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A Living Stone and a Holy People

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:“Behold, I am laying…

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Everything Has Become New

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the…

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In the Desert

"I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the…

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On the Way to the Future

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”(John 8:31-32)This coming Sunday, October 31, is Reformation Day. This is the day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, the event that gave rise to the Protestant Reformation.It is a dilemma for us Lutherans as to whether we want…

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A Time for Every Thing

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up;a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance;a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to…

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The Cost of Freedom

In May of 1970 shots rang out on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio as protesters against the Viet Nam War and National Guard troops clashed. In the aftermath it was found that 4 had died that day. I was 15 at the time living in far away Eastern Washington. A few weeks afterwards came a song that may or may not have been a direct reference to those who died that day or perhaps it was to remember the young…

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Love Your Neighbors

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31 “…the justice/righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe. Romans 3:22 This devotion is being written ten days before the US election and is intended to be posted the day before the election, November 2. However, because it will serve as a backup, it is possible that it could be…

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God Bless You With Foolishness

Last weekend I attended (virtually) the consecration of Deaconess Sara Manning, youth director and member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. It has been a privilege to get to know and serve with Sara on the board of Luther Heights Bible Camp for several years. As I listened to Sara take her deaconess vows and sang along to hymns with more than 70 people watching the service on Zoom from around the world, I felt uplifted by the ceremony and renewed. Watching…

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Continue in My Word

October is finally here, and I boldly declare fall to be my favorite season. It feels like a refresh and a reminder to slow down, both of which I need right now. I have been enjoying the cooler mornings, wrapping up in a blanket while it is still dark out and lingering over my pumpkin-spiced coffee. It’s in these minutes I reach for my Bible, being intentional about my time with God rather than reaching for my phone for distraction. The burdens of…

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REJOICE! (are you serious?!)

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24March 10, 2020, was the last time I attended an activity in a group of over 15 people. That’s over four months ago, but some days it feels like it’s been years. My life has rearranged itself into cooking, yard work, reading, sewing face masks, and Zoom meetings. Each day seems much like the last. And, as a person in an “at risk” category, I know…

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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…

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Cathedrals

Cathedrals are where you find them. There is probably non so beautiful as the Sawtooth Range above Stanley, Idaho. I took a group of chaplain students there several years ago. These visitors, who came from around the country and world, quieted themselves as we neared the vista point that presented itself along Highway 21. At on point we all got out. Footsteps slowed; voices were muted. I was struck with the silence—even when other visitors pulled over and stopped. No cell phones perched…

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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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