The Queen’s English

When Queen Elizabeth spoke, her words were not erudite (scholarly) or recondite (difficult to understand). She never used words like that, at least not in her public discourses. She did not have a university education; it has been the conviction of the British Royal Family that they do not want to learn a language that … Continue reading The Queen’s English

The lady had an anchor

Princess Elizabeth made her first public speech during World War II. She was fourteen and spoke on the Children's Hour radio broadcast on October 13, 1940. "Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your fathers and mothers. My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much … Continue reading The lady had an anchor

MIND BOGGLING

Your brain has 86 billion neurons. Each neuron is linked to 10,000 others and they signal each other once every second. Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay  Now memorize those facts, you may need them some day in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Apart from that, I can’t think what useful purpose there may be in knowing about … Continue reading MIND BOGGLING

Demonstration of power

A mortar and pestle used to be standard equipment in kitchens, pharmacies and high school science labs. They could be made of stone, wood or metal, but most often they were ceramic, as in the picture below. Image by ariesa66 from Pixabay  Sixty-five years ago I sat in a high school classroom as our teacher demonstrated how gunpowder … Continue reading Demonstration of power

What is baptism all about?

Folks talk about baptism as a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ. That it is, but when I was baptized I was asked to go a step further. I was asked if I would be willing to accept reproof from members of this faith community and if I would be willing to give reproof … Continue reading What is baptism all about?

There is a famine

Image by nancygebhardt from Pixabay  Rural and small town churches across Canada are rapidly disappearing.  Fifty years ago, the town where I grew up had five churches.  Only two remain, and they are the churches where one is least likely to ever hear Bible-based preaching.  Smaller towns nearby have no churches at all. This is more than a … Continue reading There is a famine

The quiet in the land

According to the Scriptures, Christians should lead quiet and peaceable lives. Is that the same as being “the quiet in the land?” That slogan has taken deep root among many who call themselves Mennonite. The words come from Psalm 35:20: “For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet … Continue reading The quiet in the land

The fear of some people who called themselves Mennonites

Beginning in the 16th century many Mennonites fled persecution in Friesland and Flanders and settled in the Vistula delta region of Poland. Here they gradually lost their evangelistic fervour and their faith dwindled to a mere outward conformity to some principles that they felt to be the essence of the faith. It seems they ceased … Continue reading The fear of some people who called themselves Mennonites

Pietism

Oxford gives these definitions for pietism: 1 a a pious sentiment. b an exaggerated or affected piety. 2 (esp. as Pietism) a movement for the revival of piety in the Lutheran Church in the 17th c. Perhaps the best dictionary definition of what a pietist is is this one that I translated from le Petit … Continue reading Pietism

The temple of God

In the Old Testament the unity of worship was clearly God’s plan. That worship was to be centred on the temple in Jerusalem. While God prophesied the division of the kingdom because of sin, it was His intention that this should only be a political division, not a spiritual division. Two kingdoms were OK, two … Continue reading The temple of God