Devotional

Strength In Numbers

December 14, 2019

Do you live in or near a city where you can enjoy the annual holiday tradition, Tuba Christmas? Tuba Christmas was conceived in 1974 by a tuba player as a tribute to his teacher and mentor. The very first Tuba Christmas was held at the …( read more )

When Good News Is Not Newsy

December 13, 2019

I suspect that you've noticed that good news rarely makes "good" headlines. That could be said for Jesus's birth — and also for those shepherds who experienced the angels. It could be said today for countless individuals in remote …( read more )

Psst! Have You Heard About Mary?

December 12, 2019

One Christmas, my 16-year-old sister got pregnant by her boyfriend. I was a year younger, and neither of us had the slightest idea how such a thing could happen. No one had ever told us anything, and we had no friends who might share …( read more )

Mary's Song

December 11, 2019

As shoppers hurried into the dollar store to escape the winter winds, one man ambled towards the entrance, methodically tapping his cane. He touched the door. Then, he paced ten steps away. Dropping to his knees, he placed his hat on the …( read more )

The Gift That Honours

December 10, 2019

Christmas is creeping up upon me again. Each year it seems to come around even more quickly than the year before, and every year, I seek to remember and pray about the best way to honour the King of kings who was born in a manger so long …( read more )

Sharing Christmas Joy

December 9, 2019

When I was a child, Christmas meant my adored grandparents arriving on Christmas Eve with piles of presents to add to the mound that was already under the tree. My mother, and her mother, believed in giving many gifts. They weren't …( read more )

When The Time Is Right

December 8, 2019

It was a bitterly cold Christmas Day morning 50 years ago. The plan was to load up our re-purposed delivery (camper) van with our two little ones and all the gear they required, along with Christmas gifts, and head out on the three-hour …( read more )

The Lamp In The Stable

December 7, 2019

As I was looking through some of the Christmas carols in the hymn books that we have, I noticed that a fair number of them refer to either the stable or the manger: "Once in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed" or "Child in the …( read more )

Be On The Lookout

December 6, 2019

Do you ever wonder how many spiritually lost people you pass each day? It was December 2018. I needed to run to the store to finish Christmas shopping. I felt a strong urge to grab a tract and a coupon that I had just received in the …( read more )

A Powerful Witness

December 5, 2019

A friend of mine who is not very proficient with a computer showed up in my office recently. He has a dashcam for his vehicle, and about an hour earlier, he had witnessed an accident, which was recorded by the camera. He wanted to be able …( read more )

Making Room For Jesus

December 4, 2019

In former years, when my young family went visiting, I sometimes had to find a place for our baby. I'd use whatever worked: laundry basket, dresser drawer, cardboard box — wherever my infant would be safe, comfortable, and nearby. I …( read more )

Christmas Choice

December 3, 2019

With the importance of the moment smiling through his bushy red moustache, Grandpa eased into his chair at one end of the long, full table where the jars of red cranberry sauce nestled in poinsettia skirts — the final touch of Grandma's …( read more )

Cheerful Giving

December 2, 2019

By their example, my parents and grandparents taught my siblings and me the joy of being cheerful givers at home and in the community. We have great recollections of cheerful giving, not only at Christmas, but all year long. Watching …( read more )

"Christmas" Stocking

December 1, 2019

Halloween bags still held treats. The calendar had barely turned from the fall feasts. But the staff were there, clearing the shelves. Anything that looked orange, yellow, or black was marked down to move out the door. Fall had been …( read more )

The Poor Among Us

November 30, 2019

Through media reports of displaced refugees, and even close to home, we are confronted with the poor in the world on a daily basis. I was discussing this with a friend one day, and we concluded that each one of us in our own way would try …( read more )

Wrinklies?

