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Waiting Well

“Godspeed!” we wish each other. And that is a good, old-fashioned blessing to give. Of course, we need to remember that God’s speed is often slow, and may include delays, and problems. Sometimes God’s speed involves no speed at all: it means waiting. Most of us do not like waiting: waiting on the phone, waiting for our computer to download something, waiting in traffic, waiting in doctors’ offices, waiting for supposedly “fast” food. We want what we want to happen fast.  Then there are things that are just hard to wait for: ...

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Managing Feelings

Joy, contentment, hilarity, peace…  We don’t need help managing those. We should just enjoy them as God’s gifts. The only time we should be careful about expressing positive feelings is if doing so might cause someone else pain.  For example, a young couple has just learned they are pregnant and ecstatically share their news with everyone—except another couple they know who has been trying to have a baby for years. With that couple they share their news—they’ll have to eventually—but they do so more quietly, sensitive to the...

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Truth Corona Virus Tells

Corona Virus reminds us of a rock-hard reality we had forgotten:  we are dust. In this pandemic we are surrounded by risk. We do our best to avoid catching the virus, but it’s difficult, perhaps impossible. There are no guarantees. Even if we stay home we don’t feel completely safe—and shouldn’t. We are vulnerable to tiny invisible germs that could be on the gas pump handle, the milk carton, the family member who looks healthy and doesn’t know they have the virus—and are passing it on. We feel insecure. We cannot make plans. We...

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Dying Well

Dying well is not easy to do, but Jesus provided us with a perfect example of how to do it in His seven sayings on the cross. Trust Him to give us an example of how to do something hard as well as essential. 1.The first saying that is recorded on the cross is when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) If we haven’t already done so, it is important to forgive before we die, or as we die. It is important for us to do for ourselves: to clear the decks, have no bitterness, resentment, or...

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Unexpected Assignments

Unexpected Assignments We want God to give us assignments. After all, we are here on earth to be of service in His Kingdom—although we also know God does not need anything— least of all from us. Still, He has prepared in advance good works for us to do, so we seek and await His assignments. Often they are somewhat in line with what we expect: train for a particular service, be active in an honorable profession, share the Good News, teach and preach, help people in need, disciple, go somewhere… But then, God also gives us assignments...

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Why Walk on Water?

Why Walk on Water? If Jesus’ miracles all point to a significant theological truth, as theologians insist they do, then what was the point of Jesus walking on water? A spectacular miracle for sure, but only the disciples saw it. It was not for the general public. Imagine the uproar there would have been if Jesus had walked on water in broad daylight in front of crowds! But no, it was a private miracle, and a somewhat weird one… Why walk on water? What was the point? Especially since there are some potentially troubling aspects of the...

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A Prayer for Waking

A Prayer for Waking Most of us awaken each morning with a gradual realization of where we are, what day it is, and then a flood of remembering what we are supposed to do that day. Then we are off and running (in our head at least) with our agenda and what drives us. There is a better way to start the day, graciously given us by our Lord in Psalm 143, verses 8 through 10. It is a prayer for waking, for orienting our thoughts and our lives in a correct and coherent way, that hopefully can stick with us throughout the coming day. Here is...

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Enemies at the Table

Enemies at Dinner Yup! Our enemies are right there at our dining table, according to Psalm 23. And apparently the Good Shepherd does not make them go away. This truth has been there amongst the gold mine of metaphors in “The Shepherds Psalm,” but I had not really absorbed it until recently. The part of the psalm I’m referring to reads like this: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,...

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