Posts written by Ben

Mark 13:24-37

Mark 13:24-37   Thirty-two years ago I was a walking visual aid for the season of Advent as I entered the 9th month of pregnancy with our first child. The situation brought home the focus of the traditional gospel readings for the First Sunday of… Continue reading




Too Much of a Good Thing?

Too Much of a Good Thing? by Joni   “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 My friend Judy makes the tastiest little chocolate eclairs of anyone I know. Once she threw… Continue reading




Mark 13:24-37

Mark 13:24-37   The first ten years of my ministry were spent in small town and open-country congregations. Having grown up in an Iowa town of only 250 people, rural ministry was not the foreign experience for me that it sometimes is for pastors with… Continue reading




Scaling the High Bar

Scaling the High Bar by Joni   “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.” Mark 15:21 I once read that criminals to… Continue reading




1 Corinthians 1:3-9

1 Corinthians 1:3-9   Once Thanksgiving Day activities are over, the pressure is on to have the most perfect and prosperous Christmas ever. Merchants use every available avenue of communication to convince us that our Christmas celebrations will be lacking unless we have this product… Continue reading




Scaling the High Bar

Scaling the High Bar by Joni   “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable…and that in this matter… Continue reading




Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19   We have a Sunday School Advent Program in our congregation, which ends with the the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. One year the program featured the Prayers of the Day for each of the Sundays of Advent. They all begin with… Continue reading




The Major Problem with Minor Sins

The Major Problem with Minor Sins by Joni “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” 1 John 3:6 Sin becomes a crime, not against law but against love; it means… Continue reading




Isaiah 64:1-9

Isaiah 64:1-9 If we compare the opening words of the first readings for the First Sunday of Advent across the three-years of the Revised Common Lectionary, there are none as searing as these: “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down…!” In… Continue reading




“The King of Love My Shepherd Is,”

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” ELW 502   The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am his and he is mine forever.   Where streams of living water flow, my ransomed soul he leadeth… Continue reading