One year in: A Sanctuary reflection

Nov 14, 2018 by

Oct. 2 was the one year anniversary of Edith in Sanctuary in our Columbus Mennonite Church building. The press continues to tell her story sympathetically, like THIS article in The Guardian, and THIS one in...

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The waste of love

Oct 23, 2018 by

I wake up with a dark hole of emptiness eating through my chest, and it takes me a second to realize why. My little girl is gone. The child that I loved from the minute I set eyes on her is gone. I still...

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Are truth and unity mutually exclusive?

Sep 24, 2018 by

I love the paradoxes of God: “God is love,” the Bible states, but it also says, “God is holy.” God is portrayed as both the vulnerable lamb and the wrathful lion. He is king and servant, Alpha and...

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Yoder-Short: To be great or humble?

Aug 27, 2018 by

“More to the right!” “No, go left!” “From where I stand it looks like you just need to center it.” We are on a youth-group service trip. The shouting isn’t about politics. It is about locating...

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Bible: With love, our divisions fall away

Aug 13, 2018 by

These texts from Paul provide an excellent coda to our conversations about ethics, justice and the Christian life. Although Romans is rightly considered Paul’s most important theological writing, he most of...

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Testimony: I welcomed my enemy

Aug 13, 2018 by and

I come from a people called the Banyamulenge. We are cattle herders and live in the high mountains of eastern Congo overlooking Lake Tanganyika. Over the years, my people have been forced from one area to...

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How to pray for the people you love

Aug 7, 2018 by

To introduce our summer preaching series on Philippians, I called my sermon How to Pray for the People You Love, because that’s what the apostle Paul does in the opening verses of his letter. Some years...

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King: Much more to love

Jul 30, 2018 by

As national flames flare over babies torn from immigrant parents, how public figures are treated in restaurants, naming a new Supreme Court justice, tariffs, taxes, environmental regulations and more, a...

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Loving our neighbors without fear

Jul 11, 2018 by

I saw two movies recently. The second was First Reformed. The pastor of a small Christian Reformed church somewhere in New York struggles with a tension between hope and darkness in his own life and runs into...

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Love for lawbreakers: Reading Romans 13 with Romans 5

Jun 27, 2018 by

I had taken a vacation from the news for a couple weeks, but I couldn’t help but notice all the discussion in my Facebook feed about immigrants being separated from their children. Everybody seems to have...

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Immigration injustices aren’t new

Jun 26, 2018 by

I clearly remember that cold winter morning in January 2007. I arrived at the airport at 3:30 a.m. to report for my job, as a supervisor for a major airline in Brownsville, Texas. I walked to the ticket...

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Andres: Love weighs what’s best

Jun 18, 2018 by

Infinity Wars, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, brings together multiple threads woven through many of the previous 19 films. It’s fun to watch the Avengers finally meet up with...

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Beyond our fears

Jun 18, 2018 by

Anxiety affects nearly one-third of the U.S. population, making it the most common mental-health disorder. Youth particularly feel its crushing weight. Record numbers of college students are seeking treatment...

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Book review: ‘Soul Tending’

May 7, 2018 by

Do you remember a time when every Sunday started with three hours of church followed by a long meal, often roast beef and root vegetables that roasted in the oven while we sat in the pews? Perhaps the meal was...

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‘Remember that you are dust’

Feb 13, 2018 by

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Growing up in a Mennonite church, I knew nothing about Lent. But when I was in seminary, I worked as an assistant minister in a United Methodist church....

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5 tips for holding convictions with humility

Feb 12, 2018 by

Entreat God. God delights in the humble, and he wants to help us grow in humility. Our first step must be to pray for humility. Discern others’ background. Often others’ beliefs are shaped by their...

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Jesus on the wisdom of children

Nov 27, 2017 by

A child knows at a very deep level that he is dependent for his very survival on his parents. And the parents know that their generous love for their child is the key to their child’s survival and...

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Have progressives made Trump God?

Nov 6, 2017 by

We live in times of heightened emotion. Enmeshed in digital media and captured by our “always-on” culture, it’s hard to unplug. The bare-knuckle fights of politicos and pundits come straight to our...

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A positive reading of the New Testament

Oct 12, 2017 by

There are some standard assumptions that Christians tend to have about the Bible — the Old Testament is old, outdated, primitive, problematic, violent and judgmental. And the New Testament is new, fresh,...

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Book review: ‘God’s Country’

Oct 9, 2017 by

Does God love the rural church? Does God love the rural communities that the rural church is rooted in? Do we love the rural church and its communities? Not the church as it once was or someday might be. Not...

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Why practice spiritual disciplines?

Sep 27, 2017 by

While discipline often has a negative connotation of punishment and rules, discipline can and should be associated with growth — especially when discussing spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines...

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Grieving with those who grieve

Jul 20, 2017 by

Have you ever felt unsure of what to do as you watched a friend grieve a loved one? My wife recently lost a cousin in a tragic car accident. As I watched the family grieve, I found myself wondering what to...

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It’s hard to love when they’re trying to hurt you

Jul 17, 2017 by

Most days, I go for a run. About three miles. Lately, I’ve been choosing a route that takes me along a trail that winds through a public park. Recently, my run has been a struggle. Not because of the summer...

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Come in, the show is free

Jul 17, 2017 by

Mennonite Church USA congregational membership and convention attendance are lower. It is apparent to anyone who has attended a denomination-wide gathering in the last two decades. Some attendees surely...

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To put love in action, Mennonite Church USA makes a list

Jul 10, 2017 by and

ORLANDO, Fla. — For 3,200 people at the Mennonite Church USA convention July 4-8, “Love Is a Verb” was more than a grammar lesson. The week’s theme focused on the basic truth that Christian faith is...

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