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Author Archive

Stay Put!

March 24, 2020

"Sit!" commands the dog's master. Next comes what is truly impressive: The dog instantly lowers its hind legs and stays put. All the while, its eyes remain fixed on its master. It stays nearby, always sensitive to its master's moves. …( read more )

It's Against My Religion!

March 12, 2020

You've likely heard the phrase, "It's against my religion", used as an excuse to avoid unpleasant tasks. You'll also know that religions tend to have forbidden practices. That's true across the branches of Christianity. Can you think of …( read more )

But The Lord …

February 25, 2020

Oh, that shifty word, but! It has an uncanny way of reversing everything. For example, you just heard your superior list several remarkable qualities in you; and then comes that word, "but". You brace yourself, for whatever comes next …( read more )

The Unbaked Cake

January 28, 2020

Here's a riddle for those of you familiar with church tradition: How are cake recipes and church bulletins alike? You'd likely agree that both list ingredients to be assembled and enjoyed. But did you remember the fire? Yes: They both …( 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 )

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 )

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 )

Pests: Pure Annoyance Or Pure Joy

November 18, 2019

"Consider it pure joy…" "And what's this?" asked my husband, as I handed him a platter of apple slices. He wasn't pointing to the fruit, but to the wiggly creature which had obviously escaped from it. The poor thing looked lost and …( read more )

Thanksgiving: The Mark Of A Christian

October 14, 2019

One day, as the tale goes, an atheist hiker encountered a formidable grizzly bear slinking towards him. Terrified, the hiker broke into a run and tripped. As the bear descended upon him, he cried, "O God!" Instantly a voice spoke: "You …( read more )

If They Could Talk, What Would They Say?

October 5, 2019

"If these blueberries could talk, what would they say?" asked my 13-year-old granddaughter as we busily picked. With insightful imagination, she answered her own question: "They'd say, 'Pick me!' wouldn't they?" Her answer provided an …( read more )

Nothing Much Really

September 20, 2019

It was nothing much really, just a smile and a wave. Yet, I'll never forget it. That hot day, we were driving through one of many construction zones on our trip. Traffic had been reduced to a single lane with long waits. My eye was drawn …( read more )

God's Transfer Switch

September 4, 2019

While reading this verse, the picture of a transfer switch suddenly popped into my mind! A transfer switch is mounted near the electricity panel in a building that has a generator for backup power. The switch is a safety device which …( read more )

Alone In The Universe

August 25, 2019

This title, from a children's musical, reflects a common theme for kids' songs: the search for meaning in an unwelcoming world. Each year, I discover such lyrics through my involvement in Summer Music Camp. The lyrics may not resonate with …( read more )

Playing Church

August 11, 2019

When I was five and my brother was four, we'd play church. We dressed up just like the grownups. My brother was the minister, and I was the organist. He'd stand on the kitchen table with a book in his hands (often upside-down) and preach …( read more )

Discontent: Holy Or Unholy?

July 25, 2019

Discontent can be a destructive energy that harms us physically, emotionally, and relationally. It may be a symptom of ingratitude or an inability to accept one's lot in life — never having "learned to be content whatever the …( read more )

From Blessing To Curse

July 9, 2019

To my horror, I discovered that the white spring flower flourishing in my garden is on the list of invasive species. This delicate, six-petalled flower called "Star of Bethlehem" has been a blessing in England, but here, it "got away" and …( read more )

Our Treasury Of Friends

June 26, 2019

Have you considered adding your friends to your list of assets? That's what they are — in some way or other. I'm learning to value friendships through watching older folk express their commitment to each other. They check on each other, …( read more )

What's The Real Problem?

June 12, 2019

There's an annoying patch in our front lawn where, year after year, weeds keep thriving, but lush grass won't grow. This spring I'm dissipating my frustration through a devotional — beginning with a Scripture reference to the problem: …( read more )

Our Divine Windshield Wiper

May 25, 2019

For some peculiar reason, I kept missing my destination. I couldn't understand why. I had often driven to that property, which was nearly impossible to miss. Yet that day, I failed to see it — repeatedly. Finally, I realized that it was …( read more )

Tribute To A Single Mom

May 11, 2019

Single moms often carry an overwhelming burden. They've been cast with the crucial role of shaping young lives, often with limited resources both materially and non-materially. Stigmatized as less successful, they may bear the sting of …( read more )

Spotlight on "Doubting Thomas"

April 21, 2019

Have you ever been at a point where you felt that you couldn't go on unless God stepped directly into your life and made His presence known in no uncertain terms? Maybe you're there now. The disciple Thomas was there when he declared: …( read more )

And Yet, Jesus Served Judas!

April 17, 2019

I remember years ago watching a parishioner stomp out of every communion service because a participating brother was "not living right". Today, such behaviour may seem over-reactive and judgmental. Still, we surely wonder: How can light …( read more )

When God Enters The Stage

March 18, 2019

As a visitor at a church service some years ago, I watched as the reader marched up to the platform with an air of confidence to read an Isaiah portion from the large pulpit Bible. It had been placed on the lectern moments earlier in a …( read more )

God's Missile Defence System

March 3, 2019

When this comforting verse was emailed to me, it came illustrated with a charming picture of a medieval castle set in a forested landscape. It readily conveyed the image of a strong, protecting God. Yet centuries ago, this was possibly …( read more )

Wanting Too Little

February 17, 2019

I've been sensing an inclination among God's people: wanting too little from God. I call it Expectancy Deficit Disorder — EDD. We are at risk of wanting something less than what God has for us. We don't ask because we don't expect it. …( read more )

Information Overload

February 2, 2019

Excessive information has become a plague. That occurred to me one day after receiving a ticket for unintentionally violating a "No Parking 2 to 6 A.M." bylaw. If there was a sign somewhere, I missed it amidst the plethora of signs on the …( read more )

Destiny In A Dot

December 6, 2018

The formation of life is surely a miracle beyond comprehension. It begins with a speck so small that it is invisible to the naked eye. Yet it contains a vast treasury of DNA coding: the coding of destiny which determines what the tiny dot …( read more )

Those Sneaky Joy Robbers!

October 23, 2018

My friend, Mary, couldn't understand why her almonds were disappearing. She had set out a dishful for snacking, but she certainly wasn't eating them that fast. The only other person around was her husband, so naturally, she suspected him. …( read more )

The Stunning Power Of Beauty

September 26, 2018

"Mommy, my kitty is so soft!" exclaimed the child as he gently stroked his cat. "Honey, you're worshipping God — because you're enjoying what He made!" responded his mother. Through witnessing that brief interaction in my friend's …( read more )

If Only…

September 12, 2018

If only my boss weren't so narcissistic. If only the church elders weren't so worldly. If only that teen weren't so rebellious. If only my relatives were more loving. If only our politicians didn't oppose Christian values. … If only God …( read more )

My Afghan War Rug

August 29, 2018

An unusual piece of art hangs on my downstairs hall wall. It's an Afghan War Rug designed with army tanks, AK-47s, explosions, grenades, helicopters, and a map of Afghanistan. Understandably, most people prefer not to display such …( read more )

The Economy Or The Deluxe Package?

August 17, 2018

What do car washes and love have in common? This isn't a joke; it's to get us thinking. Obviously, both improve life: of vehicles, or of people. But that's not what I had in mind that day when I stood at the carwash mulling over the …( read more )

How I Became Colour-Blind

August 8, 2018

"What colour is he?" I asked myself. Unable to sleep that stifling night, I got thinking about someone in our mission. Day after day, I saw him working diligently with the maintenance crew. Yet, that night, I could not envision his skin …( read more )

 



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