Author Archive

When God Says "Come"

September 16, 2015

He had called me to come before, but never like this. The first time I came was as a fisherman. My brother and I were cleaning our nets when He came strolling along the beach. He invited me to leave my nets and way of life and fish for …( read more )

Preparing For Life's Trials

August 21, 2015

Joseph was his father's favoured child. I've never been the favoured son, but I have been the spoiled grandchild. I know what it feels like to bask in the favour of a grandparent and be given special attention. These exclusive favours are …( read more )

God's Atomic Power

August 6, 2015

Power can be used for good or harm. German physicist, Otto Hahn, discovered how to split the atom in 1938. Scientists feared that Nazi Germany might use the knowledge to continue their attack on Europe. World-renowned scientist, Albert …( read more )

Unending Love

July 16, 2015

I saw my friend's name appear on my phone. For three years, we had pastored churches in the same town and had become fast friends. We hadn't talked recently, so I was anxious to catch up. But the news that he shared wasn't what I wanted to …( read more )

Weary And Burdened

June 30, 2015

I'll never forget the summer I helped a local farmer pick watermelons. The workday at my regular place of employment ended at 3:20 p.m., so I had plenty of daylight to burn before dark. This particular summer, I chose to spend those hours …( read more )

Labelled

June 18, 2015

Whatever I once was, in Christ I am no longer. One by one, the youth of our church paraded before a troubled teenager and hung unwelcome signs around her neck as the congregation listened to the contemporary Christian song, *Beauty from …( read more )

Delayed Gratification

June 10, 2015

After a half mile and a 400-foot elevation increase, I was huffing and puffing. My only relief was knowing that I'd soon be travelling in the opposite direction. My wife, middle brother, and I were on a four-day trip to the mountains for …( read more )

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

May 31, 2015

As I was enjoying a peaceful evening, a text arrived from my daughter. My middle brother, who was severely depressed because of his family breakup and impending divorce, instructed her to call our mom and tell her that he was going to our …( read more )

Confession: Good For The Soul

May 19, 2015

Saying "I'm sorry" isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. A recent teacher evaluation reminded me of this. Our headmaster's instructions to the observers were never to score any teacher with the highest ratings in all categories. …( read more )

When Suffering Comes

May 11, 2015

The brothers hugged before one entered surgery. Little did they know what lay ahead. Two brothers, Chad and Ryan Arnold: one with a healthy liver, the other with an incurable liver disease. But love won out. In Denver, Colorado, Ryan, age …( read more )

A Simple Yes Will Do

April 21, 2015

While I was growing up, Little House on the Prairie was one of my favourite television shows. One touching characteristic of the series was how the town's inhabitants trusted each other. After all, it was through teamwork and trust that …( read more )

The Waiting Game

March 21, 2015

Gardening has been one of my favourite pastimes for a number of years. As the warm temperatures of spring make their arrival, I'm always eager to plunge my hands into the dirt. My anxiousness often has its drawbacks. Many replanting …( read more )

Suffering Patiently

March 10, 2015

She suffers patiently. I'm not sure that I could under her circumstances. Though a relatively young woman, my wife suffers from numerous health issues. Fibromyalgia makes each day painful. Several hernia surgeries prevent her from doing …( read more )

Don't Complain; Trust

February 20, 2015

"It's somebody else's fault." This is one of the lies that I'm often tempted to tell myself — a psychological defence mechanism that prevents me from accepting responsibility for my actions or thoughts. I don't relish the oncoming …( read more )

Reflections

February 5, 2015

As I walked through my office, dusting every shelf, I realized that life had become too busy. Pictures of deceased and living relatives sit idly on my book shelves. Rocks from places I've visited on mission trips and vacations nestle …( read more )

Healing Hands

January 20, 2015

Little did Andy know, when he travelled to a nearby town to arrest a noted publisher for failing to pay a ticket fine, that he would be accused of malfeasance of office. The accusations were based on an interview the publisher's reporter …( read more )

