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God's Economy

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God’s Economy As I’m writing this, I was reminded that today was Amazon Prime Day, “a holiday you can’t attack for being co-opted by consumerism because that is precisely the point.” As “consumers” we are taught to “consume” – to keep buying stuff, because we “need” more stuff. Stock prices rise when companies project growth, and they can’t project growth if they don’t show consumer demand, so they have to get us to want what they are selling, whether we need it or not. Our entire economy is based on this. We are trained to accumulate stuff, and to accumulate and love money, with which we buy more and more stuff. Yet even as we restaurants serve gigantic portions and throw out food daily, people around us are starving. One in ten of households in the U.S. experience food insecurity. While I was studying at Yale, I was a teaching fellow in Economics. But today I know that the Economics of God is different than that of this world. Jesus warns us, “ Watch out! Be on your guard a

Life is a mist and vanishes

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I’m writing this as I’m about to go to a wedding – the daughter of two friends from college. I was a groomsman in her parents’ wedding many years ago, and it seems like just yesterday that I was visiting her when she and her twin sister were babies. Her dad, now a Captain in the Navy, was then a young Navy officer stationed at Pearl Harbor.  Thinking about this as that baby is about to walk down the aisle reminds me of something I heard Billy Graham say at a crusade almost thirty years ago. “The greatest surprise of my life is how brief it is.”  You always hear time flies. But the older you get, the faster it seems to go! One day I was a first-time uncle, and now my niece is driving a car. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Alma Renn was teaching me how to properly light the candles at church, or that Mildred Burroughs was teaching me in Sunday School. I am so grateful for their Christian witness, and for the service of all of those who taught me and formed me in our community. That wa

Lenten Devotion 2021

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  Scripture: Psalm 84 The forty days of Lent lead up to our commemoration of the Betrayal of Christ, his trial, his crucifixion, and his final words from the cross. During this time, we suffer with the Disciples the guilt of abandonment, sadness, and loss before the glorious Resurrection. The forty days also symbolizes Christ’s forty days in the wilderness, facing the Tempter, and his preparation for his ministry. For me, Lent is a time of reflection in my own wilderness – a time to think about God and my relationship with the Lord—a time to be reminded that God is there, in my suffering, and in my joy. In today’s scripture, the Psalmist cries: “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Lent is a reminder that our souls are always yearning for God. Sometimes we need the valleys of life to remind us of this. Corrie ten Boom asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Too often, we only cry out only in our n