INTRODUCTION For years, friends have asked, “When are you going to write your story? My answer thus far has been, “Oh! Sometime when I’m caught up with all the other priorities.” Since I’ve already written the biography of my parents in a two-volume set entitled, Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths, and since I’ve squeezed in […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To our Friends and Loved Ones At the close of this year of our Lord, 2015 “Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me” (Psalm 66:16). Challenge: Brussels Alert This Christmas season struck the Mahars with a staggering impact as it coincided with the terrorist […]


News on Three Continents “What do you know Paprika Parrot, we’re back on our blog. I almost feel like I need to reintroduce you, my pretend pet, sitting up there on top of our blog page.” “It’s good to be back. I’ve been pecking at you, screeching at you, and even nibbling your books, but you were […]

Congo Elections

Bud Kroeker in Kinshasa Report N° 3 Street Scene in Kinshasa—background sign: Peace in  Democratic Republic of Congo Dear Friends Lack of Data When given the responsibility to coordinate all of the Protestant observers in Congo for this month’s elections, I didn’t know how much was involved, nor how to accomplish the task. In 2006 […]


THE STORY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING Illustration in the free domain. In 17th century England King James I ruled both the state and the church. Concerned lest his subjects might defy him as their spiritual leader, they might one day oppose him as their political leader. Those who held different views from the state church […]

A Risky Ocean Voyage

The winds of grace are always blowing: all we need to do is raise our sails. —unknown Lisbon to Philadelphia, December 1943 Excerpt from Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths, Volume 1 Chatper 45: Confident Shoes Trusting the Captain “There were 13 passengers aboard the Saint Thomas… the crew was small, and to my dismay, did […]


“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” —Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983 Photo in the free domain London Excerpt from Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths, Vol. 1, chapter 17 Sailing Shoes Facing New Horizons The Kingdom of Britain welcomed us in the manner that she customarily receives all her visitors—with rain […]

Trial of Faith

“Grace tried is better than grace, and more than grace; it is glory in its infancy.” —Samuel Rutherford Excerpt from Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths Vol. 1, Chapter 16: Belgian Carpet Slippers on Hardwood Floors “As the days stretched out our food barrel shrank lower and lower and sometimes scraped empty. Finally the day came when […]

Providence—a Gift of Grace

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” —Martin Luther Antwerp Belgium Excerpt from Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths, Vol. 1 chapter 15: Wooden Shoes on Rough Cobblestones “Mary especially enjoyed Groen Plaatz, or the marketplace. This weekly market was […]

The Family of God

“God’s grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ.” —Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) Excerpt from Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths, Vol. 1, chapter 15: Wooden Shoes on Rough Cobblestones “We became acquainted with the quaint old city of Antwerp (Belgium). It derived its name from the Flemish term, Hant Werpen or […]