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Stop the blame game

Stop the blame game

I seldom get the opportunity to play our church’s lovely new piano – a hybrid acoustic/electric. And after the last time I played for worship, I may never be asked again. I butchered a hymn. A most beloved one, at that. Things went well for the first two or three songs, and through the first […]

What the world really needs for Christmas

What the world really needs for Christmas

What the world needs now, this exquisitely created, heartbroken and bleeding world, isn’t more Christmas spirit. Not even year-round Christmas traditions could fix us. I enjoy them too, but I’m not fooled. We need something far more than tradition, toys, tinsel or treats. At Christmas (and every day) we need what can’t be placed under […]

When Christmas isn’t merry

When Christmas isn’t merry

Merry Christmas. For most of us, those words trip off the tongue at this time of year. But every year, some people have no Christmas jolly. They’re not decking their halls or preparing gifts. Since last Christmas they’ve lost a loved one or several. Their Ho Ho-s and Joy to the Worlds have swirled down […]

Christmas without crazy

Christmas without crazy

“Where are you spending Christmas this year?” I asked a widowed friend. Since her husband died, she has lavished attention on her children and expanding circle of grandchildren. She’s the poster child for involved grandparenting. Adored. Available. Undemanding. And tired. A far-away look came into her eyes. “Somewhere warm. The ticket’s booked.” “With the family?” […]

Bear - of course.

God knows the path of every wanderer

A peeping tomcat keeps showing up at our house. He peers in the windows he can reach and calls loudly at the rest. Once we found him waiting outside the church doors following the worship service, a small black shadow that followed us home and stuck around a bit. I know where the cat belongs. […]

There's a very good reason for this ride's name...if you're familiar with the traveler's disease bearing the same name, you'll know why.

Be bold. Commit.

Before the Preacher and I boarded Knott’s Berry Farm’s towering yellow roller coaster, the senior ahead of us in line tucked in his shirt and buttoned it to his chin. “They told me,” he said, “that if I don’t do this, I’ll lose it.” His middle-aged son rolled his eyeballs. I looked up at the […]

Remember

Remember

I remember some young soldiers. Keen, full of bravado. Cowlicks barely tamed, acne still embarrassing. One young friend, a reservist I’ll call Hal, came back from overseas outwardly unscathed; full of curiosity about the cultures and people he’d encountered. He came over for a visit. Sat beside an oak cabinet in our living room. Looked […]

Never imagine God can’t use you

A few years back, I brought my antique Singer treadle machine to my workplace, a large, sparsely furnished office. It didn’t fit our small home anymore, but I wasn’t quite ready to part with it. My mother taught me to sew on a treadle. Considering my accident-prone nature, she chose that over her electric. I […]

Ready or not, we have a new prime minister

I feel older these days. We Canadians have elected a prime minister almost young enough to be my son. I listened to Mr. Trudeau’s words carefully following his election. He smiled a lot. Talked of sunny days and sunny ways. Of hope, love and trust. Of better always being possible in Canada. Optimistic, greeting-card-ready words. […]

Negotiating Uncertainty

By the time you read this, Canada’s general election will be over. But I’m writing this a few days before, live from the state of Uncertainty.* As it often does in other circumstances – health, relationships, transitions, for instance, it has opened its gate and summoned our country in. Me, too. For over four years, at […]