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Seeing Suffering

the12 editor Uncategorized 9 Comments

by Joshua Vis About six months ago, after an extended search and interview process, I was offered the job of Church Engagement Facilitator for Israel/Palestine for the Reformed Church in America. It was a relief and an honor to be selected for the position. The relief aspect is important, but it is the honor aspect that I want to unpack …

the12 editorSeeing Suffering
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Consuming Rightly: The Task of Christian Higher Education

Jason Lief Uncategorized 1 Comment

Ask any 18-22-year-old why they decided to go to college and you might be surprised at the response. They know the “right” answers: to get a good job, to develop their skills, to be part of a community, even to grow in their faith. Just try telling them it’s possible to do this without going to college and they get …

Jason LiefConsuming Rightly: The Task of Christian Higher Education
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When Jesus is (Fake) Sleeping

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by Kate Kooyman When I had babies living in my house, I had a crazy brain from sleep deprivation. My husband and I laugh about it now, about the times in the middle of the night when I was so exhausted and so irrationally angry because of my certainty that he was fake sleeping when the baby would cry. I …

the12 editorWhen Jesus is (Fake) Sleeping
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Embodied Joy

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

Guest blogger Sarina Gruver Moore teaches English at Grove City College. Summer 1981 I am six years old. Cheerful, choppy-haired, browned by the sun: I am a pixie-sprite tomboy full of energy, and I glory in the animal power of my strong legs as I ride my banana-seat bicycle in endless circles around the neighborhood. My brother and I and our …

the12 editorEmbodied Joy
Herod's Tower

Towers, Tombs, and the Way of Jesus

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by Chuck DeGroat Building towers show your power and glory. Just ask King Herod, who built his infamous fortress-home on the highest hill in the Judean desert, 5km southeast of Bethlehem. Judah’s king, the king of God’s chosen people, was the great builder of his time. “Herod Towers” dotted the landscape of this ancient world, but this one was a …

the12 editorTowers, Tombs, and the Way of Jesus
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The Artist as a Prophetic Voice

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By Brian Keepers This summer I had the opportunity to travel with internationally known artist Joel Schoon-Tanis and twenty-six others from various churches in the RCA to Beit-Sahour/Bethlehem in the West Bank. We went there to put on a week-long summer camp for Palestinian youth at two different schools. Half of us led a fitness camp at one school while …

the12 editorThe Artist as a Prophetic Voice
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Be Strong and Courageous

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 by Jennifer Lucking My daughter is a complete mini-me. Her features resemble mine when I was a child, to the extent that once my husband actually confused a baby picture of me for my daughter. In ways …

the12 editorBe Strong and Courageous
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Would You Say Yes?

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 7 Comments

In June, California became the fifth U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted death, or PAD. Twenty more states are considering legislation. Similar to Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act from 1997, the new California law permits doctors to provide a terminally ill patient with prescription medications the patient can self-administer, ending his or her life at a moment the patient chooses. Last …

Debra RienstraWould You Say Yes?
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Out back at River Bend Church

James Schaap Uncategorized 4 Comments

The sign out front claims this well-kept church on a hill just north of Flandreau is “The Oldest Continuously Used Church in South Dakota” (all caps because it’s a title worth coveting). The old church has been “First Presbyterian” for 137 years, “River Bend Church” when it was established here along the Big Sioux River long, long ago.  Well, read …

James SchaapOut back at River Bend Church
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Conspicuous Tales: a beach anecdote

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by Al Schipper Going to the beach is not the same thing for my wife and me. She loves to be out in the sun and I’ll be in the shade, reading a newspaper. Once while I was escaping into my newspaper, a guy on a Harley pulled up and walked to where I was sitting on a park bench. …

the12 editorConspicuous Tales: a beach anecdote