Correct or connected? On Purity

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

1 Thessalonians 4:7: For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. by Mara Joy Norden One Sunday morning during the children’s sermon, I asked a group of children about the meaning of purity in the church. One child, the ten year old who always has deep theological insights, answered confidently, “‘Pure’ means one hundred percent of something, …

A World Still Stirred

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 6 Comments

October 31 approaches, the official five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. No doubt Halloween will prove interesting this year, as surely we must all dress as our favorite Reformers. Based on a cursory internet search, however, I note that no one has yet seen the Reformation costume market as the lucrative business opportunity it might be—all profits to good …

Holiday

James Schaap Uncategorized 2 Comments

To me, the word Tabaski sounded more like a seasoning than a holiday weekend—but Tabaski, Festival of the Sacrifice, is an age-old Muslim gala of biblical proportions sometimes called “The Great Feast,” one of the biggest celebrations on the Muslim calendar. A couple years ago, Tabaski happened to fall on a day I was in rural Niger. Markets closed. Horses …

The Dollar Store Blues

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

Oh baby why you ain’t got no butter hunh? I drive all the way over here for butter, milk, eggs, and now I jus’ denied. Deeeee-nied. I do ‘ppreciate you are open late on a Sunday night, I sincerely do. But this? why you do me wrong baby why Okay then sugar cereal and salsa and chips too And maybe …

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Jes Kast Uncategorized 4 Comments

A Word from Jes…Sometimes I enjoy highlighting other women who you may, or may not, know in our reformed life who I believe are saying things we need to listen to. Rev. Marcy Rudins is a recent graduate from Western Theological Seminary. I’ve enjoyed connecting to her through social media, though I do not think we have met in person, …

How about a Nice Game of Chess?

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 5 Comments

The premise of the 1983 film War Games is that a NORAD computer—that had been programmed to “play” a game called “Global Thermonuclear War”—goes rogue, takes over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and is preparing to launch a fusillade of missiles.   The computer thinks it’s a game and locks out all human attempts to stop it.   At the last moment, the …

Scrummy, isn’t it?

Rebecca Koerselman Uncategorized 1 Comment

Thought a little late to the game (as usual), I started watching The Great British Baking Show this summer and I am completely hooked. I’ve learned a great deal about baking. The judges are critical, yes, but not mean. This is a refreshing change from the Simon Cowell-esque version of personal criticism as a form of entertainment. Instead, the judges …

Not Polite and Polished: On Unity

the12 editor Uncategorized 1 Comment

John 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one. by Mara Joy Norden I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb as a visitor in this small-town church, which was odd, because I was surrounded by people who looked like me, talked like me, …

One small thing or prayers after Charlottesville

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

by Elizabeth Vander Haagen I did a lot of things wrong the week after Charlottesville. The way I told my kids about it on Sunday morning scared and confused them – one left the breakfast table in tears. A few days later I lost my temper in a meeting with the leadership of the black church that rents space from …

Reading Song of Songs more often in Church

jasonlief Uncategorized 9 Comments

This Sunday night, around 6:10 PM central time, I will ascend the steps of the big boxy pulpit and begin to read from the Song of Songs. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!…We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine…” There’s a few people in the congregation who are …