Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign by Glynis M. Belec


                I love to speak in front of an audience. It’s odd because I also consider myself an introvert by nature.  But stick a microphone in my hand and give me a topic that I am passionate about and I will share until the cows come home.
                My life, lately, has consisted of quite a few speaking engagements and I am really starting to think that my friend was right when she told me that God had a plan for me and she felt it involved some kind of a speaking ministry. I'd bucked the idea at first but now I seem to be settling in nicely to the speaking circuit. I've had five opportunities to speak this year already with three more coming up.                     Sure, I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen so am no stranger to the stage, but in the past, any appearance in front of an audience, has been scripted.
                Now my speaking presence is no longer about memorization skills and how good of an actor I am or think I am. Instead, God is my motivator and my raison d'ĂȘtre. So I try my best to seek God’s will in my presentations. He has blessed me with hope unlimited, so I want to shout it from the mountaintops.
                One of the topics that I speak on is titled – Using My Words. I haul in a plethora of signs that I have scattered all around my home. When I first started doing this I was actually amazed. I didn’t realize I was so literally obsessed with words. And those are just the portable words. I also have Word Art – which include different sayings and these are strategically scattered on the walls throughout our home, too.
                If I had to share some of my favourites – they might include the following:
1. Trust me child. I have it all under control. Love God.
                This sign was given to me by one of my students. Well his mama selected it randomly two weeks prior to the day that I was diagnosed with cancer. She thought it a silly gift at first but oh, how that sign kept me focused and staid on the eyes of Christ.


2. My sister bought this sign for me and it is such a reminder to me in this busy noisy world to take time to Be Still and Know that HE is God! Psalm 46:10


3.  Determination – that’s me; sometimes it gets me into trouble but if I have something on my mind – I do it!


4. Health- I just picked this one  up at a local thrift store. I love it because it serves as a reminder about how precious (and fleeting) life is.


5. Because Nice Matters – really is it so hard to give words of affirmation and lowering a voice instead of raising it? A gentle answer turns away wrath,  but a harsh word stirs up anger 
Proverbs 15:1


6. Laugh! Love it! It is so important to LOLED (laugh out loud every day!)



7. Drama Queen – can’t help it.


8. Probably my favourite - Don’t count the days; make the days count
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

                                ************************

Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means." Daniel 5:17

Friday, March 27, 2015

Satisfaction - Tracy Krauss


I have always been interested in personality types and finding out what makes people 'tick'.  It is so fascinating to think that God hardwired each one of us in our own unique way. I've taken many different tests and surveys over the years and enjoy seeing how my intuition usually lines up with the test results. For instance, I know that I do not like numbers, filling out forms, or having to follow a sequence of steps too closely. I'm all about the creative process and I prefer a broad framework within which to work.

This month's theme is 'Fulfillment'. In other words, what brings the most satisfaction. It is my belief that true fulfillment only comes from the Lord. Having said that, He made us in His own creative image and delights to see us finding pleasure in our daily lives. One of my favourite verses, Ecclesiastics 3: 11 - 13, says: 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God." (NIV) 

What brings you the most fulfillment?


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In Stitches - Kathleen Gibson

I'm sewing again, for the first time in eons.

It started with a trip to the store to buy six kitchen chair cushions – and a trip from the store without any kitchen chair cushions. “I refuse to pay $15.99 apiece for cushions I like, let alone ones I don’t,” I told the Preacher later.

Back home, I dug out some leftover upholstery material and an unused memory foam mattress topper stored in the basement. I’d kept both for years, sure I’d use them – one day. Then from the depths of the hall closet I mined the third part of the equation: my almost-antique Elna sewing machine, buried under kids' puzzles and a toy doctor’s kit. Solid steel and obedient as a steed, last time I used it.

Old Iron Horse needed cleaning and oiling, but after that, it galloped smoothly around the cushion fabric; straight to the finish line each time. A day and a half later, I didn’t have a weekly column written, but my family sat on new chair cushions and a matching runner sat on our table. Placemats, already cut, wait for another weekend.

