Berlin_Wall_1961-11-20There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6


The year was 1990. I was with a tour group in what had been called East Berlin, Gemany, during the Cold War, a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies after World War II. East Berlin had just been opened for tourism, and the city was a strange sight indeed. Our group agreed that East Berlin was not ready for visitors! The “hotel” where we stayed had been a barracks for occupying Russian soldiers and their families. The beds were iron cots with army green blankets, rough muslin sheets, and a peppermint on each pillow (a nod to more advanced tourist destinations). A huge armoire served as a closet, but behind it was plumbing that must have connected to a small kitchen. From the window, we could watch the last remnants of Russian troops goose stepping through the Brandenburg Gate. Checkpoint Charlie, once the only passage from East to West and back again, was now just a curiosity rather than the heavily guarded gate that few qualified to pass through.


Berlin Wall Decorated 1986But nothing could have prepared our group for the sight of the Berlin Wall, a heavily patrolled barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 until the year before we stood before it. The “Wall of Shame,” as the Westerners called it, was constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It divided West Berlin from all of surrounding East Germany and East Berlin, included guard towers and a wide area known as the “death strip.” The Soviet Union and the GDR built the Wall to “protect (their) population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the ‘will of the people’ in building a socialist state in East Germany” (Source: Wikipedia.org).


Today, repressive governments still cause many to flee their homes and seek asylum in other countries in which they are not always welcome. As Christians, we have an obligation to seek fair, equitable policies that build bridges, not walls. The lesson of the Berlin Wall must not be forgotten.


Lord, You are gentle and humble, and You will give us rest from life’s burdens. Amen

Photos courtesy of Wickipedia.org.


Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .


ScapegoatBut the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat. Leviticus 16:10


Webster defines “scapegoat” as “a person who is unfairly blamed for something that others have done.” A scapegoat in an abusive family is one who is singled out and blamed for things another family member (often a parent) is responsible for. In a marriage, one partner can be the scapegoat, blamed for actions projected on her instead of the spouse accepting what he has done or not done. Ignoring, labeling, magnifying, and sabotaging are other behaviors often directed at the designated victim. Scapegoats can also appear in institutions and systems such as schools, the workplace, and even agencies serving the marginalized and disenfranchised. Many who find themselves serving as someone else’s scapegoat carry scars of that experience for years.


The word “scapegoat” in Hebrew is Azazel, described in Leviticus 16 as a goat which was released alive into the wilderness to atone for the sins of the nation of Israel. Although the animal was not “sacrificed”—not killed—the scapegoat was believed to ritually cleanse the sins of the people. I like this version of atonement better than animal sacrifice, and I’d like to believe that the poor goat just got to live his days out happily in the wilderness. But other animals were sacrificed as part of early Jewish rituals, so they weren’t so lucky.


Jesus was the ultimate scapegoat: the occupying Roman forces and Jewish leadership blamed him for an uprising of the people. The Spirit forced Jesus into the wilderness immediately after He was baptized (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan tried to tempt Jesus, to no avail. Jesus quoted Scripture to deflect Satan’s hairbrained enticements. Then Jesus began His ministry of love, grace, healing and forgiveness. John’s Gospel says “He will show the world how wrong it was about sin, about who was really in the right, and about true judgment” (John 16:8). During Lent, we celebrate the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry: His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper with His (mostly) faithful disciples, His arrest and phony trial, the crucifixion and His final emergence from the tomb to conquer sin and death.


Risen Lord, stir us to pay attention to all we can learn from the amazing events of Lent. Amen




Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian by Meg Blaine Corrigan: Readers will be intrigued by Corrigan’s amusing titles and devotions that are grounded in reality. A great read for those in need of a spiritual lift, and a wonderful gift for anyone we hold dear.


Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child by Meg Blaine Corrigan: Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, this memoir takes the reader through the author’s chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in.


Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist by Meg Blaine Corrigan: This fast-moving, hilarious novel is based on real-life adventures of the author during the years she spent playing drums for a Polynesian revue. Follow these wacky escapades with some very imaginative characters traveling throughout the Continental United States, proving that `ohana—“family” in Hawaiian—can consist of folks other than blood relatives.


