Morning Worship Service


“Christ is wont to catch every man in the way of his own craft – magicians with a star, fishers with a fish.”

– John Chrysostom

It’s amazing how many people I meet whose favourite place to connect with the Creator is the great outdoors. That’s where they worship and that’s where He meets them. In spirit and in truth.


Ice Fishers

Ice fishing
Ice fishing

I have friends who love ice fishing. They are out there all bundled up before dawn and after dusk just for the thrill of pulling a skinny little fish out of the hole.

Me? I have to contemplate whether the joy of  buying a hunk of fish more frozen than the ones in the lake is worth scraping the snow off the car to drive down to the Superstore. The whole idea of freezing precious parts of my anatomy to catch one from a frozen lake leaves me cold. Ice fishing is not my talent and I politely refuse even when friends try to pressure me into joining them. I don’t even feel guilty, which almost makes me feel guilty, but not quite.


Hot day, cool friends

Photo: Hidden lake

Friends invited us to join them at their campsite yesterday. We’ve lived here 26 years but I never knew about this little lake at the end of a winding one lane dirt road.

“John” would know. He’s a mountain man, more at home resting in his portable easy chair beside a fishing hole in the ice at minus 35 degrees than in an office. He’s happier worshiping God while he cooks for us outside in plus 35 degree heat than in an air-conditioned church. I think he knows every inch of this valley and loves it and the animals and people who populate it. This is the guy to know if ever we need to learn to survive in the woods. He’s a man of action, not like our usual collection of academically inclined friends who are people of words (on the way out to the lake we actually had a discussion about discussion) although John is never short of words when it comes to environmental policies and wildlife management.

John is the kind of guy that boys with long black braids bring gifts of worms and minnows to, hoping he will take them out fishing in his boat later. (He did.) He’s the kind of guy who, when he saw a neighbourhood boy shooting out streetlights with a beebee gun, grabbed him and hauled him home. He then asked his mother for permission to teach the boy how to handle a gun properly and to hunt to supplement her single-mom income. He’s a tough teacher, but the boy, now a young man, completed the safety courses and is now a law-abiding citizen who deeply respects his volunteer “dad” –and the family had venison this winter.

John’s dear wife is always ready to pray. She has taught me so much. She’s the kind of woman who will listen to my stories and then ask questions that show she is truly paying attention and make me so uncomfortable I want to bop her one sometimes. That’s why I love her. She knows me, she loves me, and she’s not afraid of the truth. We can only hear the truth from someone we know cares deeply.

And so we spent the hot afternoon beside this cool lake with people who know how to love.

It was a good day.