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Articles written by Erik Sietsema

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 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 1, 2020 

Patching Cracks

Nearly 15 years ago, I read a book on management by Peter Drucker. I remember that it was excellent, but I only recall one clear lesson from it: The more decisions you make, the more likely you are to make a mistake, so make a decision once and apply...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 24, 2020

Patching Cracks

A few years ago, before my daughter learned to read, I read her the book “Alice in Wonderland”. In the book, Alice sort of wanders from encounter to encounter without a strong purpose. The plot is summed up well when she asks the Cheshire Cat...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 17, 2020

Patching Cracks

Daryl Davis is a blues musician who, for the last 30 years, has been collecting KKK robes. He has over 200 in his home, which he saves as a reminder of the work he has been doing. Mr. Davis is an African American man whose uses his spare time to...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 10, 2020

Patching Cracks

I’ve spent the last few months studying the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Most people are familiar with the story of Daniel being tossed into the lion’s den as a death sentence, only to be saved by God. That’s really just a minor...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 20, 2020

Patching Cracks

A couple of decades ago I graduated from high school and went off to college. I had a straight path in mind regarding what I was going to do with my life. I had intended on finishing a pre-seminary degree from a little private college I was...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 13, 2020

Patching Cracks

During the lockdown, one of the weirdest challenges I have taken on has been keeping my kids from eating nothing but junk food. If they had their way breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner, and every snack in-between would consist purely...

 

Patching Cracks

While teaching one day, Jesus was asked by an expert in the Jewish law codes ‘what is the most important commandment.’ His answer was to repeat the Old Testament summary of the 10 Commandments: Love God with all your being and love your neighbor...

 

Patching Cracks

In 165 AD, an epidemic swept through the Roman Empire, ravaging the western world for 15 years. The disease may have been smallpox, though it’s difficult to say with any certainty. Regardless of the nature of the illness, the result was...

 

Patching Cracks

On Easter morning, I got out of bed early and spent some time reviewing my sermon notes for the morning. Taking a break from the effort, I posted something about my previous day’s activities on Facebook. Pastor Sean from the Lutheran Church...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 8, 2020

Patching Cracks

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day that launches Holy Week in the church calendar. It is kind of an interesting and often misunderstood event. The gospels recorded it as the day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem setting off a series of events...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    April 1, 2020

Patching Cracks

Years ago, while I was working in Northern Indiana, a series of powerful tornadoes struck the town where my job was located. The rural town was severely damaged, leaving many homes and farms decimated. I led a group of kids from work to do cleanup...

 

Patching Cracks

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire wrecked the life of prominent lawyer Horatia Spafford. Spafford lost his four-year-old son in the blaze along with most of his property and his law practice. 2 years later, he had planned to tour Europe with his...

 

Patching Cracks

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire wrecked the life of prominent lawyer Horatia Spafford. Spafford lost his four-year-old son in the blaze along with most of his property and his law practice. 2 years later, he had planned to tour Europe with his...

 

Patching Cracks

I attended college in South Chicago while in my early 20s. Chicago was a fun place for a young, irresponsible kid to explore and enjoy. I took full advantage of this truth, taking the train to the city at every opportunity. In my often aimless...

 

Patching Cracks

The opening chapter of the Gospel of Mark tells the story of Jesus’ ministry work in the city of Capernaum on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. These events are taking place very early in Jesus’ ministry, and he is just beginning to draw a large...

 

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....

 

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