Hans’ story
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Hans’ story

They say that when you get married you not only join a spouse but a whole family. When I got married to my wife Carina, I gained several new siblings, including a new brother-in-law named Hans. Hans was only 12 years old when Carina and I were married. He was a healthy boy, growing up…

Nitekirk
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Nitekirk

Picture a still, quiet, spacious church late in the evening. The chairs have been rearranged, making open spaces and clusters of seating. In the centre of the sanctuary, there is an arrangement of candles, their collected light drawing the eye. Some people are sitting quietly and others walk slowly through the space, stopping at an…

Weather or not
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Weather or not

Had King David lived in Ontario, I think a September day might well have inspired him to write Psalm 19. You know the sort – where the sapphire sky beckons your gaze irresistibly upward and your heart craves something more. It’s nothing less than a glimpse of the eternal. The breeze is like a heavenly…

Dishabille
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Dishabille

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons (the others are winter, spring and summer). In autumn one can harvest potatoes, carrots, late cabbages, painted corn, hemp, beets, winter squash and more. Summer is a fading memory for me. And autumn has its times of glory, to be sure: when the aspen leaves resemble gold coins….

A rare bird, a new word and why I quit my ‘life-list’
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A rare bird, a new word and why I quit my ‘life-list’

Not being from the UK, I wasn’t exactly sure what a “twitch” was, when I came across it in the following caption recently: “The Long-toed Stint generated one of the biggest twitches seen in Britain in years.” The photo was on a Bird News website, part of a post about a rare bird sighting in…

Canada’s political institutions need reforms
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Canada’s political institutions need reforms

It is understandable that Canadians would become increasingly frustrated with the country’s political system. Our constitution is generally said to be characterized by responsible government, the central principle of our system since 1848. Responsible government means that the government of the day, led by the Prime Minister, is responsible to parliament for everything it does….

The other pandemic
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The other pandemic

From January 2016 to March 2021, 22,828 people died in Canada’s “other” pandemic: drug overdose deaths. This total does not include the numbers since March, which are reportedly high but not yet available. By contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has profoundly affected us all, has caused a similar number of Canadian deaths (27,500 through September)….

The Washer Life
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The Washer Life

It’s 11 p.m., and I am headed to bed. Though it is suggested that the average family does eight to ten loads of wash each week (spruce.com), in our home, the washer and dryer run almost continuously throughout the day. Due to the specific nature of Rachel and Janneke’s needs, we average five loads a…

Tears as prayers
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Tears as prayers

Have you cried lately? If so, do you know the meaning of your tears? It’s a complicated question. We humans are not fully transparent to ourselves – we are not fully aware of the experiences or realities that shape our emotional lives. Our tears in any situation may result from past experiences, diverse sensitivities, hormonal…

The doctor who invented hand-washing
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The doctor who invented hand-washing

Monday morning and there’s another sad story: a person who vocally opposed vaccinations for COVID-19 has died from the disease. Before dying, the patient tells loved ones, “Get vaccinated.” I doubt that these stories do much to change the minds of people who are firmly against COVID vaccinations. What does bother me, however, is the…

In thanks to Sunday School teachers
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In thanks to Sunday School teachers

As face-to-face Sunday services are beginning to happen again throughout the country, so too will Sunday School/Children’s Worship recommence. This recalls a long-ago Sunday School teaching experience. “Come on Bob, how hard can it be to teach a group of three-year-olds?” Thus spoke my wife as I got off the phone and mentioned my reservations…