Category Archives: Faith

Tough Parenting Choices Make Us Think of the Ultimate Parent

Runestad

Ric Runestad

Ric Runestad is a resident of Fort Wayne and an occasional guest editorial writer for our evening paper, the News-Sentinel. I opened to the editorial page on Thursday and read a remarkable piece of apologetic–a really fresh response to the timeless question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

You can read the entire piece by following the link. I’ve reprinted a slightly abridged version, along with a follow-up thought I had about it.

[Not knowing how to contact Mr. Runestad directly, I can only hope that he won’t mind.]

The young couple sat holding their newborn baby as the stranger entered the hospital room…

Without preamble he began. “I represent a company that wishes to make you an offer. A ‘bargain’ we will call it. This new child of yours is just what we are needing for an experiment.

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Speechless in the face of Grace

Kawai piano goodBesides being the artistic director of a faith-based theater company, I am a piano teacher. I started teaching piano when I was 18 years old, and with the exception of a couple of breaks (my last two years of college, and between the births of son #1 and son #2) I’ve been teaching ever since.

The annual Spring recital, right after Memorial Day, has been a tradition for my students for over twenty years. It’s the night when we celebrate their progress and their accomplishments. They play their most difficult pieces. I mention awards they’ve won. We showcase any graduating seniors.

It’s NOT a night about me.

Except that this past Tuesday, my piano families decided that it was.  Continue reading

Existential conversations with my three-year-old

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy still spends much of her time either being an animal (favorites right now: wolf cub, tiger or puppy) or talking to her army of stuffed animals. But more and more she also takes time to ponder her own history.  Many of her sentences begin, “When I was little…” or “When I was a baby…”.

Since I will sometimes tell her a story from my own childhood, she recently was trying to grasp how she fit into that scenario: “When you were a little girl, did you know me?”  No, Lucy, when I was a little girl, you were not alive yet. Your daddy was not alive yet.

(silence for a moment)

“When you were a little girl, I was pretendin’ to be dead?!”

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My Prayer for America

Robert - DejaReviewerThis Easter helped me put some things I’ve been thinking about into perspective.

I realize that we’re up against some seriously evil powers intent on destroying everything decent in our nation, with good people and institutions all that stands in their way. However, we can’t defeat those who wish us harm all by ourselves, and must turn to God if we expect to win this fight for the soul of America.

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So here is my heartfelt prayer for this country of ours:

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 7: Bible Gateway

BibleIf this were a count-down list of the top resources for spiritual growth, I would certainly have to say, “And…the number one resource guaranteed to assist you in growing more Christ-like IS…God’s Word.”

Rather obvious, right? I guess that’s why I left it for last. What more can I possibly say about something so blatantly apparent? You have a Bible? Read it. You don’t have a Bible? Get one. Read it.

biblesBut I recognize that it isn’t always quite that easy. Choosing a Bible can be overwhelming today. With dozens of translations, plus many study bibles,  as well as different formats like a 365-Day Bible, (divided up into readings for every day of the year)…a newbie may well give up in despair before (s)he ever settles on “the perfect Bible for me.”

The good news about the Good News is that a practical resource for all of us exists, which is also a great way to preview all those other resources: BibleGateway. com. Continue reading

Lessons I Learn From My Granddaughter

for blogShe’s three years old. I’m over fifty. The gaps in our knowledge and understanding are enormous. She is insatiably curious, like the elephant’s child. I love to teach. We are a great pair.

And so naturally, I learn something from her every day.

1. Slow down: Three-year-olds can move like lightning when they want to…but usually they’d prefer to take their time.  I match my steps to hers, so that she can keep up. I stop whatever I’m doing to see what she’s made. I put my agenda aside when she is hurt. It is an exercise in condescension…I stoop to her level, to meet her needs. And I think about God stooping to earth, meeting us where we are, taking time to listen and to care.

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 6: Fixed-Hour Prayer

godsbooklover-gravatar991Prayer means many different things to different people, and there are many kinds of prayer. Let us say, for our purposes, that to pray is to address oneself to Deity. For most Christians, this is a practice in which they engage at least occasionally; for many, it is part of their daily routine.

Praying Hands statueAt times, prayer may flow out of what one is reading, or out of one’s life circumstances. At times, our hearts are beyond the ability to form our own words. At such times it is good to have the words of others as a guide, as we discussed in Week 2, Puritan Prayers. We are exhorted to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) and many of us find that very hard at the best of times.

How might we better incorporate prayer into our daily routine?

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 5: Online Devotionals

godsbooklover-gravatar991Each Wednesday during Lent, I am suggesting some resource or activity which can assist the Christian in his or her spiritual growth. We’ve looked at a news magazine, a collection of prayers, several excellent books, and some recording artists. This week, I want to acknowledge my own tremendous debt to a variety of online resources, all of which are free.

If you would like a daily devotional delivered to your inbox, the choices are vast. Here are a few I’ve used in the past couple of years:

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