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Extraordinary Simplicity

If you love someone, you may have said or thought at some point, “I would do anything for this person.” If somebody asked you what ‘anything’ means, you might have said exceptional things: "I’d give everything I have to make them happy." "I’ll provide for their every need, and take away their problems." "I would die to protect them." "I will punish, even kill, anyone who tries to hurt them." Love makes us ready to do exceptional things, doesn’t it? But more often than not, the things our loved ones need from us are not exceptional at all. Attention and appreciation. Time spent together in learning and play. Compassion and forgiveness, when we’re confused and strugg

Don't Forget. Forgive.

In the book of Jonah, God is upset by the ‘wickedness’ of the people of Nineveh. He sends Jonah to decry their wrongdoing and tell them to turn from their evil ways. But Jonah doesn’t want to go, because come on, he hates Nineveh. The Bible doesn’t actually say what the Ninevites were doing that was so wicked in God’s sight, or why Jonah personally despised them. And that’s helpful to us as readers. We can imagine any number of wicked things the Ninevites were doing, or just think of things we like to judge and hate people for in our time – it’s easy to relate to Jonah. Maybe Ninevites were violent, maybe they ripped people off, maybe they abused minorities or women… I s

Who We Really Are

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent in the Christian Church. Lent is a 40-day season of grappling with the most serious dimensions of the human condition – sin, mortality, suffering – in remembrance of the many trials Jesus endured during his ministry. He began famished in the wilderness for 40 days, and ended up suffering and abandoned on his way to the cross. But Lent is not only about pondering the tragic and cruel dimensions of life. It’s also a time for growth, renewal, and creativity. The word Lent actually comes from an ancient word for ‘measuring’ and it refers to the lengthening of days in the spring-time. Christians remember the courage and grace o

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102 E. 2nd Street

Davenport, Iowa

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