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We have been hearing a lot in the news this past week about a new federal tax plan.  Proponents of it think it will be good for our country and the economy.  But every time some new tax codes are floated out there, everyone starts asking: “Who will get a tax break?”  “Whose taxes will increase?”  I’m not sure I really understand all the numbers and all the issues involved.  But I do know that I don’t particularly LIKE paying taxes.  I’m guessing no one really does. Continue Reading »

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I’m tired of hearing about violence in our world.

 

This past week we broke another record.  The biggest mass shooting in American history.  I’m weary of it.  So are you.  It makes no sense.  Once again we have to process this and parents have to try to figure out how to talk to their kids about it.  And all of us are left with a lingering feeling of unease and disappointment that it has happened again. Continue Reading »

In order to understand the amazing life-changing moment of grace in this parable we must begin with some math.  Here’s the parable in a nutshell:  One man owed a large debt to a king – 10,000 talents – a debt that was cancelled and forgiven.  That same man refused to forgive the much smaller debt – 100 denari — of his neighbor.  I’m assuming most of us aren’t too familiar with the exchange rates of talents and denari to US dollars, but doing the math helps us understand Jesus’ story more fully.

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“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

 

Today we kick off another year of ministry here at church.  It’s energizing for me – for all of us!  I love it when the regular, familiar routine of Sunday School and Bible study and Wednesday nights and choir and Grace Groups all get started again.

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hand-over-the-keys

We spent some time in our Board of Directors’ meeting recently discussing the church key policy.  In other words, answering questions like:

“Who can have a key to the church?”

“Who needs to have a key?”

“Who should give his or her key to the new person elected to that position” and so forth.

Admittedly, it’s not really a very compelling agenda item, but it is important to know who’s got the keys.  We would be irresponsible if we just gave a key to anyone!

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There’s a big difference between good advice and good news.

 

One is a suggestion for you to do something.  The other is an announcement of something already done. Continue Reading »

Someone captured my attention in Wittenberg.

 

Most of you know that a group of us from Grace of God attended the Luther500 festival in Wittenberg, Germany.  The festival celebrates the event 500 years ago when Martin Luther ignited a Reformation movement by posting 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.  So we got our FILL of Luther while we were there!  So many excellent and informative exhibits on this fascinating man who changed the course of history and is the namesake of our theological tradition! Continue Reading »

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