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A fresh new taste of God

The forty day period of Lent is traditionally a time when we strengthen our spiritual lives so that we are more able to experience the joy of Easter Day. It used to be a time when people made extreme sacrifices. Christians would give up some pleasant aspect of their lives, and for forty days they ate no rich foods, no meat, cheese, eggs or milk. Fish and bread were the main staples of their diet. Parties and music and joyful occasions, even weddings, were postponed until after Easter. These sacrifices were made as a sign of respect and remembrance for Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Such extreme sacrifices are seldom done now, and we Presbyterians don't do much of that because John Cal

A Valentines Day Wish from God

Happy Valentine's Day! Love, God It's somewhat ironic that Ash Wednesday happens to fall on February 14th, this year. Few days on the church calendar are less "romantic" in nature than this first day of Lent. Certainly, the sentimentalized love celebrated on Valentine's Day is a mere shadow of the divine love revealed on the cross. There are, however, some interesting connections. The heart is...well, at the heart of both days. Remember the valentines you received when you were in grade school? All of those little envelops with your name carefully printed on each one. You opened it, slid the card out, and glanced at the cartoon illustration before quickly flipping it over to see who it was f

Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, Woodstock Willy, et. al. February 2 came and went... the sun was out... the groundhogs saw their shadows... six more weeks of winter. Do we really believe that? Are we so concerned about what the future holds for us that we will go to any lengths, even asking groundhogs or woodchucks (spoiler... they are one and the same) to predict the future? (The weather anyway.) There is a religious connection. This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day, an early Christian holiday involving candles. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania (my home state) in the 1700s brought the custom to America... and it caught on. Just good fun, if you ask me. Adults in top hats

Re Christian Education

Proverbs 1:2-6 For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight, for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity; to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young-- Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. Think back with me: who was one of your Sunday school teachers? Why do you remember them? What did they teach you? If you read the lead Tidings article for February, you may guess where I am going with this. The Christian Education Task Force is up and running, and wants you to dream, and look ba

© 2016 by First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso

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