Pastor Jim’s Blog

Lead Us Not into Temptation

Lead Us Not into Temptation

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   "Lead us not into temptation." Check that! The Pope changed the Lord's Prayer. It did say, "lead us not into temptation." Now the most revered prayer in Christendom says, "Do not let us fall into temptation." On this one Pope Francis...

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Fire and Brimstone

Fire and Brimstone

Today's Word from Pastor Dennis... “Pastor Hanson, when I come to church will you preach fire and brimstone at me?” She asked with just enough of a hint that “yes” was what she expected to hear, which prompted me to say, “Yes. Of course. Fire and brimstone. You won’t...

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Contemplating Sand and Stars

Contemplating Sand and Stars

Today's Word from Pastor Jim... “Praise him, sun and moon, Praise him, all you shining stars.” Psalm 148:3 Go ahead and read all of Psalm 148. I will wait for you to return. Our family got away for a couple of days, to a beach home at Ocean Shores, loaned to us by a...

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There Is No Other

There Is No Other

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...   I spent last week as the “manny.” Granddaughter Vivian and her family reside in McCall, Idaho. It is a wonderful community, situated on beautiful Payette Lake, at an elevation of 5,000 feet, in the Idaho wilderness. Vivian (named...

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A Very Different VBS

A Very Different VBS

Today's Word from Deacon Amy... Vacation Bible School is one of my favorite weeks every summer. I love the energy that comes with a building full of kids having fun and learning about Jesus. This year, as with many other things, VBS is very different....

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A Mind-Boggling Disconnect

A Mind-Boggling Disconnect

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   Yesterday, you invited me into your homes for worship. I am very appreciative; I don’t take this privilege for granted. Thank you! The sermon, in part, focused on the place of KINDNESS in our daily life and as we follow Jesus Christ....

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Changing the Story

Changing the Story

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   What would it take for you to change your story? Inherent in that question is the assumption that we are not powerless characters in someone else’s play. Inherent in that question is the belief that human stories are not likely to...

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God’s Imagination

God’s Imagination

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  On a recent morning I went down to our beach to do some work, but mostly just to take a few minutes alone. Our little dog went with me, anxious to explore the beach and see what he could find.We have some oyster...

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Pandemic Musings

Pandemic Musings

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   This from June 30th, 2020: “An unusually bright star has gone missing, a mystery of cosmic proportions.” I am not sure if you have been paying attention to the evening sky but if you gaze upon the Kinman dwarf galaxy, you...

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God Is Still Working On Us

God Is Still Working On Us

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28I have been watching my share of nature videos on Facebook lately. Most...

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Some Good News

Some Good News

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  The Christian Church gets a lot of bad press.That is partially because we deserve it, but it is mostly because bad news is what makes the news. Most churches, like most people, just go about their faithful work day after...

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Wedding Plans

Wedding Plans

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  I met with a young couple this past week to plan their wedding. It is the wedding season, even though a strange one, thanks to that uninvited guest by the name of coronavirus. Planning the wedding itself is quite simple;...

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A Gym Floor Metaphor

A Gym Floor Metaphor

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...We moved into our new gym/fellowship hall and Sunday School wing on September 9th, 2001. It was two days before 9-11 and the sermon title that morning was, “The World will never look the same.” On that grand day of...

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Finding Joy in this Season

Finding Joy in this Season

Today's Word from Deacon Amy...   Some of you know that my family has a small farm outside of Freeland. My daughters have both shown goats in 4H since they were in kindergarten. What started with two goats eight years ago, has turned into a herd of...

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Quintessential 2020

Quintessential 2020

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  It has been a big year for Skyler Stonebridge. A proud member of the South Whidbey Graduating Class of 2020, Skyler graduated in a Zoom ceremony. On July 5th he celebrated his 18th birthday with a virtual party. And on...

