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Staff Trax

Taking Faith Home

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
Mark 8:35 (NRSV)

In the interims I have served I have used the resource “Taking Faith Home” from Milestone Ministries. After we used the Advent and Christmas cards and they were well-received, I thought this might be a helpful…

Should We Call This the Lent of 2020?

I hope all of you are safe and staying warm and healthy. Lent already? Some days (in fact, most days) I feel like 2020 was the year of giving up something — no weddings, birthdays, hospital visits, school, funerals, and, for the most part, one’s job — hoping it will get better each month, will I have a job, will my family be okay, or am I even going to be able to see my family. I struggled…

Living a Generous Life

Twenty years ago, Paul and I lived in Fargo, ND. Twenty years ago, widespread mobile phone usage did not exist.

I took the call at work. Our neighbor Wallace was watching the farm while my parents were out of state on a much-deserved vacation. My dad's steers had broken the fence and had gotten out. Wallace had not been able to locate the cattle. I flew into action. I told my boss I was…

Road Trip

Do you remember your first day in driver’s ed? Someone in my class came with advice from their mom that to stay in the center of the lane, keep the hood ornament lined up with the stripe on the right side of the road. (There was a bit more space between the driver and the front end of the car back then). I remember quite clearly the lecture that followed about looking down the road when driving,…

My Gospel Playlist

Hello, Salem! I have served as your organist for a year and a half now, and I must confess it has been a learning curve with all the liturgy and new hymns that I have had the pleasure of learning. In consideration of that process, I have grown to love and appreciate liturgy, and the liturgical worship style.

As I thought about what I could write for this year, I wanted to share with you…

Trust in the Lord

The readings this week (for Sunday, Jan. 24) all have one thing in common — trusting in God, even if His intentions are not clear at the time. This can be hard, especially when times are tough. Just be still in the fact that God has His hand on everything, and even though you might not see His plan, you need to trust in Him.

The Old Testament reading is from Jonah. God told Jonah to go…

Making Connections

I have always been a bit obsessed about connecting with people. As an Army kid in the '70s and '80s, that meant writing letters when I moved away from my friends. When I went to college in 1989, I wrote to 16 pen pals every week, including my parents and grandparents. I still send 200 Christmas cards every year, and leave my walls plastered with the photo cards of friends until at least March.

Wisdom Comes to Our Minds and Hearts

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
Matthew 2:10

As I sit down to write this Staff Trax, it is January 6, 2021, the Epiphany of Our Lord. I know that some of you use the devotional book “The Word in Season.” Today’s devotion focuses on wisdom. When you hear the word wisdom, what comes into your mind and heart? When I…

What a Year It Has Been

Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

What a year it has been — 2020 has solidified itself as a year of events. Some years pass by with ease, while others seem to have us count down to the end of the year.

This psalm has been on my mind every single time bad news or good news has unveiled itself…

Christmas 2020

'Tis the season for families getting together exchanging gifts, reflecting on the year, and spending time with each other listening to old Christmas songs. That’s what I remember. Oh, those were the days. It was just a year ago, I was in Omaha spending Christmas week with my mom and dad. We talked about us kids growing up and coming downstairs at the break of dawn with excitement of what gifts…

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