Archive for December, 2004

What's In It For Me?

December 31, 2004

"Buy something for yourself!" "Depressed? Treat yourself!" "For every 2-3 presents I buy for others, I buy one for myself." "Get a makeover!" "Get what you want this year. Mail your size and colour to us and we will notify … (read more)

Pray For Mercy, Prepare For Judgement

December 30, 2004

Words adequate to give expression to the overwhelming sadness, numbing shock, and gnawing grief that grip so many in the face of the tsunami which hit south-eastern Asia on December 26th are impossible to find. We are called, however, to … (read more)

Sunshine

December 29, 2004

We have had a few cold snaps lately, in the lee of the Cotswold Hills. We had a heavy frost, which fell thickly onto the roofs and windows of the cars in our street. I was later than I needed … (read more)

A Secret Pal

December 28, 2004

In our women's group, we drew names for secret pals at the beginning of the year. Throughout the year, we would do thoughtful things for our pal, and at the last meeting of the year, we would reveal who our … (read more)

The Good News Party

December 27, 2004

It wasn't even a holiday, but we were having a party. The doctor's office had just called to say that I was now considered to be cancer-free! My mom and dad were so happy and excited that they brought down … (read more)

God's Strength

December 26, 2004

My six-year-old started skating lessons last fall. Before the lessons, he was really excited, wanting to learn how to skate so that he could play hockey like his older brother. Never having been on skates before, he had trouble moving … (read more)

Mom's Cupboards

December 25, 2004

For months, my dad had spent every free moment in the basement, building kitchen cupboards as a Christmas present for my mom. At least that's what we children thought. We weren't permitted to go down and see for ourselves. We … (read more)

Christmas Eve In Holten

December 24, 2004

On Christmas Eve after supper, we like to attend the Christmas Eve worship service at our church. It is usually a wonderful service, full of candlelight, music, and readings. Sometimes we participate as lay readers. When we return home after … (read more)

Christmas Biscuits

December 23, 2004

"But, dad, we ginned cotton straight through the Thanksgiving holidays," I moaned. "Can't we at least get off a few days for Christmas?" "Son, we finished early last year, and you hunted all winter," he answered. "Be thankful for that. … (read more)

Seek And You Will Find

December 22, 2004

I don't know why I am so attracted to them. Perhaps the bright colours remind me of a happy time in my childhood when all seemed right with the world. In any case, every year, even though I have plenty, … (read more)

The Announcement

December 21, 2004

After a day of rain came a day that was bright but cold, with the last of the rain turning into a skiff of snow. I waited for the family to arrive for dinner and a celebration of the birthday … (read more)

Prince Albert's Tree?

December 20, 2004

It has been said that Queen Victoria of England greatly loved her prince, Albert of Germany. She stuck beside him when the country reviled him for bringing a "heathenish" decorated tree to the Christmas celebrations. Even now, some people consider … (read more)

The Spirit Of Giving

December 19, 2004

A few years ago, as Clerk of Session, I received an early Sunday morning phone call. The elderly, visiting minister didn't want to travel that morning, because a heavy snowfall was predicted. I tried to get help with various parts … (read more)

The Year Christmas Never Came

December 18, 2004

When I was a small girl I looked forward to going across our back yard and following the path over to my great uncle Lester's. It seemed that he did such interesting things, for he could fashion many things from … (read more)

God With Us!

December 17, 2004

My idea of great travel involves no tent, no creepy-crawly scary (critters!), no campfires, and a really nice hotel with privacy, carpet, and a firm, yet cushioning, mattress. Not for me the grim, cold, barren sleep-outs. Mary didn't have such … (read more)

Unbroken Circles

December 16, 2004

I don't have gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but I do have treasures. This year I have decided to make memory books as Christmas gifts for our six grandchildren, from age nine to twenty-six. As I pore over treasures they have … (read more)

The New Garment

December 15, 2004

"I'd never go in there," my friend said as we passed the charity shop. "My mother taught me never to wear something that was on someone else's back." Until that moment, I hadn't thought much about second-hand clothes for a … (read more)

Give Generously

December 14, 2004

Our mailboxes overflow at this time of year with pleas to "Give generously". Our telephones and doorbells ring, and we are asked to donate to yet another good cause. Food banks need filling, and toys need collecting for kids who … (read more)

And He Comforts Those Who Are Afflicted

December 13, 2004

December 1992 — my father died — a charter member of St. Luke's Presbyterian Church in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, an elder, a Sunday School superintendent, and a great dad. In the last couple years of his life, his disease (akin … (read more)

Snow Day

December 12, 2004

I remember waking up one Sunday morning in December, and everything was quiet and still. No cars were heard outside, no buses were running, no people were making a noise. The sun was shining, but when I looked out of … (read more)

Sent By The Father

December 11, 2004

Living a nomadic, military lifestyle during our married life, many of our gifts arrived in the mail from our parents. Our children eagerly looked forward to these parcels, as did we, their parents. These gifts, which always contained homemade goodies, … (read more)

The Credenza

December 10, 2004

Our church was presenting a musical evening entitled Cadenza. At first, some of us confused it with a credenza, an armoire type of furniture! When we learned that cadenza is a musical term for a little something special, we knew … (read more)

Suppose That Christ Had Not Been Born

December 9, 2004

"Suppose that Christ had not been born." I rattled off the words of the Christmas poem as fast as any nine-year-old child could say them. I expect I believed that if I said them quickly enough, I wouldn't forget them … (read more)

Christmas Memories

December 8, 2004

Christmas is a time for remembering. I can remember being an angel in a church play when I was three years old. My tiny part consisted of kneeling before the manger, and later moving a little to the side with … (read more)

Grandma's Letter

December 7, 2004

Today's text was a motto that hung in our home when I was a child, and although it has the obvious meaning, "Watch what comes out of your mouth," it took on a different meaning for me one year. It … (read more)

Expecting the Unexpected

December 6, 2004

Expectations can sometimes blind us to the reality which is right in front of us. When I was in the ninth grade, my geography teacher called the roll at the beginning of our very first class. He asked us to … (read more)

Lions

December 5, 2004

I love old movies, and at this time of year, I get to watch one of my all-time favorites, "The Wizard of Oz". The colours, the music, the story, and the characters all blend together perfectly, and my television screen … (read more)

Christmas Letters

December 4, 2004

It's time to send out those Christmas letters to our family and friends. We might call them our annual report, and if we were to save them and make them into a collection we would have compiled our family history. … (read more)

My Christmas Challenge

December 3, 2004

I often pride myself in my "outside the box" thinking, but was challenged this week after I made a simple comment. I had punctuated an e-mail conversation with, "After all, Jesus is the reason for the season," and it was … (read more)

Handmade Bath Salts

December 2, 2004

Mix one tablespoon of glycerine, a drop or two of perfume or cologne, and a smidge of food colouring in a non-plastic bowl. Stir the Epsom salts while adding this concoction. Mix well and store in glass jars. Tie with … (read more)

Joint Heirs With Christ

December 1, 2004

During Advent, I read a devotional that told about John the Baptist calling for people to repent. The music in the background was "Hark! the herald angels sing." We had just received the news from our son that their precious … (read more)

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