By Paul Koch

I recall many years ago I was doing a Sunday morning Bible study at my previous congregation in Georgia. We were working our way through St. Matthew’s Gospel that happened to be the text that corresponds to our reading today of Mark 10:2-16. So, we began by talking about the harsh realities of divorce. Divorce seems to be a plague of sorts in our land, it’s no longer rare or shocking. All of us have come in contact with the realities of divorce. Either you have been divorced or your parents have, or you know someone who has gone through the hurt and struggle of divorce. And it is easy if you haven’t been divorced to speak with a certain self-righteousness about the whole thing. Then again, it is also easy to justify divorce to the point that it can seem a noble or necessary thing. During that Bible study in Georgia, I was no doubt more on the self-righteous side of things when a member brought to my attention the simple fact that most of the people sitting there had been through divorce. In Bible Study on a Sunday morning a small southern town, those who had not been divorced were certainly the minority.

By Paul Koch

The concept of F-You Money flows from a new take on the American dream.  No longer is it simply about climbing the social-economic ladder to achieve a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. It’s not merely about doing better than your parents did or setting up your own children to have a better life than you. F-You Money is about being free to give your boss the finger, to quit and walk out without any sacrifice to your lifestyle. It means you are not beholden to another for your time. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to do it, period.

By Cindy Koch

So much of our daily lives cycle around the same old thing, day after day. Laundry, dishes, fixing the car, going to work, walking the dog, the mundane routine seems like it spins around and around, never resolved and never finished. It takes me back to a time when my babies were very little. I found myself caught in the mundane, the everyday routine. I would wake up, feed the baby, change her, do some dishes, feed the baby, change her, clean the bathroom, feed the baby, change her, and go to bed. Every single day. But nothing much changed.

By Paul Koch

Do you confess the Unaltered Augsburg Confession to be a true exposition of Holy Scripture and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church? And do you confess that the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord—as these are contained in the Book of Concord—are also in agreement with this one scriptural faith?

By Cindy Koch

There are already too many holidays on our calendar that are a challenge to the Gospel and the pure Word of God. Some holidays are widely scoffed at by Christian communities, like Halloween. When I lived in the Bible Belt, trick or treating would be canceled if it ever fell on a Sunday. Some holidays are in the middle of a church and state type battle, like Christmas and Easter. Do you really celebrate the “reason for the season” and say “Merry Christmas,” or do you trade in your crosses for Easter bunnies? Then there are the holidays that surprise you, where our church and culture just might be celebrating the same thing. For example, that special Thursday in November that everyone takes a day to give thanks for every good thing they have been given. And while we all just love having a Monday off the normal routine (and any reason to barbeque and drink beer), this Labor Day should also inspire a little careful thought.