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Discoveries of a Wanderer

Discoveries of a Wanderer

Christianity Archives

A Prayer to Keep Our Neighbors Warm

posted by Jana Melpolder

The Polar Vortex is no joke – North America has recently experienced extremely low temperatures that’s made most of the country nearly shutdown. The negative temperatures outside have left many stranded in airports, unable to go to school and work, […]

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A Prayer to Ease Depression

posted by Jana Melpolder

Heavenly Father, When it seems that we are actually, finally at our wits’ end… and we’ve seen the end of all that we can do, that is when you are at your nearest, your most miraculous, your best. Sometimes, the […]

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A Prayer for the Washington DC Tragedy

posted by Jana Melpolder

Prayer for Victims of Violence Loving God, Welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Help us in our fear and uncertainty, And bless us with the knowledge that […]

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What Makes a (Very) Loving Wife

posted by Jana Melpolder

One of the dearest “church ladies” that I had the privilege to know died yesterday in hospice care. She was living with her daughter and son-in-law, and at an elderly age, she peacefully died in her sleep. As a widow, […]

Is There Forgiveness in the Trayvon Martin Tragedy?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Oakland, California is a small city filled with diversity and a powerful history that continues to unfold in surprising ways. The “not guilty” George Zimmerman trial verdict left many Oakland residents angry, and some even took to the streets to […]

5 Reasons Why Young Women Shouldn’t Watch “The Bachelorette” (And Why I Just Did)

posted by Jana Melpolder

The rose ceremony. Tears. Group dates. Emotional rollar-coasters. 25 or so men all working to woo the heart of one woman. In other words…pathetic entertainment. So why does it entice so many women in the United States? I haven’t followed […]

What Do People Pray About?

posted by Jana Melpolder

What do you say when you pray? How often do you pray? Odyssey Networks recently took to the streets to uncover what, and why, people say prayers.

A Prayer for a New Baby

posted by Jana Melpolder

The #royalbaby watch is underway, and throughout all the excitement, hope (and even annoyance for some), it’s a time to pray for the safety for the mother and child. But it’s also a time to remember the little ones born […]

Let’s Celebrate Nelson Mandela!

posted by Jana Melpolder

Nelson Mandela, who today turns 95, is a man of honor, courage, and empowerment. His work to end apartheid not only helped South Africans for the past several decades, but will also impact future generations in Africa and around the […]

I Fear That I am Becoming a (Housing) Snob

posted by Jana Melpolder

Recently I moved from the heart of downtown Oakland to the quiet streets of Emeryville, California. As a girl who grew up with woods in her backyard, Oakland was very different to what I’m used to when it comes to […]

End Violence Now: Turning Guns Into Garden Tools

posted by Jana Melpolder

Recently I had a chance to speak with well-known community activist Shane Caliborne, a Christian working in Philadelphia to reverse the city’s high gun violence rate. By combining his passion for healthy food access, community involvement, and peace, he is part of […]

How Women Are Breaking the Church’s Glass Ceiling

posted by Jana Melpolder

Jesus treated women differently than others would have treated women during his time, serving as a sort of early feminist, says the Rev. Susan Sparks, senior pastor at Madison Avenue Baptist Church. “Maybe you could even say Jesus was sort […]

The Papacy of Pope Benedict XVI

posted by Jana Melpolder

Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing on February 11 that he would resign at the end of February. His decision marked the first time in nearly 600 years that a pope has stepped down before death. Significant events […]

Violence Against Women: The Faith Response

posted by Jana Melpolder

During their lifetime, one out of every four women will experience violence from an intimate partner.   Today, clergy are reaching out and   supporting those women who become victims in their own homes. Originally posted on Odyssey Networks.

Bishop Elias Taban on the New South Sudan

posted by Jana Melpolder

January marks the two-year anniversary of South Sudan’s independence referendum, a vote for formal separation from Sudan after several years of disputes between the two regions over the land. Elias Taban, the national bishop of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of […]

What Do Different Religions Believe About Abortion?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Watch here for a deeper understanding of what Christianity, Islam, and Judaism teaches about abortion. The answers may surprise you. I am pro-life, and what are you? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section!    

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir from Obama’s Presidential Inauguration

posted by Jana Melpolder

Originally published on Odyssey Networks.

