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A Holy Kiss

the12 editor Uncategorized 2 Comments

by Sarina Gruver Moore To be honest: I didn’t want to go to church. To be more precise: I wanted to go to mass. At the cathedral. As you read this I’m traveling in France with a group of students from my college. I’m not teaching on this trip, just acting as the female chaperone—a mom to 24 young adults, …

obama bless

Baruch Barack*

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell Uncategorized 5 Comments

An Old Testament professor was leading an adult discussion group. The conversation turned to the depth and beauty of the Hebrew notion of “blessing.” Surprisingly, the prof never introduced the actual Hebrew word, prone as we are to share important biblical words—hesed, shalom, koinonia, agape. After the group dismissed, I asked, “What is that word and why didn’t you mention …

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/File)

Who Owns the Dream?

the12 editor Uncategorized 4 Comments

By Brian Keepers It’s amazing to me that the most famous part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech wasn’t what he originally planned to say that day. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of 250,000 people, King spoke from a manuscript of carefully chosen words. Every once in a while, something he …



the12 editor Uncategorized 0 Comments

from Isaiah 49:1-7 God of all revelation, Isaiah writes that he was called before birth That you made his mouth sharp That he was shaped like an arrow Turned and turned into perfection, And yet hidden in a quiver, Ready to speak, to strike truth when needed. Yet, so often we feel that we labor in vain And that all …


The Call of the Library

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 5 Comments

Of all the good books I received as Christmas gifts this year, one has captured my heart: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia (Bloomsbury, 2016). I realize it’s hard to imagine a geekier volume than a history of reference books. Oh, but open the cover and frolic with me in the playground of …


The Children’s Blizzard

James Schaap Uncategorized 7 Comments

A January thaw is what all of us out here look forward to right now, a breath of warmth that reopens our hope that someday soon April will return–two heart-of-winter days, maybe three, of forty degrees. No wind. Heaven comes to Siouxland. That’s the relief people felt early on January 12, 1888, when most of those who’d put down homesteads …


Our Lord’s Body

the12 editor Uncategorized 9 Comments

by Daniel Meeter We can be pretty sure that the Lord Jesus, in the thirty-three years of his life on the landscape, possessed a body that was no different than any of ours. He was not immortal. He was not invulnerable. He did not have x-ray vision. He could not fly. But he could catch colds. If his body could …


Spiritually Mature Leadership

Jes Kast Uncategorized 2 Comments

I believe that maturity is not an outgrowing, but a growing up: that an adult is not a dead child, but a child who survived.  – Ursula K. Le Guin When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to …


Just Being

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 2 Comments

Somewhere in her luminous novel Gilead, Marilynne Robinson describes a storm that blows the roof off of a chicken coop. In describing the reactions of the chickens to this event, Robinson penned a line that caused several high profile reviewers to pause so as to linger over the line. The reactions of the birds to their little catastrophe were, Robinson …


The Contradictions of Wonder Woman

rkoerselman Uncategorized 1 Comment

Wonder Woman is an interesting comic character that makes me…well…wonder. According to the historian, Jill Lepore, she was created in 1941 as a tribute to early feminism. But Lepore makes the case that Wonder Woman was a character full of contradictions. She the brain child of her comic creator, William Moulten Marsden. Marsden has an interesting backstory. An unusual chap, …