Author Archive

When Hope Is Crushed

February 15, 2016

We sat in a small group and talked about appointments and disappointments. When I have an appointment, someone has agreed to meet me at a certain time, or I've agreed to meet them. Disappointment is the difference between my expectations …( read more )

Light For My Path

February 4, 2016

Camping in the mountains without one is a disaster. When my brother, daughter, and I backpacked in the mountains, our goal was for our packs to be as light as possible. Among the things that I chose to leave out, a flashlight wasn't one …( read more )

How Long, Lord?

January 26, 2016

Rachel knew God's promises, but she wondered when they'd come true. She was a young woman with health problems the size of an older person's. Degenerative arthritis plagued her joints and back. Several female operations had left her unable …( read more )

God's Guarantee

January 17, 2016

Guarantees can be the difference between misery and enjoyment. Only once in my lifetime have I purchased a car without a warranty. In fact, only once in my lifetime have I purchased a car from an individual whom I didn't know. My wife and …( read more )

Longing For Home

January 5, 2016

Absence can make the heart grow fonder; it can also cause it to grow callous. Deployed soldiers know this well. Tours of duty seem forever. Years pass without seeing their loved ones. Letters and the occasional phone call are the best that …( read more )

Christmas In A Strange Place

December 18, 2015

We were in a strange place and had no plans to spend our first Christmas there. Eight years had passed since I graduated high school, but now I felt God's call into full-time ministry. Obeying it would require furthering my education. I …( read more )

Dead Man Walking

November 9, 2015

Dead people don't move … or do they? I've also heard that dead people don't tell tales. But maybe they do. Because of my upbringing and my profession, I've seen more than my share of dead people. As a pastor, my father performed …( read more )

Barriers To Acceptance

October 27, 2015

Accepting another person doesn't necessarily mean accepting their beliefs or practices. Accepting someone whose beliefs or practices aren't the same as mine isn't easy. For example, growing up, I was taught that Sunday was a sacred day. …( read more )

Lonely At The Top

October 19, 2015

If I thought it, I was wrong. No one ever said that leading was easy or popular. I had been chosen as the leader of a local organization. Accepting the position required moving almost three hours away. Since my wife and I felt the Lord …( read more )

Sheltered In The Storm

October 9, 2015

The morning was beautiful; we had no reason to expect a storm. My brother, two children, and I had set out for an overnight camping trip on the Appalachian Trail (AT). No sooner had we reached the gap where we were planning to camp than …( read more )

Focus Stealers

September 28, 2015

I've been known to miss what I focus on — even when it's a large target. I had always hunted deer with dogs and a shotgun: I would stand on the side of the road or the edge of the woods and wait for the dogs to run the deer to me … and …( read more )

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 )

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