Author Archive

Upstaging God

September 1, 2015

Those familiar with stage performance know the term "upstaging". This occurs when a performer pulls the audience's attention toward him or herself while the main focus is elsewhere: An actor stands in front of the one speaking; another …( read more )

Surfing Or Connecting?

August 12, 2015

Much of life is mere surfing: we skim from one surface to another. However, in the process, we miss many precious details. We surf the flowers, but miss their intricate beauty. We surf past neighbours, but never really know them. We surf …( read more )

Is The Board Upright?

May 21, 2015

"Put that board upright through the saw!" instructed the master woodworker. His worker listened carefully and then dutifully put the board through the saw — with its narrow side up. To him, this was the upright position. But he was wrong …( read more )

Playing Church

April 25, 2015

When I was five and my brother was four, we would play church together. We'd get all dressed up, just like the grownups did. I was the organist and played my best on the old pump organ. My brother was the preacher. He would stand on the …( read more )

Those Hidden Snares

April 15, 2015

Are troubling snares set in your path these days? What about the snare of advertising, those countless forms of uninvited messages barraging our minds day in and day out? I realize that these may not feel distressing. But they are …( read more )

O God, My God!

March 25, 2015

I love the psalms! They express for me what I am unable to — thoughts and feelings that I would not think of putting into words — like disappointment, restored joy, abandonment, thanksgiving, grief, trust in God, or a cry for justice. …( read more )

Our Songs In The Night

March 12, 2015

"Many is the night when I awake and there is a song going through my mind." "Too many times to count, songs and music have sustained me." These are a few of the many responses to my recent meditation, " My Songs In The Night ". Actually, …( read more )

The Formidable Wings Of A Gander

February 28, 2015

The wings of a bird readily suggest the gentle, protective qualities of God. In His "wings", we find security and safety. Yet these wings can convey a different image of God, which I realized one day while watching some Canada geese. It …( read more )

My Songs In The Night

February 8, 2015

As I write this, we are gripped in the fourth day of winter storms — with yet more snow days expected. We're stuck at home. But that's okay. We're enjoying the preparations made earlier: the stored food, stacked wood, and countless other …( read more )

A Squeaky Disruption

January 23, 2015

Have you noticed that disruptions stick in your mind more easily than everyday, ordinary things? I have. Maybe that's why God often uses them as growth points in our lives, to change us. I began thinking about this recently while …( read more )

God's Reset Button

January 10, 2015

A reset button is a useful feature whenever things go berserk — like when our television screen goes jiggly or our computer freezes up. A simple push of the reset button or a click on the restart icon sets things back in order. It's …( read more )

Mary's Hidden Treasury

December 16, 2014

Last Christmas, I found myself lingering over one particular verse in Luke's nativity account: Here I see a pattern which I believe is worth imitating. Interestingly, this verse is situated in the middle of a narrative about the …( read more )

Our Wintery Advent

December 6, 2014

We who regularly endure the clutch of winter's deepfreeze know what it's like to crave for spring. As each day passes, we look forward to spring with intensified longing. We may even come to the point where we cannot handle another day of …( read more )

Two Eggs, Two Destinies

November 14, 2014

Imagine me holding before you two eggs. To your eye, they look perfectly identical. But they are not the same. Not at all! Their shells look alike, but the eggs are entirely different — with two entirely opposite destinies. This …( read more )

Connecting With God Or Merely Surfing?

October 12, 2014

Internet habits have stirred many to think about our quality of connectedness. We see that we superficially surf, not only websites, but also people's lives. We don't get to know each other well. Such shallowness has become the norm. Many …( read more )

Metaphor In A Tech Defect

September 4, 2014

Even if you're not technically-minded, you'll see the lesson that I gleaned today from my troubles with electronic technology. Let me explain: Yesterday, I purchased a keyboard and case for my tablet computer. I thought that this new …( read more )

My Father's Handprints

August 20, 2014

Following my father's death earlier this year, family and friends found themselves reflecting on his life. My own memories were stirred when I took a walk through my parents' former farm on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. For about …( read more )