November 29, 2019

On our narrow street recently, there were two cars parked, across the street and at each end of the bus stop. As I neared the first parked car, a bus was pulling up to its stop on the other side. Not being in a rush, and having seen the …( read more )

A Gift

November 28, 2019

For every gift, there is usually both a donor and a recipient. Normally, the donor willingly gives a possession and welcomes a positive and grateful response. If the recipient makes good use of the gift, it pleases the donor. If the …( read more )

God Understands

November 27, 2019

Regardless of how many times that I explained the concept, some continued to misunderstand and make mistakes. Correctly punctuating compound sentences — or independent clauses — was one of the simplest yet most difficult concepts that …( read more )

Why Doesn't This Place Open?

November 26, 2019

Yesterday, I was sitting on my walker in front of a store before heading back home. A skinny, disheveled man was there before me, pacing. "Why aren't they open yet?" he fumed. Ah! So, this was why God had nudged me to wait. I smiled at …( read more )

God's Armour

November 25, 2019

As I strap on my neck brace, I think about the comfort and support that it provides. It's lightweight, made of foam rubber, and covered with a cut-off sock to keep it clean. I have minor neck problems that are aggravated by sitting for …( read more )

Opening The Gate

November 24, 2019

Long ago, I learned that there is a special key for every lock. When opening the gate to my dad's logging road, I tried the key that I'd last used, but it did not work. I went home and he gave me a new key because the lock had been …( read more )

The Outspread Letter

November 23, 2019

What do you do when you are in serious trouble like King Hezekiah of Judah was? Ravenous Assyria was on the move, and swallowing up the tiny kingdom of Judah was next on King Sennacherib's agenda. He sent a letter to King Hezekiah, …( read more )

Sleepless Nights

November 22, 2019

Like most pastors, I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking about and worrying over people in the congregation that I serve. I guess that other professionals — doctors, teachers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and …( read more )

The Abscess

November 21, 2019

My mare, Mama, was walking very stiffly. As she is very old, with the recent drop in temperature, I simply deduced that age was catching up with her. When the problem persisted, however, I asked our farrier, Dani, to check her out. As …( read more )

The Speeding Ticket

November 20, 2019

The reflection of blue lights flashed in my rear-view mirror. Embarrassed, I pulled over. "Ma'am, can you explain why you were speeding?" "Officer, I wasn't paying attention." When I got home, I looked up the potential consequences: a …( read more )

The Sun Of Righteousness

November 19, 2019

In our wintry months, it seems that the sun rises too late and sets too early. We arise to our daily work in the dark, and return home in the dark, slipping into sadness. The business of the world trudges on, though, as we slog through …( read more )

Pests: Pure Annoyance Or Pure Joy

November 18, 2019

"Consider it pure joy…" "And what's this?" asked my husband, as I handed him a platter of apple slices. He wasn't pointing to the fruit, but to the wiggly creature which had obviously escaped from it. The poor thing looked lost and …( read more )

What He Did With His Hardship

November 17, 2019

When we hear about other people going through hardship in a noble way, it can actually be a source of encouragement for us. First, we sympathize with their situation and offer help. But it can also make us think, "If they can do it, so …( read more )

Alone, Yet Not Alone!

November 16, 2019

I'm living the new normal! No one said that life was easy, and honestly, this journey without my husband is anything but easy! However, Christ encourages us with these words: As I travel this road alone, yet not alone, I give thanks for …( read more )

Good Comforting

November 15, 2019

Regardless of where she went, she couldn't find comfort. Leah and her husband were never apart. They even volunteered at the same place after they retired. Both appeared to be in good health, so you can imagine Leah's shock when her …( read more )

Keep On Pedalling

November 14, 2019

In 1973, there was a perceived crisis: a shortage of crude oil. We were told to conserve fuel, to drive less, and to share rides. In the Netherlands, where we were living at the time, we were given gasoline coupons, which enabled us to buy …( read more )

Is It Me, Or Is It You, Lord?

November 13, 2019

When push comes to shove, I'd prefer a life without the growing of pearls around my grit. I'd just like the grit to be gone so that I can rest a while without looking for what is next. My conscience is the place where there is nearly …( read more )

Help For The Hurting

November 12, 2019

It was a regular day at home. As I went about my usual activities, the doorbell rang. I made my way to answer the ring. What a surprise! A policeman stood before me. Thoughts were racing through my mind: "Why would this policeman be here? …( read more )

 



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