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Showing posts from June, 2008

Room to grow

One of the things that seems hardest to accept about our faith is that we can do nothing to earn it or achieve it on our own. In a world that focuses on success and accomplishment, it seems difficult to understand that one of our greatest attributes, faith, is purely a gift and we can't do anything about it.

In relationship to this theological idea, I've been considering the images of the vine and the branches (John 15:5) and the potter and the clay (Isaiah 64:8).

Branches do not grow on their own; they are fed from the main vine and they grow reaching out to other branches and into the larger world. We understand God to be the giver of all gifts- feeding us from the Word and at the table (the Lord's Supper). The Spirit intercedes in our prayers and is our advocate in all places. God, our Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer is the vine that gives us life and sends us spiraling out beyond our roots to new places where we can flourish. No more can we do this on our own, with…

Exercise your prayer muscle

I've recently begun to make more of an effort to get into shape. This has meant going to the gym every day. I have to make myself go every day so that it will become a habit for me.

When I don't go to the gym, it's not really that I don't want to work out because it's uncomfortable or I don't like exercise. It's really because I get bored and get distracted. I have an extremely long attention span, but staying on the treadmill for 30 minutes requires concentration on something in which I'm not that interested.

As I walking and running today, I was thinking about prayer and how many people talk about their difficulty in praying consistently. I think prayer is an exercise. It's an exercise of our spiritual muscle, our faith muscles. If you haven't been doing it for a while, it's hard. Yet we all (well, most of us) want to be like those prayer warriors we know- the spiritual equivalent of marathon runners.

The thing is, you have to sta…

Sing On (Sermon 6/1/2008)

Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28; Romans 1:16-17, 3:22b-28; Matthew 7:21-29


My life flows on in endless song; above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation
No storm can shake my in-most calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

This song has been endlessly flowing through my head this week and I’ve had a somewhat difficult time figuring out why. It’s my “stress” hymn: the song I sing when I feel under a great deal of pressure. I sang it every day when my husband was in Iraq. I sang it when the septic tank overflowed and I was mopping the floor. And I guess I am little stressed now about leaving you and wondering what comes after my time at Gloria Dei.

But what could be stressful about the Bible passages we heard today? Our texts seem to be focused on teaching your children about faith, understanding the meaning of the gospel and realizing there are distractions and detracto…