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An Open-Minded Salvation

An Open-Minded Salvation

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...  Okay, we need to get one thing straight right from the top – you should be very grateful that your salvation does not depend on me. I mean, just in case that had not heretofore dawned on you. To quote my mother, “You...

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Mindfulness on a Rocky Seashore

Mindfulness on a Rocky Seashore

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  A while back I read "The Art of Power" by Thich Nhat Hanh, a book that a chaplain friend had given to me many years ago, encouraging me to find my own inner strength and allowing it to inform my ministry.The power...

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Changing Plans

Changing Plans

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money. Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring.” James 4:13My life tends to be...

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Independence Day

Independence Day

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13The word “independence” did not appear in the text of the Declaration of Independence. Independence is mostly an illusion. No nation or individual is actually...

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A Final Gift

A Final Gift

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “When we look to the wise, they die; fool and dolt perish together and leave their wealth to others.” Psalm 49:10I had a little contagion downtime early on Thursday morning. My sermon for Sunday was recorded and in the...

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Getting on With Life

Getting on With Life

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11In the midst of the Babylonian captivity, God speaks through the...

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Fireworks and Grief

Fireworks and Grief

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  When I was doing grief classes through my job as a hospice chaplain, I warned people who were working through their grief that one time when grief would strike would be during holidays. And I said that, of course,...

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The Tale of Two Coffee Makers

The Tale of Two Coffee Makers

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  The Church coffee maker quit functioning two weeks ago. Perhaps it did not feel safe working at church during Covid-19. Its health was compromised, its warranty had expired, its days were numbered. The real problem, I...

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If Not Here, Then Where?

If Not Here, Then Where?

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead, we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything...

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Thank You

Thank You

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  "I thank my God in every remembrance of you." Philippians 1:3I want to just pause and say, "thank you." I am quite sure that I don't say thank you nearly enough. We have been in this crisis for more than 100 days and you...

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Juneuary

Juneuary

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  Growing up in Texas, I had never heard of Juneuary. In fact, in Texas June seldom had anything in common with January. It was usually the first month that temperatures would hit greater than 100 degrees! Here in the...

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It Could Be Worse

It Could Be Worse

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  I had an Aunt who always used to say, “It could be worse.” It was a way of staying positive in the midst of circumstances that were not positive; perhaps even disruptive or painful. Look on the bright side. The house and...

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Dinner Time

Dinner Time

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...  Maybe the most recognizable piece of Renaissance art is Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” It is a fresco, a mural painting in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. I have not personally seen it. This...

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The Evolving Word

The Evolving Word

Today’s Word from Pastor Dennis Hanson...  Some of you may remember my friends Ole and Lena, Hittite family in the Midwest. The Pandemic has been hard for them, too. Along with the sad part of the epidemic, friends ill and some dying, no funerals and no...

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Fog, Molasses, and a Bag of Bricks

Fog, Molasses, and a Bag of Bricks

Today's Word from Denise Wilson...  Denise is a TLC member, and faculty at the University of WashingtonHere's a typical work day during the pandemic. These days amount to just about seven per week, since the apocalypse was declared and certain professions...

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Is This Getting Old?

Is This Getting Old?

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where is my help to come?” Psalm 121I went out to start my little car earlier this week. It would not start because I had not driven it in several days. The two cars that I run around...

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God’s Will

God’s Will

Today's Word from Philip Yancey...  Has it really been two years since Janet and I joined you in worship at Trinity Lutheran? No one could have predicted the changes in all our lives since that time. Here's a reminder of where to put our trust, despite the...

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The Moon and the March of Time

The Moon and the March of Time

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  The full moon this month (which happened back on June 5) had three different names that I found interesting. In Europe it was known as the Rose Moon, presumably the time when roses are blooming and could be...

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Looking for the Red Letters

Looking for the Red Letters

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...   Strathmore, Alberta, November 1974... “Pastor, can you come over please, I need some help.” Two months into my first placement as a mission development pastor in this small prairie town, I received my first invitation...

