Author Archive

The Good, Clean Kitchen Floor

December 12, 2007

Having company visit or drop in over Christmas is part of the holiday season for almost everyone. For most of us, part of Advent and Christmas preparations is to give the house a good cleaning, so that it looks good … (read more)

Hope For Winter Days

January 22, 2001

Last year in mid-February, the family across the street still had their Christmas lights up, and lit. Another half-dozen neighbours down the block did so too. This year again, long into January, lights in many parts of the city are … (read more)

Catch The Right Spirit

December 9, 2000

October 31: I'm walking around my neighbourhood and am horrified. Just about every third house has some type of Halloween display. Some are exceptionally elaborate. One woman told me she had been working on her "display" for a month! My … (read more)

What Is It?

November 11, 2000

It's a metal box, with a faceplate full of knobs and dials. Most people don't notice it, and even if they do, they have to ask, "What is it?" "It" is a Canadian Marconi model FR12 transmitter/receiver. Some people would … (read more)

God Calling

September 15, 2000

On the last weekend of June, I was in front of a ham radio set, listening to the babble of Morse code dots and dashes in my earphones. Each June, amateur radio operators in Canada and the United States stage … (read more)

Cries In The Night At Christmas

December 24, 1999

Most churches and denominations have a program for teens and young people. In my case, it was the Presbyterian Young People's Society. It was a rite of passage for myself, and thousands more teens over the years. One year, when … (read more)

Hearts Of Oak

November 11, 1999

Aboard H.M.C.S. Sackville — It's interesting to "people-watch" as you go through a museum, especially this one. Most younger people are a bit bored. To them, it's just more history-under-glass, and they think they get more than enough of that … (read more)

An Oasis Of Silence

August 17, 1999

Sound and noise engulf our lives. It is with us from the rude awakening of the alarm clock in the morning, and does not leave us until the radio stops playing soothing "good night" music. It is constant in our … (read more)

Antennas For Our Ears

July 23, 1999

Each Palm Sunday, at my church we do something a bit different. We're about a block from the lakefront in Toronto, so instead of sitting in our pews, most of the congregation marches down to the lakefront beach, singing and … (read more)

Two Thousand And Three, A.D.

May 28, 1999

I can hardly pick up a computer publication these days without seeing another doom-and-gloom story about the Y2K problem. That's the problem where older systems use two numerals for the year in dates, and can't handle the rollover to the … (read more)

The Spell Of The Occult

April 6, 1999

Maybe that should be "prince of the powers on the air". There's a new television show running this season, about a coven of witches. Charmed is running on the WB network in the United States, and the CTV network has … (read more)

A Letter Never Sent

March 20, 1999

Late last year I wrote Home Before Christmas . It tells the story of a visit I made to my hometown in the wake of my Mother's passing. I grew up on a short side-street of a dozen houses. … (read more)

Control

January 11, 1999

A local radio station is running a promotion to increase its daytime listeners. It's giving away coffee mugs with the station's call letters on them, asking listeners to drink coffee at work with the station's mugs. It promises listeners that, … (read more)

Every Individual Counts With God

December 20, 1998

A couple of books off my bookshelf got some extra wear and tear – and reading – this year. One is The Grey Seas Under. It's a book by Canadian author Farley Mowat, about the trials and tribulations of a … (read more)

Home Before Christmas

December 17, 1998

I got a chance to go "home" before Christmas, but I didn't want to go. Home, in this case, is not where I live now, but the place where I was born and grew up. That's Windsor, Ontario, right across … (read more)

A Christmas Prayer

December 12, 1998

Lord, maybe what I need this Christmas is a new pair of spiritual eyeglasses, ones that would let me see the hope and trust those ill people had in You, so even if they have died, as we on Earth … (read more)

Touchdown Point

November 29, 1998

Many people, when they hear an aircraft passing overhead, will idly glance up, wondering who is going where, and perhaps wishing they were up there, not down here. Fewer people are aware of the vast electronic radar blanket that covers … (read more)

