Ministry Update :: November17, 2014

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A few days ago we were informed that the first shipment of 400,000 French  translations of a booklet titled The Story that Matters, are on their way to France and French Africa, with the majority of the materials heading into the troubled region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We’ve already heard reports of the impact our materials are having in other parts of Africa, so we are excited to hear how this recent shipment helps the church in the DRC. What a blessing to know that our efforts here in Canada are impacting dear ones all over the world. You too share in the blessing by your partnership with us! Thank you for helping make all this possible!

Here at home, I have added audiobook narration to my list of undertakings. I would appreciate prayer as I will be narrating one of our main evangelism books, By This Name as an audiobook. This is a large book and will involve probably 30+ hours in the studio over a couple weeks. Please pray for good health during the the start of winter here so that I will not get one of my infamous sinus infections as that will make for some strange listening. Also, poor Allan who has to edit the audio and listen to me over and over and over…DSC_1513-2

Today, Naomi is home looking after sick children. She is thankful she can be available to them as needs be, but also has the flexibility to help out in the office, proofreading, writing for the GoodSeed website and pitching in wherever needed. We are thankful we can serve the Lord in these ways.

Facebook :: www.facebook.com/gstroynaomi

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FOR CANADIANS ONLY — PS: It is not very often that a we can give something back to our supporters as a “thank you” for praying and supporting us, however if you were to go out and hire someone to do what we are about to mention, it would cost between $1,500 and $2,000 to gain this level of advice. Here is what it is.

A short time ago GoodSeed partnered with ADVISORS with Purpose, a service that helps donors integrate biblical stewardship into their Wills and Estates.
As part of our partnership, ADVISORS with Purpose is offering Canadian supporters of GoodSeed a confidential Estate plan. Here is the good news:
This service can be personalized for each supporter; this plan will help supporters align their Will with their faith, values and desires.
This service is entirely free.
ADVISORS with Purpose does not sell anything.
None of your personal financial information is shared with us or anyone else.
Why is this needful? Well, if you are like me, you have probably thought that:
I’m not wealthy; only the wealthy need to have an Estate plan
I won’t pay taxes after death
My Will is up-to-date, so I don’t need a plan
If I give to charity, I won’t have anything to leave to my family.
Rather awkwardly, I’ve learned all of these are misconceptions. Perhaps you share my thinking.

Tax laws are complicated, and to clear any confusion, you are invited to a 45-minute phone seminar. In this “conference” call, you will receive Estate and Will planning information. This phone seminar will help you understand how to provide for your family in your Will, how to reduce or remove the taxes you will pay on an Estate, and how you can continue supporting ministries of your choice.  This is not a fundraising call and no appeal will be made. Should you like further help after the call, an Estate-planning specialist will be available to talk with you privately. Once again, ADVISORS with Purpose does not sell products; they only provide information so you can make wise choices regarding your Will and Estate.

Phone Seminar
Date:   November 27, 2014
Time:  12:00 pm Pacific Time
1:00 pm Mountain Time
3:00 pm Eastern Time
Duration: 45 minutes

If you would like to participate in this call, please RSVP to ADVISORS with Purpose: email: register@advisorswithpurpose.ca or phone: 1-866-336-3315.

To know more about ADVISORS with Purpose here is a 3-minute video clip http://www.goodseed.com/planned-giving-canada.html.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


The Boy is Six

The Calgary Tower

Happy birthday little buddy!

We celebrated Ethan’s sixth birthday last weekend with a special family trip. They didn’t know what we were doing, but we told them we would go in something public, go up something tall and see something big. The public part was a ride on the Calgary C-Train (you know you are small town folk when taking your kids on a public transit train is exciting), we went up the tall Calgary Tower (though not the tallest in Calgary anymore), and the big thing to see was a couple of IMAX movies.

Ethan has always liked trains, and all the kids enjoyed the multiple rides on the trains. We rode downtown Calgary to go to a McDonalds for lunch, then back on the train to get to the tower, then a train again to return to our car.

Riding the C-Train

Up the tower.

The Calgary Tower

The glass floor…

The Calgary Tower

…which the kids really enjoyed.

The Calgary Tower

We ended the day with two short IMAX movies, which we all enjoyed at the dome screen at the Telus Spark.

IMAX


Solar Eclipse – October 23, 2014

For the October 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse I took all my gear out to my kids’ small school to teach them about eclipses and then give them a chance to view it with glasses and some of the gear. We had a blast and it was fun seeing them get so excited about what they were seeing.

Solar Eclipse

I first gave a bit of a presentation explaining an eclipse to the students, talked about the dangers of looking at them without the right equipment, and talked about sunspots because they were going to see a massive cluster!

