Worship And Wonder

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Another Look at the Book of Job

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 7, 2024

Who knew that reading the Book of Job would be about so much more than just dealing with unfair suffering – as if that weren’t enough! Chapter by chapter, the Book breaks down our conventional wisdom that denies the suffering of innocents. Reading it is not for the faint of heart! But as I read…

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Overusing God?

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 17, 2023

Overusing God? What could that mean? A momentary struggle with that phrase led me to wonder and to worship. I learned a long time back that our language not only reflects our thoughts, but also shapes them. For example, if we think “friend” as our default language, we’ll begin with a positive attitude toward another…

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Resurrection and Wild Waves

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 12, 2023

Okay, I admit it: ever since COVID and writing my book Tossed in Time, I’ve been partial to Matthew’s story of Jesus walking on the stormy water – and Peter’s crazy request to walk on the wild waves with him! (Matthew 14: 22-33) A fisherman by trade, Peter clearly knew those nighttime storms could mean…

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Disciples and Disciplines

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 1, 2023

I never was a fan of the word “discipline.” It sounds too much like “punishment” to me. Not that my parents disciplined me very much. But the term used to leave a bad taste in my mouth, nevertheless. But not any longer. Actually, “discipline” comes from the word for “disciple.” Ah, that makes a huge…

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Worship’s Deep Water

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 17, 2022

On a scorching day, it’s amazing how refreshing a simple glass of cold water can be. I have felt this in the summer after a long walk, a hike, or a workout, when the heat seems to suck the life out of my parched mouth. That’s how it tasted this past Saturday when I co-taught…

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By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 5, 2022

There are times when doing flows into being. Like when a toddler carefully puts the final block on a toy tower he has built. It can happen when an instrumental musician masters an intricate musical passage. Or when a runner completes her most memorable race, her leg muscles burning and lungs nearly exploding, in what…

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Practicing God’s Presence

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 15, 2022

In the busi-ness of your responsibilities and the busy-ness of life, how do you stay in touch with God? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” But how do we open up to such stillness within? I recognize this stillness in certain moments, when the illusion of “ordinary” days is drawn…

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Day-by-Day Mysteries

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 15, 2022

Think of us in this way: as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. (1 Corinthians 4:1) Paul was in trouble – again. This time it was with some members of the congregations he helped because of that pack of holier-than-thou “super-apostles.” They were going around stirring up doubts about his leadership, saying that…

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What is Prayer?

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 19, 2022

A major question for many people is not the how of prayer, but the what. In their minds, some people may connect prayer with memorized lines they were taught in childhood, or a thing religious leaders said in church worship. But what exactly is prayer? The answer to this question is not the same for…

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The Pattern Prayer

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 17, 2022

“I’ll pray for you,” people often say. But what do they mean by that? What is prayer, anyway? Prayer is a common term, but any room even of like-minded folks picture it in scores of different ways. Little children may imagine saying sentences out loud to an Old Man in the sky; older adults may…

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