• Baseball Hit

    Mary Dobkin was an unlikely baseball hero.  Born in the early 1900s, she suffered severe frostbite as a child which resulted in long term complications.  She endured multiple hospital stays and surgeries and spent her adult life in poverty, living on disability benefits. While hospitalized, Mary came to love the sport of baseball.  As an adult, she realized that baseball could be an encouragement to the poor children of her neighbourhood.  Mary raised funds for equipment and uniforms and started a team.  Even though having to use a wheelchair or crutches, she was able to coach thousands of children over the years.   Volunteering her time, Mary was instrumental in…

  • Taking Flight

    What’s your typical reaction when you see a storm coming?  Do you dance around in the midst of the hailstones or do you run for cover?  Do you relish in getting soaked from the rain or do you find the nearest dry shelter?  Most of us want to seek some kind of protection from stormy outbreaks.  We desire a reprieve from any adverse conditions rather than search them out.  Avoiding the stresses of turbulent events is typically high on our list.  The bird kingdom is no different.  When a storm approaches, all but one breed of bird goes to find shelter.  Who is the anomaly?  It is the eagle.  While…

  • Perfection

    If you listen to the media there are always numerous new suggestions about how to make your life better:  10 steps to an organized home, 8 ways to improve your concentration, etc.  We are bombarded with diet and exercise plans that supposedly will turn our bodies into the perfect specimen.  Ads promote the ideal supplements or products that will solve our health or beauty woes.  The list of potential products and procedures is endless and somewhat daunting. Christians are not immune to such suggestions.  There are numerous Christian websites, books, and guides out there that promise us spiritual renewal, healing, or a better life if we just follow certain steps…

  • Cabin Fever

    I pace up and down my hallway for the umpteenth time today.  Some days I feel like I am wearing permanent grooves in the laminate flooring.  I’m sure I make a comical picture as I trot back and forth. The length of my home allows me to make only a few strides before I must turn around and go back.  It gets old pretty fast but on brutal cold days it is my best form of exercise.  Cold winter days on the prairies generally do lead to more indoor time.  This year is worse.   With pandemic restrictions my world is very narrow.  I work from home.  I worship via…

  • Emergency SOS

    The text message comes in the middle of my workday: “Emergency SOS, ____ has made an emergency call from this approximate location.”   These are not the words a mother likes to hear about her son.  My throat constricts and my heart beats faster as I wonder what the message means.  Is my son in trouble?  How would I help him if he actually is?  I definitely have a few moments of panic but then I remember that my Heavenly Father is with my son right at this very moment.  There is nothing that can happen to him where God won’t be there.  As I wait to learn more, my…

  • Squall Warning

    The wind is howling, rattling windows and eaves like a tornado ready to strike.  Outside the trees are swaying so much it looks like they will fall over.  As I look out the window, snow is actually blowing sideways.   These sudden, fierce storms pop up without warning.  You can easily be driving along on clear roads and within seconds be surrounded by intense, blowing snow.  Such snow squalls make driving treacherous and ill advised. The government has issued a squall warning.  While more common in areas with large bodies of water, such a warning is rare in our prairie environment.  How do we deal with such an unknown entity? …

  • People Watching

    I love to watch people.  It gives me great delight to observe the antics of children or the funny interactions of some adults.  As I wait in line at the store or I am out for a walk, I take note of those around me.  I wonder what their lives are like and how they are feeling in their current situation.  Some cases even cause me to ponder what might be the story behind the story – what is truly going on their lives behind the scenes?  I am always curious what makes people tick and why they behave the way they do. My overarching feeling is a I want…

  • Like a Tree

    During these colder winter months, I find it restorative to peruse seed catalogues and check out gardening sites and books.  For me it is a time of hope as I envision the seeds being planted and growing into fruitful produce.  Later, in spring, the budding fruit trees signal the hope of delectable fruit to come.  Gardening is a hopeful endeavour, trusting that there will be fruit at the end of the journey. In God’s Word, growing plants are used often to help describe the Christian life.  From the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis to the Tree of Life in Revelation, Scripture directs our paths with words…

  • The Gift of Peace

    As I pack away my Christmas tree and finger the ornaments lovingly made or given by my children in the past, my heart longs for them.  Spending Christmas apart from family is one of the most challenging experiences I have faced recently.  Our government edict to limit our interactions to our own household at this time is needful to deal with the pandemic, but it hurts.   Memories flood my spirit as I work on the tree.  I ponder the days when my home was filled with children laughing and bouncing around with their boundless energy.  Days of board games and doing puzzles, moments of glee playing together in the…

  • Christmas is Cancelled – Or Is It?

    When the word came down last week from the government officials in our province that all indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited until January it was a tough blow.  Any hope of having some kind of Christmas celebration dissipated and sadness set in.  No festive dinners.  No Christmas carol singing in church.  No family gatherings.  No trips to see loved ones. At times like these it is extremely easy to have negative thoughts settle in and take root.  Like dandelion seeds blowing in the wind and creating new weeds everywhere, these negative images permeate lots of what we do and think if we let them. I challenge you, my readers,…