Tag Archives: Personal Accounts

  • The big leap

    It was snowing when we packed the last items into the container that was waiting at an appointed lot in an industrial area, almost ready to be shipped. This was the last trip to the container before it left on its journey across the ocean with a load of personal effects and donated items that […]

  • Flow with it

    A few years ago, I was involved in a volunteer project that operated a meal center for underprivileged students. For the first two years, I helped with cleaning the kitchen, shopping for food supplies, and meal preparation. I felt a sense of pride in helping to produce well-balanced, delicious, yet economical meals. My diligence was […]

  • Jonah and me

    One of the best-known stories in the Bible is also one of the strangest. Nearly everyone, it seems, knows about Jonah and the whale. It’s a Sunday school favorite. But it’s also one of those perplexing tales that makes one wonder, Why, God, why? The first mention of Jonah in the Bible1 establishes that Jonah […]

  • Cracked!

    My new year literally started with a bang! On December 31st, my phone leaped out of my hand in an apparent dive of depression. I picked it up immediately, not really expecting anything to be wrong. It had fallen on a carpeted floor, and I’d dropped it several times before without damage. Well, this time […]

  • The view

    I recently climbed Table Mountain, here in South Africa, and what a wonder it is! A flat-topped mountain smack-dab in the middle of a city, overlooking two oceans, and with a mountain range dubbed “The 12 Apostles” right behind it. It’s over 3,500 feet (1,066 m) high and teeming with gorgeous vegetation, birds, wild animals, […]

  • Beginning again 

    I’m glad to say there is such a place as The Land of Beginning Again, and you can find it, no matter who you are or what your past has been. You’ll find that place in these verses from the Bible: “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. … if […]

  • Bouncing on the bow of a Bangka boat

    On a trip to attend my son’s wedding in the Philippines, I had the joy of riding on a bangka boat, a Filipino vessel that looks like a catamaran and has a pontoon on both sides, which gives it great stability. This sleek, swift, slender design has been in use for thousands of years and continues to […]

  • Embracing change

    I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of people who just up and change their lives. The successful surgeon who becomes a baker, the beggar who becomes a Wall Street tycoon, the soccer mom who becomes a backpacking mountaineer, the high-powered corporate couple who embrace minimalism and travel the world living out of a suitcase. […]

  • The way home

    It was wintertime and I had just arrived in the state of Goa, the former Portuguese colony on the southwest coast of India. I was a long way from my home country of Brazil, but right away I made friends with a young mixed-faith couple—he was Catholic and she was Hindu—whose marriage had been rejected […]

  • Joyeux Noël

    Without an enemy there can be no war. I recently rewatched the movie Joyeux Noël (Christian Carion, 2005), which tells the story of a well-documented event that occurred on a battlefield in France on Christmas Eve, 1914. One engagement of the Great War (WWI) involved some 3,000 soldiers from the Scottish, French, and German armies. […]

  • The request

    It was my first Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan, when I heard the Christmas classic “Silent Night” sung in Chinese for the first time. It made a special impression, and I remember thinking that I had to learn the words. The first line was fairly easy—after all, half of it is the song title—but beyond that […]