The narcissistic church and our need for a Saviour
Church Life | Opinion | Theology & Spirituality

The narcissistic church and our need for a Saviour

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (1 Cor. 4:20). We’re seated at supper around chicken wings and garlic toast. I’m telling my family about Pastor Sonnel, a friend of mine from Sierra Leone who’s been leading revivals in eight remote villages. I tell them how he was…

What the Church can learn from St. Francis of Assisi at Christmas
Church Life | Holidays | Opinion

What the Church can learn from St. Francis of Assisi at Christmas

Since I was young, I’ve longed to see Jesus. I’ve longed to encounter God in a very physical way.  And most every Alberta winter, when the sky is just a scroll of black parchment and the stars wink of some ancient secret, when the path beneath our feet crunches of snow and ice and the…

What It Means to Live a Victorious Life in the Midst of Suffering
Mental Health | Opinion

What It Means to Live a Victorious Life in the Midst of Suffering

I’m seated amidst a sea of black dresses and suits in the glaring heat of a summer afternoon. There’s the faint smell of lilacs. We’re outside on white plastic chairs in a semi-circle facing a table of photos of a man who died at 33 years old, after being rendered paralyzed five years earlier through a car accident.

The Church Ablaze with Hope During COVID-19
Opinion

The Church Ablaze with Hope During COVID-19

I walk the long lonely gravel roads of our small Alberta hamlet, past farm fields giving way to spring, under a night sky studded with the same stars Father Abraham once knew. I’m worshiping in this darkest hour but my worship turns to weeping as I remember the German Minister of Finance Thomas Schaefer, his body found by train-tracks, presumably suicide, at the end of March.

New Life is Coming
Church Life | News

New Life is Coming

I’m driving to my in-laws’ farm. It’s after supper and the gravel roads are empty, just like the churches, just like the schools, just like the stores in nearly every town, every city, every region and every continent. It’s Spring of 2020 and COVID-19 has taken over in what World Health Organization has called a pandemic, and for once it would seem we are completely unified – fighting the same invisible virus.

A message to the church at Easter
Media & Culture | News

A message to the church at Easter

It was a week when the world froze over in northern Alberta. A week when mercury slid below forty and schools closed and traffic halted. When the power went off one night for a few hours, our hearts stopped too, and neighbours huddled around one another’s woodstoves to eat and pray. Not knowing that in this same week, in the same county, a man was sitting stranded, in his vehicle, stuck in the sandhills, for nearly three days before being found.

The ‘In Sickness’ Vow
Opinion

The ‘In Sickness’ Vow

I’m pressing a cool cloth to his forehead and next I’ll be removing the bedsheets because this is a bad flu. My husband of 17 years peers at me over the top of the duvet, his hazel eyes sorry, and I nod and swallow and quietly shut the door. The house smells of woodsmoke and chicken noodle soup. Next it’s the kids’ turn and I know I’ll be sick last because that’s how it goes. Somehow grace keeps you serving one after the other until the body knows it can finally rest. And that’s when it collapses.

Becoming One Family
Opinion

Becoming One Family

We’re gathered in my living room, a whiskey oak candle flickering on the counter, muffins and cookies and a platter of fruit lined up obediently and a gust of wind blowing wood smoke like an old man’s beard against the window panes. The air inside smells like burning pine and melting wax and brewed coffee. We’re gathered in chairs and on couches, talking about the recent election and our children and our prayers for the future. Bible commentaries and different translations of Scripture sit askew on the coffee table in the middle of the living room and I pick up the guitar and we sing together “Speak Oh Lord” by Keith Getty.

Do We Know the God We Wait For?
Opinion

Do We Know the God We Wait For?

We’re making cards from construction paper, gluing sparkly balls and pipe cleaner-bows, my hand cupping theirs as we trace out Merry Christmas. “Peace on Earth” plays over the speakers. My sons are too little to know of protests in Hong Kong, of wildfires, of the nuclear arms race. Their world consists of this oval kitchen table. It consists of Mommy’s hands on theirs and strawberry milk in sippy cups and Christmas music and dancing in the living room.

Jesus Loves Me
Opinion

Jesus Loves Me

I’m biking past canola, a bright yellow blanket of flowers, like fields of God’s glory. The sky is stretched grey and yawning overhead, and I hear the swish of a bird’s wing and the ribbiting of frogs. And as I quiet my spirit, I hear the purest sound of all, a voice so quiet and so true: