Author Archives: jrcoggins

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in 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

Protest and Folk Songs by James R. Coggins

I grew up in the 1960s listening to protest songs and folk songs sung by such artists as Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Those songs spoke to me then, and they still resonate with me today. To be … Continue reading

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The Wings of the Lord by James R. Coggins

Fourth in a Series Reading the story of Ruth gleaning in the vineyard of Boaz (Ruth 2:1-12), I was struck by the force of Boaz’s words to Ruth: “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, … Continue reading

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Death, Be Not Proud by James R. Coggins

We all know it is inevitable. We know it is coming. But we never seem to be ready for it. It’s death. And Walter Wiens wants to change that. Not death. He can’t do much about that. But he can … Continue reading

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“Pleasant” by James R. Coggins

Third in a Series The Old Testament character Naomi undoubtedly had a hard life. She experienced famine and exile and lost her husband and her only two sons. As a result, she lived in poverty in her later years. No … Continue reading

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Clear, Insightful Thinking by James R. Coggins

Back when I was editor of a denominational magazine (the Mennonite Brethren Herald), I used to delight in receiving submissions from many ordinary people with something to say. Some were well-written and some not, but I was glad to publish … Continue reading

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Naomi and Ruth by James R. Coggins

Second in a Series A common interpretation of Ruth 1:16 has often bothered me. In this verse, the Moabite woman Ruth said to her Israelite mother-in-law Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you … Continue reading

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Frankenstein and Other Monsters by James R. Coggins

In 1818, Mary Shelley published a novel titled Frankenstein. The plot concerns a scientist named Victor Frankenstein who constructed a creature out of material from dead humans and animals and animated it by applying electricity. This creature, called a “monster,” … Continue reading

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The Best Laid Plans by James R. Coggins

First in a Series The Old Testament book of Ruth begins with this statement: “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and … Continue reading

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My Connections to Brother Andrew by James R. Coggins

Brother Andrew (Anne Van der Bijl) died on September 27 of this year. Brother Andrew was a Dutch Christian who became concerned that the communist governments of the Soviet Union and other eastern European nations were persecuting Christians and suppressing … Continue reading

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No Other Gods: Wisdom by James R. Coggins

Fifth and last in a series In the Ten Commandments, God (who identified Himself as Yahweh or “I am”) commanded the Israelites not to worship any gods but Him. Yet the Israelites were tempted to worship the gods of the … Continue reading

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Of Making Many Books There Is No End by James R. Coggins

“Do you still use a typewriter?” It is one of those questions that I get asked from time to time. I think it is intended to imply that I am old and out of date. Unfortunately, the question is not … Continue reading

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No Other Gods: Asherah by James R. Coggins

Fourth in a series In the Ten Commandments, God (who identified Himself as Yahweh or “I am”) commanded the Israelites not to worship any gods but Him. Yet the Israelites were tempted to worship the gods of the peoples around … Continue reading

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“An Intensely Written Novel” by James R. Coggins

Against All Odds is described as “a gripping, intensely written novel.” It tells the story of Jaan Willem Mobach, his wife Johanna, and their six children, who were captured in Indonesia by the Japanese during World War Two. In different … Continue reading

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No Other Gods: Baal by James R. Coggins

Third in a series In the Ten Commandments, God (who identified Himself as Yahweh or “I am”) commanded the Israelites not to worship any gods but Him. Yet the Israelites were tempted to worship the gods of the peoples around … Continue reading

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A Nose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet by James R. Coggins

Do you ever have one of those nights when your body craves sleep but your mind won’t cooperate? The solution is to distract your mind. Don’t let it wander toward topics that are troubling or stimulating. As a writer, I … Continue reading

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