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Showing posts from September, 2010

What is grief

When I was in high school there was a buzz about why students needed to take a class on death and dying. Honestly the one thing I remember learning in this class has served me well in so many situations. It is the 5 stages of grief by Elizabeth Kubler Ross. While these stages appear linear, I think that individuals process grief very differently.

My life has also taught me that grief is for more than the death of a loved one. Grief surfaces over any kind of loss--such as the death of a dream, loss of love, loss of a friend. Grief is a word that describes the feelings associated with any kind of loss in life.

The first stage is denial: In denial that first thought is, "this can't be happening to me," or "nothing is wrong," "I am fine." It is a defense against the initial pain one feels at loss.

The second stage is anger, "why me", "whose to blame." At times, those of us who are in grief direct our anger outward toward others, …


This morning I attended a Women's prayer summit. I expected something very different that what I experienced. I was worried that a woman's prayer summit would be sort of fluffy and filled with genderized Christianity that defined women with children, love and home. But what I experienced with a group of might women who are concerned about women who have been abused, mis-treated and battered as well as concerns about domestic violence and violence in the home. I was, frankly impressed with the social conscience and genuine concern for all manner of injustices related to relations between men and women and in the home.

Jesus, The Center Pivot of our faith

Rural Minnesota is scattered with irrigation pivots. My Step-dad was a dealer in irrigation pivots and installed them all over his farm. The center of the pivot is the well that supplies water to the pivot arm which showers water in a full circle around the field. From the air the sphere fed by the water from the center pivot is green and flourishing even in times of drought. The arm is connected to the Pivot and without the pivot there is no water supply for the crop.

Jesus is the center pivot of our faith. In the bible, the gospel of John (John 15) reveals a similar analogy. Jesus calls himself the vine and we are the branches. And when the vine remains attached to the branch, the branch flourishs and bears fruit.

Growing up evangelical we always thought about fruit as saving souls. Perhaps in some way it is about effectivness in ministry but it is also about a way of life characterized by the goodness of God. Paul in his book to the Galatians (5) writes about the fruit of…