‘I am the resurrection and the life.’

An unusually cold spring lingers on. Yesterday at the farmer’s market, I admired the flats of pansies and bunches of tulips, but couldn’t feel motivated to buy any to plant. Too. Cold. “I know,” commiserated the clerk. “I haven’t been able to plant anything either. It doesn’t feel like spring, or Easter, although I know it’s coming. Mind over matter,…

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Be Still

There are times when a phrase or verse of Scripture jumps out, and suddenly it shows up everywhere: in prayer guides, sermon notes or two Facebook pages in the same week. The verse “Be still, and know that I am God,” from Psalm 46:10 was such a phrase over the past two weeks. When that happens, clearly the only thing…

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Commit your Prayers for the long haul.

A walk in the snowy woods today wound by the frozen stream. This long cold snap has covered most of our creek in thick ice, now overlaid with a fresh blanket of snow. From the bank, it all looked silent and completely still. The only visible activity was to my left. There, a gap in the ice revealed the silent…

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Jesus is our hope and power

As I write, week three of a poison ivy rash is still visible on my arm. It’s not a bad case, but it itches and looks unpleasant. “How,” you may be wondering “did she get poison ivy? Did she wander into some by accident? Or just discover that she is allergic to it?” The answer is no, and no. I…

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Personalities

Personality tests fascinate me. Introvert or extrovert? Easygoing, ambitious, melancholy, or optimistic? What’s your birth order and how does it explain your life? This interest started at an early age: when we’d go over to friends and relatives on Sunday nights, everyone else played tag, volleyball, or jumped on the trampoline. I was the geek in the corner, curled up…

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Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world

To get to the joy of Easter, we have to walk through the rest of the week. Today is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, traditionally a day to remember the Last Supper and Jesus’s example of service through foot washing. Jesus spent most of his last free hours on earth celebrating Passover with his closest friends, giving them final instructions…

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Patience

For the last number of weeks, I’ve tried to write a column about patience, and it just wouldn’t come together. Revising, rewording, letting the thing rest for a few days…it still didn’t help. Try as I would, everything I wrote seemed smug or insensitive. I wanted to give up. I kept thinking about various friends I know who are struggling…

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Trust and rest in Jesus

The songs of Christmas have floated around us since late November. And, (putting on my curmudgeon’s hat) most of them drive me to distraction. However, this is not about the merits or otherwise of “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” or “Holly Jolly Christmas.” Instead, I want to look more closely at “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”, which has been…

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“Take courage! It is I.”

The tests kept coming. First a physical. “It feels like a cyst, but with your family history we’d better get an ultrasound to make sure.” Next an ultrasound given by a noncommittal technician. A biopsy followed, and one of the worst moments of my life: calling my mother with the news that it was positive. Then a diagnosis of stage…

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