“Love is a demonstrated preference, for the wellbeing of others, over and above myself, even at great personal expense, by the help of the Holy Spirit.”

Saying goodbye is a tender time. As I retire from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center and leave the island, my thoughts go to the relationships and the sense of meaning and purpose that was set out before me. What a gift!

Years ago, I saw a painting that has stuck in my memory. It depicted a huge torrential waterfall with water splashing over the rocks that were lodged in the cliff. Just looking at it you could hear the roar. There were tree branches jutting out into the mist generated by all that water falli…

I wonder if you would find it reasonable to say that the best gifts we’ve received should prompt our highest appreciation.

What does it mean to pray to God? Is prayer merely a shot in the dark when all else fails? Is an answer to prayear more likely if we check certain boxes before asking? Like a political petition, is God more likely to answer prayer if we get extra people involved? Do some Christians have a be…

I don’t know about you, but I, myself, love springtime. It’s full of new life and change. The change from winter to spring — although this spring was a bit slower to get here with the late snowfalls, hail, etc., etc.

We weren’t there, but the one event that changed the world happened in Jerusalem about 1,993 years ago. Now, of course, it hasn’t yet completely changed the world we were born into. But like when a dandelion seed gets blown into your yard, the change has come. Or when light begins to define …

We are nearing the end of our Lenten journey. It is a time we can look back at the past five weeks, consider the meaningful message of Palm Sunday, and look toward the sacred sorrow of Holy Week.

What should a Christian’s life look like? The Beatles told us that “all [we] need is love” – some people believe that is all a Christian needs. Some individuals think that if their good deeds outweigh their bad, they are doing good. Some argue for Christian doctrine – others think that doctr…

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Ketchikan High School Kings baseball team won its first contest of 2022 with an 11-0 defeat of the Breck School Mustangs (Minnesota) at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex outside of Orlando, Florida.

Have you ever noticed in the stories of the bible that whenever God approaches someone, there’s always a request to travel or to go somewhere. In the book of Genesis, God approaches Abram and instructs him to travel from the Land of Ur to Canaan, and then to Egypt and back. After Abram, his …

During Lent, when our prayer life takes on deep connections, mediating on the ministry and crucifixion of Christ, we can find rich inspiration through the world of sacred art.

Sometimes my computer acts up and starts behaving in irrational ways. No matter how much I try to understand what’s going on, everything seems to slow down or stop working altogether. At such times, the only thing that seems to work is to shut it down and reboot. It’s amazing how often this …

“The LORD is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18

“Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together …

What does an authentic Christian pastor look like? Are you suspicious of pastors because of the televangelist who fakes miracles and panders for money? Has an abusive or manipulative pastor wounded you in the past? Do you feel like the pastors you have known do not represent God? First, I wa…

My grandmother loved the sunshine in January. My mom would take her to the park, and she would sit on one of the benches and bask in the cold, bright days.

As we close out the past year and look forward to a new year, people tend to feel inspired to make one or two new year’s resolutions. Their hope is to do better than last year in matters of faith, health, work, finances, love and relationships. However, personal history confirms that making …

Happy New Year! It is common at this time of the year to hear a lot about Jesus’s glory. There are many passages in scripture that refer to Jesus’s glory, or God’s glory. I would like to focus on one for a moment to encourage us in the beginning of this new year.

From island to island, across the narrows and straits, above the mountain heights and far below sea level; God is with us. We can go nowhere beyond the love and affection of God. That’s why he sent Jesus his son to us, to make sure we knew the depth of his love toward us. Jesus came to make …

Tomorrow, us Lutheran’s commemorate Martin Luther, one of the first reformers of the 16th Century. While known for writing the very first translation of the bible into the German language, Luther was a prolific writer, beloved professor, astute Bible scholar and a hymn writer. Most people ha…

I’m pretty sure … about some things. Seasons will come and go. The tide rises and recedes, and the sun continues to show up each morning. But when it comes to eternity and heavenly things, I want to be really sure. So, I turn to the source of life, the father of all creation. I study his wor…

