Loved- this is me!

“Be not afraid”- we hear these words many times in the Bible. Spoken by God or an angel to a person when God is made known and is present or an angel appears. The first response to the light of God, the presence of God is often fear. This summer in Houston at the 2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering our Y3 youth group got to be part of the mass cast that did a dance routine to the song above from “The Greatest Showman”. Not knowing at first what we were supposed to do some of us were afraid. We were coached to sing out, to be present, to let our lights shine. We got to practice- a lot. It was set up sort of like a flash mob with an element of surprise. The whole crowd sang along. It was a p

We can do hard things

The song by Carrie Newcomer “You Can Do This Hard Thing” has been a go to song for me when things are hard. Perhaps I am feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, afraid, stuck, worn out… and life seems so unmanageable. I was reminded of this song when I read our verses in John 6 and the response of the disciples. On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” John 6:60 School has started for just about everyone, fall is in the air and summer is coming to a close. Lots of change and transition and hard things. Some of us are sending young adults off to college or young ones to preschool or kindergarten. Some of us are struggling to find employment and provide

Connecting

"Joined together"- connected. Being connected to one another is on my mind as we get ready to launch our member software REALM Connect which will allow us to be better connected. In Ephesians 4 as Paul is writing to the early church about growing up, about the connections we have to one another, the way that faith is built up in community. Paul uses the metaphor of the body. I think about how when youth did the ropes course- that's what the photo is- they had to be in it together- connected to chart the course. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with

Leave what's heavy behind

Reading A Song to Sing, A Life to Live:Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice by Don Saliers and Emily Saliers helped put into words what I often experience- a deep connection with God, my inner self and life though music. Last year I was introduced to the music of Birdtalker whose song "Heavy" is in the video above. Often I will play music while cooking or when I write in the morning. I am heading up to the mountains for two days and had forgotten to get this blog post written. Instead of panicking I played music. As I sat and reflected upon what to write the dots connected. "Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" -Matthew 11:28 Here

Manna living

Daily. Daily bread. “Give us this day our daily bread”. One day at a time. I remember reading that if parents daily pray the Lord’s prayer with their child- by age 3 the child often have it written on their hearts, they will have memorized it. A bright spot earlier this year was a home visit where one of our little ones age 3 was so excited for me to hear her pray the Lord’s prayer. We hear this weekend the story of the Israelites receiving their daily bread- manna from heaven. Manna got connected to trusting God and it was written on their hearts. For over a decade I have used the expression “manna living” to be reminded that God provides. God is faithful. The spiritual journey to depend

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