Signs of Kindness

…add to your goodness, knowledge; to your knowledge, add self-control;to your self-control, add endurance; to your endurance, add godliness; toyour godliness, add kindness and to your kindness add love…”2 peter 1:5Kindness is a gift that means a lot to people. When someone does a kind thing for us, we usually feel touched and grateful. Yet signs of kindness are often small acts of thoughtfulness rather than major sacrifices or long-term commitments. People who develop the gift of kindness in their lives find that…

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In it for the Long Game

Like several congregations in our cluster, my congregation of Immanuel Lutheran is about to start the process of calling a new pastor. I serve on the Mission and Life Committee which has the task of creating a current picture of our congregation as well as a vision of who we might become—who God is calling us to be. Pastor Paul Olsen, our interim pastor, shared this quote at our first meeting:  “Rediscovering our reason for being never ends. It’s always bigger than we…

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The Fruits of Pentecost

…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, self-control…Galatians 5:22-23Today we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus as they huddled together in the Upper Room. Jesus had ascended to the Father and the promised Advocate came to the disciples through wind and tongues of fire, landing on each one individually (today’s first reading—Acts 2:1-21). It must have been quite a scene! The mystery and marvels continued with those receiving the Holy…

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Oboe Lessons

Nearly five years ago, I started oboe lessons. This was something I wanted to do since I was in elementary school. When the time came in fifth grade to start learning a band or orchestral instrument, I really wanted to play something with flashy, silver keys and that had a cool instrument case. Instead, I was given my father’s violin. Needless to say, with such a lack of enthusiasm, my violin playing days were limited. As I got older and looked toward retirement,…

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Lessons From My Cat

Back in April I adopted a cat. At the beginning of our time together she was very shy, and who could blame her. Who wouldn’t be a bit timid when you have had your surrounding change multiple times within the span of a month or two? At the beginning of our journey Tigress taught me that mutuality and a ministry of presence are not only important parts of my diaconal formation and ministry, but are also an important part of adopting a pet…

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When Hope Seems Fragile

In this long season after Pentecost, also called Ordinary Time, the New Testament lessons have been working their way through the book of Romans. About a month ago (July 19th) the reading was from the first part of chapter 8 ending with verses 24-25 “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” I was…

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What’s the Story Here?

I miss church. If being a part of a Christian community of faith has been a part of your life before this pandemic, you probably are missing church too. Oh, we have our online worship, Zoom groups and meetings, phone calls, and texting as ways of trying to find some semblance of the togetherness we experienced when we could gather every week. Some of us have even met with a few friends and members every now and then while trying to be safe…

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Our New Vocabulary

Words that we did not use just a little while ago are now common in our conversations. Pandemic is now a part of our daily lives. Some other new words are: Covid-19, Corona Virus, Shelter in Place, and Flatten the Curve. We’ve come to use these words frequently, whether we want to or not. We are growing in our understanding of this new vocabulary, as we grow into our understanding of how all of these words and phrases affect our daily routines. Using…

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By Our Love

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." (1 Cor. 13:12-13). One could make a pretty good argument right now that hope is the greatest, but I know that love has been the strongest guidepost and will remain so for me…

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