A collection of columns by Lisa Jisa, Jennifer Zach, Steve Hammer, Diane Meehl and Kerry C. Neuhardt.

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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A few weeks ago, I was having a really rough day. That's how life goes sometimes. It shouldn't have thrown me for such a loop, but it did. I d…

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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I've been doing some purging lately and it sure feels good to get rid of stuff. Things can tend to drag us down. A friend once told me how exc…

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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A few weeks ago I attended a conference that was sponsored by the Voice of the Martyrs. The guest speakers have been persecuted for their fait…

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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I recently visited a friend who has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It involves the degeneration of motor neurons, leaving the brain …

  • By Lisa Jisa Ahwatukee Foothills News
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I was watching the Weather Channel with my youngest daughter a few days ago. A clip came on about the devastating floods in Pakistan, and the …

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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I have been thinking a lot about freedom lately, with Memorial Day just behind us and Independence Day right around the corner. I truly value …

  • By Lisa Jisa Special to AFN
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As I sit in my office to begin writing this month’s column, my eyes are drawn to the closet door. On it are numerous heart-shaped sticky notes…

Communitylife
  • By Lisa Jisa
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My husband has traveled for work for many of our 20 years of marriage. I was feeling especially discouraged a few weeks ago and was recalling …

Communitylife
  • By Lisa Jisa
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I got new glasses last week. After wearing them all day every day and then taking them off at night, things look a bit blurry in one eye. I am…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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For the first time I can remember, it is mid-February and our Christmas tree is still up and full of ornaments. Stockings are hanging over the…

Communitylife
  • By Lisa Jisa
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A few years ago I took my kids camping near Lake Powell. The trip ended up being one disaster after another.

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Spiritual Side is a keeper

  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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My brother lives in the mountains in Colorado and is in the house construction business. It has been tight making ends meet and feeding all of…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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I was hiking on South Mountain trails last week when I bumped into a couple of men looking for directions. They were new to the trail system a…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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My kids and I have been learning how the Bible is translated into other languages. I am fascinated with the translation into a language called…

  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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As I sit here writing this month’s column, my mind keeps wandering.  There are so many things I have to get done today.  Laundry, driving kids…

  • by Lisa Jisa | Ahwatukee Foothills Resident
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My youngest daughter and I had quite an experience at the airport in Chicago a few weeks ago. We loaded all of our things into tubs to go thro…

  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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I had an exciting day last week. Well, maybe exciting is too strong of a word. I was able to spend an entire afternoon thoroughly cleaning out…

  • Commentary by Lisa Jisa
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In March I wrote about my friend Kathy and her lifelong battles with cancer. I am thrilled to tell you that she has been completely healed by …

  • By Lisa Jisa
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I spent last night with a friend who had just received a heavy dose of radiation for a cancerous tumor on the remaining portion of her one goo…

  • By Jennifer Zach Special to AFN
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"I can't wait until Christmas!" exclaims my 8 year old several times a day. Then he does a little dance, electric anticipation popping and fiz…

  • By Jennifer Zach Special to AFN
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It all started with a bite in the butt.

  • By Jennifer Zach Special to AFN
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I don't care who you are, nobody has the right to disrupt a funeral and hit a family while they are grieving.

  • By Jennifer Zach Special to AFN
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Imagine opening a brand new tube of toothpaste. It feels heavy, round and smooth in your hands. Unscrew the top and start squeezing - but not …

  • By Jennifer Zach Ahwatukee Foothills News
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“Stick your hand in it, mom! Go for it!” my son says. He looks at me with a challenging grin. 

  • Jennifer Zach | Special to AFN
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Watching Julie & Julia. Julie, almost 30, a desk jockey who fields complaints in a call center, is sitting in a New York City restaurant l…

  • By Jennifer Zach Special to AFN
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"Unos, dos, tres, catorce!" Bono counted us in (some, 2, 3 - 14?) and then The Edge took over.

Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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“I know why spring is called spring,” my first-grader announced importantly as he climbed up into bed. “It’s because when the snow melts, ever…

Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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I wear sensible shoes.

Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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The snow was flying and the roads were getting icier by the minute. We were driving down to Phoenix from Pinetop and a snowstorm had blown in …

Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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Many, many Christmases ago, my grandmother brought us one of those magical advent calendars with chocolate behind a little door for each day i…

Communitylife
  • By Jennifer Zach
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I’ve just come downstairs to look for my brain. Apparently I lost it and everything that was in it. It happened to my husband, too. We woke up…

  • Commentary by Jennifer Zach
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Last week William Rice stopped to see what was going on at a health care reform protest organized by MoveOn.org, a group in favor of health ca…

  • Commentary by Jennifer Zach
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Let me tell you a funny story. Lately I have been thinking a lot about strength and being strong. With a milestone birthday not too far in the…

  • Commentary by Jennifer Zach | Bridgeway Community Church
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Once upon a time I found the perfect Valentine. It was unusually large and square and felt substantial in your hands. The cover was a collage …

Education
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Rachelly Melissa Alvarez Meghan Elizabeth Anders Denise Danielle Anderson-Alexander Meaghan Bridget Andrews Samantha Rosa Archabal Shelby Lyn …

