Archive for December, 2020

What The Wise Men Teach Us About Faith

December 31, 2020

This is a familiar passage from a well-known story of 2000 years ago. Fast forward to today: You have just sent a tweet which features a picture of a majestic star: Fellow scientists and academics, we have been charting the course of …( read more )

The After-Christmas Blues

December 30, 2020

Decorations are put away. The tree has been recycled. There are no more presents to open. I feel like a balloon that is losing air and slowly wilting away. The fun and laughter of sharing with family and friends is over, and all is back …( read more )

Worrying Ahead

December 29, 2020

"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength — carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of sorrow; but it empties today of strength." – Corrie ten Boom Am I the …( read more )

What Would Jesus Do?

December 28, 2020

Hurricane Zeta was less than 24 hours away from the small Mississippi town of Lucedale. The people didn't know it yet, but Zeta would bring Katrina-like destruction in the next few days. The town's population rushed to secure their …( read more )

Appreciating The Treasures

December 27, 2020

I have 83 journals. At the age of twelve, I first put pen to paper. Now, 24 years later, I have tomes written about family gatherings, answered prayers, hardships, and blessings. The ritual of writing these remembrances has been well worth …( read more )

The Morning After

December 26, 2020

What do we do the morning after? The morning after the celebration of Christmas, that is. We spend so much time in the anticipatory mode that we don't really know what to do with the morning after. When we wake on the other side of …( read more )

What Really Matters

December 25, 2020

The day after I graduated from high school in Nebraska, USA, my family returned "home" to Arkansas where Dad started a new business. While there were family members in Little Rock, there were none of my own friends, and not even any …( read more )

Anticipation!

December 24, 2020

My childhood memories of Christmas evoke the delicious shiver of anticipation as I lay in bed on Christmas Eve whispering to myself, "I can't wait until it's morning! I can't wait!" Though our family joyously celebrated Christmas, …( read more )

Christmas In Unusual Times

December 23, 2020

Christmas this year will be very different from anything any of us have ever known! We're used to shopping and hearing Christmas songs as we navigate the aisles of crowded stores, but it's been different this year. Usually, we make plans …( read more )

Filling The Void

December 22, 2020

Some time back, I watched a programme on television called Antiques Roadshow, which Caroline encouraged me to take in. I say "encouraged" but in reality, it was more of an expectation of husbandly compliance for a quiet life. The …( read more )

A Blanket

December 21, 2020

When I was a teenager, I used to enjoy going out in the streets to play Christmas carols on my cornet (which is like a trumpet) with fellow members of a Salvation Army band. Today, such instrumental carolers are often found in the warmth …( read more )

The Fact Of Christmas

December 20, 2020

During His time on earth, the use and facts of Scripture were the basis of Jesus' ministry. Whatever He did or said lined up with the Word of God. It did not matter what situation He found Himself to be in, where it was, before thousands …( read more )

Our Lamplighter

December 19, 2020

Beginning in the 1500s, lamps were placed on city sidewalks and intersections so that evening shoppers and workers could safely see where they were going. People were accustomed to seeing the lamplighter near dusk, walking from lamppost to …( read more )

Reality

December 18, 2020

Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, once visited Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where I live, on his way to Montreal to act in a play. At that time in the 1850s, Kingston was the capital of Canada. Kingston is a charming, …( read more )

It's A Boy!

December 17, 2020

In the olden days, when we were expecting a child, we did not know in advance what gender our child was to be. There were no ultrasounds, no CT scans. We just waited until the child was born. These days, parents can find out quite soon. …( read more )

The Gift

December 16, 2020

The ice on the river beckoned. Oh, how I wanted a pair of skates! But those were depression days, and funds were not available for such items. However, a search of our home turned up two old skates: one too big and one too small for my …( read more )

Aliens In Our World

December 15, 2020

My husband Lynn and I served as missionaries in Madagascar during the 1970s. Though we felt welcome there, we knew that we would never be mistaken for native-born Malagasy! We had to learn to appreciate new foods and new customs, and we …( read more )

A Change Of Heart

December 14, 2020

December means Christmas movies. The Hallmark Channel probably makes their whole year's profit on this one month when it shows a constant stream of holiday-themed films. Yes, the plots are predictable. Hometown girl returns because of …( read more )

Advent's Hidden Miracle

December 13, 2020

Did you notice the hidden miracle here? It's the conception of new life within Mary's womb. This, I say, is Advent's hidden miracle! Nobody witnessed this amazing overshadowing of the Spirit, not even Mary. Yet, what followed would be …( read more )

The Shepherds

December 12, 2020

Sometimes, things happen in our lives that we remember forever. All of us have such memories and stories, and they are often ones that we repeat to others throughout our lifetime. I expect that that was what it was like for the shepherds …( read more )

That Sinking Feeling — And Yet…

December 11, 2020

During the 1970s, I travelled extensively for the company for which I worked. Usually, I could count on my reserved room being ready and waiting when I arrived. But this was not always the case. One of the most memorable times was a trip …( read more )

Christmas Not Alike

December 10, 2020

It's been over three decades of Christmases for me in Nigeria, and by God's grace, I have had memorable experiences in all of those years, especially those of my childhood. Christmas season in Nigeria can at times be crazy and full of …( read more )

A Name

December 9, 2020

We all are given a name. Sometimes, it has a significant meaning; sometimes, nicknames are used, but always it is our own. I was given the name Vincent, but normally I am addressed by the abbreviation, Vince. Early on, however, I learned …( read more )

The Forgotten Miracle

December 8, 2020

How few of us have ever tasted the bitterness of war or stared despairingly into the empty cup of poverty — though some might suffer minor bruising as shoppers edge to the front lines of overcrowded megastores, or experience cramped …( read more )

Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing!

December 7, 2020

It happened overnight: a seasonal change ushered in by a thick blanket of snow obliterating all remnants of autumn. That was early November. Yet, I felt myself launched into the mood for Christmas — with the rich reds, twinkling lights, …( read more )

The Baby

December 6, 2020

Ade, my then two-year-old granddaughter ran up the ramp to the front entrance of the church. As she did so, she stopped and looked into the manger beside the doorway. Horror registered on her face at what she saw. "Oh, Grammy," she …( read more )

Father Christmas

December 5, 2020

Before COVID-19, our church has usually had a Christmas craft fayre, mainly as an outreach for the local community. The church membership, who are mostly tasked with supervising the various craft table activities, come, too. They are …( read more )

Sharing Christmas Joy

December 4, 2020

A friend texted me one morning, "What nail salon do you go to? I need a new one." I quickly replied, "The one by Safeway. There's a young girl who does a good job. I don't know her name." Several hours later, I received this text: …( read more )

Secret Santa

December 3, 2020

A workplace tradition at Christmas is the practice of assigning each employee the name of another co-worker to be given an anonymous gift. Our office has made our own version of the Secret Santa game: we are to choose a small gift that our …( read more )

A Day At The Post Office

December 2, 2020

Ah, the post office, a place where we all have to go at Christmas, even if it is with a smashed-and-broken soul, as I had then. The loudspeaker was blaring a loop of hollow-eared music from which every smidgen of spirituality had been …( read more )

Small Town Hero

December 1, 2020

Every town needs its hero, and I should also say, heroine. Little places like to have someone they can point to and highlight achievements that seem larger than life. There is a certain sense of pride that goes with it. I am from Sevier …( read more )

 



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