RSS

Tag Archives: John 14

Adopted: Always & Forever

John (my ex-husband) and I adopted Highlander and Valkyrie in July 2012. Highlander was a one-year old puppy and Valkyrie was a nine-week old kitten. These fur-babies were destined to be adopted into my home, but especially Highlander.

We drove about an hour to the Tacoma Humane Society after seeing Highlander on their website, but I was informed that I could not meet him because another family had him on ‘hold’ until 5:00pm. Since it was 4:30pm and John was looking at the kittens anyways, I told her I would wait and see if they came to adopt him. Then, she realized the ‘hold’ was from the previous day, thus I could meet him. She also noted she had told another couple earlier that he was not available at this time. Then, he apparently attempted to start a puppy fight on his way to meet us. If you are keeping track, that was three opportunities for Highlander to not be adopted into my home and life.

He quickly became a mama’s boy, but had separation anxiety. It begun to ease as he grew in confidence that I would always return.

He is now nearly, if not completely, blind.

When we are out in the yard, he has moments of confidence in his environment and my presence. He will begin to pick up speed while playfully running and at times does not heed my warnings to ‘slow down’ or ‘be careful’ or even ‘STOP’. He runs face first into a fence, tree, or pavers. He bounces back, shakes it off, ‘looks’ around, and is on the move again. These moments of confidence cause my heart to be filled with joy, but the ‘bouncing off’ moments cause my heart to ache.

Then, there are moments in the yard when he lacks confidence and begins to panic with overwhelming separation anxiety. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 17, 2020 in Sermons

 

Tags: ,

Troubled: the Way, Truth, and Life

This gospel is beloved among Christians.

  • It is a comforting passage often included in memorial services for our deceased.
  • It is the foundational passage for an amazing junior high retreat in Arizona that I volunteered.

And yet, this scripture troubles me despite Jesus beginning with ‘do not let your heart be troubled”.

This ‘trouble’ begins with a young, elementary aged Melinda, whose only schoolmate friend was raised by divorced parents. Her father was Roman Catholic and her mother had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church). We would compare and contrast the Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Mormons. At that point, I should have known I would be blessed, perhaps cursed, with a passion for religious studies.

Then, my under-graduate field was Religious Studies. Religious Studies is a relatively recent academic field in its current form, which is composed of:

  1. Establishing methods for the academic study of religion and religious traditions, as objectively as possible, whether Christian or non-Christian;
  2. Exploring theories about the definition, origin, and purpose of religion; and
  3. Comparing of religious traditions, as objectively as possible, through their core teachings, rituals, and histories.

This academic study of religion is a compilation of academic fields, including anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

Then, my graduate education was at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, a member of the Graduate Theological Union composed of multiple Christian Seminaries and non-Christian centers of study.

Thus, I have and continue to craft an intellectual and spiritual life rooted in the fertile soil of religious studies and diverse understanding. This is the foundation for my trouble with our passage. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Sermons

 

Tags: ,

The Holy Spirit (a sermon)

We hold to many mysteries within our Christian faith which we do not understand, cannot fully comprehend, and cannot fully explain or describe to another.

Next Sunday, we will explore a HUGE mystery of faith attempting to more fully understand the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as a whole. But, this morning we will focus on one piece of the Trinity, which is a piece we do not tend to focus upon.

One day in seminary, we were discussing the Holy Trinity and our Christian claim that it should be ‘balanced’, meaning that the three “persons” (due to a lack of appropriate term) should be balanced and equaled, thus no one “person” of the Trinity should be given more attention or precedent.

One classmate stated “well, you know those Pentecostals have an unbalanced Trinity”.

I responded, “I suppose you are arguing the idea that Pentecostals focus heavily on the Holy Spirit compared to God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ)”.

After he confirmed it, I continued “if we want to hold that criticism of the Pentecostals, we need to accept the same criticism of ourselves and the Lutheran tradition as practiced”.

It was an unpopular opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Sermons

 

Tags: , , ,

What is Truth?

We often hear about Scripture as black-and-white and clear cut, but is it?

Jesus tells the disciples that he will send them (and us) the Holy Spirit to remind us of Jesus’ teachings of truth and arguably lead us on the right pathways.
But, what is truth?

Scripture might be black and red ink, depending on the Bible, printed on white paper, but that does not make it black-and-white.

We all come to Scripture with an understanding or particularly tinted lens, which colors Scripture in a particular light for better and for worse.

We can “justify” nearly any stance or ideology we desire, even if it is only a verse or two from the whole and often irresponsibly out-of-context.

For example, I had a Social Studies – English joint course in High School with an assignment to argue for or against a controversial topic. It was prepared in conversation with a classmate, who shared the topic but was your opposition. It was intended to build skills in logic, reason, and debate.

My controversial topic was capital punishment. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 29, 2019 in Sermons

 

Tags: , , ,