A Eulogy For a Dearly Loved Brother by Ken David Stewart


A Eulogy for a Dearly Loved Brother

Alan Duncan Stewart (Part One)

Hello and welcome family and friends of Allan Stewart. Allan is enjoying a great day today. He just moved from Earth to heaven on August 16, 2017. If you want to think of it another way, Allan is just on vacation.  I will explain what I mean in detail later.

Allan had a chronic progressive illness called myotonic dystrophy. Although Alan was probably already symptomatic in his early twenties, he didn’t become critically ill until two years ago. During this time of crisis his wife Cora, brother Neil, myself and Allan’s sister-in-law, Martha Stewart, went to visit Allan every day. Although we prayed fervent and ardent prayers for Allan, part of me still feared the Allan could pass away that summer.

Miraculously, Allan beat the odds and his health showed significant improvement over the next two years. Allan was transferred from Concordia Hospital to live permanently at Deer Lodge Center. During his stay at Deer Lodge, Allan was well-liked by the staff and was treated with compassion, professionalism, and was shown great love. The family wishes to express our utmost gratitude to the Deer Lodge staff and to any staff members that are present this morning, we thank you. We want you to know that your hard work, dedication and compassion is greatly appreciated by the whole Stewart family.

I only really knew Allan well in his younger years when we were both kids. We would come to know each other some more as we became teenagers and young adults. After a couple of decades we were no longer in close contact with each other. When Cora phoned Martha to tell her that Allan was in the hospital and was seriously ill, the whole family came down to circle the wagons.

My wife Martha once told me she was impressed with the way the Stewart family rapidly rallied around when there was a crisis. This is very true. It’s just a fact. Many people have made derogatory statements over the years about our family and have not held us in the highest regard, but this is one thing that cannot ever be held against us. Whenever one of us is in trouble, the immediate family, extended family, adopted family and close friends always join forces in a rescue mission. No one fails to heed the battle cry.

I want to emphasize that any of the Stewart family that have any resentments or grudges toward another Stewart need to forgive them right away this morning. This is a Biblical command. I must say that I’m very proud to be a Stewart.

The doctors at Concordia Hospital did not give the family with a very promising prognosis in concerning Allan’s health. They told us it Allan would not get any better as as time passed. With myotonic dystrophy being a chronic and progressive illness, we would likely see a sudden regression in Allan’s health. Allan would then pass away.

Allan beat the odds by rebounding and rallying for two more years while at Deer Lodge Center. On many visits to see Allan, Martha, Cora, Neil and me laid hands on Allan and prayed allowed the prayers for Allan’s healing. God heard these prayers and in His compassion granted Allan two more years of life on this earth; a time in which Allan truly found the Lord and became a very Godly man. Allan’s wife for told me during this time that Allan accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and became a very spiritual man. The credit for this will ultimately be going to God, but Cora was a key instrument in developing Allan’s enormous spiritual growth in his latter years.

Cora was truly a loving and devoted wife to Allan and knew that the most important thing that she could do for him was to bring him into the Kingdom of Heaven. Since the evening of Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Allan’s physical suffering has ceased. He is happier where he is than we are here. Allan is exceedingly, abundantly happier than he’s ever been in his earthly life. We cannot imagine how much joy that Allan is experiencing right now.

The other day I told Cora that I had a vision of Allan sitting on a beautiful, multi-colored stool in one of Heaven’s forests petting a group of rabbits. I could see the rabbits sitting on Allan’s lap and looking up at him with an enraptured look in their eyes. There was a black one, a brown rabbit a white one, gray one and possibly some other color. Yes, there are animals in Heaven! We get all our pets back and get to pick out some more awesome new pets.

Years ago when my wife Martha’s father Pastor Frank Peters passed away, I had a vision of him riding a white horse in Heaven. Not only did I not remember that a white horse was mentioned in the Bible, but Martha’s sister, Esther told me that her dad had at one time in his life rode horses.

I recall that I once had a vision of myself rolling down a hill in Heaven with a bunch of Chinese black and white pandas. How cool is that!

 

Recently, I got a word from the Lord that anyone of you who is not a Christian and has not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be both saved and will be a Christian before I’m finished preaching today or within the next twenty-four hours. I got this message straight from God and this is a mighty promise indeed! I’m going to put Him in remembrance of that now. God has never let me down.  We will be having a voluntary altar call at the end of the service and all of you will have an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior this morning and will know for sure where you’re going when you die and you will be certain that place is in Heaven with the Lord Jesus. After doing this. your name will immediately be written in the Book of Life and you will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you now have eternal life.

How to Get Saved:

The process of getting saved or spending eternity in Heaven is very simple. It is very simple as it is God’s will that none will perish or go to hell. There is one thing that you are required to do to receive this free gift of eternal life. You must say this prayer. It may be said aloud in your own words:

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus. Thank you for dying on the Cross in my place. Thank you for paying the debt in full for all my sins, past, present and future. Thank you that there is no further price that I need to pay. I repent of my sins Lord. I am sorry for what I have done. Thank you Heavenly Father that You sacrificed Your Son’s earthly body for me. Today Jesus, I turn my will and my life over to You. Thank you for coming into my heart. My desire is to follow you all the days of my life.

