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

Thou Shalt Not: A Short Story by James R. Coggins

The words troubled him. John read them over again. They seemed so archaic. So judgmental. So negative. So out of keeping with the rest of the book. He read them again: “Thou shalt not.” The next day, he returned to … Continue reading

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An Unintended Legacy by James R. Coggins

The patriarch Joseph was undoubtedly a moral and godly man. He is credited with saving Egypt from a disastrous famine. Because of Pharaoh’s dreams and the interpretation of them which God gave to Joseph, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of … Continue reading

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Easter Again by James R. Coggins

Once again this year, in spite of COVID and the attendant restrictions, the Christian church has celebrated Easter. Why do we keep returning to the same themes year after year? The reason is that there are certain foundational Christian doctrines, … Continue reading

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The Man on the Park Bench: A Short Story by James R. Coggins

The man on the park bench looked utterly forlorn. He was sitting with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. “Good afternoon,” I said. “How are you doing?” “It’s hopeless,” he said. “It’s hopeless.” “Oh, I … Continue reading

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Getting to the Bottom of Things by James R. Coggins

Raising sons can be challenging. Consider the following conversation. The mother says, “I have just been folding the laundry.” The seven-year-old shrugs. This is a topic that clearly holds no interest for him. The mother continues, “Can you explain why … Continue reading

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Reflections from a Hospital Hallway by James R. Coggins

They told me to go home and come back in a couple of hours after the operation had been done. That’s when I realized that this hospital was set up to serve people who lived nearby, in the middle of … Continue reading

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To a Young Couple Contemplating Marriage by James R. Coggins

This blog is adapted from a talk I gave at a wedding some years ago. Dennis the Menace famously said, “You can’t tell how deep a puddle is from the top.” When my wife and I married, we decided that: … Continue reading

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A Moving Experience by James R. Coggins

A couple of months ago, three men wearing masks backed a truck up to our house and took away all of our furniture, completely emptying the house. Before you ask, yes, we paid them to do this. So they emptied … Continue reading

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Animal Dominoes by James R. Coggins

The year 2021 AD has just begun. But what does the “AD” mean? Some people might remember that it means something like “Animal Dominoes.” It is actually a Latin term, “anno Domini,” which means “in the year of the Lord.” … Continue reading

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The Best Stories by James R. Coggins

The best stories we may not hear repeated very often, sometimes only once or twice. But they are precious, and we must grasp them when we have the opportunity. The best stories also often happen by accident—at least, from our … Continue reading

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Was Wenceslas a Saint? by James R. Coggins

Has it ever happened that we miss the implications of the songs we sing? A song that has intrigued me for some time is the Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas.” The carol has a medieval European setting and has some … Continue reading

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Cards and Communication by James R. Coggins

Every year when I was growing up, one entire wall of our living room would be filled with multiple strings holding Christmas cards our family had received that year. Long distance telephone rates were very high, and the postal system … Continue reading

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He Who Has Helped Thee Hitherto by James R. Coggins

Years ago, my wife Jackie and I were moving 3,000 miles away to the east so I could return to school and embark on a new career. The small church that we attended gave us a loving send-off, a gift … Continue reading

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I Am Not a Charismatic Christian by James R. Coggins

I have been asked if I am a charismatic Christian. The answer is no, it is too hard. Oh, I have no problem believing in the miraculous. I believe the Bible, and I know God can and does heal people … Continue reading

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Last Words by James R. Coggins

Good writers work very hard to craft interest-grabbing opening sentences to their books. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Charles Dickens wrote as the opening for A Tale of Two Cities. I think it … Continue reading

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