Showing posts from 2015

On Seeing Skippy

             I watched the birth of my granddaughter "Skippy" on the screen of a smartphone yesterday. Actually, I read the birth of my granddaughter on the screen of a smartphone yesterday.  While Kathy, my eldest daughter, and her husband Steve were enduring the marathon of the miracle, my wife MariAnne and I and Kathy's dear friend Sarah were anxiously staggering the floor of the waiting room. It was a long and far more torturous event than I had imagined. I am thankful that compared to the old days when you waited restlessly for someone to come through the door announcing "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!", Steve was doing us a great kindness by sending us updates by text every half hour. I would then relay what I knew to my daughter, Lauren, in Honduras.             After twenty-seven hours of the usual childbirth progression or, at times, the lack thereof, the texts took a rather serious and urgent twist. The baby's hear

With God in the Desert

"The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with singing... Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped, and the lame man shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy." Isaiah 35             This morning, I sat outside and read my Bible. It was early but the sky was already blue, the sun was shining, and it was warm. The European Starlings sang and chirped as they dashed about getting food for their little ones, occasionally stopping to rest at the top of the neighbour's orange tree. That tree is laden with oranges hanging like Christmas tree ornaments. That is about all that is reminiscent of Christmas. This is a snow-free zone where winter is forbidden. Despite my allergy to bee stings, I observed, with genuine pleasure, the busyness of bees gathering nectar from blossoms atop the cactus'

Baby Names

             In a few months, my daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Steve, are expecting their first child. To say that we are all excited about this little one's arrival is an understatement. I can't wait to meet Skippy. Yep, you heard right: Skippy! Okay, maybe that is not the name that they have chosen for their daughter. However, it is the one that I have selected. Back when they were searching for a name, I called Kathy and told them that I had come up with one. It dawned on me as I was eating my toast and peanut butter at breakfast: Skippy! All I heard was an all too familiar groan on the other end of the line. I have been informed that as well thought out as my recommendation was, it would not be the baby's name.             I love Skippy. Even before she is born, before she has accomplished the inevitable achievements that her rich family heritage guarantees, before the Nobel Prize and the Rhodes Scholarship, I love her. Okay, admittedly, Skippy is mo

Why Destroying Christian Symbols Won't Work

             God wants His people to have strong encouragement. Particularly, when the mission of the church to spread the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is met with aggressive hostility, God wants His people to know for certain that He has got this. His resolve remains unchanged. His plan will not fail. Our hope for the future is rock solid.             The church, historically, has gone through extensive periods of hardship and opposition. Right from the get-go, it was understood that the way of Jesus was going to be radically counter to the patterns and priorities of every culture into which Christianity would be sent. We would not get a warm welcome. Our Christian mission began with these words of Jesus: " In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world ." [1] Jesus told his disciples quite frankly, " If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its

Carpe Diem - Squeeze the Moment

(my early morning drive) " Everyday, I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever ." (Psalm145:2)             As many of you know, my wife, MariAnne, and I have been on sabbatical and are in a period of seeking the Lord for our future. We are determined to live by faith and to trust the Lord for His direction and His provision. Learning to be obedient daily to the Lord outside of a "normal" routine continues to be a blessed discipline. One of my prayers has been to be alert and available so as to "seize the moment" to serve when God opens an opportunity for me to bless one person at a time. As you might expect, almost always, it works the other way around. God opens up opportunities to serve others and I end up leaving the conversation or meeting with my heart full of thanks. Who is serving who? Who is blessing who? Living attentively by the Spirit is like those "take your kids to work" days. God the Father is tak

Paris and the Propaganda of Terror

                  If there is anything that is clear, it is that Islamic extremists know how to use the media. In a few weeks, America's largest corporations will pay 4.5 million dollars for every thirty second commercial during the grand extravaganza called the Superbowl. A few weeks later, the Superbowl will be history and the news reports will return to the stories of violence, horror, and the increasing terrorist threat facing Europe, America, Africa, and well, most of the world. What the cruel fanatics know is that every time and every place that they manage to perpetrate some heinous act, they get free air time for hours, days, and weeks on the major news networks of the world. It is free for them. Well, it only costs blood. They pay for their airtime with the lives of people in coffee shops in Australia and grocery stores in Paris. They pay for it with the supposedly expendable lives of the dupes that they have brainwashed into believing that their acts of self-des