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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Bible: Nevertheless, God rescues

Apr 6, 2020 by

I almost drowned in the ocean once. I consider myself a strong swimmer, and that afternoon I confidently waded out from the beach and slipped under the waves. Except that those waves began to batter me as a...

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Kraybill: Hope amid pandemic

Apr 6, 2020 by

Fear gripped Alexandria, Egypt, in A.D. 260 as a pandemic pummeled the great city. Along with their neighbors, followers of Jesus endured a plague — perhaps smallpox, measles or Ebola — that some people...

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Kriss: Passion week, Pentecost, pandemic

Apr 6, 2020 by

“Because of the virus.” I mulled the phrase, letting it sink in. I was taking a walk in my neighborhood, where it’s strangely quiet while the blossoms peak. At the supermarket, an intercom voice...

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Kennel-Shank: Activism and tech

Apr 6, 2020 by

The young woman on the book cover holds the trunk of a tree and looks out from its branches. Julia Butterfly Hill’s The Legacy of Luna details the two years she spent living high aloft on a platform inside a...

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Longhurst: The plague village

Apr 6, 2020 by

During this time of pandemic, many people are worried. They see the hoarding and long lines in grocery stores and wonder if we are in danger of falling apart as a society. Yet there are also stories of hope;...

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King: See me

Mar 23, 2020 by

A blessing of six grandchildren is the chance to learn again a key longing of being human: “See me.” The ache to be seen is fundamental. It shapes us from beginning to end and through everything in...

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Washington Witness: Central America is rich

Mar 23, 2020 by and

Central America isn’t poor. In Spanish, unlike English, there are two forms of the verb “to be.” One expresses a temporary reality (“it is cold outside”), the other an enduring fact (“this is a...

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Book review: Service: The Path to Justice

Mar 23, 2020 by

A friend asked when justice became a conspicuous topic for the worldwide church. I suggested the crises of the 20th century inspired an almost constant inquiry about justice. This occurred first in the global...

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History: A rural people? Not at first

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonites have long lauded rural settings as the ideal locations for faithful life and practice, nestled in the hard-working, simple- living communities away from the seductive evils of the city. It’s...

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Bible: Resurrection changes everything

Mar 23, 2020 by

When the miners in the collapsed Copiapó mine in Chile were finally rescued and shuttled to safety through three miles of stone on Oct. 13, 2010, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera was there to greet them....

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Andres: Parasites, islands and tables

Mar 23, 2020 by

Parasite received much attention after it collected top awards at the Oscars last month. The film is an engrossing and fable-like story that lingers in your thoughts long after the credits play. Set in South...

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Bible: The trumpet call to holiness

Mar 9, 2020 by

We were driving through the night in a pickup truck somewhere in the deserts of northwest Mexico. After an evening church gathering, I and several other hermanos were headed home, bumping along in the back as...

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Kinsinger: What I’ve learned about marriage (in 3 months)

Mar 9, 2020 by

Maybe it’s laughable for someone who’s been married three months to try to say anything at all about it yet. All the same, I know a whole lot more about marriage now than I did 91 days ago. Here are a few...

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