Archive for December, 2012

Come On, Ring Those Bells

December 31, 2012

I love to listen to Evie Tornquist — and I especially love to hear Evie sing "Come on, ring those bells".

For those who do not know this beautiful Christmas song, it portrays all the joy and bliss we should take delight in over the …( read more )

My Eyes Have Seen

December 30, 2012

I have seen God's salvation in the lives of other people, as well as my own. I have seen addicts turn their lives around and their families restored. I have seen people healed of various illnesses and injuries, and have watched them …( read more )

The Common Good

December 29, 2012

Some days, I wonder why I write at all. Many days, I don't feel like writing anything, yet I do anyway. Why? The answer to that question is twofold: the Lord has given me a gift which He wants me to use for the glory of His kingdom, and …( read more )

But We Had The Good News Daily First

December 28, 2012

A major announcement on February 2, 2011 from one of the news networks heralded the launch of the so-called first daily newspaper for iPads. I first read the announcement on a news page from yahoo.com; sadly, that story no longer appears …( read more )

A Christmastime Tragedy

December 27, 2012

On December 14, 2012, the city of Newtown, Connecticut, USA, was shaken by the news of a gunman entering Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 26 children and adults. Whenever such a tragedy occurs, it seems that we find ourselves …( read more )

The Brats

December 26, 2012

It was one of those days. You know the kind I mean: one little disaster follows another, until we finally reach the breaking point and we think we are just going to start screaming if one more thing goes wrong.

I was minding my …( read more )

Anticipation

December 25, 2012

My grade six students always exchanged a chocolate bar (so that the cost of the gift could be well controlled), but they could wrap their "gift" however they chose. Some would come in the traditionally small packaging, simply wrapped; …( read more )

War Christmas

December 24, 2012

Why is it that we rarely appreciate what we have, until it is taken from us by financial circumstances, natural disasters, or war?

It was on November 30, 1939, my tenth birthday, that Russia attacked eastern Finland. We said goodbye to …( read more )

Why Did God Become Man?

December 23, 2012

Little did these poor shepherds realize that they would be the first to visit Him who would become the greatest teacher ever known, who would walk on water, heal the sick, cast out demons in tormented souls, and make the lame to walk, the …( read more )

Christmas Miracles

December 22, 2012

Monday was around the corner, and we were broke. If we didn't pay, life would change drastically.

Christmas was near, and times were tough. My wife and I had one part-time job between us. Income wasn't sufficient for the bills — at …( read more )

The Fullness Of God In The Face Of Jesus Christ

December 21, 2012

I walked on air, it seemed. I felt expanded, extended, moving in sunlight that was more than real. Never before had I experienced such elation. I was alone out on the sidewalk by the hospital after visiting the newborn in her crib and …( read more )

The End Of The World?

December 20, 2012

"The world is coming to an end on December 21, 2012." You have read about it in the newspaper. You have heard about it on television. There are thousands of interpretations and views on the Internet. Just google the phrase "2012 end of the …( read more )

The Day Is Almost Here

December 19, 2012

What does it mean to be truly awake?

Since our children moved from a crib to a bed, we have had a rule that they are not to get up until they see 7:00 on their clocks. They are to stay in their beds and look at a book or play quietly. …( read more )

Suddenly

December 18, 2012

For so long, it was just a simple adornment, something I pinned on my chest in an effort to appear festive at Christmastime. Who knew — who knew that the precious gift from a loved one would soften another's heart with the message of …( read more )

Awake, O Sleeper

December 17, 2012

During Advent season, I sometimes enjoy listening to the lovely plainsong music of Gregorian chants. One song in particular is known as the "Magnificat", Mary's wonderful hymn of praise recorded in Luke 1:46-55. In this lovely piece, …( read more )

A Box Of Treasures

December 16, 2012

Years ago, I was given a box of broken plastic airplanes by a member of the church that I served. She knew that I enjoyed putting together First World War airplane kits, so she gathered a box of her late brother's model airplanes for me. …( read more )

The Dance

December 15, 2012

Mr Tumnus, our pygmy goat, which had arrived two weeks earlier, just wasn't doing well. My daughter had been spending lots of time with him down in the goat barn, but for most of the day, he wandered around forlorn and lonely, bleating in …( read more )

Gifts Of Reality And Victory

December 14, 2012

One day when I was little, I found, as the surprise in my popcorn box, a tiny pair of scissors. But, how horrible! They would not open. They just lay there in my hand, a senseless, one-piece thing of molded metal. I felt put down and …( read more )

Feeling "un-Christmas-y"

December 13, 2012

What is it about this Christmas season that makes me feel very "un-Christmas-y"? Perhaps it is the fact that family is not nearby, or the lack of snow on the ground, with rain coming down instead of snow. Or is it the health problems that …( read more )

Angels At Christmas

December 12, 2012

A couple of years ago during Advent, I became fascinated with the angels in the Christmas story. It's no accident that angels have become a popular Christmas decoration. Here is a summary of what I found in the scriptural reports of angels …( read more )

A Good Movie

December 11, 2012

Whenever I see a good movie, I like to share my delight with other people. I do it because I want them to enjoy a similar, satisfying experience. My wife Evelyn and I enjoy going to the movies on a regular basis, and it helps us to relate …( read more )

Knits And Purls

December 10, 2012

Knitting has been one of my hobbies, and although I'm not an expert, knitted items for family and friends are especially found under the Christmas tree.

I keep an eye on the rows so that the pattern stays uniform in all the knits and …( read more )

The Way Of Peace

December 9, 2012

Recently, I watched a World War I film entitled Joyeux Noel, inspired by an unusual and true story which took place in 1914 on Christmas Eve. This film depicts the miraculous events which caused the two opposing sides to lay down their …( read more )

Preparing For Christ(mas)

December 8, 2012

Last year, I read about a man who had four thousand light bulbs on his house and in the trees on his property. People came from miles around to see it. "It was beautiful," was the general consensus. "After all, that is what Christmas is …( read more )

The Essential Character

December 7, 2012

As I was remembering past Christmases, an incident came to mind from the very first year of my former ministry here in Mission, British Columbia, Canada, back in 1987.

Enthusiasm was high in the congregation, and they decided to tackle …( read more )

Expecting

December 6, 2012

In our second year of marriage, my husband and I discovered that we were going to have a child. Despite there being no angelic announcement, that was a truly joyful occasion. We expectantly counted the days until our firstborn would …( read more )

Right Man For The Time

December 5, 2012

I'm recovering from surgery. In a local big-box store is a Customers' Helper. I give her a list and as I wait with my walker, she brings things for my approval. She also takes the cartload to my car while I drag behind.

Today, I opened …( read more )

Christmas Is…

December 4, 2012

Christmas is here; at least, a shopper's Christmas is here. Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments, and toys are proudly displayed in store windows and shelves — beautiful, shiny objects to attract and entice the consumer. Well-thought-out …( read more )

Created To Be

December 3, 2012

Every day, I try to please God, but I know that at some unguarded daily moment, I'm going to say or do something wrong that will both displease Him and disappoint others. I could justify my mistake by shrugging my shoulders and saying, …( read more )

Advent: The Wonder Of It All

December 2, 2012

The package arrived at the end of that November when we were teaching in Kangnung, Korea. It contained an Advent calendar and some small gifts for each day of Advent.

On the calendar were little windows to open, each one with a Scripture …( read more )

Christmas Through A Zimbabwean Child's Eyes

December 1, 2012

Children in Zimbabwe are no different from their counterparts around the world when it comes to Christmas. They are full of anticipation and hope.

As children from the city, we spent most of our Christmas holidays in our ancestral …( read more )

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