That’s Who We Are

Jen Petersen

Read: James 1:19-27 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (v. 22) As we are raising our two boys, we’re trying to instill in them a sense of family values. We often find ourselves saying things like, “We can use kind words with one another because that’s what Petersens do.” When their choices don’t reflect our family values, we point to the kind of person we’re hoping they’ll become to help redirect them to better …

What Are You Worth?

Jen Petersen

Read: James 1:9-16 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation. (vv. 9-10) It’s easy to play the comparison game. We might compare ourselves with people who make either more or less money, or people who take fancier vacations. Sometimes we look at what other people have and think how much better or easier or more fun our life would be if we had what they have. We even play the comparison game in …

More than Enough

Jen Petersen

Read: James 1:2-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (v. 5) Pastors perform many different tasks as they lead a congregation, from preaching to pastoral care to administrative leadership. My least favorite task as a pastor has always been asking people to volunteer for things. I know that everyone’s life is busy, and I fear asking too much of people. But when I let …

Pleasing Sacrifice

Jen Petersen

Read: Hebrews 13:15-16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have. (v. 16) Respectful. Responsible. Kind. The school my children attend uses these three words to help students think about their behavior. There are rules for classroom behavior and how to stay safe on the playground and for many other situations, but they all fall under these three words. Students can trust that if they are being respectful, responsible, and kind, they’re probably on track with …

Christ Alone

Jen Petersen

Read: Hebrews 13:8-9 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (v. 8) When I was a baby, my doctor told my mother that it was best to lay me on my stomach to sleep. He said that babies were happier on their stomachs and were less likely to choke if they spit up. When I had babies of my own, the doctor told me to lay them on their backs to sleep. New research shows that babies …

Simple Love

Jen Petersen

Read: Hebrews 13:1-7 Let mutual love continue. (v. 1 NRSV) With two children in elementary school, I’m constantly signing student homework planners to keep track of what’s happening in class and receiving quarterly reports of all of the assignments my kids have or haven’t turned in. Report cards come home regularly to tell me my kids’ grades. And then there’s extra credit to boost their grade if we’re not satisfied. Sometimes we treat following Jesus like earning a grade. We …