Finding The Right Path

January 7, 2015

My wife, my younger brother, and I were off for a three-night, four-day camping trip in North Carolina's Great Smokey Mountains. So we conjured up Siri on our cell phone and asked for driving directions to our destination. We arrived late …( read more )

Right Is Never Wrong

November 21, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right." During the 1960s, what was considered right by many Americans was challenged by others who believed that this …( read more )

Putting On The Grace Face

November 11, 2014

Supposedly, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. While the saying has been around for quite some time, the numbers used to prove the conclusion vary with each story. In spite of the discrepancies, the basic premise is …( read more )

Fall Back Not Under

November 1, 2014

Germany and its World War I allies began the practice on April 30, 1916, as a way to conserve coal. America soon followed suit. When I was a child, I relished the extra daylight hours that Daylight Saving Time provided. There was more …( read more )

God's Bridge

October 19, 2014

Horsepasture River is an eighteen-mile wild and scenic river that begins in Jackson County, North Carolina, meanders through the Jocassee Gorges, and ends by dumping into Lake Jocassee. The river features several predominant waterfalls in …( read more )

Living Like A Worm

October 9, 2014

When I think like a worm, I'll live like a worm. Metamorphosis is an amazing process whereby a worm is transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Worms don't impress me. They crawl around, they're often slimy to the touch, and they can't …( read more )

Impatience With God

September 30, 2014

Patience may be a virtue, but it wasn't one that I was honoured with. When I was younger, it was common for me to purchase an item that I wanted just prior to my birthday or Christmas. This incensed my grandmother and mom. Earlier, they …( read more )

Shaken Faith

September 22, 2014

Life events may temporarily shake my faith, but they can't destroy it. Like most people's, my life's been a journey of mountain and valley experiences. I've enjoyed numerous good things along with pleasurable occasions, but the good has …( read more )

Bible Thumper

September 16, 2014

"Bible thumper" is a term that derived from preachers thumping the Bible as they made a point while preaching. The catch phrase wasn't one of endearment but ridicule of those attempting to impose their beliefs on others. The slur was not …( read more )

From Hardship To Healing

September 7, 2014

"Life is difficult." A simple but profound statement from M. Scott Peck's national best-seller, The Road Less Traveled. He continues, "Once we know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no …( read more )

Born For A Purpose

August 21, 2014

She had never met him before, but she cared for him as if he were the most important person in the world. "Ann" knew that she was going to be a single mother in eight months. While she regretted the unfortunate decision that produced the …( read more )

Fishing In The Right Place

August 11, 2014

Have you ever tried your best and come up empty? I've fished many times and come up dry, but my grandmother rarely did. Had you seen her on the Santee River in her wooden boat and traditional garb, you would have assumed that she was a …( read more )

Savour The Flavour

July 31, 2014

When the smell wafts through every crevice of our home and finally passes under my nostrils, my mouth waters. Fried chicken … southern style. There's nothing like it. My wife knows how to season it just right. I could eat it every day. …( read more )

The Whiner's Corner

July 21, 2014

"Could I really be a one?" I wondered. And not because number one was actually number one in this scenario. I wanted to be a three. I sat in the webinar listening to the speaker describe teachers. Ones, twos, and threes. We were …( read more )

Anxiously Waiting

July 11, 2014

For four years, we've been waiting. We've grown accustomed to "Hurry up and wait." My wife's list of medical ailments should convince any judge that she's eligible for disability. So what's the holdup? Probably her age. She's under 50. …( read more )

Defined By Convictions

June 30, 2014

There were at least three that I determined I would not compromise. Convictions are beliefs that I think are important enough to stand by, regardless of the temptation to do otherwise. I fashioned three early in life: I wouldn't cheat, I …( read more )

Listening To God

June 20, 2014

He was the principal's son, but I wasn't making much headway teaching him history. I was in my fourth year of teaching at a local private school when the board of directors hired a new headmaster who had a son travelling through the …( read more )

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