Author Archive

God's Safe Place

May 10, 2019

She had been abused and needed a safe place. Johnnie was in a situation of her own making. For thirteen years, she had endured an abusive marriage — one she had entered merely to be on her own and make her own life. Jim had seemed like …( read more )

Dropout

April 24, 2019

I hated school, so I decided to quit. Elementary and middle school, I enjoyed, but when I got to high school, a sudden distaste evolved. By the time I reached my senior year, I'd had all I could take. I had no interest in learning, …( read more )

Swallowed By Sorrow

April 13, 2019

Sorrow can be a bitter pill to swallow, and I felt as if I were being swallowed by it. Days stretched into months. An act of betrayal by another had turned my family inside out and headed it straight for dissolution. Though the situation …( read more )

Healthy Habits

March 29, 2019

Old habits are hard to break. For four years, we lived in a small townhouse. Our Chihuahua, Twix, was accustomed to the way that the doors to the bedroom and the outside opened, and he would stand at the appropriate side of the door to …( read more )

Grief My Way

March 13, 2019

The family gathered around his bed and watched his body jerk and convulse — then fall silent. A work-related accident had disabled Mike many years before. Though he managed to work a few jobs for short periods of time, he couldn't hold …( read more )

The Death Vigil

February 26, 2019

He lay almost motionless — a Superman tattoo on his arm. My brother-in-law often kidded that he was Superman. And he had been. He survived things that had killed many people. Though a young man, several heart attacks had damaged his …( read more )

Oh, To Be Content

February 11, 2019

I carried them out by the armload — a seemingly endless task. Our move was complete — except for moving our clothes. Although my wife doesn't buy fancy clothes — nor buy them from expensive stores — she loves new outfits — or at …( read more )

Stirring Up The Gift

January 27, 2019

I sat in the ladder-back chair, wondering what I should do and feeling a bit useless. The day prior to our move had arrived, but my wife and I were already at our new residence unpacking boxes — at least, she was. With no Internet or …( read more )

Downsizing … Of Sorts

January 12, 2019

"Where are we going put it? I think we're turning into hoarders." My wife and I have both asked the question and made the statement. Our love for antiques — especially furniture — keeps us adding to our collection and trying to stuff …( read more )

Christmas Remembrances

December 21, 2018

As I grow older, I yearn for the Christmases of my childhood. Being the first grandchild in the family for the first four years of my life meant a great deal of spoiling — by parents and grandparents. Though I don't remember those …( read more )

Thanks At Thanksgiving

November 20, 2018

Thanking God in every circumstance is challenging — some might say impossible. I'm a nostalgic kind of guy. In my mind's eye, I can imagine myself sitting at a table with the early Pilgrims and their Indian neighbours who had shown them …( read more )

Building Blocks Of Healthy Relationships

November 2, 2018

"I remember when you used to…" Any time I hear my wife say these words, I know that they will be followed by something that I once did but don't do anymore — things like opening the door for her when she's getting in the car or …( read more )

Cleansed

October 20, 2018

I had reached the magic number; I knew what the doctor would say. Fifty is the age when physical tests of various sorts begin to take place — one of which I dreaded. When I visited the doctor for a regular checkup, he said, "We need to …( read more )

A Living Will

October 6, 2018

Conversations in a physician's waiting room can be interesting and run the gamut. As my wife and I sat in the waiting room, waiting for her to be called back for her colonoscopy, we listened to the various conversations. One was between …( read more )

Serving With Joy

September 23, 2018

I noticed the handicap van that they drove, and I knew that it was my time to serve. One Saturday morning when my wife and I were in the middle of packing for our move later in the month, we ran out of boxes. She suggested that I stop by …( read more )

Loving A Neighbour

September 9, 2018

The note was attached to the door; the decision had been made. At nine years of age, he was doing what most boys his age did in the summer: romping and playing — until his sister noticed how yellow his eyes were. She ran inside to tell …( read more )

Dog On A Foot

August 27, 2018

Of all the stores to which my grandfather delivered ice cream, the one where the dog sat on my foot was my favourite. Aside from a few chain pharmacies and gas stations, mom-and-pop stores ran the retail world. Small stores owned by …( read more )

Satisfied

August 16, 2018

One chose to stay on the farm; the other chose city life. When my mom was a junior in high school, she chose to leave her family farm and marry my dad. Her new life would take her away from her country upbringing and plant her in cities …( read more )

Does God Have A Purpose?

