Saturday, August 11, 2018

Day #1683

August 10, 2018 

Today is a significant day for our godson. A day that means big changes and really the beginning of a new phase of life. It might be a scary day, a joyful day, an uncertain day, or all of that rolled into one. But something is for certain, it is a day filled with prayer from us. New things can be frightening, but we believe firmly that all will be well and that God is with you all in this new start. 

After all a day like 8-10-18 has to mean good things when the date is the same forward and backward. So look ahead with hope, remember the past with favor, and know the past, present and future all are in God’s hands, as are you. All our love.


Day #1682

August 9, 2018 

On the heels of a bad day yesterday, a wonderful reminder of being loved came in the mail - a card from a friend of many years. Just a simple, sweet card, but one that came at a perfect time. I’m certain she had no idea her sending a card would really mean so much, but it does. 

But to be fair, this happens often. A card, an email, a phone call comes at just the right moment. It is something important for me to remember, too, that what may take only a few minutes of my time might mean the world for someone else. 


Day #1681

August 8, 2018 

Something that is certainly ok to admit is that everyone has frustrating days. Even bad days. Days that make you wonder if you’re making any impact at all, if your presence is really helpful, and wondering why you didn’t just stay home and take a “mental health day.” 

Fortunately, these days pass. Fortunately, also, there are only a few days when there just doesn’t seem to be anything “intersection” worthy. And maybe that itself is intersection worthy - that in the midst of a bad day, there can still be the reassurance that you are not alone. And that God loves you. 

May you have few and far between bad days!!! And many, many days (EVERY day) being reminded God loves you!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Day #1680

August 7, 2018 

As the summer already begins to wind down and thoughts turn toward going back to school and other fall activities, it is good to do some planning and assessing. What might be added this fall? What might be eliminated? Who might be asked to try something new? Who might be ready for some time off? Have the things been accomplished that were planned during the summer months? What does the “to do” list look like before the end of the year sneaks up? Planning is good, celebrating accomplishments is good, but getting one's self in gear can be good, too. 


Day #1679

August 6, 2018 

A prayer for this week:
Almighty God, thank you for the many and varied gifts and talents of folks. For those who play music, for those who sing, for those who teach, for those who lead, for those who work with their hands, for those who work with their minds, for those whose work requires courage, for those who are creative, imaginative, innovative, for those who take risks, for those who play it safe, and for so much more. Lord, you provide so many gifts and talents. Help us to let the lights shine that you place in us. Amen. 

Day #1678

August 5, 2018

What a treat for worship this morning - the Youth (and more) Band. There is so much musical talent in those folks and it showed as they played for prelude and postlude. Thank you for sharing, thank you for taking the extra time, and thank you for the music! It was a real blessing and joy for all the different instruments to make such a wonderful addition to the service!


Day #1677

August 4, 2018

Then reality hits with laundry (lots of laundry!), errands, and running behind on getting ready for the next week. Yikes!!! 


Day #1676

August 3, 2018

With the resurrection of Jesus (the rest of the story following the Passion Play late Thursday evening), brunch and packing the cars, folks head back home, off to vacation, or to other various places and things. It was a good week at camp with lots of laughter, learning and sun. Thank you again to the youth who went, the counselors and staff who made it possible, and my hubby who did the driving. :-)

When we arrived home, another fun evening awaited us - comedian Jeff Foxworthy was performing his stand-up comedy at the fairgrounds. It’s the next to last day of the State Fair, so we spent a little time wandering the midway before we went to the concert. I think Foxworthy's show was summarized nicely by the woman we passed afterward talking on her cellphone: “It was really funny. Oh, yes, it was great. And no, he really didn’t use any bad language at all.” 

I’m amazed by the talent of someone who can make others laugh for nearly 90 straight minutes without using any props except a stool and a bottle of water. I suppose stories about life really can be that funny!


Day #1675

August 2, 2018

As Thursday rolls around, it becomes obvious the week is winding down. The faces of the youth mirror a sadness that this must all come to an end. Hopefully many will return next year, just as there are many who have returned this year. 

