Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

Greetings from "away"

Saturday, October 16, 2004
just thought I'd send a postcard...

Well the trip went well. We had to drive through a bit of bad weather but we did the trip in good time. The kids are playing with their grand-parents, and we all got the chance to meet the newest addition to the family (who is still nameless). I'm quite pleased I was able to hold my little nephew.

Oh! I almost forgot, we did lose an hour on our way here last Thursday, but before I get into that, read this little article:

"More than a century ago, on the streets of Port Hope, Ontario, a man could be seen walking along carrying a saw and a sawhorse. One day a rich man from across the street saw him and said to a friend, "He looks like a sober man. I think I'll hire him to cut wood for me." "That's Joseph Scriven," the friend replied. "He wouldn't cut wood for you. He only cuts wood for those who don't have enough to pay." And that sums up the philosophy of Joseph Medlicott Scriven, a devoted member of the Plymouth Brethren Church, who took the Sermon on the Mount literally.

Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1819. He fell for a lovely young woman, but on the eve of their wedding she accidentally drowned. Scriven never recovered from the shock. The Irishman began to wander, hoping to forget his sorrow. At age 25, he finally settled in Canada. His faith led him to do menial tasks for poor widows and the sick. He often worked for no wages and was regarded by the people of the community as a kind man, albeit a bit odd.

He later fell in love again and planned to marry a wonderful Canadian woman. But again, tragedy struck. His fiance died after contracting pneumonia.

In 1855, a friend visited an ill Scriven and discovered a poem that he had written for his ailing mother in faraway Ireland. Scriven didn't have the money to visit her, but he sent her the poem as an encouragement. He called it "Pray Without Ceasing." When the friend inquired about the poem's origins, Scriven reportedly answered, "The Lord and I did it between us." Scriven never intended for the poem to be published, but it made its rounds, and was set to music in 1868 by musician Charles Converse, who titled it "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." It has since become one of our greatest hymns.

Scriven died in 1886 (ironically, in an accidental drowning). In his memory, the town of Port Hope erected a monument with this inscription from Scriven's famous song: In His arms He'll take and shield thee. Thou wilt find a solace there."

Well, Port Hope is on the way to my in-laws, so guess where we made a stop last Thursday. We looked all over town for the monument mentioned in the article but were unable to find it. We asked some of the locals, but we just got blank stares. We did find a Scriven Boulevard, but no monument. We may try again on our way back home (I'd like to get a picture of the monument, so I can post it sometime).

See you later,