Prison of Prayer

Some of us are tortured that we don’t have the right words. Some of us are terrified that our actions don’t live up to our beliefs. Some of us even second-guess what we know is true and real. Some of us are drowning in the midst of the sea of life.

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Cindy KochCindy Koch
Jesus Is Our Peace

What does peace add up to? Is it just a word? Is it even true that there is, in fact, such a thing as peace? When Jesus talks about peace in the gospels he means, "to join, to tie together into a whole." That's the kind of peace Jesus points to.

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Outrageous Grace

The Parable of the Prodigal Son reflects some of the most outrageous aspects of the grace of God. Wretched living cannot void it and it’s gifted-ness never assumes a shred of individual merit or virtue. Even the most offensive behaviors on our part cannot cancel or diminish God’s desire to treat us with nothing but pure grace.

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I Don’t Want To Be A Poor Widow

You have probably heard of the widow’s mites. Sadly, we focus on the pennies of the old lady, but forget the old lady, nameless and formless. We crucified those braggadocios Pharisees who loved to be popular, in the spotlight, let alone rich.

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Joel HessJoel Hess
Whose Church Is It?

Is the foundation of the church something we think up or do or say? What happens because of us and what we do, is that why the church exists? Or, to think about it another way: when we breathe and we feel it we can (to a certain degree) control our breath. But, if we don't think about breathing it goes on.

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The Great Physician’s Bedside Manner

As I watched the T.V. show “House” years ago, I often found that I was of two minds about the main character. The show centered around his brilliant diagnostic abilities—he could solve the unsolvable puzzle. Whatever the patient’s ailment, you could know that by the end of the episode, Dr. House would finally discover

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Ted Rosenbladt
It’s A Keeper!

With a cloudless sky over our heads like a canopy, and nothing visible in any direction as far as the eye could see except the dark blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, I became a fisherman. I don't remember my first time fishing.

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Despite Our Messes, It's All Gift

God likes to speak to us and in His speaking opens our ears to hear the truth about ourselves. Our Heavenly Father speaks and we hear that He sees us as He sees Jesus. He speaks and when He speaks He does stuff for us that we are incapable of doing for ourselves—like creating faith and changing our stony hearts to hearts of flesh.

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The Death of Death

Anyone who has experienced a family member or friend besieged with Alzheimer’s disease knows very well its insidious and terrifying effects. The mind not only forgets memories of people, places, and events, but what these things are, in and of themselves.

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Good Shepherd Shepherding Well

A friend offered a simple rationale for pastors: “God gave us pastors because everyone needs a shepherd.” It’s true, we need a shepherd in life since our hearts are wayward, restless, and prone to wander. But that, then, prompts the next question: What kind of shepherd does God provide? 

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Getting Out from Under the Law

I know, I know: there’s nothing more irritating that a pastor using his kids as illustrations in a sermon. My kids agree. But, lucky for you, this is a blog and not a sermon. Plus, it really is remarkable how raising children can teach you about the nature of sin, both in the world and in yourself.

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Bob HillerBob Hiller
God’s Last Word

It was the last thesis in The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel that C.F.W. Walther declared that the Gospel must predominate the preaching and teaching of Servants of the Word. What did he mean by that, Virginia?

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We Only Baptize Babies

Often times friends of mine complain about our practice of baptizing infants. I used to take time arguing the fine points of why. But now I just tell them, “We only baptize infants.” It’s true.

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Joel HessJoel Hess