Archive for April, 2015

Pep Talk

April 30, 2015

When I was in high school, our teachers held a pep rally before every big American-style football game. Cheerleaders in short skirts and bulky sweaters led us in cheers designed to increase the courage of the team, especially if the …( read more )

We've A Story To Tell

April 29, 2015

When my father was close to the end of his life here on earth in 1987, I spent a lot of time with him, and he told me many stories. He was born in 1900, and he went to work when he was twelve. He told me about the time when the first car …( read more )

It's Called Balance

April 28, 2015

Lately, my mind has been taken up with food, as I continue to pursue my weight-loss goals. I have found during this quest that the television ads are not my friends. I cannot venture a guess as to what percentage of them are focused on …( read more )

Ancient Doors

April 27, 2015

When my son was in Bible college, he had the opportunity to travel to Israel with a group of fellow students. One of the items that he brought home was a book entitled The Holy Land in Color. This was a wonderful gift that enabled me to …( read more )

Sorry To God

April 26, 2015

There is not a day that goes by that I do not end up saying "Sorry" to God. There is not a Sunday in worship, when the prayers of confession are read and said, that I don't feel guilty and in need of those prayers. Some folks would say …( read more )

Playing Church

April 25, 2015

When I was five and my brother was four, we would play church together. We'd get all dressed up, just like the grownups did. I was the organist and played my best on the old pump organ. My brother was the preacher. He would stand on the …( read more )

For My Name's Sake

April 24, 2015

Today marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide, an event that occurred during the Ottoman Empire. It was on this date, April 24th, 1915, that several thousand Armenian intellectuals in Turkey were rounded up, arrested, …( read more )

Wisdom: A Lesson From History

April 23, 2015

My dad was smiling when I went to visit him recently at the nursing home. "What are you thinking about?" I asked. "Well, it's funny the things that come into your mind when you have a lot of time on your hands and not much to do," he …( read more )

A Bruised Reed

April 22, 2015

We have some daffodil flowers growing from bulbs that I planted last year. They are in small clumps of five bulbs each. They have been growing away quietly during the winter in the north-facing flowerbed at the bottom of our garden. I was …( read more )

A Simple Yes Will Do

April 21, 2015

While I was growing up, Little House on the Prairie was one of my favourite television shows. One touching characteristic of the series was how the town's inhabitants trusted each other. After all, it was through teamwork and trust that …( read more )

Me, An Influencer?

April 20, 2015

As I cruise the posts at Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon looking for a book to hit my fancy, I am often influenced by the choices of others. Their appreciation of a particular work makes me check out the book at the library or buy it …( read more )

The Option

April 19, 2015

As editor and publisher of our little local paper, as well as working four mornings a week as an administrator, I spend a lot of time on computers. And if there is one thing that I have discovered about these electronic devices, it's that …( read more )

His Eyes

April 18, 2015

His eyes never leave me. He follows my every movement. Wherever I go, he quickly moves out ahead of me and keeps checking to see if I am following after him. All of this takes place because he loves me. He is my dog, Sparky. One day, I …( read more )

Peaceful Prayers

April 17, 2015

No matter where He went, people crowded around Jesus. He was constantly mobbed with all sorts of people who were suffering from a multitude of diseases, illnesses, and sicknesses. His fame as a healer had spread around the Galilean …( read more )

The Colour Of Envy

April 16, 2015

The reality is that there is a kind of green-eyed monster of envy in the world, which is not self-sacrificing, but rather self-serving and filled with self-motivation. Envy is evident when we want what others have, and it becomes …( read more )

Those Hidden Snares

April 15, 2015

Are troubling snares set in your path these days? What about the snare of advertising, those countless forms of uninvited messages barraging our minds day in and day out? I realize that these may not feel distressing. But they are …( read more )

Gone Forever

April 14, 2015

I recently bought a tablet computer. I use it mainly for reading, as it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to hold a book. I also use it for my email, and I have a Bible app that I really like because I can check different versions …( read more )

Parents And Children

April 13, 2015

Sadly, I have lost both mum and dad in recent months, and all now I have to speak into their absence are the memories and pictures taken. I remember a time when we were caravanning. We were sited on the bottom edge of a field far enough …( read more )

Another Chance

April 12, 2015

The seventh-grade boy locked eyes with the girl sitting opposite him in my middle school counselling office. Though he was her friend, he had told her a blatant lie the day before. She had learned the truth just as the last bell sounded, …( read more )

Dr-eee!

April 11, 2015

One morning in March as I stepped out my front door, I was greeted with "Dr-eee!" — the territorial call of a red-winged blackbird. That first "Dr-eee" was echoed by at least three more. On our wetlands, the song of a red-winged …( read more )

A Crystalline Day

April 10, 2015

Snow-shy birds recently back from warmer climates sang me awake to a crystalline glaze frosting every surface. I walked outside with my golden canine companion across crusty puddles that crunched and crackled underfoot. Elliot sniffed …( read more )

There Is Always Hope

April 9, 2015

Here in southern Ontario, Canada, we have had a very severe winter. It started somewhat late, but when it came, it came with a vengeance. We had temperatures of -25 to -30 degrees Celsius many nights in a row. February was the coldest …( read more )

An Easter Gift

April 8, 2015

Last Friday, an article was published in the Toronto Star , subtitled, "An Easter Gift". It read in part, "On Thursday, the roughly 6-month-old lamb was spared from his fate at a nearby meat-packing plant, thanks to an unusual agreement …( read more )

God So Loved The World

April 7, 2015

Recently, the church choir of which I am a member sang the beautiful motette "God So Loved the World" by Bob Chilcott. Yes, my friends, it's a setting of the well-known verse, John 3:16. The text is set in contemplative phrases that …( read more )

Missing Something?

April 6, 2015

In preparation for a sermon during my pastorate, a particularly good idea surfaced. I thought to myself, "What a powerful message the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart!" The Scripture passage was something we all needed to hear. After I had …( read more )

Surprise!

April 5, 2015

The dreaded phone call came from Canada in the middle of a missionary term in Papua New Guinea. Our housemaid answered and relayed the message to me when I arrived home for lunch. I'll never forget her exact words: "Rick, sorry … your …( read more )

Now It All Begins

April 4, 2015

The 1977 movie, "Jesus of Nazareth" by Franco Zeffirelli, is my favourite film depicting the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Each time I see it, I am more inspired by the powerful script, music, and images portrayed on …( read more )

Amazing Love

April 3, 2015

In our Bible study, we have been looking at the Easter story. It was a six-week study, so we have been able to really look at the events in depth. I have heard the story many times, and perhaps you have as well. I am finding that when I …( read more )

The Sheep And The Shearer

April 2, 2015

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand. One of my many memories of that beautiful country was the number of sheep that roamed the countryside. When preparing for my trip, I read one statistic that sheep …( read more )

The Way Of Love

April 1, 2015

At the supermarket, I wheeled my three articles, precariously balanced on the front bar of my two-front-wheel, two-back-skids walker, into the last check-out aisle signed "Limit 12 Articles". The lady in front of me had just put a few …( read more )

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