Welcome and Grace

"Therefore welcome one another," Paul says, "as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God" (Romans 15:7). We have been welcomed into the kingdom of God by Jesus. No pretension is necessary with Jesus. He knows our sin and still welcomes us. As a matter of fact, it is through being vulnerable with Jesus... Continue Reading →


A Myth of Serving in a Church – You are in Control

My sinful framework for navigating my days is built on the assumption that if I have enough information and share enough information I will remain in control. Of course, plenty of days this worldview is shattered by the reality that I will never know enough and that knowing something doesn't mean I have the power... Continue Reading →

Waiting for the Lord

Isaiah 40:31 gives us the promise that those who wait for the Lord will find their strength renewed. Waiting can be an act of frustration and anxiousness. What does it mean to wait for the Lord? Am I waiting in a doctor's office looking around at the old magazines or getting worried about sitting on... Continue Reading →


The Great Cloud of Witnesses

All Saints’ Day is November 1, and our congregation observes this festival on that day or the next Sunday. At our observation of All Saints’ Day, we speak the names of those faithful departed from our family of faith. A verse of Scripture clothes our memory of them. We then toll the bell. This is... Continue Reading →


Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I want to express my appreciation for those pastors that have helped shape my own ministry. I start a ways back. I appreciate the solid foundation of faith and family upon which my great-grandfather Henry Gaertner raised his family. He was ordained at Zion Lutheran Church in New Orleans in... Continue Reading →


Mixed bag of Victory and Struggle

Thoughts from my readings in For All the Saints: A Prayer Book For and By the Church... Today I read Judges 8:22-35. Gideon received gold, a lot of gold. Every man placed his gold earrings onto a garment laid out before them, equalling 1700 shekels of gold. Also placed on this garment were other items taken... Continue Reading →


Do you find your identity, community, and purpose at your church?

Identity, community, and purpose are common to why people stay passionate and participate in organizations. I believe that a Christian congregation should be equipped to answer these three motivations. I want you to think with me about how successful your congregation does supporting in people and in families identity, community, and purpose. Hebrews chapter 10... Continue Reading →



What does revolution look like? Baptism. Forgiveness. Mealtime. I trust in the revolution that God works in my body and soul. I know the danger of my sin and shame. The power of darkness against me is real. It is so difficult to imagine the glory of God being revealed in the midst of my... Continue Reading →


Navigating through dark spaces

I listened, while running this morning, to Lawson Inada read his poem, "Concentration Constellation." I finished my run thinking about the moments of darkness in the lives of people that I have moved past. I know that the light of God shines and scatters the darkness, but do I notice how much the darkness of a... Continue Reading →


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