Columns

The First Church of Hackers

May 01, 2004 / Karl Haffner

Someday when I’m so rich that Bill Gates hits me up for a loan, I’m going to buy a thousand acres of land. Then I’ll hire some groundskeepers to follow me as I whack a golf ball 72 times. The gardeners behind me will be charged with the task of building a golf course around my errant shots. I figure that’s the only way I will ever hit a round of par golf. With my severe slice, I reckon the course would be a perfect circle.

Whatsoever Things Are Pure

April 01, 2004 / Jere Patzer

Mark Twain was once asked what he thought of Richard Wagner's music, to which he replied, "Well, it's not as bad as it sounds."

There seems to be a bit of the same rationalization among society at large and Christians in particular when it comes to what is currently being accepted into many homes today via the media. I’ve had to step back and ask myself what has happened to virtue, decency and just plain good manners, to say nothing of the blatant profaning of God’s name in many of the popular media programs.

Praying for the Cameras

April 01, 2004

As a teen, Phil Donahue dreamed of being a famous TV personality. By the age of 27, he was well on his way to “success.” He worked as a reporter for the national network CBS. It was only radio, but it was CBS just the same.

Donahue’s big break came when he was in Holden, West Virginia, covering the story of a mine collapse that had trapped 38 men underground. Each night he called in a report to CBS Radio.

God's Mysterious Ways

April 01, 2004 / Amber Serns

It was all black smoke and ringing alarms in Auburn Adventist Academy's girls dorm on that rainy November day. Were the girls still inside? Was anyone stubbornly lying in bed with ear plugs to wait out the “drill”? Was someone studying so intently that she didn’t want to get up and leave?

While others, thinking mostly of the novelty and only later the crisis of the situation, wandered toward the foreign sight of smoke pouring from Nelson Hall, an unlikely hero was about to be made and God’s presence felt.

Home Where We Belong

March 01, 2004

I met Rachael* at a week of prayer. After the final meeting she tentatively approached me and asked, “Pastor Haffner, may I speak to you?”

The first thing that struck me about this 10-year-old was her sweater. It was a blistering hot day—not the kind of day when you’d expect to see a sweater. “Sure,” I smiled, “I’d be glad to talk to you. What’s on your mind?”

I was not emotionally prepared for her story.

My Friends with Young Families, Remember: The Cat’s in the Cradle

February 01, 2004 / Jere Patzer

The Cat’s in the Cradle

When our kids were small, some well-meaning sage would comment to us, “Well, enjoy them now because before you know it, they’ll be gone!” We’d patronizingly nod our assent, realizing that what they said was, in fact, true. But while recalling some of our children's recent memorable antics, it seemed to be in the far distant, if not welcome, future. In retrospect those years are now almost a blur.

Facing the Great Depression

February 01, 2004

There’s an intriguing line of research on depression that shows one group in our society as being significantly less affected by this mental illness than any other group. Care to guess what the group might be? Left-handers? Blondes? Psychology majors? Boston Red Sox fans? (Fat chance!) What do you think?