Archive for August, 2017

The Younger Generation

August 31, 2017

Years ago, when I was a student deaconess serving a new church on the Canadian prairies, I can remember that the only person who had grey hair was the organist. Now, I look around in church, and most people have grey hair. I am saddened to …( read more )

Designer Shells

August 30, 2017

My interest in box turtles seems to be having an effect on those around me. They want to know more about one of the most charming and docile creatures on this planet. Some of my friends enjoy giving me gifts with a turtle theme. I've …( read more )

The Shared Mind

August 29, 2017

My collie, Bonnie, and my retriever, Sophie, were born only two months apart. They are now almost four years old, but what a handful they were the first couple of years. Training them to work together was a challenge, until they …( read more )

Field Workers

August 28, 2017

This summer, I had an opportunity to visit my friend who, with her husband, volunteers at a Christian retreat camp as caretaker. As we casually strolled over the rolling property, she pointed to a wooded area down the hill. "That's the …( read more )

Wanted: Tender Hearts

August 27, 2017

Recently, I did something unusual. I wrote to a media commentator appealing for mercifulness in his rhetorical style. I offered this reason: Our adversarial world desperately needs moral exemplars — those who consistently exemplify the …( read more )

The Truth And Us

August 26, 2017

The Holy Spirit impressed this verse upon my heart when I first asked Christ into my life. More recently, as I have been asking Him to reveal more of my inner self to me — the good, the bad and the ugly — He has brought this verse back …( read more )

What Lies Ahead

August 25, 2017

Sometimes, I wonder why God brought me from Scotland to become a pastor in the United States. The trans-Atlantic move initially disrupted our family and caused some painful separation from our friends, but I believe that God's hand was …( read more )

God's Kindness And Sternness

August 24, 2017

I often listen to a Christian radio station located in upstate New York, USA. Their tagline is "God's Presence is with you giving you eternal life". Those words are like a hug from God just for me. I like to think that God's Presence will …( read more )

Once Upon A Time

August 23, 2017

It is a beautiful evening. The sky is painted with brush strokes of deep purple and orange, with splashes of pink throughout the expanse. The waves create a melodious chant, as they gently kiss the shoreline. The wind is warm as it blows …( read more )

Free From The Fowler's Snare

August 22, 2017

Last month, a baby robin fell out of its nest in my backyard. I tried to put it back, but the tiny residence was overcrowded; there was simply no room. Fortunately, this bird was fully feathered and nearly ready to fly. In the meantime, …( read more )

Pointed In The Right Direction

August 21, 2017

Though I could see the tower from my front porch, its being near did me little good. My wife and I were living in a small town in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Like many others, we had decided to forego a landline and use our cellphones …( read more )

Lovers Of Ourselves

August 20, 2017

Sometimes, I watch shows on television which clearly illustrate how so many people today think only of themselves. Yes, we are a selfish community going our own ways. We sometimes raise money or donate clothing for a needy family or for …( read more )

The Stamp

August 19, 2017

I was watching a program recently where the power of the name of Jesus was the topic. As I listened, I thought about the post office in the store where I work. People come in all day long with letters and parcels to be mailed. Those …( read more )

The Tree Of Life

August 18, 2017

I have a goji berry bush, the fruit of which is highly antioxidant, long used in Chinese medicine, and also used to make jam. The plant is now as tall as I am. I fertilize it, but I've yet to see any fruit. Those at the nursery suggested …( read more )

Home At Last!

August 17, 2017

This summer, you may have experienced the relief of coming home from a holiday trip. You breathed a sigh when you crossed the threshold into your familiar abode. You could relax and merge into familiar surroundings. You were home at last. …( read more )

Unseen Blessings

August 16, 2017

A country church in our area has one of those signs which gets changed periodically. Some time ago, it displayed this saying: "Count your blessings, not your troubles." I thought that statement was a really good message. It made me think …( read more )

Spanish Lesson

August 15, 2017

Christ's teaching influences my whole life, but some parts of the gospels directly relate to what I do as a Presbyterian minister. Much of the criticism that Jesus had for the religious clerics of His time still applies today, and I …( read more )

God's Word In The World

August 14, 2017

One day as I was puttering around my study at home, I came upon a little cardboard box that had been tossed into a box of books carted from my mother's apartment when she needed nursing home care. Inside the box tied with string, there …( read more )

Down In The Dumps

August 13, 2017

Sometimes, when situations arise over which I have no control, and I feel particularly overwhelmed, retreating to the comfort of my bed is wonderful. It is especially nice if I am having a good dream. In our dreams, we escape from pain and …( read more )

In His Presence

August 12, 2017

One of the most precious memories from my marriage was experienced during our first holiday in Europe. My husband decided very hurriedly that we should take a trip to Rome, Italy. When this plan was mentioned to my sister-in-law over the …( read more )

Wanting What I Want … Now

August 11, 2017

I sat in my recliner and watched injustice raise its ugly head. Six balls of various sizes floated around our den. More than enough for each of our three grandboys to have more than one. But they wanted the same one. Our youngest …( read more )

Our Welcome Mat

August 10, 2017

Last week, I had the carpet cleaners in to clean the rugs in my apartment. They were in a mess from dirt tracked in during the winter. Everything in the living and dining areas was well cleaned, but unfortunately, the cleaners left a big …( read more )

The Cat

August 9, 2017

My neighbours were going away, and they asked if I would drop in daily to feed their cat, Riley. I told them that I would be happy to look after him. The first two days, Riley greeted me happily. On the third day, it took me twenty …( read more )

Remember, Remember

August 8, 2017

If you grew up "across the puddle" (the Atlantic Ocean), you'll remember this childhood rhyme: Remember, remember, the fifth of November: Gunpowder, treason and plot. I know of no reason why gunpowder, treason Should ever be forgot. …( read more )

A Great Divide

August 7, 2017

"Left" versus "right" — these two ideological sides are splitting apart our world with increasing intensity. I find this unsettling. Perhaps it's because there's no actual midpoint, no fixed place where a plumb line of truth can rest and …( read more )

Deception

August 6, 2017

The first thing that I do every morning is to look out my large bay window to check on the weather. Today, the sky is blue, and the sun is shining brightly. It promises to be a pleasant day, so I head out to walk my dog. It is then that …( read more )

Tell Them

August 5, 2017

When I first became a Christian, I wanted to tell the whole world about Jesus, but my biggest problem was how to communicate my faith to my family and friends. They knew everything about me — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so …( read more )

The This I Know People

August 4, 2017

Last month, my friend, Anne, and I chose Jesus Loves Me as the topic for our children's sermon. It has been said that Jesus Loves Me is one of the best-loved Christian children's hymns around the world. So many interesting stories …( read more )

In The Desert

August 3, 2017

"Return to Me." I heard a voice speaking from somewhere. When I first started writing for the PresbyCan Daily Devotional, I was inspired. I wrote, or more importantly, I was granted inspiration to share what God had done in my life. …( read more )

A Saint's Legacy

August 2, 2017

Recently, I attended a beautiful memorial service for Pastor Tom, a Baptist pastor who had a ministry to marginalized people living with addictions or untreated mental illness, or in poverty, in the city of Victoria, British Columbia, …( read more )

Advice From The Wrong Source

August 1, 2017

To buy or not to buy, that was the question. I was three years in on a four-year car mortgage when the transmission on my Chevrolet Corsica began slipping. Those were the days when cars themselves were constructed better but the engines …( read more )

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