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Home2017-04-17T07:03:24-04:00

Hope and compassion in a time of COVID-19 terror

By |April 8th, 2020|

When I was boy we rarely attended church because my father thought church people were a bunch of phoneys. Still, he had enough sense to give us kids a decent idea of the Creator God, human sin, and eternal forgiveness, through Sunday morning TV-lounging when, often half-asleep, we’d watch services.

On healthy shame and valuing our girls

By |April 6th, 2020|

I've never been one of those fathers who believes that having a particular relational status somehow makes you a more complete human being. Even so, we're not made to be alone, but to connect in spirit and mind and other ways with other people, for better or worse. Discuss.

Longing for that long tomorrow

By |March 7th, 2020|

The moment with my boy had nothing to do with coronavirus and all these anxieties. But there I was lounging on the couch, and there he was, beside me, playing his guitar and singing about the end of the world. It’s that JP Saxe song, If The World Was Ending. It’s a love song, really. One that asks, during the world’s final curtain call, would you hold me tight?

Some roads less travelled in Nigeria

By |February 22nd, 2020|

EGBE, NIGERIA ✦ We're on our motorcycles — my friend Rick has offered me his for the afternoon — at a place called Prayer Rock. It's a lookout at the end of a bumpy, winding dirt road near this historic town in Kogi province, a brown patch of earth in central Nigeria that's been touched by Canada. It's my last day here. The spot seems as suitable as any to finish my week

Settling for only the best

By |February 15th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This column is about UCU’s new, yet-to-be-named vice- chancellor. But first let me tell you about the Ugandan who was happy to tell me about his recent marriage.“ Congratulations,” I said, before asking, “How old are you?” “Thirty.” I said congratulations again. “That’s a good age.” Then, like a good counsellor, I shared my own

Hockey night in Uganda – remember this

By |February 8th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s hockey night in Uganda and you’re running, running, chasing that little red ball that’s, of course, (this is Africa), held together with just hope and tape. During a break, you ask a question. How old are you? “Twenty-one,” someone says. “Nineteen,” says another. "Twenty-two." Another

FaceTime during African sunrises and other musings

By |January 25th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This morning I FaceTimed the family. Child Number 1, a musical girl, was having sinus pain. So I looked up there and noticed Taylor Swift and a hall of high school girls having a party. Looks like they'd moved from my daughter's inner ear. I suggested this may be

The children of the Nile and a rhythm of rest

By |January 11th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ So I'm back in this East African nation for a working visit. It's also a good time to get myself unplugged. You know, rested and rebooted. The warm days and the warm people and the children help. If you visit (and why don’t you, sometime?) you’ll know what I mean.

Once upon a time there was you, and me

By |December 23rd, 2019|

The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying, that being lost is no fun.

Waiting and living: an Advent reflection

By |December 7th, 2019|

Eat. Read. Pray. Fly out the door. School mornings this is the routine in our home. A recent reading was about waiting. Cereal went into empty stomachs. I closed the book and made a comment about slowness. The children’s mother said, “But remember, with God a day is like

So, about the lowly toilet

By |November 23rd, 2019|

There was a time when I wouldn’t think about the lowly toilet. Nor would I consider the lives that each of us are born into through no doing of our own. If anything, during these autumn days I’d think about John F. Kennedy, the former US president assassinated November 22, 1963. That was just before my time

Filling the house with the food of love

By |November 9th, 2019|

I live in a house filled with instruments. And not just instruments, but music. And while this may not be the most dramatic news of the day, it's the most reassuring news of my own day. I might live longer. I'll certainly live happier. Science confirms the truth that we sense.

This weekend, we should all wear turbans

By |October 12th, 2019|

It was early this election season and the news came on TV and it was federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaking. Then this question from a certain young lady, a healthcare attendant beside me. She looked at the TV and with raised eyebrow said, “Is he running

Finding your place in the garden

By |September 14th, 2019|

He’s a painter, a tradesman, who never went to university because he started painting early in life and it made no sense to stop. He had steady money while his friends, after graduating from schools of higher learning, struggled as much as they saw any benefits of their money spent. He told me about it recently.

Hope and compassion in a time of COVID-19 terror

By |April 8th, 2020|

When I was boy we rarely attended church because my father thought church people were a bunch of phoneys. Still, he had enough sense to give us kids a decent idea of the Creator God, human sin, and eternal forgiveness, through Sunday morning TV-lounging when, often half-asleep, we’d watch services.

On healthy shame and valuing our girls

By |April 6th, 2020|

I've never been one of those fathers who believes that having a particular relational status somehow makes you a more complete human being. Even so, we're not made to be alone, but to connect in spirit and mind and other ways with other people, for better or worse. Discuss.

Longing for that long tomorrow

By |March 7th, 2020|

The moment with my boy had nothing to do with coronavirus and all these anxieties. But there I was lounging on the couch, and there he was, beside me, playing his guitar and singing about the end of the world. It’s that JP Saxe song, If The World Was Ending. It’s a love song, really. One that asks, during the world’s final curtain call, would you hold me tight?

Some roads less travelled in Nigeria

By |February 22nd, 2020|

EGBE, NIGERIA ✦ We're on our motorcycles — my friend Rick has offered me his for the afternoon — at a place called Prayer Rock. It's a lookout at the end of a bumpy, winding dirt road near this historic town in Kogi province, a brown patch of earth in central Nigeria that's been touched by Canada. It's my last day here. The spot seems as suitable as any to finish my week