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    What Anchored the Puritans in Hard Times

    As we finish out 2020, what should our response be to the circumstances we find ourselves in? Some of the circumstances are hard while others are pleasant. Whether we are in hard circumstances due to our choices, someone else’s choices, or results of a fallen people or creation, we can rest assured that God is sovereign over them all. No amount of whining, complaining, arguing, finger pointing, demanding, or sulking will bring us the joy or peace (well-being of soul) that we long for. The Puritans that helped found our country can give us some insights on how to respond to hard times.[1] The Puritans had a strong moral consciousness,…

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    You’re Okay

    The toddler in this YouTube sweetly passes on what others have said to her. For generations, mothers have often tried to soothe their fraught children with three simple words, “You’re okay.” As a child wails and reels from known and unknown causes, a mother will try to calm and reassure her child with, “You’re okay, you’re okay.” My mother probably said it to me, I said it to my children, and I watch them say it to their children. And their children will probably say it to their children. Mothers know more than their children, they know that things will be okay, things are not as bad as they seem,…

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    What Could Responses to Mask Wearing Tell Us About Ourselves?

    Masks[1] were used in the 1600’s plague by doctors[2]and in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic by the public.[3] Meriam-Webster defines a mask as-a protective covering for the face; a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infectious material. Masks have been around for a long time. With COVID-19, the wearing of masks has resurfaced and has become a divisive topic among church goers. Both sides seem passionate about their choice. I have been a Christian for about 40 years and I have not witnessed a division like this before. Admittedly, school choices, hymn versus choruses, and vaccinations have caused some divisions. These topics might have been as divisive, but with time…

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    Freedom to Do What?

    Another celebration of our country’s freedoms will occur in just a few days.[1] The focus is generally on friends, food, and fireworks. Our country’s freedoms somehow seem to get lost in the celebrations each year. This is a sad reality, but an even sadder reality occurs in our everyday life concerning freedoms. I tend to forget these freedoms and spent some time recently reminding myself of them. These freedoms seem to come on the flip side of some things I am naturally bound to do. With the occurrence of COVID-19, I am more aware of my seemingly loss of personal freedoms during 2020. I am naturally bound to want to…

  • Spaghetti Harvest 1957
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    April Fool’s Day

    April 1st is commonly known in the United States as April Fool’s Day and is a day of practical jokes. The joke player typically reveals his or her joke by saying “April Fools!”[1] Pranks are played on peers, family, co-workers, and the public (for instance the Spaghetti Harvest in Switzerland[2]).[3] Pranks can involve an errand for an absurd item like a left handed screw driver, snipes, snarks, or frog whiskers.[4] Nancy McEntire, a folklorist, observes that the victim needs to be laughing, too, for the prank to have worked.[5] Other countries celebrate this day with jokes and pranks as well such as France where a paper fish may be taped…

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    Disciples Admit Their Sin

    Thailand is known for overloading its vehicles.[1] An overloaded vehicle cannot function properly and is dangerous to the driver and others. Likewise, unconfessed sin overloads us with unnecessary burdens so we do not function as God intended us to function. Confession unloads us.[2]   “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate…

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    A Christian Perspective on Including Exercise in New Year’s Resolutions

    Exercise is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. Many people want to exercise more. But what are the benefits of exercise? How should a Christian view exercise? An article from the Mayo Clinic provided 7 benefits of regular exercise[1]: Controls weight Combats health conditions and diseases (anxiety, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancer, cognitive function, depression, Type 2 diabetes, falls, metabolic syndrome, and stroke) Improves mood (exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that can cause less anxiety, more relaxation, and happiness) Boosts energy (exercise delivers nutrients and oxygen to tissues and aids the cardiovascular system’s efficiency) Promotes better sleep Puts the spark back into your sex life Can be fun ……

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    Does Authenticity Take Preeminence Over Gracious Speech?

    Authenticity has been a buzz word for several years. As with a lot of words, authenticity means different things to different people. Being real is a simple definition of authenticity. I connect with the idea that we need to be authentic with God and ourselves inviting Him to search our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24). Sins revealed should be confessed and forgiveness asked for followed by a dependence on Him for cleansing and empowering to walk in His ways. On a human level, authenticity should happen in the context of relationships that have built trust and respect. I personally have grappled with what authenticity looks like on the human level and specifically…

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    Soul Care at the End of Life

    We are embodied souls. Our souls live in a body that touches, tastes, sees, hears, feels, and thinks. Our soul and our flesh are not separate entities. They are intertwined. When someone is at the end of life, we take care of the physical body; however, the soul needs care as well.   Several ways to care for someone’s soul at the end of life exist. Each individual will have particular ways that care needs to be administered; however, some general ways occur. General ways to be considered include ministry of presence, art of listening, skills of coping, and maintenance of relationships. The ministry of presence is a gift to…

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    Ending Well

    Several years ago, I had a neighbor whose father died and soon afterwards her dog died. When the father died, I never acknowledged his death in anyway to my neighbor. However, when the dog died, I expressed my condolences to her. At the time, I thought it was odd that I did not acknowledge the father’s death, but did the dog’s death. I remember thinking, “I put more emphasis on the dog dying than I did the father dying which seems odd.” Part of this misplaced value was my inability to know how to interact with the death of a human.  Death is an integral part of life. We all…