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gratitude

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In praise of watchers

In ancient times, watchers guarded cities in the dark of night, surveying their territory from their posts on walls or high towers. Their job was critical: Watch and listen for danger, and then warn the rest of us! Old Testament writers note with admiration how, like God, watchers ensured the safety of people in their care. (See Psalm 127:1 or Ezekiel 3:17-21.) Their role was also a metaphor forMORE...

Bible study exultation (continued)

When last I wrote about the benefits of weekly Bible study groups in congregations, I left out a few thoughts. Here are some of them…. Our group’s Scripture conversations are an extension (or preview) of the proclamation of The Word in weekly worship. Whether based on the lectionary or not, Bible study somehow always connects with what has been (or will be) shared in a Sunday service. ThisMORE...

Butterfly lessons

Our Monarch larva/babies have morphed into adult butterflies, wending their way out into the larger world. These observations from this part of their life cycle…. “I am a man and no butterfly.” This quote from 2 Hezekiah 19:42 reminds me that, despite my most cherished hopes, I will never fly. In my Spirited imagination, though, I am capable of soaring and swooping, darting among obstacles andMORE...

“Indeed, without our prayer”

There’s a lot of “deserving” talk going around these days. Apparently many of us feel that we are owed something for all the troubles we’ve encountered over the past months. That past injustices make us primary candidates for recompense. Or perhaps we even think that our exemplary lives make us worthy for other rewards. “Not so,” says Martin Luther. In his Small Catechism, he frames the meaningMORE...

Gratitude by any other adjective

In my ongoing effort to enliven ecclesiological language, I offer the following adjectival additions to the concept of gratitude. First, let’s start with the presumption that gratitude may need some help. Some of the church’s verbiage illustrates this necessity—as in “the attitude of gratitude.” (Note here the extra oomph that rhyming adds to the concept of thankfulness!)  Second, let’s imagineMORE...

Memory reverie

One of the quiet blessings of the sequestrated lifestyle is the invitation to daydream, to wander in thought. Over the past many months, I’ve taken advantage of this opportunity, and sometimes find myself meandering off into memories about people, places and events from long ago and far away. Those reveries have been part of my prayer life, in a practice I’ve termed “praying the map”—taking cuesMORE...

Thanking “the forgotten people”

I see a lot of “Heroes work here” signs around town. The banners and signboards spotlight ongoing appreciation and gratitude for workers whose daily vocations are laudable. Sometimes, though, the intended recipients seem limited to predictable categories: Law-enforcement and medical workers. Although they certainly are heroes, these aren’t the only people whose work is essential to society’sMORE...

Unremarkable

At my stage in life—and with my collected genetic predispositions hugged tightly around me—I am happy to announce that I am by and large “unremarkable”. For those of you keen enough to notice a hidden meaning in this word, my thanks for your remarkable insight! Yes, this is a medical term of great importance, bestowing great joy. As the recipient of some of the finest medical tests available fromMORE...

Labor Day observations

At this time in my life, I think about work differently than when I was working in a specific profession. Several of those musings took place during worship at our church the day before Labor Day, which prompts the following quiltwork of thoughts. At my age, I am rewarded for the various personal and volunteer roles I am immersed in—the pay is just different. In a way, I’m still being paid—IMORE...

An older man gives thanks

Although our culture is already rushing towards Christmas, I’m sticking with the delightful prospect of celebrating Thanksgiving first—reflecting on the thoughts and actions of being thankful at this stage in life. Consider what follows here as the thankful thoughts of an older man. Perhaps someone not unlike you…? To set these ideas in context, you should know that I’m very happy to be an oldMORE...

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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