When our marriage was young, and the children too, I sewed plenty. Raised by two creative parents, I learned early in life that few things are as rewarding as using your own hands to bring form and substance from something lacking in both. I took the same pleasure in a finished sewing project as I have done for years in a finished article or book.

Something unexpected happened during the stitching of those cushions. Amidst the hum of my machine and the crunch of scissors biting through fabric; between enjoying the feel of fabric slipping through my fingers and the sight of each completed cushion, I remembered how I once loved sewing. How its monotony hollowed out a sacred space for thought. Stilled me.

I can't say when it happened. But somewhere along the writing path I’ve followed with such passion for so long, I have subconsciously bought into a falsity: that creating a beautiful pile of words is worth more in God’s eyes than any other activity I (or my neighbor) could do with a pure heart and honest intent. I am wrong, and I needed the Iron Horse to remind me.

We revere the arts, both in society and our churches. We call God the Consummate Artist and vault musicians, artists, writers, worship leaders and their works to unattainable heights of favour. We are wrong there too. God is indeed a Consummate Artist, but scripture reveals him as Consummate
Everything. Surely then, all we do with a spirit consistent and true to the Son of God in us, is equally valuable in his eyes.

What are you up to, fellow Christ-follower? Plumbing, teaching, building, crafting, cooking, serving?  Whatever God leads you to, do it for his glory. And never forget: his smile rests on you.

I will spend this weekend too, in stitches.

Author, newspaper columnist, broadcaster and speaker, Kathleen Gibson lives in Saskatchewan, Canada. Find her online, on Facebook, and sometimes behind her sewing machine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trained to Write by SUSAN HARRIS


They are likely the most washed parts of our bodies. They touch, lift and help. And trump voice recognition software when it comes to the craft. The overwhelming majority of writers type their work-with fingers. Some still grip pens.  Hands and fingers have been, and continue to be, the main reliance for writing.
Have you considered the specific anointing that rests on your hands? How the Lord our Rock equips us with strength and skill as we touch fingers to keyboard?

In Psalm 144:1 we read, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle." (NKJV). As He trained the psalmist David to fight fair and well using his hands, He invests in our writing as we use our hands. Imagine- trained by God Himself to write!
I've worked in the training department of several organizations, engaging in new training, cross training and re-training. I  was trained as a high school teacher and even took "Train the Trainer" courses in health-related fields. But few certificates are as effective as the whispers I receive for writing from the corporate body of Heaven.
 
As I pick my way with two fingers over a keyboard, looking at every key before pressing it, my thumb and pointer move swiftly (I think at 35 wpm,) the supernatural training springs from within, it's source from above. Fingers battle against discouragement as I type chapters of inspirations and posts of hope. Fingers find the spots where research waits; the Bible verses that will break bondage. Hands war against injustice and despair, and carry out the tasks throughout publication and into the market. Hands shake other hands, sign books, and are quick to assist another. I've never attended a writer's conference (I volunteered at the registration desk of the SWG conference for four hours) yet I've been invited to host publishing workshops at the provincial level. Armed with the output I received from my Heavenly Trainer. 
Fellow writers, we are tasked to "call the things that are not as so they are" (Romans 4:17), through the creation of formal iterature. We are to pen them for the time in which we live and the genres in which our words fit. Father God has blessed our hands and fingers to write for His glory, and what He has blessed no one can un-bless. May your confidence be unshakeable as you war in the literary realm.


SUSAN HARRIS is the author of six books and her work has appeared in several other publications.
https://twitter.com/SusanHarris20

http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Harris/e/B007XMP4QS/

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Father, Forgive Them



We are in a forty day march toward Easterthe most significant event in human history. During the season of Lent, there is great value in reflecting on the significance and meaning of the cross. What would it have been like to be there—to have witnessed the death of Jesus on the cross? 

