Two Vials of Ashes

It’s been 19 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center (September 11, 2001) and 40 years since Mount St. Helens erupted (May 18, 1980).  Pictured are two vials of ash—one from each event, along with a missing person flyer given to me by the family of Tonyell McDay, who perished in the explosion of World Trade Tower 1.  My life and career came close to both disasters.  I was preaching at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Sunnyside, WA that day in May 1980…

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Losing Touch

“People were bringing little children to him so that he might touch them…” (Mark 10:13a) For me, one of the greatest losses, since COVID-19 hit and changed our lives, has been the loss of touch. I deeply miss being able to hug friends and even shake hands with strangers. I’m lucky in that I have a spouse that I can and do touch and two cats who provide me lots of opportunities for snuggles and pets. Yet I miss the opportunity for those…

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How Prayer Works

It has been a long six, eight months, hasn’t it? Aren’t you tired of this? Don’t you want your summer back, your life back, your economy back? What are we supposed to do with millions unemployed, and now, maybe millions who can’t pay the rent? Or buy groceries? (see video)

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Healing and Acceptance

There is an ancient Buddhist story that tells of a woman—a mother—whose child died. The mother carried her deceased daughter from place to place begging for help—as if she could still bring her back to life. The mother was turned away time after time, as each person she asked could see that there was no bringing the child back to life. Finally, someone told her that if she went to the Buddha, perhaps he could help.So the mother traveled to the Buddha and…

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Touched by Grace

“Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with [the other disciples] when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the…

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Bringing Laughter Into Your Life

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)Several years ago, I went to a training at St Luke’s about dealing with stressful situations and providing healing care. One concept discussed was the difference between stating a situation is serious verses important. When one states that a situation is serious, you have limited the use of humor or lightheartedness. When one tries to bring humor into a situation that is deemed serious, your humorous attempt…

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