Author: Ken Chitwood

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]


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]

Failing the Digital Age

Read Time: 3 min.

When I woke up this morning I had three texts, several Instagram notifications, a Snapchat message, six Facebook notices, several other app notifications, and umpteen e-mails. It was 6 a.m. Ridonculous. Do you ever wake up in the morning overwhelmed by the state of your digital life? How about mid-afternoon when the e-mails have piled up? Or at night when you feel you need to scroll through anothe...[Read More]

Making Peace with a Violent World

Read Time: 3 min.

The world is pretty violent. Gang violence, foreign wars, police brutality, bullying at school, the death penalty, violent entertainment, road rage, domestic violence…you name it, we’ve got it. What can we do? How can we fight violence and make peace? Good questions. There should be an unease when it comes to the prevalence of violence. Indeed, more and more people are sensing that this isn’t the ...[Read More]

What’s my convenience worth?

Read Time: 2 min.

“What’s my convenience worth?” It was a seemingly simple question from my friend Aaron, but an inquiry with some pretty significant implications for the way I discipline my day, treat others, or deal with things. We live in what you might call a convenience culture. Drive-thrus and free refills, fast food and grocery delivery, e-mails and easy returns, microwaveable meals and to-go containers, air...[Read More]

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