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As a worship leader of Homestead Mennonite Church, I try to discern the best ways to help my congregation worship God and connect with each other.

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In the brilliant novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities," author Tom Wolfe describes what he calls the intense media interest in covering "The Great White Defendant."

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How will future historians explain this? From 2001 to 2014, majorities of Americans, including supermajorities of blacks and non-Hispanic whites, told Gallup pollsters that "race relations" were either very or somewhat good.

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Disney’s popular show The Mandalorian follows Din Djarin, an orphan raised by the Mandalorian people. Throughout the show, we see the bounty hunter do his work. Occasionally, we also see the interaction that he has with other masked Mandalorians. When they speak, they always remind each othe…

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All of us have faced failure. We are never done failing unless we are done trying. “He who never makes a mistake never makes anything.” Some attribute this quote to Abraham Lincoln. I wouldn’t think that anyone wants to fail, but then again, I am surprised daily by what people want. The reas…

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“Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” This is the question uttered by Elisha in 2 Kings 2:14 after his mentor, Elijah was taken up suddenly in a chariot of fire. It’s an extraordinary account of God’s powerful interactions with some of the most historical figures of the Jewish and Christia…

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It’s March 2021. It’s officially one year since our church uspended worship services (as well as other ministries).

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With reparations, there is the issue of who pays. Do African countries owe reparations to Black Americans? After all, Harvard's director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Henry Louis Gates, wrote that 90% of those enslaved and shipped to the New World were s…

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Imagine that your life story was put into a book and it became a best seller. Next, you get a phone call, and it is a famous director that wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to pick who will play you. I am sure you would want to embellish certain events in your life and ignore…

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One of the features of the "Star Trek" mythos that many find appealing is the summary of a Vulcan philosophy exemplified in the expression "infinite diversity in infinite combinations." The earliest portrayal of this is observed in an episode of the original series titled "Is There in Truth …

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Last week, I testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties regarding H.R. 40: Examining the Path to Reparative Justice in America. In other words, reparations. This is the first part of the statement I submitted:

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Do you have a favourite Bible verse? If so, why is it your favourite? Is it a beautifully written piece of literature, or does it mean something special to you?

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Our nation and society are in big trouble! As our people have been squeezed more than any other time in recent history, societal cracks and weaknesses have become exposed. Much that has been hidden has come to the

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One of the many things that I appreciate about the Bible is its uncanny ability to meet readers where they are. If you’re discouraged, for example, you can find passages that will lend encouragement. If you’re doubtful, there are passages that inspire faith. If you’re confused, there are pas…

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Is there a cause important enough to you that you would fight for it? I know lately saying that you will fight for something has a different meaning then it did a month ago, but only to hypocrites.

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One of the standout episodes of the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" involves the starship Enterprise's contact with an alien species, the Tamarians, whose language relies exclusively on metaphorical phrases and mythical references.

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It wasn't just Donald Trump's detractors who felt a sudden sense of relief when they heard that Twitter was blocking his feed after the storming of the Capitol and the disruption of the reading of the Electoral College results on Jan. 6. While President Trump's exact words to the crowd on th…

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Due to the pandemic, many congregations have had to change their expectations for corporate worship. Homestead Mennonite Church (HMC) is no exception.

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What do you do when things don’t turn out the way you had hoped? How can you live through times of chaos and uncertainty without having serious emotional wounds and struggles? What should your reaction be when your strength is failing after a long battle? Many of us have found ourselves in t…

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Did America go crazy in 2020? I suspect observers years hence will think so because of the responses, of both elite officials and ordinary Americans, to the COVID-19 pandemic starting last February and to the shocking video from Minneapolis police officers released over Memorial Day weekend.

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It is probably not a fallacy to state that religion has sometimes (maybe often) led people astray from God rather than leading them to a fuller understanding and relationship with him. Even considering that, it is perhaps not

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This year has been difficult for many, including Homestead Mennonite Church (HMC), my home congregation.

