Peace in God’s Arms

From the vault, one of my favourite columns…and memories: The wrapped-up-in-peace business started on one of my Friday afternoons with our grandbeans. After lunch, Dinah Jane, just two at the time, seemed tired and cranky. During a colouring session, she wanted to keep all the crayons. “No, honey,” I told her. “Your brother and sister […]

Swamped and desperate – but never alone

Swamped and desperate – but never alone

Some of my readers are treading life. It has swamped you, either in increments or suddenly. You feel almost at the “no surviving beyond this point” point. And you wonder if God cares. I opened an old journal last night, and found someone like that. Me. A younger self, passing through an excruciating circumstance that felt […]

Missing Stuart McLean

I heard the news on CBC Radio as I pulled into Pita Pit for supper. First came the familiar music of my favourite radio show. Then the voice I and millions of listeners loved so well. “I’m Stuart Mclean and this is the Vinyl Cafe.” The newscaster cut in. “A beloved voice was silenced forever […]

God sees individuals, not groups

Decades ago, my friends and I, along with our pastor, traipsed into a nursing home, intent on “cheering them up,” or so Pastor said. I had just joined my high school band. My trumpet skills lacked, but I knew the others would cover for me – a clarinetist, a pianist, a guitarist and a few […]

Christ’s love tosses fear

Christ’s love tosses fear

They work at the gas station where I fill up my faithful sedan. They head organizations for which I’ve spoken. Some are clients through my work. Others have attended my church. Sitting at their kitchen tables, I’ve shared their home-cooked food. Sitting at mine, they have bravely done the same. I have petted their dogs, […]

Update on my Sweet Sixty project – thank you!

Update on my Sweet Sixty project – thank you!

Some of my readers have asked about my Sweet Sixty Project – putting together sixty feminine hygiene kits for use by the organization Days for Girls (www.daysforgirls.org), in honour of my sixtieth birthday. Kits assembled by Days for Girls volunteers travel to poor areas of the world where families have no resources to purchase supplies […]

Love and learn

Love and learn

Just one word – the word that makes the world go round. LOVE. They asked if I’d speak on that. For forty minutes. I don’t accept many speaking engagements these days, but I said yes to that one. The mission of the event and the organization echoed my own: to make Jesus known; to reflect […]

Bring on the cold – something good is happening

Bring on the cold – something good is happening

The winter wind battered the house last night, howling down the chimney like a wild thing wanting in. All night I cheered it on, remembering the worms. One of the nicest aspects of winter in the prairies is that, unlike our warmer seasons, it’s insect-free. Saskatchewan readers will remember last year’s infestation of worms – […]

Backwards, march!

Backwards, march!

Of the sixteen New Years I have written these faith columns, my first remains my favourite. From the vault, here it is again, slightly edited. Something strange scampers underfoot at our house. One of our clocks, which for years has conformed nicely to the art of proper timekeeping, marches boldly where no Gibson clock has gone before. […]

Farewell to a hero

Farewell to a hero

Nine days before Christmas, the Preacher and I sat in a hushed sanctuary paying respects to one of our heroes. We had met Isabel Barnsley nine years earlier, shortly after both she and the Preacher contracted West Nile Neurological Disease. She was 79, and not expected to live at first. Until the bite, she was […]