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Discoveries of a Wanderer

Discoveries of a Wanderer

North America Archives

Slavery Still Exists in the Modern World

posted by Jana Melpolder

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 […]

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5 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About the Super Bowl

posted by Jana Melpolder

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 […]

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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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The Most Powerful Moments of 2013

posted by Jana Melpolder

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?

Fear on the First Anniversary of Sandy Hook

posted by Jana Melpolder

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 […]

What Are People REALLY Thankful for This Year?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Thanksgiving is the time to gather around loved ones, family, and friends who feel just like family. Check out what people are grateful for this year and who they want to thank. Video from Odyssey Networks

The Reasons Why Kids Crave Fast Food

posted by Jana Melpolder

Parents are up against a whole host of problems when they’re trying to ensure that their kids eat healthy. Sure, they have the power in the end to say “No”, but industry works together to entice a child’s mind and […]

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 […]

What’s It Like to Be a Sikh in America?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Sikhs can often be misunderstood to be Hindus because of the turbans they wear on their heads. Sikhism originate in India, and the men do not cut their hair but instead wrap it under their turban. They try to learn […]

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Minimum Wage

posted by Jana Melpolder

This summer, several fast food workers across America have staged one-day strikes to demand that the current Federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour,  be raised to $15 per hour. 

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 […]

New Yorkers React to the George Zimmerman Verdict

posted by Jana Melpolder

What did you think of the recent verdict from the George Zimmerman trial? Were you surprised, outraged, saddened, or something else? Watch what New Yorkers recently had to say, and share your own thoughts!

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 […]

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.

Parents of Sandy Hook Victims Speak Out at Press Conference

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a powerful piece. Simply put – love wins. Video comes from 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 […]

Help Your Church Conserve Energy and Save Money

posted by Jana Melpolder

Connecticut Interfaith Power and Light, one of 39 state affiliates of Interfaith Power and Light, a national umbrella organization, offers a practical, real-world way for clergy and faith leaders to practice conservation. The group offers a class on how to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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!

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 […]

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 […]

My Man Is Now in Kenya

posted by Jana Melpolder

Not only has my boyfriend Matt started an exciting new job as a Project Engineer at Inveneo, but he just left to be on assignment for two weeks in Kenya. The nonprofit Inveneo helps to establish internet connections in some […]

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 […]

Evanglical Voters and the Latino Community

posted by Jana Melpolder

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 […]

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 […]

Inspirational Women Part II

posted by Jana Melpolder

Read the stories of other women that have made an incredible impact on the world. Some you may know and some may surprise you! Irena Sendler Irena Sendler is known for her humanitarian work, most notably from the World War […]

Take a Quick Break and Laugh

posted by Jana Melpolder

Have you seen the Old Spice commercial? Check out Sesame Street’s hilarious take on the commercial that will make you laugh!!

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 […]

Occupy Wall Street Looks Bigger on TV

posted by Jana Melpolder

I just traveled to New York City and was lucky enough to check out Occupy Wall Street. Let me be honest: it wasn’t what I was expecting. I think there were more people crowded around the protestors taking pictures and observing […]

A New Kind of Journey

posted by Jana Melpolder

I have recently joined the American (and) global club of being unemployed. Whew, it’s tough to even write that. Besides my sweet deal here at Beliefnet of being a blogger, I’m looking for new jobs so I can get back into […]

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    

Serving the Families That Lost a Loved One on 9/11

posted by Jana Melpolder

Written by Jana Melpolder   America has been through a long and difficult journey throughout its 10 years after 9/11. This decade of loss and recovery not only belongs to Americans, but also to the family members that lost a […]

Video: Blind 9/11 Survivor Talks About Being Guided Out of the Twin Towers

posted by Jana Melpolder

  You can also check out: Beliefnet Editors Share Their Experiences of September 11th Beliefnet Bloggers Talk About What They Were Doing on 9/11  

If They Can Walk, I Can Walk. But I Just Don’t Want to…

posted by Jana Melpolder

I’m not going to lie. I’ve never owned a car and I’m 27 years old. I’ve been a licensed driver for 10 years but never with my own set of wheels. Before you think, “that’s crazy or weird,” let me […]

World Humanitarian Day 2011

posted by Jana Melpolder

How will you be a humanitarian? World Humanitarian Day is today, August 19th. Some people devote their time to helping those in other countries… …and some give their time to helping those right at home. Either way, we can all […]

Have You Seen This Guy?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Have you seen this video of one man dancing with people in 42 countries?   Check out how different people around the world might be more alike than we think.  

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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