Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

28 July, 2013


It is customary for Rosanne to prayerfully ask her late Polish grandmother to "come into my heart" when I am involved in certain activities or challenges.  She firmly believes that her much beloved "Baba" watches over us with angelic care from her Heavenly resting place.

This morning I undertook a particularly challenging ministerial assignment and Rosanne knew that I was a bit apprehensive.  Her health does not allow her to accompany me, but when I returned home after the service, she was quick to ask "How did things go?"

"One hundred per cent," I replied.  "It could not have been better!"

"Oh, I'm so happy," Rosanne said.  "I prayed continually that everything would be alright for you.  I didn't ask Baba for help this time though, I prayed to God instead....I thought, what the heck, I might as well go right to the top with this one!"

God love her!

12 July, 2013

I publish the following story on Wrights Lane, not only because of my love for the game of baseball and admiration for those who play and coach it at any level, but also due to the fact that it reflects the honesty and integrity of a young man who did "the right thing".

Money Can’t Buy A Clear Conscience

Jeremy Affeldt
The world of professional sports has its fair share of ups and downs. An aggressive media helps feed the average adoring fan a steady diet of stuff that makes headlines, whether it’s positive or negative. 

In fact, it’s often what happens off the field that gets the most attention. The recent arrest of New England Patriots’ tight end, Aaron Hernandez, on murder charges highlights an ever-growing trend of high-paid athletes making poor decisions away from the game and ruining their careers in the process. It is hard to read one of these sad stories of successful-players-gone-bad without feeling skeptical of every good, young player taken in a draft. Who can you trust these days?

Enter San Francisco Giants’ pitcher, Jeremy Affeldt. The veteran reliever signed a contract back in 2010, which gave him $500,000 more than was actually agreed upon. The conscience-stricken hurler chose to do the right thing and give the money back to the ball club. Since the ink had already dried Affeldt was actually entitled to keep the money, as it was a mistake on the Giants’ part. Even an assistant General manager encouraged him to keep the windfall. However, Jeremy Affeldt is not like most athletes. No, in this world of fat salaries and sometimes even fatter egos, he chose principle over prosperity. 

Said Affeldt, “I talked to Bobby (the Giants’ GM, Bobby Evans) the next day and said, ‘I can’t take that money. I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right.’”

The point is not really the money, even though the amount is very significant. Yes, it was half a million dollars! I think we can get all bogged down in the amount and lose sight of the actual act of integrity. If Jeremy Affeldt was buying a couple of packs of gum at the local Dollar Tree, was given 89 cents too much change, and then went back and returned it, would we be hearing about it from the sports media? Likely not. But to the Lord, the principle is the same. If something doesn’t belong to you, give it back. It’s the right thing to do and someone who walks in integrity does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Period. No photo op. No bells and whistles. 

Today, Jeremy Asffeldt is $500,000 poorer but spiritually richer and a whole world wiser because of the choice he made that day.

In Psalm 15 we read, “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous… who does his neighbour no wrong… who keeps his oath even when it hurts.” Is it any wonder that this past winter Jeremy Affeldt was given a lucrative 3-year contract with the Giants? Money can buy a lot of things but one thing it cannot buy is a clear conscience. Just ask Jeremy Affeldt.

Thanks to Facebook friend Larry Balkwill of Chatham for bringing this story to my attention.

08 July, 2013


I was shopping in our local Foodland grocery store (an almost daily routine for this chief cook and bottle washer these days) when my attention was drawn to a grandmotherly woman and a little girl hovering painstakingly over a display of African Violets.  It was obvious that the object of the exercise was to pick out one of the plants for the five-year-old to take home with her.

Without hesitation, the little girl reached into the middle of the display of several dozen brightly coloured purple and lavender plants and made a selection.  You could almost hear the wheels turning in her tiny mind and the expression of serious resolve on her face spoke volumes -- she had made her choice.

"But that one doesn't look very healthy," said the woman.  "Why don't you pick a better one?  Look, this one is very pretty," she added taking the less-than-perfect plant from the child's hand and replacing it with one that had lush green leaves and was in full, beautiful bloom.

Without saying a word, the child studied her grandmother's choice for several long seconds before setting it aside and re-claiming the plant with a lopsided small cluster of pale flowers, holding it in her chubby hands with the tender-loving care of the mother that she would some day become.

"I think that she has made up her mind," I could not help interjecting.  "Yes, but I'm the one paying for it," replied the grandmother.

As I pretended to be pre-occupied with a stand of tomatoes and cucumbers, I continued to watch the rather one-sided African Violet discussion out of the corner of my eye.  Finally, still yet to speak a word and clutching with childish determination what in animal terms would be the runt of the litter, the youngster walked away from the floral display as if to say, "Enough talking gramma, I'm taking this one!"

"I'm fighting a losing battle," the woman remarked with reservation and a smile as she hurried to catch up to the little girl making her way down the aisle hugging that sickly-looking African Violet firmly to her chest.

I could not help but think about the wonderful life lesson that had just been played out before me.  Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.  We should all be more childlike in our observations and human relations.