All Means All?

I'm sitting on a rocking chair overlooking lake Coeur d'Alene at Lutherhaven. The air is crisp and quiet with a sprinkle of birdsong and the sporadic rush of wind through pine. I am here for the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Total Inclusion Symposium, representing Luther Heights Bible Camp as a board member. When you hear the phrase total inclusion what do you imagine? Do you nod, "Yes, Of course." and move on? Do you feel suspicions rise or irritation at some association the phrase…

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“What you pay attention to grows.”

“What you pay attention to grows.” - Adrienne Maree Brown Tweet Psalm 100 - A Psalm of thanksgiving.Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.   Worship the Lord with gladness;   come into his presence with singing.Know that the Lord is God.   It is he that made us, and we are his;   we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.Enter his gates with thanksgiving,   and his courts with praise.   Give thanks to him, bless his name.For the Lord is good;   his steadfast love endures for ever,   and his faithfulness to all generations.I have been beginning…

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Everything Has Become New

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the…

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A Good Goodbye

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NRSV) Over 2,000 years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated, “The only constant in life is change.” Yet, we still grapple with this idea as though it is new. It seems as though the last few years have been full of unprecedented change and transition. Much has been said about this. However, it is one thing to talk about all the…

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Write it Out

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,your faithfulness to the skies.Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,your justice like the great deep.You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.They feast on the abundance of your house;you give them drink from your river of delights.For with you is the fountain of life;in your light we see light.Continue your love to those who know you,your righteousness to the upright in heart.Psalm…

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Join With Jesus, Change the World

The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight.Every valley shall be filled,and every mountain and hill shall be made low,and the crooked shall be made straight,and the rough ways…

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Reflection or Echo Chamber?

When I was around 13 years old, I remember a friend from church saying something like, “You might be the only bible someone ever reads.” We were talking about how we live out our faith and how we reflect our beliefs in the world through the way we live. It stayed with me. It didn’t necessarily inspire me to read the Bible daily, or memorize a bunch of verses, but it did inspire me to take what I learned and read and live…

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All the Days of My Life

I’m struggling to find words to encapsulate all the thoughts and feelings I’ve had this week in a way that makes sense for a devotion. The world is overwhelming. There is so much outside of me that leaves me bewildered and exhausted. On top of that, there is just as much going on inside of me that keeps me similarly bewildered and exhausted. Answers are not easy to come by these days. The cry of “Why?” endures.Yet, I have found myself in prayer.…

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A Nap and a Snack

I’ve been taking naps lately. I used to nap a lot when I was younger, but have since gotten out of the habit – until now. I think some of it has to do with the letdown that has come with the end of the-year-like-no-other. Some of it has to do with my recalibration to a more extroverted, scheduled life. At first, I struggled with allowing these naps. In a way, I didn’t think I deserved them. I thought something like, “I’ve had…

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Practice of Presence

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6 NRSV Motivation. It’s a big deal and I don’t think I’m alone in spending time thinking about it. I’ve often struggled with understanding the motivations of others or being able to tap into some sort of internal well of motivation within myself so I can get the thing done that I need to get done.…

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Incarnate Wisdom

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:37-40 NIVToday’s devotion is going to be something more than just a moment to pause and read. I invite you to give yourself twenty to thirty minutes to walk with me through a…

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Read more about the article A Full 360° View Witness
morning sunrise

A Full 360° View Witness

A few weeks ago I was taking an early morning walk. As I walked down the street, I noticed dark, ominous clouds ahead of me. It was windy. I found myself reflecting that it was going to be a gloomy day. It looked like the darkness wouldn’t end. “Just one of those days,” I grumbled to myself. Isn’t it strange how one day can be bright and warm, infused with the scent of spring and possibility, and the next day just, yuck? I…

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Everything I Know for Sure?