Education
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Jaclyn Abbott Ashleigh Noelle Albrecht Adria Alexander Layne Alexander Stephanie Alger Jalessa Lenise Almonacy Karlee Alsaker Jennifer Amodei …

  • Commentary by Jennifer Zach
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A while ago, my kids and I were rocking out in the car to Vertigo by U2. We had the windows down and the volume obnoxiously loud. I was one co…

  • By Jennifer Zach
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Last week, leading up to Easter, I was struggling. All my inadequacies as a mom and homemaker were being highlighted for all to see. My inbox …

  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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In a penultimate scene in Kevin Costner's underrated 2003 western, "Open Range," there is a lull in the shooting between the cattle baron with…

  • Send submissions to Beverly Stidham Ahwatukee Foothills News
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By profession, my brother-in-law in Saskatchewan is a farmer. His passion, however, is Buck and Charlie, a pair of Belgian draught horses that…

  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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Last month, a pastor in Florida made international headlines by announcing his plans to burn copies of the Qur'an. That he relented in the 11t…

  • Submitted by Joey Acedo
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Having a personal relationship with God

  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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Jesus had a way of sneaking up on his pupils. Good teachers are like that. While spinning stories on the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven, the …

  • By Steve Hammer Special to AFN
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Ever since human beings began to form themselves into communities, the relationship between government and religion has been, well, dicey. On …

Communitylife
  • By Steve Hammer
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“He is risen. He is risen indeed!”

Communitylife
  • By Steve Hammer
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It seems like Harvey Cox has been around forever. Now in his 81st year he is still going strong even though he is “officially retired” from hi…

Communitylife
  • By Steve Hammer
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If you listen, sometimes wisdom comes from unexpected places.

Communitylife
  • By Steve Hammer
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It is hard to imagine that it was just 10 years ago that there was a great deal of fuss and bother over “Y2K.” Computer systems were going to …

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Steve Hammer
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Last month our congregation hosted a food-packing event for Feed My Starving Children. Along with congregations in Peoria, Scottsdale and Mesa…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Steve Hammer
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Nearly 500 years ago, priest and professor of theology Martin Luther nailed a list of issues for debate to the door of the church. There was n…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Steve Hammer
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My brother lives on a lake in the Midwest. In the summer it’s pretty easy to see what the neighbors are doing just by looking down the shoreli…

  • By Steve Hammer
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As it most often is with such moments of shocking tragedy, the shootings at Virginia Tech last month leave us with far more questions than ans…

  • By Steve Hammer
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Like many of you, I have had more than the usual amount of yard work this spring. The hard freeze this winter took a serious toll on my yard, …

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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Like you, I'm spending some serious time at Target these days. It is one of my favorite stores; and we never seem to get through a trip withou…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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According to parental folklore, as a kid, I ate like a bird. You would never know it now. Ever since my own "babies" arrived on the scene, I'v…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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Let me set the record straight: I've got a temper. I've been known to hurl curse words and even - gulp - a book now and then. And I would be m…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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I was never a cheerleader in high school. But today, I love to encourage people. My highest calling is to comfort and minister to the people G…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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An unexpected miracle arrived in my mailbox one day, exactly when I needed one. A thick envelope with no return address, it was chock full of …

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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Ah, it's almost here: Absolutely my favorite night of the month, right up there with "dinner-is-anything-you-can-fix-yourself-night." Date Nig…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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I don't blame Eve. After all, she was likely just a curious adolescent ... probably needed a bit of excitement amidst her tranquil, predictabl…

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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She bounded out of the truck, covered in dirt and bursting at the seams. Arriving home from a camping trip with the Meehl men – her daddy, unc…

  • Diane Meehl | Special to AFN
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Temptation. That’s what I face this time of year, when the novelty of summer wears thin. Spending time in the pool is great, but the days are …

  • By Diane Meehl Special to AFN
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I came across a splashy ad recently for a new diet promising to make me “high school skinny” again. Really? Would I want to go back to being h…

Communitylife
  • By Diane Meehl
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It’s hard to describe, isn’t it? It is …a bittersweet heartache. It is watching your hopes and dreams walk. It is peering into the future. It …

Communitylife
  • By Diane Meehl
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I agree with Alice Cooper. He claimed embracing Christianity was the real rebellion of his life. So in that spirit, I did something a bit diff…

Communitylife
  • By Diane Meehl
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Ah, another football season’s come to an end. Not that I’m exactly an avid fan, but I live with a couple of diehards. And if I want to hang ou…

  • By Rev. Kerry C. Neuhardt Special to AFN
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The incident is in the first chapter of the Christian testament known as John's gospel. It is a simple story with deep wisdom. As Jesus approa…

Communitylife
  • By Rev. Kerry C. Neuhardt
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My mom approached looking agitated, crying. The rented sprayer was too loud to hear her and my dad and I were preoccupied with getting coating…

Communitylife
  • Commentary by Rev. Kerry C. Neuhardt
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As increasing numbers of people desperately call or stop by churches, religious and social institutions looking for help, as we struggle to co…

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