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Rod Hugen's Posts

Last week’s sermon takeaway…

Pastors think a lot about sermon takeaways. We want people to get the primary thing we believe God has for them. As I listened to Eric’s sermon last Sunday on the belt of truth and appreciated his takeaways. But I also had another takeaway, one he didn’t necessarily intend. I loved his story about going up to Babad Do’ag (Frog Mountain) with Sue, Ashton, and Elliott and sitting together in the car...

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As I was praying…

As I was praying this morning it dawned on me (again) what a beautiful gift adversity is. It allows us to suffer, opening our hearts to God and to each other. Identifying with Christ and following in his path means trials will come. They make us turn from our ability and power and lean on the One who overcomes death. As we suffer we become aware of the suffering of others. Our attention is diverte...

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The call of the King

In 1997 I moved to Tucson to plant a church. I didn’t know what I was doing and felt very alone. Two years later I was an abject failure and looking to return to the world of business. Then God introduced me to Eric and the Seneca house. Slowly God began to gather people around us. Broken people. Hurting people. Stumbling people. People like me. Somehow God gathered people around us. Godly people....

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Tamale Day

Tamale Day (an Italian sonnet) I watch you standing near the steaming pot, perspiration’s glow dripping down your face. You splay the corn husks with an expert grace, spread masa just the way your mother taught. Black olives, not green, always hit the spot. There is history you will not erase, traditions from another time and place, tamales made with love just can’t be bought. Memories of kids sta...

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A Triolet of Praise

A TRIOLET OF PRAISE The embers of the hymn burn soft, smokey notes drift upon the breeze, float high where simple praises waft. The embers of the hymn burn soft. Sparkling descants climb aloft, soar above angel devotees. The embers of the hymn burn soft, smokey notes drifting on the breeze.

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Face to Face

What joy it is to watch and join in Sunday worship, along with Kathy, from our living room. What a

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From Here On Up

FROM HERE ON UP Walking the long, slow slog of life. Climbing step by arduous step, each one infinitely more painful than the one that came before.  Struggling, tottering, limping on scarred and blistered feet,  twisted ankles, hobbled knees, tripping, staggering, stumbling the hard scrabble mountain path.  From here on up, it’s downhill all the way…

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Devil’s Snare

I was fourteen, wiry, strong, with skin browned by a fiery sun.  Its rays beat down on my head in those humid summer fields where I slowly ‘walked the beans’.  Walking the beans meant pulling up the sticky, thorny Jimson weeds that grew wild among uncle Paul’s  perfectly furrowed rows of soy beans.  It was also known as Devil’s Snare and richly earned its evil name.  The work was backbreaking, hot...

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Breakfast with Saoirse

A FaceTime conversation with Saoirse over breakfast this morning was sheer joy. We chatted about her plans for the day that includes what sounds like a fun play date with friends. We talked about having Spam and eggs for breakfast. She ate Spam in Hawaii but didn’t like it much. She had some hidden blueberries in her cereal, but no bananas because Momma has to go to the store and get some more. Th...

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Eric and Mark

I love Eric and Mark. I love the way they love each of you and the way they love the Village. I love the way they submit their lives to God and serve him with their whole heart. I love their wives and children who, along with them, are dedicated to the work of mission and ministry. Even little Saoirse, though only three, lights up my life with the love of Jesus when Mark and I Zoom chat on Thursda...

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Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days  Fresh peach ice cream slow frozen in Uncle Rich’s hand cranked churn.  Lightning bugs dancing around hollyhocks on a gentle summer eve.  The sweet aroma of fresh mown alfalfa wafting in from Mr. Vander Linden’s field.  Barn owls hooting softly as tiny field mice scamper off in every direction.  A million mile moon drifts across the sky between dim clouds and sparkling stars.  Dad whi...

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My sister Ruth’s story…

A blog from my sister, Ruth Valencia. Her story of God’s goodness is a powerful read   On turning 60… I did not really know what to expect for my future. I had dreams, of course, just like everyone else, but I had cerebral palsy so I wondered if I would ever ride a trike and then a bike. I wondered if I would roller skate and jump rope, if I would play volleyball, and because I was tall, bas...

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Code Blue

I’ve very much appreciated Adrienne’s response to ‘writing prompts’. This is a poem I had hoped to offer at Art Night before circumstances conspired against my being able to attend. The poem was written in response to a prompt offered on an online writer’s gathering. The prompt was a picture of a path through interlaced trees creating a canopy. There was bright sunlight at the far end of the path....

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Everyone is afraid…

Everyone is afraid. The people gloving up and masking their faces are often mocked for being afraid. They are afraid. They are afraid for their health. Perhaps afraid of dying. The people demanding to open up the economy and get back to work are also afraid. They are afraid of not being able to provide for their families or of losing their businesses. It’s fear. Just a different fear. Those believ...

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Imagine Fire

Imagine Fire Imagine cleansing flame burning up the dross, purifying perfect gold, until all shimmers in the light of day.    Imagine fiery clarity.  Dazzling diamond facets whose brightly shining cuts pierce the darking clouds  through the dim of twilight.    Imagine glowing embers, luminescent logs, the perfect dying, offering heat and hope in the dark of night. 

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