Guinness Enthralls the Called

Os Guinness. 2003. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra A friend who knows me well, once remarked that my reviews are not so much reviews as commentaries. True enough—I do not fashion myself as a critic so much as a student of […]

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Prayer for the Memory Impaired

Almighty father, We praise you for the company that you bring— make your presence especially obvious in lonely evenings and busy mornings, in hymns of praise and silent moments, in the dark recesses of our minds and in light moments of joy. We confess that we do not always remember; be our memory. We confess […]

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A Roadmap of Simple Faith

The New Testament pictures Jesus as someone who enters our life, calls us into discipleship, and gives us kingdom work to do. In Matthew’s Gospel, for example, Jesus finds Peter and Andrew at work fishing and calls them with these words: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19) As a […]

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Kress Writes Fiction with Logic and Flair

Nancy Kress. 2005. Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint.  Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest Books. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra One of the dividing lines between fiction and nonfiction writing shows itself in the indirect way that fiction writers express themselves, “showing” rather than “telling” the reader. Showing a characteristic or emotion subtly transforms the reader from an observer […]

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Prayer in the Stillness of Winter

Resurrection Lord, Thank you for the stillness of night and quiet of winter,. when we can rest alone and yet not fear. Fear is too often an unwelcome companion in our lives, when things do not go as planned and our lack of control terrorizes us. Death looms too near; friends seem distant; sunshine seems […]

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Incentive to Examine Faith

Christians face an enormous challenge in living out their faith today because major tenets of Christian theology are being openly challenged in the media, in schools, and in the political arena. What are we to believe and, then, how are we to apply those beliefs in our daily choices? The question of what are we […]

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Love Prayer

Heavenly father, We praise you for the mercy that you showed us in sending Jesus Christ to die on a cross for us and our salvation. For in your mercy, we have seen your love— sacrificial love that carried a price; covenantal love that kept a promise; divine love that bridged the gaps between the […]

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Congressional Detail

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching . . . My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Prov 1:8-10) Congressional Detail By Stephen W. Hiemstra In the spring of 1984 I took a one-month detail with the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA)[1] which was interested in my dissertation […]

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Stephen King Lives and Writes Through Situations

Stephen King. 2010. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner. Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra My primary writing project during the past year has been to write a memoir. Being new to the genre, I started by publishing my father’s memoir, enrolled in an online writing course, read numerous writing books, and […]

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