From Our Pastor – Lent Day 6

Image result for psalm 77:14 nrsvHas his steadfast love ceased forever?
    Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious? – Psalms 77:8-9

It is completely normal to doubt and question God. It is common to wonder if God is still around. In the moment of despair, it seems like God has stopped acting. Where is God’s love? Has God forgotten us?

What the psalmist does to be able to continue declaring God’s goodness is to remember. He recalls the stories of how God has delivered us in the past. Specifically he uses images of water and the exodus. Continue reading From Our Pastor – Lent Day 6

From Our Pastor – Lent Day 5

Image result for luther's rose lego

Today’s daily bible reading is from Job. It’s a response from his friend Eliphaz the Temanite. Since today is the first day of my vacation though, I’m not up to brushing up on the backgrounds of each of Job’s “friends.” The story of Job is one of my husband’s favorites. He likes it because it’s so outlandish and makes no sense. But then again, God’s pretty confusing. My daughter Grace agrees. As she points out, how can God be nailed on the cross and die and then rise from the dead again? Continue reading From Our Pastor – Lent Day 5

From Our Pastor – Lent Day 4

Image result for silenceWhile I kept silence,

my body wasted away

through my groaning

all day long.

– Psalm 32:3

Silence. I’m a big fan of silence. It conjures up feelings of peacefulness and rest. It centers me. There’s a power I experience especially in being silent with a group of people. I can and do encounter God in a different way in the silence. I’ve learned to appreciate silence in a faith-rooted, counter-cultural way.

Continue reading From Our Pastor – Lent Day 4

From Our Pastor – Lent Day 3

We do not present our supplication before you on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of your great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! – Daniel 9:18-19

Daniel has just made confession to God for the ways God’s people have behaved. It’s not simply a personal confession of wrongdoings, but a prayer Daniel makes on behalf of a collective – God’s people. They have turned away from the one who chose them, delivered them, saved them. What makes him even think he can turn to God? The prayer Daniel offers is only possible because he knows God is merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Continue reading From Our Pastor – Lent Day 3

From Our Pastor – Lent Day 2

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Self-deception is a tricky thing. I place a high value on honest self-reflection. But it’s so easy to deceive myself. There are areas of my life where I know I’m not being honest with myself. I don’t want to think too highly of myself, but that can get over corrected in a way that makes it difficult to see the good things. I tie my self worth too closely with thing I can’t control. The conversation in my head goes around in circles and can leave me paralyzed. I do not want to deceive myself – but how do I know the truth? Continue reading From Our Pastor – Lent Day 2

From Our Pastor – Ash Wednesday

The Bible Buddy tag in this picture is from Vacation Bible School this past summer. There is one for each day and on the other side is a picture of the character of the day. My first grade daughter was excited to bring these to school for her day with the Share Bag. She chose this verse as her favorite. Once I realized that Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day this year, I could not get this verse out of my head. Continue reading From Our Pastor – Ash Wednesday

From Our Pastor – December 2017

~ From Our Pastor ~

The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they can never earn; There are tables spread, every mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn My heart shall sing of the day you bring, Let the fires of your justice burn Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn
ELW #723 Canticle of the Turning

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

This Advent you may notice a theme of hunger peeking out of various corners of our life together. The adult discipleship group that meets on Sunday mornings will be using an Advent devotional prepared by the ELCA World Hunger. Our Wednesday evening prayer services will use readings that draw our attention to hunger as we gather for meditative Taizé-style services. Themes of waiting and preparation in our readings on Sundays connect us to a spiritual hunger. Stories in the news of silenced acts of violence are generating a hunger for more to speak their truths. Continue reading From Our Pastor – December 2017