Jesus and the FishermenThen Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. Luke 5:10-11


CNN reported this week on the efforts of US and Allied troops to extinguish the remaining stronghold of ISIS fighters in Syria. Hundreds of people from all over the world have assembled and are being interviewed, questioned and sometimes detained. They are fleeing the terrorists’ last enclave, the besieged town of Baghouz Al-Fawqani. There are men, women and children from Canada, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Syria. With the exception of two Canadian women, nearly everyone denied any connection with ISIS. One of the Canadian women says she came over to be with her husband, who had joined the rebel fighters expecting a wonderful life. She believes in Sharia law and insists she and her two children “must follow whoever is implementing the way, the law.” She insists she knew nothing of the war going on until she arrived in Syria. No word of terrorist executions or enslavement of women. She came, trusting. Now, she isn’t certain what has happened to her husband.


Reading the article, I was reminded of the innocent peasant fisherman who “left everything and followed (Jesus)” (Luke 5:11). Were they so different from these men and women who have chosen to be “radicalized” into what most of us believe is a cruel and hateful shadow-society of murderers, rapists, and kidnappers? I have always imagined Jesus was so charismatic that people just trusted Him and wanted to be around Him. Yes, He healed their diseases and cast out their demons. Yes, He made them feel good about life and gave them hope. Yes, He preached an easy message to hear, a message of love and kindness and honor and goodness. But isn’t that exactly what those who have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups said about the ones who “recruited” them? What was so different about Christ? The answer, of course, is that Jesus was not spouting lies. His Word was true. His promises could be counted on. He really is the Son of God, and He is and always will be pure Light and Goodness. He is everlasting, and He will never lie to us.


Jesus, we humble ourselves before You because You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen


Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, takes the reader through her chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother and enabling father to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. She populates her tale with vivid descriptions of her parents, other influential adults, the attacker, and her disastrous first marriage. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in, when He gently helps her heal from her past lives and move into the best times of her life. Meg has also written a novel, Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, about said first marriage, as well as a Christian devotional, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, comprised of blogs from this site. Stay tuned for sequels to her last two books! All of her works may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .


Mountain Lion

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. Exodus 20:18


When I was about ten years old, we lived in a home my father had built on the side of a mountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ours was one of the first houses in the area, and until more homes were built, we were some distance from any neighbors. One night, our family woke to what sounded like a woman screaming outside. Looking out the window, my father saw a full-grown mountain lion in our back yard. He watched the animal run from our yard back up the mountain. We never knew what made it scream like that, but it was something none of us forgot quickly. One thing that did not occur to us in our fright was that we were really the ones encroaching on the mountain lion’s habitat, not the other way around.


The book of Exodus tells of a time when the Lord was very stern with the Israelites for their disobedience. God told Moses to warn the people not to come near Mount Sinai or touch any part of it, or they would die (Exodus 19:11-13). God caused thunder and lightning to surround the mountain, shaking it violently. The Israelites were terrified, and they asked Moses to speak to God for them so they wouldn’t have to face Him. They feared the Lord so much, they thought they would surely die if He spoke directly to them (v. 20:19). Moses ascending the mountain and listened to God for forty days and forty nights. God had a lot to say, and Moses knew it was important to hear and remember every word. But while Moses was gone, the Israelites forgot all their fear and made idols out of gold because they weren’t sure Moses was even coming back (Exodus 32). Neither God nor Moses were very happy that the people forgot their reverence so quickly.


God had said to the people, “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6). But the people forgot that God was sovereign over everything, and they disobeyed the very One Who had created them.


Lord, this world can be frightening. Instill in us a sustaining trust in You. Amen


From Istanbul to Edinburg, Rwanda to New Zealand, followers of Meg Blaine Corrigan’s blog “Brilliant Resilience,” have been in for a treat. Part devotional, part memoir, part commentary on life, Corrigan’s weekly devotion topics range from gut-wrenchingly serious to laugh-out-loud funny. When the blog debuted in 2015, it was read in over forty countries by more than nine thousand people. A few weeks into the year, Corrigan’s followers began asking her to put the blogs into print. Thus a book was born: Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, available from Amazon.com or from Corrigan’s website, www.MegCorrigan.com . New readers will be intrigued by her amusing titles and devotions that are grounded in reality. A great read for those in need of a spiritual lift, and a wonderful gift for anyone we hold dear. Watch for Saints With Slingshots Two soon to be published.