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relationships

r

In praise of letter-writing

Years ago I wrote about *pen-pal clubs as a hopeful feature of older adult lifestyles. Today I want to encourage you again to consider letter-writing as a powerful antidote to diminished social contact—a satisfying ministry that you can undertake right now! As you might guess, I like corresponding with others–mostly via e-mail, but sometimes printed or handwritten notes. (That kind ofMORE...

“Blest be the tie that binds”

The singing of this beloved hymn is often accompanied with tears. Its background story tells why: John Fawcett, a rural pastor in 18th century England, realized the mutual love between his congregation, his wife and himself. Instead of leaving for a better-paying position in London, he changed his mind at the last minute—after his farewell sermon—and chose to stay with this small, strugglingMORE...

Pairing up

  ‘Tis Spring, when a young duck’s fancy turns to love. (Adaptation of classic seasonal adage) This pseudo-epigraph came to mind a few days ago when I saw a pair of ducks flying around together. Not going anywhere, not looking for anything—just enjoying the sheer joy of winging through the warm air with each other. These ducks were paired up—likely more than just a little bit attracted (orMORE...

Preventing moths, rust and thieves

When I stop panicking about digital thefts of my well-being, I remember again that there is one reliable way to combat the moths, rust and thieves that may plague my digitized lifestyle: Among my “heavenly treasures” are our family’s personal relationships! A few days ago, I had reason to worry about possible identity theft involving bank accounts. My frantic mind could not recall the gatewayMORE...

Unsubscribed!

After months of deleting unwanted e-mail messages and texts—like swatting at gnats while walking through a swamp—I recently decided to start removing myself from both the swamp and the gnats. The folks sending me information have been gracious in removing me from their mailing list. Because I spent much of my professional life distributing what I hoped was useful information to congregationalMORE...

Holy family work (Part 2)

There are some parallels between the post-Christmas work of Jesus’ parents and the work that lies before us in these times. Salvation has come upon us—perhaps seen in the results of this past election—yearnings for righteousness to return. We’ve prayed for rescue from evil and oppression, and now that seems possible. The message of Christmas has assured and calmed us once again. Like Mary andMORE...

Help is close at hand

Help is close at hand It may seem impossible to pry loved ones from continuing anger—especially if they’re deeply habituated or addicted to the presence of feel-good neurotransmitters that flood their brains when they’re furious. Thankfully, help is close at hand. Although there’s no magic treatment for perpetual outrage, there may be remedies that we can use with individuals whom we want to freeMORE...

Help is on the way

Life-as-we-have-known-it is slowly coming back, with perhaps one lingering exception: Anger is still roaming our nation, clawing for a place in the national discourse and identity. From everything I know about this powerful emotion, it’s not a helpful part of our lives. Especially dangerous when it becomes addictive, anger ruins relationships as well as the individual and collective brains thatMORE...

Keeping in touch

Because of widespread concerns about COVID-19, physical touching now brings special considerations to my life. I can’t touch my face—germs might sneak into my nose. Touching others during the Greeting of Peace is not medically advised. (See earlier note about shifty viruses.) I am cautioned not to come in contact with surfaces that are not yet cleansed of viral microorganisms. “SocialMORE...

Band-Aid people!

When I was growing up, I loved Band-Aids®. Although there were very few variations back then, the presence of a Band-Aid® on a scuffed knee or elbow was comforting—“This, too, will heal.” Then I became a metaphor-loving adult, and learned about the idea that “Band-Aid® solutions don’t really solve the underlying problems.” Now, it seemed, the ubiquitous flexible bandage was not as helpful—atMORE...

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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