Meditation on Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is perhaps one of the most recognizable passages of scripture. It is a passage that millions of people have committed to memory. It is frequently requested as the psalm to be read at funerals. It is so well known that some of its phrases have even found their way into modern advertising; remember the “Fear No Weevil” commercial for systemic insecticide?Please join me in revisiting these familiar words. Allow visual images of these descriptive words to float into your mind and…

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Read more about the article Jesus Falls for the First Time
An Opera singer performs "O Sole Mio" from his window in Paris on the tenth day of a strict lockdown in France.

Jesus Falls for the First Time

Station Three -  An opera singer And sings the tune Emily Dickinson God of beauty and whimsy, pour out yourvisionary Spirit on all musicians, artists, andcreators. We thank you for those who haveused their gifts to bring comfort and joy in themidst of loss and anxiety. May the grace weencounter in their creativity draw us closer toyou. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.How have you connected with creativity during the pandemic? What were the stories that engaged you? (Television, novels, games, etc.) Why…

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Comfort My People

“Comfort, yes, comfort my people!” says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight…

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You’re Invited

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 I’ve had a few conversations lately where people have lifted up the silver linings that the shutdown has offered. Some have experienced more time to evaluate their…

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All are Welcome

All are Welcome ”Let us build a house where love can dwell And all can safely live, A place where saints and children tell How hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, Rock of faith and vault of grace, Here the love of Christ shall end divisions, All are welcome, all are welcome All are welcome in this place.” Marty Haugen I must admit, I have struggled with this song at times. But not because I don’t love the…

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Wait!

“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Recall the childhood game of “Hide and Seek.” I expect many of us have memories of how we played that simple game. In the one I remember, one person would volunteer to be “it” (the seeker) and everyone else would go hide, hoping to find a place that was so…

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The Path Behind and Ahead

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a)Sunday was Faith Lutheran Church’s annual meeting. We held it…

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Hope Springs Eternal

It was the first time in months that I saw a medical doctor smiling on TV while talking about the corona virus. The news had just broken that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective. In a world desperate to bring the deadly outbreak under control, this was "hope in a bottle," as the doctor put it. And then today, just as I was about to write this devotion, another company, Moderna, reported that their vaccine, at 94%, had been tested as even…

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Filtering Through

When I wake up, I instinctively start thinking about how much I am looking forward to that first cup of coffee. We use a French press as one of the ways we enjoy our coffee. You pour coarse grounds in, then hot water, stir the grounds, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then press the filter down so the grounds are held near the bottom of the container while you pour the coffee.It’s very tasty until you start hitting the bottom of…

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Touched by Grace

“Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with [the other disciples] when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the…

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Freedom to Care

“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female for all are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28A few days ago at our book study at a Trinity Lutheran in Nampa we were studying and conversing via Zoom about Rachel Held Evans book “Inspired.” The question was asked what is the Gospel or good news in one word? My answer was “freedom.” Yet in light of everything are we truly free?…

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