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Inside Out

Our Already-Weeded Selves

"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." – Isaiah 9:6 What do you want to be when you grow up? Perhaps there is nothing adults relish more than asking this question of children. A child's answer, with its innocent lack of self-filtering and posturing, can paint a precious vision of the core of a child's being.…
November 1, 2016
Inside Out

A Pow’r Not Theirs to Give

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’”  – Matthew 3:13-15 O, the wonder of the incarnation, the mystery of Christ’s humiliation, the depth of his love! That Jesus would not just…
September 1, 2016
Inside Out

Do You Want to Be Healed?

“Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people – blind, crippled, paralyzed – were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, ‘Do you want to get well?’” – John 5:1-6, The…
Thom Fiet
June 30, 2016
Inside OutScience

The Rocks and Colliding Black Holes Cry Out

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’” – Luke 19:39-40 “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?” There I stood in front of 29 eighth-grade students, my daughter among them, having to speak truth about Adam and Eve’s navels. “Probably,” I responded. There was a gasp, then an explosion of chattering. “How could they, if God created…
April 30, 2016
Inside Out

Look before You Tweet

As an undergraduate student, I was an editorial writer for the Dordt College newspaper. Together with a young band of know-it-all comrades, we took on the institution – the president, the board, the faculty – anyone in our line of sight who didn’t “get it” like we did. It was a revolutionary time. The Berlin Wall was coming down. Students were protesting in Tiananmen Square. Mandela was released from jail. We were living in the moment – participating! We felt…
February 29, 2016
Inside Out

What Happens When We Get It Wrong?

“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you…
December 31, 2015
Inside Out

On St. Catherine’s Wheel

I waited patiently for the Lord; who inclined to me and heard my cry. Who drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure… — Psalm 40:1-2 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God. — Psalm 40:17 In A.D. 310, a beautiful and learned virgin,…
October 31, 2015
Inside Out

Getting Bro-propriated

A woman says something in a meeting. It is barely acknowledged. Later in the meeting, a man says the exact same thing, whereupon everyone agrees that it is, indeed, the solution to every problem. There’s a word for that: “Bro” + appropriation = Bro-propriation. All of which brings me to the Easter story. The account of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is told four times: in Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24 and John 20. Scholars generally agree that Mark…
September 1, 2015
Inside Out

Exploring the Attic

When I was growing up, my parents would send me away for a week or two in the summer to my grandparents’ house. I looked forward to these weeks in the season of long light. Grandpa and Grandma had a tract of acres, a garden, an apple orchard to climb in, an old barn filled with tools, rusted machinery and tractors from a bygone season when the land was farmed. But my favorite place to explore was the attic. Upstairs,…
July 1, 2015