Encouragement


14
Jun 2017
Poured Into Our Hearts

Pain, struggle, hurt, grief, challenges, adversity, anguish, difficulty, suffering are all part of the journey along the road of life. Sometimes we seem to be on a stretch of road defined by these words more often than not. At other times, the road is clear, straight and easy-going. But even in such times, you can be sure that there will be more difficult terrain ahead at some point. One helpful perspective that people of faith have relied upon during times of struggle for centuries comes from Paul in the book of Romans:......

Read More


07
Jun 2017
Do You Remember?

The summer after third grade, my family rented a large van and drove across the country to California. Two stops that I can remember vividly were the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden City, California. I remember hearing a demonstration in both sanctuaries showing how far the sound would carry and how crystal clear the acoustics were.  I was introduced to the majestic Morman Tabernacle choir. At the Crystal Cathedral, we saw the largest pipe organ I could imagine. We went to bookstore at the Crystal Cathedral and my family purchased several......

Read More


05
Jun 2017
Summer's Almost Here

Summer is right around the corner: hot weather, cool pools, bright sun, lush mountains, beautiful oceans, incredible destinations, excited friends and family. It is that time of year when so many of us are ready for a break from the daily, weekly and monthly routine. It’s time to play. It’s time to celebrate and enjoy one another and God’s creation. And yet, typically church attendance drops off at this time of year. Now it’s totally understandable. We are all traveling, vacationing, resting, and relaxing. We are doing activities that our body, mind,......

Read More


31
May 2017
Deep Peace

Take a deep breath and receive the peace of Christ. John 20:19-23, our gospel lesson this week, begins with fear.  The disciples were together and yet filled with fear.  It is interesting that we learn of this fear just before Jesus enters the scene and offers his blessing: “Peace be with you.” What dissipates fear?  Peace. After Christ offers this blessing he proves himself to the disciples by showing them his hand and side. After he calms their fears and earns their trust, he then offers the blessing again, “Peace be with you.”......

Read More


18
May 2017
The Elephant in the Room

Have you heard the one about the blind men and the elephant?  Actually there is an ancient Indian fable about six blind men describing an elephant after they have each touched a different part of the elephant.  Below is an exert from the poem from the 19th century by John Godfry Saxe detailing this fable: Blind Men and the Elephant  It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d......

Read More


16
May 2017
With Utmost Courtesy

I was a Boy Scout for a good portion of my youth. I eventually left scouting because of my love for music and needing to make decisions and priorities for my life. There were things about scouting that I loved…and some that I did not. But to this day, I remember key lessons from scouting which are summarized in the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. This law came to mind this week in large part because I have noticed......

Read More


16
May 2017
More Than Belief

Belief is a tricky thing. Belief for many is something they stake their lives on. For others belief is an honest and vulnerable journey of discovery traveled throughout a lifetime. Sometime we believe what we say and say what we believe. Other times we say we believe in something, but sure don’t act like it. And sometimes we deny we believe even though our actions say otherwise. For example, I believe in free speech. But there are some forms of speech I do not accept, will not support and I  certainly will......

Read More


01
May 2017
Reading Holy

How many times have you heard the 23rd Psalm?  Really?  Can you even count?  When is the first time you heard the 23rd Psalm?  Did you memorize the 23rd Psalm as a child?  Did you repeat the Psalm at an important time in your life?  Did you hear it at a funeral for someone dear to you?  What images are stirred up when you hear this Psalm? On Easter Sunday, Pastor Jason encouraged us to close our eyes and listen to the scripture of Jesus’ resurrection as if we were hearing it......

Read More


26
Apr 2017
Deep Consciousness of God

What rests deep within your consciousness throughout the day? Worries? Hopes? Fears? Successes? Failures? Your “To Do” list? What if each day were filled with a deep consciousness of God? What would that look and feel like? What would it take for that to happen in your life? Maybe you are already there. But if you are like me, I am always trying to deepen my mind and heart with a sense of God’s presence. One passage I have focused on this week comes from 1 Peter 1:17-23. Here’s a few verses that......

Read More


11
Apr 2017
Dirty Feet

If you enjoy gardening, then it is likely that you have an appreciation for getting a little mud between your toes.  For me, digging in the dirt bare foot connects me to God’s creation in a way that few other things do. And nothing gets as dirty as your feet do.  Hands come close…but there is something about the squishing and squashing of feet that just grinds in the dirt like no other body part. I also appreciate coming inside and getting washed up. It just feels good to get clean after getting muddy......

Read More