Good Soil

A dear friend of mine will be consecrated as a Lutheran deaconess this weekend. She has had to wait several months for her service to be rescheduled and it will look very different from her original plans. But we know God is faithful and that God continues to call us regardless of what is going on in the world around us and no matter how long it takes us to make things “official.”One of her texts for the service is the Parable of…

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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"…

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“Put on hope each day like you put on your shoes”

Recently I listened to a virtual talk by the author Barbara Kingsolver. Afterwards, she took questions from the audience and someone asked how she maintained hope during this time. She paused, and then with just the tiniest bit of sternness in her gentle voice, she said, "Well, hope is a duty." She went on to say that if we love our children, if we love the generation that will come after us, we must have hope. To not have hope, she said, is like…

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Within Reach

So there I was, on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand, sermon and worship materials before me, and my elaborate camera and laptop setup. I am cool, confident, and ready to log into our various accounts to hold a ZOOM worship service. I turn on the laptop and I see that I no longer have speaker capability. I couldn’t play music, hear anyone else, or speak into even the built in microphones in front of me. I later found out that my audio…

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The Red Six of Spades

When I was an undergraduate in psychology, all the Psych 101 students had the opportunity to participate in an experiment for extra credit. Being a budding social scientist, I was curious and frankly needed some extra credit, so I signed up for an experiment.  This is what I was asked to do. I sat down at a table and an experimenter took an ordinary deck of playing cards and flashed six of them at me. She flashed them quickly asking me to identify…

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