Andel’s Mass Blog

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Relief: Nice Work if you can Get It

by Tom Andel

For true believers, God is more often found in art than science. You can’t see God in a formula. Our God is best appreciated in the context of our lives—like a relief sculpture carved on our hearts. Relief in the art world describes a subject that projects from and belongs to the background surface on which it is rendered. […]

Beauty from Upheaval

by Tom Andel

If life teaches us anything, it’s that wants and needs are two different things. A child has many wants from a parent, but need boils down to the wisdom, strength and courage that come through a mom and dad’s faith, hope and love. So what happens if mom or dad dies? Suddenly a main source […]

Rare Fruit from Our Family Trees

by Tom Andel

This post is dedicated to Dolores, my family’s lifelong friend and my surrogate mom. As one who is passionate about life, she has grown wise as its student. So it’s no surprise that one of Dolores’s passions is genealogy: the study of a family’s lines of descent. She understands that by knowing your history you […]

Seed Scattered and Sown

by Tom Andel

Many country/western songs are about the search for love, but their lyrics really explain why we misinterpret the true meaning of love—and therefore end up “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” This idea of needing love that’s requited by someone else rather than required of us is where humanity goes wrong. True love […]

Hope Sprouts from Scorched Earth

by Tom Andel

A crop of young faces sprouted at one of the main intersections of our town this summer. The faces belong to Independence High School’s Graduating Class of 2020, but they represent a generation of young people hoping to make their way in a post-pandemic world. Theirs was a graduation with a lot less pomp, under […]

Shedding the Skin that Enslaves Us

by Tom Andel

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said many memorable things through his speeches. His last one, delivered the night of April 3, 1968—the night before he was assassinated—is famous for how it ended. He said “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, […]

Balancing the Costs of Rent-Free Living

by Tom Andel

“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” — Ann Landers, advice columnist Do a web search and you’ll find a lot of people have appropriated Ms. Landers’ quote and weaponized it into a meme. Bragging about breaking into and entering precious space in the brain of someone one hates is […]

Our Autistic God

by Tom Andel

As the father of two sons with autism, and as a man who studies scripture, I can’t help but wonder: Could Jesus and the prophets have been autistic? As depicted in the Bible, Jesus and the prophets exhibit some autistic tendencies, including child-like innocence, occasional indifference to social norms despite potential consequences, and an affinity […]

The Call to Be Holy Bacteria

by Tom Andel

Blood has been the cause of much solemnity this year—both its infection and its wanton spilling. And while we were sheltering in place for a few months, we had a lot of time to consider our blood relation to God. Here’s a question about that bloodstream in this pandemic age:   Are people more like […]

The Charge: Stiff-necked. The Verdict: Guilty

by Tom Andel

That’s us! We’re referred to as “stiff-necked” (stubborn as an ox) at least 18 times in scripture. Anyone with a family KNOWS it’s true. The worst offenders can be those closest to us. God Himself—although He loves His children—can barely stand us sometimes, as he told Moses a couple of those times in the chapter […]