Life

Nurture your spirit with these stories and reflections that explore the human experience.

Light in the darkness

Light in the darkness

by Lisa A. Smith WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I thought the Ten Commandments weren’t for me. I considered myself a responsible and rule-keeping kid, and these rules seemed so easy. Since I hadn’t murdered anyone, stolen anything, worshiped Babylonian gods or coveted anyone’s...

read more
Our holy longing

Our holy longing

Making my peace with death and life By Elise Seyfried MANY YEARS AGO, on an elementary school field trip to a local nature center with my daughter Julie, I volunteered to put my hand under an electron microscope for observation by the class. What on earth was I...

read more
Our liberator

Our liberator

by Catherine Malotky OH, GOD, IT WAS YOU WHO BROUGHT US OUT of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You are my source and my liberator. I need your law because being true to you is illusive and hard, a daily commitment, and a path I so easily reframe in my...

read more
God’s gift list

God’s gift list

A LIST IS A HUMBLE THING, more dull than not, the basic workhorse of our everyday plans and aspirations. Lists help us navigate everything from “to do’s” to groceries. Living on scraps of paper, tucked within purses and pockets, they earn their keep but aren’t the...

read more
A memory you can eat

A memory you can eat

How food helps me remember by Cara Strickland WHAT DOES MEMORY TASTE LIKE? For me, it’s an artichoke leaf dipped in butter, a glimmer of what is to come when I get to the center—the heart my mom would always prepare for me, cutting off all the green fuzz. It’s a fish...

read more
Wonky hearts

Wonky hearts

We should not internalize lies about our value and worth. by Kristina Diaz WHEN I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, I liked to paint and draw. Even in kindergarten, when asked to dress up for Career Day, artist was it for me. In third grade, my love for art was still going strong. So,...

read more
A recipe for welcome

A recipe for welcome

She escaped Saigon, found a home in Ohio and today teaches Sunday school in Texas. by Kathryn Haueisen HOURS BEFORE SAIGON FELL in April 1975, Eva Nguyen’s family crowded into the last C-130 cargo plane to airlift people out as the North Vietnamese approached the...

read more
A hand when we’re falling

A hand when we’re falling

by Elise Seyfried We can all be guardrails. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME you fell out of bed? For a toddler just graduating from the confines of a crib, the answer might be, “Yesterday!” However, for us slightly older folks, sleeping without rolling off the side of the...

read more
What makes us worthy?

What makes us worthy?

by Karris Golden The fact that we are all children of God. THERE ARE THINGS I BELIEVE, based on information, feelings and experiences, that make sense to me. I can define and describe these beliefs, even if I cannot fully or adequately explain my reasons. Likewise,...

read more
Warming up to Leviticus

Warming up to Leviticus

Learning why this book matters by Jennifer Ginn WHO LOVES THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS? Given the challenge to study an Old Testament book, most people of faith would skip Leviticus every time. It’s legalistic, full of the blood of sacrificed animals being spattered on...

read more
Worthy, grateful, healing

Worthy, grateful, healing

by Dorothy Probst READING THROUGH THE BIBLE, with a guided plan last year, I was struck by the book of Leviticus. Prior to this, I’d quickly skimmed the pages of this Old Testament book, bored with Israel’s detailed sacrifices to God, as I understood God to be “back...

read more
Sharing our gifts

Sharing our gifts

by Linda Post Bushkofsky MY FATHER WAS A WELL-LOVED rural letter carrier, so when it came to Christmas, people on his route would remember him with all kinds of gifts. Throughout December, Dad would receive homemade fudge and fruitcake, bottles of aftershave, boxes of...

read more
This Advent, be an auntie

This Advent, be an auntie

by Lisa A. Smith THE FIRST TIME I BECAME PREGNANT, I found out early Christmas morning. Perched on the side of the bathtub, I held my breath, waiting to see how many lines would appear on the test stick. There were two lines! I was elated. I told no one. I had stuff...

read more
Wonderfully hidden

Wonderfully hidden

by Elise Seyfried God, unlike camouflaged creatures, really wants to be found. “Those who have found God in the cross of Jesus Christ know how wonderfully God hides himself in this world and how he is closest precisely when we believe him to be most distant.” —...

read more
Animals & Advent

Animals & Advent

by Elizabeth Hunter A CHILDHOOD NEIGHBOR, EVA, was known for her beautiful flower garden and care for unwanted, stray and hurt dogs—usually six or seven at a time. My siblings and I spent a lot of time at Eva’s, helping her with the garden and the dogs. She showed us...

read more
My faith and my plate

My faith and my plate

What if we felt a sense of responsibility, rather than dominion? by Maggie Olson EVERY BELIEVER HAS A DIFFERENT WAY of living out their faith. Our diverse spiritual practices are as rich and beautiful as humanity itself. Some people volunteer at their city’s food...

read more
The assurance of things hoped for

The assurance of things hoped for

by Venice Williams I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS to “walk by faith.” Faith has carried me through a number of challenging situations on my life journey. However, one beautiful afternoon last June, it wasn’t just about walking “by” faith. That afternoon was a moment of walking...

read more