March 2022


Yammering? Me?

In a perfect universe, each of these blog entries would break new ground. Or at least find some unexplored conceptual niches close to the heart of older adults. In the real world, I know that I repeat myself, obviously or otherwise. And if that happens too frequently, I could become a *yammering older fellow, something I dread. It’s not so much the repetition that stands out as a problemMORE...

Willing to gamble?

Ever since our state legalized sports betting, our airwaves started filling up with high-energy ads enticing us to engage in what appears to be this exciting, shared activity. The message remains inviting: “It’s about sports, so you can’t lose!” Let me be direct: Sports betting is not about sports, and you will lose. Sports betting may seem benign compared to playing against a casino’s machinesMORE...

The bell tolls

In one of his *most famous works, 17th century English poet and Anglican cleric John Donne penned two memorable metaphors: “No man is an island,” and “(the bell) tolls for thee.” Too often my mind races to the second phrase. Thankfully, Donne counteracts my over-active morbidness with these additional reminders: “The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth.” There are other bell-ringings inMORE...

This time around

“Something good will come from this!” Some social commentators are starting to use words like these to describe possible positive results that could come from what appears to be a spreading tragedy for the whole world. These opinion leaders take us back to the end of World War II. They point out how that destruction of much of the world’s social and economic landscape also provided motivation forMORE...

Lent in earnest

This year, Lent is front-and-center for me. Not just the themes—self-examination, repentance, self-sacrifice, Jesus’ suffering and death—but also the emotions and actions that accompany those ideas. The cruel barbarism of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine evokes my condemnation for this once-mighty country’s leader. The relentless, random bombardment of civilians recalls all theMORE...

Unspeakable and ineffable

At this moment, I’m running out of words. The ones coming at me seem overburdened from trying to carry something that’s too heavy for human expression. The words I’d like to send skitter around in my brain, waiting to capture the essence of my best thinking but clearly not up to the task. Like you, every day I face both what’s unspeakable and what’s ineffable. What’s unspeakable? The horrors of aMORE...

1918 Famine relief in Russia and Ukraine

This entry offers the 1outline of a heartening story: After the Russian Revolution and World War I, Lutherans in the United States were significant partners in 2large-scale famine relief in Eastern Europe. In the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution and World War I, much of Europe struggled to reconstruct the lives of its citizens. Cities and villages lay in ruins, governments were in disarrayMORE...

Talking back

One hopeful phenomenon I’ve seen during the Russian Invasion has been the number of courageous Ukrainians who have stood up to the invading Russian army. Many of the short video clips show extraordinary citizens *talking back. They scold soldiers directly to their faces—something these men may not be accustomed to. What also seems true: Some of these folks are older women whose authority comesMORE...

Gospel teeth?

In order to take advantage of Scripture on a Sunday morning, we “read, mark and inwardly digest” the Word. As I understand the process, digestion involves teeth. And when it comes to naming sin and defeating evil, the Law has *teeth. There’s no mistaking what Law-based preaching and teaching talk about: Behaviors and thoughts that are forbidden, dangerous or ungodly. But what if we rememberedMORE...

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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