The Banner

Blooming Beauties

Department: Author: Sandy SwartzentruberFlowers are one of the most beautiful parts of God’s creation. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also remind us how much God cares for us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothing.

Saving Face

Department: Author: Nicki KuiperShe sat across from me, a look of disbelief on her face. As she spoke, her eyes grew larger, her voice stronger. “These things would never, ever happen in my country,” she said. “But if they did, there would be a big problem for that person and for that person’s fami

Relationships

Department: Author: Judy Cook Why can’t my stepdad and I get along any more since he and my mom got married? He and my mom had been dating since I was 12 (three years ago) and I liked him a lot at first. But now we fight all the time.It might help if you stop thinking of your mom’s new husband as

Shaky Steps and Germinating Seeds

Department: Author: Jenna C. HoffAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the

Faith Formation

Department: Author: Robert and Laura KeeleyOur church has a lot of programs for children and teens but nothing for those of us who are retirement age. I feel as if I don’t count. Shouldn't the church have things for us too?Feeling as if you don’t count in the church means that things are not as the

Reply All

Department: Author: Thanks for the Freebies!Thank you so much for making Joanne De Jonge’s kids’ pages available for printing (“Just for Kids: A Baker’s Dozen,” free PDF download available at thebanner.org). I have been meaning to request permission to copy some of the children’s pages from The Ban

More Than Just Stuff

Department: Author: Phillip LeoStuff is just stuff. If you’ve lived a few years and have yielded to the claims of the gospel, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion. Although it sounds simple enough, the underpinnings of this statement are profound and inform our discipleship at a very pra

A Well-Balanced Christian Life

Department: Author: Doug AldrinkI finally discovered a most effective way to teach the young people of our church. But first, some background:Synod 2002 endorsed an identity statement that outlines three major Reformed emphases: the “doctrinalist” emphasis stresses understanding biblical doctrine

Through a Child’s Eyes

Department: Author: Russell BoersmaOh, to be young again.That’s something many of us older folks have thought about or even dreamed of—the excitement of seeing the world through eyes as yet untarnished by the disappointments that tend to make us cynical as age takes its toll.What if we were able to

Ethics

Department: Author: Shiao ChongIf hierarchies exist in nature, why should we frown on hierarchies in human society?“Nature” alone is not a good source for arguing either for or against human hierarchies. Christians believe that humanity’s fall into sin distorted God’s good creation, so we cannot si

The ‘Scandal’ of the Cross

Department: Author: Rev. Aaron VriesmanAs I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily refle

Easter Breakfast

Department: Author: Charlotte F. OttenIt is dawn. A lone figure is bending over a charcoal fire on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He looks up, scanning the horizon. When he catches sight of a boat heading for shore, he recognizes it as his disciples’ boat. He cups his hands around his mouth, cal

Abuse of Power

Department: Author: Shiao ChongAmerica’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, was recently rocked by reports of over 700 cases of sexual abuse by nearly 400 church leaders spanning 20 years. Worse, some denominational leaders knew of the problems but didn’t stop the per

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Department: Author: John LeeLast month I was on a Skype call with a former congregant who now works at a publishing house in Seoul, Korea. After our perfunctory greetings, he wanted me to meet his illustrator. I asked her how she was doing, and, in a moment of honesty, she said she’d been suffering

Abuso de Poder

Department: Author: Shiao ChongLa denominación protestante más grande de América, la Convención Bautista del Sur, fue sacudida recientemente por reportes de más de 700 casos de abuso sexual por cerca de 400 líderes de iglesia abarcando un período de 20 años. Por si fuera poco, algunos líderes denom

권력 남용

Department: Author: Shiao Chong최근 미국 최대 개신교 교단인 남침례교단은, 지난 20년간 거의 400 교회 지도자가 범한 700 여 건 이상의 성추행 사건을 기록한 보고서로 인해 큰 풍파를 겪었습니다. 더 심각한 문제는 몇몇 교단급 지도자들은 이런 문제를 알고도 가해자들을 제재하지 않았다는 것입니다. 실제로 많은 가해자들이 또 다른 먹잇감을 찾아 교회를 옮긴 상습적 가해자들이었습니다. 이는 하나님과 하나님의 백성들에 대한 끔찍하고 죄악되며 중대한 반역입니다. 우리 개혁교회는 이런 악에 면역력을 갖고 있지

Stewardship

Department: Author: Rolf BoumaI recently read about a movement called minimalism. It seems to encourage people to live with as few possessions as possible. Is minimalism compatible with being a Christian?The minimalist movement is a rather loosely organized group of people committed to encouraging

Do All Good People Go to Heaven?

Department: Author: Christopher SchoonAt one point or another, most of us wonder about the afterlife. What happens when we die? Will we remember our lives from here on earth? Will we recognize loved ones? What about our pets? Such wondering can become perplexing, and even the mention of eternity ca

Digital Life

Department: Author: Dean R. HeetderksMapping our family’s genealogy online started out as simple curiosity for my husband but now it’s all he talks and thinks about. Should I be concerned?Some years back, USA Today claimed genealogy was the second most popular hobby in the United States. What was t

Trying to Do ‘the Right Thing’

Department: Author: Lindsay Vander HoekI am always amazed when I see a cross-cut of a purple cabbage—intricate white and magenta waves glistening with juice. And when I pull a bright carrot out of dark black soil, I can’t help wondering: How did it get so orange?Our faith encourages us to delight i