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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...

 

My Answer

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham Q: It seems that more and more people believe that when we die we reemerge in a different form and have a second chance at life. Some try to say that Christianity teaches this. Could this be possible? A:...

 

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...

 

My Answer

Q: Is misrepresentation to protect myself a lie if it doesn’t hurt anyone else? — T.T. A: The Bible teaches that proper conduct includes truthfulness. God’s Word teaches that we should be truthful in our representations of ourselves. Jesus...

 

Letter to the Editor

Kim Sheehy a Big Sandy Hero Every town has its heroes. Some of those heroes everybody knows, others do their work so no one knows. That is what Kim Sheehy did. She quietly did her advocating for people with Developmental Disabilities for over 20...

 

My Answer

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham Q: As a student of archaeology, I am studying what is called the myth of the great flood. My professor says that anyone who truly believes this account fails to believe truth by evidence. What can I say to...

 

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...

 

My Answer

Q: I am tired of hearing spiritual people talk about the right way to live and then they live like the devil. My grandparents were wonderful people and while I am not of the same faith they were, I could always count on them to tell me the truth....

 

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...

 

My Answer

Q: We’ve been invited to a family reunion this summer, and to be honest I’m dreading it. Some in our extended family haven’t spoken to each other in years, and instead of being a happy time I’m afraid it could be tense. Should we even go? A:...

 
 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...

 

My Answer

Q: My best friend was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident a few weeks ago, and it’s really hit me hard. I’ve never given any thought to death, but now I can’t avoid it. Frankly, I’m scared, because I know I’m not ready to die. How can I...

 
 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...

 

My Answer

Q: My best friend was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident a few weeks ago, and it’s really hit me hard. I’ve never given any thought to death, but now I can’t avoid it. Frankly, I’m scared, because I know I’m not ready to die. How can I...

 
 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... Full story

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 6, 2018

Patching Cracks

“Are you keeping alive anger at a person who you haven’t seen in years?” I have asked this question of hundreds of people over the years and surprisingly ‘yes’ is a far more common response than ‘no’. It’s easy to do. Someone wrongs...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 23, 2018

Patching Cracks

Many years ago, I worked with a guy I couldn’t seem to get along with. Whenever I had to deal with him I found myself bumping heads with him. At times, we devolved to shouting matches in the office. During that time, I came home from work fuming on...

 

My Answer

Q: Why doesn’t God do something about the evil in the world? Sometimes I wonder if God even cares about the bad things that happen to people today. I don’t understand why He doesn’t just destroy everything that’s evil. A: I suspect almost...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 16, 2018

Patching Cracks

GK Chesterton once wrote that if you were sitting in a restaurant and a rhinoceros was to enter the establishment, the rhino would have a great deal of power in the situation. It could knock people around, trash the place, stop business...

 

MY Answer

Q: Why doesn’t God do something about the evil in the world? Sometimes I wonder if God even cares about the bad things that happen to people today. I don’t understand why He doesn’t just destroy everything that’s evil. A: I suspect almost...

 
 By Ann Denning    Opinion    May 9, 2018

Letter to the Editor: Remembering Robert Lucke

I have started this article a few times in my head and then thought, what do you have to write about, you met him once?! But the idea persisted that I did have something to say. I did not get to know him the one time I met him as I was there for an...

 

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