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A Note to Graduates

A Note to Graduates

Today's Word from Karl Olsen, Minister of Music...   "From small beginnings come great things."  Proverbs These last few weeks have been filled with graduations, from preschool through college. Many days or years spent in pursuit of... a diploma? a cap and...

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Life in Limbo

Life in Limbo

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  I have not really given you much attention. I probably have not looked at you since the first week of April, but you are still hanging there in my office. I glanced at you by accident this morning, and a wave of sadness...

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Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “Jesus, I have a request. Justice for others, mercy for me.”In the 1980’s I had a mentor and friend by the name of Jon Nelson. He was the pastor at Central Lutheran Church in Seattle. Jon was a character, rough around the...

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus.” I Corinthians 1:4Giving thanks is good, right, and healthy. If we pause to give thanks, then we are momentarily...

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For Christ’s Sake!

For Christ’s Sake!

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...  Long before he became disgraced and appropriately incarcerated, Bill Cosby delighted millions of fans with his comedic routines about his life growing up. Now, it was never permissible to swear in my family (I remember...

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Confronting a Personal History

Confronting a Personal History

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  The events of the past few weeks have weighed heavy on my soul. I grew up in a single-mother, lower economic household in South Texas. Racism was all around me. And I hate to admit it, but it is embedded in my...

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Notes From TLC

Notes From TLC

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton. This past week, she provided a sermon that could be shared across the ELCA. Follow the links below and be blessed by the...

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Comfort in Memes

Comfort in Memes

Today’s Word from Deacon Amy...  If you’ve spent any time on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know what a meme is. Memes have become a form of communication in our culture, especially popular among younger generations. Dictionary.com defines a meme as,...

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What Can I Say?

What Can I Say?

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...   Riots, protests, murder, racial tension, political turmoil, cities burning, and Covid-19 is put on the back burner for now. I am trying to think of what to say, that might be helpful. My tendency is not to speak unless I...

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Moving On, Moving Out

Moving On, Moving Out

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  A few weeks ago, Pastor Jim asked us to pause his sermon and make a list of all the places we have ever lived. It was quite a task. I believe that I have lived in 38 places, in my 57 years. When you take into...

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We Are Protestants

We Are Protestants

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  Lutherans are Protestants. We come out of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther and others protested against the Church of the Holy Roman Empire. In the Dark Ages, the Roman Catholic Church was the only Church in...

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The Valley of the Shadow of Death

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Today's Word from Pastor Tom Kidd...  I believe if I had a child or a grandchild of color, I would be fearful. As I write these words, as a white man of privilege, I am afraid. Afraid and growingly aware of how I have failed to appreciate the difference...

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A Gift from God

A Gift from God

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  Five weeks after his birth, I finally got the green light to visit my youngest daughter and to hold my little grandson, Brooks. What a joy to touch his tender skin, to hear his little baby sounds, to change his diaper and...

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Lament and Celebration

Lament and Celebration

Today's Word by Karl Olsen, TLC Minister of Music...  For some reason, I was up at 4:00 Saturday morning. Heading outside to let my tea steep, it seemed a good time to count my blessings. A warm bed (now only half full), a healthy family, the beautiful...

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Pentecost Musings

Pentecost Musings

Today's Word from Pastor Jim...  Tomorrow marks the great celebration of Pentecost. Though we have not yet received permission from our Bishop, we are going out on a limb and declaring this Sunday to be Pajama Sunday at TLC. This unprecedented display of...

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Three Dogs, The Woods, and the Path of Peace – Part 2

Three Dogs, The Woods, and the Path of Peace – Part 2

Today's Word from Rev. David Bieniek...  Last time I wrote, we were in the middle of a dog walk. The walk continues today…The dogs lead the way down the trail. The old dog seems to pull the hardest, always wanting to be the lead. The bigger, youngest dog...

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