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Growing Up at Salem

This June is my 12-year anniversary of becoming Salem’s worship and music director. This Sunday, my oldest child will be honored as one of Salem’s promising seniors graduating high school. Casey was in first grade when Salem became our church family.

When you come on Sunday, you will see many memories of this fantastic class of 2022 as they grew up at Salem. Together they have learned,…

Have Faith

We have just celebrated Easter. The Resurrection of Christ. We have spent time with families and friends and attended beautiful church services. However, I still find myself grieving for the sadness in the world right now. Sometimes I feel guilty for being happy and thankful for things in my life. This Bible verse comes to mind when I feel this way:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,…

The Connection Between Easter and Passover

This year, the Jewish holiday of Passover begins at sundown on Good Friday. This is the fourth time this century they have been on the same date, the others being 2012, 2015, and 2018. It won’t happen again until 2029.

Passover commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. But Passover and Easter don't always coincide. Last year Passover was in March, and Easter…

Poor, Just, Savior

This is the beginning of Holy Week, a week of celebration. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, "Behold thy king cometh." (Matthew 21:1–11) "He says with the words, behold, or take notice, he wakes us up from our sleep and unbelief, in that he would announce something great, unusual, remarkable, which had long been desired, and which should be received with joy." (Luther's notes on the Bible)

Healer of Our Every Ill

Lately, I have struggled to make sense of the news of war, displaced refugees, and the sheer magnitude of the world’s brokenness. If we are not careful, despair and hopelessness can quickly envelop us like a quagmire from which we cannot free ourselves. When this happens, I find it helpful to give to God what is simply too difficult for me to bear. The same is true when a dreaded diagnosis or…

The Forgiving Father

I was recently surprised to hear our scripture for this week, the beloved story of the prodigal son, described instead as the story of the forgiving father. How would you describe it? The story of the spoiled kid who wasted his inheritance? His father who continued to spoil him when he returned? His loyal brother who was taken for granted? We tend to err on the side of judgment: how we feel about…

Spring Thoughts

Spring is only a few days away. It is a time of awakening and renewal, a time of organizing and cleaning out our lives. Everyone does some type of spring cleaning. We open our windows when it is warm enough and let in the fresh air. We also can do this with our spiritual lives, a cleansing of our souls. We clean out the cobwebs and bring in fresh perspective and light. Spring also gives us hope…

Spiritual Practices Primer

After the Lenten service last Wednesday evening, Pastor Jon handed me four pages, front and back, that I have read a few times now as I decide what direction I need to go for my personal growth during this Lenten season. The importance of me taking the different suggestions, creating a plan of action, then carrying them out to the best of my ability is exponential. My hope is that this helps me…

Temptations

It’s March and 70 degrees out. Wow! And the start of the Lenten season. Each year my family lets my mom know what we are going to give up for Lent. Some drop off, and maybe some of the grandchildren will get involved. And when Easter Sunday is here we talk about it as a family.

My mother knows we will all get tempted at one point or another, but does this for us to think about what we…

I Miss Church

My family has not been to church in almost two years. It is not because we don’t believe in God, or had a falling out with leadership, or that we don’t like our church anymore, but because of COVID.

Before COVID, we were not casual churchgoers. We attended every week, unless someone was sick or the weather forced us to stay home. My daughter was baptized there, and my kids attended the…

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