Paul Olsen

on the way…not there yet


I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t need another blog, but I need a place to think and write and own it.  If you find something here that is helpful or thought provoking, well and good.

I am Paul Olsen, an Intentional Interim Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  As an interim pastor and a regular pastor, I have served congregations in Iowa, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Idaho.  (continue)


Your Hands Care for Us

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS from the Treasure Valley Cluster of Churchesof the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America This letter first appeared in two local Boise, Idaho papers, The Idaho Statesman and The Idaho Press on October 1, 2021.  Though we would wish it otherwise, it remains relevant, and we hope it…

Dear Samson: To A New American

We swore this is not who we are … you swore to defend the constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in hopes of what we may yet become.

The People’s House

It is the people’s house. We built this house to serve a nation, and to build a nation to serve the world. It is the servant’s entrance you entered.


Loving Weeds & Neighbors

It is permissible to hate very few things in this world,but weeds must be one of them. I hate weeds; I admit it.I used to have weeds, lots of weeds in my garden, choke weeds.I’d pull them out, but they’d just come back worse than ever. And grass—weeds in the grass, and grass in the…

Failing with Jesus

Jesus was such a failure. Read the Gospels, if you don’t believe me; he preaches and teaches and heals and astounds, and people love him at first, but the more they listen to him, the more they realize Jesus just isn’t what they expected. And in the end, miracles not withstanding, most of them seem…

Welcoming Jesus

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth… Will you pray with me please?God, grant me the serenityto accept the things I cannot change;courage to change the things I can;and the wisdom to know the difference…. Amen. A lot of you probably know that little prayer, often called The Serenity…


Welcome Everyone as Christ

Jesus sends his disciples out into the world with this promise:Whoever welcomes you welcomes me,and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Hospitality is the mark of the church;we receive everyone as though they were Christ himself—it is our business, it’s what we do. In my house, near the guest rooms, I have…

I Doubt It

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…

Fish For Breakfast

John 21:1-25  (& Matthew 5:1-11) Good morning.A friend of mine challenged me to do a sermon while cooking,so I accept the challenge.Today we’re having fish for breakfast. And why not? Jesus did.John, who always tells the best stories,tells us how it happened. It’s a few weeks after that first Easter;Jesus has appeared to his beloved…