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Mother and Father

David Schelhaas The words father and mother come from similar roots, and the roots most likely come from the sounds an infant child makes before the child can talk. Papa, daddy, mama, ma, mom, and the variations in many different languages all seem to have been derived from the sounds that infant children make. The word mother, as far as we know, is derived from the sound a child makes while nursing or suckling at the mother's breast. To mother…
Dave Schelhaas
February 15, 2007
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His Holy Temple

Every Sunday morning of my youth, the words fell from the pulpit like the solemn tolling of a bell: "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." They set the tone for the morning's worship, an orderly, serious activity. After all, the Creator God was here, here in this narrow, red brick, white-steepled building we called Bethel Christian Reformed Church. For the fourteen years that I attended Bethel, the morning service began with…
Dave Schelhaas
December 16, 2005
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Candidate and Senate

As I look out of my office window, I see sky and the tops of trees. That's because a foot of snow sits on the outside sill of my window, blocking most of my view. The world is blanketed in snow, giving off an incandescent glow; in other words, the world is white-robed. In Latin that would be candidatus, white-robed. Roman men who were seeking office had to wear white robes, candidates, to indicate to the people who saw them…
Dave Schelhaas
November 16, 2004
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These Fragile, Gaudy Flowers

One of the best things about living in a Northern climate is rounding the curve that takes us from winter to spring, from cold to warm, from brown to green, from no flowers to a land lush with flowers. As we move from May to June, the whole land seems to be in bloom. Few flowers are more typical of the Midwest and of rural life in general than the peony. (Most of the farm gardens I have seen--my mother-in-law's…
Dave Schelhaas
June 1, 2004
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Airplanes and Embryos

Sometimes, when I'm strapped in my seat, a strange body close on either side of me, two hundred of us altogether packaged like eggs in this long, narrow tube, I wonder, is this what Leonardo DaVinci and the Wright Brothers and all those zany, imaginative madmen in between who dreamed of flight and tried to fly, is this what they had in mind?  I don't think so.What they were after, I think, was the feel, the ecstasy, of flying that…
Dave Schelhaas
March 16, 2004
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The Morality of Wealth

About twelve years ago, Glenn Tinder asked in a landmark Atlantic Monthly article the vitally important question, "Can We Be Good without God"? He said we could not. The crucial question that John Schneider addresses in his new book is "Can We Have God and Our Goods"? That is, can we have God and our bulging financial portfolios, our Mercedes Benzes, our mega-houses, our summer cottages, our luxury vacations, our electronic toys, our closets full of clothing, our storage garages…
Dave Schelhaas
April 16, 2003
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A Frugal Capitalism

As a 60 year-old teacher, I am different from most of my students in many ways. One way is that I am able to remember a time when things were significantly different from the way they are today. The decade of the fifties, which began when I was eight and ended when I was eighteen, is of all the decades of my life the one that was probably the most formative, the one that is most clearly my decade. I…
Dave Schelhaas
January 16, 2003