Good words to remember while writing

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Photo by Trevor Cole on Unsplash

In Papua New Guinea most of the people speak a pidgin language, a trade language, called Tok Pisin. When my family and I moved there we spent the first while learning how to speak it. I loved that time because of the many phrases and words that made me smile. For instance, when someone invites you to visit he or she will say, “Yu mas kam na stori wantaim mipella” — “You must come and story with me.”

Because the written word is a relatively new thing there, verbal communication is vital. Telling stories is their life’s blood. A man who had lived in the country a long time advised me, “you don’t just blurt information here, you must build on it, make it into a drama, give it life.” …

Vital to our spiritual well-being

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Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

“Is it hot enough for you?”

Everyone seems to be commenting on the heat lately. Like most Canadians, I prefer temperatures to be a bit cooler.

I was quite concerned about going to Papua New Guinea a few years ago because the heat tended to make me ill. I’d get raging headaches, sometimes migraines.

The idea of living just two degrees off the equator did not thrill me. But I was given some wise advice by someone in the know, just before we left. When I told him how anxious I was about being able to take the heat, he said, “Oh yes, you Canadians. I have one word for you. …

One day it will have an entirely new meaning

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Photo by Marcia Lee Laycock

Ordinarily I don’t like it when people sent me those forwarded-forwarded-forwarded emails. Ordinarily I considered them a waste of time and often deleted them without opening them. But the time came when a dear friend who knew what it was like to be facing an illness like cancer, began sending them regularly. She picked beautiful pictures, inspirational thoughts and, best of all, laugh-out-loud jokes. I must admit I got to the point where I looked forward to finding one in my inbox each day.

I also found that scriptures, those oh-so-familiar passages that can seem trite or even cliché at times, had a whole new depth now that I had a deeper understanding of my need for them. I got regular emails with scripture delivered to my inbox too, and I opened them first. The accumulation of verses seemed to make a difference when my mood slipped a little, when my heart was longing for something beyond this reality to hang onto. …

Story & Scriptural Encouragement

Let’s do what Jesus taught us to do

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Photo by Zoe VandeWater on Unsplash

I saw him wander into the gas bar as my husband filled the tank on our shiny new CRV. I turned away from the window for a moment but smiled at him when he came closer. That, of course, encouraged him and he stepped up to my door with a hopeful look.

I opened the door a crack and fear began a litany of questions in my mind. What if this man has COVID-19? The virus has been bad in some parts of the province and he definitely looked like he would rank in the “at-risk” category. I almost closed the door. …


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Photo by Inspirationfeed on Unsplash

I’m struggling to understand.

It was an ordinary day. Actually, it was a bit unordinary because my husband wanted to go shopping. For clothes. Clothes for himself. That, my friends is a rare occurrence. He was wearing a pair of shorts he’d purchased at a store we don’t often go to, but he said, yeah, he’d like to get another pair just like them. So we found ourselves there, shopping. He in the men’s and I in the women’s department. Fingering the sales racks. Maybe a dress would be nice. Haven’t worn a dress in a long time. …

Because I have a great Boss

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Image by Free Photos from

There have been times when I have feared that I’ll die before accomplishing the things I dream about, before writing what I really want to write — that great novel, the perfect devotional, that poem that sings and that article that changes a life. After all, death is the final interruption. It always comes at an unexpected time and often in the middle of something.

I hope my death doesn’t come for a very long time, but I know it could be sooner than I want. It could be today. …

Because something is going to happen

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Photo by Marcia Lee Laycock

A small group sat chatting in our living room. We’d been reading part of the Bible that tells us Jesus is one day going to return to this earth.

The question was asked — how would your life change if you believed He was returning today?

I pondered that for some time

It reminded me of the time my husband and I took a seminar on palliative care. The instructor asked us to list 10 things we wanted to accomplish in our lives. Then she said, “Now you have only six months to live. Revise your list if you want to.”

Then it was three weeks to live, then one week, then two days. I was amazed at what happened to my list each time. By the time I was thinking I had just two days to live, my list had gone from things I wanted to accomplish to being all about people — the people I loved, the people I knew I had hurt, the people I had to talk to before it was too late. …

In ordinary hands

A silhouette image of Moses standing in the middle of the Red Sea.
A silhouette image of Moses standing in the middle of the Red Sea.
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

I love the book of Exodus. The description of the miracles God performed through Moses and Aaron, especially in chapters four and five, are thrilling.

As I read them once again the other day, I noticed something I hadn’t before. Each miracle Moses and Aaron performed before Pharaoh and the Hebrews was done with an ordinary staff in hand. That staff, in the hands of ordinary men, was the means by which the people learned about God. It was the means by which Aaron and Moses learned about God.

God used an ordinary thing and made it into a divine instrument. It was a tool that became a concrete symbol of God’s presence and God’s power and His desire to communicate with those who would dare to wield an instrument of His choosing. …

With Thanks to Emily Carr

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Untitled by Emily Carr

There was a hush on the fourth floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery as we entered, almost a reverence, I thought. People meandered quietly through the halls and rooms, taking time to study the paintings on the walls and read the commentaries and quotes from the artist’s journals. As I joined them I was aware of my own sense of awe. Emily Carr was an artist I had admired since I was a child. Her work always made me pause, drew me in, made me aware of something beyond myself.

The quotes on the walls captured my attention as well. This woman, who is famous in my own country and beyond for her depiction of the west coast region of Canada, was a woman of faith, struggling to comprehend the greatest mystery there is — the deep, deep love of an all-encompassing God. …


Marcia Laycock

Finding the extraordinary in an ordinary life. Pastor’s wife (newly retired), mom to 3 girIs. Also have 12 books available on Amazon.

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