Faith Without Works Is…

I’m a “cradle Lutheran”. During the 1950s-60s, I attended Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and (by my calculations) about 200 hours of Confirmation Class (two hours each Saturday morning for the three years of Junior High). We memorized many Bible verses, the Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, The Lord’s Prayer and Martin Luther’s explanations – all very important. We did a LOT of memorization – this is most certainly true! By the time I was confirmed, I felt I had been exposed to…

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Simply 2021…

These are the wise sayings of Solomon,David's son, Israel's king—Written down so we'll know how to live well and right,to understand what life means and where it's going;A manual for living,for learning what's right and just and fair;To teach the inexperienced the ropesand give our young people a grasp on reality.There's something here also for seasoned men and women,still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.Proverbs 1:1-6 The…

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The Day After

"When the carols have been stilled, When the star topped tree is taken down, When family and friends have gone home, When we are back to our schedules, The work of Christmas begins: To welcome the refugee, To heal a broken planet, To feed the hungry, To build bridges of trust, not walls of fear, To share our gifts, To seek justice and peace for all people, To bring Christ's light into the world." Michael Dougherty From Arise Shine, For Our Christmas Work…

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God’s glory revealed……is Love shared

“Then, the glory of the Lord will be revealedand all flesh shall see it together.”Isaiah 40:5The other day as I listened to my favorite devotion app (Pray-As-You-Go) this was part of the reading of the day. I love these Advent readings from Isaiah and PAYG always has some lovely, ponderous questions to chew on. The question they asked this day was, “What will the glory of the Lord revealed mean in your life?” Good, huh? I thought about it for quite a while…

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Love Your Neighbors

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31 “…the justice/righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe. Romans 3:22 This devotion is being written ten days before the US election and is intended to be posted the day before the election, November 2. However, because it will serve as a backup, it is possible that it could be…

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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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Choose Something Like a Star

When I was in high school, I was a member of the Wauwatosa (Wisconsin) East High School Concert Choir. Every weekday at 11:05, we took our music, got into our assigned seats, and readied ourselves to practice for the next hour. Mr. Bilderback, the director, was a task master but he took great pride in the choir. As a second alto, I rarely got to sing any exciting parts.Sometimes we competed in the Wisconsin high school choir competition, but that depended on whether…

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We Can Be Heroes Just For One Day

Hero: (noun) A person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character A person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal The principal male character in a story, play or film (Heroine, for female) See: submarine sandwich I thought, given today’s proximity to our celebration of Independence Day, it would be nice to reflect on heroes and heroines. The people in our lives who have special achievements, abilities…

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Faces

What I have noticed most are the faces in the crowds. Faces of every race and many nationalities. Angry faces. Tearful faces. Masked faces. Somber faces. Loving faces. Staring faces. Pained faces. Children’s faces. Aged faces. Determined faces. Sad faces. Smiling faces. Gentle faces. Scarred faces. Anguished faces. Hopeful faces. Faces, faces, faces…so many faces.

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