Treasure Valley Prays

Reimagining Church Together


man sitting on grass at prayer

When All Else Fails, Listen

If you’ve been following along with the lectionary, you might be aware that a major theme of our recent gospel lessons has been prayer. It’s been a great opportunity to talk with our kids in the children’s message about the ways we pray and what happens when we pray. Far too often, we think of

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water pitcher

A Gift of Being a Vessel

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master at the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.(John 2:7-9a) We often

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Old Faithful

Old Faithful

Having grown up in the Midwest and lived most of my adult life on the East Coast, much of the Mountain West landscape was unknown to me until a few years ago. Yes, I had traveled along the Pacific Coast and throughout much of the Southwest, but I had not been to the “must see”

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stormy sky in distance

Do Not Be Afraid

The LORD himself goes before youand will be with you;He will never leave you nor forsake you.Do NOT be afraid;do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV) Fear is paralyzing. Anyone who has lived into young adulthood and beyond has a story to tell about fear. Perhaps it was a simple fear of some seemingly easy

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resort on the beach

8 Days

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to

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vase of bright pink flowers

Invitations to Holy Conversation

I’ve been trying to write this devotion for weeks. I thought maybe I’d write about this or that, but nothing seemed quite fitting. My brain feels like cotton balls, all mushy and soft, not able to form complete thoughts. The thoughts are fleeting, like two dragonflies chasing each other on air waves. I thought, “I’ll

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a dog's loving eyes

The Power in Small Things

“There is a boy here who has five small loaves of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?” (John 6:9) Over the past 35 years, I have belonged to churches which have consistently allowed me to volunteer in my “sweet spot”…. that place where my gifts, my passions,

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weldome mat

Welcoming the Outsider

The texts for this next week include citations from Jeremiah and Luke. I want to pull from those writings two ideas that seem to be well-connected in our world today. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and

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rainbow in the Grand Canyon

God of Surprises

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16) Whenever I see a rainbow, it takes my breath away. In the Treasure Valley we are often blessed with double rainbows after those evening summer

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tress changing

You Can Go Home Again

“See I am making all things new.” Revelation 21: 5 I was standing in the kitchen of my former home in Maryland. Only it wasn’t the kitchen anymore, the current owners had turned the space into an eating nook. The old dining room became the kitchen, and I admired the new appliances and cupboards and

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a diversity of faces

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

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hildegard of bingen statue

We Are Works in Progress

Hildegard of Bingen was born into a noble family in Bermersheim in 1098. She experienced visions from a young age but did not tell anyone about them. At the age of eight her family gave her to the care of a religious noblewoman, Jutta of Spanheim, who took Hildegard with her to be enclosed as

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children of the world

Anguish for Justice

“You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.” (Exodus 23:2-3) The verses above come from today’s reading from the Daily Lectionary (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page

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path over a bridge

Individual Pathways Within Community

One of the fun challenges in my current call at Trinity Lutheran Church, Nampa is that many people are at different stages in their life of faith. This is fun because it makes for a wide variety of rich conversations. It becomes a real challenge when choosing books, Bible Studies, or another curriculum. It does

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woman holding a neon heart

Mercy and Repentance

Lectionary Readings for September 11, 2023 The lectionary readings for this Sunday, September 11, show how repentance is the bridge we must travel from our sinfulness to God’s mercy. These themes are explored in four different contexts, starting with a story of God’s wrath and ending with a story of God’s infinite patience and love.

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York Minster interior


“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) How I think about “church” has

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man overlookng fog bank

Preparing and Waiting

What are we preparing for?What are we waiting for?Second Sunday of Advent – December 4, 2022Isaiah 11:1-10Matthew 3:1-12 Let’s start with Isaiah. The time of

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angel doll

Angels on Earth

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!(Luke 1:28 NLT) What would you do if an angel suddenly appeared

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Paper Art-Mary Braudrick

The Journey

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to

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little girl waiting at window

How Shall We Wait?

I’ve never been someone who is good at waiting. Actually, I’m a pretty impatient person and often prone to worry. That said, I grew up in Colorado in a family that enjoyed skiing. We skied as much as we could. My mom belonged to a ski club that went up to the mountains twice a week during ski season. She would leave early in the morning and usually return in the early evening and that’s what I expected.

I remember a time when I was in high school, on a ski day for mom, that snow started falling at home in Denver about mid-day. It was one of those storms where it seemed that the sky just opened up like a feather pillow had been ripped in a pillow fight. The snowflakes came down fast and furious.

It didn’t take long for the snow to begin piling up in the streets. Almost always when it was snowing in town it was snowing in the mountains – probably worse. So, already I was beginning to get a little worried. At 5:00 it was dark and the snow was still falling hard. At 6:00 there was no sign of the snow letting up and there was no sign of mom coming home.

The family room and my bedroom were in the basement of the house, but I stayed upstairs waiting – looking out the window – hoping mom would be home soon. 6:00 turned into 6:30 and then 7:00. Still no sign. There were no phone calls (we didn’t have cell phones then), no news to let me know if everything was alright. I was beginning to get frantic. I paced the floor. I sat in front of the window. With every set of headlights that came down the street I hoped it would be mom. I paced the floor some more. Finally, at 7:30 or 8:00 she arrived. Exhausted from a long day, but perfectly fine. I was relieved.

The experience of two or three hours of passive waiting was almost more than I could bear. In the meantime, my homework didn’t get done nor did dinner get prepared – which might have been a nice thing since mom was indeed a couple hours late and neither one of us had eaten. I learned that day, and still continue to learn, that passive waiting can be depressing, immobilizing, and anxiety producing – and it rarely accomplishes much.

As the Church, we have just entered into Advent, a season of waiting and preparing. We wait with Mary and Joseph for the birth of Emmanuel – God with us. At the behest of John the Baptist, we prepare for the arrival of the Messiah through our repentance – our change of heart, a change of direction so that we might become even more Christ-like for our neighbors in our community and the world. At the same time, we wait AND prepare. To me, it implies that our waiting is not passive – like my anxious waiting in front of a window for hours – but rather, active.

About Advent, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Our whole life is advent – that is waiting until the end. Waiting for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all men will be brothers and will rejoice in the angels’ song, ‘peace on earth and good will to men.’ Learn how to wait! For he has promised that he will come: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock’. And we call to him, ‘Yes, come soon, Lord Jesus. ”

“Learn how to wait.” How will we make our waiting active, faithful, fruitful, life changing in Jesus’ name for the sake of the world?

active waiting
passive waiting

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Grateful open hands

With a Grateful Heart

Tis the season to focus on gratitude and giving thanks. Much has been written about both and each are magnified in the month of November.

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Communal Gratitude

Nov. 12, I attended a Boise Philharmonic concert at the Morrison Center for the first time in a long time. A friend of mine who

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Christ the King Sunday

November 20, 2022 Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 46 (10) Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 We are arriving at the end of the church liturgical year. What follows

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a diverse group taking a selfie

Working on Self-Acceptance

“What are humans that you are mindful of them,mortals that you care for them?Yet you have made them a little lower than Godand crowned them

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