Treasure Valley Prays

Reimagining Church Together

We are ELCA leaders and pastors from the Treasure Valley and Northwest Intermountain Synod.
Together, we are reimagining and revisiting what it is to be church together with daily devotions.

busy technology

Mixed Up

Not too long ago, my wife and I sat down to a surprisingly relaxing evening after a tough week and we decided to try and watch one of those wonderful and ever popular Netflix original holiday movies. As is usual with those films, I found myself cringing at the script and acting ability. I found

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darkness one candle

Dance in the Dark, Watch for the Light

These days, you don’t have to wait long for night. It gets dark fast. We often talk about the shortened length of days this time of the year. However, the days aren’t actually shorter. We have the same hours to our day as ever, it just feels different. Days like these provide us with an

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When God orders a burger…

When I was doing my undergraduate work at Pacific Lutheran University, I got to take a class on Judaism taught by Rabbi Glickman. In one of the lectures, Rabbi Glickman recounted an interfaith conversation where a local pastor asked him, “Do you really think God cares if you have cheese on your burger?” The Rabbi’s

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encouragement painted on rock

The Gift of Encouragement

The first Sunday in Advent is associated with hope. The Bible readings focus on the prophesies of Jesus’ birth, on the coming of the Messiah, which were great sources of hope for the people of Israel for centuries as they waited and watched for God’s coming. But I’m not going to write about hope on

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surprised girl

Just One More Surprise!

“Then the righteous (the sheep) will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?… Then those on his left (the goats) also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked

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Stolen Identity

I have a friend who recently discovered that her identity had been stolen. As she was sharing with me the process for reporting the fraud and protecting her identity, it surprised me just how exhaustive the process was. There are so many entities that rely on our personal information and “identities.” This gave me pause

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Sacred Songs

Thanks to God For My Redeemer

I can remember as a young pastor thumbing through my grandmother Emilie Bee’s old church hymnal while serving a small congregation in Grafton, Illinois. I remember the congregation well because we had to cross the Mississippi into Illinois by way of a barge/ferry. As I perused her hymnal, I came across a piece of music

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sharing a meal

Unexpected Blessings

Have you ever been traveling and found that you did not have the money you needed to get where you needed to go? When I was in seminary years ago, I had the good fortune to travel abroad for a cross-cultural class. Pastor Jerry Schmalenberger had been teaching at the seminary in Hong Kong and

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choosing between two paths

Uncertain Times

“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as you have been doing” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Those were the words from the second reading from Sunday November 15. This letter by Paul is thought to be the earliest writing of the New Testament. Before the Gospels were written, before all the rest of the

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lonely woman looking out window

Turkey With a Side of Compassion

For many of us, Thanksgiving is going to look different this year. I’ve heard the heartache of many who are mourning the loss of another expectation going unmet in 2020. In many ways, the holiday seems like it will embody all of the frustration, disappointment and isolation that have defined this year for so many.

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Shared Stories

Shared Stories

“When (Jesus) looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she,

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a dark bus ride

Christ the King

“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a

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two broken cups

Finding Unity in the Midst of Division

In mid-October I traveled back to Valparaiso, Indiana for my small in-person Consecration and while I was there I had the opportunity to worship at the Chapel on Valpo’s campus for Sunday morning worship. It was so nice to hear the beautiful pipe organ and though there was no congregational singing they had cantors in

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Phillippians 4:1-10

Think About Such Things

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the LORD in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia, and I plead with Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the LORD. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women

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Star Words

Star Words

“Lead me in your truth, and teach me.” Psalm 25:5 In January 2018, Trinity Lutheran began our annual Epiphany practice known as “star words”. Here

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Advent Blues

“Advent does not begin in buoyancy or celebration or in a shopping spree. The natural habitat of Advent is a community of hurt. It is

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person under the stars

I Wonder As I Wander

When I was a small child, I loved to look at the night sky. Doing so in Milwaukee was not the best experience, given all

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Believing is Seeing…

I recently received a text from a former staff member, Mike, checking in and sharing that he just watched the Santa Clause movie starring Tim

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Actively Waiting I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living.Wait for the Lord;be strong, and let your heart

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sharing a video call

Advent Hope

We journey through this Advent season with COVID cases being on the rise across the country. With the country and our state setting new case

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