Monthly Archives: July 2014

It’s Like This…

8190857925_4857bf05d1_zIt’s Like This…

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

July 27, 2014


There’s a video which I’ve seen passed around a lot recently…

In the video 3 German students stop by a homeless man on the street.

They surprise him as they sit down on the ground next to him,

and start playing music.


They’re pretty good, and a crowd gathers to listen.

They put tips in a hat.


The man is at first hesitant to see these strangers sit next to him.

His eyes dart back and forth.

But as they play and sing,  you can see that he’s changed.

By the end of the song, he’s pleased.

The students give the tips to him, thank him, and walk away.


When Jesus wants to talk about the kingdom of heaven…

When Jesus wants to speak about the way God works in the world,

he tells stories.

Continue reading


None Lost

wheat-vs-taresGod in our Weeding: None Lost

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

July 20, 2014


They call it “false wheat.”

The bearded darnel is the most insidious of weeds,

It’s also known as “tares” in the Bible-

so you may have heard of this parable called the parable of the wheat and the tares.


Here’s what the bearded darnel does – it’s rather ingenious:

its roots surround the roots of healthy plants,

and suck up all the nutrients.


It gets so entwined with the other plants,

that it’s impossible to uproot without uprooting the good plants too!

Continue reading

Successful, Happy, or Caring?

Successful, Happy, or Caring?

There was a news story this week about values of teens and their parents. A Harvard researcher surveyed over 10,000 middle school and high school students from across the country. The students were asked what they thought their parents cared most about: that they would be successful, happy, or care for others.

Over 80% of the students selected high achievement or happiness.  Only 20% of students thought that “caring for others” was most important to their parents.  The result was striking, because in other research, most parents said that raising children who cared for others was more important to them than achievement. Continue reading

Wasting Seed

sowingWasting Seed

Matthew 13:1-9;18-23

July 13, 2014


There’s an old proverb about planting seeds that goes something like this:

            One for the mouse;

            One for the crow;

            One to rot;

            And one to grow.


Planting seeds seems to be wasteful business!

            According to the proverb anyway, only one seed in 4 will take root!

                        And that’s if you plant it in the soil.


In Jesus’ parable,

            the sower throws seeds not just in soil,

                        but on a path and on rocks and in thorns….

Seriously, what did he think would happen to that seed?

  Continue reading

My Faith Journey Through Planting – Mary Lee Stoll

My Faith Journey through Planting


I began gardening when I was 11 years old. I doubt that I thought about gardening being a relationship with God. It was just something I enjoyed being able to plant seeds and experience the stages of their growth until beautiful flowers appeared. One of my favorites at that time was my hops vines that grew on our fence. No, at 11, I wasn’t making beer; it was just cool to see the vines covered with clusters of flowers that were shaped like small green unopened pinecones. Continue reading

Learning Spanish

luther mural el salvadorLearning Spanish

For the past several months I’ve been cramming conversational Spanish. Thanks to Ms. Pimsleur and her podcasts, my lessons take place in the car every day. I now know how to ask where to buy a gift for my children (if I had any) and how to order hot coffee in a restaurant!

The reason for the cramming is that in a few weeks I’ll be headed to El Salvador with a delegation from the MetroDC synod. Continue reading

Let It Go.

FrozenLet It Go.

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

July 6, 2014


Once upon a time in a land far away,

there was a king and a queen who had two daughters.


The young princesses absolutely adored each other.

They sang and they played all through the castle.

(Of course princesses live in castles.)

Their kingdom was in the north,

so one of their favorite things to do was…to make snowmen…


And yes – of course this is the story of Elsa and Anna –

the two young princesses from the most recent Disney film, “Frozen.”


Early in the movie, the older sister, Elsa,

discovers that she has magical powers.

When her emotions overtake her, she has the power to make things freeze.

This gift can be a beautiful one, but it also can be dangerous.

Continue reading