not so loud. It's not my fault these folks are poor. Can't even afford a bed for each of us. Maybe we should try and find a job and help them, or something."
"Can we get our cookies now George?"
"Yah. But we have to be real quiet."
"George, you already said that."
"SSHHH. Be quiet as mice, OK? Don’t want to get booted out for taking cookies. I'm tired of moving to different foster homes."
"What did you say, Ryan?"
"Only a couple each, alright Ryan?"
"Yup. You like peanut butter cookies too. Eh George?"
"SSSH! Don't step on the cat, OK? Hey, only two each. And please don't knock the cookie can on the floor."
"Now let's sneak back into bed."
"Quick. It’s Mrs. Archibald. I think I hear her coming."
Two pair of feet tiptoe down the hallway, then into bed.
"Now give me some covers too. Ryan, move over."
How come these cookies are so good, George?"
"I dunno. Hurry up and eat them. I have to get some sleep."
"Do you think the Archibald’s might adopt us, George?"
"Nah. This is just a foster home. We have to go somewhere else to get adopted. Besides, who wants big kids like us?"
"But, I really like Mrs. Archibald, George."
"Remember last time we were bad? We got moved. Hope they don't get too mad about these cookies."
"We only took two peanut butter cookies each, George."
"Whatever. Get some sleep now. OK, Ryan?"
"Ryan, Is that all you can say, yup?"
"What can you expect from a seven year old kid, anyways?"
"Kid brother, George. Besides, you're only two years older than me. George?"
"Go to sleep. Can't you see I'm tired?"
"George, I love you."
"Don't give me any of that mush, Ryan."
"You're all I got left, George."
"Get some sleep, OK? Please? Besides we still got mom."
"How come momma gave us to the Children's Aid, George?"
"I dunno."
"Maybe she didn't want us. You think so, George?"
"Don't say that. It's not true. Mom just can't look after us right now."
"I got no friends. No family. Just you, George."
"Yah...yah. Ryan? I know Mom still loves us."
"George? You crying or something?"
"Quiet. I'm just thinking. If we be good, Mrs. Archibald might let us stay, no more moving around. Maybe even get bunk beds. Sound Okay?"
"George? Let’s pray about it, okay?"
"Yah. It might work out. Then when mom feels better, maybe we can go home again."
What now, Ryan?"
"Let's get some more cookies."
* * *
© 2011 Richard & Esther Provencher

Get Outside Yourself

Speaking in the vernacular, Biblical words can be expressed as an attitude of praying without ceasing, in all you do, and I do; especially since my stroke in August of 1999.

(Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)

We know how much praying has been tossed about, too often as an afterthought. Almost like saying to friends, “Have a good day,” as our eyes cast about for the latest sight to view on the street, WITHOUT any contact with the person in front of you. Such statements can come across as meaningless, and that action not realized by the person who gave the pronouncement. When you pray, do it sincerely and with purpose.

As I sat for hours after coming home from the hospital, I reviewed how things had changed because of my stroke. Two week earlier I bragged to friends how much I was capable of doing in the outdoors---canoeing without breaking a sweat, nor huffing and puffing after long hours on the trail. I was in great shape.

Now here I was feeling sorry for the change of affairs, unable to walk across the floor without pain nor get a glass of water and hold the container without dropping it. I could not even speak except for gibberish. I knew what I was saying; no one else did. Under the umbrella of this scenario, I prayed for a miracle to overcome my limitation, and to restore myself to the way it was. This went on for days, until my tongue got weary.  

A few days later as I prepared myself for another ritual of requesting favours for myself, a voice whispered in my ear. I knew it was the Holy Spirit. “Get outside yourself, begin to pray for others.” From then on, my daily Journal recorded how quickly my health began to improve. (In 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Paul writes of the extreme pressures that can be handled only through the prayers of others).
© 2011 Richard L. Provencher