Author Archive

Out Of A Clear Blue Sky

July 16, 2021

In May, I had some correspondence with one of the contributors to these PresbyCan Daily Devotionals, in which we commented on the fact that our small pets or animals can fall prey to a predator at any time. This made me think of the time …( read more )

The Fire Of Faith

June 21, 2021

Early this spring, we heard and read about grass and forest fires in various places. We know from the reports that these fires are extremely hard to put out and to keep from spreading. I have a little bit of personal experience with a …( read more )

The Good Old Days

June 5, 2021

Early in May, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. I was driving along and saw a long line of yellow six-inch pipe strung out along the side of the road. Obviously, there was a pipeline project in the making, and in an instant flashback, …( read more )

Patience Is A Virtue

May 19, 2021

For many years while we lived overseas, I did not have the chance to have a vegetable garden, but when we refocused — not retired — we had a good-sized garden behind the house. Since we downsized to a bungalow in town, I have had a …( read more )

Do Remember — Don't Forget!

May 13, 2021

One of our daughters lives in the state of Michigan, USA, some 800 km from where we live. For many years, we went there twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn. Going there and coming back, we always went about halfway, stayed …( read more )

Bread From Heaven

April 29, 2021

For the people in the Netherlands during what is called the Hunger Winter of 1944-1945, things were desperate. The country had been occupied for almost five years. It was a very cold winter, there was very little fuel left, food was in …( read more )

Shed Your Heavy Load

April 14, 2021

In his first letter to the "Pilgrims of the Dispersion", the apostle Peter gives all kinds of advice to young and old alike, and then he tells them: These verses remind me of a story that I read some time ago about a vendor on his way to …( read more )

Singing Praises To God

March 31, 2021

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, there are many people, like my wife and I, who have not been to church for well over a year now. There are different reasons why people miss going to church. Some miss the fellowship of other …( read more )

A Defective Heart

March 18, 2021

In March 1993, I had chest pains and periods of shortness of breath. I went to see the doctor, and he referred me to a specialist. After a number of tests, it was determined that my aortic valve was defective. It was leaking badly, and it …( read more )

Simply Trusting

March 5, 2021

One day, we received a picture of our granddaughter and her husband holding their little two-year-old boy upside down between them. We could see their legs and the boy hanging there, laughing. He was not worried; he knew that his parents …( read more )

New And Improved

February 15, 2021

Here in the Georgian Bay area of southern Ontario, Canada, winter can be very dreary. On one such day recently, there was a gloomy sky, and sulky, sodden clouds drizzled misty rain off and on all day. At times, it was quite windy. The …( read more )

The God Most High

February 2, 2021

The history and archaeological findings about the people of antiquity have interested me for a long time. In fact, we went to Egypt some years ago, partly for that very purpose. We saw the pyramids and the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. …( read more )

A Different Year-End

January 2, 2021

Usually, at the end of December and the beginning of January, I would be conducting Christmas and New Year's services at the local Long Term Care Centre. They were not always held on the twenty-fifth of December or on the first of January. …( 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 )

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 )

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 )

 



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