Yoder-Short: The trophy queen says ‘no’

Jul 16, 2018 by

No more bathing suits at the Miss America Pageant. Is the culture of female objectification finally fading? Snags in male domination are old news. Long ago, a woman from a different culture said “no” to...

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Yoder-Short: Privilege closes our eyes to the real story

Jun 4, 2018 by

The community Good Friday service is going as usual. Teenagers are sharing on the last words of Christ. We’re ready for the phrase, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” “A...

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Yoder-Short: Are leftovers enough?

Apr 23, 2018 by

While preparing for our church’s turn at Free Lunch, my mind fills with tricky questions. How many guests really like coming? Are we hosting just to appear generous? Are we trying to rid ourselves of the...

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Yoder-Short: Stories rely on empathy

Mar 12, 2018 by

Have you ever wondered about her story, that woman caught in adultery? We know nothing about her situation. Contrast this with the Samaritan woman, where we know about her five husbands and her latest live-in...

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Yoder-Short: Sparrow watcher

Jan 29, 2018 by

“God sees the sparrows.” This phrase’s comforting appeal melted as I watched our cat dining on a sparrow. Life can be bloody and cruel. God seeing sparrows didn’t change this bird’s demise. Jesus’...

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Yoder-Short: A world of competing saviors

Dec 18, 2017 by

The committee deliberated whether the donated yard sign would be posted. There was disagreement. In the end, it was decided that the sign sounded too political.“No matter where you are from, we are glad you...

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Yoder-Short: Too much bloodshed

Nov 6, 2017 by

Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech, that I must live among the tents of Kedar. Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. — Psalm...

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Yoder-Short: Boasting of inferiority

Sep 25, 2017 by

“If you’d have known his grandma’s family, you’d understand his actions.” The conversation was making me uncomfortable. Then it happens again. A different family is assessed: “Stubbornness shows up...

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Yoder-Short: A decluttered church

Aug 14, 2017 by

A freeing feeling results when we donate unneeded clutter to the local rummage sale. Old books go, making room for new ones. Useless kitchen gadgets leave, creating room for useful basics. Uncomfortable shoes...

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Yoder-Short: Arrogance and grace

Jul 3, 2017 by

Aunt Grace made her first appearance years ago. She reappears at the sound of pompousness. Aunt Grace is the creation of a friend. I imagine her with grey permed hair and gaudy red lipstick. She entered the...

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Yoder-Short: Trust not the foxes

May 22, 2017 by

Ten baby chicks arrived at our house along with a flock of childhood memories. I grew up where banties roamed the barnyard, and spring included clucky mothers with newly hatched chicks. As I put our chicks in...

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Yoder-Short: Define ‘political’

Apr 10, 2017 by

“We can’t put up the sign because it’s political.” When seeing the sign, “No matter what country you’re from, we are glad you’re our neighbor,” what do we see? Does including Spanish and Arabic...

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Yoder-Short: ‘Pretend you know me’

Feb 27, 2017 by

I was putting money in the parking meter when a young woman approached me and quietly said, “Pretend you know me.” I was puzzled. She loudly chatted about how good it was to see me. After a trio of guys...

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Yoder-Short: Unworldly fashion statements

Jan 16, 2017 by

“Maybe they are the lucky ones.” His words surprised me. The discussion was about a local faith variety where the young women are easily spotted in their homemade dresses and coverings, while the young men...

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Yoder-Short: Smudges of pain, shimmers of grace

Dec 5, 2016 by

While unpacking my bags after returning from the Women Doing Theology Conference, I noticed a smudge on my comfortable grey sweater. Was it spilled coffee or residue from shared pain? As I cleaned out the...

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Yoder-Short: Choosing our rituals

Oct 24, 2016 by

Football player Colin Kaepernick, with a cross decorating his arm and Bible verses tattooed on his chest, started a conversation by refusing to stand for the national anthem ritual. How do we speak to an...

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Yoder-Short: Was Lydia black?

Sep 12, 2016 by

Images become stuck in our heads. Of course Lydia was white. And Cleopatra looked like Elizabeth Taylor. Lydia is frequently cited as the first European convert. Most children’s Bible storybooks confirm...

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Heavenly tablecloths with fresh ideas

Aug 1, 2016 by

Peter is hungry and goes to pray. A vision of unclean food, arranged on a heavenly tablecloth, appears. He is invited to eat. Peter, the good Jew, refuses. He is told not to “call anything profane that God...

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The many what-ifs of loving your neighbor

Jun 20, 2016 by

“Who is my neighbor?” I understand the lawyer’s need for a clear answer from Jesus. Jesus answers the question with the story of a Samaritan showing mercy to a wounded traveler. It seems easy. The person...

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Unsettling stories

May 9, 2016 by

“The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” The Bible says some unsettling things. Multiple bloodbaths clear the way for The Chosen. Smashers of babies against rocks are called blessed. The list of...

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