21 04, 2017

Double Dip Feelings – by Rev. Elizabeth Matthews Duffin

2017-04-21T09:06:32-05:00April 21st, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|Comments Off on Double Dip Feelings – by Rev. Elizabeth Matthews Duffin

My husband Seann and I have two kids: James is almost four and our daughter Sara is seven months. We are both pastors, and two years ago we moved—we were sent from the church where we had been on staff together, to serve in new places. When we were leaving, one of the families gave us a book: Double Dip Feelings. It’s a collection of vignettes to help children understand emotions. But, just like the children’s messages here are for the children, but also for you, the book was for our son, but also for us. It goes [...]

21 04, 2017

Doubting Tom

2017-04-21T09:02:24-05:00April 21st, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on Doubting Tom

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I guess I fit my name pretty well. They call him “doubting Thomas.” I am a doubter by nature. Someone today just told me a story that seemed hard to believe. So… I didn’t believe it. I meet so many people who seem so sure about everything – their religious convictions, their politics, their judgments about other people. I just wish I was as convinced of one thing, God, as they seem to be about everything. Shouldn’t there be some humility? The more I study and learn about you, the more I realize how much I don’t know. Surely there [...]

14 04, 2017

It’s Friday

2017-04-14T10:06:37-05:00April 14th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on It’s Friday

A PERSONAL PRAYER Early morning on Friday…  snapshots from my imagination trickle through my mind. All night prayers in the garden, the anguish, sleeping disciples, kiss of betrayal by a friend, the clank of shackles.             The horrors and indignities of Caiaphas, the chief priests.                       The early morning walk to Pilate, to Herod, the cruel crowd shouts for blood                                              The scourge, the beloved man collapsed, the mocking, the crown of thorns                                                 The journey out from the city, stumbling, barely alive already.                                                             The nails. The cross. The gasps for breath. The darkness.                                                                         Death. Yes, real [...]

7 04, 2017

Palm Sunday People

2017-04-07T08:57:18-05:00April 7th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|Comments Off on Palm Sunday People

I grew up going to various church camps, retreats, and mission trips. Compelling sermons would stir something within me. We all know the feeling—the “high” we get when our faith is validated and renewed after spending time in intense worship, service, scripture study, and fellowship. In those moments, I envision myself on the streets of Jerusalem waving my palm branch and shouting, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem “stirred” the whole city, and they asked, “Who is this?” The crowd’s response? “This is the [...]

7 04, 2017

Convicted by His Gaze

2017-04-07T08:51:36-05:00April 7th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on Convicted by His Gaze

A PERSONAL PRAYER Dear Jesus, my Redeemer, There are moments in my life that I prefer not to remember, times I have done things of which I am not proud. When I call these to mind, they sting and burn like poison and fog my mind with regret. They rob me of self-confidence and snatch away my sense of self-worth. I have tried to wash them away with your love, but it doesn’t seem to work. I know that they have left self-inflicted scars, and underneath those scars there is an ache, a sensitivity to touch that makes me wince [...]

31 03, 2017

Smart in the Kitchen – by Marcia Smart

2017-03-31T09:10:12-05:00March 31st, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|Comments Off on Smart in the Kitchen – by Marcia Smart

Remember when we sat in stackable plastic chairs as Dr. Pace preached in the Activity Center? Our St. Luke’s footprint looked so different back then. I’m thankful I was there one of those mornings. In his sermon that day, Dr. Pace talked about family dinner, about the importance of talking and laughing with our children, of establishing and nurturing real connections, while sitting down to share a meal. He referred to the family table as a “love feast” and gave us some gentle reminders to keep it loving as opposed to stressing. I remember feeling emotionally overcome, as [...]

31 03, 2017

Help!

2017-03-31T09:02:57-05:00March 31st, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on Help!

A PERSONAL PRAYER God of my salvation, Some days, I think I have it all pretty well under control. I face my challenges head on, without wavering. I make decisions – some of them good ones even – and I learn from the ones that are not as good that I might not make the same mistakes again. I prioritize life according to values that I have chosen intentionally, hopefully led by the Holy Spirit. I have it together. I run my life well. But there are other days, Lord… Oh My God… those other days. There are days the only [...]

24 03, 2017

Are you ready for battle?

2017-03-28T14:54:50-05:00March 24th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on Are you ready for battle?

We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service. A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I watched the news last night and there saw the replay story of a murder/suicide in the home of a nice family. So much pain… It was followed by the story of a couple of young parents neglecting their children. I looked at their photos, and I felt for them… so over their heads. I heard at a meeting yesterday about the overwhelming problems of opioid abuse, and saw the testimony about it. [...]

17 03, 2017

The Icing on the Cake – by Sally Penning

2017-03-28T14:54:52-05:00March 17th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|Comments Off on The Icing on the Cake – by Sally Penning

Next week our shared St. John’s-St. Luke’s parking garage is scheduled to open. It is an exciting time. It means that our three-year construction project is completed, and, for me as a staff member, that is a little bittersweet. Yes, the bus was inconvenient, but there were some pluses to riding the shuttle. For starters, I have been a member of St. Luke’s my entire life, but until the shuttle dropped me off, I had never entered the Sanctuary through our beautiful front entry. There is a kind of camaraderie that develops when we are put together with [...]

17 03, 2017

The Wilderness of Rejection

2017-03-28T14:54:54-05:00March 17th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|Comments Off on The Wilderness of Rejection

A PERSONAL PRAYER Gracious God, Sometimes I wonder what it must have been like for Jesus. On the one hand, the crowds followed him and cheered for him. He was a celebrity. They loved him, as much as you can love someone when what you really want is for that person to do something for you. On the other hand, there were so many who hated him, who rejected him, who denied him. They even tried to kill him. No, they didn’t just try – they did kill him. That is the ultimate form of rejection. There were some times he seemed to worry what people [...]