Issue 34, August 2017

This 34th edition of our New Hope Newsletter was published on August 25th, 2017.

Tree Roots

Reading about the evil events in Charlottesville, which just adds more to the struggle in our country (not unique to the US) concerning racial divide there are many comments written about it on Facebook and other places. One of the common things I read from white conservative people is the sorrow over the evil that is displayed by the white supremacists. They will say, “I can’t even imagine what it must be like”, which is in many ways true, and kind to say. I found myself saying the same thing. I was challenged recently by a pastor (he happens to be a black man) in Washington DC.

My New Verse Pack

A Lost Discipline

Memorizing Scripture is so hard! Especially these days with what the Interwebs is doing to my brain according to the 2008 article in The Atlantic called Is Google Making Us Stupid?.  Plus, I’m a busy, busy person. Besides, I have so many different translations and Bible helps available at the swipe of a finger on my smartphone at any time.

Why would I even consider investing serious time and energy in memorizing Scripture? Great question!


I never fully realized the power of a question until someone asked one that caused life-changing dissonance for me.

Within a few months of completing my doctorate and starting my new position as an assistant professor in a program that prepares graduate students for higher education administrative positions, I was asked a question that, on the surface, seemed simple to answer. But, there was something that seemed deeper, and more profound, about the question that one gentleman asked me after I proudly told him that I was a professor: “What do you profess?”

Parent and Child

How could God have existed forever? Why did God let them die? If God is powerful, why did He let that happen? Why didn't God help grandma get better when we prayed? How do we know God is real? How do we know the Bible is God's Word? My teacher said we are here because of evolution. Is she right? If God loves people, why would He send them to hell? Why is Jesus the only way to heaven? What about people in other countries who believe in a different god?

Foster Need

Our journey towards fostering has been an ongoing one. Even when we were first engaged we had a heart towards foster care and adoption. When Ben and I did our premarital counselling with Dave Gevock in 2002 we talked about wanting to adopt. From the very beginning of our marriage God had given us a heart for children.  After our youngest Riggins was born we began feeling even more drawn to adoption and foster care. As we’ve prayed about this over the past several years we have not heard a clear cut yes to adopt but felt like in the midst of waiting that we wanted to do something.

Lonely at Church

It’s Me Against the World

I have long aspired to be a superhero. I have dedicated much more time than I would like to admit to brainstorming about the ideal superpower and how I would use that power if it were at my disposal. I long to be a one-man-army, capable of dispatching innumerable foes with little more than a swipe of my hand.  I think the same is true for many men. Maybe all of us don’t daydream about superpowers, like I do, but many of us set out to try and conquer life on our own. Dominating our temporal existence...

Girl with Backpack

Reflections on Prayer (My 2017 WOTY)

I grew up on a farm that has a quarter mile gravel driveway. It’s a quiet, serene little five acres, and to this day, I still think of it as one of the most peaceful places on earth. I have this memory of getting off the bus as a kindergartener and starting the short jaunt to my house when, having walked a third of the way, I had the sudden feeling that no one was home. I was instantly overcome with fear and abandonment. Why wasn’t anyone there? Where could they be? I sank down on the gravel and began to sob.

Prayer hands

Praying through the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet during Ramadan was a rich and focused time of prayer for me, but it also provoked me to think deeply about relationships with the international student population at K-State.  While this prayer guide was specific to Muslim people around the world, I was challenged to think about the many people from various countries, backgrounds, religions and cultures that come to Manhattan, Kansas to pursue knowledge and higher education. They come for a limited time...