Spring of 2020

This is a story about how I found spiritual support on the internet during the first part of the Covid crisis. First, I make a disclaimer. Social media activities that work for me may not be helpful or appropriate for you. Please use the internet with discernment and caution!In the middle of March, 2020, the Treasure Valley started a Covid lockdown. We all experienced abrupt changes. The last day I worked as a substitute teacher was March 12. Our lockdown was announced a…

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Food and Fear

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7A while ago I went on a diet. I was tired all the time, and just felt generally bad. So, I joined a program that encouraged me to record everything I ate for several weeks. At the end of the first week I realized that I was eating a LOT of food. Not only that, but A LOT of food that…

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Little Pleasures

“A silent mind is all you need.” Eastern MeditationHappiness starts with how we look at ourselves. Feelings are our happiness gauge. How we handle the wide range of our emotional life depends on how we accept and appreciation ourselves and our “body feelings.” Feelings such as fear, anxiety, insecurity, as well as good feelings of pleasure, acceptance, or satisfaction can be the barometers of our being.It is not easy for us to look deeply into ourselves, to try to understand why we react…

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An Antidote to Fear

In Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus appears after his resurrection to the disciples who are gathered together behind “locked doors.” That phrase is used twice in Chapter 20 of John’s Gospel. The disciples are behind locked doors the first time Jesus appears to them. The second time Jesus appears, when Thomas is there, the Bible notes Jesus appears among them despite the locked doors. The image of locked doors is a powerful one. It indicates not only fear of what’s outside, but also a…

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Read more about the article Into The Temple And Beyond
Jesus driving the merchants from the temple

Into The Temple And Beyond

“Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” Mark 11:11This is the concluding verse of yesterday’s Palm Sunday Gospel. Jesus has entered Jerusalem and made his way to the pinnacle, the very center of Jewish religious life, the temple. Nothing is more holy, nothing more sacred, it is the place that the Lord dwells according to the scriptures.Jesus enters, he looks…

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Choosing Calm

Trinity is committed to the principles of “year-round stewardship”. At our January meeting, the Stewardship team selected monthly themes for 2021. Some months fell into place quite easily. March would be Stewardship of Our Building, with the annual pre-Easter church Spring Cleaning/Work Day. May would be Stewardship Benefiting People Around the World, coinciding with our ELCA God’s Global Barnyard fundraising campaign. June would be Stewardship of Time and Talents, in preparation for resuming in-person worship in the sanctuary (hopefully) this fall. Our most…

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Getting to Grateful

Depression. It has certainly tested my resolve in the last twelve months. I would like to share humbly what I have learned about dealing with depression. This is not meant to help if you are suicidal or wish to harm yourself. In that case, I urge you to call someone and get help. If you have no one to call, call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 211.These are some of the effects depression has had on me. Sometimes it feels like you…

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It’s been a week…

It has been a week since an armed mob forced their way into the United States Capitol building. Watching the event unfold on the news that day, I had all the emotions you might expect. Anger, frustration, and fear were palpable as my family talked that day. I heard many people (both on TV, social media and in private conversation) call for peace. This week, I find myself feeling the weight of questions of faith and faithfulness. I have fewer answers than I…

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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 the ambient light, but what a difference when we were at the lake. My father and I would sit on the dock and he would tell me the names of the constellations and how to find them. I would look at the sky, marvel at its beauty and be entertained with stories of why the stars, according to…

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Now What?

In the past week my heart and my prayers have been all over the map. I've experienced gratitude and wonder, fear and anxiety, relief. But never true peace. Peace eludes me. I have spoken to friends and acquaintances who tell me the same thing. That peace feels out of reach. Our contentious election is over, but in its wake comes the unspoken question, "Now what?" How do we begin to come together as a nation? How do we work together to stop the spread…

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Do Not Be Afraid

The more we fear (in the sense of showing reverence and awe) and love God, the less we fear everything else in life. The more we turn to God remembering what God has done for us, the more we will be able to face our fears and act with courage. As we affirm that there is indeed a force greater than fear at work in the world today.

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I Doubt It

Every single Easter story in the Bible has fear and confusion and doubt. It seems as if it is impossible to have faith in the resurrected Jesus without also having doubts— and that … that’s okay. (see video)

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Dependable

The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit—who can bear? Proverbs 18:14 Death and taxes. They say those are the two things we can depend on in life. Of course, they don’t mention the neighbor who borrows your rake and never returns it—again; the low tire light indicator that comes on in your car with the temperature change and you are not near a tire service place or a gas station—again; the goat head weeds that appear after several applications of…

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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,…

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Time for Questions

Acts 4:32-37: 32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They…

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Living Joy in the Face of Suffering

So (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8I am writing this on Easter Monday. We are now on the “joyous” side of Lent/Easter 2020 as we celebrate the life-changing Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection. We proclaim this event offers all who believe it life forever in God’s community of love.Yet, as I listen to news reports and read the reflections of persons who are trying to make…

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How Does God Show Up?

Sometimes, when you’re isolated or fearful, it’s hard to feel connected to anything. During these times of COVID-19, many of us feel that way. We’re cut off from familiar places and people. To the extent that we derive comfort from church-based faith, we’re also cut off from the buildings and communities in which we usually experience it. This can easily lead to a feeling of being cut off from God. Churches have not always prepared us to cope with these feelings. Often they…

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