But before we go, there is one more campfire with worship. The leaders of the service were talking about one way that Jesus changes everything is by including everyone. The skit ended with a group of the youth making a circle that kept getting more and more crowded as people were welcomed in. Finally two little girls (daughters of one of the pastors volunteering this week - one of which cried out “Jesus” earlier in the week) came forward with the answer. When someone asked, "what are we going to do, it’s too crowded in this circle," they answered together: "MAKE THE CIRCLE BIGGER!" 

Perfect!!!! There IS room for everyone, if we just keep pushing out the size of the circle. It was a great reminder.

So a little early thank you for another week of being reminded Jesus Changes Everything. And a huge thank you to the dozens of folks who give their all to make certain these young folks know they are loved and valued!!!



Day #1674

August 1, 2018 

Each day during camp weeks, the counselors, staff and volunteers gather following breakfast for a brief staff meeting. Things are discussed such as what is coming up for the day, any needs there may be, etc. Wednesdays are special, however. Holy Communion is celebrated on Wednesday as a part of the meeting. This morning was exceptionally special. The counselors, nearing the end of their time together (this is the next to last week of the summer program), have been doing this for many weeks now and know one another well. They know each other’s strengths, and music/voice is definitely one. As the bread and wine were being passed, one of the counselors began to sing and others promptly joined in, beginning a holy time of singing that was amazing, harmonizing that was phenomenal, and drumming that was joyful. I found myself with tears in my eyes celebrating with them a summer of bonding and friendships that will last a lifetime. Community at its best.

Later in the afternoon, while enjoying some time by the lake, I was privileged to have deep conversations with a couple of the volunteers. These young men have just returned from a year of Global Mission work and had much to enlighten me about life in another country, life as a young person in general, and the future of church as they dream for it to be. It was truly a privilege to listen to their experiences and perceptions. 

There is so much to learn from one another - I pray to be a good student!


PS Time by the lake, for me, means feet in the water. :-) Ahhh....

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Day #1673

July 31, 2018

Just as we sang about the birds singing sweetly in the trees, they let loose. Those kinds of things are an amazing part of outdoor worship. There just isn’t anything quite like it!

Except maybe sitting in on Bible Study with young ones. The innocence in their questions and their acceptance of faith is inspiring. Jesus said, let the little ones come to me, for a reason.

And then, late in the afternoon, it’s not sitting on a beach, but can be just as relaxing!


Day #1672

July 30, 2018

At morning worship, the pastor was speaking about the two men on the road to Emmaus. He asked in his message - who comes alongside us in our lives? A little girl (one of the daughters of a pastor volunteer) confidently speaks out - Jesus! Perfect! Yes, Jesus does come alongside us, is in us, is around us, and is in others, too. Every day!!! We’re off to a good start of learning, and being taught!

Then, who shows up for worship at Evening Campfire? 

This one may be just a little early for the service, but isn’t this awesome?!


Day #1671

July 29, 2018

It’s day 1 of my week to volunteer at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp as one of the pastors. Camp always makes me think of our Godson’s mom. She loves camp, loved being a counselor, and helped me to love it, too. I’m grateful to her for that!

So I have the next 4.5 days at camp - with my hubby, who is also volunteering, and several youth campers from our congregation - to listen, sing, pray, worship, be outside, stick my feet in the lake, and bask in the glory of God. Look out - pictures and “camp stuff” to come! 

Here’s the first - the sun sets on the the first day as we get ready for Campfire!! 


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Day #1670

July 28, 2018 

Today I am thinking about the abundance of God. I have been pondering how it is that when we seem to have few resources and our ideas have run their course, that is where God steps in and shows us power beyond imagination. I believe we humans tend to think in terms of scarcity (will there be enough for me) and that focus shapes so many of our actions. If only we could move from worrying about whether I will be taken care of to focusing on being the conduit for God’s love and grace. Yes, if only. 


Day #1669

July 27, 2018

One of the fun things about the size of town in which we live is that we often see folks we know when we are out and about. We saw several folks from the congregation today as we were running errands and such. It’s so good to see them outside the church walls! Makes me smile!