Advent: How I’m Preparing to Prepare

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This might seem redundant, but it’s time to prepare for Advent. Of course, Advent is a time of preparing to receive Christ, so this is a case of preparing to prepare. This year I’m using three folks from the Bible as my guides: Mary, Simeon, and Anna. We often celebrate Mary for her willingness to say yes to God (Luke …

Jesus' Apocalyptic Talk: An Invitation to Hope and Pay Attention

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Apocalypse and Hope. Do they seem like opposites? I have always thought of them that way—in opposition to each other. It turns out … I’ve been wrong. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus describes a time when everything will change. The temple, the center of religious life and a place described as “the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1), …

what really counts

The Real Reason the Widow’s Mite Was Worth More

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“Sitting across from the offering box, Jesus was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, ‘The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than …

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God Seeks to Serve

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There is a lot about God that I don’t understand. And, yes, that is a huge understatement! But even the little I think I understand about God leaves me feeling amazed. First, there’s the fact that the Almighty, Loving, Holy, and Righteous Creator chooses to be known. The idea of an imperfect human like me being loved, and in relationship …

Can Storms Activate Hope?

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<<As this blog post goes live, Hurricane Michael is nearing landfall not far from my home.>> A couple of weeks ago I changed the background on my phone. As Hurricane Michael invades my part of the world, it feels especially apropos. I changed it to an image of a Jack Pine forest. I’m certainly not an arborist or horticulturist or even …