Living by a Different Script

the12 editor Uncategorized 3 Comments

By Brian Keepers Last Wednesday I defended my dissertation for my Doctor of Ministry program at Western Seminary, and tonight I will robe up and walk across the stage in Dimnent Chapel to receive my diploma. It’s been a long journey getting to the finish line, but I’m grateful to have made it. It’s a strange feeling being done. I’m …

Tulips, Tamales, and Resurrection Living

the12 editor Uncategorized 8 Comments

by Chad Pierce From Orange City to Oostburg and Lynden to Pella, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s tulip time. I have spent most of my life in two cities founded by Dutch immigrants. And from the quaint community festival in Pella, Iowa to the commercialized gridlock of Holland, Michigan, I admit I enjoy a good tulip …

Bonne Bell Takes Me Back

Debra Rienstra Uncategorized 2 Comments

In the fall of 1975, West Side Christian School compelled us fifth graders to sell magazine subscriptions in order to raise money for … something or other. This kind of nonsense was beneath our dignity. We had almost reached the pinnacle of the elementary school hierarchy, and we no longer expected to slave for “the man.” Unable to throw off …

Kingdom thugs

James Schaap Uncategorized 9 Comments

Two Tai Dam men, both of whom immigrated to this country as refugees after the Vietnam War, are grocery shopping. Seriously—this happened. Both of them have a cart out front of them, and they’re looking for whatever—think Wheaties maybe. They look up at each other. It’s not extraordinary to run across other Tai Dam people in Sioux City, Iowa. Local …

Bless This House

the12 editor Uncategorized 7 Comments

A student walked into my office the other day and handed me a simple white envelope with my name on it. “May I open it now?” I asked. “I’d like you to,” she said. Inside I found a small sheet of plain white cardstock hand-stamped in black ink with a beautiful print of ivy, dahlias, morning glories, and curling vines. …

The Veneer of Civilization

Scott Hoezee Uncategorized 1 Comment

Those of us who are fans of the AMC cable show The Walking Dead know that although this series began with the obvious threat of zombies (or “walkers” as the show refers to them), it did not take long before the threat of those still alive came to dominate.  Yes, it can be very bad to encounter a walker–one bite …

Naming and Knowing

Rebecca Koerselman Uncategorized 2 Comments

I’ve noticed some interesting trends in naming, particularly among millennials. Instead of choosing classic or so-old-they-are-new-again names, parents seem to make up new names through some sort of mash up, or use locations and brands as names. There also seems to be an interest in using radically different spellings of common names. Or extra capital letters. * I am all …

Labels, Prisoners, and the Worst in Us

the12 editor Uncategorized 5 Comments

by Chad Pierce Liar, addict, adulterer, doubter… imagine if we were known, and labeled, by the worst five minutes of our lives. I made the mistake this week of reading the online comments on a news story that had been posted to Facebook. The article was about the Calvin Prison Initiative. Calvin College and Calvin Seminary offer a liberal arts …

Climate March

the12 editor Uncategorized 11 Comments

by Daniel Meeter As you read this, the Lord willing, I am on a bus to Washington, D.C. for the People’s Climate March. I feel awkward when I do this kind of thing. The other people on the bus made posters and signs and all kind of creative things, and I’m jealous of their easy enthusiasm, and I’m conscious of …

13 Reasons to Believe in Santa

jasonlief Uncategorized 2 Comments

Slovaj Žižek likes to use the example of Santa Claus to make a point about the nature of belief. If you ask parents, they tell you “Of course we don’t believe in Santa, we buy the presents. We just go along with it for the sake of the kids.” Then, when you ask the kids, they say, “No, we don’t …