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Articles written by Erik Sietsema

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Patching Cracks

Mark Twain once said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The reason being that no-one wants to eat a frog....

 

Patching Cracks

A few weeks ago, my 5-year old son was playing with a girl from his class. I gave them snacks, a plate of chips each. My boy eyed up the plates and went to grab the one that appeared to be larger. I stopped him and asked if he was forgetting...

 

Patching Cracks

On Monday, I had an early doctor’s appointment that required me to be in town early. As a result, I wasn’t able to get to the gym first thing in the morning. It’s the first time in 2 months that I haven’t exercised first thing in the...

 

Patching Cracks

Recently, I have been very focused on my health and have been working hard to lose weight, eat better, and exercise regularly. I’ve done well with the eating better and the daily exercise, but I am discovering that losing weight is very difficult....

 

Patching Cracks

Last weekend, I hosted a book sale/reading/signing for a book I wrote and published myself. In the days leading up to the event, I found myself losing sleep and worrying at length as to how the whole thing would go. This isn’t all that unusual for...

 

Patching Cracks

This morning is the first time I have sat at my desk, in my office, in a little more than a week. My wife and I just got back from a vacation week in Hawaii a celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary (which was technically back in July). Every...

 

Patching Cracks

In 1934, an American theologian wrote a prayer for a sermon he was delivering. Reinhold Niebuhr’s short prayer has grown fairly well known over the years: God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to...

 

Patching Cracks

Years ago, I learned a format for praying that I continue to use in my personal devotions. It’s very simple: ACTS. It’s an acronym meaning Adoration (adoring God for His grandeur and awesomeness) , Confession (confessing my sins and asking for...

 

Patching Cracks

Anthony Hopkins once played C.S. Lewis in a movie. C.S. Lewis is the most quoted Christian author of the 20th century and one of my favorite writers. The movie, The Shadowlands, tells the story of Lewis’ brief marriage to Joy Davidman, who was...

 

Patching Cracks

This morning, while I was making breakfast, my 5-year old came into the kitchen with a book he got a few weeks ago: The Jurassic World Survival Guide. He wanted to talk to me about how important the book would be in the event we encountered...

 

Patching Cracks

As a part of my ongoing effort to be a healthier person, I have started making small changes to my routine every few weeks. For example, months ago I started adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet. I’ve also cut out most processed foods....

 

Patching Cracks

This morning, while scanning the morning’s headlines and checking my Twitter feed for anything of interest, I came across a tweet from a nationally known figure encouraging folks to shun any family members that support the opposing political...

 

Patching Cracks

I read a story about CS Lewis years ago in which a friend asked him if attending church is a necessary part of following Jesus. In response, Lewis answered “No” and pulled a coal from the fire and placed it on the hearth. In response, he asked...

 

Patching Cracks

Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Taken alone, they’re pretty words. They sound good and are inspirational at their face. I think the real power of a quote like that is...

 

Patching Cracks

I recently read about a study that was done on National Spelling Bee contestants. The study compared intelligence and hours spent studying words and language. The interesting fact that was revealed by the research was that intelligence was not the...

 

Patching Cracks

This weekend, I replaced my dishwasher. The old one broke down a few months ago, and for various reasons, I chose to hand wash dishes rather than replace it. Finally, I decided to go and get another one. While installing it, I learned an important...

 

Patching Cracks

For the last several years, I have occasionally filled in as a substitute teacher at the school. I’ve really enjoyed the experience and have been impressed over and over at the high quality of the school in Big Sandy. Last week, I helped out...

 

Patching Cracks

In the last several years of writing this column, I’ve mentioned my High School English teacher several times. Every time it was to talk about how much her efforts as a teacher meant to me as a student. This is particularly the case since I was a...

 

Patching Cracks

One of my favorite quotes from the boxer Muhammad Ali is about training: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” I have a good friend who says it a bit...

 

Patching Cracks

In a few weeks, I am (hopefully) going to self publish a book through Amazon’s Kindle service. Shortly thereafter, we’ll print physical copies of the book and put them up for sale on Amazon. I am waiting on the last details for the cover art to c...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 25, 2018

Patching Cracks

Many years ago, I briefly went to church with a person who had a gift for using words to get folks upset. This person could say a few choice sentences and make you feel defensive or belittled. They could phrase compliments in such a way that you...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 18, 2018

Patching Cracks

Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. Over the last 2 decades, my wife and I have traveled to nearly every state in the US. We have hiked in rain forests, climbed mountains, been lost in the wilderness, worried, laughed, cried, played, argued, and...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 11, 2018

Patching Cracks

Last year, my then 4-year old son started using a new tactic in responding to me when he get’s frustrated with my unwillingness to give him whatever he wants whenever he wants it. Specifically, he started telling me that he doesn’t like me any...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    July 4, 2018

Patching Cracks

Most mornings, I wake up at about 3:45 and turn off my alarm before it goes off at 4 AM. I read the news until 4:05, giving the coffee make enough time to brew at least one cup. I get up, read, have my coffee, and go to the gym by 5. I am a night owl...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 13, 2018

Patching Cracks

For nearly a decade, I worked for a residential mental health facility. One of my favorite parts of that job was our annual trip to take kids to the upper parts of Minnesota, where we would canoe and camp with the clients for a week in the Boundary...

 

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