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A Hope that defies the storm

Imagine this with me…  A great galleon has battened down and stowed its sails amidst the tearing winds and driving rain of a raging storm. As the winds roar and the ship rises and falls upon the heavy seas, a stout chain of impressive length glimmers in the spray as it vanishes beneath the angry…

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Ever Increasing

In the late 1920’s American astronomer Edwin Hubble spent hundreds of hours hunched over a table, poring over photos of distant stars. He reviewed thousands of images. He often spent his nights gazing at the heavens through the then new 100-inch reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California. He collected and organized data. The…

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Comforted by Greatness

The last three Christmases I have given myself the same present: a calendar featuring full-colour, 12” x 12 ½” photos of galaxies. One of these is now hanging from the wall next to my desk. This month’s image shows the Crab Nebula. This galactic cloud is the remnant of a star that exploded – a…

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Bookends of the Bible

Books of the Bible – like most books – have clear and intentional beginnings and endings. In some cases, the writers link them, using matching words or corresponding ideas in the opening and closing passages. The technique is called bookending: it is deliberate, and it helps form the book’s message. Sometimes, the corresponding ideas take…

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A Saviour who waited in line

Here is a Savior who waited in line. When he came up out of the water, God spoke. But prior to that moment, Jesus waited his turn. God’s words from the sky in Matthew 3:17 (“This is my beloved Son”) echoed the great Old Testament coronation hymn in Psalm 2 (see verse 7, “You are…

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I want a new meme

I’ve heard it said that courage is not a lack of fear, but is carrying on despite our fears. Many variations of this quote have been attributed to Mark Twain, Nelson Mandela, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Bruce Lee (among others). I particularly like the version attributed to John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death,…

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He comes to us, so we can draw near to Him

In Genesis 14:17-24, Abram gathers 318 men to stage a daring all-night rescue mission. Enemies – Boko Haram style? – have abducted Abram’s nephew, Lot, and Lot’s family and servants. The rescue op succeeds. Abram returns the next morning with Lot and household safely in tow. Consider the emotional dynamics of these events. For a…

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God wants to give us Know-How

When my laptop goes on the fritz I phone my friend Christopher. He does in minutes what I would need hours to do. Why? Because he knows how. He has tech know-how. This morning I was surprised to see a reference to “know-how” in Scripture. St. Paul writes, “I know how to be brought low,…

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A spring that’s guaranteed.

Many years ago my grandfather was negotiating the purchase of a field in rural Vermont. He wanted to build a vacation home, and saw a For Sale sign on a plot of land. The owner was Charlie Foster. Charlie was a farmer, looking to sell a corner of his property he no longer needed. True…

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When all we can do is glory!

The first time I gloried I was 18 years old, cycling down a long, hairpin-turn road in the French Alps. The road eventually leveled off in a valley, and followed a wide stream. Mike and I coasted onto the verge, got off our bikes, propped them against a fence, and stood and gazed. For the…

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