“Witness” can be a scary word to some church people. Even apart from church contexts, it can be scary to be a witness. Your name is now associated with a case, situation, or incident. If a new development or question might happen later down the road, you will likely be called. Whether you desire to get the facts straight or find yourself in a tricky situation because of being in a certain place at a certain time, being a witness can be stressful.Beginning…

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I have a confession to make: I am a sucker for Dungeons and Dragons. I have all the dice, a few handbooks, my first character from college (which survived ALL FOUR YEARS!), and miniatures just ready to be placed on my tabletop for an adventure. I had a consistent group in college, and played a few times in seminary and had a lot of fun along the way.I heard stories in my early years of preparing to be a pastor that Dungeons and…

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Stolen Identity

I have a friend who recently discovered that her identity had been stolen. As she was sharing with me the process for reporting the fraud and protecting her identity, it surprised me just how exhaustive the process was. There are so many entities that rely on our personal information and “identities.”This gave me pause to wonder: what is an identity?According to the government, an identity is our name, address, birthdate, and social security number. Perhaps according to our own selves it is the…

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Glass and Plastic Balls

I tend to laugh when someone says the word ‘balance.’ “How do you balance work and personal obligations?” seems like a common question, like there is some secret we’re all searching for. One day we’ll discover in some dusty booby-trapped cave the answer to managing working out in the morning, getting the kids to school, walking the dog, checking off all the to-do lists at work, eating a healthy lunch, remembering all your appointments, prepping a delicious dinner, and taking some self-care in…

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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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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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Mercy Against All Odds

One of the questions pastors get asked a lot is, “Do you think Hitler will go to heaven?” You say God is gracious, you say God can forgive anything, so how gracious is God, really? (see video)

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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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A Divine Dance

Today is the feast of the Holy Trinity, a good time to ponder what the Trinity is about and what it means for our everyday faith journeys. It seems to be a tricky aspect of our Christian faith to explain. But, do we even need to figure it out? What can the Trinity teach us?

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