A New Frontier

 

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One day ends and another begins. I have ended my formal ties with the denomination I was a part of and am no longer a ‘licensed’ Pastor. I’m just Jen again, (though Pastor Jen’s heart still beats within me), and working on how to navigate this new frontier.  Continue reading

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Words Matter.

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When I was a little girl the adults around me used to love to tell jokes. Often times the jokes made were made at the expense of African-American or Mexican or Asian people and culture. The N-word was used freely as were ‘ghetto’ or ‘spic’ or ‘oriental’ accents when getting to the punchlines. The other adults at the gatherings would listen and laugh and I would listen and laugh too, wanting to be like the adults that I loved. Continue reading

A Litany of Prayer for Aleppo

For you to pray out loud.

Interrupting the Silence

How long, O Lord, how long?

There is no peace in Aleppo. There is no peace in Syria. Every night the people flood their beds with tears and drench their couches with weeping. Their eyes waste away with grief. Their spirits shake with terror. You are the one who took them out of the womb. They have been entrusted to you ever since they were born.

How long, O Lord, how long?

We turn to you, O Lord. To whom else can we go? Lord, hear our prayer for the people of Aleppo and let our cry come to you.

"Omran, Angels Are Here!" Copyright 2016 by Judith Mehr, used by permission. “Omran, Angels Are Here!” Copyright 2016 by Judith Mehr, used by permission.

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon Aleppo.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon Aleppo.
O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon…

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He’s the one.

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“When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” Matthew 11:2-6

It strikes me that John is asking for a definitive ‘yes or no’ answer, yet Jesus doesn’t give him one. Instead, he gives John evidence and then has John draw his own conclusion.

So, is Jesus the one?

Since coming to Christ I can see truth about myself and the world that I couldn’t find before, even though I was looking. I am able to pursue things in life that are central to my passion and being that I never could before, I can listen to others and creation with a new openness, with grace and clarity. I have new Life (which is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced this gift from God yet), and I understand today that I am glorified by God and that I am invited to participate with God in God’s good plans – which is good news! I am blessed since putting down the offenses I thought were Jesus, but were really just misappropriations of who Jesus is. There’s no doubt about it.

Jesus didn’t say, ‘Yes. I am Him.’ in a straightforward/beyond doubt kind of way. Instead, he showed us how to know it’s him. Today, all the markers he lined out are visible in my life in some really amazing ways and I’m so grateful.

After 20 years of earnest spiritual seeking and learning/practicing lots of different spiritual disciplines I can say confidently that, in Jesus, I have experienced a connection with the divine unlike anything else. It is unparalleled – far and away and high above. I love everything I’ve experienced and been taught along the way, but Jesus has added a dimension that was unattainable without his presence.

He’s it. Jesus is the one.

Beyonce, White Folks, Church & Dis-Creation

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I saw an article on Huffpost this morning relating  Beyonce’s album ‘Lemonade’, the black woman’s experience, and prejudice within the church. It speaks into a subject I think about quite a bit, which is racism, the value of people, and what God says about those things. Rather than put a post on Facebook, I decided I’d explore the issue a bit here in this platform, which seems more appropriate. My thoughts aren’t fully formed – again, I’m exploring. It’s an issue I think worthy of exploration and I’d love to read some of your thoughts if you care to comment. Continue reading

Trusting God’s Sovereign Timing

I thought this a good bit of encouragement this morning. I hope you do too!

Annette Trucke

We often think about “right” timing. But the concept of “wrong” timing is equally as important. Am I too late? Did I miss my opportunity to live out the passions and purposes I felt earlier?

I remember one day I woke up several years ago and I just KNEW it was time to sell our house and move into the city from our bedroom community. I told my husband and he wasn’t sure after first (of course) but after setting with it for a bit, he felt the same. We put our home (which we had built and loved) up for sale and sold it fairly quickly. We found another house that had a lot more room and was right for us. We had sold right before the market fell. I heard our home sold for almost $80,000 less at the next turnover. I don’t believe that the timing was…

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Merry Christmas

 

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“Christ Visible”. I can’t get that phrase off my mind lately. I think about the soon coming Christmas day and it strikes me that we are celebrating the beginning of Christ’s visibility in the world. I think about how his visibility changed absolutely everything.

He manifested. He showed up. He became in a way that allowed us to become aware of his existence. On December 21, 2015 he did it again, right on the street where I live.

Continue reading