Grief and Hope

1How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2How long shall I have perplexity in my mind, and grief in my heart, day after day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me? 3Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death; 4lest my enemy say, “I have defeated you,” and my foes rejoice that I have fallen. 5But I trust in…

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Prayers Around the Cross

“But I, O LORD, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13The above quote is from one of the lament Psalms that are in our Bible. Laments tell of the grief and pain either a person or the ancient nation of Israel happen to be going through. Every lament is honest in what is unfolding and each one tells God the truth and asks for help or some kind of deliverance from oppression. And every one, except…

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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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Read more about the article All Creatures Great and Small
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All Creatures Great and Small

Did you grow up learning children’s songs at church? One of the earliest hymns I learned was “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” whose words were written by Mrs. Cecil Alexander around 1848 in a collection of hymns for children. The tune I learned is often paired with the words she wrote, a melody coming from a century earlier than that. You can find it in our blue “With One Voice” hymnal #767, and the final verse is “God gave us eyes to see…

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Advent Blues

“Advent does not begin in buoyancy or celebration or in a shopping spree. The natural habitat of Advent is a community of hurt. It is the voice of those who know profound grief, who articulate it and do not cover it ever” Walter Bruggemann Those words are from one of my favorite biblical scholars Walter Bruggemann. He hits the nail on the head when it comes to Advent, especially this year. Yes this has been a year of hurt, of “one crying in…

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Turkey With a Side of Compassion

For many of us, Thanksgiving is going to look different this year. I’ve heard the heartache of many who are mourning the loss of another expectation going unmet in 2020. In many ways, the holiday seems like it will embody all of the frustration, disappointment and isolation that have defined this year for so many. I want to start by saying that it’s okay to be sad. It’s healthy to mourn. There are plenty of Psalms of lament that witness to the fact…

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Wishful Thinking or Faithful Hope?

Disney fairytales are well known for not only their animation, but their whimsical, catchy music as well. Knowing the Disney classics means knowing the popular songs found in Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty. We hear a common theme in these enduring lullabies, best represented in the lyrics sung by Cinderella to her animal friends,A dream is a wish your heart makesWhen you're fast asleepIn dreams you will lose your heartachesWhatever you wish for, you keepAnd this one sung by Jiminy Cricket to Pinocchio,When…

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Praying the News

I am a person who does want to watch, listen to and read about the news to stay current on issues and concerns, learn new things, and know about where I am living. But, I have to be careful when and where and how I engage with the news. For one, I have a 9 year old who can get really nervous when some tough stories are shared. But, I can also completely derail and go down a path trying to search for…

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Unconsolable Grief

“O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:4-7We have entered a time of grief like none other in my lifetime. And my life has been filled with grief…

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Travel and Grief in a Pandemic

Last week I was supposed to be in New York spending some time with my family for my dad’s birthday. When I booked my flight back at the beginning of June, we still had low numbers of new cases in Idaho, I had an e-credit to use from a different cancelled trip from this fall, and flights were as cheap as I have ever seen them to Albany or Syracuse. I booked my flight knowing that things could change and I might not…

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Hope Wins

The world seems chaotic lately. Filled with problems that I have no solutions for. There is a lot of grief being held by our community: for lives lost, for justice denied, for the felt loss of agency and certainty, loss of income and stability, for the loss of physical gathering and fellowship. Yet we do not grieve as those without hope. So I invite you to join me in remembering the story of our hope: Before anything that humanity knows ever came to…

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Soul Friends

I have been pondering all the kinds of relationships that we are part of and need. We are relational by nature, even those of us who are more introverted. I need relationships with communities of people who have similar interests or background and stories. I need people to confide in and people who will hold me accountable to growth.

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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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From Grief to Fatigue to Spiritual Rest

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 Early into this pandemic and our sheltering-in-place I started talking to people about their feelings of grief. In March and April perhaps you were feeling sad, irritable or unsettled. A friend told me that she was feeling…

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A Journey of Hope!

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 We’ve come to a new spot it seems. A place that we’ve never been before and it invokes in us so many emotions, fear, grief, a sense of the unknown dominating our feelings as we move ahead. We are in effect living in a new land unlike the one that came before. Like…

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From Where Shall My Hope Come?

“Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” Luke 24:29 The Gospel for today is one of the most dramatic of all the incredible stories of the resurrection of Jesus, albeit they are all dramatic. This is the story of the encounter of Jesus with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. For reasons not identified they don’t recognize him. He asks a series of questions to draw the story out. As they reach…

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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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Living our Lives in Saturday’s Length

One of my favorite authors, Phillip Yancey jolted my thinking about Easter several years ago. He wrote: Two days, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, are perhaps the most significant days on the entire church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between…Human history grinds on, between the time of promise and fulfillment. Its Saturday on plant Earth; will Sunday ever come? (“Unwrapping Jesus: My Top Ten Surprises,” Christianity Today, June, 1996 Its Holy Saturday…

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Waiting for Morning

Psalm 130 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2   Lord, hear my voice!Let your ears be attentive   to the voice of my supplications!  3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,   Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you,   so that you may be revered.  5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,   and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord   more than those who watch for the morning,   more than those who watch for the morning.  7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!   For with the Lord there is steadfast love,   and with…

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