Perspectives

Story by Tompaul Wheeler

“I would just caution about the whole transparency thing,” says Thomas Luttrell, who teaches psychology and counseling at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md. “I do think that tends to be a western value, not shared globally just yet. I’ve been on many online discussion groups where transparency is not always encouraged or people are quickly judged, or [some group members] don’t quite understand the purpose of someone being transparent. Someone who comes from a less transparent culture might be shocked or scandalized by someone opening up about themselves.”

Photo by JamesLee on Pixabay

Poem by Megan L. Garcia

Twas three days before Christmas and all through the church
We gathered to celebrate our dear Savior’s birth
Though not on December 25th He did come,
Yet still our hearts honor this sweet blessed One

We put on our dresses, we put on our ties
The gals did their hair, and waited the guys
For soon they would finally get to retreat
Oh, the sound of the car leaving sounded so sweet

When out of the bathroom, there arose such a clatter
The husband jumped up to see what was the matter
“Just grabbing my perfume” the wife did reply
“I’ll be in the car,” said the man with a sigh

Image by B_Me on Pixabay

Editorial by Terry Forde

The end of the year has rightly earned the title “the holiday rush.” We are motivated by a strong desire to get everything just right, to get everything ready on time, and to get things completed as the year comes to an end. It is quite easy to get so wrapped up in all the activity that we lose sight of what’s most important about the holiday season to begin with.

And then we remember that one short verse: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Which is why spending time with your kids doing next to nothing still matters. It’s why catching up with an old friend on the phone for a few minutes is worth the time invested. It’s why the holiday cards that arrive via post or email are worth taking the time to read.

Social media sites in the U.S. have been buzzing with news of Andrew Stoeklein's recent suicide, the lead pastor of the Inland Hills church (Calif). Responses from other pastors struggling or who have struggled with mental health problems also remind us that suicide isn’t an isolated issue and local clergy need support from their members.

Vincent Dehm, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s Recreation church in Baltimore, has given us permission to share the following:

Tread softly this could get dark.