Author Archive

Going Down With Your Ship

July 11, 1998

First in! Cousin Bill and I are the very first in the water this year, wet snow falling as our boats make their first splash. Except mine makes a little extra splash and settles just a little deeper in the … (read more)

I Need A Break

June 25, 1998

It's getting closer. Summer is just around the corner and I am really in need. This year I've decided I'm going on holiday. I've had enough of vacations for awhile. Yes, I definitely need a holiday. What's the difference, you … (read more)

The Right Stuff – Part 3

June 19, 1998

I have just finished my term as President of the Atlantic Ecumenical Council, and what a two years it has been! One of the last acts of my Presidency was to praise God for the contribution of people who have … (read more)

The Right Stuff – Part 2

June 18, 1998

Mallott one commented: "Without heroes plain people don't know how far they can go." Some world-famous people may be worthy of admiration such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandella, Martin Luther King Jr. But for today, look a little closer to … (read more)

The Right Stuff – Part 1

June 17, 1998

Mallott once commented: "Without heroes plain people don't know how far they can go." Who are the heroes in your life? Why are they heroes? What makes them so special you would wish to be like them? The first book … (read more)

Begin With Yourself

June 9, 1998

Our Youth Group was watching Chicken Soup Live, a portion on Self-Esteem, and the actor talked about a wasted life of seeking change, transforming the world (which is often the dream of the young). Only in old age was the … (read more)

Let Your "No" Mean "No"

June 1, 1998

Bishop Desmund Tutu once said during the most difficult days in the struggle against apartheid, "I do not want to reform it, I want to destroy it forever." There are times and circumstances when the Christians' only response to a … (read more)


May 26, 1998

John Westerhoff was invited to Northern Ireland to lead a spiritual retreat on reconciliation with a mixed group of Catholics and Protestants, young and old. He was feeling like a failure as the week slipped by and old animosities seemed … (read more)

All Things New

May 21, 1998

Hugh Martin in a wonderful work, "The Parables of the Gospels", tells the story of a rather rough, uncultivated man who fell in love with a beautiful vase in a shop window. He bought the vase and put it on … (read more)

Steps Toward Eternity

May 16, 1998

Our congregation gave a gift not long ago. It was a gift in honour of a wonderful woman of one hundred years. What do you get for someone turning one hundred? Let me tell you what we did as a … (read more)

Dear Abby – A.D. 55

May 12, 1998

You know who Dear Abby is, don't you? Many people open a newspaper to her column first thing, while others are scanning the obituaries for familiar friends. The format of Dear Abby and copycat columns (see how many of the … (read more)

Kairos – God's Time

May 6, 1998

I'm not a bad cook when I put my mind to it and I love to come up with new creations from time to time. But it is never wise to ignore the advice I get from the 'experts' in … (read more)

Peace Be With You

May 2, 1998

The Chinese have a way of saying a great deal using simple characters that join together to convey meaning. They have a character that stands for peace. It is made up of three separate characters. The first is ping, meaning … (read more)

It Only Takes…

February 5, 1998

John Congram, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and Editor of The Presbyterian Record, was in Pictou County for a Cursillo weekend many years ago and was talking about grace. He used a story … (read more)

God Is With Us

January 8, 1998

If you have a Bible handy, read the rest of Psalm 46 alongside the newspaper and especially when you think of the state of society – when you think of war the state of your community life the death of … (read more)

Light And Salvation

January 5, 1998

A new paraphrase from the new Book of Praise for this psalm begins: "Safe in your hands O God who made me, what can there be that I should fear? You are my light and my salvation; strong is your … (read more)

A Psalm For A Suffering Soul

January 2, 1998

There are in scripture only a few brief glimpses into the very center of a soul. It is a rare thing to be privileged to take such a journey with another, for often the center of a soul is filled … (read more)

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

December 30, 1997

Forget God and forget that there is ultimate truth worth striving for and indeed you get a society in which people cannot trust each other. Remember the Flatterer in The Pilgrim's Progress? The flatterer always gives to the flattered a … (read more)

When God Speaks

December 29, 1997

When God speaks in Psalm 12, the emphasis alters from evil ways in evil days to what is happening to the weakest in society. Listen: "Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up", says … (read more)

A Double Heart And A Forked Tongue

December 28, 1997

Friends, freedom is not the right to act like the devil or destroy the fabric of society, which, in most democracies, is considered to include the greatest good for the greatest number of people. VLTs, massage parlours, gambling, and drinking … (read more)

Evil Days And Evil Ways

December 27, 1997

The mayor of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was writing about the lack of religious awareness in the city of Hamilton specifically and in the province of Ontario generally and called for the churches and community to get together to help teach … (read more)

Give God The Glory

December 26, 1997

We all have a litany of complaints we offer to the Almighty when the days are dark and we are down and life is hard and circumstances make even getting up in the morning a real chore. If pushed, we … (read more)

Love In Action

November 18, 1997

How do you witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ?. Words work, but often words remain only words. Actions are good, too. While a group of labouring youth went to work on the Gene MacLellan Centre, the new … (read more)

Learning And Loving Through Service

November 17, 1997

Yesterday here in Daily we visited the Daybreak Prison Ministry and the new Gene MacLellan Centre. What I didn't tell you was how I got there. Presbyterian Youth from the Pictou County area representing about a half dozen churches joined … (read more)

Challenging Fear, Creating Hope

November 16, 1997

Ever hear of the Gene MacLellan Centre? No? I doubt you have because it's not open yet, but it will be soon. Back in 1979 Gene began a prison ministry in Ontario, using his wonderful God-given gifts to share God's … (read more)

Things That Go Bump In The Night

October 30, 1997

Years ago now while a student studying at Knox College, I shared a message What Fear do you Fear? and in it I was asking folk if they were afraid of things that go bump in the night – and … (read more)

Night Terrors And Other Fears

October 29, 1997

One of the children of the congregation used to have night terrors – dreams that would awake them drenched in sweat and shuddering in fear, yet unable to remember what silent terror stalked their unconscious in the darkness of the … (read more)

Be Not Afraid

October 28, 1997

Edward Munch, a late nineteenth century Norwegian artist, painted a disturbing picture, "The Scream". In it, a man, wide-eyed with fear, clamps his hands over his ears to shut out the scream that reverberates from his open mouth and echoes … (read more)

A Short Tale Of Two Solitudes

October 25, 1997

Two worlds are represented in my household at this moment. They are as different as night and day. I took a moment to sit and share with my brother-in-residence that I had come to the end of my rope. It … (read more)

A Sweet-Smelling Offering To God

October 13, 1997

In Canada, it's Thanksgiving and the smell of roasting turkey can drive young and old alike mad with anticipation. Some Thanksgivings I just have to get out of the house away from the tantalizing odours and walk for awhile. Thanksgiving … (read more)

Creating Thanksgiving

October 11, 1997

The Bible teaches that we can create thanksgiving in others simply by our acts of love and giving. It is never too early to teach this simple lesson of love. Take the St. Andrew's Sunday School as an example. Every … (read more)

Three Kinds Of Giving

October 10, 1997

(In the March/April 1993 issue of Equip the following anonymous reflection was offered to Presbyterian clergy across Canada. It still needs to be heard in 1997.) There are three kinds of giving: grudge giving, duty giving, and thanksgiving. Grudge giving … (read more)

In The Boat – Together

October 5, 1997

The Church of Jesus Christ always seeks to gather the shattered fragments of faith that are the one Church of our Lord and Saviour, bring the pieces together in an embrace of love and unity. That dream is encompassed in … (read more)


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