Author: Ken Chitwood

Seeing Myself as Never Truly Alone

Read Time: 3 min.

We live in a lonely world. Some people have even said that despite (and maybe even because of) our global and immediate connectivity online and on our smartphones and tablets, we are experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.” It’s strange, but even as we live in a world where we are bombarded with people at work, in school, on the streets, at the movies, or on social media feeds with hundreds, or thous...Read More

Serving Means Sitting

Read Time: 5 min.

Let’s play a game of word association. When I say “SERVING,” what do you think of? Perhaps the waiter who forgot your side of Sriracha. Someone employed as a member of the armed services. Painting someone’s house. Delivering a meal to a shut-in. Organizing a car-wash for charity. We tend to relate serving with standing up, springing into action, and getting things done. And rightly so. Serving req...Read More

Learning to Listen, Listening to Learn

Read Time: 4 min.

“Huh?” “What did you say?” “What?” When we want to make fun of our dad, these are the words that we use. While it may not be funny that my father is hard of hearing, it is pretty humorous that sometimes when my mom and dad are talking, it’s a constant back-and-forth of these words. “Huh?” “What?” “I didn’t catch that.” And it’s not that my father is the only one with a problem. Ask my wife and she...Read More

One Thing That Will Make All the Difference

Read Time: 3 min.

Fresh from a breakfast of piping hot spaghetti on toast and loud laughs, I headed back to work for the day on a New Zealand dairy farm. There was important work to be done. The smell of sweet silage hung in the air and the grass fields shone brightly in the early morning sun. We drove past a patch of turf that was unwieldy and overgrown. Still new to this whole dairy farming thing, having grown up...Read More

Abuse in the church—it has to end.

Read Time: 3 min.

One time, I wrote a letter to Pope Francis. I know…ridiculous. What wasn’t ridiculous was the message I wrote to him: that before he goes off to save the climate and solve the refugee crisis and bring peace to the Middle East, he first needs to take care of priority number one—addressing sexual abuse in his church. The Catholic Church has gotten the bad rap of being the sole proprietor of sexual a...Read More

The Very Public Nature of a Very Private Matter

Read Time: 3 min.

Divorce sucks. No matter if it’s “amicable” or a battle royale, the process is grueling, emotionally taxing, and in the age of digital media—horribly public. If the legal documents, division of property, and emotions were not enough, today’s relational landscape includes navigating the ins-and-outs of social media as well! Today, more and more couples dissolving their marriages in their 30s and 40...Read More

Fair trade is a critical first step.

Read Time: 4 min.

Looking out at seemingly endless miles of coffee trees near Taratung, Indonesia, baking in the sun, I was transfixed by the workers slaving away, drenched in sweat, and only paid a pittance for their work. I thought back to the cooperative I visited earlier that morning. There in the shade, a family had been processing cherries and drying the beans. They laughed. They shared stories. They had me t...Read More

Putting Religion Back in Our Schools

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s about time we put religion back in our schools. Now, hold on…I’m not talking about what you think I’m talking about. The separation of church and state is important. I truly believe that prayer, theology, and religious practices are not meant to permeate the boundaries of our secular institutions—school, the halls of government, etc. But that doesn’t mean we should take religious education—te...Read More

Is nature all there is?

Read Time: 3 min.

Is nature all there is? When you look out at the cosmos or stop to contemplate the beautiful designs of a flower abloom in spring—do you imagine that all of it is the product of a purely natural process, or that perhaps there is something more going on here? Something deeper? Something grander? Something perhaps more designed than we might recognize? When it comes to these big questions about evol...Read More

Multi-Careering

Read Time: 3 min.

I remember the day my dad lost his job. He was pacing in front the house. Angry. Anxious. Confused. Kind of lost. He’d already switched careers once, going from building axles to vehicle processing. Now, he had to transition again. And he did. Let’s face it. We are all going to have multiple careers in our lives. Some by choice, others because of lay-offs and closed companies. We won’t always be a...Read More

I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling

Read Time: 3 min.

I walked in and there she was. A college student from the church I serve. I couldn’t turn around. I couldn’t un-commit. I could have lied about why I was there, but that’s not ethical (right?). I was caught red-handed—seeing my professional counselor. For the last decade or so, I’ve seen a professional counselor off-and-on. Sometimes, it’s been for no special reason. Other times, in the midst of a...Read More

When it comes to religion, we’d better get an education.

Read Time: 3 min.

The famous American playwright Wilson Mizner is attributed with saying, “I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.” Given America’s current lack of “religious literacy”—the knowledge of, and ability to understand, both your own religion and that of others—Mizner may very well be correct. Several years ago, the Pew Research Center put out its Religious Knowledge Survey. They found t...Read More

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