I portray the events of Passion Week from the perspective of Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion who oversaw Christ's crucifixion. Here is an excerpt as seen through his eyes: 


Friday 10:00 a.m. April 7th 30 AD


          Within me I knew there was something primeval about this position, the position on the cross. This is a man’s first nightmare, his worst nightmare. Here he hangs, naked, ripped open, nailed open, unable to cover himself. He is unprotected. He cannot hide; he cannot run. In shame and nakedness his tormentors lift him up. His sin is posted above his head. Body and soul are pried open, and he hangs fully exposed. He is exposed before heaven and the worldthe world that has rejected himthe heaven that he has offended.
          Nothing can be worse. It breaks the strongest men.
          But he was silent. The Christ was silent. He was stillquietbeneath the flesh piercing blows. I had never seen, or heard the like of it.
          It troubled me.
          Now that he was pinned and mounted, he summoned his strength, and raised his voice for all to hear.
          “Father,” he gasped, “forgive them . . . They don’t know . . . what . . . they are doing.”
          Then silence, troubling silence.
          I dismissed his words. I knew what I was doing.
          Claudius doubled over, as though punched in the stomach. He staggered off the back of the Skull and began vomiting.
          He’s green I suppose, green and soft, yet to be hardened by the sights and sounds of the battlefield. He reminded me of how I was, when I first arrived in Germania. A few more of these trips up the Skull, and the toughness will come.
          A squabble broke out over the messiah’s clothes. Who gets what? I intervened and said, “The purple robe goes to Octavian’s crew.”


Like the centurion in this account, we often are confident that we know what we are doing, but nothing could be further from the truth.

David Kitz 
David's award winning novel can be purchased directly from his website: http://davidkitz.ca/opencart/
 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Out of the Ordinary comes Out of the Box Ruth Smith Meyer

Today I approached a stack of boxes that arrived on my door step.  With a knife I cut through the tape of the top box, opened the flaps and on removing the paper covering the contents, four identical pictures of my much younger face peered out from underneath. Gently I lifted the first copy of Out of the Ordinary and leafed through it. Yes, my books had arrived! 


The writing has been done by bits and pieces for probably forty years.  My story began first to be jotted down in a journal when childhood memories surfaced.  Later they were typed in some semblance of order and stored in a file.  When I overcame my fear of computers, over time, they were put in an electronic file.  Additions could then, much more easily be slotted in the right time frame. 

 My children kept urging me to fill in the blanks so they could each have a copy, but you know how it goes—sometime never quite does come.  When I started using little incidents to compose a story to share with the Ready Writers, (my writers’ group) I got a lot of encouragement to indeed do something with those memories. 

At Write Canada, I took several workshops on writing memoirs but still it didn’t seem clear as to how to put it all together, so I just started!  It got revised many times!  Just when I thought I had it all together, I’d get discouraged, leave it for a while then get another insight which made me start all over again, rearranging, adding and deleting. I still struggled with how to make it all tie together with some semblance of a theme.  Last year as my seventy-fifth year was hastening on, I decided I’d better get serious about it if it ever was to be done.  Forty years sounds like a long time to be toiling over something, but actually the material within the covers took 75 years in the making. One day while reading another author’s book, a few lines popped out and cinched the theme of my life. 

As any author knows, when the book is written, then comes the editing. I got professional help with this book, and still the more I read it the more mistakes I found, the more places where it could flow better to make smoother transitions. I wonder if there ever has been a book written where the author was completely satisfied that it was indeed done.  It seems to me you could go on revising forever!  However, now, for better or for worse, it is finished.


As I leafed through this book, the story of my life, I thought it somehow representative of how life is.  Sometimes life does get messy, sometimes it doesn’t flow as smoothly as we’d like, there are always parts that we think we could do better if we could live it over again. But as we age, there comes a time when we realize that our life is what it is.  I am thankful that I trust in One who can take my life as a whole and take even the less than perfect parts of my life and make it something that can be used to encourage others and perhaps urge them to put their trust, too, in Him. I hope that when my life is taken out of the box, perused and examined, it can do just that. 


