A Mysterious Presence
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A Mysterious Presence

For those who crave certainty and are comforted by unchanging traditions, these past two years have been unkind. The experience of living through a global pandemic has disrupted most of our routines and heaped anxiety and uncertainty upon our everyday living. Churches have not been immune to this disruption and many congregations now find themselves…

Mail-order tree
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Mail-order tree

This morning, my doorbell rang, and a man handed me an apple tree. I’d ordered it from the local nursery and been surprised to learn that they could deliver it by mail. Now it is sitting in my kitchen, all wrapped in brown paper with red cotton stitching at the top like a bag of…

High hopes
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High hopes

A kid in a candy shop – there I stood in front of the rack of flower seeds. Any of them would look spectacular in my garden. Decisions, decisions. But really there was no contest – sunflowers were the obvious choice. Tall. Tenacious. Irresistibly cheerful. They would stand rustically elegant in front of the cedar…

Pigweed Prayers
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Pigweed Prayers

I really would like to have “just the right number” of dandelions in my lawn. And I’d like to exert this control with organic, non-chemical means. But if I succeed, I may find that I still have a problem: No hyssop growing in the cracks of the sidewalk. The Hebrews apparently were more tolerant of…

The gifts of Cain
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The gifts of Cain

Genesis begins in wonder and mystery. We learn of God’s creation and provision for this world. We discover his care for the creatures he made, especially humans. And we hear how sin entered the Garden of Eden. These events frame our understanding of the rest of Scripture. But there are other stories we tend to…