Comfort Dogs Aid Healing Process After Sandy Hook Shooting

posted by Jana Melpolder

Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog program landed in Newtown, Conn. less than 24 hours after a gunman killed his mother, 20 school children, 6 adults and himself. The program, which started in 2008 after a shooting at Northern Illinois […]

Christmas and Miracles

posted by Jana Melpolder

Originally published on Odyssey Networks.

Relying on Faith, NYC Beach Residents Weather Hurricane Sandy

posted by Jana Melpolder

Gerritsen Beach, a tight-knit community in South Brooklyn that is nearly surrounded by water on all sides, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Because Gerritsen was not deemed an evacuation zone by the city, many residents stayed in the neighborhood during […]

A Healthcare Clinic: “The Lord Led Us”

posted by Jana Melpolder

Nurse practitioners Mary Wysochansky and Anna Stinchcum founded and opened the Sumter Faith Clinic — a free clinic to treat the uninsured and underinsured in Americus, Ga., a community Wysochansky says has been particularly hard-hit by the economy. Fueled solely […]

Catholics for Obama

posted by Jana Melpolder

Stephen F. Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies and a national co-chair of Catholics for Obama, explains his thoughts on the current president and the Democratic Party’s platform. As he discusses same-sex marriage, caring for […]

Eating with the Enemy: Esther’s Story

posted by Jana Melpolder

Risk and sacrifice: a deeper look at Queen Esther‘s story. This is part of Odyssey Networks’ ON Scripture The Bible series.

Lessons from 5 Fathers in the Bible

posted by Jana Melpolder

The Bible is full of stories that capture what fathers were like in Biblical times. Check out the ones I’ve selected below and see what modern fathers can learn from the stories. God the Father Christian beliefs teach that God […]

Speech Can Unite or Divide

posted by Jana Melpolder

A beautiful reminder… Originally posted on Odyssey Networks as part of the Biblical ON Scripture series.

September 11th: A Survivor’s Story

posted by Jana Melpolder

Stanley Praimnath miraculously survived the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and found his calling to ministry as a result of his dramatic struggle to break free of rubble that had him pinned down on the 81st floor of […]

9/11: The Conversation We Never Had

posted by Jana Melpolder

As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, faith leaders reflect on the challenge of living with the deep ideological and religious differences that persist in our multi-denomination society. Check out more videos from Odyssey Networks.

Who Will Save Us? Not Politicians

posted by Jana Melpolder

I guess I am confused why it feels like so many Americans think that the government should or even could save us. Share your thoughts!

Jesus Can Calm the Storm in Your Life

posted by Jana Melpolder

Watch an inspiring video that’s part of Odyssey Networks’ ON Scripture The Bible series.

Religion in the News: The Supreme Court and Obama’s Health Care

posted by Jana Melpolder

Looking for a quick way to get the top stories of religious news? Check out this video that highlights President Obama’s health care, Mitt Romney, The Vatican, and more.

Jim Wallis: Faith and the Election

posted by Jana Melpolder

The Rev. Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, explains that he and many other people of faith will evaluate the candidates for the 2012 election on how they treat “the least of these.” Reprinted from Odyssey Networks

A Life Behind Bars: Transformation Through Education

posted by Jana Melpolder

Antoinne Murphy is serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for homicide at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Murphy grew up in a middle class home in Flushing, Queens and attended private school. At 16, he says he headed down the wrong path and […]

Give Us This Day OUR Daily Bread

posted by Jana Melpolder

I love this video that was just posted on Odyssey Networks. How does a Christian ministry help a Philadelphia community gain access to healthy food? One man in this video points out that The Lord’s prayer says “Give us this […]

Dreams: Finding Fear, Finding Faith

posted by Jana Melpolder

Dreams. What dreams don’t I have? Dreams to find a few moments to sleep. Dreams to live in the same state as my boyfriend. Dreams to one day publish a book. Dreams to pay off my student loans. Dreams to […]

The Story of a Bed Net – World Malaria Day

posted by Jana Melpolder

Today, April 25th, we turn the world’s attention to Malaria. It continues to kill children and adults in more areas than just Africa. Buying just one bed net can help save a child’s life.

