Our son starts university in a few days. I struggle to describe the potpourri of feelings that blossom within me when I consider this fact. For one thing, I am very proud of what he has accomplished to reach this landmark; then, I am concerned about how he will navigate this change of course. Will he flourish in this new stage of (online) learning or be frustrated and overcome by the workload and lowered level of accountability? How can I, his father, guide him through this?
I was a rookie pastor and young father at the start of summer 1997, when Siegbert caught up to me in the church stairway. Siegbert is a seasoned German Baptist minister. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said, “While you’re on vacation, see how you can be a person of reconciliation.”
A familiar Scripture passage comes to mind when I ponder how to pray for the upcoming federal elections. According to Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus identifies us as people or citizens of God’s kingdom, and as the children or family of God. In our identity as citizens of God’s kingdom family, we are invited to pray for our nation — for his kingdom to come and his will to be done here in Canada as it is in heaven.
All of Joseph Gudo’s hard work was summed up in one small plate of food. He’d laboured for months in the field and uncountable hours in the kitchen all in service to this dish—a neat pile of mashed cowpeas (or black-eyed peas), buoyed by a bold pinch of cayenne pepper and dressed up with pops of colourful diced tomatoes and green peppers. This was everything he’d been working for, his heart and soul on a plate.
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There seems to be a definite dearth of common sense among homo sapiens. Humour aside, we face a very serious and expanding problem among us, a lack of wisdom. My seminary professor Tremper Longman III said that wisdom is a knowing how – that is, knowing how to navigate life.
As we begin, full disclosure: although a Mennonite Brethren pastor, by spiritual birthright I am very much a Pentecostal. By this, I mean that I was raised in the Pentecostal church, was born-again and baptized in the Pentecostal church, had powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal church, went to Pentecostal bible college, and pastored in Pentecostal churches for thirteen years. This was my world until seven years ago when the Lord led me to leave behind the Pentecostals and join the Mennonite Brethren.
“Thank you for not leaving us alone,” one woman told Paul Shetler Fast, MCC’s health coordinator and former representative in Haiti who was present for the Aug. 31 distribution. “We’ve felt very alone these last days waiting after the earthquake, hoping someone would come, hoping someone would not forget us.”
“A derelict house has become a home.” That’s what Dan Driedger, Executive Director of MennoHomes in Waterloo Region, Ont., said about how volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service Ontario made it possible for a Syrian refugee family of five find new a new house to live in.