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October 2020

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Memo for these times

FROM: An older, unarmed man TO:       Angry guys with guns   Hello! Let me introduce myself: I’m an older guy, living in the upper Midwest. Retired and trying to make sense out of life. Maybe just like you, except that I don’t have any guns. Can we talk, man-to-man? I have tried to understand why you rely on your weapons so much and why you’re loud-angry. Most of what I hear from you justMORE...

Apple trees and calendars

When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if he was told that Judgment Day was coming tomorrow, his legendary reply was, “I’d plant an apple tree.” Scholars aren’t sure that Luther actually uttered those words, but one thing’s for sure: No matter what tomorrow looks like, there’s reason to live hopefully—for the long-term. My version of that interchange might go something like this: YOU: MORE...

The purpose of purpose

I have an abiding sense that my entire life is a gift. Undeserving of any blessings, I’ve always asked, “Why me?” I’ve never been satisfied with just enjoying the life given to me. “Your life is not your own” has remained a useful mantra. This train of thought has followed me from my high school years. Although none of my teachers would have considered themselves prophetic, they filled that roleMORE...

Every day the same

When he was sequestered in his cave, the prophet Elijah may have faced some of the same mental vagaries that I am dealing with. I regularly breathe the same question that must have come to Elijah’s mind as he waited: “What do you want me to do, God?” It’s been over eight months now that I’ve stayed at home most of the time. With my pace of life slowed and narrowed to a seeming sameness, IMORE...

Back in high school…

This entry is part of a blog series, Time Capsules, in which I tell you about places in our home where the blessings of our history are evident in stored artifacts. Today, I invite you to look with me at high school and college yearbooks that go back many decades! I attended high school and college in a previous century. Back then, we purchased yearbooks that chronicled our personal andMORE...

The way is was?

These days I see a lot of REOPEN! signs. These placard-pleas seem to include an implicit hope that we will soon return to “the way it was.” Without abusing anyone’s yearnings for normal life, I’d like to question whether our history is actually heading in that direction. Wondering instead how we might move toward a new normal—actions and attitudes that could be more satisfying than our presentMORE...

Magnificat!

In case you want to get a head start on Advent, these few thoughts about the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-56).  In our turbulent times, the words of this prayer remain true in our turbulent times. At any time of the year…. I have reprinted here the Magnificat’s words for your reading—and rejoicing—pleasure: Mary said: With all my heart I praise the Lord, and I am glad because of God my Savior. GodMORE...

Late-blooming flowers

The cosmos have finally appeared. Along with small purple asters, these late-bloomers have waited all Spring and all Summer before showing their true-and-beautiful colors. In one case—the cosmos—lush greenery had announced only the general health of this flower. In the other case—the asters—these tall plants stood anonymously in the middle of what we thought were prairie weeds, without a hint ofMORE...

Things we don’t talk about

This entry is part of a blog series, Time Capsules, in which I think about the places in our home where the blessings of our history are evident in stored artifacts. Today, I invite you to look with me at stories that might live inside the bins that hold years’ worth of tax returns. From your refined upbringing, you’ll recall that there are two things one never talks about in polite company:MORE...

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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