August 6, 2018

The stories flooded in, and I couldn't help but wonder what God's purpose was. A young man who struggled with epilepsy and other physical issues for his entire life dies in his sleep while having an epileptic episode. His mother finds …( read more )

Cleaning Fingerprints

July 25, 2018

"Fingerprints all over the place." My oldest grandson called the dirty storm door window to my attention as he and his younger brother stood looking out over the backyard. Of course, he failed to mention that both of them were the reason …( read more )

Culling Cuckaburrows

July 15, 2018

Pulling cuckaburrows was a new experience for me in farm life. Visiting my maternal grandparents on the farm was always enjoyable. Every day was a new adventure, doing things that I had never experienced in the city. Along with my …( read more )

Loving The Least

July 5, 2018

The peeping alerted me that something was amiss. A mother bluebird had hatched several nestlings in a birdhouse outside my office window. As I worked, I enjoyed hearing their peeps as the mother and father bird made numerous trips to …( read more )

Being God's Man

June 17, 2018

Everybody has a father story, and they run the gamut. I grew up in a traditional family. My father was present, supportive, and loving. Many families aren't as fortunate. Some fathers drink to excess, abuse or run around on their wives, …( read more )

Flying Low

June 9, 2018

They popped over the tree tops and whizzed along the top of the field. When I was a young lad, crop dusters were common where there was flat farmland. Fields were planted with cotton, corn, and soybeans. Laws preventing certain chemicals …( read more )

Just Trust

June 2, 2018

Just trust God, and everything will work out for the good. The Porters were college friends with whom we had a common bond: we were both from South Carolina; they also had two small children who were close in age to our two, one of which …( read more )

Lest We Forget

May 28, 2018

Forgetting what one needs or wants terribly to remember is a horrible thing. I once chaperoned an eighth-grade trip to Washington DC, USA. Memorials are always high on the list of things to visit because they are constructed to help …( read more )

Unexpected Move

May 17, 2018

We hadn't planned on moving again until I retired … but things changed. The landlady was coming to pick up the rent cheque. Finding an affordable place to stay in a safe section of town had been a chore four years previously. We …( read more )

The (Un)pardonable Sin

May 9, 2018

For Hester Prynne in Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, it was an A; for many others, it is a D. In a puritanical time period, Hester Prynne made the mistake of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage and getting …( read more )

A Mouth Full

May 1, 2018

When I heard the chirping, I knew that their mouths were full. After settling into my new position as pastor of a small rural church, I placed a few things on the front porch of the office building, among them a birdhouse. Within a few …( read more )

Walking In The Garden

April 20, 2018

Walking in the garden was a Sunday afternoon tradition. Edisto Gardens is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA — the only town that the 250-mile-long Edisto River passes through. The river is one of only a few blackwater rivers — …( read more )

Blinded To See

April 7, 2018

I'm not blind, but I fear being that way one day. As a young, elementary-age student, I received the news that my eyesight was poor. I needed glasses. Since then, my eyes have progressively deteriorated. Every four years, the optometrist …( read more )

Absent From The Body

March 21, 2018

Death. Funerals. They're both a part of what I experience as a full-time vocational minister. I don't enjoy either of them, but they come with the territory. Death comes to the young, the old, and all ages in between. Comforting those who …( read more )

One Thing After Another

March 12, 2018

With a sigh, my wife called to tell me that the garbage disposal unit under our kitchen sink had broken. This was just the beginning. For four years, we've rented our patio townhouse. Not long after moving here, we noticed various types …( read more )

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