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.

butterfly with insects

Awe of Averages

awe[1] (noun) an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime. It is widely understood that the more common an experience or observation, the less special it feels. Somehow, simply by our daily awareness of something, it becomes regular. I have found myself wondering about this lately, as my

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protest on streets

Just as You Did It

…‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (From Matthew 25:40) It is reassuring that we are members of Christ’s family. It is reassuring that if we treat each other as Jesus treated others that we

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girl with watermelon smile

Seek Joy

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh I have been reflecting on joy lately, which may seem a little odd with all that is going on, but in the searching and seeking of joy, I find myself more grateful

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two hummingbirds

God’s Care in the Ordinary

Things that seem ordinary or small but on further reflection are signs of God’s care. after Gretchen Legler Three miniscule hummingbirds, iridescent green, alighting on the purple butterfly bush in my backyard. They have traveled thousands of miles to give me this moment of awe. The tiny fur ball puppy my friend adopted just before

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labyrinth meditation


On September 1, I will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Amazon Prime delivery truck because in it will be my copy of Louise Penney’s next book, “All the Devils are Here.” This is, I believe, the 16th book in Penney’s series of mysteries that focus on Armand Gamache, the Inspector General of the

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choir of voices

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

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girl covering woman's eyes


I vividly remember the party for my 40th birthday. That was over 20 years ago but that night is very clear in my mind. My husband Glenn and I went out for a lovely dinner; and returned home to a house full of people. Glenn had arranged a surprise party; I had no idea people

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Jesus carrying cross

Take Up Your Cross

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “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, and for the sake of

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Grasshoppers and Labyrinths

One Leap at a Time…
It isn’t unprecedented that God uses the grasshopper to teach a lesson, right? (Think plague in Egypt!) I was on retreat recently, in the desert near Mesa, Idaho and it appeared to be grasshopper season. I appreciate that grasshoppers are creatures of God, but I can’t figure out why God made so many. A few would have been fine. But, on this retreat, there were hordes of grasshoppers—almost a plague.

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Paul Olsen video

Mercy Against All Odds

One of the questions pastors get asked a lot is,
“Do you think Hitler will go to heaven?”

You say God is gracious, you say God can forgive anything,
so how gracious is God, really? (see video)

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footprints in sand


What do you think of when you hear the word wilderness? For most people they probably think of a location or a place that they have been that may seem isolated or away from “civilization.” A place in the middle of a forest, up a mountain, or maybe even in the middle of the desert.

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stickers, signe, symbols

What Sign Do They See

My British cousin spent ten days visiting me in August of 2017. It’s always fascinating to have foreign houseguests. They notice things that I take for granted, and they pose questions that I might never have thought of. She was curious about the way we in Idaho use flags, signs and bumper stickers to communicate

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labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral

Lost or Found

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral If we took a moment to reflect on our lives, I am sure many of us could locate at least one moment that we found ourselves lost and confused about our future, the decisions we need to make, or simply uncertain about what is next. We are used to thinking about

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Parting Words

Lately we’ve been using different phrases when saying goodbye to someone—both in our verbal conversations as well as at the end of an email or written note. Typically, I’ve said things like “Best,” “Talk to you later,” “Peace,” or “God bless.” But now I find myself saying or writing parting words like “Stay safe,” or

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missing person and two vials of ashes

Two Vials of Ashes

It’s been 19 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center (September 11, 2001) and 40 years since Mount St. Helens erupted (May 18,

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Sawtooth mountains and desert

Deserts and Mountains

In October of 2019, my husband and I moved to Meridian, Idaho, from Alexandria, Virginia, where we had lived for over 31 years. Due to

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generations singing camp songs

Generations to Generations

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5) Our outdoor ministry theme for summer 2020

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infant with mother a safe haven

Safe Haven and Rest

I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. (Psalm 4:8 NRSV) Lately, I

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bird flying high

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.

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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

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