Author Archive

Brothers And Sisters In Christ

November 21, 2020

Many, many years ago in the Netherlands, before big-box stores and supermarkets, different merchants delivered goods from door to door. On certain days of the week, they would come down the streets to do just that. The milkman came daily, …( read more )

The New Normal

October 31, 2020

Throughout the ages, there have been changes in people's lives. Most of these changes occur naturally as time goes by, while others have a sudden impact on our lives, as individuals as well as communities. The phrase "the new normal" has …( read more )

The Bubonic Plague Of 1527

August 20, 2020

Some years ago, we were on a "Cities of the Reformation" tour, and we visited Eisleben, Germany, where Martin Luther, the great Reformer, was born on November 10th, 1483, and where he died on February 18th, 1546. We also visited …( read more )

Mind Your Language

July 31, 2020

Many years ago, I worked for a pipeline construction company. We built oil and gas pipelines in many provinces in Canada as well as in several states in the USA. We lived in a house trailer or mobile home, and the office that I worked in …( read more )

Mind Your Step

July 15, 2020

During my working career, for a period of about ten years, I travelled considerably. We were stationed in Europe at that time, and I flew to many different countries. When checking in at each airport, I would be told to which gate to go, …( read more )

The Lily Of The Valley

June 30, 2020

Until we moved to Canada, my dad was a rose grower. When he built his first greenhouse in the early 1930s, he supplemented his income by growing a fair-sized plot of Lilies of the Valley. They were easy to grow outside and bloomed early. I …( read more )

Ordinary People Doing God's Work

June 20, 2020

During the period between 2003 and 2004, I spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing the history of Presbyterians here in Meaford, Ontario, Canada, from 1854 to 2004. I found the names of the thirty ministers and student …( read more )

Filled With Passion

May 31, 2020

When we lived on the outskirts of town, every spring, I would go to our bush at the back of the property, gather up dead branches, and cut down and cut up at least one or two trees. In the fall, when the wood was dry, we would split it and …( read more )

We Are Never Alone

May 17, 2020

For a couple of years, I was privileged to lead a number of services at a church without a pastor. When they got a new minister, my regular worship with them was over, and in appreciation, they gave me a rose bush. I planted it behind our …( read more )

Finally!

May 5, 2020

Seventy-five years ago, on May 5, 1945, the occupation of the Netherlands was finally over. A great number of people had suffered terribly. Jewish friends and neighbours were taken away to extermination camps, the large majority of them …( read more )

The Lord's Unfailing Love

April 22, 2020

Last December, I went to see an elderly gentleman in a long-term care facility. About three-and-a-half years ago, he had a stroke, but through specific exercises, he recovered quite well. But then one day, he slipped, fell, and broke his …( read more )

In Our Mind's Eye

February 26, 2020

I had been thinking about going to Egypt, off and on, for well over 50 years. It was one of the places that I wanted to learn about and see. During the 15 years when we worked and lived in Europe, we never went there, because at that time …( read more )

New Growth

February 3, 2020

Once a month, we go to a church some distance from our home. Most of the drive is through farmland and a couple of small villages, but there is also a considerable section of forest on both sides of the road. Some years ago, the road was …( read more )

When You Don't Know What To Do

January 21, 2020

For the last eight years of my working career, before I refocused — not retired — I was the international controller of the pipeline engineering firm that I had been with for many years. I was in charge of the financial and accounting …( read more )

There Is A Time For Everything

January 9, 2020

On several occasions after one of my devotionals has been published, people have let me know, "I knew it was one of yours as soon as I started to read it." This was mostly because of something that I had written about my experiences at the …( 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 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 )

The Poor Among Us

November 30, 2019

Through media reports of displaced refugees, and even close to home, we are confronted with the poor in the world on a daily basis. I was discussing this with a friend one day, and we concluded that each one of us in our own way would try …( read more )

Keep On Pedalling

November 14, 2019

In 1973, there was a perceived crisis: a shortage of crude oil. We were told to conserve fuel, to drive less, and to share rides. In the Netherlands, where we were living at the time, we were given gasoline coupons, which enabled us to buy …( read more )

End Of Life Testimonies

October 31, 2019

Some years ago, we went on a "Cities of the Reformation" tour. One of the places that we visited was Eisleben, Germany, where Martin Luther was born on November 10th, 1483, and died on February 18th, 1546. Luther boldly protested against …( read more )

The Fear Of What Might Be

October 22, 2019

A member of our church called me one day in September to ask if I could help her. She was born in the Netherlands and followed her Canadian soldier fiancé to Canada shortly after the war. They married and had five children. Her husband …( read more )

Bitter Water And Living Water

October 12, 2019

One Sunday in August, we went to a rural church. In the bathroom, there was a sign that said, "Do not drink the tap water". There are various reasons why water is not fit for human consumption. For example, although the water may taste …( read more )

Just Good News

September 30, 2019

One of our local churches is in a high pedestrian traffic area, just off the main street, next to the post office and close to the library. In front of the church, there is an electronic sign which has a slogan on it, as well as the time …( read more )

The Salt Of The Earth

September 10, 2019

I was reading a book about camel caravans in the desert and the kinds of goods that they transported from one place to another. It reminded me of the time when I lived in the desert in the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman in 1965-1966. At that …( read more )

Hidden Imperfections

August 30, 2019

We have a wooden deck behind half of our house. It is a place where we can sit when the weather is good. It is about three feet (one metre) off the ground, with four steps at one end to take us down to the lawn, the vegetable garden, the …( read more )

Memories

August 16, 2019

At the beginning of May, I called a former Managing Director of the pipeline engineering firm for whom I worked to congratulate him on his 94th birthday. In my early years with the company, I worked for him, and later, with him. The two of …( read more )

The Great Clock

July 29, 2019

On the seventh of June, I went to a funeral of a lady whom I have known for about seventy years. She had just celebrated her 105th birthday. In the order of service, there was a card with a poem written on it in her own handwriting. Her …( read more )

Help Wanted

July 14, 2019

According to statistics, in Canada, depending on location, between five and a half to six percent of the people who are able to work cannot find meaningful employment. Yet, employers don't seem to be able to find workers. Every once in a …( read more )

The Tree Of Life

June 30, 2019

For many years, we lived on a fairly large property on the outskirts of town. Part of the property was bush, with both hardwood and softwood trees, as well as the various kinds of brush that grow in those places. The Northern White Cedar, …( read more )

Dangers All Around Us

May 28, 2019

For about 35 years, I had a flock of homing pigeons. I didn't race them, but I took them out for a fly on occasion, mostly for short distances — sometimes longer ones — and they would always find their way home. I had one big white cock …( read more )

Under His Wings

May 13, 2019

Before we moved into town just over five years ago, we lived on four acres of land on the outskirts of town. For many years, one of my hobbies was having homing pigeons and several kinds of chickens. They gave us eggs, they ate all our …( read more )

Christians Are Weeping

April 25, 2019

On Easter Sunday, my wife, our pianist, and I had planned for quite some time to go to the local Long Term Care Centre. A good number of residents always enjoy coming to the worship services, especially on Christian holy days. While we …( read more )

Darkness Over The Land

April 20, 2019

During Lent, I was studying some of the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus on the cross, and, in particular, the passages in the book of Matthew where the authorities and other people were mocking Jesus. "Even the …( read more )

 



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