Archive for December, 2015

God's Gift Of Time

December 31, 2015

As I look over the last year, I ask myself, What have I done that God would be pleased with? Yes, I know that my times are in His hands, so I ask, What is He expecting of me in this new year? I trust Him explicitly with it all, but …( read more )

The Gaps

December 30, 2015

Peace and quiet reigned. The colourful Christmas lights framing the black of night through the windows reflected back upon themselves giving a 3D effect. It was then that I noticed that there were a few gaps in the lights. Some of the …( read more )

One Day At A Time

December 29, 2015

Last year was a very difficult year for our family. My mother and my mother-in-law both died within a period of three months. Then my wife was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. She was in hospital for five weeks. There were so …( read more )

The Ongoing Feast

December 28, 2015

The roast turkey that we enjoyed so much on Christmas day just keeps going and going. Saturday was hot turkey sandwiches, Sunday was turkey salad, and today will find me standing at the counter picking its meaty bones. Picking the bones …( read more )

Being Thankful

December 27, 2015

This past Christmas, I became more and more aware of the commercialism of the season. We were talking to one family in which everybody buys a present for everybody in the family. Certainly, there are financial constraints arising from …( read more )

A Humble Start

December 26, 2015

Everything God does on earth has a purpose for humanity, so I have been intrigued by His purpose behind the manger scene and the obvious poverty of the animal stalls and the manger bed. We are so used to the nativity scene with the manger …( read more )

The Babe In The Manger

December 25, 2015

It was a cold Christmas Eve. I found myself very comfortable within the lobby of my assisted living residence, conversing with staff members who were on duty. In the corner of a small sitting area, a highly customized manger scene had …( read more )

A Second Chance

December 24, 2015

I was eleven years old in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Many Hungarians used that brief slit in the Iron Curtain to flee to the west. For domestic as well as political reasons, my 17-year-old brother took off in the …( read more )

A Timely Christmas Carol – Part 2

December 23, 2015

Pastor Phillips Brooks was known as a great orator in his day. Ironically, though, after visiting the actual site of Jesus' birth, he was moved beyond words. For the first time in his life, he was speechless — unable to communicate the …( read more )

A Timely Christmas Carol – Part 1

December 22, 2015

Recently, I read the story behind a popular Christmas carol, the song we all know and love, called "O little town of Bethlehem". The author, Phillips Brooks, lived during the civil war, a dark and tragic period in American history. …( read more )

Marry Christmas

December 21, 2015

I received Christmas greetings from a friend today, and the e-mail subject line was "Marry Christmas". This struck me as funny: I don't really know anyone named Christmas, so who was I supposed to marry? I mentioned it to a friend, and she …( read more )

Listen To The Sermon

December 20, 2015

In many churches, the traditional ways of worship have changed. The order of service is not as rigid as it used to be. Some ministers interact with the congregation, and some people even reply. There was a time when we did not laugh in …( read more )

The Second Christmas

December 19, 2015

As the dogs and I watched the horizon, patiently waiting for the sun to rise sufficiently for us to go for our walk, I silently counted the days until December 21st, the shortest day of the year, signifying that on the morrow the darkness …( read more )

Christmas In A Strange Place

December 18, 2015

We were in a strange place and had no plans to spend our first Christmas there. Eight years had passed since I graduated high school, but now I felt God's call into full-time ministry. Obeying it would require furthering my education. I …( read more )

Eight Tiny Reindeer

December 17, 2015

At Christmastime we read and hear poems, stories, and songs about reindeer. There are those eight tiny reindeer, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and the one that ran over Grandma. Once, Harold Kurtz, a missionary in the Presbyterian …( read more )

The Poinsettia

December 16, 2015

Christmas is truly a time of great joy for Christians. In Bermuda, where I grew up, the poinsettia reflects the joy of Christmas. It grows into a tall tree covered with magnificent, red flowers, heralding the coming of Christmas. The …( read more )

The Catalogue

December 15, 2015

I can remember as if it were just yesterday the anticipation of the arrival of the Sears Wish Book. Growing up, we lived in the country, so trips into the larger city were few, especially in the winter. This, I believe, added to the …( read more )

The Sad Christmas

December 14, 2015

It was a sad Christmas. A special, long-time friend and companion had died suddenly, and a light had gone out of my life with her passing. No amount of positive and faith-based thinking lifted me from the doldrums. My energy had waned, …( read more )

O Come, All Ye Faithful

December 13, 2015

Ever since I was a youngster on the platform in our one-room, country school, along with about twelve children of varied ages and grades, I have enjoyed Christmas pageants. At the age of ten or eleven, I was the chosen angel Gabriel, and …( read more )

Predictive Text

December 12, 2015

I learned to text, only to discover that the cell phone fancied itself a prophet. This is called predictive texting. Whenever I punched in a letter, it finished the word for me. Thus, I sent messages full of words like "spzxq". The last …( read more )

If You Look For Me At Christmas

December 11, 2015

Recently, a friend invited me to a ladies' Christmas luncheon at her church. In front of everyone's seat was a beautiful poem written on decorative holiday paper. The title of the poem was "If You Look for Me At Christmas." The pastor's …( read more )

Shoebox Cantata

December 10, 2015

"I have a present for you," Izzie called out from the living room of our country home. And on most occasions, I just call out and say, "I will be right there." However, this time, my auntie antenna was up, for I had had a shoebox with a …( read more )

The Shepherd Has Come – Part Two

December 9, 2015

Christmas and shepherds go together! But I've discovered that focusing instead on Baby Jesus as the promised Shepherd brings a new level of meaning to Christmas. One of the little-quoted prophecies of God Himself coming as a shepherd is …( read more )

The Shepherd Has Come – Part One

December 8, 2015

What if this Christmas we specifically celebrated Baby Jesus as the promised Shepherd and made shepherds our season's theme? What would that be like for you? Here's what I imagine: I see a Christmas tree decorated with fluffy sheep, …( read more )

The Stand

December 7, 2015

My new Alpine goat, Agnes, is a milking goat, which has been a very interesting experience for me. Sophie, my two-year-old retriever, also found Agnes very interesting in an amusing way, at least for a time. Sophie loved nothing better …( read more )

We Wait In Hope

December 6, 2015

Having for many years taken part in a number of Christian activities at the local Long Term Care Centre, I have gotten to know a considerable number of people on a quite personal basis. Some of them tell me about their hopes and …( read more )

The Branch

December 5, 2015

A few years ago, I took a class on the subject of genealogy. Written in my notes was the suggestion that the holiday season provides a good opportunity to dive into family history. For example, round-the-dinner-table gatherings at …( read more )

Searching For A Safe Home

December 4, 2015

The situation in the world today where so many people are fleeing for their lives from war and terrorism, searching for a safe home, reminds me of Jesus' family fleeing for their lives to Egypt in ancient times. Jesus was born and placed …( read more )

Plethora Of Light

December 3, 2015

The pace of activity has picked up tremendously at Arcadia Gardens. It all started with the daily hammering of wooden spikes in the courtyard. These preparations begin annually in October, as the property is transformed into formations …( read more )

Cinnamon

December 2, 2015

We have a lovely Christmas tree. It usually comes down from the loft in December, and out from the various boxes come all the branches and paraphernalia that are stored away for the rest of the year. This year, my children were impatient …( read more )

The Benefit Of Christmas

December 1, 2015

Advent begins the countdown to Christmas. In the church, Advent marks the beginning of a new year. Similarly, the Jewish new year and the Chinese new year do not align with the first of January — the new year on our ordinary calendars. …( read more )

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