Blizzard Syndrome and the current social distancing

Mar 25, 2020 by

The morning of March 17 our daughter Emily said we should make Prune Loaf. I said, “Yes. We should.” We have a malady known as Blizzard Syndrome, and Blizzard Syndrome calls for Prune Loaf. Back in 1975,...

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A pandemic, as I knew it

Mar 23, 2020 by

Mennonite workers witnessed the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in southern Africa during the 1980s and ’90s. Nearly a third of adults of reproductive age became HIV-positive, leaving an entire society...

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Cultivating peace of mind

Mar 20, 2020 by

When I arrived at my church office the morning of March 18, I began my day as I always do, with silence. I spend anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes with my eyes closed, resting in the presence of God. But this...

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What I would do if I had a camel

Mar 18, 2020 by

We don’t have a camel. Our farm has at least one of many different critters, but we don’t have a camel. Ah, but if we did . . . If we had a camel, I would invite children to come see, smell and hear this...

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Coronavirus is a physical and spiritual threat

Mar 16, 2020 by and

The Christian faith is not just a personal commitment, it is also a communal experience. From the very beginning, Christians have gathered to share the Word of God and break bread in confined spaces. They...

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Ruebens and pacifism

Mar 9, 2020 by

On a Wednesday night quest to find a rueben sandwich for my wife (Rainbow Mennonite Church Pastor Ruth Harder), I stopped by Browne’s Irish Marketplace in Kansas City. It was late, and the place was...

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Being raised Amish-Mennonite, and what it taught me

Mar 4, 2020 by

The Amish-Mennonite way of life is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Amish and Mennonite denominations have huge variations among their congregations. Even geographical area can make a...

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Reconciling the news of Jean Vanier with the work of L’Arche

Mar 2, 2020 by

It all came at once — a messy break up, the death of a close friend and the troubling news of Jean Vanier and sexual abuse. These three experiences all hit me hard, wounding the core of my being, making me...

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Can you have an Anabaptist megachurch?

Feb 24, 2020 by

Several times over the last few years I’ve heard statements like this: “Boyd may embrace an Anabaptist theology, but his church (Woodland Hills) cannot be, by definition, an Anabaptist church because an...

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Peter and Paul: Delusional hope, irrational fear

Feb 17, 2020 by

Peter started out as a man of delusional hope. Paul began as a man of irrational fear. Both are parables for our time. The role of tens of thousands of Christians in the election of the current president of...

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Ten Thousand lamentations

Feb 13, 2020 by

The year 2020 did not begin well. We’d all barely finished our portzelky when we were forced to contend with rumors of war and visitations from pestilence. Throughout January, disaster was all around us. But...

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Loved enough to be good

Feb 10, 2020 by

A Mennonite bishop once pointed out to me there was an area where Jesus didn’t send his disciples. In Acts 1:8, when Jesus told his disciples they would be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and...

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Elections: I Samuel 8 (revised)

Feb 6, 2020 by

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his...

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How would Jesus impeach?

Feb 4, 2020 by

“If an offender refuses to hear you, then tell it to the ekklesia (the assembly). If he will not hear the ekklesia, then you must remove that person, consider them an outsider.” — Jesus (who loved...

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Look, these are God rocks

Feb 3, 2020 by

The conversation went something like this: Look at these stones, my children. These are God rocks. Because, you see, Yahweh God held back the waters of the Jordan River when it was overflowing its banks, and...

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Midwives of justice

Jan 29, 2020 by

One Friday afternoon, five of us met around a table: four representatives of our neighborhood organization and the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s deputy chief of staff. Those of us from the neighborhood had been...

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What if we never tried to set up a church?

Jan 27, 2020 by

I had a call from Santiago, Bolivia, a couple of evenings ago. We talked about current politics in Bolivia, after the tumultuous public upheaval following the October presidential elections. Evo Morales, the...

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An evaluation of the Anabaptist doctrine of nonconformity

Jan 22, 2020 by

There’s a weird Anabaptist doctrine I don’t think many millennials understand. It might be one of the biggest obstacles for new believers, and the final straw for those who choose to leave. This doctrine...

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The temptation of political power

Jan 20, 2020 by

Of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have commented: “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.” This quote sums up the dominant political...

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Can we beat our addiction to war?

Jan 17, 2020 by

The U.S. military strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s military force, has raised questions in the minds of many Americans about what we believe about military action and warfare. From my...

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Understanding and responding to Middle East anger

Jan 15, 2020 by

A defining moment for me in understanding the Middle East was the four nights of bombing I endured as a humanitarian worker in Baghdad in 1998. I’ll never forget that terrifying experience: lying on the...

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It hinges on a hyphen

Jan 13, 2020 by

Let me be honest with you: I don’t want my kids to be evangelical Christians when they grow up. It was only recently, in one of those rare moments of fatherly self-awareness, that I realized this. My teens...

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Pacifism in church history

Jan 9, 2020 by

There is not a single extant Christian author before Constantine (in the fourth century) who said killing or joining the military by Christians is ever legitimate. Whenever the surviving Christian texts...

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Clothes and wounds

Jan 6, 2020 by

Often when I revisit a familiar biblical story, something new emerges. Sometimes that new thing is a simple truth, other times it’s a detail that I simply overlooked as if it wasn’t important. This...

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The beauty of paradox

Dec 30, 2019 by

Why do Christians have such difficulty reaching agreement? The answer may lie in the very nature of God and the gospel. Our challenge is to embrace a God of mystery who is also relational and trustworthy. This...

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