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Staff Trax

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Another year is coming to an end, and there is so much to be grateful for. Most of the year in my Staff Trax I speak of giving gratitude, being in prayer, giving thanks daily, and helping others around you.

With the positive energy that you develop when giving gratitude and staying positive throughout your day, you will have fewer days that are not so gloomy. People who focus on the positive…

Countdown to Christmas

We are right in the middle of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is upon us, and the countdown is on to Christmas and the end of the year.

For some, the Christmas season may have started a month ago. As the Halloween decorations went down and the candy was packed away, the Christmas trees and lights went up.

You may have been listening to Christmas music since early November. Others…

Talents Are for Connecting

I’ve been a worship director since August 1997. I served almost 12 years in a Methodist church in Overland Park, then went back to my Presbyterian home church in Leavenworth for a few years, and now I am in year 14 at Salem. If you look at my job description, you’ll see things like planning worship, coordinating musicians and volunteers, directing choirs, and selecting hymns and praise songs.…


Emery Nester tells a story about a lost hiker stranded in the wilderness. Hopelessly lost, the hiker worried about finding a way out of the dense forest, until, by chance, the hiker encountered another wilderness wanderer. “I am lost,” said the hiker. “Will you please show me the way out of the wilderness?” “No,” replied the stranger, “I cannot show you the way out of the wilderness,…

Football Lessons

The weather has cooled significantly, and the leaves have changed. We are also in the middle of football season. I know that not all of us are interested in football, and that is just fine. We all have different interests in life. I just happen to be very focused on football. I have learned the game, which has helped, and I really enjoy watching it. However, I also feel guilty about the time and…

Why Do We Celebrate Reformation Sunday?

Every year on Oct. 31 (or on the Sunday closest to that date), we commemorate the day Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, October 31, 1517. Luther chose that date, the evening before All-Hallows Day (also known as All Saints Day), because he knew the church would be packed full of worshipers the following day and they would see it on the door when…

Treasure Every Moment

Treasure every moment that you have, and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. Remember that time waits for no one.

Enjoy life; don’t worry about the future. There is no better time than right now to be happy, and happiness is a journey, not a destination.

There is so much uncertainty in life, so much that is beyond…

Food is Love

There are a LOT of scriptures about banquets, feasts, and food in general. Sometimes they’re just about having a place at the table in fellowship with others. Sometimes they suggest we should eat with people that the world says aren’t worthy, but God says they are. “Jesus is the Bread of Life” talks about how His peace fills you, so you’ll never be hungry or thirsty again.


Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible lifts up the orphan, the widow, the foreigner, the poor, the prisoner, the grieving, and the sick? Jesus is with them, and he invites his followers to join him in caring for the least, the last, and the lost.

Although we may like to passively observe the biblical narrative unfold, it goes without saying that discipleship is not a spectator sport.…

Why Faith?

Why is faith so important in our lives as Christians? Faith allows us to believe in something that we cannot see, feel, or touch. Matters of God require us to believe and rest on the Word of God.

In the Old Testament, God would reveal Himself to His people in amazing ways. People would have faith in God, but some would go back to worshipping idols.

In the New Testament, Jesus walked…

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