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The Monkey Speedway by Ken David Stewart


“Do you know how this container got in my study?” Isiah asked his little brother.

“Yeah, me and Rob and the rest of the gang went cray-fishing last night and caught a bucket full of these critters. I figured that I’d take one of them home with me,” Caleb answered.

Excerpt 6:

Friday evening had finally arrived and it was crayfish season. Caleb walked to the family’s refrigerator and broke off a small slice of bacon and tied it on to a thread of string that was seven feet long. This was really all the equipment that he needed for a fun night of cray-fishing on the banks of the Red River.

Caleb heard a knock on his front door and as soon as he opened it he could see that Terrence, Aaron and Greg had their owns strings of bacon in their hands and were ready to roll.

“Let’s go Caleb. Ronny and Peter are going to meet us at the opening to the Monkey Speedway. The Monkey Speedway was a man- made or should I say a kid -made trail of trampled down mud, grass and brush that covered an area of the river bank.

Nobody remembers who originally named this terrain as The Monkey Speedway, but the derivation of its name likely belongs to a variety of boys who had tried to ride their bikes at top speed down this challenging path of brush. The ride itself could probably be compared to a smaller version of The Wild Mouse, a popular and scary roller coasting ride at the Red River Exhibition that arrived in Winnipeg every June.

Many of the boys who originally went for a test ride on the Monkey Speedway ended up being suddenly and violently ejected from their bicycles. When they shook off the temporary sense of disorientation resulting from their fall, they could cast their eyes upward only to see their partially mangled bicycles dangling from the branches of the nearby trees.

Some mischievous boys were not above setting potentially disabling and possibility fatally designed traps along the Monkey Speedway. Some adventurous children did indeed suffer injury resulting from these traps, but it was seldom worse than a bloodied and bruised elbow, a scraped knee requiring a few sutures at the local emergency ward or a fractured wrist.

Just let it be said, that the boys of the Norwood Flats were tough. I should more correctly say the boys and a certain girl, as there was a young lass named Tammy who was known to ask the boys if she could join them for a game of tackle football, one of their potentially life altering bike rides or a wild evening of Friday night cray-fishing.crayfish 9

The Physical Presentation of Dr. Earl Dawson


Episode Two- The Physical Presentation of Dr. Earl Dawson:

Edith stared angrily at Earl and began to unleash her wrath upon her husband, “Earl, this is the second time in three nights that you have bumped into me and have woke me up at this ungodly hour. What is wrong with you! I think that you should ask your business partner, David if he would take you on as one of his patients and provide you with some type of psychotherapy.”

“I am a psychiatrist, Edith. I’m more than qualified to diagnose and treat myself!” Earl snapped back.

“You know that you can’t psychoanalyze yourself, Earl. It is impossible for you to be objective about your own issues,” Edith argued.

“I would like to think that I know more about my personal issues than David does, with all due respect to his obvious professional abilities. Besides, he is not only a distinguished colleague of mine, David is also my business partner and best friend,” Earl stated as he stomped his left foot on the floor.

“Nevertheless, you need to be under the care of a professional therapist. Now that I consider the point that you made, I must concede that David Mylander is likely an inappropriate candidate for you, but you need to find someone who is.”

Earl got off the mattress and began to pace around the bedroom. At fifty-eight years of age, he still cast a vibrant and formidable figure. Earl was barrel chested but presented with a substantial amount of muscle mass. Although he was only five feet ten inches tall, he had thick muscular arms that he proudly displayed whenever he wore tank tops. His back and shoulders were also well developed often causing a casual observer to ignore Earl’s obesity.

Earl was very defensive about his excessive weight and didn’t like it being pointed out to him. He rode bike and pumped iron as much as his professional schedule and diminishing energy levels would allow him.

Earl was grateful for the fact that his entry into late middle age had not caused any significant hair loss. He had long snow-white hair tied back in a ponytail that ran half way down his back. Earl was grateful that his family doctor had prescribed the medication finasteride to treat his enlarged prostate. Earl was delighted when Dr. Lakewood informed him that finasteride worked like Propecia, the medication that delayed male pattern baldness. Earl was very proud of his long mane of hair and often strutted about like a peacock.sofa-749629__180 1

Episode One (cont.) of The Crayfish That Terrorized Winnipeg A Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode One (cont.):

Recently, Earl Dawson had not experienced any slowing down in the speed of his life trajectory and the increasing number of serious issues that were crying out for his attention. After fitfully tossing and turning for nearly five minutes, Earl accidently rolled over onto his wife’s side of the bed. He had accidentally pressed his considerable body weight onto his wife’s left arm.

Abigail, Earl’s wife of the last twenty years, deeply resented being startled awake from a deep and peaceful sleep. Abigail had suffered from a frustrating inability to remain completely asleep over the course of one night for most of her adult life. It was her pattern to have to get up and read for about one hour before attempting to fall back asleep again.