Not New, Not Improved

August 13, 1998

A while back, I saw a newspaper story on the latest electronic business gadget. The author says, if you want to be on the cutting edge of the digital wave, you need this item. It's an electronic screen about the … (read more)

The Unwanted Loaf

July 13, 1998

It was a perfectly ordinary loaf of bread. Baked in a local bakery, rather than conglomerate bread, it was unsliced and packaged in a plain plastic bag with a little paper label. It was unwanted. It was all alone on … (read more)

Seeing With New Eyes (2)

April 19, 1998

Thursday afternoon. I breezed into my eye doctor's office to make an appointment. I was seeing what looked like photographic flashes in front of my eyes. My doctor was out of the country. His receptionist said she was going to … (read more)

Seeing With New Eyes (1)

April 18, 1998

I was working after hours in our office building. I had to deliver something to a colleague's desk. The lights were still on in her part of the office. After I had make the delivery, I stopped off to use … (read more)

First The Darkness, Then The Morning

April 12, 1998

It was the morning of Good Friday. I confess I was only listening to the sermon with one ear, because my mind was on some things going on in my own life. The story of that first Good Friday is … (read more)

The Innermost Self

April 9, 1998

I've been down at the bottom of a mine, but never any place like this. When I was touring the mine, the guide suggested we turn off the lamps on our hard hats. One click and I was in a … (read more)

Life May Not Be A Playground

April 7, 1998

One becomes reflective at a funeral or memorial service. I've often wondered what people do at times like this, who have no faith. They are in all levels of society, from the executive's corner office to the corner coffee shop. … (read more)

Who Knows What The Future Will Bring?

April 5, 1998

It was the kind of Friday you want to forget. No, sorry, make that the kind of Friday you don't want to have happen. It was the end of a long, too busy week. The kind of week where the … (read more)

How Is Your Soul?

February 1, 1998

Consider that passage from Mark's Gospel. They had busy days, even twenty centuries ago! Put that verse in a modern setting, and you get: "Jesus and His group was so busy they didn't even have time to grab a sandwich … (read more)

Be Good To Yourself

January 23, 1998

A couple of years ago, I was at a conference. One of the people there was a long-established and well-respected medical doctor who had a busy, downtown practice, full of corporate executives. One of the lines I heard during a … (read more)

Don't Forget The Shepherds

December 24, 1997

Who would leave the shepherds out of the Christmas story? Not me, that's for sure. You see, I'm one of them. The passage from Luke says there were shepherds in the fields that night, keeping watch over their flocks by … (read more)

You Can Go Home For Christmas

December 12, 1997

A happy madhouse. That about describes the scene at any airport, train or bus station just before Christmas. A crush of people all travelling for the holidays. Many will be going "home" or making a home, wherever they're going. That … (read more)

Do You Know The Score?

December 11, 1997

Handel's Messiah is part of Christmas for many people. People may not know the whole oratorio, but they know the Hallelujah Chorus, and want to hear that. Problem is, it's not near the beginning, it's near the end. People, whose … (read more)

Blue Christmas

December 9, 1997

There are some homes where the Christmas lights aren't shining as brightly as they did last year. Sorrow and loss affects us all; however the first Christmas with the loss of a loved one is something you almost have to … (read more)

Count Your Christmas Blessings

December 8, 1997

Calgary's Bob Edwards was a Western Canadian institution. He published the irreverent Calgary Eye Opener for twenty years. One of his pithy comments runs: "One can always tell when one is getting old and serious by the way the holidays … (read more)

The Bottom Line In Our Lives

December 7, 1997

The book, The Screwtape Letters, is a Christian classic. In it, C.S. Lewis tells the story of a junior devil who is trying to gain the soul of a human, with some help from his uncle, a very senior devil. … (read more)

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