Archive for December, 2016

Which Way To Go?

December 31, 2016

As I look out of my living room window early in the morning, I see a seagull standing on the rooftop of the neighbour's two-story building. What is he looking for? Another sea gull? He looks so alone, taking stock of his domain. The ocean …( read more )

Written Memories

December 30, 2016

During the last number of years, I have visited a considerable number of elderly people, and most of them seem to want to talk about their life's experiences. I knew one gentleman who told me a great many stories about how things were in …( read more )

The Holy Hush

December 29, 2016

One of the life-changing opportunities that I have had on mission trips to Nicaragua is to visit some of the prisons there. Going there each time has had a profound effect on me spiritually and emotionally. We go with a local pastor who …( read more )

Learning Perseverance

December 28, 2016

If you are like me, when we pray faithfully for a long, long time and we see no results, we tend to get discouraged, for it is our human nature. However, there is Someone Who is above our human nature, Whose schedule we cannot even …( read more )

A Word For The New Year

December 27, 2016

A praise team leader at church mentioned that he and his wife asked God for a word, specifically for them, each new year. It caught the attention of both my husband and me. We knew that it was for us. We were curious to know what word …( read more )

The Everyday Christmas Gift

December 26, 2016

If there's one thing that I've learned when I am in the corral cleaning up, whether it be summer or winter, it's to be deliberately conscious of my step, for the corral is fraught with perils. Brush, broken branches, rock, and uneven …( read more )

Christmas Remembrances

December 25, 2016

As I grow older, I yearn for the Christmases of my childhood. Being the first grandchild in the family meant a great deal of spoiling. Though I don't remember those years, pictures relay the joy and giving that took place. Prior to my …( read more )

What If We Were There?

December 24, 2016

As the years have gone by and I have grown older, the nativity seems more like a movie in my mind — not real, just a picture. It seems so long ago and so far away — what would it be like to really be there? There have been so many …( read more )

The Night Our Lord Was Born

December 23, 2016

In July of 2010, my mother-in-law died, and we inherited her old, well-used hymnbook. In the Christmas carol section of this hymnal, she had glued in a poem written by our daughter around 1977, when she was about eighteen years old. We …( read more )

Immanuel

December 22, 2016

Years ago, the pastor of my church invited a rabbi from a local synagogue to host a traditional Passover meal for our congregation during the Easter season. It was an interesting experience, tasting various ritual foods, such as matzo, …( read more )

Is That All There Is?

December 21, 2016

The nine-year-old sat with his substantial pile of opened Christmas presents, gazed up at the adults around him, and asked, "Is that all there is?" That's also the title of a song by the same name. The verses tell of a house fire, a visit …( read more )

Salt, A Christmas Blessing

December 20, 2016

How silently, how silently The wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven. Every evening before eating supper, my husband prepares the coffee for the next morning. He dumps out the old coffee, …( read more )

The Peace That Surpasses Understanding

December 19, 2016

The time before Christmas is a period of great stress for many young adults who attend colleges and universities. After several months of study, they have arrived at their final exams. Often there is much at stake. For many students, the …( read more )

Sidewalk

December 18, 2016

One winter long ago, a neighbour of our church phoned to complain that the church was not doing its share of clearing the sidewalks of snow. I had taken the phone call, so later after work, I went to see what had happened. As I saw it, the …( read more )

A Cooperative Effort

December 17, 2016

When the children were little ones, on Christmas Eve or just before, my hubby, the kids, and I piled into the car and drove to the Christmas tree lot where we selected a tree, usually from the cheaper ones in the back. We'd haul it home …( read more )

Spotlight On Joseph

December 16, 2016

Do you secretly wrestle with a gnawing sense of insignificance, feeling like you don't matter much? The sense of meaninglessness is a common form of suffering today. That's why, for a moment, I'd like to shine the spotlight on Joseph in …( read more )

Shine Jesus Shine

December 15, 2016

Many years ago, shortly after I came to Canada, I was sitting in a church when this lovely hymn was announced. Even though I had not heard it before, I found myself singing wholeheartedly with everyone else. I have never forgotten the …( read more )

The Missing Piece

December 14, 2016

They stream out of the store, carts crammed with piles of groceries, assorted Christmas items, wreaths, toys, candy canes, chocolates, huge frozen turkeys, and the occasional clinging child. A few people notice me standing beside the …( read more )

The Wrong Person

December 13, 2016

You may have already started your Christmas card list. Soon it will be time to post the cards. But are we making the same mistake that we have made in the last few years? Who should really be receiving our Christmas greetings? Notice what …( read more )

The True Meaning Of Christmas

December 12, 2016

Even in mid-November in this eastern part of Canada, people were taking advantage of the relatively mild weather and putting out their Christmas decorations: lights, Christmas trees, and those inflatable lawn decorations. One day, I …( read more )

Son Of The Highest

December 11, 2016

Reflecting on today's Scriptures, I thought about my early upbringing in the Roman Catholic Church. I was taught to genuflect or bow the knee as a sign of reverence, as if Christ were physically present inside the sanctuary. Although …( read more )

Glory To God In The Highest

December 10, 2016

Some years ago, we were on a tour to Israel with a group of fellow believers and a pastor as the leader. Among many places that we visited, we did some extensive sightseeing in Bethlehem by bus as well as on foot. We visited the Church of …( read more )

Cousin Elizabeth

December 9, 2016

Have you ever felt so confused, afraid, or alone that you desperately needed to talk to someone, but no one would understand? Then you can probably identify with Mary after this visit from the angel. Women who have given birth could …( read more )

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

December 8, 2016

Last summer, my daughter, her husband and their young family travelled through Washington State, USA, on their way to Yellowstone Park. They stopped in a little Bavarian-themed town called Leavenworth, to look around. One of the stores …( read more )

Sing Glory To His Name

December 7, 2016

Two Christmases ago, I wrote a devotional about a song that I had written ( Sing a Song of Praise ). Many of our readers responded, asking me if there was a tune for it. Unfortunately, I had a tune only in my head, and I had no idea …( read more )

Are You Good Or Bad?

December 6, 2016

As Christmas approaches, I keep hearing these admonitions to children: "Have you been good or bad?" "If you are not good, Santa Claus will not come." The children quickly get the message, "I have to be good or I won't get that toy or …( read more )

Do Not Be Afraid

December 5, 2016

Twice a month for a great number of years now, I have been leading a Bible discussion at the local Long Term Care Centre. On special occasions such as Christmas, New Year's, and Good Friday, I lead a worship service there as well. My wife …( read more )

Prepare The Way For The Lord

December 4, 2016

My mother had the gift of telling us about real-life developments as they unfolded. She kept us spellbound with vivid details, even when the story took several years to reach its secretly hoped-for, but still-unexpected climax. One such …( read more )

Mary's Psalm

December 3, 2016

I am enthralled with Mary's song recorded in Luke 1:46-55. It's not what I'd expect from a young teen who finds herself pregnant — it's more like the utterances of a seasoned prophet! Here, Mary expresses her personal joy in the style of …( read more )

A Baby Idea For Advent

December 2, 2016

Years ago, a friend from a small group Bible study showed me this verse: The phrase "take delight in you with gladness" haunted me. I wondered over and over how the Lord God takes delight in me with gladness. Recently, a face-to-face …( read more )

The Boring Part

December 1, 2016

I had decided that I would begin Advent by reading the book of Matthew. Of course, like several other books of the Bible, it included the dreaded family tree. Ho hum, what a bore. I was tempted to skip this part until the Spirit nudged …( read more )

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