While in Halifax for the holidays, I was given an unexpected lesson in gift-giving from a stranger.

I was having dinner at a downtown restaurant with my family when I encountered what I consider my dose of Christmas spirit for the season.

Using the weapon of words

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I have always enjoyed meals when my entire family is present. The laughter is contagious and we all relish revisiting memories and experiences.

The topics I look forward to the most are more serious topics like politics or world issues. This is because my views and opinions would always build up and I would want to contribute. Yet because of my age, views were automatically labelled unimportant and then ignored by the older members of my family. Accepting defeat, I would then hide my frustration by concentrating on the meal before me.

Finding Gross National Love

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“My brothers, what use is it for a man to say he has faith when he does nothing to show it? Can that faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough food for the day, and one of you says, ‘Good luck to you, keep yourselves warm, and have plenty to eat,’ but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.” (James 2:14-17)

I thought this passage from the Bible was a good reminder of our call to action as Christians during these tough economic times as we approach the Christmas season.

Informed to be ignorant

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“George Bush is so stupid!” remarked one of my friends seated at her desk.

“I know,” agreed another, “he makes even Steven Harper look intelligent!”

Reaching out to the poor

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I had just finished a late shift at work. I put on my sweater, coat and scarf and left the building. It was really cold — the kind of chill that you can feel wrap around the very edges of any exposed skin. I walked quickly, hoping to secure a warm seat on the bus. As I approached the bus stop, someone stopped me. “Mon grand, as-tu deux pieces t’as pourrais me donner?” I stared into the weathered face of the man who was asking me for money. He was not dressed for the weather. A baseball cap and a thin windbreaker were all the protection he had for the cold night.

School lockdowns are a scary reality

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The world is becoming a scarier place every day. Tune into your local TV news station right now and I’m sure you will see a report about another fatal incident.

That’s why I never enjoy watching the news. I prefer being ignorant to the harsh realities of this world.

Passion for journalism

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Journalism is of great importance to the world, and for a student like me, it may be my future. Since Grade 11, I’ve known that journalism was the path I wanted to pursue as a career.

My passion for writing began in elementary school. Where others found it to be work, I always had a desire to write creative stories. But it wasn’t until high school that I finally set my mind on a writing career.

Understanding God's call

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{mosimage}Living out a vocation does not mean settling. It is far from it — but some people mistakenly think otherwise.

I came across someone who thought entering the priesthood late in life was just something to settle for because he did not get married, did not have children and so the next best thing was to enter the seminary. Did he ever approach that the wrong way.

The Author of life

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Life is a storybook. God is the author and man is His character. I realized this as I read my Writer’s Workshop book for creative writing class.

A few weeks ago, I had to read a chapter on time which spoke about how the author of a story controls the pace of time. The author transcends time. I kept pondering this element until it made me think about God, the author of life.

Science: merely a tool to use

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If I were to tell you that dust from the moon could cure the common cold, you might laugh or tell me I was crazy. But what if I said that scientists had tested the healing capabilities of moon dust and found their human subjects showed improvement in a matter of hours? Better yet, what if I showed you the article in a science magazine?

No such article exists, by the way. However, as soon as I placed the word “scientists” in front of my moon dust tale, I don’t doubt that some discerning minds said “I still don’t believe it.” But more often than not, if someone makes a claim in the name of science, we, as a culture, are more apt to give it at least some merit.

Leafy lifestyle, according to Genesis

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I often find myself explaining to people why I’m a vegetarian. I used to be pretty defensive about it, but now I realize I only want to educate others.

The drive behind my vegetarianism is certainly not limited to my compassionate and “tree-hugging” nature, though this is one of the reasons I chose to adopt my leafy lifestyle. Health benefits, economic efficiency and conscious consumption are all contributing factors, but people need to understand that my faith plays a role in this too.