I am fully vaccinated. That’s the statement of the season. Recently, I got my fourth vaccine shot—that’s right, four. Why four, you ask? Because I am participating in a vaccine trial.1 Back in January, I received two shots which may have been the vaccine or a placebo. In April and May, I got two more, the opposite of what I got …
I caught a little wasp recently while on vacation. It was on the beach of a Minnesota lake, right up on the fringe where the adjacent grass invades the sand. It hopped and clambered about rather than flying around like a “normal” wasp, and it was very small—only four millimeters long. As an entomologist, I find insects that pique my interest in many places. There were numerous individuals of this wasp species along that stretch of sand, but we beachgoers had not noticed them before this. I …
This school year was hard. Although hardships and adjustments in the past couple years differ greatly depending on one’s community, educational needs continue to arise within both our public and Christian school settings, exacerbated recently by the global pandemic. As this article specifically addresses the common needs of teachers and how principals can support those in education, notice how these needs might extend to our many roles as parents, professionals, caretakers, …
Father’s Day is a time to remember and acknowledge dads and other men who have been mentors and guides during our formative years.
“Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor 1:13). Paul’s question is rhetorical, and we’re meant to say, “No, of course not!” But like the fractious Corinthians, we seem to have a pile of evidence to the contrary on our hands.
As broken followers of Jesus, called to live out his holy prayer, we can seek the wisdom and courage we need to pursue unity and reconciliation while standing for truth and righteousness at the same time.
One of the most commonly quoted biblical chapters about language is James 3, where the apostle exhorts fellow believers to watch out for the power of the tongue, which is “…a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
St. Paul writes mostly in prose, but once in a while…he gets so excited that he can’t restrain his inner poet and he launches into a poetic riff that knocks us off our feet.
I think almost all of us have felt grief during the current pandemic, even if we haven’t experienced the death of someone close to us. At first, it was likely the loss of our normal way of life.
That’s where I found it, standing just off the road, on gravel, across from a cemetery, all the ingredients of a dead church once upon a time named Zion Pres. Out here, not all of such ruins are Presbyterian. Many are Lutheran, some on the reservation are Episcopal. They come in all flavors, although size is fairly standard on the edge of the Plains: not big.
What does it mean to “practice resurrection” in a world that is filled with death and brokenness?
As we lead up to Easter 2021, it is in many ways an unprecedented holiday time. Last year’s Easter was in the earlier stages of the pandemic—of the isolation, fear, and grief. Now, as the vaccine is making its way into the world and many churches are gathering together once again, there is some measure of hope…but also a great deal of mourning and exhaustion.
Last week I had an experience that is becoming increasingly commonplace. I closed my email, shut off all my notifications, and sat down to do some “deep work” (as Cal Newport calls it).
If asked to imagine a scientist, most of us will likely picture somebody wearing a white lab coat and safety glasses, leaning over an experiment in a lab. This is indeed a pretty good representation what some scientists do, yet we also recognize that scientific activity often takes different forms that go beyond the stereotypical image of the “scientific method” in action.
The prophet Daniel figures prominently in children’s Bible story books and Sunday school lessons. With a den of lions, a fiery furnace, vain and dream-disturbed royal villains… it’s like this book was written for the main stage.
No one in his right mind would dare suggest that the novel coronavirus spreading around the globe in 2020, with all its sickness and death, is a good thing. But, no thoughtful Christian—especially Reformed Christian—can dismiss either God’s sovereignty or his propensity for allowing troubling events to both refine wayward thinking and action and bring blessing.
For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant spending a lot of time at home together as a family. Maybe this unexpected extra time together has helped identify some concerns in regards to your family’s communication and behavior.
As an ecosystem that can be seen from space, the Great Barrier Reef is known for its unique beauty and vast size. My aspiration to experience this reef wasn’t only to see a natural wonder of the world, but also a dream spurred by fear that this ecosystem would disappear in my lifetime.
For most of us, the novel coronavirus has meant lots of time at home over the past several months. It may mean an increase in anxiety. Work-from-home and school-from-home have resulted in more screen time than normal, as meetings and classes are conducted over Zoom or a similar platform. If you have read articles online about how to cope with these changes, most of them mention the importance of spending time outside.
As Christians we often talk about the Imago Dei—the Image of God. I think all Christians would like to be healthy and effective witnesses, so here is my recommendation for how we can do better at loving the world in social media, and how we can be more discerning.
For most of my life, I have tried to find peace in doing enough of the right things. I believed if I worked hard enough, busied myself with enough things, and developed skills in enough areas I would eventually arrive at some undisclosed location where there would be peace.
So many of us are desperate for a return to normal, to the familiar, that I worry about one group that we all agree things will not be normal for: those who are at elevated risk, especially those 65 or older.
The interesting thing about ageism is that it often goes both ways. Sexism is usually referring to the unfair treatment of women, and racism in our country (given the inherent power dynamics) is always against people of color. Classism is understood to be the wealthy classes’ disdain for those in poverty. But ageism can refer to both the dishonoring of those with “gray hair” (Proverbs 16:31), as well as the dismissal of those who are young (1 Timothy 4:12).
In the coming years, when we look back on our cultural response to the novel coronavirus, shifting attitudes towards mask-wearing will prove an interesting case study. It has been fascinating to watch how the meaning of mask-wearing has changed in so short a time.
Let me confess that I have long been confused about Memorial Day.