Archive for December, 1996

Personally Protected

December 31, 1996

How often have we thought of God as a punishing, angry God? We think of Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and we cringe at such an awesome, holy, but wrathful God. But for God's chosen … (read more)

Promised Presence

December 30, 1996

Moses stood upon the lava rock strewn mountain in front of that camel's hair tent, Bedouin garbed, grey wispy hair rope bound in place arguing with God's presence in the whirling pillared cloud. Arguing on behalf of a confused hope … (read more)

Reflections On Success (Or A Lack Thereof)

December 29, 1996

Some time ago I found myself being dragged into the world's mould. I began to notice how many of my colleagues had made it farther up the corporate ladder and found myself bemoaning the fact that I had only received … (read more)

Love Is Our Life

December 28, 1996

The Germans have a word that, in many ways in the antithesis, the opposite, of the biblical love spoken of in scripture today. The word is shadenfreude, which really can't be translated into English any better than agape can, but … (read more)

Wings Of Love

December 27, 1996

Nothing, I think, hurts so much and so deeply, as to go to someone and offer love and have that offer spurned. Yet it is the tragedy of many of us to give our heart to someone only to have … (read more)

Love Without Limits

December 26, 1996

There was a special on T.V. and during a certain scene, a man was asked: "What is the first gift of Christmas?" to which he responds, "I suppose it was a tie." The program went on to share how the … (read more)

Home For Christmas?

December 25, 1996

A long time ago, as a young university student, I used to plan and look forward to going "home" for Christmas. Stored somewhere in my memories is the sense of disappointment and sadness I felt the year that I made … (read more)

What Is Christmas To You?

December 24, 1996

What is Christmas to you? Is it tinsel, wrappings, and tape? Is it tawdry trinkets trimming a tree? Is it Santa Claus, elves, and mistletoe? Is it shopping hour upon hour in some overcrowded department store advertising dolls, computer games, … (read more)

A Season Of Giving

December 23, 1996

What is the Christmas Season to you? Is it wrapping generous gifts for Sue, for April, Agnes, and Hugh, one for the teacher, and bus driver, too? Giving a few to Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Ethel, and Uncle Lou. Is … (read more)

The Candle Of Love

December 22, 1996

In that great hymn, My God, I thank Thee, the end of the second verse proclaims, That in the darkest spot of earth Some love is found. The light has shone in the darkness of the night and the darkness … (read more)

Get Ready!

December 21, 1996

"Fast before the feast!" my mother would say, as she put Christmas Eve supper on the table: codfish cakes, or her heavenly homemade baked beans. Both dishes I secretly preferred to turkey! "Fast before the feast!" Prepare the way! Not … (read more)

Listen To The Children

December 20, 1996

Last night was Sunday School Pageant night. My daughter, Maggie, played Mary. It was her second year in the role! It made me think of a Christmas Eve 12 years ago, when her mother, "great with child", was a last-minute … (read more)

Getting Married In Advent

December 19, 1996

We made it this far! 15 Years! Praise God! Was there ever any doubt we'd make it? Well… Today is our anniversary! 15 years ago we were crazy students, rolling from exams and essays right into a wedding. "What a … (read more)

Calling All Prophet Souls!

December 18, 1996

Can you feel it? The air is electric with promise as Jesus begins his ministry. "The kingdom of God is at hand!" Literally, so close you can reach out and (almost) touch it! Every Advent we read these words. Do … (read more)

Christmas Wishes

December 17, 1996

My 11 year old daughter has her Christmas list sorted by category, and colour-coded for degree of desire or need. The farmers in my congregations are wishing for a few nights of good, hard frost to set the clay in … (read more)

A Thrilling Voice?

December 16, 1996

Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding, "Christ is nigh!" it seems to say. The words of that hymn could be about John the Baptist, or about Isaiah, as we read his words in Advent light. What do the words mean … (read more)

It Seemed Like A Dream

December 15, 1996

What is your dream, this December, this Advent season? What Christmas miracle would you like to see? It would be like a dream if we could wake up on Christmas morning to news that all the fighting had ended, all … (read more)

Joyful, Joyful, No Matter What?!

December 14, 1996

A friend of mine, who is a minister, had struggled for some time with a deteriorating marriage. Finally, one Saturday night, she had decided that it was indeed over. The dream of a blissful marriage was gone forever. She determined … (read more)

O Christmas Tree

December 13, 1996

What does this Season mean to you? Is it buying a live tree all green and trim; but perhaps a bit thin, or is your tree all silver and tinsel flocked white or artificial? Did you buy it at Eatons, … (read more)

Who Is This Child?

December 12, 1996

Who is this Child, we sing? He who was born this night, manger for bed, born to abject poverty, while we, the well fed, flex ballistic missile might, but laud Him as newborn King. His praises loudly sing, while the … (read more)

Peace In The Valley Of The Shadow

December 11, 1996

Death is coming soon, for our Lord, for ourselves. That's the context of the words we share today from John. This death is not welcome, but it also cannot be avoided. Life is so short, and there is never enough … (read more)

I Believe In Peace

December 10, 1996

Frank Herbert in one of his Dune Science Fiction novels calls fear the little mind-killer – the destroyer of peace and hope and happiness. Fear takes away any sense of peace we might have… about life, about death, about life … (read more)

The Peace From Within

December 9, 1996

In the study Practising Peace, produced by our denomination a couple of years back, the author tells about a commercial from years ago which began: "Do you wake up more tired than when you went to bed? Do you lack … (read more)

The Candle Of Peace

December 8, 1996

Anybody who opens a newspaper or listens to the news will tell you that our world is hardly a peaceful place. With so much going on in the world, how can those of us with faith continue to hope for … (read more)

Welcome To The Irrational Season

December 7, 1996

I think this is the time for you to take leave of your senses. In the middle of the everyday, the cut and dried, whatever you are doing right now — don't you yearn for something marvellous? That's what happened … (read more)

Conform …Or Else

December 6, 1996

Did you ever listen to the children in the school yard? "If you won't do it my way I won't let you play!" Did you ever listen to the adults at work in an office building? "Welcome to our company. … (read more)

I Saw God Today

December 5, 1996

I awoke this morning, saw that it was light, rolled over and enjoyed the warmth of the bed. I didn't need to get up, retired you know. When I was ready, went to the washroom and toned myself down… I'm … (read more)

Hope Says Walls Will Fall

December 4, 1996

The terrible scourge of the 20th century, the Iron Curtain, has now fallen and the old foe is the new friend and all things are possible. Can that hope extend to the plight of the haves and have-nots, the warring … (read more)

Bringing Hope Alive

December 3, 1996

"Hope is like a road in the country; there never was a road, but when many people walk the same path, a road comes into existence." (ancient Chinese Proverb) An unknown poet once wrote: A little child- A shining star- … (read more)

Dreams Of Hope

December 2, 1996

You've seen "Field of Dreams". It is a fanciful, all-American re-enactment of the great American pastime of baseball set in a corn field. The plot has a voice calling out to the star, "If you build it, he will come", … (read more)

The Candle Of Hope

December 1, 1996

June Stevenson of Glad Tidings tells of sitting in a dark auditorium as one by one candles were lit in a gestures of prayerful support for the people of South Africa under apartheid. As each one shared with a neighbour … (read more)

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