Archive for December, 2019

Lord, I Come

December 31, 2019

Recently in my Bible reading, I have particularly noticed several verses that could well serve us as new year's resolutions: As I was going through my filing cabinet removing old files in readiness for the coming year, I came across …( read more )

Clean On The Inside

December 30, 2019

I have termites! Or rather, my house does. When I asked a neighbour to check something that needed repair, he gave me the bad news. Treatment is needed to rid my house of these pests. I live in a park model — a recreational vehicle that …( read more )

Welcome Mat

December 29, 2019

Over the years, you have probably walked over many welcome mats at people's front doors. You may even have one of your own. The mat serves a practical purpose: to clean our footwear. But if it has on it the word "Welcome", it makes a …( read more )

The Candle

December 28, 2019

The time had come for the passing of the light at our Christmas Candle Lighting Carol Service. As the light passed from person to person, it finally reached my row. The gentleman beside me held his candle so that the flame caught my …( read more )

The Rocker's Request

December 27, 2019

It was a few days before Christmas. I was running my little out-of-print book business when a young rocker whose band was usually on tour came in. He'd come home to see his folks. "Have you got a copy of Robert Heinlein's 'Time enough for …( read more )

Not Just Any Hug

December 26, 2019

I sat in my recliner admiring my Christmas gift. My children had bought me a tablet. I was intrigued that I could read my favourite book without turning a page. "Nanna," Matt called. I barely heard my son as I fiddled with the tablet. …( read more )

Christmas Memories

December 25, 2019

It was during the era of the Great Depression. Our family knew well what it meant to make do and survive on little. Our home had burned to the ground. As a little child of about three, I had sat in a high chair well away from the blaze as …( read more )

Two Mansions

December 24, 2019

I didn't go home the Christmas when I was 19, living in a Bible school dormitory in Portland, Oregon, USA. I had a job, and I needed the money. My employer was an elderly woman in an architecturally significant mansion stuffed with …( read more )

Christmas These Days

December 23, 2019

These days when Christmas dawn rolls around, no little fingers will be tugging at my covers wanting to open gifts; instead, my special adult son will likely be knocking on my bedroom door asking when breakfast will be ready. We plan to …( read more )

Packaging For The Gift

December 22, 2019

Last Christmas, I especially enjoyed the seasonal festivities, with vibrant colours, lights, socials, music, and so forth. It's surely the richest, most enchanting time of the year. Furthermore, the season gives us opportunities to do the …( read more )

Darkness And The Light

December 21, 2019

"I do not like this time of year," I declare as I close the window shades at 5:30 p.m. "The days are too short and the nights too long." In Arizona, that means less than 10 hours of daylight, and for those of you further north, even …( read more )

Put Back Together Again

December 20, 2019

We're all familiar with the nursery rhyme: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty together again. At times it seems like the world is falling apart, …( read more )

Be Content

December 19, 2019

In the middle of December last year, I went to our daughter's hairdressing salon to get my hair cut and my beard trimmed. It was the middle of the afternoon, and there was no one in the shop. She told me that business was really slow. She …( read more )

The Steps

December 18, 2019

When my sister's husband became ill, she had to learn to do many things around the house which she had never done before. There were decisions to be made by her alone, which had once been jointly made. There were items to be fixed that …( read more )

Whiter Than Snow

December 17, 2019

God rarely opened His storehouse of snow in the place I lived at six years of age. But snow had been predicted for Christmas. I pressed my nose against the small window and watched in anticipation as the white snowflakes began to fall …( read more )

Keep The Merry!

December 16, 2019

For a few years, American atheists promoted a "Christmas" message: "Keep the merry, dump the myth." This jarring promotion showed a picture of a laughing Santa, next to the suffering face of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. It is quite …( read more )

The Unappreciated Christmas Gift

December 15, 2019

One Christmas in my youth, I received an artist's easel, a pad of large newsprint paper the exact size needed for the easel, and water colours, complete with brushes. This gift was likely expensive and would have given me hours of …( read more )

Strength In Numbers

December 14, 2019

Do you live in or near a city where you can enjoy the annual holiday tradition, Tuba Christmas? Tuba Christmas was conceived in 1974 by a tuba player as a tribute to his teacher and mentor. The very first Tuba Christmas was held at the …( read more )

When Good News Is Not Newsy

December 13, 2019

I suspect that you've noticed that good news rarely makes "good" headlines. That could be said for Jesus's birth — and also for those shepherds who experienced the angels. It could be said today for countless individuals in remote …( read more )

Psst! Have You Heard About Mary?

December 12, 2019

One Christmas, my 16-year-old sister got pregnant by her boyfriend. I was a year younger, and neither of us had the slightest idea how such a thing could happen. No one had ever told us anything, and we had no friends who might share …( read more )

Mary's Song

December 11, 2019

As shoppers hurried into the dollar store to escape the winter winds, one man ambled towards the entrance, methodically tapping his cane. He touched the door. Then, he paced ten steps away. Dropping to his knees, he placed his hat on the …( read more )

The Gift That Honours

December 10, 2019

Christmas is creeping up upon me again. Each year it seems to come around even more quickly than the year before, and every year, I seek to remember and pray about the best way to honour the King of kings who was born in a manger so long …( read more )

Sharing Christmas Joy

December 9, 2019

When I was a child, Christmas meant my adored grandparents arriving on Christmas Eve with piles of presents to add to the mound that was already under the tree. My mother, and her mother, believed in giving many gifts. They weren't …( read more )

When The Time Is Right

December 8, 2019

It was a bitterly cold Christmas Day morning 50 years ago. The plan was to load up our re-purposed delivery (camper) van with our two little ones and all the gear they required, along with Christmas gifts, and head out on the three-hour …( read more )

The Lamp In The Stable

December 7, 2019

As I was looking through some of the Christmas carols in the hymn books that we have, I noticed that a fair number of them refer to either the stable or the manger: "Once in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed" or "Child in the …( read more )

Be On The Lookout

December 6, 2019

Do you ever wonder how many spiritually lost people you pass each day? It was December 2018. I needed to run to the store to finish Christmas shopping. I felt a strong urge to grab a tract and a coupon that I had just received in the …( read more )

A Powerful Witness

December 5, 2019

A friend of mine who is not very proficient with a computer showed up in my office recently. He has a dashcam for his vehicle, and about an hour earlier, he had witnessed an accident, which was recorded by the camera. He wanted to be able …( read more )

Making Room For Jesus

December 4, 2019

In former years, when my young family went visiting, I sometimes had to find a place for our baby. I'd use whatever worked: laundry basket, dresser drawer, cardboard box — wherever my infant would be safe, comfortable, and nearby. I …( read more )

Christmas Choice

December 3, 2019

With the importance of the moment smiling through his bushy red moustache, Grandpa eased into his chair at one end of the long, full table where the jars of red cranberry sauce nestled in poinsettia skirts — the final touch of Grandma's …( read more )

Cheerful Giving

December 2, 2019

By their example, my parents and grandparents taught my siblings and me the joy of being cheerful givers at home and in the community. We have great recollections of cheerful giving, not only at Christmas, but all year long. Watching …( read more )

"Christmas" Stocking

December 1, 2019

Halloween bags still held treats. The calendar had barely turned from the fall feasts. But the staff were there, clearing the shelves. Anything that looked orange, yellow, or black was marked down to move out the door. Fall had been …( read more )

 



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