YouTube Sensation Jefferson Bethke and His Faith

posted by Jana Melpolder

In January 2012, 22-year-old Tacoma, Wash. resident Jefferson Bethke posted a recorded performance of his poem “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” on YouTube. It was an overnight internet sensation, garnering more than 18 million hits and coverage in […]

5 Surprising Facts About Good Friday

posted by Jana Melpolder

Good Friday is a time of reflection and devotion for Christians around the world. They commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus on this day, and await the celebration of His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Read on and discover a […]

Meet the First Female President of Union Theological Seminary

posted by Jana Melpolder

For International Women’s Day, I’d like to introduce you to Rev. Dr. Serene Jones. I was fortunate enough to meet her as she stopped my office in New York. She is the first female president of Union Theological Seminary, which […]

How Are Mormons and Christians Different?

posted by Jana Melpolder

If you are like me, you wonder about the differences between faiths. What exactly do Mormons believe, and why? There are so many things I don’t know about Mormonism. Take a look at the differences between what Mormons believe and […]

How Do You Get Over Being Cheated On? Part 2

posted by Jana Melpolder

Recently I spoke with one pastor who was devastated after his wife left him for someone else. Meet Jason Vallotton, a man who went through the pain and forgiveness of a complete life change. Check out the first part of […]

How Do You Get Over Being Cheated On?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Several months back I interviewed Jason Vallotton, a man who became familiar with pain and devastation after his wife, Heather, announced she was leaving him for another man. In his book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness, Jason uses his own […]

Overcoming Hate Crime

posted by Jana Melpolder

Hate crimes are not just a thing of the past. They happen in today’s world – we are not immune to it. I find this video inspiring because it shows how people have come together to help a Rabbi and […]

Living Life in Hard Economic Times

posted by Jana Melpolder

Meet one man that struggles to keep above water. His powerful story of faith and living amidst the everyday struggles of our modern economy helps me to be grateful. Watch his story and check out others in the Odyssey Networks’ […]

Evanglical Voters and the Latino Community

posted by Jana Melpolder

A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the Empowerment of Women

posted by Jana Melpolder

Meet Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who works to help empower women in her own community. She has been through the difficult struggles alongside women in her native country, and through it all she has shown great faith […]

Martin Luther King Jr. and Occupy Wall Street

posted by Jana Melpolder

What would the incredible MLK think of faith leaders today? I think that he would not have supported certain points of the Occupy Wall Street movement, such as people writing graffiti to get the message across. Civil disobedience has been […]

Quotes for the Restless Heart

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent Van Gogh “The beaten […]

God Provides in Times of Need

posted by Jana Melpolder

This week has been incredibly cold in New York City. You walk around and the chill just gets to you. As soon as I could, I dressed in several layers to keep warm before I hit the streets of the […]

Child Trafficking in Modern Day

posted by Jana Melpolder

Take a look at the devastation that comes from child trafficking – the forced prostitution of children and young adults. The Salvation Army, among other faith-based groups, are working to stop this from growing. Check out for yourself the sad […]

Psalm Sundays: Being Happy with God

posted by Jana Melpolder

Kick off a blessed and happy week with Psalm 84. Taken from Biblegateway.com  5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,          Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a […]

Quotes About Christmas

posted by Jana Melpolder

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith “Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money….Let us pray that this […]

Psalm Sundays: Psalm 23

posted by Jana Melpolder

Here is one that many know by heart. Psalm 23 is taken from Biblegateway.com A psalm of David.  1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, […]

Psalm Sundays: God Watches Out for You

posted by Jana Melpolder

Don’t let your mind drive you crazy about what’s next. God keeps watch over us and takes care of our futures. We should enjoy the moment and the day. Psalm 121 from Biblegateway.com 1 I lift up my eyes to […]

World AIDS Day 2011

posted by Jana Melpolder

I still want to express more than I can about HIV and AIDS. It affects individuals, and it also affects the families and friends of the victims. This isn’t an issue that’s “over there”; HIV and AIDS exist in the […]

The Life of the American Homeless

posted by Jana Melpolder

What’s it like to live in a tent because you’re no longer able to afford your house? This is a harsh reality for many men and women in the United States. Watch how these brave individuals continue on despite their […]

Psalm Sundays: Give to the Lord

posted by Jana Melpolder

This comes from Psalm 57 found at Biblegateway.com Enjoy! 7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,    my heart is steadfast;    I will sing and make music. 8 Awake, my soul!    Awake, harp and lyre!    I will awaken the dawn.  9 […]

