Archive for December, 1998

Beginning To End To Begin

December 31, 1998

My parents were born at the beginning and middle of the First World War. They married towards the end of the Second World War and had a son at the end of the Second World War. Their beginnings, from their … (read more)

Sharing The Load

December 30, 1998

I have always had a passion for rocks. Sleek, smooth rocks. Chunky conglomerate rocks. Small, large, odd-shaped rocks. A favourite pastime when we were little was to take a hammer and smash open a rock to see what beauty lay … (read more)

Rejoice In Hope

December 29, 1998

Part of the theme for the Eighth Assembly of the World Council of Churches was "Rejoice in Hope." The Assembly study says; "It is a radical hope, a hope based not on human possibilities but in God's faithfulness and mighty … (read more)

Driveway Artists

December 28, 1998

A new family moved into our area in the late summer of 1997. They had a young family and someone loved to express themselves in chalk on their huge curved driveway. They must have spent hours, for there were flowers, … (read more)


December 27, 1998

When I ponder the state of our culture and the individuals within it, the word "image" is something that often comes to mind in a powerful way. We are concerned about our image. This is evidenced in the huge amounts … (read more)


December 26, 1998

Uoah had a powerful character, even after retirement from the Cuban military. He had always been a defender of Marxist-Leninism, with weapons ready to enforce. I last saw Uoah when he invited me to eat lunch with him at his … (read more)

Such A Little Gift

December 25, 1998

It was just a tiny thing, a small knit stocking with a piece of felt "holly" sewn to the cuff and a safety pin on the back for attaching it to a coat. The two foreign students who were worshipping … (read more)

Remember The Angels!

December 24, 1998

The Christmas story is one of the greatest stories ever told. Each year we look forward to hearing it told one more time. One thing we often overlook as we read the story of our Lord's birth is the tremendous … (read more)

My Christmas Story

December 23, 1998

Christmas has become an increasingly trying time for me spiritually, what with the never-ending exhortations to buy; the often fruitless quest to find just the right gift for those who give you no guidance and the every increasing commercialization of … (read more)

Twas The Night Revisited

December 22, 1998

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a-one thought was stirring, not even an ounce; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that some nice presents soon would be there; The children … (read more)

Awaiting The Birth

December 21, 1998

I received a long-distance call from a friend a while back. She was awaiting news of the birth of her first grandchild and, lest she be tempted to call and check on the progress every so often, chose to call … (read more)

Every Individual Counts With God

December 20, 1998

A couple of books off my bookshelf got some extra wear and tear – and reading – this year. One is The Grey Seas Under. It's a book by Canadian author Farley Mowat, about the trials and tribulations of a … (read more)

His Kingdom Will Never End

December 19, 1998

When I first read about Mary's conception, and the subsequent birth of Jesus, I almost came undone. "God, is this really true?" For me the rubber hit my new road of faith – I had to believe it was true, … (read more)

Christmastime – A Time To Hate

December 18, 1998

Isn't Christmastime a time of love? Isn't Christmas a celebration of the coming into the world of the greatest example of our Father's love? How can I say that Christmas is a time to hate? Of course, this time of … (read more)

Home Before Christmas

December 17, 1998

I got a chance to go "home" before Christmas, but I didn't want to go. Home, in this case, is not where I live now, but the place where I was born and grew up. That's Windsor, Ontario, right across … (read more)

The Peace Of Christmas

December 16, 1998

As a child growing up in a godless household, with a single mother trying to raise six children, including four adult male alcoholics, I dreaded Christmas. Not for me was the anticipation of presents under the tree, nor the feeling … (read more)

Blue Christmas

December 15, 1998

A familiar tune that's heard throughout the Christmas season is Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas". Whether it's Presley's powerful voice, the strings of some instrumental, or the strains of friends pouring out their hearts in song, it is traditionally counted among … (read more)

Growth In Unlikely Places

December 14, 1998

This passage from Isaiah is a familiar one for the Advent Season. I know that I have read it often, but it has only been recently that this image of a stump has really intrigued me. Where we live, on … (read more)

An Advent Sunday

December 13, 1998

We visited a church in Florida on Sunday morning; it was a busy, friendly church with about forty to fifty in attendance. The congregation was made up mainly of older folk, with a sprinkling of middle-aged ones, and about four … (read more)

A Christmas Prayer

December 12, 1998

Lord, maybe what I need this Christmas is a new pair of spiritual eyeglasses, ones that would let me see the hope and trust those ill people had in You, so even if they have died, as we on Earth … (read more)

What Shall I Give Him

December 11, 1998

Christmas is coming and as well as signifying and celebrating the birth of Jesus, it is a time of gift giving. We wander the stores for the "right" gift for family, friends, neighbours, and service providers. We want to choose … (read more)

And We Shall Be Changed

December 10, 1998

Some years ago I lived in Toronto, Ontario, and taught an early morning aqua fitness class. I used to get up in the black of morning at 5:45 a.m. and drive to the great downtown Toronto area, where I taught … (read more)

Without Cost

December 9, 1998

Our youngest child, who is 5 years old, has said for the last week, "I wonder what I'm getting for Christmas?" My reply is "I wonder too!". As she spoke those words, I thought, every child across the world is … (read more)

A Shoebox For Christmas

December 8, 1998

There are many who go wanting, especially at this time of year, and each community offers numerous opportunities to help those who are less fortunate. There are Orphan's Funds, Empty Stocking Funds, Angel Trees, Toy Drives, Coat Drives, Secret Santa … (read more)

Great Is Thy Faithfulness!

December 7, 1998

Over the past year, I have awakened to this hymn and gone to sleep singing it: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (7)

December 6, 1998

On this Sunday I am blessed with the opportunity to share with brothers and sisters half a world away from my home. Maybe I can't bring the snow and the Christmas tree that will this morning standing in the sanctuary … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (6)

December 5, 1998

Today I am doing final preparations to speak with the people of Mbare Presbyterian Church tomorrow. I've been told this is an exuberant congregation who do not speak English but know the language of the Spirit. As a guest in … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (5)

December 4, 1998

One of the most powerful moments of reconciliation I have experienced was during the transition from white to majority rule in South Africa. Two South Africans came to my country of Canada– one black and a former member of the … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (4)

December 3, 1998

I claim friendship with God through Jesus Christ… and that is a first step in my personal journey to wholeness. It is actually Paul who says this is just the first step. We are not only reconciled to God through … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (3)

December 2, 1998

Two years ago this week I was in Salvador, Brazil with the World Council of Churches' Conference on Mission and Evangelism. We went down to the docks of that ancient city and looked at the cobblestone wharf that had stood … (read more)

Messages From Zimbabwe: Journey To Wholeness (2)

December 1, 1998

I began ministry twenty some years ago in a place called Waywayseecappo in the Canadian Province of Manitoba, four thousand kilometres away from my home and family on the East Coast and half a world away from Zimbabwe. The people … (read more)


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