Devotional

Wicked

May 20, 2018

As a member of the Board of the Renewal Fellowship Within the Presbyterian Church in Canada, I have come to appreciate more and more the importance of prayer in our day and time. The prayer initiative for the last few years has been based …( read more )

Deeply Rooted

May 19, 2018

A couple of years ago, we added a rockery to our church campus through a gracious donation from some church members. It was built on the side of a slope which had been perpetually covered in moss and weeds. The whole area, right next to …( read more )

The Comet

May 18, 2018

Back in 1966 in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, life was a two-channel universe pictured in black and white and topped by rabbit ears. I'm sure that some readers will remember those old television sets, which are quite a contrast to today's …( read more )

Unexpected Move

May 17, 2018

We hadn't planned on moving again until I retired … but things changed. The landlady was coming to pick up the rent cheque. Finding an affordable place to stay in a safe section of town had been a chore four years previously. We …( 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 )

Sometimes God Shouts To Make Us Hear!

May 15, 2018

Lately, I have been spending more time than previously reading the Bible, doing devotionals, and going to Bible study classes. I've also been devoting more time to church activities, but I've felt that something is missing. In the past …( read more )

The Focus

May 14, 2018

Things have not been going very well in my little town. There has been much dissension over the replacement of a necessary facility. For more than two years, a group of volunteers has put a tremendous amount of planning, fundraising, and …( read more )

Love Letters

May 13, 2018

When I was a child, I loved the sound of mail being pushed through the letterbox and landing whisper-soft on the doormat. I had several pen pals all over the world. I did not know their language, but they all wrote fairly good English. I …( read more )

In Memoriam

May 12, 2018

Vena Poole was totally British, even though she became a Canadian citizen years ago. I wonder how she is taking to her new citizenship in heaven. I hope that they serve high tea there! At one time, Vena and her husband Ronald sailed a …( read more )

Gossip, Slander, And Lies

May 11, 2018

I have always liked classical, operetta, and opera music. When I was young, we did not have access to it, other than what we may have heard on the radio occasionally. But when we moved to Vienna, Austria, that great capital of the music …( read more )

Finding A Church Without Any Problems

May 10, 2018

"The church failed me!" I used to say. My two sons were abused by their choirmaster. The youngest died, and my eldest lives with the impact. I saw that church as a body of sinners, the kind of blame that much of the outside world gives to …( read more )

The (Un)pardonable Sin

May 9, 2018

For Hester Prynne in Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, it was an A; for many others, it is a D. In a puritanical time period, Hester Prynne made the mistake of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage and getting …( read more )

Fruits Of The Spirit

May 8, 2018

When I read about the fruits of the Holy Spirit, I quickly realize how shallow I am, and that despite my best intentions, I can never display all of these blessings on any given day. I recognize my sinful shortcomings and become fully …( 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 )

Half-baked

May 6, 2018

As I was doing my daily Bible reading in 1 Samuel 15, I came to the part where Saul is confronted by Samuel because, instead of destroying the Amalekites as the Lord commanded, he didn't finish the job. He got "creative" by sparing King …( read more )

Party Time!

May 5, 2018

This is a verse that I particularly like to share when I am mentoring prisoners by mail through Crossroads Prison Ministries. I mark the Bible lessons that they send me, and then, I write each of them an encouraging letter. It seems to me …( read more )

The Realignment

May 4, 2018

Agnes, my goat, was limping along over the icy path. I decided that this called for investigation. After a thorough look, I opted to call the veterinarian for some advice. "Keep an eye on it, give her some medication you have on hand, and …( read more )

The Storm

May 3, 2018

In mid-April, we in Ontario, Canada, experienced an ice storm that lasted three days and covered the previously showing grass with snow and then freezing rain. Over that same period, our mountain ash tree was inundated with robins that had …( read more )

Junk Mail

May 2, 2018

We've been getting a lot of e-mail in our junk mailbox lately. I get invitations from different companies from all over the world to do business with them. Obviously, they don't know how old I am. We have also been advised about several …( read more )

A Mouth Full

May 1, 2018

When I heard the chirping, I knew that their mouths were full. After settling into my new position as pastor of a small rural church, I placed a few things on the front porch of the office building, among them a birdhouse. Within a few …( read more )

Anything And Everything

April 30, 2018

Like most churches, our congregation has a time of silence during the prayers of adoration and confession. It is a holy moment when we humbly approach God quietly to seek individually His pardon for the mistakes, faults, and sins that we …( read more )

Just Be You

April 29, 2018

Recently, I moved to a seniors' residence. I am trying to make the adjustment to living in a different setting without my wife of over 60 years and with daily mingling among people that I never knew previously. Drawing on my personal …( 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 )

Finding The Hope

April 27, 2018

A few years ago, several churches in my area participated in the Finding the Hope campaign. Dozens of Christian volunteers went door to door and blitzed the whole city with a small booklet about salvation and an invitation to church, …( read more )

Signing Up

April 26, 2018

What is it that makes us feel like we are not capable of doing anything for God? Is it our own lack of confidence, or do we think that someone else could do a better job? Has anyone in your church ever told you to stop doing something …( read more )

The Weeds

April 25, 2018

As gardening season is upon us, I am once again amazed at the tenacity of the weeds. In northern Canada, growing things can be quite a chore due to the short season, poor soil, and chilly nights and mornings, as well as scorching, sunny …( read more )

Encounters With God

April 24, 2018

It's that time of year again: time to go through drawers and closets, sorting out, downsizing, and organizing. It's something that I like to do about this time each year, before the good weather comes when I would rather be outside …( read more )

Children Of Innocence

April 23, 2018

Violence, suicide, shootings, racial slurs, and bullying are rampant, and it seems that these are occurring more and more. One just has to watch the news on television, read the newspaper, or hear it in the streets. Children and young …( read more )

An Old Song

April 22, 2018

One of the first songs that I ever learned in Sunday school was an old spiritual called "Who built the ark?" It tells the story of the animals going into the ark in different numbers, and the fun part of the song came in the motions that …( read more )

From Force Of Habit

April 21, 2018

For decades now, I have always had a pocket knife in the left-hand pocket of my trousers. In my work pants, I have a regular-sized pocket knife to work in the garden, or to do minor repairs in the house or in my little workshop. In my …( read more )

Walking In The Garden

April 20, 2018

Walking in the garden was a Sunday afternoon tradition. Edisto Gardens is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA — the only town that the 250-mile-long Edisto River passes through. The river is one of only a few blackwater rivers — …( read more )

Where's The Light?

April 19, 2018

For those darkest hours of the night when I am too tired to see anything clearly, I keep a small night light burning in the kitchen to guide my steps. At that time of night, I'm half sleep walking. Sometimes, I feel like that during …( read more )

Truthfulness

April 18, 2018

Zoë is my eldest daughter from my second marriage, and she will be ten years old in the summer. Along with her younger sister Sophia, they are at a Church of England primary school where I am a Vision and Values governor. Every term, we …( read more )

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