By Kraig Sorvick
Have you ever taken a road trip? This past April, my wife Kelsey and I traveled to Tennessee and North Carolina. We were able to enjoy time with family in Nashville and then traveled to Asheville, NC on our own adventure.
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?
Text and illustrations by Mike Rohde (http://rohdesign.com)
What distracts you from God's presence and the people he's put in your life?
By Carol Becwar
Our granddaughter recently moved with her family to the Milwaukee area. We've gone into overdrive doing what we can to help our daughter and son-in-law settle in, including babysitting. We love having Gracie overnight, taking her along on errands, and joining in her goofy games. I've rediscovered that when children become secure with new caretakers, they start to act out and test boundaries. Of course, we cut her a lot of slack, but we do have a limit to what we'll tolerate.
By Jen Akin
Many of my favorite memories are centered around my parent’s big, clunky, wooden dining room table. We lived on a very meager budget, but Mom could make the simplest foods seem like we were dining at a five star restaurant. Along with this, the table was always set with a tablecloth, dishes, and flatware in the exact right spots. Two lighted pillar candles were set in the middle to serve as ambiance. A beautiful ritual, signifying something special.
Three years ago, in the dark night of my soul, I despaired.
I could not see that spring was coming.
That resurrection was coming.
While the calendar turned through the seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall, I remained in the winter of my soul. I'd lie in bed, in the dark gray light, hidden in the shadows.
And in my winter, there was quiet, resting, waiting.
I walked into my dorm after a full day of classes and I saw a few friends gathered together in the lobby. I went over to say hi and noticed that two of my friends had black smudges on their foreheads. I proceeded to inform them as though they had no idea. They looked at each other and then at me. The looks on their faces communicated, “What? Bryan, don't be an idiot.”