Find me at www.ruthsmithmeyer.com          

Find my book at any bookstore by ISBN#978-1-4866-0829-4  or at Amazon.ca

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Our hellos and good-byes--Carolyn R. Wilker




 
Tuesday evening, as I wrote, a good-bye lay raw and heavy in my heart. Another good-bye in a string of weeks, and this one for a friend who has died. As family and friends come to terms with this new loss is an underlying knowledge of where she goes from this life.
Kathy will no longer wear the mantle of illness, nor endure more treatments that gave her extra time, or even to make do with what little energy remained. But she will wear a new covering of light and be reunited with her young grandson Leif who predeceased her months before.
My friend was a welcoming kind of person, the kind who found you new to a place and invited you in, that no one be left standing out in the cold of indifference. I know, for I have been the recipient of that caring on more than one occasion. I was grateful and always remember those times. I hope that I have reciprocated as generously as what she offered to me, and spread that kind of caring around to others. She was the rock-solid kind of friend that everyone needs—a forever friend—one who didn’t want to stand out in the crowd or desire to be the centre of others’ attention.
Kathy knew that I had been writing and that my work was being published. One day when I arrived at her home for Bible Study some years ago, she had carefully ripped out the submission page from her devotional booklet and encouraged me to write for the Upper Room. I kept that piece of paper awhile and I wrote and submitted—my first international credit. Guess who gets the credit for the initial inspiration? Both God and Kathy, but she would deny her part in it, except for the suggestion.
Jesus promised he’d be with us to the end of the age, that he understood our tears, our physical anxiety, and that through all the valley of troubles, he’d be with us and save a place for us when we’re too tired and empty, in a place where there is no more pain. He offered consoling words to his disciples, before they even realized the kind of death he’d face. Was his heart heavy too at leaving them behind?
This morning upon early awakening, I thought of how it might have been for my friend in the last months and perhaps longer, about facing her goodbyes. Like someone who was going on a journey and knew she wasn’t coming back to this place. She would know that she would see them later in another place, but would that ease the pain of saying her goodbyes? Might she have felt wistful at leaving them behind? And hope that her adult children would guide those small children well. Hesitant, too, to leave her loving husband?  Perhaps for those reasons, might she have hesitated to take that step, even knowing that it was God’s hand leading her, when the moment came?
Jesus’ words bring comfort even in the pain of loss: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).” And then he promises to come back for us. He’s come for Kathy.
 I may not be ready to receive those words, but I am grateful to have had Kathy in my life. She celebrated when there was goodness in life and she prayed for others, knowing that God was the right one to look to for help.
Rest in peace, my friend. You have earned it. We will miss you, but we know that our loving God is keeping you. Until we meet again.


Carolyn R. Wilker, writer, editor, storyteller from Ontario. See Carolyn at Write Canada in June 2015, member of faculty and co-leader of Creative Nonfiction Intensive.
www.carolynwilker.ca

