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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... Full story

 

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...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    August 28, 2019

Thoughts with Zoe

It takes a village to raise a child they say. It takes a community to withstand all the difficulties of time. A community bands together over the years if it wants to survive 110 years. The...

 

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...

 
 By Zoe Merrill    Opinion    August 14, 2019

Thoughts with Zoe

It was hot that day and still in the high 80's when it approached the hour I go for my walk. I have accepted a #365challenge to go for at least a mile walk/run/bike ride every day for a year. I wasn't...

 

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 Zoe Merrill    Opinion    July 24, 2019

Thoughts with Zoe

It's Time to Fly In December 2017, when I started writing for the Mountaineer, I felt inadequate. In nineteen months, I've improved. I've learned a local paper is essential. Philosophically, I...

 
 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...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 19, 2019

Patching Cracks

When I was a kid, I knew a handful of guys who were rabid baseball fans. They could tell you any stat for any player on their team going back 10 years. They collected baseball cards religiously, stored them in little plastic sleeves and studied them...

 

My Answer

Q:American Christians seem to be comparing modern politicians with leaders who are mentioned in the Bible—good and bad. Is it right to make such comparisons, and who is the most wicked king in the Old Testament? A: Judging belongs solely to the...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    June 12, 2019

Patching Cracks

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This quote, from motivational speaker Jim Rohn has made the rounds in the world of self-improvement for years, and it’s worth taking a moment to consider, because it has a...

 

My Answer

Q: Is belief in God the same as the belief the devil has in God? A: The devil and his demons know God exists; certainly Satan stands before the throne of God accusing mankind, as seen in the book of Job. The demon world also believes in the facts of...

 

My Answer

Q: My biggest struggle as a Christian is to know God’s will and the purpose of my life. The more people I talk to about it, the more confused I get. Is it difficult to know God’s will? A: There is a simple answer which is this: God’s will is fo...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 29, 2019

Patching Cracks

About 15 years ago, the church I was working for as a Youth Pastor made significant budget cuts that resulted in me taking a 50% pay cut. This meant being forced to start working a second job. The job I found was at a facility that worked with kids...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 22, 2019

Patching Cracks

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese word referring to their cultural understanding of beauty. It’s an interesting perspective that is very different from what we generally accept in the west. Whereas we tend to look at things that are perfect as beautiful,...

 

My Answer

Q: Some of my friends criticize me because I take better care of my pets than I do myself. But it is because my pets bring me great joy and they love me unconditionally. Am I wrong, and what does the Bible say about animals? A: Animals are God’s...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 8, 2019

Patching Cracks

I recently read the Wizard of Oz and was surprised at some of the differences between the film and the novel. The most interesting difference related to the story of the Tin Man, who was originally just a regular woodsman. He was cutting wood to...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    May 1, 2019

Patching Cracks

“A man and a woman are walking up to a building. The man notices the woman and runs ahead to open and hold the door for her. As she walks in, she turns to the man and asks ‘Are you holding this door because I am a woman?’ He responds: ‘No. I...

 

Patching Cracks

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the first day of was is often called Holy Week. In the account of Palm Sunday, Jesus is arriving in Jerusalem for passover. At this point in the story, he has amassed a large following and a huge reputation. As he...

 

Patching Cracks

My younger brother sent me an article written by a prominent millionaire outlining the 12 things that folks need to attend to in order to live a fulfilled life. The interesting thing is that the individual went through a nasty divorce recently after...

 

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