New Video on Occupy Wall Street

posted by Jana Melpolder

Psalm Sundays: Thanksgiving and Praise!

posted by Jana Melpolder

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our own lives. I thought this psalm was an ideal way to praise God for all the things He has done. What […]

Giveaway – Win a World Vision T-Shirt!

posted by Jana Melpolder

Want to win something that’s fun and helps others, too? Enter this t-shirt giveaway! World Vision has created a new clothing line called GIVEN – and 30% of the profits goes to help people in need around the world. What does […]

Psalm Sundays: Have Hope for the Future

posted by Jana Melpolder

It’s been an intimidating week and one that makes me feel insecure. It’s always exciting but difficult to move to a new place, make new friends, and learn where to find everything. For me, this is a good reminder that, with God, […]

Psalm Sundays: Don’t Let Anger Control You

posted by Jana Melpolder

This week I wanted to share Psalm 4. It talks about peace and what we can do to feel better. This NLT version is taken from Biblegateway.com Psalm 4 1 Answer me when I call to you,       O God who […]

A Prayer for the Unemployed

posted by Jana Melpolder

The unemployed may feel lost, depressed, and emotionally exhausted. Whether you or someone you know is without work, here’s a short prayer that can help. Taken from Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Let us pray. For the poor and the […]

Psalm Sunday: God Helps Us in Times of Trouble

posted by Jana Melpolder

This week I’m featuring my Mom’s favorite psalm which is Psalm 46. Taken fron Biblegateway.com  1 God is our refuge and strength,    an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way    and the […]

Psalm Sundays: Be Loved

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a simple reminder to enjoy the love offered to us. Parts of Psalm 18: Taken from Biblegateway.com 1I love you, LORD, my strength.  2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;    my God is my […]

The Church’s Involvement in the Immigration Debate

posted by Jana Melpolder

The ever-popular immigration debate is getting some heat, and Alabama’s new immigration law is creating strong reactions on both sides of the debate. What should the Christian community do when it comes to immigration laws? Are we to stand by the government or argue against it? Check […]

Psalm Sundays: Take Heart and Do Not Fear

posted by Jana Melpolder

Each Sunday I plan to publish a Psalm that reflects something that many of you might be feeling. This Sunday I chose a Psalm on courage and peace. It helps me feel better, and I hope it reaches out to […]

Meet a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

posted by Jana Melpolder

Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist who has played a remarkable role in ending the war in Liberia. This Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is also a Lutheran, and she knows that faith has played a large part in her life. Watch how this inspiring woman […]

A Glimpse Inside a Polygamous Marriage

posted by Jana Melpolder

What’s life like for one man, his three wives, and their 24 children? I recently interview Jim Darger and his wives Alina, Vicki, and Valerie to find out! Check out a short video where they take us through daily life […]

Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Ease destroys bravery, trouble…creates strength.” – Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed   Check out other inspiring quotes and resources: Motivational Quotes on Strength The Lord Is My Strength: the 23rd Psalm 8 Bible Quotes for the Depressed India’s Last Typewriter […]

Video: A Glimmer in the Shadows of 9/11

posted by Jana Melpolder

  Video: Finding a Cross Amid the   Rubble of The World Trade Center       View the Clip Here    

What One Thing Would YOU Give Up?

posted by Jana Melpolder

What would you give up so that others could have life-giving water and food? Right now over 12 million in the Horn of Africa are in danger of dying simply because there isn’t enough food to go around. Around 30,000 children have […]

Watch What Sponsoring Just One Child Can Do

posted by Jana Melpolder

Video created by Jamie Flora  

Featured Blog: Christian Quotes for Comfort

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a featured post written by my friend, Beliefnet blogger Ashley Mcdaniel. Check out her blog Whole Living.   I pray these quotes bring peace and joy to your soul. You are not alone. Take comfort in these quotes. Psalm 9:9 […]

Social Justice Exhaustion

posted by Jana Melpolder

This featured post was written by my friend Matthew Paul Turner. Check out his Beliefnet Blog “Jesus Needs New PR.”   Can I be honest? I think many of us who are engaged in the blogging world (Christian or otherwise) are suffering from a disease. […]

