Columns

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?

I am Not Ashamed Adventist Branding Through New Eyes

January 01, 2004 / Jere Patzer

Adventist Branding Through New Eyes

As a boy, I quickly learned that "Seventh-day Adventist" was generally not a household expression in this country. If I said I was a Seventh-day Adventist, I could expect a response like, “Seven-day what?” Or if there was any recognition they might respond, “You’re the ones that have the big temple in Utah.” I remember actually dodging questions regarding my church affiliation.

Hide It Under a Bushel? No!

Calling the Blind and Armless

January 01, 2004 / Karl Haffner

Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The top student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, after receiving his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs.

Our Place of Hope, Heaven and Him

January 01, 2004

"I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus’ words have sparked hope ever since He spoke them to His disciples. I have spent hours with others, envisioning the place that God has prepared for us.

A Place of Hope

The Christmas Story Today?

December 01, 2003 / Jere Patzer

I used to believe that poor Mary and Joseph had it pretty tough. You know, walking and riding on a donkey 80 miles to Bethlehem all so they could pay taxes. Then finding no place to stay birthing their Son in a stall and cradling Him in a manger.

And then I got to thinking. What if they had lived today? Would that have been better?

How to Get Rich

December 01, 2003

A fable is told in India of a poor beggar who lived in a state ruled by a maharaja. The beggar had no home but slept on a mat in a homeless shelter. On frigid evenings he covered himself with a treasured collection of tattered rags. Having no means of earning a livelihood other than begging, he ventured out every morning. He would sit by the sidewalk with his beggar’s bowl as passersby threw some grains of rice or copper coins his way. Usually he got enough rice for two meals a day.