Opinion / Reflections


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  • Just say yes and follow His path to a rewarding life

    Apr 24, 2024

    We celebrated Easter Sunday on March 31, and April 1 was the beginning of Easter Week that went to April 6. It’s all a very exciting time in the Christian year. The risen Christ paved the way for all who believe in Him to spend our eternal lives with Him in heaven. None of us have the knowledge as to how long we have here on Earth. We journey through our lives dealing with raising kids, attending weddings and nurturing grandchildren. Our earthly lives are built with lots of busy activities, happy times and sad times. One never knows what w...

  • It's time to get back to things that matter

    Nov 22, 2023

    By Pastor Sue Bahleda Island of Faith Lutheran Church I like words with opposite meanings, like “trim.” One meaning is about eliminating unnecessary bits, like trimming fat from a steak. An opposite meaning is to decorate, like trimming a Christmas tree, which may include adding all kinds of unnecessary bits, depending on who you ask. (The toilet-paper-roll Santa that I made in kindergarten, in all its tattered and battered splendor, is NOT unnecessary.) I’ve been thinking for some time about the words “used to.” It can mean something...

  • We're meant to grow throughout life

    Pastor Sue Bahleda, Island of Faith Lutheran Church|Aug 2, 2023

    Did you know some churches are color coordinated? We use colors to visually represent the purpose of a church season: blue is for Advent hope, purple is Lenten repentance, white is Christmas and Easter joy. The longest season is the one we’re in now, from June to October, and it’s green. Our banners are green, our altar cloths are green, sometimes even our bulletins are green! Green represents growth, and we’re meant to use these green, growing days to practice the lessons we learn from God, to grow a little for our own sake and the sake of ou...

  • God reminds us that we are enough

    May 24, 2023

    You are seen! Many times, we wander through life or even just the day and feel like no one is there or no one cares. We even do things at times to get noticed. We want the adoration or appreciation of others. And yet, sometimes it is unfulfilling. Not because we aren’t strong enough, funny enough or any of that, but because we lack a true understanding of our own value. You are enough! The one who created all has already said that. If He who began a good work in you, desires you and wants you as close to Him as possible, you are enough. 1 Peter...

  • St. Valentine's Day a reminder of God's love

    Feb 15, 2023

    February is the month when we turn our thoughts to matters of the heart. On the 14th we give our sweetheart a card, a box of candy or maybe take them out to dinner. No matter what is done we think of love to our wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Saint Valentine was a third-century Roman saint and was commemorated on the 14th of February. Yes, we still celebrate the event to this day. In the course of history there is an even greater event to show love. God sent his only son to show us just how much we are loved. That love was told to us...

  • Unity hold us together, despite differences

    Pastor Sue Bahleda, Island of Faith Lutheran Church|Jun 1, 2022

    One of the abiding understandings of our Lutheran church is “unity, not uniformity.” It is a practice that allows each congregation flexibility within a particular framework. We celebrate a pattern of church seasons; we mark those seasons with particular colors for banners and altar cloths; we have a recommended three-year cycle of scripture readings for Sundays and a collection of hymns and an order for worship. On June 5, we celebrate Pentecost, the day God gave the whole Church the Holy Spirit. While the banners and altar cloths will all...

  • Seeing the grays helps us see the beauty

    Pastor Sue Bahleda, Island of Faith Lutheran Church|Oct 14, 2021

    I have long said that if I were conducting job interviews for any position in Southeast Alaska, my first question would be, “Do you like black and white photography or black and white movies?” These art forms are not stark black and white; what makes black and white movies and photos so striking is the interplay of gray. Seeing and celebrating the variety, contrasts and beauty in the range of the gray tones is critical for appreciating life in Southeast. Last week, I sat on a bench overlooking the water, and the bright, flat expanse of nic...

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