Taking the Warrior Bus to the Mount

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About 10 high school students disembark from their “Warriors” mini-bus, like they’re stepping onto a questionably constructed swing bridge over a gaping chasm.

Do I look this unsure when I enter unchartered territory?

I can almost guarantee a deer-in-the-headlights expression when I step out in my faith, into unfamiliar spiritual terrain that demands something more of me, that stretches my trust muscles.

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The Joy of Snow Eaters — Defining the second half of life

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep The young girl was standing in the snow, wearing only pajamas and snow boots. My car had just rounded the curve in the road that separates our condos from the apartments. The girl, about 8 years old, stood in the strip of yard beside the apartment building, her hands cupped and full of snow, […]

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We, Like Sheep: On being shepherded into the new year

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep As I travel the roads through the Scottish countryside, acres of pastureland carpet the space between my rental car and the horizon. Sheep meander across the green like earthbound clouds, and the setting sun turns their fleece golden. But I see no shepherd in this idyllic still life that has hung in […]

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A Communion of Chocolate and Generations

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep I break the chocolate wafer into pieces while it’s still in its holiday foil wrapper. Caramel oozes from the cracks as I carefully unwrap it and offer it up to my great aunt. “It’s like communion,” I tell her. She chuckles and says it’s sticky. We are visiting her in the […]

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I Will Welcome Winter as a Sabbath

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep I have two memories of snow. They stick like individual snowflakes to window glass, their intricacies blatantly announcing God’s mathematical genius…his ability to condense the universe into a melting, faceted jewel (or the savior into a newborn)… I am nine and caroling with my parents and their friends and children. The sky is […]

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Just like a 1970s sleepover gone horribly wrong

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep I stuffed my overnight bag into my narrow grammar school locker, already counting the red-handed seconds until I left my 4th grade troubles behind and walked two blocks to my best friend’s house for a sleepover. My presence always caused a bit of angst for my friend’s mother since–although I was […]

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Of Warp and Weft…and being Deeply Rooted

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By Amanda Cleary Eastep A few days ago, I joined about 100 other women at Wilson Abbey in Chicago for Deeply Rooted: A Gathering. My 20-year-old daughter was with me, and aside from a few friends, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know their credentials, their triumphs, or their sins. I didn’t know if they were longtime […]

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