Recent Blogs

Pursued by Joy

Throwing a pile of vegetables, seafood and beef together to be cooked in concert to arrive done meant that things had to happen quickly. At the Mongolian Grill last night, cooking to raise funds for choir tour, I felt like the psalmist, "My cup overflows." The dinners kept coming, some meatless, some with an egg that if you squashed it just right it might break without leaving its shell as an extra ingredient.

Ligaments and Leadership

When I was 16, I tore a ligament in my knee.

Up until then, I had been blissfully unaware that ligaments existed. I probably had been told about them in health classes, but compared to more obvious things like kneecaps and elbows and muscles, they hadn't made much of an impact on me.

Until the day that one of those hidden, taken-for-granted, ligaments got torn. Not only was it remarkably painful, but I found out in the ensuing weeks of healing how weak I really was without it to do the simplest things like walking without hobbling, or sitting comfortably.

True Meaning of Christmas

I realize this is a bit belated - but I still thought is was worth posting..

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

No. It’s not Santa.

No. It’s not even gift giving, happiness, family, cookies, snow, or singing Christmas carols.
Those are wonderful things.

But they are not what this season is really all about.

Some people say, Jesus. Jesus’ birth is the true meaning of Christmas.
So close, but still not quite.

Christians look at the baby in the manger and think “Aww, how cute.”
They think: this is what it’s all about.

New Puppy, A Flood, and Undies

Suma - our new puppyAt last: We have a puppy! We found her shivering in the street at 12:45 a.m., New Years Day. So we named her Suma, which is Aymara for “Happy,” as in Happy New Year. She likes a dry house, a warm lap, puppy chow, and ... chewing everything!

Alas, last night, a dry house was not to be had. Torrential rains and three inches of hail pelted down for more than an hour. The din was so loud we had to shout to hear each other. Then the floor drains in the kitchen, powder room and bathroom simultaneously started gushing muddy water. Two good things about that: it wasn’t sewerage; and after lots of squeegeeing and mopping, our floors are now spotless! Hooray!

Suma Machaqa Mara!

At the meat marketThat's Aymara for Happy New Year! Today, New Year's Eve, the streets in Copacabana are chock full of people buying and selling in anticipation of a whole lot of celebrating. One of our favorite meat vendors, Marta, told us "Here everyone eats pork (cerdo) on New Year's Eve." Indeed, every butcher shop is displaying still-hairy pig heads and whole, split-bellied pigs piled five or six deep. So guess what we are having tonight...

Merry Christmas from Jim and Greta

Watching our sanctuary Advent Wreath lit each week with candles signifying love, joy, hope, and peace, has made me realize just how much we all walk around with inward lights of love, joy, hope and peace.

Whether or not you were one of those who got to experiment with matches or candles, or read old words from Isaiah, you wear those Advent lights in your giving, in your smiles, in your hopes that spill over to so many little actions, all of which walk us closer to Christmas.

Merry Christmas from Jim and Greta

Watching our sanctuary Advent Wreath lit each week with candles signifying love, joy, hope, and peace, has made me realize just how much we all walk around with inward lights of love, joy, hope and peace.

Whether or not you were one of those who got to experiment with matches or candles, or read old words from Isaiah, you wear those Advent lights in your giving, in your smiles, in your hopes that spill over to so many little actions, all of which walk us closer to Christmas.

Advent Devotion - Week Four

Dear Church Family,

Preparing my "week ahead" calendar today has brought into clear focus how close we are to Christmas! Though that realization brings with it a flurry of "Oh, I must still get this"...and "that still needs to be done" thoughts, it also brings some grateful realizations of how much there is to celebrate.

Advent Devotion - Week Three

Should we Celebrate, or look for another?
Isaiah 35. Matthew 11.2-11

Riding up the elevator a few weeks ago mid-Sunday morning someone turned to me and said "It's working!" At first I thought theses words were addressed to the elevator. However, after a few more moments I realized they were talking about the church. They were off to an early start in celebrating our church's theme for these next few months, "celebrating the gift."

1 Corinthians 6: Lawsuits among believers

This chapter is jammed full of stuff to talk about, but I will try to keep it to 2 or 3 major points.

“When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints?” (v1)

This is the first verse of the chapter and Paul is making a claim:
Morality does not come from the legal institutions.
“Is it right and moral?” Is NOT the same thing as asking “is it legal?”

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