Foot Washing in a Year Like None Other

Foot washing is one of the go to images of diaconal ministry, the image of being servant. Following Jesus example from his last supper with the disciples, kneeling to take the humble position of service. Foot washing is something we are not always the most comfortable with. Bearing our feet for washing is a vulnerable act. In a normal year not everyone likes to show off their feet, let alone have them touched and washed by another person. This past year where we…

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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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Wilderness

What do you think of when you hear the word wilderness? For most people they probably think of a location or a place that they have been that may seem isolated or away from “civilization.” A place in the middle of a forest, up a mountain, or maybe even in the middle of the desert. In the United States we even have the National Wilderness Preservation System that helps preserve some of these places from our world of land development. But there is…

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Where Were You?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?Gird up your loins like a man,I will question you, and you shall declare to me.“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?Tell me, if you have understanding.Who determined its measurements—surely you know!Or who stretched the line upon it?On what were its bases sunk,or who laid its cornerstonewhen the morning stars sang togetherand all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?“Or who shut in…

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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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Dependable

The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit—who can bear? Proverbs 18:14 Death and taxes. They say those are the two things we can depend on in life. Of course, they don’t mention the neighbor who borrows your rake and never returns it—again; the low tire light indicator that comes on in your car with the temperature change and you are not near a tire service place or a gas station—again; the goat head weeds that appear after several applications of…

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Is Virtual Worship “Real”?

In this time of COVID-19 physical isolation, most churches are meeting virtually instead of physically, an appropriate and necessary step to protect our communities from harm. An inevitable question has accompanied this move: are virtual worship meetings “real” in the same way physical ones are?It’s time to put that to rest. They are. Or at least, they’d better be! Here are a couple of important reasons why.Saying that virtual meetings are not as valid as in-person meetings presumes that there’s a single, universal…

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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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