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Following the Light: A Jesus Revolution

Following the Light: A Jesus Revolution

Following the Light is a series of blogs that point to the brights spots where I see renewal and rebirth in the world of religion and spirituality. The series will continue through the Christian season of Epiphany. I distinctly remember reading the Bible for the first...

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Following the Light: Keepin’ it Real

Following the Light: Keepin’ it Real

Following the Light is a series of blogs that point to the brights spots where I see renewal and rebirth in the world of religion and spirituality. The series will continue through the Christian season of Epiphany. I knew I had seen a light — and it wasn’t just coming...

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Following the Light: Strange Stars

Following the Light: Strange Stars

Adapted from a sermon I didn’t get to preach on Matthew 2: 1-12 because of winter weather on Jan. 5, 2014. It will also serve as the beginning on my forthcoming blog series, Following the Light …They were just doing their job.Every day they stared at the stars,...

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Stepping into 2014

Stepping into 2014

Making new paths is difficult. But, walking on well-worn paths can be just as hard, even treacherous. Living in the “snow belt” of Michigan this winter, I’m particularly attuned to walking paths. I live near the downtown area of Kalamazoo and it is extremely easy to...

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The Light of Gratitude: A Christmas Card

The Light of Gratitude: A Christmas Card

We acknowledge the painful holiday reality at least in passing. People make it their Facebook status for an hour. Churches open the doors for “longest night”  or “Blue Christmas” services. Yoga studios hold winter solstice asana practices that honor the darkness and...

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Upside Down: Naturally

Upside Down: Naturally

Adapted from a sermon preached by Rev. Nicole Havelka on Dec. 8, 2013 at Pilgrim UCC, St. Joseph, MI For months, I nodded along politely while my fellow seminary students earnestly discussed their daily prayer and meditation practices. I was totally convinced that...

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Waiting IS the point

Waiting IS the point

I don’t know about you, but I remember quite vividly the wiggly anticipation with which I greeted Christmas Eve as a child. I remember dressing up in my new Christmas dress (often a red one which was a favorite color even back then) and my annual pair of black patent...

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Tattoos: Rituals of Control?

Tattoos: Rituals of Control?

“Are you Nicole?” Josh Drew, my tattoo artist said as I walked through the door of Lasting Impressions, the Des Moines, IA tattoo shop that would become my home for the next several hours. My stomach was doing slightly nervous flip flops even as I walked breezily...

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A Question of Access

A Question of Access

Sometime in the past year or so, I lost my Bible. Not every copy of the Bible I own. (I am a seminary graduate, after all, and have many copies on my office shelf.) But, I lost the dog-eared, sticky-note laden Harper Collins Study Bible that I most often used to...

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Rituals of Comings and Goings

Rituals of Comings and Goings

Comings and goings were extraordinarily common when I worked as a chaplain to at-risk youth at a residential treatment facility in northern Illinois. “Transitions,” as they were called in the local vernacular, were extremely stressful. If a young person was...

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Called Home: The Sunset Side of the Lake

Called Home: The Sunset Side of the Lake

I can’t think of too many weekends more perfect than that Labor Day weekend in 2007. Three good friends and I loaded cars and trekked to the lake house we were borrowing on Lake Michigan just near Saugatuck, Michigan late on Friday night. Clear, blue skies, perfect...

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