Take Heart–We’re Not the Center of the Universe

I recently enjoyed the book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and learned something new about world and Christian history. I didn’t know that the Christian church in Japan dates back at least to 1549 and some believe it may go back much farther, to 400 AD. In the 1600s, a period of intense […]

How Vegetarians Love Our Neighbors

When I was eight, we spent part of a year living across a country road from a cattle feedlot. This was a plot of land dedicated to feeding a few thousand cattle. The cattle’s owners, mostly investors, kept them there on consignment so they could spend their short lives mostly standing around and eating. They […]

Squinting Up at the Light

Beth turned on the car radio and turned her attention to the headache she had been ignoring all day. It was sitting behind her eyes, pressing on them maliciously and at the same time hammering at her temples. It was the kind of headache that must afflict the people on TV commercials for pain medicine, […]

Why Christians Should Be More Respectful This Election

This year, I’m happy to say I haven’t watched a single TV ad endorsing candidates for this fall’s election. This is because I actively avoid them. I also refuse to watch shows featuring people bickering about the election. I don’t watch debates, I rarely read news articles about candidates at any level. And I certainly […]

Jesse Jackson Jr’s Shame on Us

In another installment of the unfolding story about Jesse Jackson Jr’s mental health, last week former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy reported on a visit to Jackson at the Mayo Clinic. Jackson is under treatment for bipolar disorder, a mood disorder that typically causes sufferers to swing between extreme emotional highs and lows. Bipolar disorder causes […]

Loving My Trees and Resenting My Neighbors

Several weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, our area was blasted by a mercifully short but severe thunderstorm. In the wake of 90-mile-per hour winds, fortunately most houses were intact. But the power was out and hundreds of decades-old trees were battered, uprooted, or otherwise destroyed. Yards were buried in branches, streets were blocked, and […]

Reflections on Turning…Well, Getting Older

This year, I will “celebrate” what’s commonly referred to as a milestone birthday. Not just any milestone, this is of the “downhill from here” variety. Contrary to what many younger people might believe, getting older has some serious benefits, like the kind of wisdom, experience, and confidence I craved 10 years ago and finally see […]

Soul Traps and the Parable of the Zoo

One day a squirrel and a blue jay, who often saw each other foraging for food in a secluded corner of the park, struck up a conversation. The squirrel had noticed that, like a typical blue jay, the shy bird fled and hid in the foliage each time a human came near. Curious, he asked […]

Armor at the Beach

I don’t play poker, but maybe I should. I’ve got the face for it. I developed my “poker face” early in life, but my leadership roles have helped me to perfect it. My ability to keep my emotions off my face—and to maintain a steady exterior—has seen me though many sticky situations. Like any skill, […]

The Good Old Days

On a visit to the St. Louis Gateway Arch a couple of years ago, I bought a copy of a book I couldn’t help noticing in the gift shop: The Good Old Days—They Were Terrible! This book, written by Otto L. Bettmann and published in 1974, contains photographs and written descriptions of life in the […]

© 2012 Amy Simpson.