Pastors' Blog

Archives: August 2017

Aug 31, 2017 - Amy Norton

Ever hear of the German term “schadenfreude”? It describes the sense of satisfaction or pleasure many of us feel at hearing of the misfortune of others (particularly of those whom we don’t like). “Well that’s karma for ya,” many of us will say to ourselves. But what about the opposite of schadenfreude? What about the sense of despair we feel when ‘bad people’ go unpunished? When karma seems to be taking the day off?

Most of us are familiar with the verse in Samuel, “'Vengeance is mine...

Aug 24, 2017 - Amy Norton

I remember as a kid loving to participate in my own bedtime story. My mom would start off by introducing the main characters, our two black labs, and then I’d help fill in the plot. Paddy and Casey got into all sorts of adventures, and I really enjoyed helping to tell the story rather than just listen to it.

There’s something unique about storytelling. Most, if not all, stories we tell serve a purpose. Whether it’s to help quiet a child’s mind before sleep, impart historical...

Aug 17, 2017 - Kent French

Imagine if you inherited a great fortune, one that had you financially set for the rest of your life, and yet, you had this gnawing sense of the gross and increasing economic inequality in the world around you?

Chuck Collins has been grappling with these issues for most of his life. At age 26, as an heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune, he gave away his trust fund to foundations and groups that he knew needed funding—organizations working for the environment, peace,...

Aug 10, 2017 - Kent French

A few years back, the well-known Christian preacher and writer Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a book called, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. It’s a gem of a book about what it means to pay attention and find the sacred in our everyday lives, to cultivate our spiritual awareness in all that we do.

It starts with...

Aug 03, 2017 - Kent French

I spent some time around the caves in the Dead Sea region of Israel last week. It's dry and mind-numbingly hot there and definitely feels like the wilderness -- 106 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 95 at night. It's hard to imagine how I would have fared if there hadn't been running water and a restaurant, not to mention air conditioning and a shaded swimming pool nearby. Although it's a little ways from where Elijah hid out in a cave as he fled the angry King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (...