Kingsinger: My life is unfair

Jun 1, 2020 by

I realized, my first Sunday morning volunteering at the Rusk County Jail, how very unfair my life has been. My sister and I sat across from two women in bright orange suits, locked with them into a small room...

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Yoder-Short: Jesus the joker

Jun 1, 2020 by

Have you tried any tasty camel recipes? In this time of physical distancing, people are doing more experimental cooking. I have yet to try a camel roast, but I did read that carefulness is required, or the...

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Book review: American Harvest

Jun 1, 2020 by

“Certain conditions yield certain things.” In the setting of the Great Plains, an owner of a custom harvest crew offers this axiom in answer to writer Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s question about differences...

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Powell: Kids don’t start racist

Jun 1, 2020 by

While shopping last year, a white child about 4 years old pointed at me and asked his mother, “Is that a n—er?” The mother took the child’s hand, looked at me and quickly disappeared. I wasn’t...

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Bible: Who listens when Wisdom speaks?

Jun 1, 2020 by

I don’t know how many teenage boys will read this column, but these texts are addressed to young men your age! Even though the NRSV says, “hear, my child . . .” (Prov. 1:8; 2:1), in this case the word...

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Kehrberg: I wouldn’t change a thing

Jun 1, 2020 by

It’s all my own fault — my own fault; and yet I’m not guilty! — Stiva Oblonsky, Anna Karenina There is a well-worn trope in TV shows and movies when former lovers, old friends or estranged family...

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Kriss: Belonging to the truth

May 18, 2020 by

I was struck by the words of Pontius Pilate during Holy Week as I walked the Stations of the Cross sponsored by Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa. I had never heard his “What is truth?” question quite like...

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Book review: Seditions, Confusion and Tumult

May 18, 2020 by

The question left Layton Boyd Friesen befuddled: Why were the 16th-century Anabaptists so reviled and persecuted? The answer Friesen had learned — that they lived in an age when people ­didn’t tolerate...

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Longhurst: No glib prayers

May 18, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many Christians are turning to prayer. But what to pray? It can be especially hard for worship leaders, who wonder how to find the words that speak honestly to God on behalf of...

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Bible: Steadfast prophet, faithless wife

May 18, 2020 by

When Hosea prophesied at the sunset of the northern kingdom of Israel, he cast a vision for the people’s future by recalling their past with God. It’s been all downhill since Jeroboam II: king after king...

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Kraybill: Heaven’s silence awaits prayer

May 18, 2020 by

No, this is not the end of the world. But COVID-19 certainly is an apocalypse — an “unveiling” — as the word is understood in the Book of Revelation. The prophet John, quarantined on the island of...

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Miller: Parents’ lessons stick for life

May 18, 2020 by

Complying with a stay-at-home order has given me lots of time to catch up on projects around the house — cleaning out landscape beds, reorganizing the garage, decluttering the office. The list is long. I...

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Washington Witness: Fearful turn to guns

May 4, 2020 by

COVID-19 has forced federal and state governments to con­sider what is an essential business allowed to remain open during the pandemic. Grocery stores, gas stations and auto-repair shops are a few of the...

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Bible: We reject the bunker mentality

May 4, 2020 by

Drive south out of our community toward Wichita and you’ll spot an advertisement for a bunker. It’s not a billboard, but a display of the real thing: a full-size corrugated steel hidey-hole. It looks like...

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Book review: Signs of Life

May 4, 2020 by

Each day can carry with it reminders of what we have lost. As time passes, we lose our youth, shedding as well some of the dreams and ambitions we once cherished. We may lose a sense of invincibility,...

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History: Fleeing the Russian catastrophe

May 4, 2020 by

In 1920, Mennonites in Russia were in the middle of a catastrophe. Political and social upheaval, including a devastating famine, had left them dying of starvation and facing a dire future under Communist...

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Andres: How disaster stories give us hope

May 4, 2020 by

In the last two months, my go-to stories featured disasters and dystopias. I watched the Hunger Games films, Contagion, 2012, the Insurgent series, World War Z, Oblivion, the new Amazon series Tales from the...

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King: Getting through

May 4, 2020 by

Years ago after I had published some of her books, I slipped into a talk Mennonite author Katie Funk Wiebe was giving at a retirement community. Although I had long connected with Katie in relation to...

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Bible: The rider on a pale horse

Apr 20, 2020 by

So this is how the world ends: not with a bang or a whimper but with the sound of your last square of toilet paper going down the tubes. God’s people have been here before (sort of) — enemies from within...

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Yoder-Short: Life in the wilderness

Apr 20, 2020 by

We live in a fear-filled, anxiety-ridden wilderness. We sound like the rabble enumerating all they miss of the good life in Egypt. Gone are the days of good food, tasty Nile fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks,...

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Powell: Hold on tight

Apr 20, 2020 by

Our world is topsy-turvy as a result of the coronavirus. People are being infected at an alarming rate. Medical gear is in short supply. People are dying without their loved ones being able to say goodbye....

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Kehrberg: Giving up my essentials

Apr 20, 2020 by

People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors. — Dorothea, Middlemarch In response to COVID-19, our county issued a “stay home, stay safe”...

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Kinsinger: How COVID-19 reset my mindset

Apr 20, 2020 by

As the map in The New York Times fills with red, I’ve been sorta blue. Thanks, COVID-19. Church, writers’ events, community gatherings — all canceled. COVID-19 corresponded with a natural bout of...

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Book review: Yoder School

Apr 20, 2020 by

Frankly, I was a bit leery of taking up a country school hardship story, given that I have both lived that reality and read about it often. But happily, Yoder School is not centrally about the three-room...

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Book review: An Unlikely Trio

Apr 6, 2020 by

George J. Lapp (1879-1951) was one of those Mennonite pioneers who emerged at the turn of the 19th century and made a contribution to multiple fields throughout his life. Missions, higher education and...

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