The Spiritual Blessing in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In…

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It’s OK To Start Small

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, thought he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come. Again he said, “What shall…

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The Spirit Intercedes

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what (other texts say or how) we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8: 26-27 (NIV) How should we pray? For what shall we pray/ These two questions seem to be most relevant…

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What are we connected to?

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5…

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In this Easter Season:

As a lifelong Lutheran, I grew up with a close connection to the Eastern Orthodox as my grandfather was Greek Orthodox. All of this was on my mom’s side of the family and my grandmother was not an adherent of the orthodox so my mom grew up in something of a tension that spilled over into my childhood; hence the Lutheran. To this day I’m still not clear how my grandparents found each other. In the mind of the orthodox, Easter is far…

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What is Holy Week For You?

In the church I grew up in on the West Side of Chicago, a church that worshipped about twelve hundred people on a Sunday in the mid-summer, Palm Sunday marked the ramping up to very busy week. There were twenty-four services beginning at seven in the morning of Palm Sunday and ending at one in the afternoon on Easter with six on that day alone. In my junior high days and through high school, I worked regularly at the church but for me…

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Which Will It Be, Light or Dark?

13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send…

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Consider the Psalms

Lent is an appropriate time for reflection and self examination and there is no better place to ground our thinking than with the Psalms. This is a book that is actually made up of several books and inside each we can find songs that reflect many ways of describing our relationship with our God. There about nine major types of Psalms and most contain more than one manner of expression. For Lent however, I wish to focus on the Penitential, the Laments and…

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