By Paul Runnoe, Cru (campus ministry)
Over the past two summers, we’ve had the opportunity to help lead the Milwaukee Inner City Summer Mission with Cru. The experience has been challenging, eye-opening, and very rewarding.
By Carol Becwar
I recently attended a 50th anniversary celebration. And I was in the wedding party in 1967! At age 13, life seemed long, and sometimes slow. But as the decades passed and life got more complex, my perspective changed drastically. Now when I look at old pictures, or observe my children as adults who are accustomed to the rat race of life, I know beyond any doubt that life is short and crazy fast.
By Bob Wolniak, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
My first retreat experience came as somewhat of a surprise. I was a college student attending my first day of camp with hundreds of others my age, eagerly looking forward to spending time in worship, Bible study, making new friends, and deepening existing ones. Then we were told that for the next three hours there would be total silence in camp, and we were to spend that time alone with God. As an extrovert seemingly incapable of thinking without speaking, I nearly panicked! In spite of other instructions, I ended up wandering along trails in the forest in a daze. Eventually I sat down, took out a few pieces of paper, brushed some ants off, and began writing a prayer to God. To this day I still vividly recall this experience and its effect on the rest of my week—being more aware of God. In fact, it led me from that day forward to eagerly look for times of quiet to unplug and journal. Something I now cherish more than ever in a busy ministry role and increasingly full and frazzled schedule.
By Lee Heyward, brooklink.org
Several weeks ago I suffered a hamstring injury to my right leg. It’s nothing serious, just aggravating. My injury is a daily reminder that I’m over 60 now, not under 30. My doctor prescribed three things—restrict your activity level, rest your leg, and rehab. He smiled as I left, handed me a script and said, “This kind of injury usually takes 4-6 months to heal. Enjoy your summer!” How do you enjoy summer when you’ve just been directed to limit your summer?
John Certalic - www.caringforothers.org
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he
bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! - Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)
One day when our twin grandsons were still toddlers, Janet and I were babysitting
them in our home when they taught me an important lesson about listening.
“Hey George, bring down that red tractor we were playing with,” Grant shouted up the
stairs to his brother.
By Andrea Harris
Our family has just finished another birthday season. Most think we've completed spring, but it’s actually birthday season at our house. My children were born in April, May, and June, and even my daughter-in-law conforms to the season with an April birthday. My husband is the only one who gets his own special season with a birthday in February. He’s always been a bit of a nonconformist!
By Mike Kasdorf
If you’re anything like me, your response to a problem or challenge is to do something—be proactive, be a problem-solver. I think it’s because I feel a need to strive for something, earn something, do more of something. We humans always seem to be striving for more, don’t we? Even in a faith context it’s easy to fall into a ‘gotta do more’ thought pattern: “I need to pray more, read my Bible more, serve more, etc.”
By Jen Akin
Nothing is more explosive in my relationship with my children than when my selfishness comes up against theirs. This happens primarily between 3:30 and 5:30PM on most school nights. Tired and hungry, we circle each other like tigers in a cage waiting for one false move. (For the record, the cage tends to be my 2010 Honda Civic.) Seem melodramatic to you? Yup – that’s part of this rough time of day too. Nothing is right, everything is wrong.
By Andrea Harris
A few weeks ago, in our 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday morning class, we were reading about Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus. The kids are doing a great job of learning to find our memory verse or our story in the Bible and also in practicing to read it. One of the students asked what it meant when it said that something like scales fell off of Saul’s eyes. This led to a discussion of contact lenses as I explained that the lenses I wear help me see better, but what was on Saul’s eyes caused him to be blind.
By Bob Wolniak
To say the least, it is ironic for me to be writing about Lent! Growing up unchurched and then joining various evangelical circles that ignored church traditions and church calendars, I didn’t take the role of Lent seriously. It wasn’t talked about much in my household, and I even scoffed at Lent with my perceptions of self-abrogation for religious gain, meatless Fridays, and carnal pleasures celebrated during Mardi Gras.
In 1994, my wife and I were not yet married. We went on a date one night to see Forrest Gump. There is a point in the film where Forrest looks at his girl and says, “You’re my girl, Jen-ny.” At that moment, I looked with a Forrest-like blank stare at my then girlfriend and said, “You’re my girl, Jen-ny.” I stayed in character, and thought, Nailed it! Jen winced with a look that could best be translated: Oh, man. What am I signing up for here?