Why Do I Write?

I was supposed to answer the question “Why do I write?” on a page you can find by clicking on “The 12” button atop this page.  Instead of finding my answer to that question there, you will see that I…

Christian Higher Education: Some Questions

 Last year I spent three days a week working with the guidance counselor and chaplain of a new high school in south Minneapolis.  Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is a part of the nation wide Cristo Rey network of Catholic…
Northwestern College

The Path

I was staying in a hotel on one of those ubiquitous suburban strips—big box stores, gas stations, car lots, the usual suspects of restaurants.   Figuring it would be circuitous and challenging to drive the quarter mile to the restaurant on…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA


InvitationMary OliverOh do you have timeto lingerfor just a little whileout of your busyand very important dayfor the goldfinchesthat have gatheredin a field of thistlesfor a musical battle,to see who can singthe highest note,or the lowest,or the most expressive of…

Redemption Fantasies

A girl can’t spend every minute thinking deep thoughts and reading classic literature, so on occasion I flop on the couch and watch myself a little fantasy TV.  I am not talking about cheesy Arthurian drama (though I groove on…
Calvin University


Ten years ago maybe, my in-laws, then in their eighties, told us that they had simply mentioned to the pastor, as if in passing, that occasionally they'd like to sing the old songs once, too. They're not pushy people, believe me. The…

Entering the Story of the Saints

They came from places called Sekitsch and Feketitsch, Werbass and Torscha—villages, towns, and cities in the Batschka and Banat. If you ask them in what country they were born some will reply Yugoslavia, while others will say Hungary. In some…