Mike the Miracle Guy

November 4, 2016 Melodie Davis

“In another year, don’t bring it back to me. Get yourself a new one.” Mike, my computer repair guy, was totally serious. He wasn’t being rude or discouraging my business. He just knows how badly I hate to get new computers, so this is the second time I’ve dragged it in for a clean-up; it has been stalling out and wasting my time, big time, for nigh on to two years, I’d wager. The old one was like a piece of paper that had scratches and writing all over it. The one he installed was like a clean piece of […]


November 4, 2016 Jerry L. Holsopple

Moonlight is an extraordinary tale of growing up, of discovering who you are, and of hiding the truth, sometimes even from yourself. The film is full of irony and contradiction, and this combination is one that makes this movie incredible. We have seen many of the same challenges in films before, but this combination of black manhood and sexual identity is revealing and painful. We meet Chiron as he is running from a group of other young boys and escapes through a fence and hides in an abandoned building. Juan (Mahersala Ali of House of Cards), a drug dealer, sees […]

Muskrat Falls: An opportunity for respect and reconciliation

October 28, 2016 Thirdway

By Dianne and Marty Climenhage June 27, 2016 was an historic day in Labrador. It marked the first time that all three Indigenous groups–Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut Government representing Northern Inuit and NunatuKavut Government representing Southern Inuit–stood together publicly and asked for a halt to Nalcor Corporation’s Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project (Muskrat Falls). It has been our privilege, as MCC workers in Labrador, to stand with Indigenous partners in their call for respect for their land and their lives. Since 2011, “land protectors” have been warning the public about the potential risks of moving forward with a project of this magnitude. In 2013, the project […]

Taking Care of Babies: Truly Engaged

October 28, 2016 Melodie Davis

It’s no secret that some people enjoy babies and small children more than others. Sometimes it is a matter of someone (mostly male, but not always) who has grown to adulthood without the opportunity to be around very many little ones, so they don’t know how to truly engage with a child. Any new parent—who may be feeling just a little unsure about the whole thing—would do well to read and keep this simple list in mind. Or there are those on the opposite end, whose home and extended family may have had oodles of small kids that they were […]

Two Movies: “Suicide Squad” and “Don’t Think Twice”

October 28, 2016 Matthew Kauffman Smith

When Suicide Squad was about to premiere in metroplexes across the world in early August, comedian Mike Birbiglia tweeted about the decision by the Motion Picture Association of America to give the movie a tame rating. Birbiglia wrote and directed the comedy Don’t Think Twice, which hit the screens two weeks earlier. Birbiglia didn’t understand why the MPAA deemed his movie more offensive. The MPAA is sending a message that it just doesn’t tolerate violence—it celebrates it. Here’s his tweet from August 2016: Mike Birbiglia ‪@birbigs Suicide Squad has machine gun killings and bombings and got a PG-13 rating. ‪@Dontthinkmovie […]

Limits that free us for delight

October 28, 2016 Celeste Kennel-Shank

Each week we receive an incredible gift, and yet so many of us leave it there, still in its wrapping paper and bow. Or we open it a little bit but then put it back in the box and set it in a corner to collect dust. The Sabbath is for us, that we might be restored by delight in the goodness in the world. What keeps so many of us from fully receiving the gift of a full day of rest each week? Perhaps it’s a demanding job that requires working not only Sundays but at least part of […]

Haiti in Hope of Recovery

October 21, 2016 Third Way

By Shalonda Spencer It has been six years since the disastrous January 2010 earthquake in Haiti which killed over 200,000 Haitians; it was also the year of the tragic outbreak of cholera that has now infected more than 785,000 people. Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness and there are an estimated 3-5 million cases around the world each year. The bacterium contaminates water and food and is most likely to occur in places with inadequate water and sanitation systems. During the month of October, Mennonite Central Committee’s Washington Office, along with other organizations, launched a cholera campaign via Twitter to […]

When Stress Makes You Forgetful

October 21, 2016 Melodie Davis

Am I getting dementia? Or have I just been going through too much stress? Roxana prayed with us, and I can’t tell you how much she lifted my heart and my mind that week. There is not a 50-year-old alive who doesn’t ask the question about dementia at least once a week, or whenever we’ve forgotten where we put the cell phone or the keys, or slipped up on someone’s name, or cannot remember the minute details the spouse remembers from 25 years ago. Many of us, once we get beyond the age of 70 and up, will indeed be […]

I, Daniel Blake and A Man Called Ove

October 14, 2016 Vic Thiessen

I just returned from Edmonton, where I had the privilege of watching 19 feature-length films in 10 days at the Edmonton International Film Festival (now one of the most important film festivals in Canada). Only two of those 19 films stood out for me, and coincidentally they both featured 59-year-old widower protagonists. Critics will no doubt be unhappy with the pedagogical nature of I, Daniel Blake. This is not a film that hides its message. I, Daniel Blake, which will come to American theaters in December, is directed by Ken Loach, most of whose films are about the plight of […]

Mutt Meets Praying Mantis; Or, Mantis Bites Dog?

October 14, 2016 Melodie Davis

My dog, a 40-pound mixed mutt, was standing outside our garage door barking. She doesn’t often bark unless the neighbor dog comes over to play, and sometimes that dog gets her going. The extra bonus with a mantis is that their very posture of prayer often invites me to pray, even as I work. But this was just our dog, Velvet, barking with some extra excitement. Time to go look. I was amazed. There stood a tiny praying mantis up on its hind legs, batting at my dog as if it could hear my dog barking and as if it […]