Columns

Salvation for Dummies

May 23, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

The “For Dummies” books have made a ton of money for writers and publishers. There are scores of titles, each one describing complex tasks in simple language. They’re the go-to books for those of us who get lost in the 12-page/five-language directions that come with our new purchases.

Plumbing. Learning Spanish verbs. Doing taxes. Beekeeping. List any subject, and Dummies.com probably has a book for it. There’s even a Revelation for Dummies!

However, when I did not find one covering salvation, that set me to writing.

Hide-and-Seek

May 23, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Playing hide-and-seek with small children provides minimal challenge. Often children select obvious places (hiding under a blanket in the middle of the room) or, if the lights have been turned out, will request that you hide with them. At times the anticipation of being found becomes intolerable, and they burst out of closets or cupboards yelling, “HERE I AM!” However, once children grow older they become adept at disappearing.

One Page

May 23, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

“And, finally, Lord, please bless the missionaries and the colporteurs around the world.”

The man assigned to the morning prayer in worship this week was one of the older elders, a retired pastor whose gray hair and halting steps spoke of many hard years. Clearly, he had thought through his prayer carefully and spoke to God for all of us as if he and God were having a personal conversation in his living room.

Will America Exchange Liberty for Security?

March 31, 2017 / Martin Weber

Will America forfeit civil and religious liberties in quest of national security? Our cities seethe with political and racial turmoil, while threats multiply from radical Islamic terrorism. Some foresee a crisis of such magnitude only God can save us. Desperate leaders could transform American democracy into theocracy.

How could that happen? What might it look like?

Consider the following imaginative scenario:[i]

Blemishes

March 29, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

For years now, mirrors have been telling my story with increasing honesty. The supple skin of yesteryear is rapidly developing the patina of age.

This patina is not the graceful kind. There’s no hint at the artful brush strokes of a Rubens or Rembrandt. Blemishes once faint are now promenading in bold relief. They confirm the prophetic word of those old black-and-white Reader’s Digest ads, which bemoaned “Those Horrid Age Spots.” Big deal, I thought as a kid. Yet now prophecy has been fulfilled. My decades-old skin proves it. And, frankly, I suppose it is no big deal.

The Touch of God

March 18, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

I was looking for elk hide, enough to make a new set of buckskins for the Fort Bridger Mountain Man rendezvous. A banker friend, who looked like a 1920 fur trapper, recommended I “wander up to St. Maries, Idaho, and see my friend Lars Eidnes. He’s got more leathers than the Hudson Bay Company.”

That’s why I was standing in a fur trader’s warehouse among stacks of every kind of animal skin available in North America.

Thesaurus

March 18, 2017 / Seth Pierce

A couple years ago a man named Tom ruined the game show Jeopardy for everyone in the world. The question, or answer as it happens to be in the game of Jeopardy, posed to the contestants read as follows: In common law, the age of this, signaling adulthood, is presumed to be 14 in boys and 12 in girls. “What is puberty?” would have secured a correct answer and $400.

A Prophetic Question

March 11, 2017 / Martin Weber

In his stark and somber inaugural address, President Donald Trump vowed to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” Is this promise a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

"Better not speculate," someone warns. "Let’s stick with the safe and sure teaching of Ellen White. She said nothing about Islam related to end-time prophecy — so neither should we."

Protest

March 11, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

I wasn’t the only one. Countless children through the centuries had tried it and failed. I was ignorant of such odds.

As I recall, my mother had refused to grant some childish request, and I was as furious as a 4-year-old can be. But instead of throwing a useless tantrum, I stomped purposefully to my room and began to plan my escape from totalitarianism. Into a bag went several items of clothing, a harmonica and a stuffed animal.

“Where are you going?” asked my mother, who had quietly been watching from the doorway.

Full Circle

February 24, 2017 / Chad Angasan

It never ceases to amaze me how God uniquely works. Mary Klein’s story began in 1959, and my memories of my grandmother are still vivid and clear as if it was yesterday. When I would visit her, the aroma of fresh bread and caribou stew would fill my nose. After she came to hug and kiss me, I’d hear, “Go eat, beebe!” with her thick Native Alaskan accent.

Love poured from my grandmother to my mother, Cecelia; her two sisters, Marilyn and Linda; my cousins; siblings; and me.