Here is a NASA image showing the current sunspots, including the massive 2192 cluster. Note the circles at the bottom showing the scale of the Earth and Jupiter.

mdi_sunspots

We missed watching the start of the eclipse, but started watching not long after.

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Solar EclipseSolar Eclipse

In addition to the telescopes with Baader filters, we used large binoculars and a spotting scope to project the sun onto a white surface.

Solar EclipseThe cardboard creates a shadow within which to see the projection of the sun. Solar Eclipse20141023_153258

Solar Eclipse Solar Eclipse Solar Eclipse

10175066_847273515317100_1960669725228630972_n  Solar Eclipse

Using the ultra high tech microwave box and tinfoil. This only gave us a very small disk to see, but it demonstrated a safe way to watch the eclipse.

Solar Eclipse

I also had 5 sets of Thousand Oaks solar viewer glasses that they could watch the eclipse with.

Solar Eclipse

 

Solar Eclipse - 3:29 PM

In all the craziness of it, it took me awhile to get a picture of the actual eclipse. The eclipse started at 2:44 PM, but this first picture wasn’t until 3:29. In it you can still see the massive sunspot group.

Solar Eclipse - 3:46 PM

3:46

Solar Eclipse - 4:11 PM - maximum!

4:11 – just past maximum (4:07)

Solar Eclipse - 4:23 PM

4:23 – the sunspot group 2192 comes out from behind the moon.

Solar Eclipse - 4:30 PM

4:30

Solar Eclipse - 4:43 PM

4:43

Solar Eclipse 4:55 PM

4:55

Solar Eclipse - 5:14 PM

5:14

Solar Eclipse 5:20 - Last contact!

Last contact – 5:20 – you can just barely see the moon touching the disk of the sun.

Solar Eclipse is over. 5:24 PM

The eclipse is over! 5:24 PM

Beautiful clear skies.

Beautiful clear skies for the whole eclipse! An answer to prayer.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.

They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
Psalm 19

 

The next solar eclipse visible here is August 21, 2017, and then the next is in 2023! So thankful for the clear sky this time.

Our last partial eclipse – May 20, 2012


Photos from our harvest

With early October underway, our growing season is pretty much over now and we are so thankful for the harvest that we have been enjoying!
Bountiful harvest

We really wanted to have a greenhouse to help extend the shoulder seasons and for protection from frost, but we didn’t expect how badly we would need it with snow and heavy frost in early September.

snow covered

Frost blankets, two extra garbage cans full of water, and a heater running to keep everything alive through the cold snap! We knew this cold would be over in a couple days and we could expect several more weeks of warmth for the growing season if we could just get through this.

Snowy September Greenhouse.

The gardens outside buried in early September snow.

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Everything in the greenhouse survived and the plants in the raised beds (strawberries, lettuce, beets, carrots) came out fine. We pulled up the onions right away after the snow was gone, and they are drying in the basement. After the cold snap, we had several more weeks of our growing season.

Our greenhouse

With another heavy frost forecast for October 1st, we decided to pull the plug, or at least the harvest. We felt that it wasn’t worth trying to fight -6C (21F) in early October as there wasn’t going to be much more of a growing season. That night we emptied the greenhouse to let stuff ripen indoors. The greenhouse has been a wonderful addition to the yard, and we have been able to grow so much in there. For the last month Naomi has spent lots of time processing the food and trying out delicious new recipes. Lots and lots of canning.

The harvest from our own yard and greenhouse includes: cucumbers, grapes, chili peppers, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, onions, shallots, strawberries, raspberries, choke cherries, potatoes, and lots of herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, coriander).

Adventures in Canning

We also had a row of potatoes, onions, beets and carrots out at a friends farm. Our neighbor gave us two big bags of apples from their tree. From friends’ yards we harvested nanking cherries, raspberries, saskatoon berries and red currants.

We recently planted 4 blueberry shrubs and have some saskatoons to plant, so hopefully we will have that to add to future harvests, and we expect to see our three different apple trees start to produce too.

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth
Psalm 104:10-14


Grape Jelly

Grapes
We had to harvest our Valiant grapes a bit earlier than planned this year because of an unseasonably early snow and heavy frost in early September. Apparently, waiting to harvest until after a frost is not good if you are looking to make jelly as this leads to the grapes losing their pectin and then you will have a harder time getting it to set, which was a problem last year.

Harvesting grapes before the hard frost

Harvesting grapes before the hard frost  An early September snow...

Naomi’s Vineyard had an decent harvest for our first year of having a proper trellis for our grapes. The vines were planted four years ago and their yield is increasing each year.

grapes

We harvested about 2.7 kg (6 lbs) of grapes…
6 lbs of grapes!

 

…and Naomi turned them into this!

Grape Jelly!