Come Away and Rest

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet (deserted) place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 What a gracious and kind invitation Jesus extended to his twelve apostles on that busy day. They must have been so relieved and grateful when they heard his most welcome instruction. I’ve no doubt that their coming away included being fed, as well, since…

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Poured Out

“The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)As I carefully picked up the pottery pitcher filled with water, our pastor began to read the “Affirmation of Baptism” that Sunday morning. At her nod, I very slowly poured out the water into our church’s shimmering baptismal font. Listening to the words, it almost seemed to me that I was experiencing a slow-motion moment as water met water, symbolizing so much.In…

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March Madness Mentoring

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly (& sisterly) love, in honor giving preference to one another. Romans 12:10In our household March Madness has always been watched and followed diligently by my husband, Danny. But this year I decided to take an interest in it, too. I haven’t been able to watch the entirety of most games thus far, but have watched enough to learn more about basketball and to follow it more closely. I’ve especially enjoyed the wild close-call endings! In…

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Make a Joyful Noise

Every Tuesday afternoon after school we elementary-aged “church kids” gathered in the church’s basement assembly room. It wasn’t dreary down there, but brightly painted and well lit. Small Sunday school rooms surrounded this larger multipurpose room. The white benches we sat on were hard, straight up and down, but we didn’t care. We were just there to be with friends and sing. A well-tuned upright piano stood at attention in the corner, awaiting the start of choir practice.I loved Mrs. Edwards, our children’s…

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This Happened 12/24/21

The night was cold, the hour was late, and they were all tired. But, they came anyway. There was a sacredness in this gathering of intentional worshippers. Though few, they came together for this beautiful Christmas Eve service.Celebrated in the reading of the Word was the gentle birth of the Christ Child. And, the singing of carols filled the sacred space as worshippers communed. Then came the moment when the sanctuary lights were dimmed. The Christ candle provided the source of iight from…

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The Same

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of “the same” is “someone or something that has not changed: something that is exactly like it was at an earlier time.” In the scripture above we are being reassured that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday (the past), today (the present), and forever (the future). How good to know that throughout our seasons and our struggles, He is our constant. He is firm. He is steadfast.…

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Wonderfully Made

I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14) New American Standard BibleI was awakened from sleep quite recently with tears slowly going back into my hair. There was this calm feeling of relief and release within me. A recognition that my body was, in fact, in the process of healing. There had been a few dark days where I was wondering if that was ever…

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Praise to you, O Christ

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that openly profess his name." (Hebrews 13:15)What does this mean for me, exactly — this “let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise?” I have taken it as a sacred challenge. But it is not a challenge that I face alone. The scripture says “Through Jesus” I have the capacity to speak praise and live a praise-full life, professing the name of Jesus openly…

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A Good and Godly Man

From Psalms 37:(v18-19) “Day by day the Lord observes the good deeds done by godly men, and gives them eternal rewards. He cares for them when times are hard, even in famine, they will have enough. (v23-24)The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with his hand. (v32-37) But the good man, what a different story! For the good man, the blameless, the upright, the…

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All Your Mind

Jesus replied, “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 22:37-40Today I am focusing on the “mind” part of this verse as that is, in my opinion, where it all begins; even though it is listed last. Our desires begin there.There was…

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Seasons

Obviously, we are now in the throes of winter even though it’s a warm January at the moment. Winter is my least favorite season even though it sometimes provides great beauty to the eye. I dislike its unpredictability, and as I’ve aged, I just don’t like being cold! But dressing in soft layers helps and becomes the fashion mode of the season. I do try to make the best of it, though, as my dogs must be walked. And I tell myself that…

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Soul Food

Trust in Him at all times, you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8) The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman, child) avails much. (James 5:16) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes WITH you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.(Deuteronomy 31:6)I’m not a “cradle Lutheran” but the daughter of a Quaker lady…

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Winter Solstice

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; Genesis 1:14 NAS To Him who made the great lights, for his lovingkindness is everlasting. The sun to rule by day, for his lovingkindness is everlasting. The moon and the stars to rule by night, for his lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 136:7-9 NAS This morning at 3:02 AM MST,…

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Deeper and Higher

Last November, soon after one of our two older dogs passed away…we got a puppy! He filled the dog-shaped void and lifted our heavy hearts. Puppy joy is something else! But, then there’s puppy shoe destruction, and fear of puppy getting loose and lost. On one particular evening five months later he quickly ran out the opened front door. As he was freely and happily running down the sidewalk, my four year old granddaughter ran after him, desperately pursuing him. In her loudest,…

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Embracing Mystery

The word “mystery” is mentioned over and over in our scriptures. It is a beautiful word and draws us in, if we let it.Doctrinally, a biblical mystery might refer to something revealed that was previously hidden, like Old Testament prophecies becoming fulfilled. Or, we may read something about God that we cannot completely comprehend, such as the unconditional love of God. Likewise, trying to logically understand the Holy Trinity is another major mystery. I would even say (as a lay person) the miracles…

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How it Was: a short memoir

I pretty much had an ideal upbringing in the 50’s here in Nampa. Not unlike “the Beav” shall we say—you know, as in “Leave it to Beaver.” My mom was a typical homemaker, my dad a family practice medical doctor, and there were four of us kids. Other than the usual drama, I know I was blessed to have grown up without any real childhood trauma. At the time, Nampa’s population was roughly 25,000 and was largely lily white. Mexican migrant workers and…

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