worry not

I’m convinced that God is powerful enough to protect what he has placed in my trust until that day. Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you heard from me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Protect this good thing that has been placed in your trust through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Timothy 1:12b-14, CEB)

You know sometimes in life we mess things up royally. As I type this I am thinking how I messed up the recording for the choir concert at my youngest’s high school last night. I set the camera up and had a great shot, made sure the mic was plugged in, but I forgot to make sure the mic was turned on. The video is great, but the fuzz is not the sound the director wanted.

A lot of times we mess things up, but here is the thing, God has given you things to do and placed in your hands things God trusts you with. And God is strong enough to make sure that even on our worst days we won’t mess up what God needs done.

You have been gifted by God to be a wonderful presence in this world, and God will protect you to make sure even you can’t screw that up.

Don’t worry, God has got this.

Loving People. Loving God.


So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about the Lord or of me, his prisoner. Instead, share the suffering for the good news, depending on God’s power. God is the one who saved and called us with a holy calling. This wasn’t based on what we have done, but it was based on his own purpose and grace that he gave us in Christ Jesus before time began. Now his grace is revealed through the appearance of our savior, Christ Jesus. He destroyed death and brought life and immortality into clear focus through the good news. I was appointed a messenger, apostle, and teacher of this good news. This is also why I’m suffering the way I do, but I’m not ashamed. I know the one in whom I’ve placed my trust.  (2 Timothy 1:8-12a, CEB)

We are not saved because of anything we did.

God did it.

We can trust it.

Our job is to share the good news and love everyone and everything.

Loving People. Loving God.


On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, “All who are thirsty should come to me! All who believe in me should drink! As the scriptures said concerning me, Rivers of living water will flow out from within him.” Jesus said this concerning the Spirit. Those who believed in him would soon receive the Spirit, but they hadn’t experienced the Spirit yet since Jesus hadn’t yet been glorified. ( John 7:37-39, CEB)

We have never had a time we have not had the spirit. But Jesus was with the people and they did not have the spirit according to these readings and our tradition. The Spirit came after Jesus was glorified and ascended to be with God.

Rivers of living water flow from all of those who believe. That is the spirit.

The spirit flows from you.

Loving People. Loving God.


In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27, CEB)

Martin Luther wrote for the explanation of the third article of the Apostles Creed, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” The Spirit has always been there to help us and guide us.

Know you are never alone. The Spirit of God is always with you.

Loving People. Loving God.


I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? (Romans 8:18-24, CEB)

Hope is something that is based on what we can not see, or do not have.

We hope things will be different then they are.

We hope that peace will come.

We hope we will get what we need.

We do not hope for something we have. We do not hope for something that we can see.

We hope for what we know God will give us.

Be the reason someone hopes. And show the world love.

Loving People. Loving God.


It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.” (John 20:19-23, CEB)

Pentecost is a Jewish Feast called Shavuot. “Called the “Festival of Harvest” (Exodus 23:16), sheaves of barley (the winter crop) were brought to the Temple each day, beginning on Passover until Shavuot, the beginning of the harvest season 50 days later. It was a joyous celebration, with the people bringing the first fruits of their harvest to the Temple with thanksgiving to God for His provision.” (taken from https://www.ifcj.org/learn/jewish-holidays/what-is-shavuot-the-jewish-pentecost)

As Christians, we celebrate this day as the day the Holy Spirit was given to the people as an advocate and a constant connection to God. We receive the Holy Spirit and then are blessed to go and do the work of God.

So know you are never alone, and God is always with you.

You are a beloved child of God and filled with God’s Spirit.

Go and share God’s love as t has been shared with you, unconditionally.

Loving People. Loving God.

Happy are they

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him. He taught them, saying:
“Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
“Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.
“Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.
“Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.
“Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.
“Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God.
“Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.
“Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
“Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you. (Matthew 5:1-12, CEB)

I love the Beatitudes. However, I am always hung up on that last one:

Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me.

I really don’t know anyone who is happy when people insult them. But if we look at what Jesus is saying it is a little different.

Jesus doesn’t say you are happy because you are insulted, you are happy because you are insulted for living life differently than everyone else. You are insulted because you are following Jesus and loving everyone and not using people to get what you want.

Because of Jesus. You are being put down because you are actually hearing the first part of the Beatitudes and living as Jesus called us to live.

Be happy you are with Jesus, and live in the insults, standing with the marginalized.

Loving People. Loving God.


All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17, CEB)

We are God’s children.

We are heirs with Christ to the kingdom.

And because we are a part of the household of God we are free to love and serve others, not from a place of have to but from a place of get to.

We get to love.

We get to serve.

We get to live without fear.

We get to stand up for those who are marginalized.

We are children, siblings with each other.

So love your siblings. And love God.

Loving People. Loving God.


When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” (Acts 2:1-11, CEB)

This text still gives reason for debate and miss understanding.

What really happened here, because as I read the text I see/understand two different things happening.

First, the text says that those gathered were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other languages. So people are just speaking in languages they couldn’t before.

Second, the crowd was mystified because they all heard them speaking in their native tongues. This makes me think that every person in the crowd heard each of the disciples speaking in their native tongue. That is not the same thing as the first thing above.

Now either the disciples were speaking in a different language or the people were hearing it in their own language as the disciples spoke. Ok as I typed that sentence maybe they aren’t different. But they still are not the same.

Let’s say I start speaking in French. I can not speak French so that would be something like this. And you as a Spanish speaking person heard me but heard I was speaking in Spanish. Now I am not speaking in Spanish but you still understand what I am saying.

The point of this passage is that the boundaries from people communicating were stripped away. We were able to fully communicate and make God’s love known.

How can we do this today? What is keeping us from truly hearing each other?

Loving People. Loving God.


The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true. The one whom God sent speaks God’s words because God gives the Spirit generously. The Father loves the Son and gives everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.” (John 3:31-36, CEB)

I am sure we have all heard the phrase things get lost in translation. I remember Dr. Scramm my Hebrew Scriptures Professor in seminary talking to us about this a lot.

The Bible as we have it is a translation of the text scholars feel is the closest to what was written originally because over time texts are copied or edited and changed so scholars try to get us the texts as close to the original as possible, but then we have to translate them. I say all this to talk about the last two sentences above.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.

I had to look at the Greek for this and this is a bad translation. The first part is fine, whoever believes in the Son has eternal life and in the original, there is a but/and/now so there should not be a period and the thought continues. So we now have “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever doesn’t _______ the Son won’t see/have/experience life. The blank in the translation above is believe. However, the word in Greek is not the same word as the beginning of the sentence. So in my opinion it should not be translated the same as that word. And when looking up the second word it doesn’t mean believe or have that as a second or third option. The word there means obey.

So now we have “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life but whoever doesn’t obey the Son won’t see/have/experience life.”

If you believe in Jesus you have eternal life, but if you don’t do what Jesus asked us to do you will not have life and God’s judgment remains on you.

It is not enough to say you believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. If you do that you have eternal life, but if you do not do what Jesus told us to do, Love God and Love your neighbor, then you will not experience a full life and God’s judgment is still upon you.

So love. Knowing that is what God does for you. So you will experience life.

Loving People. Loving God.