Essay

Darkened

In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived at the Desert of Sinai and camped in front of the mountain. Before God gave them the Ten Words, Moses did a lot of running up and down the…
Essay

State of Our Union

State of Our Union Tonight the President will deliver the delayed State of the Union speech to Congress.  Its every word will be analyzed.   Pundits will tote up the number of times the speech was interrupted by applause, how many…
Calvin Theological Seminary
Essay

Invisible Leaders

Why are women in civil rights typically so invisible? There is some debate over the extent to which women served as organizers or leaders during the Civil Rights Movement (CRM). Charles Payne, in his study of activism in the Mississippi…
Northwestern College
Essay

Mary Oliver, Epiphany Poet

A friend of mine says that Mary Oliver saved his life. Her vivid opening line in the poem, “The Journey” pierced him with an urgent truth: One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the…
Essay

Blizzard, Looking Out

Morning, west window The sky feels oddly bright, considering the snow thickly falling in clustered flakes. The wind gusts, whirling flakes into powder, snowglobing my backyard vista. For a moment, a cloud of white obscures the trees, the neighbors’ backyards,…
Calvin College
Essay

Voices in Lancaster County

"Sunday, October 15, we went to church. The wind was then blowing wildly, but this became worse further along in the day. When we got out of church, we saw smoke in the distance, because the prairie was on fire."…
Essay

The One Who Sees

One of the best names for God is “El Roi,” which was the name given to God by a vulnerable refugee named Hagar. El Roi, the Bible tells us, means “the one who sees,” and in particular Hagar meant it…
Essay

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

I heard Matt Bloom of the University of Notre Dame speak recently about research he is doing on well-being and thriving in ministry. Bloom has been studying pastors across several denominations for some time, and I commend his findings to…