Abigail stared angrily at Earl and began to unleash her wrath upon her husband, “Earl, this is the second time in three days that you have bumped into me and have woken me up at this ungodly hour. What is wrong with you! I think that you should ask your business partner David if he would take you on as one of his clients and provide you with some psychotherapy.”

“I am a psychiatrist myself, Abigail. I’m more than qualified to diagnose and treat myself!” Earl snapped back.

“You know that you can’t psychoanalyze yourself Earl. You are not in a position to be objective about your own issues,” Abigail responded.

“I would like to think that I know more about my personal issues than David does, with all due respect to his technical efficiencies. Besides, he is not only a distinguished colleague of mine, David is also my business partner and best friend,” Earl stated.fantasy-21(1)

The Crayfish That Terrorized Winnipeg by Ken David Stewart


The Crayfish That Terrorized

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Winnipeg

By Ken David Stewart

Chapter One:

Earl Dawson rolled over on his side of the bed and through glazed and blurry eyes glanced over at his Sony digital alarm clock. Bright red numerals indicated that it was 3:03 AM.

“Oh shit,” Earl said as he rolled over in the king size bed that he shared with Edith, his wife of twenty years. It was July 25, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Earl and Edith owned a beautiful red brick home on Wellington Crescent in the wealthy area of the city. The successful couple’s home was flanked on each side by equally expensive houses. Wellington Crescent was populated by upwardly mobile professionals, doctors, lawyers and dentists and the like.

Earl rolled over toward his wife’s side of the bed. He knew from past experience that this was likely to be a useless and frustrating course of action.

Sleep had not come easily for Earl during the last two weeks. He had recently turned fifty -eight and had not been enjoying the initial years on his journey toward old age. Wasn’t life supposed to slow down and get easier as one reached his age? Whoever told Earl this tidbit of wisdom was a fool. One’s body got older and slower, you had aches and pains that you never had before and you had less energy to fight your daily battles. This was an appropriate metaphor for Earl’s present life as he was increasingly feeling like he was a somewhat disabled soldier fighting in a war that he was no longer sure that he could win.

Spirituality and Depression by Ken David Stewart


Episode Five

What is the relevance of spiritual faith to a depressed person?

My short answer would be that it absolutely necessary for recovery, but that it is also a two- edged sword.

The purpose of this chapter I will be primarily talking about Christianity. I will also talk about the role of twelve step groups a little later in the chapter.

I must point out that I am a Christian and have been so for the greater part of my adult life. I was not brought up in a church going Christian family, although I think that my father believed in God. In some sense, I might have been a Christian as a young boy, although I didn’t verbalize the prayer of salvation because I had never heard it and wouldn’t have known what it meant. As kids growing up the nineteen fifties and early sixties, we were blessed that the public school system was favourable towards prayer and the daily reading of Bible stories. As all my elementary school teachers included these two routines following the playing of Oh Canada, the Canadian national anthem, I assumed that it was mandatory for my elementary grade teachers to lead us in the Lord’s prayer and to read to us from a book containing Bible stories.

I now think that because of these two spiritual exercises practised by the public school system I came to believe in God. In reality, I cannot remember a time where I doubted God’s existence. I was probably not a saved, born again Christian, but could definitely be considered to be a believer. This does not mean that I always tried to walk out the Christian lifestyle. There were many times in my life when I didn’t.

I didn’t officially get ‘saved’ as it is termed in Christianity until I was twenty-seven years old. This occurred only because an ardent local minister came to my mobile home to witness to me. Ironically, this was not the first occasion would someone tried to lead me to the Lord.

Around two years earlier, a young Christian couple came to my apartment to share the Good News of the Gospel with me. During this occasion I was not receptive at all to hearing about Jesus. I only recall that the man who tried to witness to be me was called Hugh and for years after I felt sorry for the way I treated these young evangelists.

Hugh, if by some miracle, you have been reading this blog post or listen to my podcast show, I want to sincerely apologize for my behavior that evening. I just want you to know that you planted a seed and that I became a born-again Christian two years after you witnessed to me.

This has entirely nothing to do with today’s topic, but I just looked up at the calendar on my desktop computer to see that I am writing my first draft of this blog on July 14, 2017. On this day or date, I should say, that in 1966, I was at the Winnipeg Arena watching the Rolling Stones in concert. I can recall that my ticket cost fourteen dollars, the Rolling Stones only played for twenty-five minutes, with sound transmission coming through  their woefully inadequate Vox amplifiers and that the girls screaming from the audience almost drowned out The Rolling Stones’s music.

Now back to my original topic, depression and spirituality. My whole thesis is that the depressed person has to one degree or another lost hope. The answer, of course, is to regain the lost hope or possibly experience hope for the first time. That’s where Christianity comes in. The Gospel message offers the guarantee that if we have truly given our life to the Lord, when we get to heaven we will enjoy an eternal and wonderful life.

There are certain theological streams that seem to contend that this is about the only promise that Christians can count upon and that this only occurs after physical death and the end of our earthly life.

Although this hope can be very comforting, I was also looking for hope during my earthly lifetime. I was never quite satisfied with a Christian theology that implies that our life on earth was just to be tolerated as we attempted to live a holy life, but that for the real reward, we would have to wait for heaven.

 

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