Moving Forward – working to heal the divide

Moving Forward – working to heal the divide

The results of this past weeks election have put a new exclamation mark on the sense of divide that has been growing in our country over the past few years. I keep asking myself: What should I have done? How should I move forward? How do we heal the divide? It’s tempting to get into discussions about politics, however I’m not a political analyst.  I’m […]

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When life isn’t fair

We’ve all heard it before: “Life isn’t always fair”. Maybe it was from a parent, or friend or mentor, but the old adage is true. The funny thing about being a counselor is others think we are supposed to deal with it better.  I was in my chiropractors office recently and he asked me why I think I’m feeling so stiff and sore lately.  I […]

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Finally the Ottos…

…have returned to Youth Ministry! It’s been 10 years to the month since I stepped down as Youth Director at Wicomico Presbyterian. Ten crazy years. We’ve doubled the size of our family, moved twice, helped plant a church and seen our kids grow into pre-teens and teens.  I’ve felt a call outside of professional ministry, started a new career, and now, God has brought us […]

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Learning to Listen: Beginning to find answers

Like the rest of the country, I feel like I’ve been in a state of moderate shock since the events at Sandy Hoook Elementary. Like many of you the tragedy of 20 dead children, about the same ages as my little girls, has me asking so many questions: How did this happen? Were there any warning signs? Could anything have been done? Could this happen […]

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Working with Troubled Teens

Working with Troubled Teens

In the wake of the suicide of a Glenelg teen last month I have had the opportunity to talk to a couple local youth workers about how to take care of troubled teens and at risk youth.  It reminded me of why I got into counseling in the first place.  When I was in youth ministry I found myself faced with a couple situations where […]

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Giving less

Giving less

And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, […]

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In Our Weakness

In Our Weakness

Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you try there is no one around who understands.  Or if they are life gets in the way.  You can’t catch a break.  Life keeps throwing curveballs. I wish I could tell you that it will all be alright.  That a friend is waiting.  Or if not that call a pastor, or a therapist.  Somehow though, when you […]

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Derailed

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 Every month a member of our staff presents a verse for all of us to mediate on.  Philippians 4:6-7 is the verse this month.  […]

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For a Moment

For a Moment

For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
Isiah 54:7-8

This seemed like a good verse to start this year with, especially considering the recent shootings in Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming those shootings on the wrath of God, or his desertion of us. It’s just, there are days, weeks, months, even years sometimes where you feel like life is coming apart at the seams. Our best laid plans start crumbling around us and we wonder “where is God in this?”

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Supermen: Fallen

Supermen: Fallen

In my last post in this series I explored what happens when we set our expectations for our heroes too high.  But sometimes, many times, our heroes simply fail.  There is something they promise they can’t deliver, an expectation they can’t measure up to, a situation they can’t fix.  We don’t expect it.  Our heroes are supposed to be able to take care of it.  They are […]

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