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With Patience Joy Will Come

It has been an interesting 2021. When will things get back to how they were and we can continue where we left off? Time always tells, and patience is what we will need from here on out.

The three readings for today all speak of what joys will come for those who followed Jesus — through the tough times, the sick, the weeping of sorrow, the blind, and many others.

We all have gone…

Our Top 5 Praise Songs

My kids LOVE to sing praise songs in the car. Often my minivan looks like a full-on revival is taking place, with someone belting out the chorus while another is clapping along. I am sure it is quite a sight to those next to us.

What I love about this time together in the car is two things — one, my kids are worshipping God and two, they are doing it out of a pure, natural…

One of You Is the Messiah

Recently I came across a fascinating story recounted by M. Scott Peck. At the center of the tale is a once-thriving monastery that over time has been reduced to a shell of its former glory. The abbot, concerned that the few remaining elderly monks could not sustain the ministry, went to the woods surrounding the monastery to pray.

Deep in the woods was a little hut that a rabbi from a nearby…

And a Child Shall Lead Them

This week we lift up this scripture from Mark 9:37: “Whomever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me … and the One who sent me.”

Our church works hard at being welcoming, especially by inviting our children and youth to lead. They have been encouraged since they were little to stay in the pews even when they’re noisy. They have sung in children’s choir, acted and…

How I Grow

Today I will be willing to work toward transforming, knowing it’s always ongoing and forever.

My own transformation probably … NO, not probably, it absolutely … happens when I have such soul pain that I become willing to review and receive my thoughts honestly. That honesty is the key to greater success
in making long-term changes that bring peace through creating…

Learning to Be Last

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:35-37)

No one wants…

God’s Work. Our Hands.

September 12, 2021. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

“God’s work. Our hands.” One can interpret that in so many ways, and for myself, when I first read the quote, I felt it means to help one another, which could be helping out at church, helping in the community,…

Rejoice

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24)

This was my grandmother’s favorite verse. She had it embroidered on a pillow she kept in a chair in her living room. Every time I would visit her, I…

Open Hands

Recently I discovered a powerful story while reading my daily devotional prayer book. The reflection highlighted the insight of a Roman Catholic missionary who spent 40 years serving with and among the people of Guatemala. During that time, the priest experienced many challenges, including death threats and financial struggles. Yet, through it all he remained happy, fulfilled, and generous in spirit.

You Have a Choice

Last Sunday we celebrated an amazing woman’s 97th birthday at the early service. Shirley Schrodt now lives in Independence, but always comes back to Salem to celebrate with her friends. She has touched so many of our lives, and we love the excuse to have flowers and treats for her special day! I wanted to share with you something amazing that happened behind the scenes that morning:

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