Monday, March 09, 2015

Bruce Cockburn: Restless Virtuoso- HIRD



By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

While at the local library with my wife, I ran across Bruce Cockburn’s fascinating new autobiography and spiritual memoirs Bruce Cockburn: Rumours of Glory.   A true Canadian icon, Cockburn ironically gets more airtime now on US radios than in Canada.  Until recently, he has been called one of Canada’s best kept secrets.  Over the past five decades, he has released thirty-one albums, selling over seven million copies worldwide, including one million copies in Canada. The New York Times has called Cockburn a virtuoso on guitar.  His accomplishments include 12 Juno Awards and 21 gold/platinum certifications. As well as being a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, Cockburn is an Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.  He even has his own postage stamp!  It is easy to put famous people up on pedestals, only for them to come crashing down.
Cockburn noted: “What doesn't kill you makes for songs.”  He is very transparent in his memoirs about the ‘cage of reticence’ that he has been trapped in, saying that it took him decades to open up enough to allow another human beyond the courtyard of his heart. Due to the flat lining of emotional content, he bottled up his feelings and failed to connect.  Cockburn commented: “It was almost impossible for me to communicate from the heart, especially if the subject required deep openness....I remained too trapped inside myself...”  Even positive attention could be off-putting to him.  Being terrified of audiences, he initially pretended that they were not there.  Through his music, Cockburn temporarily came out of hiding: “Music is my diary, my anchor through anguish and joy, a channel for the heart.”  His self-described penchant for withdrawal led to several painful relational breakups: “Relationships of the heart though require exposure of the soul.” Being a travelling musician can be very hard on relationships.  In his memoirs, Cockburn notes:
...a long history of failing to communicate our deepest fears, resentments, and longings was at the core of our unraveling....Neither of us would entertain for a moment the notion of going for counseling...I'd leave on tour. My wife would be left in a stew of resentment and loneliness.
There are endless internet interviews with Cockburn about his spirituality.  Few authors are willing to be interviewed in such detail about their spiritual journeys.  Cockburn’s spiritual reflections are very paradoxical, evocative, and nuanced: “Anyone who has spent any time exploring Bruce Cockburn’s music knows what a complex artist he is. He is as spiritual as he is political, and as much a master musician as a lyrical poet.”  He is a free spirit who cannot be boxed in.  Bruce has a strongly developed social conscience and passion for justice that is expressed through his music, particularly in the 1980s. The more interior 1970s led to a more exterior 1980s, focusing on the love of oppressed neighbours in the Global South.   
While raised in the United Church by agnostic parents, his first spiritual encounter occurred while taking communion in St George’s Anglican Church in Ottawa: “it felt like something happened.” He called it a wondrous shiver of contact, of connection.  At his wedding at St George’s, all of a sudden there was someone there “as vivid as I could see them, but I couldn’t seem them, this loving presence...So I started taking Jesus very seriously at that point...that image has never left.” Sadly, in moving to Toronto, Cockburn ‘didn’t find another church that had the same spirit attached to it.”
It has been said that Cockburn has a spiritual GPS in him that doesn’t want to shut off: “I’m trying to get people to be aware of how much more there is to life than just what they see.” There are people who love Bruce Cockburn just for his music," said Mr. Brian Walsh, explaining each has their reasons be it his guitar virtuosity, his lyrics or his political stance. "They don't always get the spirituality.”  Cockburn’s quest for deeper meaning is a lifelong spiritual journey: “I believe that my relationship with God is central to my life. It is the most important thing in my life.” “Eventually, through a series of personal stuff in the early ’70s, I ended up giving myself to Christ and asking for help, and I figured at that point I better start calling myself a Christian,” said Cockburn. “I think a personal relationship with God is what we’re supposed to be after and what God is after. That experience was a very crucial part of discovering and attempting to develop that relationship,” said Cockburn.  The song All The Diamonds was written on the night of Cockburn’s conversion: “When Jesus came into my life, in 1974, he also came into my music.” Only God, said Cockburn can fill that hole inside of us.
 My three favorite Cockburn songs are Lord of the Starfields, All the Diamonds, and Wondering Where the Lions Are.  The autobiography gave a fascinating backdrop to Cockburn’s life and songs, illuminating the rumours of glory.  Bruce is very experimental, experiencing himself into faith and relationship with God.  Then he reflects on it later, sometimes in very confusing and ambiguous ways. 
Cockburn has always been a restless spirit: “I craved adventure. I needed to throw myself into something unknown, travel with only vague destinations, expose myself to the elements, sail the seas.”   He says that a lot of his nomadic rootlessness and constant longing for home comes from mistrust when his father destroyed his first poems: “I have a great deal of mistrust. I have a mistrust of authority. I have a mistrust of things I don’t know intimately.  I have a mistrust that takes the form of “OK, God, I am here for you and you are here for me. But I don’t want to go all the way because you might ask something of me that I am not capable of giving or don’t want to give. So I hold myself back from that piece because of that.  I am working on that piece...”  May Bruce Cockburn may continue to inspire others to seek for home.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, Rector, 
St. Simon's Church North Vancouver 
Anglican Mission in Canada 
-an article for the April 2015 Deep Cove Crier


Saturday, March 07, 2015

How changes in new media are affecting writers and publishing - Denyse O’Leary

At one of my short online columns at MercatorNet, I accumulate a lot of information about how changes in new media are affecting writers and publishing.

