jrcoggins

The Harsh Winds of Winter

People in Eastern and Central Canada have no idea how greatly we suffer when winter strikes here in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Take Sunday, for instance. We had a whole inch of blowing snow. This reduced visibility and created slippery conditions, causing a ten-car pileup and shutting down the Trans-Canada Highway. Here in this part […]

Merry

People often listen to and even sing songs without understanding what they are singing. A case in point is “God rest ye merry gentlemen.” Why would the composer of this Christmas carol wish God to give rest to “merry gentlemen”? Is it that they were partying too much and are in need of rest? No. […]

Of Mice and Men

Abbotsford writer Jerry Raaf’s new novel is all about mice. The Mice in Sophie’s Mattress— Giuseppe, Patrizio,Angelo, and dozens of others—are living a happy existence in an old mattress in an old farmhouse. The house is safe and warm, and there is an abundance of food. All goes well until the farmer’s wife, Sophie Brunzhoffa, […]

Manufactured Authoritativeness and Contrived Objectivity

I have noticed a disturbing trend in modern news media, particularly television news. It is a tendency to engage in something I would call “manufactured authoritativeness” or “contrived objectivity.” What I mean is the increasing use of statements such as the following in news stories. Many news reports start with a statement such as “There […]

The Arrogance of Apologies

Back when I was in high school, a teacher had arranged some small group sessions in which the students were to discuss certain assigned readings. When we assembled, it soon became apparent that most of the students had not done the assigned readings and thus were unable to discuss them. In frustration, the teacher cancelled […]

A Book of Its Time: To the glory of God at work in a world of chaos

Sometimes I come across a book by accident that turns out to be more interesting than I expected. Such is the case with Through the Hitler Line: Memoirs of an Infantry Chaplain (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003), which I picked up in the local library along with some other books. Some of the other books […]

Is It Time to Get a New Watch?

Almost twenty years ago, my wife bought me an expensive watch for Christmas. (In my world, expensive is a couple of hundred dollars, on sale at half price, not a Rolex.) For almost twenty years, it has given me good service, and it is still doing so. It was a good purchase. This watch was […]