If I Had a Hammer

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All he wanted to do was hammer something.

Eli* wasn’t a regular church-goer and wasn’t sure how to find the book of Galatians in his Bible, but he heard there might be an opportunity to build things, so he signed up.

“When are we going to build stuff?” he asked as we settled in for our group devotion.

“Soon,” I said, but I wasn’t sure. Not at all. We were barely 24 hours into the youth-group service trip when I realized things were out of our control. Our group was randomly split up at lunch, placed in prayer groups with people we didn’t know, and assigned to various work-sites without our consent. Clearly, we weren’t in charge.  Continue reading

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GNO: Jamie Afshari’s Favorite Things

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I’m Jamie Afshari and still girlishly giggle when I say that because it’s a new- to- me last name as of September 2. My husband Jahan and I live in Tower Grove and love city living. I work at Central Presbyterian Church and love serving the women there. I was fortunate to get my Master of Divinity two years ago from Covenant seminary and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of plumbing the depths of God’s love. As a Chicago transplant I am thrilled to say that St Louis is right; Baseball is pretty great in October. Who knew? 😉 Continue reading

Half-Mast

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One of my favorite parts of my morning walk is when I pass by our local library just before it opens. If my timing’s right, two staffers come outside just as I pass and I get to watch their reverent ritual of hoisting our flag for another day. It’s cool to watch, and I’m enough of a geek for it to put a little spring in my step.

Last week, I was a little behind schedule, but I rounded the library corner just in time to see  Continue reading

Reaching for More

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A new determination faithfully arrives every year, sometime between Christmas and January 1. Just when the clutter starts to get to me and the chaotic schedule grinds on my nerves.

I’ve got a system and prefer to do it alone: pitching, rearranging, and packing away. The physical work feels good after too many family movies and long meals. The solitude feels even better.

But this year, my work became symbolic of a bigger mess… Continue reading