We are the star of our own personal movie called Life, but everything we know is not ours alone, for us alone, or discovered all alone. Everything I know is bound up in the people who make up the We, the Us, of my life. I know what I know because of who they are, what they have modeled for me, what we have experienced together. I can reflect alone, but my reflection is always in conversation with the living world and people…

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Receive the Good

Last month I led my Young Disciples Ministry Team through a weekend workshop to give us time to remember who we are, the mission, goals, and purpose of our work together, and where God is leading us. In preparation, I sent each of them a single page reflection sheet. On this reflection sheet, I asked them to list one to three words they thought of when thinking of the different people on our team. I had a feeling this would be a cool…

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Word Made Flesh

And the Word became flesh and lived among us… full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)I am reading two books right now; The Body is not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor and My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. These two powerful books are leading me to think deeply about what it means to be embodied. In body. I am thinking about my body in the world, my relationship with my body, others’ bodies, and the fact that we worship a God that…

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Hope for the New Year

Video - Hope prepares the way for the coming of the Christ child. Hope is the foundation from which our faith grows. Hope stirs our hearts toward shared purpose and the future Kingdom of God promised in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When we hope, we share our faith with the world.

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Dance in the Dark, Watch for the Light

These days, you don’t have to wait long for night. It gets dark fast. We often talk about the shortened length of days this time of the year. However, the days aren’t actually shorter. We have the same hours to our day as ever, it just feels different. Days like these provide us with an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the dark. Things feel different, they look different, we have to do things differently because there’s less light, but that doesn’t take away…

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Wishful Thinking or Faithful Hope?

Disney fairytales are well known for not only their animation, but their whimsical, catchy music as well. Knowing the Disney classics means knowing the popular songs found in Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty. We hear a common theme in these enduring lullabies, best represented in the lyrics sung by Cinderella to her animal friends,A dream is a wish your heart makesWhen you're fast asleepIn dreams you will lose your heartachesWhatever you wish for, you keepAnd this one sung by Jiminy Cricket to Pinocchio,When…

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A Place for Everything

There are so many things I love about this time of year – the weather, the trees, the crisp days and scarves. I just love it all. One of the things I have been embracing this fall is my deep-rooted desire to organize. This organizing, structured side to myself is always around, but I don’t think I usually let it step up as much as it has lately. I am sure one big reason for this is that I realize it is a…

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Make My Joy Complete

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was…

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Safe Haven and Rest

I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. (Psalm 4:8 NRSV) Lately, I have found myself restless at night. All the things I didn’t get done or need to get done run through my mind. Worries and what ifs pop up to keep me unsettled. This is common for me at the end of summer and into early fall. I have to keep reminding myself that I go through this a…

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Awe of Averages

awe[1] (noun) an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime. It is widely understood that the more common an experience or observation, the less special it feels. Somehow, simply by our daily awareness of something, it becomes regular. I have found myself wondering about this lately, as my understanding of “typical” has tipped upside down. It is now normal to discuss the “new normal.” Whatever that is. In fact, that phrase comes up so often I…

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Lost or Found

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral If we took a moment to reflect on our lives, I am sure many of us could locate at least one moment that we found ourselves lost and confused about our future, the decisions we need to make, or simply uncertain about what is next. We are used to thinking about these moments individually, focused on how God is speaking to us, personally, guiding and directing us through it. It is no wonder that at this moment in time…

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From Discernment to New Life

(Romans 12;1-8) When big decisions loom ahead, we often wonder what to do. We may ask ourselves, what does God want me to do? What does God want for us? What is the “best” decision? Utilizing wisdom and understanding in these moments is commonly known as discernment. The more time I have spent with this passage from Romans, the more I see that Paul is fleshing out the full meaning of discernment. The new life in Christ that Paul speaks about is not just about having more faith or doing the right things. The new life is the becoming, the transformation.

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Where Were You?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?Gird up your loins like a man,I will question you, and you shall declare to me.“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?Tell me, if you have understanding.Who determined its measurements—surely you know!Or who stretched the line upon it?On what were its bases sunk,or who laid its cornerstonewhen the morning stars sang togetherand all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?“Or who shut in…

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Do You See?

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he…

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All We Love Is All We’ll Take

Bible reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up;a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance;a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones…

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This passage from Ecclesiastes was one of the first things I remember reading in the Bible on my own...Wisdom’s cry captured me then and there. Her truth has woven through the roots of faith and remains a source for me whenever I find myself struggling.

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