Reflection from the Top of the World

As many of you already know I spent six months close to what we might think of us the top of the world. In actuality it was 22 miles south of the Arctic Circle. I had the incredible privilege to serve as the interim pastor of the only church in Shishmaref, Alaska, Shishmaref Lutheran Church. Of course I have written about some of my experiences already on these pages, but today I was reflecting upon what I should write about I remembered some…

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Fire and Smoke

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141: 2 Almost all the evening prayers service I’ve either led or attended have included this verse. Some churches have even gone so far as to actually burn it as the service was unfolding. It was and is a symbol of our prayers metaphorically rising to God to be heard. Today as I write these words we are surrounded by smoke; our…

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Nurtured in Faith

It was 38 years ago on September 5, 1982 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Endicott, Washington that I was ordained into a ministry of Word and Sacrament. It’s been a long, joyous and sometimes strange journey that has taken me throughout the United States to be a pastor, a shepherd of the flock as they say. When this day rolls around each year my thoughts are taken back to that tiny community, population under 400, my thoughts go back to the people of…

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The Waiting

“I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.” (Isaiah 8:17) Waiting is not something I’m very good at. I admit I’m impatient and it’s hard for me to watch the slow pace of change over the years. Yet that all changed this year, everything changed didn’t it? Almost overnight we went from being these incredible social beings to isolated, stuck at home, and separated - not just by walls,…

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Unconsolable Grief

“O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:4-7We have entered a time of grief like none other in my lifetime. And my life has been filled with grief…

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Anger Management

As I suspect we all have all noticed of late there is a lot of anger out there. I’m guessing that we are all feeling frayed and move to anger much more quickly and it’s doesn’t always seem to be related to the event that might set us off. We are frustrated by too many things dealing with Covid-19 and the rest that it seems we have lost all perspective at times, I’m thinking of the protests about wearing masks for one.This seems…

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Thoughts on “Singspiration”

Cross made of walrus and mastodon ivory It was almost a year ago, in fact when you read this it will be over a year since I left Shishmaref, Alaska and the people of Shishmaref Lutheran Church, which is to say all of Shishmaref, for when you’re the only church or gig in town everyone belongs, everyone comes to you for baptisms, weddings and of course funerals. It was an experience like no other and it still is shaping me a year later.…

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Freedom Blues

“Freedom’s just another word fornothin’ left to looseNothin’ don’t mean nothin’ if itain’t free, no, noAnd feelin’ good was easy, LordWhen he sang the bluesYou know, feelin’ good was goodenough for meGood enough for me and Bobby McGee!”The lyrics above are from one of the greatest songs written, this is verse three of “Me and Bobby McGee.” If you know it then you most likely know that it was written by Kris Kristofferson. It has been performed by so many artists, the most…

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A Journey of Hope!

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 We’ve come to a new spot it seems. A place that we’ve never been before and it invokes in us so many emotions, fear, grief, a sense of the unknown dominating our feelings as we move ahead. We are in effect living in a new land unlike the one that came before. Like…

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From Where Shall My Hope Come?

“Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” Luke 24:29 The Gospel for today is one of the most dramatic of all the incredible stories of the resurrection of Jesus, albeit they are all dramatic. This is the story of the encounter of Jesus with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. For reasons not identified they don’t recognize him. He asks a series of questions to draw the story out. As they reach…

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Emmanuel is Here!
© Paul Oman/Drawn to the Word 2020. All Rights Reserved. www.paulomanfineart.com

Emmanuel is Here!

In so many ways we who are a people of faith have been experiencing this Holy Week and Easter with a sense of dread. There is a feeling that there has never been an Easter like this. This Holy Week through Zoom meetings with friends and colleagues I could see the stress and deep sadness on their brows that they were going through since none of us would be together. Gone are the flowers, the lilies are not there, the tulips and other…

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Freedom to Care

“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female for all are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28A few days ago at our book study at a Trinity Lutheran in Nampa we were studying and conversing via Zoom about Rachel Held Evans book “Inspired.” The question was asked what is the Gospel or good news in one word? My answer was “freedom.” Yet in light of everything are we truly free?…

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