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.

By Paul Koch

When we are quiet, when we give ourselves moments without distraction or entertainment, when we allow silence to occupy our space, we begin to think about our lives, about our world and our place in it. We begin to realize that there is something wrong, something misplaced or broken about our existence. Maybe for you it begins when you realize how bad your joints ache or how difficult it is to do things that once seemed to do with ease. Or perhaps, in your contemplation you struggle with inner demons, with things no one else can see, with depression and anxiety. Some days are a dark and confusing battle where hope seems to be in short supply, and you can’t seem to get a hold of the reason why. Then again, maybe your quiet moments are consumed with thoughts of guilt and shame. You think of friendships that you’ve lost, of loves that have grown cold. When we enter the quiet we often find that we quickly seek the distractions, the diversion from what is broken within ourselves.