Columns

Silent Night, Holy Conscience

August 01, 2003

Dr. Frederic Loomis faced the most difficult decision a physician could ever make—whether to allow a deformed baby to live or die. He had only seconds to decide.

Glimpses of God

July 01, 2003 / Patricia Revolinski

The school year is new, the school board members may be new, but the ritual is the same. In August, the school board meeting begins with a visit to each classroom to pray for the teacher and students soon to enter that room. These board members pray that the teacher will emulate the Master Teacher and that decisions made will draw the students closer to Jesus.

Heroes 101

July 01, 2003 / Karl Haffner

Here’s a story I heard:

“When I was in first grade, Mr. Lohr said one day that my purple teepee wasn’t realistic enough, that purple was no color for a tent, that my drawing wasn’t good enough to hang with the others.

“I walked back to my seat counting the swish swish swishes of my baggy corduroy trousers. With a black crayon, nightfall came to my purple tent in the middle of an afternoon.

Why in the World Are We Doing This?

June 01, 2003 / Jere Patzer

We had gotten up at an unearthly hour to catch the plane for the long trip to the Dominican Republic. We were the advance group making the arrangements for our 160 NPUC youth and adults that would be participating in the Las Americas para Cristo, The Americas for Christ satellite evangelism initiative during spring break. When we arrived it was dark and rainy. The people that were to pick us up weren’t there and I said to myself, “Why am I doing this?

Exercising Faith

June 01, 2003

Some years ago I registered with my friend Roger for a mini-triathlon. While the biking and jogging seemed doable, the swimming scared me. It felt as if I’d be attempting to cross the Grand Canyon on a pogo stick.

“It’s only a quarter of a mile,” Roger explained. “You couldn’t drown if you tried.”

“But Roger, people drown in hot tubs.”

“Sure, but that’s different. They aren’t competing.”

“Huh?”

“Trust me it’s different.”

Placing the Crucifixion on Hold

May 01, 2003 / Jere Patzer

Jesus was dying on the cross in the most mentally and physically excruciating ordeal any man has ever experienced. Our English word “excruciating” comes from the Latin word meaning “out of the cross.” For hours prior to that event Jesus had been the victim of Satan’s unmitigated anger played out in the human administration of:

• Five mock trials

• Four brutal beatings and

• Two flesh shredding scourgings

Playboy Bunnies and Stewardship

May 01, 2003

It was a get-rich-quick scheme. Because our newly-planted church family always struggled to meet expenses, one board member suggested, “We have got to figure out how to pay our bills. So why not sell tickets to a church service? We can do it on Saturday night, combine dinner with a drama, and call it . . . ‘Eats-n-Acts.’”

“But who will buy the tickets?” I asked.

In the Military and Lonely

April 01, 2003 / Jere Patzer

I heard something on the news the other day that touched my heart. The reporters were talking to some of our troops who had been deployed to the Middle East. One soldier had letters from his wife, another from his girlfriends but a third hadn’t received any. So he was borrowing letters from his buddies, just to have a taste of home, so far from it.

Under the Influence

April 01, 2003

“Karl, let’s go bungee jumping,” some kids from my summer day camp urged.

“Forget it. I’d rather chew on chalk.”

“Come on. Why not?”

“Because I don’t want you to dig me up in order to bury me.”

“Come on, Wimpbreath, take a risk. Nobody’s ever had more than one accident.”

Should New Converts Take The Bible Seriously?

March 01, 2003 / Jere Patzer

Something happened a few Sabbaths ago that reminded me how important simple belief in the Bible is to our efforts at personal evangelism. It may also be an important factor in the faith of our more “veteran” members.

A visiting friend of mine stated in our Sabbath School class that we should not take the Genesis 1 creation account too literally. He went on to explain that if the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day, there culd not have been an evening and a morning during the first three days of creation, as described in the Bible.