Every Sunday, local churches worldwide, seeking to be faithful to Christ, will gather for worship. Each will have its own flavor and style. What activities must mark the gatherings of a local church? What activities are essential? In 21st-century America, we often appear confused about what …

Jesus once told a parable about folks who were confident that their good deeds impressed God; these people scorned everyone else. They viewed themselves as righteous and others as wicked. In this parable, which is a short story used to illustrate a truth, Jesus has two characters: a Pharisee…

I’ve been thinking about stewardship this month, which I often do at the end of the summer. After all, it’s harvest time following the hard work of summer, whether on the water, in the stores or on the streets. While not as busy as past Ketchikan summers, there were at least some tourists wh…

Growing in the Lord begins when we read, meditate and study God’s holy word, the Bible. All our knowledge of God and his plans for us is found in this wonderful book. It has all the directions for living a righteous life before the Lord.

Why does a Christian need theology? Have you ever heard someone say, “I am not a scholar. I don’t need theology. I just love Jesus?” I want to lay before you in this article that theology is not just for scholars and debaters but that theology is vital for the Christian life.

I was asked a difficult question this week by a man who was seeking understanding. He asked me, “What is the biggest problem the church has in communicating its message to our society?” I was stunned for a moment trying to think of my answer. I then remembered something I had read recently (…

The Rev. Fred Rogers, “Mr. Rogers,” was a man of understanding and compassion. He once wrote: “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing — that when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So, in loving and appreciatin…

Now I’m no carpenter. Nor am I a builder of any stature. But I own a plumb line.

It is traditional for the citizens of the United States to celebrate July 4th as the day on which the final draft of our Declaration of Independence from Britain was ratified and signed by the 56 representatives of the 13 colonies. This became our independence day, a day of freedom, a day to…

We live in confusing times. The 20th century saw the modern worldview give way to the postmodern. A worldview in which all truth is relative. Sources often slant events to fit their agenda. One individual’s “truth” may not be the same as another’s. In fact, anyone who claims to know truth is…

This Sunday is Father’s Day here in the United States and in many countries around the world. Most countries have something like our Father’s Day — a day to celebrate our fathers.

 Jesus told many parables. A parable is “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson” (Oxford Dictionary). This is a lesson we need to apply to ourselves. “If the shoe fits, put it on.” One parable Jesus told has had a profound effect on me. It is the one called the parable…

Heaven’s joy is always available, especially during dark and confusing times. Don’t mistake any fleeting moments of happiness as anything equal to the joy that Jesus gives. Eternal joy is poured into the hearts of every believer when the spirit of God makes his home with us. “I experience ab…

There’s an interesting line from the Easter story that has always intrigued me. It comes from John’s Gospel, chapter 20, when Mary is at the empty tomb. She no doubt is confused, frightened, but also hopeful that Jesus did what he said he would do, that is, come back to life. So picture the …

The website of the National Day of Prayer states: “This year (2021) marks 70 years since Reverend Billy Graham stood on the capitol steps in February 1952 and called for congress and the president to establish a day of prayer. By April of that year, President Truman signed the legislation in…

Life can be hard. And COVID has made our lives even harder. We’ve been required to isolate so much that I think even introverts could say they are tired of being alone. We weren’t created to exist alone and to work alone. And we can’t do everything on our own. God made us to need each other …

Recently, I have been hearing the phrase “common humanity.” It seems a simple concept but looking closer it has a distinctive aspect. Common humanity is not just people helping people; it is the understanding that “unpleasant feelings are part of the human experience — that suffering is universal.”

Have you ever noticed in the 16th chapter of the Gospel of Mark, verse 8 has a little (*) asterisk. The accompanying note goes something like this: “At this point, some of the most ancient witnesses bring the book to a close.” The shortest of the four gospels, most scholars agree that Mark i…