Devotional

And God Comes Near

December 15, 2018

I have been reflecting on the role of nativity plays, pageants, and tableaux in the formation of our spirituality. Here are my thoughts. In December 2017, as I watched the children and young adults play their various roles in the tableaux …( read more )

Ready Or Not

December 14, 2018

As my husband and I celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary today, I am reminded that we were not engaged prior to our marriage. On our first wedding anniversary, I wondered if I might receive a ring as an anniversary or Christmas gift. …( read more )

The Foundation

December 13, 2018

The friend and customer for whom I had finished a stained glass commission was extremely happy. He had brought me a small oil painting of the Holy Family and asked me to recreate it in glass for him to hang in his window for Christmas. …( read more )

Practice Hospitality

December 12, 2018

Traditionally, we like our family to be together on Christmas Day. If that is physically impossible, we at least try to make contact by telephone or webcam. One Christmas Day, my son and his family were at their home in the beautiful …( read more )

Blue Christmas

December 11, 2018

One of our local churches has a "Blue Christmas" service every year. I haven't yet been able to get to one, but I presume that it is for people who are sad during the holiday. I think that when people are feeling sad, more sadness will …( read more )

Struggling

December 10, 2018

Monday morning is my time to check my weight. Today, I was dreading it. I'd had a bad week. It wasn't good news. I've struggled with my weight since I was a teenager. It's in the family. My dad had a weight problem, as did his mother. …( read more )

Anticipation

December 9, 2018

Do you practice an active faith? I try to, but I admit that I don't always succeed. Advent provides a good example. The other day, I was thinking about the idea of anticipation and how, during Advent, we look forward with anticipation …( read more )

Christmas Mourn

December 8, 2018

Every year, my mother would take all four of us kids to the toy store to pick out a present. If we were not naughty but nice, Santa would deliver it on Christmas Eve. We eagerly set out in different directions to look. On one such …( read more )

The Letter

December 7, 2018

Once a year before Christmas, I write a family newsletter, which I then send to friends and relatives. It depicts the major as well as some of the minor happenings of our life throughout the year. I always begin the letter with a …( read more )

Destiny In A Dot

December 6, 2018

The formation of life is surely a miracle beyond comprehension. It begins with a speck so small that it is invisible to the naked eye. Yet it contains a vast treasury of DNA coding: the coding of destiny which determines what the tiny dot …( read more )

A Different Setting

December 5, 2018

Music is a wonderful gift from God. While we enjoy it all year long, I think that it is especially meaningful in December. This is probably because of the number of Christmas carols that we both hear and sing. While no one on earth can …( read more )

Give Your Best

December 4, 2018

It was just a few days before Christmas. "We need to go and buy a turkey," one said to the other. "I thought I saw a turkey in our freezer," said the other. Sure enough, deep down in the freezer, there was a turkey. And it had a date on …( read more )

Courage And Faith

December 3, 2018

After years of childhood pain, I didn't love Christmas. I identified with the sentiments of Blue Christmas. I sat in darkness, spending time on a website called "Christmas Misery". I had plenty of memories of sorrow and loss to keep me …( read more )

The Making Way

December 2, 2018

Early this year, my daughter, her husband, and baby granddaughter came to live with me. A business opportunity in town had presented itself, and they decided to buy it and move home. How wonderful is this! was my first thought. My …( read more )

Wait On The Lord

December 1, 2018

The day after Labour Day, my wife and I were returning from a lovely weekend away at our family cabin. Unfortunately, we were rear-ended in the rush-hour traffic, and the grey 2012 Toyota Matrix that I loved was written off as a total …( read more )

The Lost Is Found

November 30, 2018

I cannot function before my morning coffee, so when the phone rang early one day a month ago, awakening me from sleep, I was groggy and confused. It was my youngest niece speaking quickly and with great excitement. "You know those rings …( 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 )

Loving People We Just Don't Like

November 28, 2018

Some people put their foot in their mouth, but seem to enjoy the taste. Some people rub us the wrong way, but act like it's the right way. Some people know how to push our buttons, and we detest that they can have so much negative impact …( read more )

The Perfect Host

November 27, 2018

When my husband and I visited one of the Caribbean islands, our plane landed in the evening. Along with other arrivals, we were met and shuttled to the resort where we had reservations, paid in advance. After checking in and being shown …( read more )

A Roller Coaster Ride

November 26, 2018

Stop the roller coaster! I want to get off. Since I don't like heights, I've never liked roller coasters. However, one summer at Canada's Wonderland, when our daughter was about six years old, I decided to go on one of the tamer roller …( read more )

The Peacock Strut

November 25, 2018

Grandma's peacock displayed its fan of majestic colours in the sunshine. Light danced off the crystal-shaped feather fibres and shimmered with iridescent greens and blues. Head held high, strutting around the ranch, he appeared to be …( read more )

Only The Lonely

November 24, 2018

Like everyone else, I experience loneliness from time to time. It's an odd feeling, especially when it occurs in a crowded room or when I'm with a small company of friends. I get lost in my own thoughts and feel isolated from everything …( read more )

Open Graves

November 23, 2018

Each year at this time, my husband and I go to my dad's grave and clean out the old summer foliage around the headstone. We dig up the soil a bit and insert the foot prongs of a green wreath with a few seasonal decorations for the winter. …( read more )

Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018

"Thank You, Lord, for whoever invented electric blankets." I sigh in pleasure as I slip into the warm bed. "Thank You, Lord, for whoever invented Excedrin®." It's the perfect pill for a pounding headache. "Thank You, Lord, for my …( read more )

Family

November 21, 2018

At this holiday time of the year, the word "family" often seems to come up. Thanksgiving is observed in Canada in October and in the United States in November. Next month there will again be times of holiday celebrations, especially at …( 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 )

Turning Wounds Into Wisdom

November 19, 2018

A man on a ladder across the street was cleaning out the eavestroughs of a small apartment complex. "Would you do mine when you're finished?" I called out. "Sure," he said. He came over about half an hour later, did a decent job on my …( read more )

The Bears

November 18, 2018

The first time I saw the mother grizzly and her three cubs, I remember thinking what a privilege it was to see such a wonder of nature. The next time I heard about them, I had very different thoughts. This time, they were not out in the …( read more )

Go For A Tea

November 17, 2018

It always amazes me how, out of nowhere, God softly tells us to do something, and then, I am amazed at the results that He sends. For example, I have always wanted to have painting classes here in Pico. The other day, I debated whether …( read more )

The Birthday Party

November 16, 2018

"Please, will you ask her?" I pleaded with my older sister for the umpteenth time. Katrise lived next door. She was my older sister's best friend and was having her Sweet Sixteen birthday party in a few days. I wasn't invited; I was only …( read more )

Faithful Planning

November 15, 2018

Throughout my career, I was involved in many projects. Some were small, lasting a few hours or days, involving few people, and having little financial impact. Some were enormous, lasting months or years, involving large teams of people, …( read more )

He Knows

November 14, 2018

The sound of the violent wind roaring around the house was terrifying. As I peered nervously out into my backyard, I could see the wildly swinging branches of the trees tearing at my eavestrough as they whipped back and forth along the …( read more )

Chug-a, Chug-a

November 13, 2018

A week or so ago, I went to the bank on my way to work to take out some cash using the automatic teller. I wanted to take out $280. I'd done so on numerous occasions before, so I wasn't paying a lot of attention to what I was doing. This …( read more )

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