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Tag: prayer

Shine On, Lord

Shine On, Lord

“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:7 Rhamnus cathartica is the name of the enemy lurking around our house.  We have been engaged in an active campaign against it ever since we moved to Minnesota. The living room is our war room, from there we survey the battlefield and plan strategies for victory. The worst part of the battle is we have resigned ourselves to this conclusion, the only way…

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“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.” Mt. 14:23a The Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota is over 1 million acres of protected wilderness along the Canadian border. Almost 20% of the area is water. A vast network of glacial lakes and streams ideal for canoeing. Since it is a protected area, no motors are allowed into the forest. So when you canoe the BWCA, it is truly a total…

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What Do God’s Open Hands Look Like?

What Do God’s Open Hands Look Like?

“You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145: 16 The voices of my guests on the Ordinary Voices podcast stay with me long after the interview is over. It’s a natural consequence of the amount of time spent editing each show. Typically, interviews last an hour and a half. In order to find the 20-25 minutes of critical information to share, I will spend about 20 hours listening to the recorded conversation. Lately, each morning…

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Don’t Give In

Don’t Give In

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Mt 5:44 The Rev. Dr. Albert “Pete” Pero, Jr. was a long-time professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. In addition to his teaching, he was a dynamic leader in the Civil Rights Movement. When I was in seminary, he visited our campus to talk to us about racial justice. He told a story that has remained forged in my…

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How Receptive is Your Heart?

How Receptive is Your Heart?

“…the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 12: 2 A friend recently shared the details of a divine encounter on Facebook. In a spontaneous decision to walk to the Post Office, she happened to come across an older man walking on the other side of the road. It might have been nothing more than an observation had he not crossed the street to talk to her….

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God and Human Authority

God and Human Authority

“Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Acts. 5:29 We must obey God rather than any human authority. These words make me cringe. In the modern era, they seem to be the rationale for all kinds of evil behavior. Religious extremists use this kind of approach to suppress and dominate other human beings. Even to the point of killing. Critics of religion cite the desire to follow God above human authority as a…

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The Lord Listens

The Lord Listens

“I love the Lord because he hears my requests for mercy.” Psalm 116:1 In New York, we used to take campers on canoe trips down the Upper Delaware River. These trips produced some of my favorite memories of camp. My first trip, though, remains forged in my memory because on that trip I nearly lost my life. Few of my campers in that first group had ever been canoeing. Some could not swim. To help provide a safe experience, I…

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Holy Ghost Hunting

Holy Ghost Hunting

Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” John 4:48 Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson were Rhode Island plumbers with a passion for ghosts. They were able to turn their fascination with paranormal activity into a successful career. In 2004, the company they had formed, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), launched the reality show, Ghost Hunters. The show featured the TAPS team visiting a location which had experienced some paranormal events. The owners…

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Sighs Too Deep for Words

Sighs Too Deep for Words

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8: 26 I cannot watch the movie, Titanic. It’s not that it is a bad movie. It’s a creative storyline and there are so many memorable scenes in it. More than once I have stretched out my hands and shouted, “I am the king of the world?”  Then there’s…

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The Best Possible Outcome

The Best Possible Outcome

“But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking…” Mt. 20:22 My children abandoned the great game of baseball to play soccer. In my mind, it was a disgrace to our family and a national embarrassment. I reminded them of this great tragedy often. Eventually, I decided to suck it up and support my children. I had to try and accept their happiness was not mine to decide.  The way I chose to support their decision was to…

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