My name is Rachel, and I am passionate about helping people challenge, nurture, and develop their faith. I also guest blog at Bible Dude, ELC Reflections, and Soul Munchies. I am active with various ministries in the La Crosse Area Synod and English Lutheran Church. I love playing electric violin, teaching, and volunteering with middle school through college students.
The title of this blog comes from one of my favorite Bible verses: Hosea 3:1. You know the one (NIV translation) : “The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
I learned this verse in graduate school where my faith grew tremendously through Lutheran Campus Ministry. When I assisted with middle school confirmation, our pastor–spur of the moment–asked us to teach our small groups a verse we knew by heart. With a little context, this verse is a beautiful example of God’s grace. It’s important to know that the people who love raisin cakes worship other gods. Here, God tells the prophet Hosea to forgive, to keep going and doing things that seem crazy to the world, to love as God loves. So, hoping parents and pastor wouldn’t banish me from church for teaching 8th graders a verse about prostitution, my group and I dug into Hosea 3:1.
Much to my amazement, they recited it around their houses, to the pastors, to their friends. Hosea 3:1 got middle schoolers excited about their faith, talking to others about God and what it means to be Christian, and digging beyond the 8th grade humor of the word adulteress. It spurred their interest, got them digging in their Bibles and asking questions, and helped very different students to share a bond. I think of the “Hosea 3:1 effect” as experiences that get us to challenge our faith, to learn, to get excited and energized, and then to have the courage to share what we believe with others.
This blog will include my faith reflections, book reviews and recommendations, stories of faith adventures with middle schoolers and high schoolers, and other thoughts that I hope will have the “Hosea 3:1 effect” on you as well. Welcome to this crazy journey.