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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Kingdom of Heaven is Weird and Wild.

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Sunday was our third week in the parables of Matthew 13. The kingdom of heaven is like a seed. It's like leaven. It's like a merchant or treasure. It's like a really big net. They are familiar stories, but sometimes when stories are familiar they lose their bite. Sometimes we peel right through them and forget to notice the weird stuff about Jesus and heaven and God's reign. And that's the whole point. I had two things to say about these parables on Sunday:1. While we usually associate Jesus' parables with abundance, Jesus chooses imagery here that seems unsustainable and fleeting. Weird.·A mustard bush grows wiry and strong like a weed, but at the end of the season it withers like every other annual, often turning to tumbleweed and dancing away.·Hiding leaven in three measures of flour sounds sneaky and uses enough to feed 100 people. With that small bit of leaven, she ruins her whole supply instead of making only what she needed…and unless she’s planning a bi…

on the road again

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Things I learned (but already knew)
on this summer's road trip down the west coast:

1. Matt and I plan each summer road trip about nine months in advance. There's a lot of hype leading up to these two weeks away because our work schedules so rarely line up with time off. We both work some evenings. Matt works some Saturdays, I work Sundays. Clearing two weeks to be away together so far in advance makes us feel giddy about the plans we've made and the time we're securing for an adventure together. And that's always worth the hype.


2. We dream of buying a little land on a river or lake someday and having a simple cabin with bunk beds and an outhouse. After staying in yurts on the Oregon coast, we changed our tune. Now we want a yurt! It was a cozy way to spend a few nights. Jasper wore a warm hat and fell asleep early while we enjoyed dinner and an audio book at the picnic table outside. That simple "date" at the end of each day recharged our batteries - price…

A Living Lutheran Creed

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More than 350 church leaders are planning to participate and invite others to join in. Spread the word and let me know what you think! Is this something you, your family or your congregation would do? Why or why not?

Lutherans often describe their congregations with words like 'friendly', 'welcoming' or 'hospitable'. Super and probably true, but I consider this to be part of our Lutheran problem. These are lovely but reactionary descriptions of God's people. They all require others to make the first move.

It's hard to initiate - to meet people outside, to tell our story, to be proud proclaimers when our (spiritual) heritage prefers stoicism and quiet humility. But maybe it would be easier and FUN to practice making that first move together.

What if a bunch of Lutherans - I mean a bunch - all make signs stating something we believe in and all stand on corners in our neighborhoods on the same day at the same time? What if church and community leader…

Good Goo!

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Geez. It's been a month since I've posted and I've got some Lutheran guilt about it. Until I remember that blogging isn't a "should". I write when there's time and while there's still the same amount of time, it's filled differently.

I love this picture of Jasper's first dip in the kiddie pool. That serious, sultry look comes out quite often and I like to think this is the perfect game face for summer. Minnesotans take summer very seriously. Everyone has their weekends booked by April and our sad, pale skin begins to fill with freckles and sun spots by July. We are aggressive about being outside. We talk to compete strangers with passion about the sunshine, proclaiming that each day in the 70s and 80s is just PERFECT and GORGEOUS. Our happiness is laced with anxiety because we know these days are fleeting and we have to drink it in.

So that's what I've been doing. Vacation Bible School and Lake Harriet Worship and long stroller rides and…