When I was in third grade, it was my Grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  To celebrate this amazing milestone, they took our whole family—aunts, uncles, and cousins included—on an out West adventure.  From Custer National Park and the Badlands to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, then to Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons as our final destination. In impeccable 1990s family trip … Read More


Eugene Peterson’s words in a book titled Reversed Thunder startle me: “Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren. Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives. We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by specters and soothed … Read More

Hello Lent 2024

Hello. Welcome back to this little corner of the life of Pillar Church. This season of Lent we are focusing on a theme called Centered. In the journal you will find some reflections and prompts for prayer that invite us into a life that is centered in Christ. As you walk through the season, whatever your journey looks like, we … Read More

Lord Jesus Christ, Enlighten the Darkness

Here is a short refrain that was composed for Advent 2022, but I think we only sang it at Pillar once or twice, so it will probably feel new! The text is drawn from a fifth century liturgy called the Gelasian Sacramentary. O Lord,
incline your merciful ears to our prayers
and enlighten the darkness of our hearts
by the light of your … Read More

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

In Isaiah 11, we hear of a promised ruler—“a shoot” who will “come out from the stump of Jesse,” and of the “peacable kingdom” he will establish. In this kingdom, predator and prey will settle down in calm company: the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion will … Read More


*invitation: Read Isaiah 40:1-11 “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1). Isaiah the prophet meets us with words of comfort, words of comfort from God himself. Here’s a dictionary definition to help our imaginations come alive to Isaiah’s heart. Comfort. A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. The easing or alleviation of a … Read More

Walking in Darkness, Looking for light

Isaiah gives voice to our Advent hope, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” I’ve been reading a book titled “Bittersweet” by author Susan Cain. In the book, she acknowledges a deep admiration for musician Leonard Cohen who wrote the wildly popular, 1984 hit song, “Hallelujah.” He sings his “Hallelujah” in very minor key, it’s “Hallelujah” … Read More

Hello Message

Welcome back to this little corner of the life of Pillar Church. Throughout you will find some explorations of our season’s theme that Pastor Jon will introduce in the following pages as well as some other words and images to help us settle into our Advent longing, waiting, and hoping. And at its best, this journal is an interactive experience. … Read More

Advent resources

Books: Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Plough Publishing House) Rise Up Shepherd: Advent Reflections on the Spirituals, Luke Powry Advent, Tish Harrison Warren Liturgical/Prayer Resources: Isaiah IX, Bellwether Arts O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: A Liturgy for Daily Worship from Advent to Epiphany, Jonathan Gibson Music: Poor Bishop Hooper, Firstborn Wilder Adkis, Nativity The Lower Lights, … Read More

When We Can’t Pray

There are times in our lives when we can’t pray. We often wonder where God is. Sometimes we are so tired physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that praying seems like too much work. When we are going through health challenges, grief, or are pulling our hair out with parenting struggles, or are caring for elderly parents, we may have no stamina … Read More