O Canada (revisited)

A tribute to a gold medal nation;
Lessons of Life from Team USA;
Grace is Free But Never Cheap

O Canada (revisited)
A tribute to a gold medal nation

O, Canada,
(my best friend’s native land)
your beauty beckons,
your nature calms
your Whistler’s haunting melodies
hypnotically inspire.

O, Canada, I salute you.
Your royal history
(do-right proud)
is saddled on a mount.
Your provinces
(quite rightly)
bow and curtsy to the Queen.

O, Canada, I thank you.
You gave me my wife
and her uncle gave a grateful nation
a heritage of Haida art
unhidden and unsurpassed.

You gave me my favorite fish and chippery,
a cuppa tea at four,
a game of sticks and puck on ice
There’s all that and much more.

You gave us Tim Horton
(his donuts and joe).
My northernmost neighbor,
I’m hoping you know
how much I value the shared border
that unites our two nations in peace.

O, Canada, from coast to coast
you give your people cause to boast.
You’re a country that won’t quit.

From Lake Louise to the St. Lawrence Seaway
from a port called Prince Rupert
to an island called Prince Edward.
From New Westminster to New Brunswick,
from Spanish Banks to Hudson’s Bay.

From the Rockies to the prairies
to the Great Lakes to the sea,
you’re really quite amazing, eh?
I love how you say “Z.”

* My wife Wendy was born in and (though raised by missionary parents in Mexico City) graduated from John Oliver High School in Vancouver. Her mum’s oldest sister was married to the legendary Haida carver and sculptor Bill Reid. Bill’s The Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture is prominently displayed at the Vancouver Airport and at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.  (Oh, and by the way, the best fish and chips anywhere is a little hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop place. It’s called Barb’s near the Inner Harbor in Victoria!)

Lessons of Life from Team USA
What can we learn from Shaun and Lindsey?

That red-haired kid named White won gold
He’s witty, coy and brashly bold.
This half-pipe king’s not bored with snow.
I love his “joie de vivre.”

And what about that Lindsey Vonn?
We thought her hopes for gold were gone.
But she proved when you push through pain,
it’s downhill all the way.

The spirit of Team USA
inspires us to “find a way.”
When circumstances spell defeat,
let’s choose another word.

Within God’s Word we read the same.
How faith can fuel a dying flame.
It gives us eyes to focus on
what others cannot see.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 

Grace is Free But Never Cheap!
What are we to make of Tiger’s crocodile tears?

Mulligans aren’t for true players.
They are meant for me and you.
For professionals like Tiger,
mulligan means Irish stew.

But when he begs for forgiveness
for his infidelities
is he asking for a gimmie
from his fans and family?

Should we let him pick his ball up
or should he be forced to putt?
Should he wait in line to pay up
or are we to give him cuts?

If he’s starving for the status
that for month’s he’s been denied,
should we kill the fatted heifer
or let Tiger swallow pride?

Well, was Jesus only lyin’
when he said we must forgive
not just once or twice but always
when trust leaks as through a sieve?

No, he meant the words he uttered.
Yes, forgiveness is His call.
Maybe we should all remember
no one’s perfect… none at all.

All the same a trust once broken
by some fractured faith or tryst
will require time for healing
once the wrong has been confessed.

Grace is free but very costly.
There’s a price that must be paid.
Those forgiven can’t take lightly
those mistakes that they have made.