All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

That searing stemwinder

  Our lindens are just about the tallest trees in town, I swear.  And there he was, high up top, singing his heart out, that searing melody so perfectly "cardinal" that it couldn't be mistaken for anyone else's.  Even with…
Essay

In just spring

Maybe a good teacher could have tried it, some whirling dervish with Obama’s eloquence, Solomon’s wisdom, and Tina Fay’s comic touch.  Someone young, for sure.  Someone connected, someone who says, as if by instinct, “my bad."  I really wanted to,…
Essay

Take it from Mother Teresa

". . .to the great God, nothing is little. . ." You know?--I really ought to imprint that line on a t-shirt: "to the great God, nothing is little." It's hers--Mother Teresa's--and it's just plain beautiful, isn't it? But then…
Essay

What little I know about monarchy

  Last summer, we’d just passed the bridge at Nijmegen where, 600 yards to the west, hundreds of GIs paddled flimsy Brit boats with their rifle butts in order to cross a river flowing with current fast enough to knock…
Essay

Of Gods and Men

  "The 150 evangelical leaders who met behind closed doors on January 14 to anoint a Republican candidate for President were wise not to have invited me.”  So wrote David Neff of Christianity Today in what I thought was a brave overview…
Essay

Fear and trembling

The hardest work I ever did was a three-week stint--that's all--with a road crew cutting sod and laying it down along the new interstate highway, I-43, that would come to link Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  It was backbreaking work.…
Essay

Endorsement

Case closed.  I'm an Iowan, once upon a time a Republican, and I am at this moment endorsing a candidate.  (Now please stop calling.)  I'd be walking across the floor at the caucus meeting when Ron Paul's name is announced…
Essay

Redeeming the dance

A half a century ago, I was a kid in a Sunday school class taught by a man who’d taught those classes longer, maybe, than he should have. We thought old Bill was ancient, but he was likely a decade or more…
Essay

This old house

My wife, who's now retired and therefore been home more often these days than she's been in the 25 years we've lived in this old house, claims there's one gorgeous female cardinal in a bush just off the deck that wants…
Essay

My last dance with Ms. Emily

Professor Helen Vendler says that Emily Dickinson changed the first word of the fourth line the poem "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers" from "sleep" to "lie," and she says so because she believes--and, on the face of the earth today,…