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My 2020 Election Pledge of Peace

Politicians make promises.  I think it’s time for the rest of us make some election promises too.  Here is what I pledge about my own actions before elections, when I vote, and in whatever happens after that.  I’m going to start today, even while much chatter about the first debate fills the air.  I invite you to take the pledge with me.My 2020 Election Pledge of PeaceI will put this in God’s hands and trust that none of this is beyond His knowledge, power, and ability to make all things work together for the good of those who love Him.I will listen to the concerned people in my life so I can understand and know them better.  I will express care and love toward them, even if we disagree on politics.I will be peaceful in words and actions before, during, and after the election.  I will pray for those who are so angry or so afraid that they choose behaviors harmful to themselves or to others.I will speak respectfully ABOUT people who vote differently than I vote.  I will speak respectfu…
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One (Two, Three, Four) Note Song

A few years ago I wrote a musically silly, textually serious song. I recently put the finishing touches on the track.  Link to listen is below. Enjoy. 
One (Two, Three, Four) Note Song
1. The first verse of this simple song  Is easiest to sing along. There's only one note (don't get it wrong) Reminding you where you belong: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One hope, one Christ who's arisen, One truth, one Church, yes one body One peace, one love, one Spirit free. Oh, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!
2. We'll add another note to you, A symbol of the testaments two, One covenant Old, the other New, A shadow first, then God-with-you! Both proclaim God's holy Law, But Good News saves you from death's jaw. His Bible is the inspired Word, Your faith believes the message heard.  Oh, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!
3. A tune of three, now let there be To God the Holy Trinity, Distinct the persons - one, two, three -  Yet one God for eternity.  The Spirit works through means of grace, T…

Love Incarnate

I wrote this song over a year ago.  The words are mostly from the hymn “Chief of Sinners,” some parts are quotes, some of it paraphrased, some are additions from me.  All the music is original.  Thought I’d throw it up on the blog.  The link at the bottom will let you listen.  Enjoy!
truth + love

1 Of all the sinners I’m the worst, yet He Shed His blood for me. I suffered helpless Lost and cursed, but Now in Christ I’m free.
Chorus Love Incarnate—wondrous thought! Found me when I sought Him not, Died that I might live on high, Lives that I might never die. Oh, the height of Jesus’ love, Higher than the heav’ns above, Deeper than the depths of sea, Lasting as eternity! Amen!
2 All my need grace Will supply as I Grow upon the Vine. While I live and When I die I am His and He is mine.
Bridge Jesus does impart Balm to heal the heart, Peace of sins forgiv’n, Joy that lifts to heav’n!
Chorus Love Incarnate—wondrous thought! Found me when I sought Him not, Died that I might live on high,

Our Place in the Stars

We saw the blindingly bright light first as the shuttle began to lift.  Then we heard, no, felt the earth-shaking rumble and roar of the engines.  We weren’t allowed to be near the pad, but we were as close as civilians could get about a mile away (that’s just a guess).  A marsh lay in between us and the shuttle, giving us an unobstructed view of launchpad 39A.
It was July 8, 1994.  I was 15 years old when I saw one of the most incredible sights of my life.  The space shuttle Columbia embarked on a two-week mission to conduct numerous science experiments for teams of hundreds of scientists from several nations.  They carried plants, newts, jellyfish, and more in an effort to better understand space biology, especially the effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation on living things.  Its research was one of many missions that helped prepare humans to collaborate on the building and occupying of the International Space Station (ISS), a low orbit station that has now been occupied by a …

He's the Light of the World

Need a little light?  I wrote this song a few years ago, but recently put the finishing touches on the track.  Hit the link on the bottom if you want to listen.  Rejoice that Jesus is your Light!

truth + love

He's the Light of the World

On those dwelling in darkness there shined a great light, And those searching in blindness rejoiced at the sight. To the lost and the broken, God appeared and has spoken, That those walking with Jesus will always be bright. 
He’s the Light of the world, He’s the bright star of morn, He's the daylight that dawns On the newly reborn.  His Word brightens our darkness,     illumines with grace, Till we look upon his radiant face. He’s the Light of the world.
So the blind man went seeing and knowing the way, And the lame man left dancing on that happy day, And the mute man was singing At salvation's beginning When the healing and mercy of God shined its ray. 
He’s the Light of the world, He’s the bright star of morn, He's the daylight that dawns On the newly reborn…

5 Mom Places

I've shared this on social media before, but I thought I'd toss it up on the blog.  Happy Mother's Day!

Five "Mom places" I wish I could visit again:
5. My wedding day. Not only is it one of the best days of my life for obvious reasons, but it's also a day when Nicole's parents received me into the family with love and dedication. Many people complain about a mother-in-law who is intrusive or demeaning. I don't. I am glad to call my mother-in-law "mom." She has a servant's heart and she gives freely of herself for others. She would do anything for me, anything for my family.
4. I wish I could play cards again with Grandma Gruen. Whether we were playing 500 or Kings in the Corner, she would smile and laugh and have a great time. I loved the way she fussed at Grandpa when he would slam his knuckles on the table when making a dramatic play (whether the card was good or worthless). She would scold him "Al, don't do that!" But she …


I’m supposed to be writing a sermon right now… but I’m really upset.  I’m tired, and frustrated by this whole pandemic/shutdown thing.  I miss everyone terribly.  I miss worship in God's house.  And I wonder the right way forward as a nation, as a church, as a family.  And many are wondering which is a bigger problem: the pandemic or the shutdown? People are lining up on both sides.  People always line up on both sides.
I don’t really want to argue about it.  I’m not a fighter by nature.  I’m a… hmmm… a lover?  Oh… I know.  I’m a peace-enjoyer, and a peacemaker when I have to be, when I have the energy to be.  There’s a time for fighting, and so we need fighters, and even peacemakers can and should be that when necessary.
But I’m tired.  And I don’t even want to debate it.  I'm not saying it shouldn't be debated.  I'm saying that I don't want to debate it.  That tendency of mine is sometimes a strength, but in this case probably a weakness.  I just don't want …