Stop giving bonus points for success

Mar 16, 2015 by

Sociologist Dalton Conley explained on NPR’s Here and Now how families become less cohesive when one sibling is significantly richer than the others. Money triggers family tensions. Siblings with more money...

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Learning from stories that stink

Feb 2, 2015 by

As I took down my string of Christmas cards and letters, I smiled as one friend noted the danger of a Christmas letter becoming “a list of stellar achievements accomplished by perfect people.” Ours had no...

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Shame on us

Dec 22, 2014 by

Visible sins bring shame. The holiday picture of pregnant Mary reminded me of an earlier time when an unwed pregnant female would stand in front of the church and publicly confess her sin. Most of us now doubt...

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In speedy culture, slow church is better

Nov 10, 2014 by

“News of [great numbers of Greeks becoming believers] came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch” (Acts 11:22). Imagine sending a person on a 300-mile journey to check...

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Let’s talk about sin

Sep 29, 2014 by

More than 60 years ago, Howard Ham­mer and his revival tent came to Kalona, Iowa. Some still remember how riled up people got. They tossed cigarettes and jewelry into a barrel. According to one account, a...

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Indicators of a biblical church

Aug 18, 2014 by

My daughter brought some of her Albuquerque garden soil to Iowa. Her tomato plants were looking yellow, and she suspected the acidity of her soil. With the help of pH paper, in minutes her soil was deemed...

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A little Jesus spit

Jul 7, 2014 by

My son Daniel learned at a young age seeing clearly is an essential skill. His older sister made him a chocolate milkshake. At least that is what she called it. I’m not sure of all the ingredients — a...

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Seeing our own stupidity first

May 26, 2014 by

Lately I’ve caught myself ranting about stupidity. Or perhaps some would say I’m being judgmental. I thought: How could Sarah Palin be so stupid? What was she thinking when she said, “If I were in...

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Puzzling visions

Apr 14, 2014 by

As a child I remember my mom being concerned about the Mennonite church. It was losing its identity. Mennonites were becoming less different from the world in the ways they dressed and thought. What looks like...

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Debating Genesis

Mar 3, 2014 by

It’s not always easy to distinguish sand from rocks. The Feb. 4 debate between Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” seemed at times to turn into an attempt to prove the stupidity...

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Eating our way to the great banquet

Jan 20, 2014 by

Should one serve hummus to a hog farmer? Clashing food “shoulds” fill our conversations. Mennonites are divided. Some of us refuse to eat meat; others raise meat. Some of us protest the size of chicken...

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