January 20, 2019

In Memory of Margaret Mary Peddle (née Milks) (1941-2019)

My mother-in-law passed away Monday morning from a catastrophic stroke that occured the morning before.  She was a remarkable woman in many ways in how she transcended her circumstances and I wanted to pay tribute to her today. Margaret Peddle was raised in various remote communities in Northern Ontario, the largest of which was Englehart, […]

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life It’s very nearly winter, and the days are growing darker and colder. I know you are feeling today like your lives have grown darker and colder as well, because you have lost your loved one. It is right for you to feel this way, because she was a […]

Funeral Sermon: Our Strong Shepherd

Funeral Sermon Our Strong Shepherd Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. You ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name, from age to age the same; and he must […]

Another Look: Make the Way by Walking

Make the Way by Walking My friend, I have good news for you: you don’t have to “do grief right.” In our culture, we expect people to follow a certain path in the wake of a loss. I’m here to tell you: there is no defined path. Just be yourself, keep walking, and you will […]

Another Look: Shirley

One of our team members said that Shirley “died of loneliness.” She had family, and whenever I met them they seemed to be attentive to her. I never heard her speak a word against them. But none of them were able to care for her in her final season of life. When Shirley first came […]

Another Look: Marge’s Funeral Service

Note: Last week, I re-posted the story of “Joe and Marge.” This post, also from 2012, is the follow-up to that piece. • • • I am glad I had the opportunity to meet many of you today. I am also glad i got to watch the video with pictures of Marge from her life […]

Another Look: Joe and Marge

First posted in 2012 Marge died today. A petite, pretty octogenarian, she had been wandering in the world of Alzheimer dementia for many years. I’ve known her for a few of those years, at least I’ve known the lady who rarely sat still, who moved continually from one place to another, looking out the windows, […]

Another Look: Mark

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? • James 2:5, NRSV • • • We stood and sat on a quiet green spot at the cemetery under sunny blue […]

When the child falls in the well… — On being too biblical

I love the Bible. I have come to have little patience with biblicism. The most “biblical” Jews in Jesus’ day were the Pharisees. We commonly criticize them for their hypocrisy, for exalting human traditions over God’s Word, or for adding a multitude of rules in their attempt to interpret scripture for religious practice. I think […]

Live into the “What” not the “Why”

When someone is drowning, the only thing worse than failing to throw them a life preserver is handing them a reason. • Kate Bowler • • • Live into the “What” not the “Why” Religious people (me, for example) are really good at focusing on the “whys” of life. Pastors and theologians, in particular, make […]