For the Joy of the Ride

Do you remember the day that you learned to ride a bicycle? Maybe it was not just one day, but several. Do you remember who it was that helped you to learn? For some of us, this means taking a trip down memory lane. It also might mean a recollection of spills, bruises, and tears. After all, it is the learning part that can bring the pain. Once you learn, it is just fine-tuning after that. In fact, after you gain a little…

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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…

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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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“Trust Me, I’ve Got This!” says God

"If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you… Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this… And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there.” Jesus says.(Matthew 18:15, 18, 20 The Message)As those of us who try to live faithfully…

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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…

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Lost or Found

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral If we took a moment to reflect on our lives, I am sure many of us could locate at least one moment that we found ourselves lost and confused about our future, the decisions we need to make, or simply uncertain about what is next. We are used to thinking about these moments individually, focused on how God is speaking to us, personally, guiding and directing us through it. It is no wonder that at this moment in time…

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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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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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Getting Connected

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.”Psalm 25:16-17“I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.’ Psalm 102:6-7“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."Matthew 28:20cLast Sunday my husband and I did something we had not done for over three months.…

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By Our Love

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." (1 Cor. 13:12-13). One could make a pretty good argument right now that hope is the greatest, but I know that love has been the strongest guidepost and will remain so for me…

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Who Do You Trust

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the…

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Emmanuel is Here!
© Paul Oman/Drawn to the Word 2020. All Rights Reserved. www.paulomanfineart.com

Emmanuel is Here!

In so many ways we who are a people of faith have been experiencing this Holy Week and Easter with a sense of dread. There is a feeling that there has never been an Easter like this. This Holy Week through Zoom meetings with friends and colleagues I could see the stress and deep sadness on their brows that they were going through since none of us would be together. Gone are the flowers, the lilies are not there, the tulips and other…

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Life in the Rearview Mirror

How much time do we spend looking in the rearview mirror of our lives, convinced that the sunny days behind us were the best ever? When the world around us is dark and stormy we look back wistfully at how things ‘used to be’. Remember when church on Sunday morning was just the thing to do? Remember when the stores were closed on Sundays and life was simpler? Remember when we could just leave the house and go wherever we wanted and greet…

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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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