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Staff Trax

What’s Your Plan?

The end of another school year and the approach of summer raise the question, “What’s your plan?”

For many of us, summer is an opportunity to travel, to reconnect with family and friends, and to renew our weary bodies, minds, and spirits before the season escapes us.

Recently, while reading Ken Blanchard’s book, One Solitary Life, I found myself challenged…

Justice Matters

Have you ever had someone say, “Justice is too political, it has no place in church?” Sadly, political pundits and sensationalized reporting have created confusion regarding what the Bible says about justice.

The biblical witness is clear, God is “a God of justice” (Isaiah 30:18). And living in right relationship with God and with one another, proclaim the prophets, impels believers…

Hearts on Fire

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10)

Lent is HEART work. A 40-day time of honest vulnerability when we are called once again to bare our broken hearts before God, trusting in God’s healing and renewing…

What Is God up To?

One day a pilot returned his plane to the mechanic’s shop with the complaint, “Unfamiliar noise.” Remarkably, the plane was back in service the very next day. The pilot, eager to find out what caused the problem, checked the logbook to see what the mechanic had discovered. The entry noted, “Ran engine continuously for four hours. Noise is now familiar.”

The story raises…

Partners in God’s Promise

One of my favorite Christian authors, Kathleen Norris, writes that sacrament of holy baptism “occurs once, but its consequences unfold over a lifetime.”

The insight reminds me of a story about a rabbi who asked his disciples, “What is the greatest sin of all?” As you might imagine, the question provoked a heated debate among the rabbi’s disciples. One group was sure the sin was…

Hurry Up and Wait?

Advent can be a frustrating time for those of us who do not like to wait. After all, we have things to do, people to see, and places to go during the holidays. In addition, we have been culturally conditioned to expect instant gratification. Microwaves, fast-food options, drive-through lanes, self-checkouts, and smart phones all feed our need for speed. We can even pay extra at amusement parks and…

Everyday Saints

On Sunday, Nov. 6, we will once again gather to celebrate All Saints Day. During the worship service we will call out by name Salem’s mission partners who have died during the year and give thanks to God for the newly baptized.

On All Saints Day we hold in our hearts all those who have gone before us: grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, children, relatives, and friends. It is…

Making Meaning with Jesus

Christianity continues to struggle with a spiritual identity crisis. Recently, the Pew Research Center reported that the number of Christians in the United States is expected to decrease to between 35% and 54% of the population by 2070. At the same time, people who identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” could rise to somewhere between 34% and 52% of the population.


A Season of New Beginnings

The end of August reminds me of the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Though not yet autumn, the carefree days of summer are now behind us. Nature speaks this truth in manifold ways. The days are growing shorter, trees and shrubs are revealing hints of impending change, and the squirrels are quickening…

Follow Me

Have you ever noticed how some of the most powerful passages of scripture get right to the point?

“And Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13)

“Love one another.” (John 13:34)

“Come, follow me.” (Matthew 4:19)


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