Education

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research.

Hallowed be thy name

Jesus says, “When you pray, say ‘…Hallowed be thy name….’” Luther explains, “What does this mean? God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also. How is God’s name kept holy? God’s name is kept holy when […]

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Our Father…

Jesus said, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father who art in heaven….’” Luther explains, “What does this mean? With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that he is our true Father and that we are his true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask […]

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On prayer

Jesus said, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go […]

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Update and season’s greetings

I cannot predict my WordPress status for the next several days. My home computer and WordPress are not interfacing well. When I go to my Reader page and try to scroll, the screen alternates between freezing and rolling uncontrollably, making it hard for me to click on a visit button […]

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Prophecy, fulfillment, and time

During this Advent season, many Christians contemplate the prophecies of Jesus in Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms, comparing those promises to the ways they were kept in the birth, life, passion, and resurrection of Jesus. This meditation is good, but it can sometimes be approached in a misleading fashion. […]

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Christmas tree past

With apologies to the late Tom Petty… and to my son: He’s a good boy, but sometimes curious, Can’t help touching what he sees. It’s a blue spruce, but make of plastic With ornaments of ceramic and glass. It’s got colored lights and shiny tinsel. It’s wobbly, won’t stand up […]

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O Christmas tree (Oh, nuts)

The story so far: Last May we had a fire on our property—a good-sized storage shed/workshop went up in flames. The cause was a fault in an electrical outlet. As I was driving home after I got the news, I prayed two things: that the fire would not spread to […]

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Christmas letter

Dear family and friends, It has been great receiving your Christmas cards this year and reading your letters. Congratulations on the spectacular accomplishments of your children and on the wonderful vacations you have taken in the past year. Our older son graduated from college eighteen months ago and is still […]

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On cars and science

I had several ideas for posts to write this evening: I was going to write about the haircut I had this morning. I was also going to write about the fact that, after hounding me for months to donate blood, the Red Cross refused this afternoon to take my blood. […]

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Christ in Genesis: “Am I in the place of God?”

After Jacob died, his sons feared that Joseph may have been delaying his vengeance until that time. Their guilty consciences made it hard for them to believe that Joseph sincerely and whole-heartedly forgave their sins. Therefore, they sent a message to Joseph. They claimed that, before he died, Jacob had […]

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Christ in Genesis: the Lion of the Tribe of Judah

Before he died, Jacob gathered his sons and prophesied about their future. Beginning with the oldest, he worked his way through each son, speaking of what would happen to their families. His longest blessing was reserved for Judah, the son through whom the messianic promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob […]

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Santa’s helper

One December afternoon a number of years ago, I stopped by a nursing home to visit a member of my church. She happened to be attending a holiday program in the cafeteria, so I stopped by there to see her. The residents were being entertained by a jolly plump man […]

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Christ in Genesis: At the right hand

Throughout history, certain kings and emperors and other executive authorities have enjoyed the privilege of rule without accepting any of the responsibility of rule. Sometimes they were considered too important to do the work of government. Sometimes they were incompetent. Sometimes they were merely lazy. In every case, someone else […]

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The other Joseph

While I am studying Joseph the son of Jacob in the book of Genesis, I am also learning about Joseph the husband of Mary in the book of Matthew. Beyond sharing a name, the two men are similar in other ways as participants in God’s plan to save his people […]

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Christ in Genesis: Joseph & Bros.

Jacob begot twelve sons and at least one daughter. They were conceived by Jacob’s two wives, sisters Leah and Rachel, and by the servants of each of those wives. Jacob’s favorite wife was Rachel, and her firstborn son was Joseph. To show his preference for Joseph, Jacob gave him a […]

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Vladimir Nabokov

Earlier this month a woman told me that her mother’s writings are as good as Nabokov’s. In a situation like that, one can only smile and nod, even while one’s mind is silently screaming, “No! No one writes as well as Nabokov!” The Mount Rushmore of twentieth-century American writers consists […]

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First Friday Fiction (a little late this month)

Dear family and friends, It has been great receiving your Christmas cards this year and reading your letters. Congratulations on the spectacular accomplishments of your children and on the wonderful vacations you have taken in the past year. Our older son graduated from college eighteen months ago and is still […]

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The basement

As I’ve written before, I grew up in a ranch house with a full basement. A lot happened down in the basement, including some spectacular floods. The washing machine and clothes drier were down there, along with a chest freezer and a second refrigerator. My parents stored frozen vegetables and […]

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Seven swans a-swimming

Sylvester was the Bishop in Rome when Emperor Constantine issued the edict of Milan, ending the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. Sylvester sent representatives to the Council of Nicaea and did not personally attend, but he agreed with its conclusions. Because of the freedom given Christians under Constantine, […]

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Six geese a-laying

The season of Christmas will be half-over tonight, but the radio stations have already stopped playing Christmas music. The stores and malls that were decorating for Christmas in early November and even late October are now removing all their decorations and putting them into storage for the next ten months. […]

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Five golden rings

Thomas Becket was named Chancellor of England by King Henry II in 1154. Eight years later Thomas was elected Archbishop of Canterbury. The relationship of king and bishop was tumultuous. Church and state in Europe were embroiled in a fight for power called the Investiture Controversy. (The failure of Henry’s […]

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Four calling birds

Older versions of the song called them “colly birds,” among other things, but most versions of the song published in the last hundred years have named them “calling birds.” At any rate, the fourth day of Christmas is also the festival of the Holy Innocents. Like the festival of St. […]

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