What I am proposing to do is index the information for writer readers, and keep adding to it. I will note the updates and link back to the full service page. Here are the first few entries to give some idea: Thoughts appreciated. - Denyse


Bookstores

Good news! The Internet is worse for bookstores than for reading Part I Dust settled, many books and readers have crawled out alive
Good news! Internet worse for bookstores than for reading, Part II The Internet changed how authors and readers find each other
When the bookstore closes, do the lights go out on culture? In one case, the atmosphere suddenly electrified.


Copyright
How does the Internet affect copyright? If you teach, preach, or reach anyone online—what are your copyright issues?


Internet
Internet: More informed is NOT necessarily better informed More information is not necessarily an asset if there is no practical way to assess its worth.


Libraries
Librarian: The Internet doesn’t harm the good student, but it makes the poor student worse Students confuse “available” with “helpful”
Are libraries just too unCool to survive in an Internet age? We can't discard what libraries do.


Media, mainstream media
Are mainstream media prejudiced against God? Are they the “Pravdas” of a supposedly free world?
Will our elders be left behind with dying media? Legacy media are losing the ability to provide serious news


Offensive speech
Anti-blasphemy laws? Anti-hate speech laws? Some things to consider before you vote. Demands for censorship now come from universities. Why?


Radio
More good news: Why radio, like books, survived the Internet The "local effect" saved it.


Social media
Social media: Those friends and followers who think you are cool might not exist http://www.mercatornet.com/connecting/view/15311 If you don’t communicate with your teen, maybe someone's bot will.

Is our every thought ready for prime time? http://www.mercatornet.com/connecting/view/15297 No, but social media make us think so.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Words that Nourish



            I love the aroma of fresh bread baking, and even more, the yeasty tenderness with a pat of butter sliding across its steaming surface, and a sheen of homemade raspberry jam. If we can’t digest grains, we can still turn to the Bread of Life for strength and solace.

            “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 NIV).

            When the Hebrews would move from place to place throughout the desert, they were to leave the bread of the Presence of God on the table and carry it with them. It was to always stay on the table.              “ . . . the bread that is continually there is to remain on it” (Numbers 4:7, Exodus 25:30). 

     Jesus is always in the Presence of the Father, interceding as the living, broken-bread sacrifice for us. And He is always available – at any season of our lives—whether we are on the move or resting.  The Bakery is never closed. As writers, our words can always point to the 24/7 Bread of Life.     

            Several scriptures about bread inspired a prayer: 

LORD God, Bread of Life,
would You fill me daily?
 Roll out the pride
 that I might rise to praise only You.

I give you all I have - unleavened words, shaped and baked.  
Break them. Serve them. Multiply them.

Daily bread in Israel

I offer my braided bread
 not merely as fodder to fill their stomachs,
but for strength to obey,
courage to shout down walls,
and perseverance to take the territory.


Knead in me savoury stories
always fresh from Your hearth,
without frosted jargon.


Stir joy into my little lyric-loaves; 
sprinkle them with hope, and brush them with humour
as friends and family tuck in.

Fire-roasted and fresh from hearth
Holy Rayach,
would You fire my words with your Pleasing Aroma?
Transform my tablet into a table-feast
where You are always Present,
and bring back the hungry
 to Your sweet and salty
Words of Life.  
Amen.



Pamela Mytroen


(Inspired by John 6:35—Jesus as Bread of Life; Matthew 4:4 and 6:11—Daily Bread; Psalm 141:3—guard my mouth; Hebrews 13:15—sacrifice of praise; Psalm 19:14—pleasing words; John 6:51—Jesus as Bread broken for the world; Matthew 6:41—Jesus multiplied the loaves; Deut. 8:1—Braid of obedience – live, grow, enter; Numbers 4:7 and Exodus 25:30—Christ as relevant and always accessible; Deut. 12:17-19—Bread as celebration and joy; Matthew 5:6—Hunger for righteousness; Psalm 19:10—sweeter than honey; Matthew 5:13—salt of the earth).  

Pam writes, nurtures children and grand-babies, bakes brownies, and teaches EAL, surrounded by the wind and winsome beauty of the Saskatchewan prairies. 

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