Sunday, November 30, 2008

Santa’s Helper and an adventure with Grandma

Santa’s Helper and an adventure with Grandma

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.
For I was just a kid.
So, I tore across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb:
"There is no Santa Claus," she jeered.
"Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been.
I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.
I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.
I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so.
It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the cinnamon buns were still warm.
Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.
"No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous!
Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad.
Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked.

I hadn't even finished my second world-famous, cinnamon bun.
"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.
As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.
That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it”.
I'll wait for you in the car."
Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old.
I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten- dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for??

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.
He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat.
I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter.
His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that,

Bobby Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat.
As I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.
I decided that I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
Then, I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it.
It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
"Yes," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me.
I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus", on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.

Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's Helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.

Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes.
That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: "Ridiculous".
Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team!

I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.
He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.

Author Unknown.

*** From Sir Richard
I love this little story as little events like this can happen.
For myself, I celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth every year and I have the knowledge that through belief in Him, individually we all can be saved. I pray for those who do not, or will not know of Him. Maybe one day they can find redemption and safety in Him, as it is everyone’s choice!

Merry Christmas!

Sir Richard…

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Snoopy's Christmas

Sincerely from,

Sir Richard...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Was But Mid Dream

I Was But Mid Dream

Stopped breathing,
So I woke up last night.
As I caught back my breath, mid dream.
Such a nightmare, which caused me so much fright.
Wide eyed, I watched Satan work,
his evil ways.
Always unseen.

Rich or Poor,
you know the scene...
Do a little bit of this.
Do a lot of that.
Your always in control,
Oh yes!
What's the matter with you?
For this is my life,
I can do what I like now,
you do not understand
and you are just being mean.

Satan takes control through you,
he is always pleased to help you.
For you don't believe in Santa.
So why would you know or believe this name?
But for those of you who can still think,
past the highs and self pride.
What may be puzzling you,
Is the true nature of his game?

As I watched Satan work,
his evil ways.
Always unseen.
In such a nightmare, that caused so much fright.
That night, I stopped breathing.
During this last high.
Caught dead,
Within my last breath,
I was but mid dream.

Written by Sir Richard...

So for those who struggle with addiction you are all in my prayers.
May you get the help you need with your struggle to overcome these addictions.

May the LORD bless you
and keep you;

May the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;

May the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you His peace.

From Sir Richard...
A knight in thy service of the King of Kings!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nightmare on Elm Street = 45yrs

November 22nd 1963...

My brother, sister and I are all at home this day with the mumps
and under the care of our Grandmother.
As my Mother is in the hospital waiting to give birth to our youngest brother.
It was around 11:30 AM Calgary time and we were watching a kids show called Romper Room.
Miss Doobee (the main character), was just about to use her Magic Mirror and as was the custom, went to a commercial break.
For this mirrors back would drop away after the commercial break and then Miss Doobee’s face would magically re-appear.
She would then mention all the kids names, who were having their birthdays that day.

As they cut back from commercial, Miss Doobee did re-appear on our RCA black and white TV set.
But minus the Magic Mirror and with a very strange look on her face?
Miss Doobee then began crying and blurted out “I’m sorry children as the President was shot!”
What the heck is this??

Now the picture went to the Indian Head test pattern screen that my brother
and I watched patiently every morning, for the TV broadcast to start that day.
My brother and I, at this time just sorta looked at each other????
As this was truly strange for an adult to do but especially for Miss Doobee, who seemed so friendly
and stoic, not at all like our mother for the last 9 months.
CBC news then came on and they in turn, switched to CBS and some guy named Walter Cronkite?
Both the man and the TV network we did not know,
as Canada only had 2 TV networks, CBC & CTV at that time.

I was riveted for the next 4 days and when my Dad came home that night from his work.
I noticed that he was a little dejected, as if some relative had passed away?
My brother and I watched it all, on through to the funeral that Monday.
We were so impressed with the formalities, that we found a large toy to use as
a make shift coffin and then did our own re-enactment of JFK's funeral, drums and all.
This of course only horrified our very Anglican Grandmother, who in turn threatened us with a spanking,
if we did not stop our dis-respectful funeral march game!!!

President John F. Kennedy's assassination has stayed in my memory all my life.
I almost got close enough to visit his grave site once, when I was on my first Team H.O.P.E. training in Alexandria VA.
For on one night, on my own time, I took a bus tour from my hotel to see Washington DC and it was when we visited the Iwo Jima flag monument.
That I could see JFK's grave site eternal flame flickering not that far way, in Arlington.
So close yet so far, as the bus was about to leave and at the same time, Arlington was being locked down for the night.
So close, yet so far and the muffled drums for JFK, I can still hear, to this day...

Written by Sir Richard...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

If we think

If we think

If we think that we have not much in common,
then we are both missing the message.

If we see not, what we can all see,
then we are just looking in different directions.

If our paths have just push passed each other,
through the deepest of snow,
then we are lost and know not where to go.

If we both believe in our differences,
then inside our hearts we know that for each, what is true.

If we can see, that we are as diverse as snow flakes,
then our individualities are assured for me and you.

If we think, each can not feel love, joy and pain,
or breath, drink the waters, plus live on this small planet.

Then we are each just hiding behind our own,
self made curtains of mistrust and shame.

If we think that we have not much in common,
then the words "mankind" are just hollow sounds,
as we will continue to hold each other and all in distain.

If we think...

Written by Sir Richard.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Understanding Does Not Equal Healing

Understanding Does Not Equal Healing

Understanding does not equal healing. Clarity does not equal restoration. Many men understand their wounds and can talk about them with great clarity. They know what happened, what life was like, once upon a time.

