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Summary of Sexual Abuse Case in MCUSA

Summary of Sexual Abuse Case in MCUSA

*This piece is intended as an overview of how MCUSA and related institutions are addressing the sexual violence perpetrated against Lauren Shifflett. (It is slightly revised from a previous post.) I will try to update when major developments occur. For more details and analysis, I commend to you the links within the post. […]
Overcoming the Flesh

Overcoming the Flesh

In Monday’s post, we talked about the nature of the flesh. Here let’s introduce the work of the Spirit in overcoming the flesh. The Holy Spirit’s goal in pointing us to Christ is to replace the destruction of deception (the flesh) with the wholeness of truth. By leading us into an experience of truth, the Holy Spirit works to counteract the experiences in our lives that root us in the deception of the flesh... The post Overcoming the Flesh appeared first on Greg Boyd - ReKnew.
Dream On

Dream On

Schlaflosigkeit. The German word for insomnia. Our family is currently visiting dear friends in Germany and my body is performing its usual stubborn revolt against the rude imposition of foreign time zones and unfamiliar schedules. I’ve been tossing and turning since five am after only falling asleep around one. Eventually, as always, I give up.  Sleep has never been the kind of thing I can force. […]
Season After Pentecost: The Epistle Passage – Good teachings from Paul

Season After Pentecost: The Epistle Passage – Good teachings from Paul

“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1 -2) The writer of Hebrews (attributed to Paul) gives his listeners good advice about living a Christian life. One of the hallmarks of a Christian life to be kind and generous not only to those you know, but those you do not know. And those that you may not know of, unless you asked about them and were concerned. […]
In the Midst of Life We Are in Death

In the Midst of Life We Are in Death

I love John Rutter’s musical version of the Requiem, a memorial  to departed loved ones. In the Agnus Dei movement, there is a line that comes from the Book of Common Prayer, “In the midst of life, we are in death.”
I was reminded of how true this is from recently experienced events. My first grandchild was born between the deaths of two beloved relatives. On July 22, my uncle James Sauder, long-time missionary to Spanish speakers in Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Reading, Pa., died too young after a battle with Parkinson’s. Three of the most formative years of my life were spent in Honduras with uncle James and his family close by to serve as a cultural bridge. Because the Clymer clan (James’ wife was a Clymer) is quite numerous and scattered across the USA and Honduras, there were few of my Clymer relatives that I got to know as well as a young adult. 
Frida Claire Shank, born 8/2/16
Eleven days later, on August 2, my granddaughter Frida was born to my daughter Marisa and her husband Adam Shank. After months of anticipation, and especially the last week when she went beyond her due date, seeing the joy in her parents’ eyes after the birth was priceless. When I looked at her face for the first time, I was overcome with emotion: her innocence, her newness of life, the hope and expectation that lay ahead for both her and her parents. I sensed what Celtic theologian Pelagius said: “When we look into the face of a newborn child, we are looking into the face of God freshly born among us.” 
Eight days later on August 10, my aunt Eva Clymer died. Since her husband and my father were next to each other in age in the Clymer tribe, our two families spent a lot of time with each other while I was growing up. Those times were some of the highlights of my boyhood—long weekends at the cabin in the woods with hiking and swimming, hunting on the family farm, picking tomatoes, playing Rook, and just hanging out. Aunt Eva nicknamed me the “woodchopper” because I spent many after-school hours chopping wood for the stove/heater in our home. I felt special because she always singled me out in order to tease me. 
If this was not enough, on July 29, the very last day of my wife Esther’s employment before leaving for Switzerland, a long-term client, who didn’t want her to leave, literally died in her arms. It was very traumatic for my wife. However, during the same time frame, two close acquaintances had new babies to celebrate. 
Three deaths and three births in the span of fewer than three weeks. Indeed, “In the midst of life, we are in death.” The Rutter Requiem reminds us musically that we are mortal beings. While the women are singing in Latin: “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest,” the men add in a lower register: “In the midst of life, we are in death.” The voices are accompanied with a persistent beating of the timpani; is it a heartbeat of life, or the death knell? It is both. 
Rutter does the same musical juxtaposition with the verse from Job 14: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow.” My granddaughter came forth like a flower, while my uncle and aunt were cut down, their shadow fled. 
Rutter doesn’t leave us hanging on to the sadness of death or fleeting nature of life. He reassures us at the end of the movement with words from Jesus in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” 
In the midst of life we are in death. The longer I live, the more aware of death I am. Our death gives us perspective on our life, something we too often ignore, especially at younger ages. At the same time, with the birth of my granddaughter, I am reminded of the gift and miracle of life. I will delight in the wonder and amazement of her development, curiosity and joir de vivre. I want to live as if I will die tomorrow—not in fear because we have the promise of John 11:12, but rather with gratitude for each breath I take. 
         
The Cosmic Dance: Why Will This Book Benefit Me?

The Cosmic Dance: Why Will This Book Benefit Me?

Greg took a few moments to describe how he hopes you’ll benefit from The Cosmic Dance. Discover how various branches of science demonstrate that life itself is a delicate dance between order and chaos. You’ll find that we’re wired to live on the edge in a place of creativity, spontaneity and significance in the adventure of the life God has given you.... The post The Cosmic Dance: Why Will This Book Benefit Me? appeared first on Greg Boyd - ReKnew.
Podcast Episode 20 with Melanie Dale

Podcast Episode 20 with Melanie Dale

_I Like to Laugh and Cry At the same time! It's like An Emotional Smoothie_Melanie Dale_Shalom In The City_ Episode 20
On the show today I talk to one of my favorite women, Melanie Dale.   Melanie runs the website Unexpected where she writes about motherhood, friendships, infertility, adoption, orphan care, and so much more.  What I love about her site is it feels like one big hug and then a completely satisfying belly laugh. Melanie is also the author of two books: Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends and It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose. We talk about her most recent book “It’s Not Fair” on the episode since it just released LAST WEEK!  Whoo-hoo!  Go, Mel! In fact, I loved this book so much I have an extra copy to give away; directions are in the podcast episode. ..

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