Author Archives: jrcoggins

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is www.coggins.ca

Away from the Puck

He is a young, professional hockey player, highly valued for his ability to score goals. For this reason, he has the potential to have a long and successful career as a professional athlete. He can be a star. But this … Continue reading

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Living for God in a Pagan Society: What Daniel Can Teach Us

Do you ever feel confused or disappointed with what is going on in the world? Do you feel helpless before unwelcome trends in society? Do you feel pressured and isolated by what seems to be a pagan, God-defying culture all … Continue reading

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Handling Criticism by James R. Coggins

Anyone with a public profile, including writers, inevitably receives criticism from to time. How do we handle it? I know criticism bothers some people greatly, but I have never had a great problem with it. Some of this has to … Continue reading

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Fortune Cookies

Have you ever experienced opening a fortune cookie and finding a message that seemed very appropriate to your situation? A while back, I was in a Chinese restaurant. My dinner companion ate three fortune cookies and found three messages: • … Continue reading

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It Was a Dark and Stormy Conversation

(A Short Story) “Harder was climbing out of a deep, dark well toward a distant, insistent ringing when his hand slipped under the pillow for his snub-nose 38 and he blasted the alarm clock, which was a replacement for the … Continue reading

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Advice to a First Year University Student

The universities from which I graduated often ask me for things (mostly money). One, a secular, government-run institution, recently asked me to contribute a short note of encouragement and advice to a first year student. I agreed. And then I … Continue reading

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The Best Is Yet to Be

Over a quarter of a century ago, I was working as an associate editor for a denominational church magazine. The denomination decided to move me from central Canada to Canada’s most western province, British Columbia, so I could connect with … Continue reading

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Al Buchholtz

Al Bucholtz called me this morning. At five a.m. He said he was Al Bucholtz, he was 82 and he had had a stroke. Interesting information, but I wasn’t sure why he was telling me all this. He said he … Continue reading

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Letting Go

Nothing good is likely to come from a conversation that starts with the other person calling me “immature, stupid, and ignorant.” Yet this was what G. alleged when he contacted me by email a little while ago. G. was responding … Continue reading

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Panfilo de Narvaez

If you were paying any attention in school, you know of Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec Empire in Mexico with only a few hundred soldiers, and Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire … Continue reading

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Growing Wild

I am pleased to announce that we have gone green. Or organic. Or wild. I am not a professional gardener, so I am not sure of the precise term. What I mean is that we have converted the big flower … Continue reading

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News Reporting in Jeopardy

  Media for $200 Alex Trebek is the Canadian-born host of the TV game show Jeopardy and is reportedly a committed Christian. He has also been battling pancreatic cancer. A few weeks ago, the news on our local TV station … Continue reading

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Boom and Busted

A couple pf weeks ago, my son-in-law was mowing our lawn when our lawn mower suddenly stopped working, for no discernible reason. I was puzzled, so I sent the attached picture to my brother, who is much more mechanically inclined … Continue reading

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Endgames and Worldviews

  Everyone has seen it. Well, that is just promotional hype. But the truth is that a lot of people have seen it, in North America and around the world. I have seen it. “It” is The Avengers: Endgame, the … Continue reading

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When Mother is Queen by James R. Coggins

Many women don’t need Mother’s Day. This is because they are treated like royalty all year long. When a woman is treated like a queen, it means that: She is expected to be present at an endless round of athletic … Continue reading

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