October 2023


The soul of reformation

  Reformation Day (or Sunday) has always been a big deal for me. I’m a Lutheran by birth, and carry with me high emotion about all the cultural trappings that come with this day’s observances. As I’ve grown older, though, something else has tugged at my heartstrings: This isn’t just an ecclesiastical celebration—it’s personal, too. I’ve inherited some of a reformer’s calling, certainly, butMORE...

Off-the-rails ministry

  It’s difficult to be a pastor in normal times, but that ministry may be even harder right now: Some members and their enterprises are coming undone. Those of us who try to care for others may encounter individuals whose mental states seem to be coming off the rails. As your pastor may be experiencing, that’s tough work. What, then, can we do for our cherished leaders? A few thoughts comeMORE...


Today’s entry might serve as a kind of prequel for your Reformation Day (Sunday) celebration. My spouse Chris’s  observation: You can’t “re” anything that doesn’t already exist, so it makes sense that there must have been some kind of valuable formation before the Protestant Reformation. When Creation was nearing completion, Adam and Even came into existence as God-formed creatures. Unlike theMORE...

(Not) minor characters

The latest thematic direction for one of our congregation’s Bible classes is the study of supposedly lesser characters in the Scripture. Two enduring realizations: There are lots of these men and women. And they are definitely not “minor” in any way. Rev. Paul Olson, retired pastor and continuing biblical scholar, leads the class. His process involves two major elements: ❶ Unearthing significantMORE...

Random prayer posture thoughts

  (This entry comes as the result of looking at my hands as I was sitting and praying recently. Perhaps these random thoughts might encourage you to consider the possible meaning of your own prayer postures.) One way I pray is with folded hands. Not quite as involved as kneeling or prostrating myself, this posture invites prayer connections nonetheless. Those clasped hands give me theMORE...

If/then prophets

Ancient prophets were probably prudent as well as prescient. They looked around and saw the realities of consequences. Seeing likely corollaries —“if/then” at its root—they could look ahead and conclude what might occur in the future. Inequities and iniquities would bring on “punishment.” Idolatry—including the sexually pleasurable worship of pagan gods and goddesses—would also weaken societyMORE...


  Already an overused buzzword, unprecedented is a convenient adjective that we might use to describe some action or event that we think has never occurred. By its use, we admit our lack of knowledge about X or Y – or the individuals responsible for X or Y. “How could I have known about X or Y,” we might ask. “This hasn’t ever happened.” Hold on, though. Most of us have likely lived throughMORE...

Who will follow us?

You may have encountered institutional memory loss when a workplace leader retires, resigns or dies. (Or you may be one of those people whose history and personal expertise are critical to the well-being of your organization—dependably bridging the past, present and future.) In these cases, the major question emerges: “Who will carry forward the essential character of this business?” ThisMORE...

Perseveration begone!

One of my emerging personality traits is beginning to bother me: My tendency to repeat beloved personal stories to people who’ve most likely heard those tales before. Right now, this behavior might be only an occasional vexation, but it might also lead me inexorably towards perseveration—the tendency toward repeated actions, utterance or thought patterns without apparent stimulus. Granted, atMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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