Archive for December, 2021

The Window

December 31, 2021

When we are zipping along the Alaska Highway, my granddaughters love it if I open the power-operated windows in the back seat so that the exhilarating air rushes in. They yell and scream with delight, especially during the winter months …( read more )

A Word To The Wise

December 30, 2021

Over my lifetime, I have used a variety of Bible-reading schedules, and it is commendable to read the Bible through in a year. Nevertheless, spreading the reading over two years breaks things down into more manageable bites for me and …( read more )

Walking In A Deep Valley

December 29, 2021

Well, isn't that verse the truth! During the last eighteen months, I have been through a series of five medical procedures and one operation, and as I write this, I am facing some more tests and a major operation. The difficult days have …( read more )

Post Holiday Blues

December 28, 2021

As a young "baby Christian" mother of two sons, I missed my parents terribly. They lived nearly 700 miles from my young family. I looked forward to Christmas so much in the years when they could make the drive and bring along my younger …( read more )

Just Once, Right?

December 27, 2021

The topic was refugee sponsorship. The conversation was intense, and finally one of those at the meeting said, "Just once, right?" It might have seemed that way to someone new to the refugee crisis. The conflict in Syria had churches …( read more )

Who Knows Where We Should Be?

December 26, 2021

One of the most helpless things that we ever do in life is to have the entire care of a newborn baby. The fact is that that is what the Christmas story is all about — not just any baby, but the Son of God. I was just home from the …( read more )

Jesus Came

December 25, 2021

Before I met Jesus, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, I knew of Santa Claus. The smell of warm oatmeal cookies filled the air to trigger my first and only memory of leaving cookies on a little dish for Santa Claus. I was anxious …( read more )

The Little Red Wagon

December 24, 2021

My first student church was in the small village of Vermilion Bay in northwestern Ontario, Canada. During my ministry there, I became acquainted with a dear old woman from Denmark. One hot summer afternoon in 1976, she shared the …( read more )

The First Noel

December 23, 2021

Of all the traditions of the holiday season, I think that my favourite is Christmas music. Certainly, I love the sparkle of lights, the glow of candles, the fragrance of freshly baked cookies, the crunch of snow, and the joy of family …( read more )

The Wise Men: World News!

December 22, 2021

I never expected the Christmas nativity to be so adventurous till I began a background search on the wise men. That was like stepping through a quaint Christmas card and finding myself in a world of wide-eyed wonder. Gone was that …( read more )

Gifts In Wrappers

December 21, 2021

On the first Saturday of this month, after a year off, I was again being dressed up as Father Christmas, although this year, his white beard was more mine than in past years, and it seems that he gets a little less spritely every year …( read more )

Shining Light

December 20, 2021

From the time that I was a young boy, I have always enjoyed putting the decorations on a Christmas tree. Usually varied in shape and size, they always included glass balls. These glass balls that allow the lights to shine through them, in …( read more )

To You Is Born

December 19, 2021

I was passing the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, a while back, and I saw a family leaving with a new little bundle and a big bunch of flowers and gifts and toys. Above the trio, a big, blue balloon proudly proclaimed, …( read more )

Someone With Skin On

December 18, 2021

Last year, COVID-19 restrictions made life tough for all of us. Here in Alberta, Canada, we couldn't get together for Christmas with our family as usual. Our visits were limited to brief encounters outside as my husband and I delivered …( read more )

Christmas Angels

December 17, 2021

A beautifully crafted stained-glass window is a marvel to see. Warm, clear sunlight streaming through the coloured panes illuminates Bible people and stories. Often, the figures are angels, with adoring faces and luminous robes, announcing …( read more )

A Child Is Born

December 16, 2021

In the year 1972, our second baby was due at Christmas. But on December sixth, Christmas was the farthest thing from my mind as the first contraction of labour's onset pulled me over double. "George!" I screamed. Our baby had just decided …( read more )

The Grinch

December 15, 2021

Last Christmas, Ade was four, and she was obsessed with watching the movie, The Grinch, over and over again, even after Christmas had long since come and gone. The Grinch's heart was changed as he witnessed how all the evil which he …( read more )

Non-Helicopter Parenting

December 14, 2021

Mary and Joseph were the antithesis of helicopter parents. Wikipedia defines a helicopter parent as one "who pays extremely close attention to a child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. …( read more )

A Pocket-Sized God?

December 13, 2021

Informed by the news media these days, I am led to be praying for the nations of the world where bad things are happening, trusting that God has got this. Today, I felt the need to pray for my own nation, England. It seems to me that …( read more )

The Gift Of A Boy

December 12, 2021

When my youngest son, Joseph, was 17, he wrapped Christmas gifts and placed one under the tree for me. It was wrapped in camouflage gift wrap with matching duct tape. He even made sure that he used a gift tag with a deer on it. Pure boy! …( read more )

The Fear Factor

December 11, 2021

My most cherished nativity scene (of which I have many!) is one from Malawi that I brought back with me in 1998. This nativity scene almost got me arrested — or worse! Let me tell you the tale. I'd spent over two weeks visiting mission …( read more )

Glorious Hard Times

December 10, 2021

Pregnant with our last child, I begged my husband to stop sending the Unwed Mother Worker from her job with Children's Aid to visit me whenever she was near the tiny village where we lived temporarily. My husband was her boss, so she had …( read more )

O Christmas Tree

December 9, 2021

Decorating the Christmas tree is an integral part of the celebrations each year. I once helped out at a commercial Christmas tree farm near Ottawa, Canada, in December. It was an impressive operation: planting spruce, balsam fir, and pine …( read more )

Lights And Decorations

December 8, 2021

Do you enjoy Christmas decorations and lights as much as I do? When I see the gentle snowflakes falling and accumulating on the branches and outdoor decor, I can't help but be thankful for such beauty! But, in reality, even though these …( read more )

Why

December 7, 2021

Perhaps, like me, you periodically wonder why God Almighty takes actions like He does. At this time of the year, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, why did God decide that the best way to show His love for us was to send His Son as …( read more )

Christmas Grace

December 6, 2021

The gifts circled the tree in a wide radius and reached toward the ceiling. Early Christmases escape my memory, but the later ones I remember fondly. My grandmother worked at the local hospital as a nursing assistant, and my grandfather …( read more )

Ambassadors Of Peace

December 5, 2021

Recently, I listened to an episode of the BBC series, A History of the World. It described an amazing sculpture, The Throne of Weapons. In 1992, an Anglican bishop, Rt. Rev. Dinis Sengulane, one of Africa's greatest peacemakers, …( read more )

The Anticipation

December 4, 2021

As we walk through the store aisles, the girls scan the rows for all the latest toys arriving for the Christmas season. Their anticipation of what lies ahead in a few more weeks is piqued high with excitement. They are waiting — waiting …( read more )

Kindfulness

December 3, 2021

A year ago, early in Advent, on December 3, 2020, I took part in a Zoom dialogue with our Prime Minister and 400 faith leaders from across Canada. "I have been proud of our fellow Canadians to make it through this pandemic, but we have …( read more )

The Medium Is The Message

December 2, 2021

When I studied preaching at seminary, we had the opportunity to spend three hours with Marshall McLuhan, who coined the phrase, "The medium is the message." In 1964, he proposed that the form of the message determines the way in which that …( read more )

Yes, All The Presents!

December 1, 2021

When my son was little, he and his brother had an Advent calendar for a month before Christmas. Every day, the boys would open a window and see the picture and verse inside — no chocolate in those days! As Christmas approached, they would …( read more )

 



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