Consider the Psalms

Lent is an appropriate time for reflection and self examination and there is no better place to ground our thinking than with the Psalms. This is a book that is actually made up of several books and inside each we can find songs that reflect many ways of describing our relationship with our God. There about nine major types of Psalms and most contain more than one manner of expression. For Lent however, I wish to focus on the Penitential, the Laments and…

Continue Reading Consider the Psalms

Migration and Movement

What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a system of beliefs, but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion, that makes amends for its mistakes, and is dedicated to community for all? Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life? Brian McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration The word migration has deep meaning for me. In a sense,…

Continue Reading Migration and Movement

Birthday Reflections

As I write this, I’m celebrating my 29th birthday, enjoying donuts and a latte on my couch. Last year, I celebrated with 25 of my friends, playing games together and all munching on a giant kitchen-island-turned-charcuterie board. COVID-19 has changed so many things, and it has been a year of challenges and struggles, currently feeling pandemic burnout and an ever-present anxiety monster looming.I’ve been reflecting on a specific phrase recently: God of the mountains and of the valleys. I heard it on the…

Continue Reading Birthday Reflections

Hope for the New Year

Video - Hope prepares the way for the coming of the Christ child. Hope is the foundation from which our faith grows. Hope stirs our hearts toward shared purpose and the future Kingdom of God promised in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When we hope, we share our faith with the world.

Continue Reading Hope for the New Year

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 Allen. He shared that, on this particular occasion, he was surprised during this reviewing of the movie. He discovered he was struck by metaphor for faith and the story of Jesus that is contained within this film. He particularly shared how he was struck by a line, “seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing” as true wisdom toward our…

Continue Reading Believing is Seeing…

Waiting for……..

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon...There was also a prophetess, Anna...” Luke 2:25 – 38My childhood memories of Christmas include a lot of waiting. Of course, there was waiting for the time when I could open my presents and, waiting for everyone else to finish opening their presents so I could start playing with my new toys. As I got older, there was waiting to watch others as they opened the gifts I had prepared for them. There was waiting…

Continue Reading Waiting for……..

What Is Christian Freedom?

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36)."But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18)."Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another"…

Continue Reading What Is Christian Freedom?

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 to follow that could lessen the severity of our suffering significantly, but we as a society are divided as to whether to follow them. We are also conflicted…

Continue Reading Grace, Grief and Voices of Hope

The King’s Speech

One of my favorite movies is The King’s Speech. It tells the true story of King George VI (father of the present Queen Elizabeth). He had a stammer and was terrified of making speeches. He worked for many years with the speech therapist Lionel Logue and the movie covers their developing relationship. The movie won several Oscars – Best Picture, Best Director, and Colin Firth won for Best Actor for his portrayal of George VI. The treatment of the King was not well…

Continue Reading The King’s Speech

Healing and Acceptance

There is an ancient Buddhist story that tells of a woman—a mother—whose child died. The mother carried her deceased daughter from place to place begging for help—as if she could still bring her back to life. The mother was turned away time after time, as each person she asked could see that there was no bringing the child back to life. Finally, someone told her that if she went to the Buddha, perhaps he could help.So the mother traveled to the Buddha and…

Continue Reading Healing and Acceptance

Travels of Life

As I write this, I am up in Post Falls by my father’s side. We are traveling together once again. He always loved to travel. We went to North Dakota from Montana often. Although this was a long drive, we always had fun with my dad singing songs and challenging us to road games such as slug bug and the license plate challenge.

Continue Reading Travels of Life

Freedom Blues

“Freedom’s just another word fornothin’ left to looseNothin’ don’t mean nothin’ if itain’t free, no, noAnd feelin’ good was easy, LordWhen he sang the bluesYou know, feelin’ good was goodenough for meGood enough for me and Bobby McGee!”The lyrics above are from one of the greatest songs written, this is verse three of “Me and Bobby McGee.” If you know it then you most likely know that it was written by Kris Kristofferson. It has been performed by so many artists, the most…

Continue Reading Freedom Blues

Spring Was On the Way

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. Psalm 23:4It was mid-March. We were having roller coaster weather as the low-and high-pressure systems battled each other; but our sunny back lawn needed mowing. I’m not able to follow the mower around anymore, though I’ve done it for many years and for a number of years many lawns a week. Now I rely on Larry (my oldest…

Continue Reading Spring Was On the Way

Our New Vocabulary

Words that we did not use just a little while ago are now common in our conversations. Pandemic is now a part of our daily lives. Some other new words are: Covid-19, Corona Virus, Shelter in Place, and Flatten the Curve. We’ve come to use these words frequently, whether we want to or not. We are growing in our understanding of this new vocabulary, as we grow into our understanding of how all of these words and phrases affect our daily routines. Using…

Continue Reading Our New Vocabulary

From Where Shall My Hope Come?

“Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” Luke 24:29 The Gospel for today is one of the most dramatic of all the incredible stories of the resurrection of Jesus, albeit they are all dramatic. This is the story of the encounter of Jesus with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. For reasons not identified they don’t recognize him. He asks a series of questions to draw the story out. As they reach…

Continue Reading From Where Shall My Hope Come?

Two “F” Words, One Lord

I grew up learning how faith and fear could be understood as opposing forces in the Bible and in our lives of discipleship. This lesson always turned to the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water in Matthew 14:22-33, Peter begins to sink when he becomes afraid. This prompts Jesus to ask why Peter had such little faith and why he doubted. I am one who has been inspired by this approach and who has wondered out loud in sermons, bible studies,…

Continue Reading Two “F” Words, One Lord

Keep the Faith

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3This verse is from the second reading scheduled for this week you would have heard in church. The full reading scheduled is 1 Peter 1:3-9 (NRSV). The reading continues:...and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being…

Continue Reading Keep the Faith

Sunset and a New Day

Psalm 1:1-6 19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,     God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning,     Professor Night lectures each evening. 3-4 Their words aren’t heard,     their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth:     unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. 4-5 God makes a huge dome     for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband     leaping from his honeymoon bed, The daybreaking sun an athlete     racing to the tape. 6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies…

Continue Reading Sunset and a New Day

Gratitude

Be Still... Give yourself a minute or more to quiet down and be in the presence of God.Breathe deeply and feel the peace that comes upon you. Read... Paul and Timothy, writing to the Philippian Christians, say this: Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 Good News Translation These…

Continue Reading Gratitude