Archive for May, 2018

The Toasting

May 31, 2018

The recipe that I was following called for toasted nuts. At one time, I wouldn't have bothered with the toasting process as I didn't think that it was that important. Through the cooking channel, however, I discovered that toasting the …( read more )

Unforgiven

May 30, 2018

Do you know what it feels like to be unforgiven? Is there some past mistake in your life that you regret but can never fix? Are you carrying a whole dose of guilt because someone else still feels wounded? Are you sometimes sad because you …( read more )

Impaired Vision

May 29, 2018

Over 25 years ago, I was told that I was going blind. Treatments and surgeries have slowed the onset of visual impairment over the years, yet the lack of sight is evidently growing, and it has become more apparent lately. Slowly, over the …( read more )

Lest We Forget

May 28, 2018

Forgetting what one needs or wants terribly to remember is a horrible thing. I once chaperoned an eighth-grade trip to Washington DC, USA. Memorials are always high on the list of things to visit because they are constructed to help …( read more )

Old-Fashioned Or Vintage?

May 27, 2018

I enjoy challenges posed by seemingly contrary bits of Scripture like the ones above. They make me scratch my head. These Isaiah texts get me thinking about our own "former things" — items from past eras — like that 80s dress or that …( read more )

Just Do Your Best

May 26, 2018

I am privileged to live in a retirement facility where I continue to learn from other residents and members of the staff. Recently, a waitress was given the opportunity to fulfill the role of the dining room manager when that manager was …( read more )

A Thief In The Night

May 25, 2018

There are rules for living in the city, just as there are rules for living in the country. For instance, city dwellers keep their doors locked. When we moved from the city to a farm where our nearest neighbour was a ten-minute walk from …( read more )

The Selfie Stick

May 24, 2018

Ever since I was a teenager, I haven't liked having my picture taken. I do, however, like taking pictures of nature — birds, flowers, scenery — and especially of my family. So, for many years, I was the official picture taker. The …( read more )

A Thankful Heart

May 23, 2018

The other day as I was sitting in my recliner, reading, I saw the sun's rays pierce through the array of trees outside my living room window, resembling a glowing, illuminated cross. Special moments like these bring to mind thankfulness. …( read more )

What Happened?

May 21, 2018

One Sunday, my wife and I were driving to a church service some distance from where we live. It was quite early that morning, and there was not much traffic on the road. We met a few cars, and then among them was big rig with a grocery …( read more )

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 )

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