Author Archive

The U-Turn

June 13, 2018

One Sunday morning, I left home having my destination clearly in mind. It was an easy trip, so I used the time to enjoy lovely music and relax — until suddenly, I realized that I was heading the wrong direction — to my old stomping …( read more )

Our Heaven-Sent Eyeglasses

June 4, 2018

It's been said that the disciple John was Jesus' special, favourite disciple. John was "the one Jesus loved", a phrase seen twice in the Gospel of John. I've felt uneasy about that text. Why would John portray himself as Jesus' favourite? …( read more )

Old-Fashioned Or Vintage?

May 27, 2018

I enjoy challenges posed by seemingly contrary bits of Scripture like the ones above. They make me scratch my head. These Isaiah texts get me thinking about our own "former things" — items from past eras — like that 80s dress or that …( read more )

How's Your Hearing?

May 16, 2018

"Many car owners just don't listen to their cars. If they did, they could prevent a lot of damage." This was said by an experienced mechanic. He's convinced that if owners paid more attention to their vehicle sounds, they'd be quicker to …( read more )

That Old Clunker Piano

May 7, 2018

It looked rather decrepit, past its best-before date — that vintage Heintzman piano in the sanctuary. Several keys were unplayable. To make this glaringly obvious, permanent X's were scribbled on each broken key, perhaps by a child who …( read more )

You're Free To Go!

April 28, 2018

One Sunday when I was driving to church, I was stopped by the police … so I thought. I saw those familiar flashing lights and pulled over. Another car pulled in behind me, followed by the cruiser. As I reached for my insurance form, the …( read more )

How To Be Ordinary

April 12, 2018

The title for this devotional might seem strange. I believe, however, that we can occasionally use a reminder to be ordinary. That's not so easy, after all. The soul instinctively craves to rise above ordinariness, lest we merge into a …( read more )

Surely Not I!

March 28, 2018

"I would never do that! No, not me!" Hasn't that thought at some point drifted across your mind, maybe after seeing how badly someone messed up? I've had such thoughts more than I care to admit. On those occasions, I simply couldn't see …( read more )

God's De-Cluttering Program

February 27, 2018

These words by the apostle Paul often come to mind when I help seniors de-clutter their homes. I see a lot of things get counted as rubbish — designated as dispensable. It's exciting to watch how the offloading of accumulations leaves …( read more )

Brake Failure

February 10, 2018

Today's devotional title may remind you of a bad dream: the nightmarish experience of losing control. What I have in mind is no dream. It's the actual world that we experience: the horrifying absence of brakes on sinful desire — like …( read more )

Can You Live With It?

January 29, 2018

My mind was passively ruminating over a besetting annoyance. Suddenly, my meandering thoughts were intercepted by a pointed question: Can you live with it? It occurred to me, *Well, yes, I can live with it. Why not? It's not stopping me …( read more )

Know Who Is God!

January 16, 2018

Have you ever been assigned a responsibility, and then others took over? They wanted to run the show, and you were pushed aside. You felt sad and frustrated because you could not do what you were assigned to do. You could not be who you …( read more )

My Own Epiphany

January 6, 2018

Have you ever experienced an epiphany, an "aha!" moment, when a captivating notion suddenly dawned? Maybe an old assumption came alive with new vitality, as if emerging through the foggy layers of your mind. Perhaps you found yourself …( read more )

The Royal Viewing

December 24, 2017

"O come, let us adore Him!", "Come and behold Him!", "Come to the manger!" (from Christmas carols) More than ever, nativity scenes at Christmastime capture my interest. I appreciate their presence in our current cultural landscape, which …( read more )

A Figurehead Or The Real Thing?

December 18, 2017

The extravagance of British royalty fascinates me. Yet sometimes, I wonder, Why bother? This pageantry is just a remnant of the past. It's not the real thing; monarchs no longer rule. Yet royal traditions can preserve values like …( read more )

Our Royal Gifts

December 11, 2017

Perhaps this Christmas, you'll be giving at least one present because you feel obligated. Your better judgment reminds you that gift-giving should come from your heart, not from someone's expectation. However, if you had been the Magi …( read more )

The Royal Birth: Two Responses

December 4, 2017

Each Christmas, we acknowledge a royal birth. Baby Jesus was, after all, born to be King. He was destined for a throne "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion." (Ephesians 1:21 NIV) What can be said about royal births? …( read more )

When God Is Fair

November 16, 2017

"It's not fair! She has more than me!" This child's howling cry of injustice is familiar to us. Of course, we know it applies only to ice cream and cake, never to peas and carrots. Such a complaint may indeed be uttered by a sweet, …( read more )

One Dozen Revolutionizing Eggs

November 6, 2017

Once upon a time, I lived under the illusion that we should treat people as they deserve. It was a simple law which I easily grasped: Be nice only to nice people. Thankfully, my illusion got shattered — all because of one dozen eggs. …( read more )

Colours Of Promise

October 27, 2017

The past summer was unusually rainy here, so I've seen more rainbows than usual. The rainbow is surely one of nature's most stunning splendours. Its spectrum of vibrant colours never fails to capture our wonder. Furthermore, of all the …( read more )

A Cry For Mercy

October 18, 2017

Several years ago, I received the following anecdote from a clergyman and saved it: There is a monastery whose members gather around a new candidate and ask, "Why do you want to join?" Candidates may say things like "I am seeking peace", …( read more )

The Holy Room

October 11, 2017

I'll never forget the "Holy Room" in my childhood house. We didn't call it that, but that's how it got treated. Although holy means sacred and consecrated, it also means set apart and separate from common use. This is the definition that …( read more )

How Far Can We Trust God?

September 28, 2017

An atheist friend once remarked to me that Christianity is destructive because it produces passivity. Yet a cursory glance at the achievements of strong believers down the centuries easily proves otherwise. Nevertheless, my friend raises a …( read more )

Under The Influence

September 17, 2017

Occasionally, I purchase an item which I neither need nor want. Afterwards, I hit myself on the head and wonder how I could be so dimwitted. The explanation is simple: Such dimwitted impulses happen when I am shopping under the influence …( read more )

Theological Bankruptcy

September 7, 2017

Have you come to a point in your life as a Christian where you feel that you can give no more to the Lord's work? You feel spent. You've given and given, but not enough is given back to replenish you. More is expected from you — in time, …( 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 )

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 )

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 )

My Unwelcomed Blessings

July 29, 2017

A friend shared how she had once asked God to stop sending trials because she couldn't handle any more. She confessed, "God did grant me a trial-free year; but it was a spiritually dry year." She missed the warm presence of the Lord. She …( read more )

O What Needless Guilt We Bear

July 19, 2017

I'm susceptible to guilt trips. The more I care about people and issues, the more vulnerable I am. I hear a multitude of voices urging me to do something. It's too much, and I feel badly for failing so many people. The pile-up of guilt …( read more )

The Best Closet Prayer Ever!

July 9, 2017

This heading might not remind you of the Lord's Prayer, which is normally associated with corporate worship. But today, I present the Lord's Prayer as a personal prayer — and, I'd say, the best "closet" prayer ever. You'll see. Jesus …( read more )

The Biggest Fish Story Ever!

June 26, 2017

The story of Jonah spending three days and three nights in the belly of the fish is one which many people find hard to swallow. For them, it seems like the biggest fish story ever. Today, I'd like to highlight an element in the story that …( read more )

The Magic Vase

June 15, 2017

In this claim, Jesus summarizes the epitome of all promises. We proclaim it through countless songs, testimonies, sermons, poems, plaques, cards, and much more. Yet, there's that ever-present risk: over-familiarity can dull us to the …( read more )

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