Author Archive

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 )

A Work In Progress

May 24, 2013

Summer is arriving here, and soon, our roads will be cluttered with annoying construction projects — just when we want to go on holiday trips. It means slowdowns, dust, and delays. There's no escape! Yet we know that ongoing road work …( read more )

The Hawk And The Dove

April 23, 2013

Many mornings, my husband and I enjoy watching birds come to feed outside our window. Among them, we see doves, moving about gently and quietly. They never harass the smaller birds or fight with each other. They emanate an aura of peace. …( read more )

The Log That Wouldn't Burn

March 9, 2013

One more log should do it, I thought, as I grabbed a log from the wood stack. A few smouldering embers were flickering in the fireplace. Normally, I would have let them die out; but a guest was coming shortly, and I decided that one …( read more )

Turtles And People — Endangered Species?

January 26, 2013

Have you ever considered people to be an endangered species — like the snapping turtle? The elderly man whom I interviewed about his hobby of rescuing turtles had once been "endangered" himself. As a young adult, he became lured by his …( read more )

Turtles And Churches — Endangered Species?

January 25, 2013

It has been said that the Church is one generation away from extinction. That would suggest that the Church is an endangered species. Considering all the influences trying to snuff out faith, we could easily see it that way. We realize …( read more )

Mighty Bobo, The Guardian Donkey

November 21, 2012

Bobo is a cuddly-looking donkey whose main job is to guard sheep. I met Bobo one wintry day while visiting a farm. He was standing near a flock of sheep, which were grazing contentedly at an outdoor hay feeder. Bobo looked quite placid …( read more )

When The Knot Gets Too Tight

November 8, 2012

The other day I tossed some clothes into the dryer. Soon, I heard some disturbing thumps coming from the laundry room. It sounded as if a shoe were in the dryer. I rushed to stop the dryer and discovered that the clothes had twisted …( read more )

You Call That A Skirt?

October 19, 2012

I needed a black skirt for a concert, so I googled the word "skirt", hoping to find fashion ideas. To my surprise, I got fishing sites and discovered that a skirt is a kind of fishing lure. This is not … (read more)

An Overdue Oil Change

September 27, 2012

Did you know that we people of God require regular maintenance, much like cars do? Car oil needs changing because it gets contaminated with acids, burnt fuel, carbon particles, and sludge, which reduce the efficiency of the engine. The oil … (read more)

The Threatening Fire

September 7, 2012

I was alone in a big shed, and suddenly, I saw a fire beginning to smoulder in a pile of scrap materials on the floor. I ran to the phone and dialed 911. The phone was dead. I tried again. … (read more)

When The Roof Blows Off

August 1, 2012

Three weeks after the devastating tornado ripped through Goderich, Ontario, I took a walk through the damaged area. One particular scene stayed riveted in my mind: the United Church. This once-magnificent historic edifice was now irreparably damaged. Demolition had begun, … (read more)

A Vision Of Stones

July 16, 2012

Do you ever find yourself awed by how relevant the ancient biblical texts can be to our own lives? I do. For example, several years ago, I experienced a personal application of today's promise in Ezekiel. It began with a … (read more)

Sparkles In The Mist

June 30, 2012

Recently one morning, I looked out my window and saw a magnificent drama arise out of the night's heavy deposit of dew. Misty droplets on the tree branches had been transformed into miniature prisms reflecting the rays of the rising … (read more)

A Vision Of Stones

June 16, 2012

Do you ever find yourself awed by how relevant the ancient Biblical texts can be to our contemporary lives? I do. For example, several years ago, I experienced a personal application of today's promise in Ezekiel. It began with a … (read more)

The Cat That Wouldn't Trust

May 28, 2012

Imagine a terrified cat trapped in a tight space — the space between a ceiling and the floor above it. That's exactly where we found our cat one day. Now this is not the contented cat that I wrote about … (read more)

Loving Yourself: What Does That Mean?

May 15, 2012

Loving yourself is a divine law! It is in the great commandment in Scripture. Yet for many of us, a love of self has become synonymous with ungodly selfish pursuits. In Scripture, there are far more references to godly self-love … (read more)

An Unexpected Visitor

April 28, 2012

One Sunday morning, just after I arrived at church, a young lady came in and sat in a pew near the front. I saw that she was deeply troubled, and so I approached her. Apparently that morning, she felt the … (read more)

My Kitty Lets Me Love Her

March 27, 2012

As I write this, it is winter, and the first thing I do every morning is to put wood in the fireplace. While I am doing so, my kitty stands at my feet and meows. I have come to know … (read more)

The Glory In Our Anonymity

March 10, 2012

Once I had an unusual dream: I was sitting in a pew, and a church leader was calling forward all who had done good deeds in church. The list of names was lengthy, and the line of people across the … (read more)

A Satisfying Drink

February 13, 2012

Few of us go through a day without somehow encountering the effects of spiritual dryness in our society. Perhaps you have noticed that many young adolescent girls are obsessed with making their bodies sexually attractive to males. Really, they are … (read more)

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