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Articles written by Erik Sietsema

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Patching Cracks

My kids argue. Any parent will tell you that kids always find something silly to disagree about. They get angry and start yelling or freezing each other out because of some petty disagreement. I’ve discovered that one of the most frequent elements...

 

Patching Cracks

A while back, I read a book on an army Colonel who took over a demoralized company during the Vietnam War. One of the first things he did as commander was to rename his company “Hardcore” and require the soldier to repeat the name constantly....

 

Patching Cracks

During a power outage a few weeks ago, my kids and I spent some time talking about how strange it was that we kept flipping light switches when we entered rooms. They weren’t going to do anything, and we knew it. Still, after laughing over...

 

Patching Cracks

Over the last few weeks, I have been reading about New Year’s Resolutions. One of the most common suggestions for folks to apply in order to succeed in their life changes is that you find a group of people to associate with that are doing the same...

 

Patching Cracks

In 2001, a study was done in England that looked at motivation to exercise. A large group of subjects was divided into three groups. One was the control group, which was told to simply track how often they worked out. Another group was exposed to...

 

Patching Cracks

In Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, the reader is introduced to John the Baptist early in the story. John the Baptist was a popular preacher in ancient Israel whose messages prepared the ancient Jewish people for Jesus’ coming. In Luke’s g...

 

Patching Cracks

Before coming to Big Sandy, I worked with kids in a mental health facility. Most of the kids were pretty ordinary but had abusive or difficult upbringings. The result of their terrible life experiences was often a great deal of anger and...

 

Patching Cracks

Over the last few weeks, I have read a handful of articles in various publications on how to start an argument over politics with your family at Thanksgiving Dinner. The authors of these helpful guides included catchphrases and tricks you could play...

 

Patching Cracks

In 1929, Calvin Coolidge traveled to the Black Hills in North Dakota for a vacation. While there, he was photographed many times dressed in cowboy attire. The one catch being that it isn’t actually cowboy attire. It’s a very fancy, almost silly...

 

Patching Cracks

The treadmill was originally invented as a torture device for prisoners. Prisoners were chained in place on a cycling belt that simply continued to move. The prisoners were forced to run or walk in place for hours at a time as a form of torture....

 

Patching Cracks

In ancient Israel, every Jewish boy would learn the Torah in school. Specifically, they would memorize the Jewish religious writings starting at an early age until the rabbi teaching them decided they had reached their potential as students. At that...

 

Patching Cracks

One of the hardest parts of professional pastoring is ministering to families in times of loss. It is hard because our natural inclination when folks are hurting is to try to fix it. We want to make the sorrow stop, but it’s impossible. You can’t...

 

Patching Cracks

I hate shopping for cars. I would probably enjoy it more of I had a lot more money, but as it is, I typically go into car buying with a strict set of rules and a limited budget. The worst part is when you talk to a salesman and he has you test drive...

 

Patching Cracks

I have a work out schedule I follow from week to week. It is Tuesday morning as I write this, and I will confess honestly that I dread going to the gym on Tuesday mornings. My Tuesday workout is very difficult. I have to push myself to finish it...

 

Patching Cracks

I recently watched an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger where he talked about going from being a small, self-doubting kid to winning Mr. Universe 7 times. He described hanging photographs of boxers and athletes he idolized all over his room....

 

Patching Cracks

Last week, I listened to an interview with business coach/best selling author Steve Chandler. His business has been built up around the idea of being a “Time Warrior.” Put simply, he teaches folks how to overcome procrastination and accomplish...

 

Patching Cracks

My wife and I enjoy doing Escape Rooms. These are games where you are locked in a room and have an hour to escape by solving puzzles that provide you with keys, combinations, or directions for escaping the room. We have done a dozen or so over the ye...

 

Patching Cracks

Ancient rabbis used to tell a story about the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt. At the climax of the story, God parted the Red Sea so that His people could cross on dry land and escape from the pursuing Egyptian army. In the story, two men were wa...

 

Patching Cracks

I do about 30 chin-ups at the gym several times a week. I don’t like doing chin-ups, and I couldn’t do them for many years. I’d try and try and couldn’t quite get myself up over the bar. Then, a crazy thing happened one day: I did one. After...

 

Patching Cracks

A few weeks ago, my 6 year old son and I were at the community pool for swimming lessons (for him, not me). It was the last session of the week, and they typically just play in the pool for the hour. I asked my son to go down the big slide, which...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 31, 2019

Patching Cracks

About 10 years ago, I started playing a Facebook game. It was one of those games where there’s almost no skill or thinking involved. A few of the guys I worked with started playing the same game, and before long we were discussing it at lunch and...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 24, 2019

Patching Cracks

This week, I have been married for 21 years, and I am happy. I thank God every day for my wife and the life we have shared, good and bad. This isn’t to say we never disagree or fight. Rather, that I love her dearly and she is my favorite person in...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 17, 2019

Patching Cracks

I am a procrastinator by nature. Though I’ve gotten better about it over the years, when I was in college, I turned it into an art. I began by waiting until a few days before an assignment was due to start working on it. Then as time went by, the...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 10, 2019

Patching cracks

This morning, I read an interesting op-ed written by a woman who is a lawyer and mom. She talks at length about the difficulty she has in that role and the hard truth that she often chooses her work life over her family because it fits her...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 26, 2019

Patching Cracks

I am allergic to dandelions. Every spring, my lawn begins to grow, the dandelions show up, and I start to develop headaches and sinus problems. When it gets tiresome enough, I mow in an effort to beat them back. Every home owner knows that mowing won...

 

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