5 Ways Children Inspire Us

posted by Jana Melpolder

Let’s face it. We laugh when they laugh. We smile when they smile. Children remind us what it’s like to be happy with the simple things in life. Check out five inspiring ways that kids can help us to get back to […]

A Letter to the Mothers and Fathers of Bolivia

posted by Jana Melpolder

I am happy to say that this post was recently featured on the World Vision blog!   To the incredible mothers and fathers of Bolivia, This journey has been an opportunity to give a voice for the voiceless. To put a […]

So, I Met the ‘It’ Girls of Bolivia

posted by Jana Melpolder

They’re beautiful. They inspire us. Who are they? Celestine – Meet a woman who is a fierce example of what the love of a mother can do. When Celestine’s son was young, he wasn’t able to walk and play like […]

The Deaf Can Hear

posted by Jana Melpolder

Sadly, the children with special needs in Bolivia might be overlooked. There can be many reasons for this. The parents might work and be away from their children. Another possibility could be that they suffer from drug addiction. They might love […]

The Force of a Tiny Mustard Seed

posted by Jana Melpolder

I have arrived in Bolivia. It’s cold. I’m freezing. And it’s awesome to be here. Our first day marked an incredible tour of the World Vision sites in the Cochabamba area, which lies in the vast mountains of Bolivia. We […]

What’s World Vision Already Doing in Bolivia?

posted by Jana Melpolder

World Vision has been active in Bolivia for a long time, but what has this Christian Organization been doing on the ground? Watch how World Vision workers are utilizing community resources to help Bolivians gain access to education, human rights awareness, […]

Oh, the Packing List…

posted by Jana Melpolder

My head is spinning from all the items we can take with us to Bolivia. I’m looking at a list that suggests to take Aspirin, Melatonin, Neosporin – more “ins” than I can count. Don’t get me wrong, these suggestions are very helpful […]

A Photo Tour of India

posted by Jana Melpolder

Check out the exciting photos of my trip to India from 2009. You’ll see the place that Ghandi’s ashes are laid to rest, a Christian church, a Jain temple, and other places that might surprise you. India is just a […]

A Deeper Look at Poverty

posted by Jana Melpolder

What is the definition of poverty? What does it mean to be poor in today’s modern world of multi-car families and HD television sets? Does poverty have the same effects all around the world?   Apparently, no. Poverty can be […]

A Trip to Bolivia with World Vision

posted by Jana Melpolder

The opportunities that God places at your doorstep can be amazing.   On July 30th I will be traveling with World Vision staff members and several other American bloggers to Bolivia – a country full of history, mystery, and hope. […]

Discovering the World

posted by Jana Melpolder

It is with great pleasure to extend to you a personal hello.   The world needs to hear the stories and voices from the ones that can’t easily speak up for themselves. People have such incredible lives of overcoming obstacles – […]

Previous Posts

Slavery Still Exists in the Modern World
Slavery. Human trafficking. Kidnapped victims who are often smuggled or forced to migrate across borders. Slaves in today's world are faced with daily fear and a lack of legal protection, leaving them without a voice when it's needed most. Human trafficking cases have been reported within every sing

posted 1:55:35pm May. 24, 2014 | read full post »

5 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About the Super Bowl
It's time for the Big Game! Americans, including myself, will be all too-happy to indulge in two of the USA's favorite traditions - food and football. Check out this video from Odyssey Networks that gives us surprising facts to the Super Bowl.

posted 3:32:39pm Jan. 31, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer to Keep Our Neighbors Warm
The Polar Vortex is no joke - North America has recently experienced extremely low temperatures that's made most of the country nearly shutdown. The negative temperatures outside have left many stranded in airports, unable to go to school and work, or just frustrated by the relentless cold. Sadly,

posted 5:12:35pm Jan. 07, 2014 | read full post »

The Most Powerful Moments of 2013
This past year has been one of growth, happiness, and challenges, both for the world and for myself personally. What has 2013 meant to you?

posted 11:04:52am Dec. 30, 2013 | read full post »

Fear on the First Anniversary of Sandy Hook
Tragedy struck the entire nation last year when a gunman killed 26 first-grade students and adults on December 14, 2012. The community has experienced grief beyond what most of us can understand. But with time, the slow and painful process of healing and forgiveness has already began. The Newt

posted 7:14:00pm Dec. 11, 2013 | read full post »

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