Ahlberg, Donna

Donna Ahlberg is a retired social worker who enjoys an exegetical challenge. Originally from the East Coast, she has lived with her husband Duff on their cattle farm near Iron River, Michigan, for decades.

Truth and Promises (Fall/Winter 2018)

Truth and promises can be in harmony with one another, or in disharmony. Promises built on a foundation of truth will flourish and be honorable. Promises built on a foundation of deception will ultimately wither and die. I want to talk about these two themes from this text – truth and promises.

A litmus test of love (Fall/Winter 2020)

In our text from Exodus, we hear the Lord God say to Moses, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” This is a reference to God’s mighty power in inflicting the twelve plagues on the Egyptians so that they would “let my people go.” I hope that sounds familiar to you. It is foundational in a Christian child’s upbringing, also in a Jewish child’s faith life. God’s crushing power rescues the Israelites from four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. In the Old Testament, we learn of God’s love for his chosen people, the Israelites.

Skunks and rejection (Fall/Winter 2021)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of rejection. Why was Jesus rejected in Nazareth? What does it mean to be rejected? Well, here’s a thought: One of the most rejected animals that lives around here and most places is the lowly skunk. Do you like skunks? No? Why not? Because they smell. Because they dig up your nice lawn looking for grubs. They uproot plants. Because they spray. They spray your dog. Yes, that’s such a nuisance. That odor lasts a long time. They are easily recognizable by their long fur and black and white markings, and I know we don’t like to see them around the campground. We take offense at them.

Walking by the spirit (Spring/Summer 2023)

Early in the pandemic, I went to my first silent retreat—I mean there wasn’t much else going on socially, right? I found the experience to be so profound that I participated in another one. My spiritual experience could be summed up by saying that “God speaks in the silence if you listen.” When life quieted down to the point where I could really just shut up and listen, the spiritual lesson became “the Living Word comes alive in the life that happens around you.” God has been showing me through life events that scripture comes alive all the time if we open ourselves to seeing it.