Responding to Covid
by Michael Malmin on November 24th, 2020
I am writing this to explain, and give some scriptural support for, our decision to comply with the state’s latest mandates regarding the COVID 19 pandemic.This is an article it never occurred to me that I would have to write. Most of us had never thought of a global pandemic prior to spring of 2020. And without exception I know of no pastor who had ever thought of mask compliance and Zoom staff...
Let's Get Creatively Thankful!
by Michael Malmin on November 17th, 2020
Good news! The new coronavirus directive from the state allows us to continue with our services at the same capacity we have been offering them! In addition, we will continue with children’s and youth ministry during our 10:45 service. Mask wearing and social distancing will be practiced, and our livestream offered.At the direction of state medical officials we will be temporarily discontinuing co...
A Prayer for Pastors
by Michael Malmin on November 10th, 2020
This morning's message is for my pastor friends. Or for anyone who has a pastor.Thank you cards are crowded on the table at the entry of my house - dozens that arrived for Pastor's Appreciation Month. They slowly collected over the month of October. The other night I realized just how many there are. And I wept.I've always appreciated the kindness shown me and my staff during this month of th...
Order More Tests
by Michael Malmin on November 3rd, 2020
It's a story that most of us have experienced. Not feeling ourselves we head to the physician. After giving us the once-over, the doctor announces they want to order more tests. Maybe an MRI or an X-ray. Perhaps some blood work. The purpose of the test is to get an image of the hard to see things that a basic, external exam might miss. Tests looks for difficult-to-see disease. The older I get the...
On Citizenship and Elections
by Michael Malmin on October 27th, 2020
One week from today our nation will head to the polls. Due to vote by mail and early voting many already have. 66 million as of this writing.As a pastor, this has been a uniquely challenging time to lead a group of people. There are so many strong opinions and deep passions across the political spectrum. With seven days to go before votes are tabulated, I wanted to give you some thoughts on ho...
Right Down to the Studs
by Michael Malmin on October 20th, 2020
We demolished a bathroom at the Malmin household over the weekend. On purpose. We're remodeling.Almost everything was torn out. The toilet. The vanity. Pink Formica (circa 1960). All the fixtures. We even tore out all of the sheetrock. We went right down to the studs. All that remains is the tub.The process made me apprehensive for a couple of reasons:1) We have one remaining operationa...
by Michael Malmin on October 13th, 2020
"Aggressive" and "Joy" are two words we don't typically place side by side.We may experience "aggressive anger". We see "aggressive protests" on the news. We even encounter "passive aggressive" people. But "aggressive joy"?This morning my devotional reading was Psalm 108:1-4:"My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn...
Much To Be Humble About
by Michael Malmin on September 29th, 2020
Winston Churchill was the master of the quick putdown. Once, when talking about a political opponent, the gruff British Prime Minister quipped, "“He's a humble man with much to be humble about.”Good one. Humility is rarely valued in our society. Humble voices are not esteemed in politics. Or on social media. You don't wind up cast on a "Real Housewives" show because you are courteous, gent...
SO WHAT ABOUT VBS?
by Michael Malmin on September 23rd, 2020
If there has been an upside to ministry during the pandemic, it has been the opportunity to creatively find ways to engage with our community when it is difficult, or impossible, to meet face-to-face. VBS presents such an opportunity.In-person Conference Week VBS will not take place this year. But we want the children in our valley to know that we are thinking of them during this time, and tha...
Six-Thousand Feet of Darkness
by Michael Malmin on September 15th, 2020
The headline caught my eye."6000 Feet Of Smoke Above Puget Sound"That is a thick layer of dirty air! The estimate from the local clean air authority wasn't surprising. I'm guessing our numbers are similar. Smoke has become a familiar presence in North Central Washington in late summer and early fall. The smoke is unpleasant. It obscures the sun, covering everything in depressing sepia tones. It...
by Michael Malmin on September 8th, 2020
The news notification vibrated my phone. The headline grabbed my attention. It was to hard to pass up."Election Chaos Anticipated" I clicked on it, started reading, and immediately regretted my decision. My pulse started to race as I read about the potential for unrest after the November elections. My old nemesis anxiety had once again invaded my already frazzled head space.2020 has been a b...
Monsters in My Room
by Michael Malmin on September 1st, 2020
When I was little I was afraid of monsters.Don’t laugh. I’m guessing you were too. It’s a common fear for children. In my mind monsters lurked in places I could not see. In a closet. Under my bed. Behind my desk.Soon I would be crying out for my mom who would come into my room and tightly tuck me in to my favorite blanket, affectionately known as “banky”. Again, remember, I’m a little kid....