On Dandelions And Worship

July 15, 2014

Recently, some Facebook friends posted pictures of their garden flowers. They were all pretty, but only one got a "like" from me: the dandelions. I liked them because I saw a glint of mischief in them. They were obviously unwelcome in …( read more )

Flower Power

June 7, 2014

Imagine one spring morning looking out the window onto a bed of radiant, yellow daffodils. As you gaze, you sense the vibrant blooms drawing you. With an inviting power, they transport you into a state of hope and joy. They cheer you up! …( read more )

A Lenten Journey To God's Treasure

April 15, 2014

Imagine your neighbour popping over every morning to beg for a scrap of bread. Meanwhile, you know that she has a stash of food supplies in her basement, because you donated it to her. In fact, you've given her a generous supply of …( read more )

It's Time To Thaw

April 4, 2014

Since the first snowfall last October, winter has gripped many of us in a relentless deep freeze. At times, our lives came to a frozen standstill. Cancelled plans and commitments became the norm. The ground froze farther down than usual, …( read more )

The Hard Work Of Working Less

February 23, 2014

As a piano teacher, my job involves training students to work less. That's hard work for them! It sounds like a contradiction, but it's not. For example, overworking arm muscles interferes with finger development. The student must "make …( read more )

Chastened By A 12-Year-Old (2)

January 13, 2014

More than a few parents have felt themselves cowering before the rolling eyes of a self-assured teen, who, in a cocky tone, proclaims, "Really, Dad! Don't you know that …!" Of course, we'd be mistaken if we pictured Jesus treating His …( read more )

Chastened By A 12-Year-Old (1)

January 12, 2014

These two probing questions, spoken by Jesus to His fretful parents, are found in the one and only account of Jesus' youth. I admit, for years, it seemed to me that Jesus was rather sharp toward His parents. Now, I find myself …( read more )

The Beautiful Feet Of Christmas

December 27, 2013

Every Christmas, one special person in Jesus' nativity story remains in the shadows. We rarely see this person on Christmas cards or in carols. Today, I wish to shine the spotlight on this one. You'll soon know who I mean. The setting is …( read more )

The War On Christmas

December 14, 2013

'Tis the season of peace and joy. It's Christmas! Yet the tranquility keeps getting interrupted by controversies over the tradition. Ban nativity crèches! Ban carols from our schools! Ban Christmas trees from public buildings! And …( read more )

The Recipe Or The Meal?

November 23, 2013

In a way, my role as minister of music is like following a recipe. Each week, many of us do our part in gathering and preparing the ingredients for the worship service. True, this preparatory work can be quite satisfying in itself, in the …( read more )

Our Heavenly Beekeeper

October 22, 2013

Have you ever thought of God as our heavenly beekeeper? I never did — until I had a visit with a beekeeper. I'll never forget that day, sitting with the beekeeper in his home and hearing him talk about his bees. He owns a few hundred …( read more )

On Beehives And God's Little Ones

September 22, 2013

Honeybees live in well-organized family groups where the survival of every bee, from the moment the queen bee lays her egg, depends on the combined effort of the entire colony. Worker bees clean and polish the cells, feed the brood, care …( read more )

A Needless Load We Carry

August 30, 2013

Here is an experiment to try: Fill a cup with water. Estimate its weight. Is it 6 ounces? 10 ounces? That's not very heavy, is it? Now pick up the cup and hold it at arm's length. Hold it there for one minute; now two minutes; now fifteen …( read more )

Colony Collapse Disorder

July 27, 2013

We've been hearing alarming reports on the disappearance of honeybees around the world. Bees leave their hives, never to return. It's called colony collapse disorder. The hives cannot be sustained in the absence of worker bees, and …( read more )

Why Wash My Neighbour's Windows?

June 26, 2013

"Why don't you wash those windows too?" I asked a teenage boy who was washing a storefront window. I was pointing to the filthy windows next door. And they were very dirty, indeed! "I don't get paid for that," the teen responded. "But …( read more )

Know Your Own Story

June 9, 2013

Many years ago when we had three young children, our family went to Storybook Gardens in London, Ontario, Canada. It was a lot of fun — until my five-year-old son, Jonathan, disappeared. He had been firmly told to stay close by us, but …( read more )

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