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40 Days of Mess Photo Challenge

Lent is an interesting season. I remember as a child, Lent meant my friends who were Roman Catholic had to eat fish on Friday. It also meant fish was on the menu every Friday in the cafeteria which was rather disappointing because Friday was the day I was allowed to buy lunch and fish was not my lunch food of choice. I also remember Lent as a time that I gave up my “favorite thing” which for me was black licorices—yes, that was and still is my favorite candy. Sacrifice ... Read More »

Messy on the Moguls

There is just something majestic about the view from the chairlift, mountains of rolling powder speckled with evergreens and interstitial aspens. The sky rising above them is an impossible blue, and the bright orb of sun insists you avert your eyes until green branches deflect the intensity and invite a moment of marvel. White sparkles dance as the wind whispers in a solo performance just for you. It makes you want to sing! My revelry is periodically interrupted by the swooshing and scraping of skiers below as a montage of ... Read More »

We Were Made to Thrive

I am trying something new this year. I selected a theme word for the year. The idea to do this came as a suggestion from a friend. He read a book, One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, and found the experience of selecting one word for a year quite fulfilling. So, for 2015 I have chosen the word, thrive. The dictionary definition for thrive is, “to prosper or flourish.” When I imagine flourishing, I imagine being in the ultimate sweet spot where I am doing exactly ... Read More »

Super Bowl Hope

I am not very excited to watch the Super Bowl this year. It’s not that I am not interested in seeing the two best teams in the league duke it out in front of the entire world, I am just not a fan of the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots. That being said, I will still watch it. My wife, by the way, loves the Seattle Seahawks’ uniforms. Who knew navy blue and neon green went so well together? The only Super Bowl that ever really mattered to ... Read More »

The Power of the Positive

Our “Real Happy” sermon series has been focusing on Paul and the example he provided in terms of learning to be content regardless of one’s circumstances.  Paul’s letters to the Philippians were written while he was imprisoned. It is hard to imagine Paul being content while in prison, yet his contentment in Christ is clear as you read the following passage from Philippians 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about ... Read More »

What is Your Dawn Wall?

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are two names I’ll bet most of us had never heard of prior to this January. Some of you still have no idea who I am talking about. Caldwell and Jorgeson accomplished the incredible feat of free climbing El Capitan’s Dawn Wall, in Yosemite National Park, on Jan. 13, 2015. That means that they climbed a 3,000-foot sheer rock wall using only their bare hands, some sticky soled shoes and the traditional safety gear. No one has ever done it before. Many have tried but ... Read More »

Sketching Angels That Are Bigger Than Life

Ah, the clean slate of a new year. Fresh off the Christmas holiday, we’re feeling good about ourselves. Time to activate on the New Year’s resolutions. Weight loss? Exercise? Quitting that bad habit? Nah, let’s not bother with the small stuff. Let’s go big. “Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) That ought to take care of it. If want the Kingdom life complete with all the amenities, all I have to do is follow Jesus. Such ... Read More »

Keeping Christmas

If we’re not careful, Christmas can feel like another item on our to do list. After all, depending on how you choose to celebrate it, there may be cards to buy, write and send; candy and cookies to make; meals to plan and cook; travel plans to carry out; and of course, presents to shop for and wrap! I didn’t even mention the parties you may attend or the tree or other decorations you may have to deal with. Put this way, Christmas does indeed sound like just another festive ... Read More »

Dealing with the Unplanned

Some of my darkest times have been when the future I mapped out for myself was not the future I was experiencing: struggling to conceive a child, dealing with a difficult diagnosis, or working through the challenges of aging parents. These were all times when I had a plan, a vision of how it was all going to work out and it wasn’t going my way.  I fought against the reality of what I was experiencing and the result was deep sadness and anger. Today I’m thinking about Mary. There ... Read More »

A Time of Waiting

I’m not always good at waiting. I mean, I spend a lot of time moving from one thing to another sometimes wishing that life would speed up. I think that I come by this honestly; I remember as a child that my grandmother was very bad at waiting too. She and my grandfather (we called them Maw-maw and Paw-paw) would always spend the night with us on Christmas Eve. We knew how this would go. We would stay up really late because we were excited and then sometime around 2 ... Read More »

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