Archive for December, 2022

The Goal

Saturday, December 31, 2022

When I was pastoring, at the end of the old year, God always gave me a Bible verse — or a thought that lined up with Scripture — that I could use to base my preaching on for the coming year. I would write out the verse or thought and … Read more

Carpe Diem

Friday, December 30, 2022

For the new year, people typically make resolutions focusing on changes and plans that they want to implement in their lives. I'd like to adopt the expression carpe diem, Latin for "seize the day" or "make the most of the present time". … Read more

The Gospel According To The Old Folks — Simeon

Thursday, December 29, 2022

In a three-day conference on pastoral care of the elderly, Pope Francis talked about the gift that older women and … Read more

All That Is Christmas

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Weeks ago, I stripped the house of all that was not Christmas. Then as these things disappeared, I replaced them with Christmas! I cleared my china cabinet of dishes that were not Christmas; my curio cabinet became a place for snowmen. … Read more

The Gift In The Drawer

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

All the costumes and props for the Sunday School Christmas play had been tidied up and put away. All except one, I thought. A wrapped gift lay in my drawer. I was in charge of the Sunday School, so I kept stuff in the old desk. *I wonder … Read more

The Indescribable Gift

Monday, December 26, 2022

Another Christmas has come and gone. The children were enthralled with the tree and the piles of brightly wrapped gifts beneath it. They couldn't wait to start handing out presents and then to rip into their own as well as to help the … Read more

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

For most of us, the day of our birth is the most significant day of our entire lives. Though we have no cognitive awareness or recollection of this momentous occasion, it is the day when we made our appearance on planet earth. At that … Read more


Saturday, December 24, 2022

I will never forget the Christmas Eve service that I attended on December 24th, 1989. That year, it was decided that a significant portrayal of the Christmas story would be presented complete with wise men, shepherds, Joseph and Mary, and … Read more

The Flames

Friday, December 23, 2022

We were halfway through our Christmas Eve carol and candle-lighting service when it happened. One of the burning Advent wreath candles ignited a spray of red silk poinsettias. Fortunately, a parishioner sitting in a front pew had the … Read more

Our Little Town Of Bethlehem

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Most of us know the Christmas story at least in part, if for no other reason that we see Mary, Joseph, and the Baby in a traditional place in many homes at this time of the year. Usually, not far from the manger scene are the wise men — … Read more

Expecting The Unexpected

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

As we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem those many years ago, let us stop for a minute and look back at our past experiences of Christmas. Many of us have childhood memories of participating in Christmas … Read more

But The Lord

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Perhaps you recall a day when your supervisor listed several impressive qualities in you. Then came that word, "but". You braced yourself, for whatever came next would surely undo everything that had been said. That's the nature of that … Read more

Seek And You Will Find

Monday, December 19, 2022

Recently, at our Thursday evening prayer meeting, we were praying for the people of our community and the surrounding area. Pastor Mark has been introducing himself to many of them, but he wonders whether they see their need for a … Read more


Sunday, December 18, 2022

I punched the button on the counter to let someone know that I needed help at the fabric counter of the big-box store. Soon, I heard someone coming — banging and clanging. When she rounded the corner, I saw why: she had numerous tools and … Read more

Christmas's Unexpected Changes

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The news stung like a hornet against bare skin. For thirteen years, my wife and I celebrated Christmas with our two children on Christmas Day. We considered it a sacred tradition, and we thought that they did, too. We loved watching them … Read more

The Question

Friday, December 16, 2022

My granddaughters each received a Christmas colouring and activity book from our church congregation. The girls were both delighted. One day as Ade, the elder, was working on a page, she asked me to read the caption beneath. It was … Read more

Just A Jingle Bell

Thursday, December 15, 2022

I was discouraged about the mission trip to Antigua that I volunteered for in 2007. The small parts that I had been assigned in the presentation to the elementary school students did not go well. They were not engaged in the introductory … Read more

The Gold Scarf

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

As I carefully place the pieces of the nativity set in their traditional places atop the desk, I try to find a quiet time to think about the characters and give thanks for the part that each played on that miraculous day. I place the … Read more

The Gift

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Both my son and my daughter left our home in California, USA, soon after high school graduation to join the navy. Eventually, my daughter settled in Ohio and my son in Virginia. Their life in California had a completely different … Read more


Monday, December 12, 2022

Being chosen is a stark contrast to being rejected. Do you remember when you were young, playing a game, and waiting to be chosen for one side or the other? Even later in life, when you applied for an employment position, remember how you … Read more

Oh, Please Remember Me!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

It was the saddest Christmas school assembly that I'd ever experienced. I left as a devastated six-year-old. The evening had included a gift exchange arranged earlier through drawing names. One by one, the principal announced the name … Read more

Getting Rid Of Painful Memories

Saturday, December 10, 2022

"I've got too many bad memories of the holidays, especially Christmas," a friend told me some years ago. "Everybody seems to be having a wonderful time, while I can barely hold it together. What can I do?" She was asking because she … Read more

Wish Upon A Star

Friday, December 9, 2022

A childhood memory that has left a permanent imprint on my heart is my father and mother pulling me in my wooden sled through the town streets to purchase our yearly Christmas tree from the downtown Boy Scout lot. As I peered out from … Read more


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Every Wednesday night, I help with the children's program at church. It's a motley group: the pastor's three kids, four from a blended unchurched family with children from several families, five from a church-attending family but who are … Read more

I Hate Tinsel!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

We just celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary, so I have been inundated with memories from the past, sometimes making me somewhat sad because of times gone by. Since the celebration is over, I continue to remember things from those first … Read more

Christmas Delights

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Christmas season provides a feast for the senses like no other time of the year. All five senses are fully engaged through the supersaturated sights, sounds, aromas, sensations, and flavours of Christmas. – We hear bell choirs and … Read more


Monday, December 5, 2022

I moved to Nederland last year, and due to COVID-19, I did not celebrate any Christmas or New Year's Day festivals. This year, I found myself so excited about anticipating the coming of Sinterklaas, a legendary figure based on Saint … Read more

Are We There Yet?

Sunday, December 4, 2022

On our journey of life, it is normal to be looking ahead. Sometimes, we look back and hopefully learn from mistakes that we have made, but more often, we look ahead with hope and anticipation of good things that lie ahead. One of my … Read more

Humble Manger

Saturday, December 3, 2022

A man on a bicycle once had an issue with another man who was with his car at a fuel station. The man with his car angrily asked, "Do you know who I am?" The other man replied, "Yes!" Then he squatted as he scooped sand from the floor and … Read more

God Became Human

Friday, December 2, 2022

December is the last month of the year, but it is a busy month. We put up decorations, wreaths, lights (inside and out), Christmas trees, villages, and so on. Many do extra baking. We shop for perfect gifts for family and friends. Shopping … Read more

The Star

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The wise men saw a new star in the east, and they knew from the teachings of Daniel that it signified the birth of the King of the Jews. What excitement it must have caused them to travel — so far from Babylon to Jerusalem! They met with … Read more


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