Author Archive

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 )

They Are Welcome

April 8, 2019

During the last several years, there have been reports of hundreds of thousands of people being displaced by wars and uprisings, or leaving their homeland for economic reasons. We hear and read about them on a daily basis. Many are living …( read more )

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

March 28, 2019

Last summer, a good friend died after a very long illness. We had attended the same elementary school. I had forgotten about her until I met up with her some thirty years ago. We became good friends, and we visited back and forth a lot. …( read more )

Suffering For God's Glory

February 25, 2019

The Indonesian archipelago consists of 17,508 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited. For about 300 years, these islands were called the Dutch East Indies. First mention of the Dutch being there was around 1595. In 1800, it became a …( read more )

God's People

January 31, 2019

On October 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and killed eleven Jewish parishioners and wounded six other people. The news media quickly told us that this man was a hater of Jews and …( read more )

Shields Which Protect

January 18, 2019

For about ten years, in both eyes, I have had glaucoma, a disease which increases pressure in the eye, and which, if left untreated, can cause total blindness. Mine was kept under control with eye drops at bedtime every day. However, a …( read more )

A Blank Page

December 31, 2018

Since 1962, I have been keeping a diary. When I first started, it was almost entirely work-related. Later, when I refocused (not retired), more personal things were entered on the appropriate pages. Every October or November, I purchase …( read more )

God's Plan

December 24, 2018

Sometimes, we make plans to do certain things, and then later, we change our minds. Sometimes, plans are made for us. For instance, this past autumn, I had problems with my left eye, which resulted in an operation on October 23rd. After …( read more )

The Best Way To Go

November 29, 2018

Last summer, my wife's sister and her husband were here to visit us for a family reunion. They live in a small town in the state of Michigan, USA, and when it was time to depart for their six-hour drive home, we discussed the best way to …( read more )

Standing At The Crossroads

October 31, 2018

It was on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses, or statements, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, marking the start of the reformation movement. For centuries, the Bible had been available only in …( read more )

Let The Children Come

October 15, 2018

One day, I was looking on YouTube for an anthem that my wife needed to learn for a church service in which she was invited to sing with the choir. While I was listening to it, during a clarinet solo, I heard some small children giggling …( read more )

Unconditional Love

October 3, 2018

When we lived in England, we resided in a pleasant town just south of London. One Friday evening, we were away to London for a show, and on Saturday morning, I saw that there was a broken window in the door of the back entrance to the …( read more )

Helping The Aged

September 17, 2018

At one point some years ago, there were about 85 volunteers at our local Long Term Care Centre who went there on a regular basis to help out, mostly to assist those residents who like to be involved in the programs, but are not able to …( read more )

Perilous Times

September 3, 2018

Recently, I received a telephone call about home protection service. I listened for a while and then declined their offer. I did look up some of the various alarm systems available, with sensors, cameras, wireless communication, and …( read more )

Heal The Brokenhearted

August 22, 2018

Every morning right after breakfast, my wife reads me a devotional from a booklet. She tells me what to read from the Bible, and after I have done that, she reads the page from the booklet. One morning while I was waiting for her to tell …( read more )

Two Kinds Of Drought

August 3, 2018

The summer of 2018 is bringing a severe drought to southern Ontario, Canada. Farmers are expressing their concerns about the possibility that there is going to be a partial, if not total crop failure of the various types of grains which …( read more )

Remember When …

July 26, 2018

We were in the Netherlands for three weeks during the spring of this year. On the evening of May the fourth, there were ceremonies, which were shown on television, to remember the people who had died in conflicts in which the Dutch were …( read more )

 



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