Yet, they remain unfinished men, haunted by the memories and still crippled by their wounds. The horrors remain, the fears remain, the lack of wholeness remains. By the way guys, it doesn’t take as and example, a major assault like sexual abuse or battlefield fatigue to create a broken heart.

Many men assume they haven’t any real brokenness within them because they haven’t endured the horrors they read about in the paper or watched on TV. Depending on the age or circumstances, it can be an embarrassing moment like stuttering in front of the class, or a harsh word from your caregiver, or as in my case my daughter was parentally abducted some 20 years ago.

Remember, that the human heart was designed to grow up in a world of love and security, a world where each of us are known and prized each and every day. A world very, very different from the world anyone actually grows up in, living now so far from what was once our Eden. The heart is a tender thing and easily broken, especially when we are young.

My religious belief says that God comes to heal the human heart but at times how that is done may be a deep mystery but I believe that it works something like this:

God will often arrange for some person to be His eyes and ears to guide you. Or He may make an event for you to feel, just as we did when we were boys. When our hearts were unbroken and feeling again what we felt then.

Perhaps as suddenly a memory surfaces, we have an opportunity not to push it away, or run to the refrigerator, or get angry at someone, however it is that we typically handle these emotions. Rather, we invite our belief system (or in my case God), to come to that broken place within us. For we then can ask, that He use His resources, to find that orphaned boy within and embrace him. We ask that He come and heal our broken hearts, to rescue this boy within and bring him home.

Posted for you by,

Sir Richard...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Like The White Winged Dove

Let us pray that the world will one day heed the call to Peace!
Let us also be determined to heed it ourselves first,
whether others do, or not.

For all the peoples who walk on this planet, each in the name of thier God and Beliefs.
Will surely agree that sharing the gift of Peace, is best for all.

As we will walk in the name of the Lord our God, for ever and ever.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:


Posted for you by,
Sir Richard...
A knight in thy service of the King of Kings!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Canada's Rememberance Day 11/11/2008

In Affectionate Remembrance for Private William Broughton,
of Sydney, Cape Breton Canada. 
Who died at the 18th General Hospital, France, on the 6th day of September, 1916, from wounds received at the Battle of Courcelette part of the battle of the Somme, in the 21st year of his age.
Private William Broughton
Nationality: CanadianRank: PrivateRegiment/Service: Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment)Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
Service No: 469665Age: 21Date of Death: 06/09/1916 - Due to Grenade wounds, while just going into the
line for the Battle of Courcelette and due to a pre-battle trench raid.
British Term for this small daily event was Trench Wastage.

Battle: Battle of Courcelette September 15th, 1916.
Courcelette, Battle of. This was an episode in the fighting in the Somme valley in France in the summer and autumn of 1916. On September 15, the Canadian Corps attacked the German trenches before the village of Courcelette, and before nightfall the village had been captured by the 22nd battalion (French Canadians of Montreal) and the 25th (Nova Scotians). The operation was notable as the first occasion on which the Canadians acted in conjunction with the newly-invented tanks.
Additional information: Son of Silvanus and Christena Broughton, of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War DeadGrave/Memorial Reference: X. B. 19A.Rests in Cemetery:

Location Information:
Etaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne.
The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne.
Historical Information: During the First World War, the area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, ten months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C. convalescent depot remained. The cemetery contains 10,773 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915. 35 of these burials are unidentified.

Canadian Book of Rememberance that is housed in Canada's Peace Tower
Pte. William Broughton is # 48 down on the left side.
In Flanders Fields By:
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place;
and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw The torch;
be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Posted in loving memory from William Broughton's great nephew,
Richard Abbenbroek...

At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them...
May God give His grace to all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

When I was a young man, I carried me kack
And I lived, the free life of the rover.
From the Murray's Green Basin, to the Dusty Out Back.
I Waltzed my Matilda all over.

Then in 1915, my Country said Son.
It's time to stop ramblin, there's work to be done.
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As our ship pulled away from the key.
And amid all the cheers, flag waving and tears.
We sailed off to Galipolli.

When I remember that terrible day,
When our blood, stained the sand and the water,
And how in that hell, that they called Suvla Bay.
We were butchered, like lambs at the slaughter.

Johnnie Turk he was ready, Oh he primed himself well.
He rained us with bullets and shot us with shell
And in five minutes flat, we were all blown to hell.
Nearly blew us back home to Australia.

But the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As we stuck to bury our slain.
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again...

Those who were living just tried to survive.
In a mad world of blood death and fire
And for ten weary weeks, I kept myself alive.
While around me the corpses piled higher.

Then a big Turkish shell, knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke, in me hospital bed.
I saw what it had done and I wished I were dead.
I never knew there were worse things than dying.

For I'll go no more Waltzing Matilda,
All round the green bush far and near.
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs.
No more Waltzing Matilda for me.

They collected the crippled, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.

And as our ship pulled into circular key
And I looked at the place where my legs used to be.
I thanked Christ, there was no one there waiting for me.
To grieve and to mourn, or to pity...

And the band played Waltzing Matilda.
As they carried us down the gangway.
But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
And they turned all their faces away...

So now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch, the parade pass before me.
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Renewing their dreams of past glory.

I see the old men, all tired, stiff and sore.
The weary old heroes, of a forgotten war
And the young people ask, what are they marching for
And I ask myself the same question...

And the band played Waltzing Matilda.
And the old men still answer the call.
But year after year, the numbers grow fewer.
Some day no one will march there at all...

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
Who'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard, as you pass by the billabong.
Who'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me...
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them...
May God give His grace to all!

Posted in Rememberance
by Sir Richard.