Author: Matthew and Joy Steem

oxygen masks

Oxygen Masks and Justice

The plane boards, the seat belt lights illuminate, and the flight attendants dutifully close the overhead storage compartments. The pilot’s voice comes through the announcement speakers welcoming everybody aboard and offering a brief flight overview. Next, the calming yet chipper…

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good fear

A Good Fear

I have a great-uncle who has a way of commanding attention and tells scads of groovy stories. At one family get together the topic of child rearing came up. As can be likely with a mixing of the older generation…

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eternally minded

The Danger of Being Eternally-Minded

A friend I’ve known for nearly a quarter of my life is lying in a hospital bed pondering death.   Right now.   As I write this, if not sleeping, my friend is contemplating assisted suicide.   I have been…

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giving money

The Problem with Giving Money to the Church

I have an issue with giving to my local church: my money no longer goes toward social services—or at least it is highly unlikely. I, however, very much want at least some of my money going toward these things.  …

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assembly required

Assembly Required

I have been greatly bothered by Hebrews 10:25 for a while. You might have already felt it clouting about your ears if you aren’t someone who gets overly excited about attending church.   “Thou shalt not forsake the assembly of…

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and i liked

I Hugged a Monk and I Liked It

A number of months ago, my sister and I made a snap decision to visit a monastery in the boonies. Unfortunately, we planned in haste (you might remember Tolkien’s quote, “Short cuts make long delays”, thus, upon arrival, we found…

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Gods friend

God’s Friend?

My parents always maintained people of higher social standing probably wouldn’t mind—and might even be happy—sharing some of their experiences with me if I simply asked. They were mostly right. And I assume you wouldn’t think it too unusual if…

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empowering meekness

Empowering Meekness

I have been thinking about what authentic Christian witness looks like for a while now, especially when we take the following two ingredients into consideration: energetic churches and individuals more inclined to introversion.   On the one hand, this might…

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fighting for social justice

Fighting for Social Justice

It’s wrong or right, white or black: there is no gray. It’s either this or that, with no in between: you are for us or against us, there is no fence-post sitting.   This type of thinking isn’t considered cool…

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infinite and finite mingle

Where the Finite and Infinite Mingle

Have you ever spoken to artists and, after some time in discussion, thought they were slightly off their rocker? Sometimes they employ strange imagery when expressing their ideas. They “give birth to creations” or find themselves “surprised” at the lives…

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