In a black and white world, try thinking gray

Would Barack make a good president? How about McCain? Are Bishop Schofield and the local Episcopal diocese taking a needed moral stand, or contributing to religious intolerance and divisiveness? Will Britney Spears ever display stability and good parenting skills? Is High School Musical a gift to society or one more example of mindless entertainment? With […]

Freedom and limits at the library

When I was eight, I wanted to check The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde out of my neighborhood library back east. My heart’s desire in hand, I approached the checkout counter. Miss Shoemaker—one of those always-frowning, cat’s-eye glasses wearing, kid-shushing spirits today’s library scientists are still trying to exorcise from the public […]

The economic stimulus big give

I will receive $1,800 this May. The IRS will pay me $1,200 because I’m married and $600 for my children. The money comes with no strings. And therein lies my quandary—how will I use my economic stimulus payment? Through the Economic Stimulus Act, Washington wants 130 million recipients to spend $168 billion in an attempt […]

Have you done a good math problem lately?

“Have you read a good book lately?” is a common conversation starter. Often the query is answered by an enthusiastic, “Yes!” and the sharing of one’s latest literary find. I have yet to hear, “Have you done a good math problem lately?” Don’t people love mathematics as much as reading? Evidently not—but it’s more than […]

Relief sales combine doing good with having fun

On April 4-5, thousands of people will come to the campus of Fresno Pacific University for the 41st annual West Coast Mennonite Relief Sale & Auction, one of over 40 such events that take place each year across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the sales is to raise money for Mennonite Central […]

Does speeding make good reading?

Imagine parents watching their child take his or her first steps. It’s an exciting time! No one is concerned about the beginner’s slow, cautious pace, or the numerous tumbles as the child increases walking distance. In fact, it is common knowledge that children cannot learn to walk without falling down repeatedly. This, of course, makes […]

Why do we love to hate Hillary?

About a year into Bill Clinton’s first term, we added an 11-year old to our family. On the way to introducing her to her new grandparents in Fresno, we saw a sign along the 99 that documented a strange new sentiment sweeping the country. The sign read, “Impeach Hillary.” It only took a year for […]

Tap into smart ways to be a better water consumer

I do not drink tap water. In fact, in the last few years I really can’t recall drinking tap water (except in the most extreme exigency) at all. We own a water cooler and have five-gallon carboys of water delivered to our house. We also have a water cooler at work. On the rare occasions […]

Ancient spiritual practices for the 21st century

Imagine this scene. Teens silently line up and wait late into the night to experience an ancient spiritual discipline: contemplative prayer. When they emerge from the prayer room an hour later, many have tears in their eyes, smiles on their faces and peace in their hearts. They have just walked a prayer labyrinth, where they […]