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The Day Will Come

The clouds go galloping off like Clydesdale plow horses, powerful, majestic, thunderous.  They leave cleansing, cooling rains that wash clean the dimly painted sky.  A million shimmering stars wink against the pristine night, glisten, gleam, and glow, calling to the One they know, telling of His glorious greatness.  In wordless, breathless praise announce the dawning of the day when the light come...

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Lent

Lent is the 46 day period before Easter: 6 Sundays of celebration amidst 40 days of fasting. During the Lenten season we are called to focus on Christ’s ministry and to spend extra time in prayer, repentance, self-sacrifice, and doing good works with a focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is typical during this time for people to fast some element of food. In the early days of church h...

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Fallowness

I grew up on a small 160 acre farm near Pella, Iowa and it was a very different life than living here in the city. It was a life lived with a deep understanding of the natural world and of God and our dependence on him. Farmers are quite attuned to the world around them. They read the skies and recognize the different kinds of clouds and what weather they might bring. They observe when a cow is si...

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The miracle of the Prayer Tub

The prayer tub wasn’t working. It was a couple weeks ago and it just quit. The lovely Mrs. Hugen went out one morning to relax in it only to discover ice cold water and no electrical power to the spa. The Encouraging Discipling Communities conference was fast approaching and I wasn’t able to any longer sit in the spa in the middle of the night and pray because it simply wasn’t working. I checked a...

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Psalm 63

In a dry and weary land, Where there are no running streams, We have dug one thousand wells And parched our tongues with broken dreams.   You, oh Lord, have said, “Return To me, the spring that quenches thirst. Stop, remember I have called You to me, who loved you first.   “You have wandered far from me. Yet I am ever close behind. Leave the empty cracked cisterns, For at my ...

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Grace Over Sin

  I By Julie Brunson, October 2017 One of the things that happens in the church is that sin gets identified as more significant than grace. It becomes something to hide in shame, especially when it’s something we don’t seem to be able to conquer without help. This fear creates demand that we define sin in such a way that we don’t commit it. We don’t want to be seen as wrong or weak. I t...

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Freedom from Perfection

The pursuit of perfection has crippled me. It has stolen the words from my tongue. It has questioned every longing that flows from my fickle heart. Perfection showed up at my doorstep one day. Rudely unannounced. His piecing eyes contained a deep seeded pain, a malevolent strength. He saw right through me to my twisted desire. Before I could tell him to go away he made himself at home. He seized m...

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Promoting Authentic, Grace-based Community…

Many of you know that I’m the official “administrator” of The Village Conference 2017: Encouraging Discipling Communities. In that role, I have begun in earnest some of the promotion efforts for our conference. Many of the key things we teach at the Village are somewhat contrary, if not all out contradictory, to the standard concept of promotional efforts. I’m going to be s...

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Around The Bend

At Vespers one evening Sue prayed at the beginning and mentioned something about God being around the bend and it stuck in my brain. Here is the poem that leaked out… Around The Bend Rodney J. Hugen Just around the bend, only a half turn away, legions of winged ones, mighty warriors all, are poised, hovering, ever attentive, eyes searching, a gesture here, a glance there, readying with bated...

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