A faithful presence of love in the absences of our city.

Posts by Joanna Hinks

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Count Your Blessings

count your blessings

"So where do you look for happiness and blessing? Are you like a child writing a letter to Santa, expecting good things to magically appear? Or like an adult who thinks they have to earn good things for themselves, trusting in the willpower generated by New Year’s resolutions? Maybe this year it’s time to try an Impossible Prayer Request instead. When I seek blessing f...

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The Gospel and the gift registry

the gospel & the gift registry

"Finally getting back to the wedding registry analogy: for a people who wanted to show love for God but didn’t know what that looked like, here’s a list of some of the characteristics that please him. Not a checklist of duties to perform, but ideas for how our lives should be ordered “so that the word of God may not be reviled” (or in the positive sense, so that th...

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Capacity & Compassion

capacity & Compassion

"Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” When by God’s grace I’m able to help someone, it’s not my compassion being expressed - it’s Christ’s compassion. When I feel like I’m all dried up and have no capacity left to help others, Christ, who lives in me, has infinite capacity. Rather ...

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What about him?

What about him_

"The lesson of Jesus’ command “You Follow Me” isn’t just about not comparing yourself to others around you. It’s also about not comparing your own life to the one you want to have, or comparing yourself to the person you want to be, or the events in your life to what you wish had happened. It’s about trusting God that the both the worst and the most mundane thi...

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"What are some reasons we stop lamenting as adults? Maybe there’s a sense that we don’t want to be a bother to others - after all, they have their own difficulties, many of them worse than ours. Is this situation really important enough to seek help from other people, let alone from God? And then of course there’s the way we as a culture idolize self-reliance and ind...

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"After recognizing that God wants to speak to us, another important part of listening is to put ourselves in situations where we can hear him clearly. God is perfectly capable of speaking to me in a thundering voice from the sky next time I go for a hike in the wilderness, but until that happens I’ve learned to also hear him in Scripture, in preaching, during quiet times...

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Baptism is a Front Door

Baptism is a front door

"Baptism is truly many-faceted; every time we look at it we perceive deeper meaning in this deceptively simple practice. Baptism is a front door, a death and resurrection, a cleansing, a wedding ring showing who we belong to, a legal document establishing our freedom from sin. As something which unites us to God’s Church, baptism has been practiced in an amazing diversit...

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Sabbath: Insisting on Rest


"Each of us is made by God to delight and rest in him differently. And yet by taking one day a week for rest, the very rhythm of our lives declares that we are God’s people, formed in his Image and secure in the work he has finished on our behalf."...

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Where Are You Buried?


One summer about 20 years ago, my family spent a couple of days on a genealogical pilgrimage. We visited the town in Quebec where my great great (...I don't remember how many greats) grandfather John Hinks and his wife Elsie settled after they immigrated from England. We traced their children to Powerscourt, Quebec, about a mile north of the US border, and found their name...

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The Gospel of Sodom?

the gospel of sodom

"Like Lot, even the good things we do are tainted with sin. Like Lot, we don’t take God’s promised judgment seriously, and God saves us despite our own efforts and not because of them."...

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Living in Light of God's Promise

genesis 12_10-20 (1)

"Like Lot, I am buffeted by the circumstances of life because I treasure the stuff I have been given rather than the giver."...

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Wartime Realities


I may feel exhausted or discouraged or wounded by events in my life, but do I recognize the underlying battle? ...

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When I realized a few months ago that Easter fell on April 1 this year, I initially saw it as incongruous - the high point of the Church calendar juxtaposed with the a day of playful trickery. ...

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There’s nothing like a natural disaster to inspire people to ask deep questions about the meaning of life, justice, and the existence of evil and hardship. ...

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Untitled design-4

Adam and Eve based their hope on Cain, as a result of an incomplete and flawed understanding of God’s promised redemption....

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Uncomfortable Love


If I truly understand that God loves me, not just in some generic sense but intensely and personally, it changes everything. Love like that isn’t something that can be met with indifference, any more than I could respond to a marriage proposal with a shrug....

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