by Lindsey Weigley— Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. —Psalm 48:12-14, NIV Zion National Park is a vast, crumbling, red rock wilderness. They say the stone is formed of lime and was once buried under a shallow ocean, and that many years of erosion raised it into the pinnacles, spires, and spidery canopies that we see [...]
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So far Lauren Smith has created 63 blog entries.
by Faith Hoyt— After a year and a half working as an intern at a job that requires frequent travel, I have begun to consider myself a bit of an expert at flying. I still over pack and stress about getting to the airport on time (even when I’m over two hours early); however, I keep my boarding pass in my phone’s Apple Wallet, and I sometimes get so lost in thought that I don’t realize the plane is landing until the engines reverse thrust. Let’s say I’m halfway to expert. I recently learned that my expertise at traveling isn’t [...]
by Becky De Oliveira— My brother grew up under my rule. By both birth order and temperament, I ran the show, and my rules were exacting. My ambition was to be the military dictator of a small banana-producing island republic that I would rule with a gentle—but nonetheless iron—fist. I practiced my skills on my brother with variable results. A generally laid-back and happy person, he went along with most of my schemes, but his very personality was sometimes a source of tension. He simply failed to take things seriously enough. If we were putting on a circus, for instance, [...]
by Darla Lauterbach-Reeves— Over the years, I’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories of people who have been shunned for their marriage issues, the smell of smoke on their clothes, their food choices, Sabbath activities, and church attire. They have been excluded from churches, Bible study groups, family get-togethers, and schools, and they’ve felt unloved, judged, unacceptable, rejected—the polar opposite of how Jesus would have treated them. They have left, never to return again. Here are a few questions that come to mind: How do you love your neighbor? What about those who believe differently from you? Do you believe Jesus died [...]
by Connie Vandeman Jeffery— My father, the late George E. Vandeman, wrote a pivotal book in the 1980s titled What I Like About….In it, he described how seven different denominations/religions positively impacted the world and contributed to the faith community to which I belong—the Seventh-day Adventist church. He talked with the leaders of each church and discovered all there is to “like” about them. Later, Doug Wead, a speechwriter and senior advisor to President George H. W. Bush, said, “When we passed the book out at a White House prayer breakfast, everyone turned to two chapters—the one about their faith [...]
by Alexandria Tristen Martin— 50% Puerto Rican 50% Filipino 100% Human [Unboxed] I love being mixed. The fact that I was born into two distinct and incredibly vibrant cultures is truly a great privilege. Not only have I been able to relate and connect to so many different people due to my ethnic combination, but I also feel I’ve gained a unique perspective on life. Growing up, I’ve always had to check the “other” box when it came to defining my ethnicity. I used to find the fact that there was no realbox for me profoundly frustrating. No one wants [...]
by Becky De Oliveira— Into the Void is the story of British mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates on a fateful ascent of a peak in the Andes mountain range by a new route. They made it to the top without serious incident, but they ran into trouble on the way down when Joe first broke his leg and then fell through a cornice and was left dangling over a crevasse—still attached by rope to his partner, who held on for as long as he could. Eventually it became clear that he could not pull Joe up and that Joe’s weight would [...]
by Becky De Oliveira— A young woman in her 20s—a friend of the family—sent me a text message last week, asking what my “secret” is. “You’re the most peace-filled person I know,” she wrote. This made me smile—a quiet, enigmatic smile because that is the kind of person I am. I exude calm. People confuse this with peace. I’m reminded again of how prone human beings are to mistake affect for substance. Because I’m not particularly calm, let alone peaceful, I don’t know what my secret is. If what people want to know is how toseemcalm, like I do, my best advice would be to [...]
by Faith Hoyt— Recently I got to meet up with a friend from college who I luckily manage to see several times a year. She is one of those rare friends who will hop in her car and drive a couple of hours just so we can spend a fraction of that time together. She’s fun company, and our visits are always an education for me. My friend has a good eye for design, a good ear for music, and good taste in plant-based restaurants. She’s also an avid follower on conversations about social justice issues, and I love to [...]
by Shelley Leonor— “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives” (James 4:2-3, NIV). After giving birth to my firstborn, I struggled. I loved my baby girl. I loved my life. But I struggled. I no longer had the freedom to hang out with friends until late into the night or run off on trips at a moment’s notice. I was frustrated and sad despite how amazing my life was. I used one of those little coupons my husband’s employer provided—Anonymous Counseling—because of course [...]