Encouragement


06
Aug 2018
Light

Tonight I am working on our kitchen remodel installing recessed lighting. I call Nora to come look at the lights and read the name of the fixtures. She runs in to the construction zone, looks up at the lights, and immediately a smile beams across her face. She doesn’t say anything, so I ask, “What’s the name of these lights?” “Nora,” she says with a giggly voice and my smile begins to beam as well. Pretty neat that the lights in our new kitchen share a name with my middle daughter! And......

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17
Jul 2018
Love and Grief

This has been a season of grief for many members of our church family, in various ways.  Grief is natural and grief is heavy. Some are experiencing the death of a friend way too early.  What do we do with the emptiness?  Some are trying to figure out what happened to their loved one.  Why so quickly?  Some are experiencing the loneliness of not being able to reach out to one they loved one more time.  Where are you?   Some are remembering the way things once were. How do you handle all......

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26
Jun 2018
Lord, Make me an Instrument

Generally, when we consider the writings of the apostle Paul, we think of letters that are harsh and straight to the point.  At times, Paul has a very aggressive style of writing as he tries to persuade his listeners.  As a matter of fact, when I read the writings of Paul, I have come to expect his intensity.  There are moments in the book of Romans that are no exception. As I reread more of his letter to the Romans, I was encouraged by messages of hope, grace, and God’s righteousness.  In......

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20
Jun 2018
God's Kindness found in Romans

One of the Facebook posts that has struck me the most lately is: In a world where you can be anything, be kind. This quote has appeared over and over again in my news feed. And these past few weeks and months of hearing about many of the disheartening events and interactions in our news-these words seem to ring out even louder to be heard.  I even find myself asking “why aren’t we practicing kindness?” And then I began reading Romans-in  reading through the New Testament. (Yes, I am behind).  And right......

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18
Jun 2018
Distracted?

Distractions. They are a daily part of life. Sometimes I get frustrated by distractions. Other times I am so tired of the daily routine that I crave a good distraction. How about you? Distractions can be harmful or useful.They are harmful when… a lifeguard at a pool filled with children gets distracted, a truck driver gets distracted on the interstate, a parent with small children at the mall gets distracted. They can be useful when used by… A ski instructor to coax a student down a mountain, a mother trying to pull a splinter from......

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12
Jun 2018
K(no)w Wonder

Have you ever felt a bit of surprise mixed with admiration, curiosity, amazement and awe because of something beautiful, unexpected, unexplainable, or unfamiliar? How often? A couple times a year? Once a month? Once a week? Everyday? The feeling I’m asking about is wonder. How often to do have a sense of wonder? Do you wake up in wonder of a new day? Do you embrace the day with a sense of wonder at the world around you? Do you greet people in pure wonder about their life and experiences? Do you......

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04
Jun 2018
The Question You Are Being Asked Everyday

Imagine for a moment that your future was in jeopardy…your career, your retirement, your marriage…all of it. And the thing standing in your way was a question: Who are you and what are you doing? The answer you give to this question will either set everything positive and good in motion…or it will set off disaster in your life. Maybe it’s your boss asking you this question. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s your financial adviser. It could be anyone. The point is that person is standing in your way and holding......

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01
May 2018
Love is Connecting the Dots

  I love God. I don’t just believe in God. I love God. And I’m pretty certain that love is more important than belief. After all, one of the most significant and celebrated passages of the Hebrew Bible (which Jesus quoted when asked about the greatest commandment) is Deuteronomy 6:4-5… Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV) Yet even on the best of days, I tend to question my love for God. I ask myself, How do I......

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25
Apr 2018
That's Not Comfortable

German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was part of the confessing church in Germany that stood in resistance to the Nazi regime. And he wrote this in a letter to his brother-in-law, a letter that was in part about the Bible and how we read scripture: If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it......

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16
Apr 2018
Missing Details

Our Church Board has approved the refurbishment of 13 Stained Glass Windows in our sanctuary. Today, I got word that the company doing the work will come to remove the first of those windows – the large window featuring the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. It’s pretty exciting to get this work underway after so many months of discernment. As I sat thinking about the removal, refurbishment, and reinstallation of this first window, I realized that for several weeks there will be plywood in the space of that large......

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