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I met economist and professor Walter Williams when I interviewed him while hosting a local TV show in Cleveland. We discussed a number of topics but focused on race-based preferences, aka affirmative action. Williams adamantly opposed it, still an unpopular position to take, but especially b…

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I have spent a lot of time since May traveling around the U.S., most recently to Colombia and Ecuador. Flying in the midst of a pandemic is challenging as one must wear a facemask for long periods of time, enduring some long flights without refreshments and experiencing many flight changes a…

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Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore's school system. What they found was an utter disgrace. In 19 of Baltimore's 39 high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore's high schools, not a si…

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If you’re like most people, then you probably are unfamiliar with Advent. There certainly isn’t any harm in that, but it truly can be a blessing to know why Advent is celebrated. Advent is the spiritual season during the weeks leading up to Christmas. It reminds us that, while we usually cel…

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Thanksgiving has become a forgotten holiday. It has become a few days off sandwiched in between the commercial successes of Halloween and Christmas. These few days off have changed from being a time set aside to thank God for who He is and what He has done, to some time set aside to devote o…

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In our current cultural environment of social distancing and remote gathering, valid questions might occur to individuals who are inclined to assess the relevance and effectiveness of Christianity and the Church, especially considering that in some cases congregational services these days ma…

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I’m a barefoot three-year-old in the backyard when my brother throws a Frisbee. I plunge between the shed and coral honeysuckle bush to catch it, but I’m too slow: The disk bounces in grass. My brother scoffs. I stamp a foot.

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News of the questionable behaviors of the leader of a famous Christian university and his wife have been reported recently, resulting in his abrupt resignation. Reports of the pending divorce and financial scandal concerning a pastor of a prominent church in our region have been made public.…

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We’ve all been privy to the committee hearings regarding the confirmation of President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. As one would expect, there are a variety of issues and questions that have been directed toward Judge Barrett in an effort to better understand and ap…

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The ugliness that we have recently witnessed including rioting, billions of dollars of property destruction, assaults, murders and grossly stupid claims about our nation has its origins on college campuses. Two websites, College

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Politics and religion are always sensitive topics, and often very divisive. Sensitive topics, however, should not be avoided if important. Politics can mean different things to different people. In this article I am not referring to the politics of back room corrupt deals or disagreeing with…

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Homestead Mennonite Church is currently experiencing a season of transition as it simultaneously endures this season of challenge and adjustment with which I suspect all congregations are contending due to the existing pandemic. Rick Lee and his wife Debbie were recently called to serve in a…

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The United States Constitution's Article 2, Sec. 2, cl. 2, provides that the president of the United States "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officer…

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What constitutes “sin” for a Christian? The definitions range from broad to narrow. Breaking the Jewish Law is sin. Or breaking local law is sin (we need to honor those in authority, after all). Or just the Ten Commandments are sacred, breaking those is sin.

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I’ve noticed something recently. I’ve noticed that it’s becoming common in the public arena for primary sources to be avoided or ignored altogether.

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Tragedies occur every day. Some tragedies will never be

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Trump-haters are so determined to defeat the president that they're opposing emergency authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine. What a callous disregard for human life. Without a vaccine, another 100,000 fatalities are expected by year's end, according to Washington University epidemiologists. O…

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warns that "dangerous new policies" made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took the job in June, will prevent mail-in ballots from being counted. Senator Chuck Schumer claims there's a conspiracy to "undermine and dismantle the post office ahead of the Novembe…

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Institutional racism and systemic racism are terms bandied about these days without much clarity. Being 84 years of age, I have seen and lived through what might be called institutional racism or systemic racism. Both operate under the assumption that one race is superior to another. It invo…

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It’s January. Florida winters are mild and I pride myself on wearing shorts in sixty-degree weather, but today I’m bundled in a jacket, blaming my shivers on the ice rink. I love figure skating—or, rather, I love watching it. The Winter Olympics changed my life: I finally understood why foot…

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There is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with citizenship. I think that subconsciously, most of us are aware of this truth and consider it to be

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Most people who call themselves Marxists know very little of Karl Marx's life and have never read his three-volume "Das Kapital." Volume I was published in 1867, the only volume published before Marx's death in 1883. Volumes II and III were later edited and published in his name by his frien…