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Just for Decoration

Special thanks to the ministries of St. Lucas Lutheran Early Childhood Center and Word of Life Lutheran School in St. Louis, Missouri, for taking the time to educate my children and many others on the promises of God.

In my household, I get the pleasure of dropping both of my children off at school each day. My wife is a full-time Lutheran school teacher, so she arrives at school quite early and is not able to drop the kids off on a consistent basis. As I load my two- and four-year-olds into our purple Ford Flex, they fill my car with songs from school—songs about Jesus. They kick their legs with excitement as they belt “Jesus Loves Me” with a remix of “Jesus, Remember Me” with a feature by the “ABC” song. I open our sunroof to get some fresh air and therapeutic sun into the car as the kids scarf down their breakfast, bellowing lyrics as we drive along.

Challenging More: You Don't Know Everything (and That's Okay)

The idea that each individual person has to know everything can set some on edge. How are you meant to know everything in the short lifespan that you have? In his new book, Meant for More, Rev. John Nunes says it's entirely okay to not know everything. In fact, we should embrace the unknowns and live happily in them. Read an excerpt from his book below to see his brilliant thoughts.

Build a Powerful Prayer Life

About a week ago, I got a text from my pastor asking if he could pray for me. Life has been especially stressful on me the past two months, so his offer was exactly what I needed, even if he hadn’t known why.

Asymptomatic Symptoms

Earlier this summer, I received a phone call that caused me to drop my glass cup on the floor right before heading into a Bible study. My doctor had called to tell me that the “routine” COVID-19 test I had taken was not so routine and that I had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease. The next few seconds were a blur, and I quickly popped into the Zoom Bible study feeling as if I had been hit with a ton of bricks.

I had COVID-19. What was going to happen to me?

No More Stress: Teaching the Faith at Home

As I write this, I am listening to the decisions made by my home state of Minnesota about school this fall. After this spring and the experience of distance learning , my children and I are ready for school to be back in session.

When You Get What You Prayed For

In college, I used to (only semi-jokingly) ask God to send me a tall, blonde, Jesus-loving, soccer-playing, European boyfriend.

A few weeks ago, I married a tall, blonde pastor who played collegiate soccer and grew up in Germany.

Y’all, God definitely has a sense of humor.

Your answered prayer is likely different than mine—a cured illness, a new job, a successful pregnancy. But no matter the magnitude or minuteness of your prayer, God still answered it!

Anxiety and the Pandemic

The level of anxiety facing children, parents, schoolteachers and administrators, congregational shepherds and lay leaders, and our public policy makers is enormous—pandemic anxiety for pandemic times! Although the fear of physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial disorder and disease is very real due to this destructive virus, the accompanying anxiety (rumination and worry of what could or might happen to us and our loved ones) is debilitating in and of itself.

Setting a Family Devotion Routine for Back to School

Back-to-school season was much closer to “back-to-chaos” season for my family. Even as an only child, I was part of so many extracurriculars that my parents were constantly running me around, even on weekends. There was rarely time for family dinners, much less a moment to try and squeeze in family devotions. My family could have used a steady routine, especially when it came to planning family time.

How to Memorize Scripture (and Why It’s Important)

If you grew up going to Sunday School or confirmation classes, I can almost guarantee that you had to memorize Bible verses. It likely went something like this: You remember you have a Bible verse due today. You quickly memorize it by repeating it to yourself a bunch of times, stumble through presenting it to your teacher, and then immediately forget it.

Many of us don’t have any Bible verses memorized besides John 3:16. This is a problem.

Wade in the Water

It was Easter Sunday at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY. The tiny urban neighborhood church was crowded with saints singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” at the top of their lungs, their song rising to the roof as incense. New LCMS Lutheran converts Janine Bolling and Gerard Bolling, brother and sister by blood, with their entire Brooklyn family watching, were to become brother and sister in Christ, with the entire family of God both gazing down from heaven and gazing forward from the hot wooden pews in the not-yet-air-conditioned sanctuary.