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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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Wednesday Worship and Teaching

Tonight (Wednesday, July 15th) at 8:30 I’m going to join Eric, Sue, and Michael for a time of worship at the church. You can find a link on the front page of the website. I grew up around midweek services. We had a Friday service when I was in elementary and middle school. I would play with my friends outside while my parents were in the service. When I was pastoring in Texas, our church had 3 mid...

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Ecclesiastes Follow Up

Preaching on a whole book of the Bible in one sermon is so hard. Inevitably there are threads that come up during study that can’t be explored. My basic outline for my sermon on Ecclesiastes was, smoke/vapor, wealth, work, party, wisdom, root into God. The reality is that each of those pieces could have been their own sermon, but that’s not the point of this series. So, here’s a few other passages...

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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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Blessing and Privilege

Last Wednesday, Eric gave a sermon on “Grief, Trauma, and Our Response to Systemic Racism”. If you haven’t listened to it or watched it, I highly recommend doing that before reading the rest of what I have to say. Listen here OR watch here. Among the things he said, Eric challenged us to examine our privilege. He said, “Where is privilege having an impact in our church? All of us within our ...

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Songs From Quarantine

At the beginning of quarantine, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders I set out on project to fight against the anxiety, depression, and weariness that comes with having to stay home all the time. I began to write lyrics out of our new community rhythms, Wednesday morning zoom prayer, Rod’s Monday prayer time, and livestreaming church. I’m still working on new songs, but three songs come out ...

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Slavery

1900 years ago a young immigrant worker in the Asia province of Rome was struggling to feed his family. His children were hungry, and his wife had died of a painful disease. He worked long hours as a laborer, and his living conditions were squalid. Then, as he walked home from work, he was accosted by bandits, and beaten, with his earnings for the week stolen. He could not go to work the next day,...

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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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It’s Political

It’s Political Several people have said to me over the last few weeks “This is a political issue” when I have tried to express my experience, my longings, and my thoughts on racial violence and oppression which has currently come to a head with the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the clear weaponizing of whiteness demonstrated in Central Park against Chri...

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I am struggling.

I’ve been struggling – in many ways. Here’s one that I offer to you. I had a really difficult time in drafting the Village newsletter this week. For those that do not know, I am the administrator for The Village and as such I help manage the Instagram account for @Villagers_Online and I send the weekly newsletter. Normally, the hardest part about sending the newsletter is roundin...

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American Gods

[Warning: discussion of racism and racist violence.] “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Mat 13:44. One of my favorite premises for a book is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. In it, the old gods like Odin and Thoth exist, but so do gods like Tech, Drugs, and Media. It...

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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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Survival

I have never lived through a pandemic before, but my first-grade teacher Audrene Boeve was disabled by the polio she had endured in the epidemic of the 1950s. The first adult I loved outside of my family, she walked with a constant limp and with a bright smile.  It was a too-short life; a few months after giving birth to a son, she died in her late 20s, probably due to long-term effects of the dis...

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Writing prompt: fire

Here’s the latest 500 word write: he 100 year old brick house stood connected to a huge lot on the famous corner of Mack and Burns in Detroit. We purchased the abandoned house for $10,000 and it was completely remodeled. We were given beautiful oak kitchen cabinets from a family up north who was redoing their kitchen in white. When my husband wasn’t working 100 hours a week in the hospital as a re...

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the cardiologist

I am taking a writing class and I really love it. The prompt this past week was: breakfast. Here’s where breakfast took me….. funny how that happens. Feel free to use this prompt and write a 500 word or less post to join me.. (and yours can actually be about breakfast! haha) He came into the world in the middle of a sweltering Michigan summer and the hospital air conditioning gave a we...

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