How to participate in Holy Week right where you stand

Holy week, or the Passion Week, is almost here and we find ourselves unable to participate with our communities of faith as we are mandated to stay home. This is a good thing, we are saving lives! However, we can still participate in Holy Week and create a sacred space right within our homes. Holy Week doesn’t happen just within the four walls of our churches, it can happen within the four walls of our cozy and perhaps very messy home.

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Counterfeit Crosses: Reclaiming the message of the cross in the 21st century

I can only imagine it was difficult and perhaps a bit confusing for the disciples of Jesus when they heard the words “take up your cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). They were still a ways off from Jesus actually carrying his cross to Golgotha. Up to this point, all they have witnessed were miracles and Jesus’ radical teachings. Now talk of the crucifixion has entered the picture and his disciples, especially Peter, cannot believe it.

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What this Lent season is asking of us

We are officially ten days into Lent, the season to remember Christ entering the desert for forty days and forty nights. Lent is traditionally a season for the church to engage in spiritual practices such as fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Lent is strongly themed around self-denial and remembering our finite mortality. Just as Jesus fasted for those forty days, he was hungry, expressing his most basic human need: food. Although Jesus was also God, his choice to take on our humanity came with limitations.

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Embodying Hope

Hope often comes to us not as we expect. It doesn’t come crashing through our despair as many of us wish it would, armored for battle, fighting by our side. It comes to us small and fragile and quiet. So we tend to doubt it. I myself have a complicated relationship with hope. After battling with infertility for over seven years, I have come to resent hope in its smallness and quiet, as if it’s taunting me to believe in something I haven’t experienced any victory in.

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Embodying Advent

Jesus takes on human form to make visible hope, peace, joy, and love. With a human face, name and a story, God in the flesh makes truth palpable enough to eat and drink. This truth brings both healing and division because not everyone can swallow the message he brings. This truth also brings questioning when we experience a severe lack of hope, peace, joy, and love or when we experience these things outside our Christian tradition.

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5 things I would tell my 23 year old self

This 5 Things Wednesday is dedicated to my classmate turned friend who has asked me a couple of times: What would you tell your 23 year old self? At 23, she is experiencing the turmoil of finding direction in life. Soon to graduate, the uncertain future is approaching quickly and she is feeling the pressure to figure it out.

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How to move from debilitating doubt to liberating trust

Last Wednesday was the worst. It started out fine until once again it hit me: I’m pouring all the energy into my work and finding it producing very little fruit. And what I mean by fruit is MONEY. I don’t need to make a ton, just enough to pay my mortgage and get my hair done. The tail spin of doubt begun with looking at our budget and playing around with the numbers.

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For the Prodigals: Three Ways To Return to God

In one sense, it would be easier to recognize the hunger in my belly; to be so starved that I would even consider eating food from a pig trough. This would be undeniably obvious that I have left abundance for severe scarcity but we don’t experience spiritual hunger like this. It’s much more subtle and easily ignored.

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10 Things I Learned This June

I have been struggling to write a post for sometime now. Primarily it is because of the mass amount of frustration I have been experiencing due to a personal situation. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down this summer to write and just couldn’t get my head into the right space. One day, in my frustration, I finally reached out and posted on the Hope Writers Facebook group about it. Within minutes I received encouragement and tips, and I felt more at ease with this battle. One of the tips was to write a “list post” of which I had to actually google but quickly figured out. Writing this simple “list” post snapped my out of current pity party and forced me to reflect on all the things I have learned in just the last 30 days.

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