Lessons from Eiffel’s Tower


This past summer, my wife and I with our two children took the trip of a lifetime. With the help of a farewell gift from New Life Christian Reformed Church (where I was Senior Pastor for 16 years), we went on a three-week trip to Europe from late June until mid-July. This was my first ever trip to Europe. We flew from Chicago to Amsterdam and traveled by Eurorail to … [Read more...]

Increasing Cabin Pressure – Synod 2012


This past summer, I attended the Christian Reformed Church Synod for the first time as President of Calvin Theological Seminary. I had previously served as a delegate in 1990, 2002, 2006 and 2010, but for this Synod I was in a new role. Because of that role, I have been asked by a number of people about my impressions of this past Synod and this is my usual “overview” … [Read more...]

Getting Ready to Meet God


Genesis 35:1-14 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him. “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” Genesis 35:2 Growing up on a family farm meant that after chores, it was time for Saturday night baths and for getting ready for Sunday. Peeling potatoes on Saturday night so that this work … [Read more...]

The Power of a Word


On a recent trip, I completed reading Miz Lil & the Chronicles of Grace by Walter Wangerin, Jr. and Rise of a Dynasty: The ’57 Celtics by Bill Reynolds. (I usually have a couple of books going.) What does a memoir of a pastor in the early days of ministry and a book about the first championship won by the Boston Celtics have in common? The power of a word. In Miz … [Read more...]

News from Ripon

Historic Ripon

Classis is an ecclesiastical gathering of a region of churches. It is considered a middle-judicatory by those who know of such things. People usually yawn or cringe about classis meetings, but I love these gatherings. I especially loved going to the one for Classis Central California. Or maybe I should say I love the two classes that met as one. I have recently returned … [Read more...]

Reading for the “Whim”


Plane travel is something I actually look forward to in my schedule. It is not the destination, but the possibility that causes this anticipation. On a plane, I can catch up on some reading. I don’t download emails. I may listen to music. Sometimes, I can catch a movie, but what I look forward to most is having an uninterrupted hour or two for reading. What do I … [Read more...]

$14 for Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day has come and gone again. There are lots of stories that surround that day, but this past year was particularly eventful for our family. On February 14, a young man came to our home with a stuffed animal and chocolates and asked our young daughter to be his “girlfriend.” (She said – “Yes” and she would want me to note that she is nearly seventeen years … [Read more...]

A Super Bowl Lesson


I am writing this entry without knowing who will eventually be crowned as Champions at Super Bowl XLVI. As the New England Patriots and the New York Giants prepare for “conflict,” I do think about what I learned about leadership from New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick. In Michael Holley’s recent book, War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of … [Read more...]

Observational “No Worry” Living


Matthew 6:25-34  Jesus said we were to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Jesus asked us to observe in order to live – in order that we might live by faith not in worry. I don’t know about you, but "worry-free" living is not always easy. Maybe we have to “consider” or “observe” the world around us to see how God is still at work in this … [Read more...]

Welcome to Medenblog!


At the end of my very first day as a teacher in the Gateway course at Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) for entering students, one of those students came forward to speak to me. He said, “Professor, may I ask you a question?” I paused. This was the moment. Since my nomination as President in December of 2009, this moment was 21 months since receiving that … [Read more...]