Uncategorized

Passionate Civility

  What’s your passion?  If it’s baseball, you may well follow the Blue Jays’ triumphs and travails closely, and can debate the decisions of management and the performance of the players endlessly.  If it’s politics, you pay great attention to the policies and pronouncements of your preferred party, and love to examine the fine points…

Hope in Dark Days

So often these days, the news is full of dark and terrible reports.  Bombs explode in in mosques, killing dozens of Muslims.  Christian worshipers at Coptic churches in Egypt are shot, and many die.  Refugees are in detention, while other people at risk are put onto airplanes heading back to the places of violence and…

Happy Halloween?

For many people, Halloween is a tricky holiday. Growing up, my mom and dad would help us get dressed up in Halloween costumes. One year I was a cowboy.  Another year I went house to house as an astronaut.  No matter what persona I took on, the pillowcase my mom let me borrow always got…

A Good Habit

  I’m a preacher.  Most Sunday mornings you will find me standing in Bethel’s pulpit, sharing with the people who’ve come about the things I’ve seen in the day’s Bible passage, and what it means for our daily lives.  Knowing it to be an important part of my calling, I put quite a bit of time, energy…

Look and Listen Carefully

Here’s a challenge:  try to describe the Mona Lisa.  If you’re like me, you’ll say something like: it’s a little painting in the Louvre, of a young lady with an enigmatic smile, and in the background there are scenes of the Italian countryside. Yup.  Pretty unsatisfactory.  Factually accurate, but without passion and bereft of soul.…

Speaking of Olives…

There’s no accounting for taste. Take pizza, for example.  Myself, I’m a traditionalist.  Pepperoni, mushroom, and jalapenos (ok, maybe the jalapenos are a little unorthodox). Pizza perfection! But please, don’t corrupt my pizza with the horror of olives. My wife Joanne, on the other hand, for some strange reason, likes olives on her pizza.  Despite…

Thinking about the Doctrine of Discovery

A few years ago I was in South Africa.  One of the Reformed denominations invited the Christian Reformed Church to send a fraternal delegate to their Synod, and I was the one that went. My white hosts were very open about their lives, ministries, joys and frustrations.  One man told me that his family had…

Prayers in a Pub

A couple of months ago, my son and his family moved to a city in another part of the province. He got a great new job, found a beautiful home to rent, and already was making new contacts and connections. Life can hardly get any better! Some parts of the new house needed to be…

Faith Surely Matters

“It must be nice to have a job that only makes you work one hour per week!” If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, my wife and I would be enjoying a really nice vacation somewhere warm this winter. I know that people say that to us ministers in…