Friends

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17 Jesus said, … “I have called you friends…” John 15:15 The landowner replied, “Friend…” Matthew 20:13 One of the realities of the pandemic is that many of us have not been able to see our friends in person as much as we usually see them. We have “made do” by keeping in contact through texts, phone calls, written notes, FaceTime or Zoom calls, and in a few cases, by including them in our “bubbles” and…

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“Trust Me, I’ve Got This!” says God

"If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you… Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this… And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there.” Jesus says.(Matthew 18:15, 18, 20 The Message)As those of us who try to live faithfully…

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Grace, Grief and Voices of Hope

We are 5 months into this pandemic and we still don’t seem to know what is happening to us. The evidence is right before our eyes. There is the ominous daily (steady or rising) count of new cases and deaths from COVID-19. Our public health experts have given us a fairly specific set of practices to follow that could lessen the severity of our suffering significantly, but we as a society are divided as to whether to follow them. We are also conflicted…

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What’s the Story Here?

I miss church. If being a part of a Christian community of faith has been a part of your life before this pandemic, you probably are missing church too. Oh, we have our online worship, Zoom groups and meetings, phone calls, and texting as ways of trying to find some semblance of the togetherness we experienced when we could gather every week. Some of us have even met with a few friends and members every now and then while trying to be safe…

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New Applications for Tools of Our Faith in this Moment

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25 I recently read the thoughts of two (white) Christian commentators who challenged me to think about racism and white privilege from the perspective of Christian faith differently than I have thought about it recently.…

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Small Gestures

Summer is here and, as some have suggested, we are in for a summer like no other in the lifetimes of most of us living today. We have a continuing pandemic due to the corona virus that does not seem to be subsiding in the number of cases and deaths. We also have continuing protests and demonstrations in the streets and public places for justice and better lives particularly for black and brown people (but ultimately for all races and peoples) and they…

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Faces

What I have noticed most are the faces in the crowds. Faces of every race and many nationalities. Angry faces. Tearful faces. Masked faces. Somber faces. Loving faces. Staring faces. Pained faces. Children’s faces. Aged faces. Determined faces. Sad faces. Smiling faces. Gentle faces. Scarred faces. Anguished faces. Hopeful faces. Faces, faces, faces…so many faces.

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The Perspective of Looking Up

“After Jesus had said this and while they (Jesus’ disciples) were watching, he was taken up into a cloud. They could not see him, but as he went up, they kept looking up into the sky.” Acts 1:9-10Four years ago we moved to our present home that is near the base of the foothills. Since then a number of new homes have filled the space between us and where the hills start going up. Yet, on most days of the year, all we…

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The Way Things Can Be – Jesus’ Way!

We see it as one of the leading stories in any report of the news these days. Our country is “opening up” and trying to get back to “the way things were just 3 short months ago.” COVID-19 stopped our country and the world in our tracks and stunned us with a reality that we never dreamed could happen to us. But it did. And now we are trying to find our way to recovery. Some voices among us clamor to get back…

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Solvitur Ambulando “It is solved by walking”

That same day two of the disciples were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened.  Luke 24:13-14 The Message In these weeks when we have been mostly cooped up in our houses, we have had few opportunities to leave the confines of our garages, patios, and yards. Yet, there is at least one simple activity that we have been told we can do, “Go outside and…

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Living Joy in the Face of Suffering

So (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8I am writing this on Easter Monday. We are now on the “joyous” side of Lent/Easter 2020 as we celebrate the life-changing Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection. We proclaim this event offers all who believe it life forever in God’s community of love.Yet, as I listen to news reports and read the reflections of persons who are trying to make…

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Onlookers

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30It’s Good Friday—the darkest day of the Christian story. Jesus, the Innocent, was cruelly nailed to the cross and died. Here his story seemed to end where we fear our stories will end too—at our deaths. But on this darkest day, God was at work showing that in this story God wasn’t defeated yet! Easter is yet to come. But we…

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Gratitude

Be Still... Give yourself a minute or more to quiet down and be in the presence of God.Breathe deeply and feel the peace that comes upon you. Read... Paul and Timothy, writing to the Philippian Christians, say this: Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 Good News Translation These…

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