Saturday, November 16, 2019

Day #2146

November 16, 2019 

Today we sorted, packed, and loaded for delivery, over 2,000 items of food for four local school food pantries. It’s the congregation's annual small part in helping alleviate food insecurity and hunger.

May all the food be blessed, and may those who receive it know of God’s love and mercy. 


Day #2145

November 15, 2019 

The word for the day - thankful. Thankful for answered prayers. Thankful for the gift of surgeons and medical equipment. Thankful for God’s protection for others. Thankful for witnessing the love and care of family. Thankful for healing. Thankful for sunshine and a nice FALL day. Thankful!!!


Day #2144

November 14, 2019

Five years ago on this date, the hubby and I rolled into this town we now call home. Here is the post from that day - Day #318 - and I remember those feelings well. Tired. Confused (mostly lost) in a new place with seemingly odd traffic patterns. A tad uncomfortable living in someone else’s home. Missing our dog. And missing warmer weather. And missing friends and family - and their accents. The adventure was just beginning. 

Now we are mostly rested (depends on the day - haha!). We can find our way around fairly easily, even venturing down new avenues on occasion. We have our own home and feel very comfortable in it and grateful for it. We have a new dog. And the weather, well, almost everyone has a complaint about it once in a while. Mostly, the adventure has been, and continues to be, wonderful (again, depends on the day - haha!!).

Thank you Great Falls - for welcoming us and helping us be “at home!” We look forward to the years ahead!


Day #2143

November 13, 2019

It’s Wednesday - busy, fully-packed, overflowing Wednesday - so much so that I am wondering how I could possibly pick only one moment for a Daily Intersection?! Could it be High School Youth who trust you to talk with about life? Could it be Bible Studies where folks ask thoughtful, deep questions? Could it be other Holy conversations? Could it be witnessing little ones and their enthusiasm, including for worship? Would being invited into conversations and decisions be it? Maybe meeting people, getting and giving hugs? Or even eating dinner with the hubby, who afterward will patiently wait while learning happens? Guess I will just have to smile and give thanks for lots of moments, realizing God is in the midst of them all!


Day #2142

November 12, 2019 

Tuesday’s Thoughts on Scripture comes from the Old Testament reading for Sunday, which is Malachi 4:1-2a: 1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2aBut for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. (NRSV)

Sunday will be the next to last in this church year, and we will hear Jesus tell his disciples that there will be wars, famine, betrayal, and more, before the end comes. These can be frightening words. Honestly, this reading from Malachi doesn’t sound much rosier. For some, it seems, only stubble will remain. Yet, there will be the rise of righteousness, with healing. There is hope. 

At the pastor’s study, this idea of hope rising from ashes made me think of the quilts that will be placed on the pews Sunday for blessing (along with School Kits, Personal Care Kits, and school pantry food items) before being shipped around the neighborhood and the world. The quilts are a thing of beauty, lovingly put together by folks who take the discards or scraps from other items and tease out of that warm and durable quilts. The trash of some becomes beauty for others. Even a “home.” At the very least a piece of security - an assurance of not being forgotten or put out as trash themselves. 

With God there is always hope and assurance. What looks like the end can be just a beginning. What looks like defeat can mean resurrection. And, with God, healing takes place. 


Day #2141

November 11, 2019 

Instead of a laugh for the week, this prayer from the ELCA on the 100th anniversary of Veteran’s Day:

Thank you, veterans, one and all!!


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Day #2140

November 10, 2019 

On this Sunday in the month of Thanksgiving, we gave thanks for all those who are Veterans. As the individuals stood and the rest of us showed our appreciation by clapping, my heart was touched by their sacrifice and dedication. Thank you each and every one!

But the grin came when I began by asking the kids what happens in November. One of the young ones answered - we have fall. I mean winter. I mean fall. I understand the confusion - another 2 inches or so of snow came today!! As one parishioner said, why does it keep coming on Sunday, pastor?! I don’t know, but the snow can stop for a while. Maybe at least until WINTER comes. :-)


Day #2139

November 9, 2019

Two things came together today. One was two people who wanted to be married, and I had the privilege of officiating a simple ceremony for them.

Another was me and a grocery item I was having trouble finding. I sought it in several places (and finally found it), but it reminded me of how God seeks us. Relentless in searching. Desiring for just the very one thing - you! - that God needs. Amen!


Day #2138

November 8, 2019

A day off was an opportunity to take a road trip with a friend to spend some time with another friend. What a beautiful, and soul-filling, day!!! 


Day #2137

November 7, 2019 

It’s been a rather busy week (but then, aren’t they all?!). Meetings, planning, conversations, decisions…doing the stuff of ministry. Good stuff, but stuff that makes for busy days. Is it appropriate, then, to say that something like grocery shopping with the hubby is an intersection of faith and life? I think so. Spending time together and shopping for upcoming meals is time well spent (especially on senior discount day - haha!). Thank you for reminding me, God, that you are also in the midst of the simple, routine things of life!

Oh! In case you are wondering (see Monday's smile for the week), there was no dancing in the aisle this time. The music just didn’t inspire. Or maybe we were too busy searching for the items we need and didn’t pay attention. Shame on me!


Day #2136

November 6, 2019 

What could be a more defining “intersection” of God’s life and ours than when we study scripture? Today at the noon Bible Study we began a new book - Romans. The first chapter includes some difficult words and trying to understand exactly what Paul is saying can be challenging. What a joy, however, to have the opportunity to talk, pray, and listen to one another’s thoughts and ideas! 

Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am to do what I do?!


Day #2135

November 5, 2019 

Tuesday’s Thoughts on Scripture comes from 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. (NRSV)

These words stand on their own as a blessing to Christ’s followers. Could there be any more hopeful words than give us comfort and strengthen us?!?! Maybe the reminder that God always, always keeps God’s promises. These included. Amen.


Day #2134

November 4, 2019 

Hopefully this brings a smile to your face this week. 

Who is willing to admit they’ve danced in the grocery aisle?! I will. Haha! Sometimes the feet just want to move to the beat!!


Day #2133

November 3, 2019 

As a part of the sermon today, I shared a story from a friend about his Grandma, one of the saints of his life. I share it now with you. 
He told me, Grandma loved to fish and enjoyed taking me with her. I was young when she died and this particular day stuck with me because it was near the end of her life. As women of a certain time used to do, she wore a dress all the time, even when she went fishing. On this day, the current in the stream was strong. When Grandma said, let’s go across to the other side, I was afraid of the water. Don’t be afraid, she said, just take hold of the edge of my skirt, hold on tight, and we’ll get across just fine. And I did, and we did. 
I thought of all the saints who have held on tightly to the hem of Jesus’ garment as he has helped them get across "just fine" to his forever kingdom. Faith tells me this is so. My friend’s story gives me a visual. And I am grateful. 


Day #2132

November 2, 2019 

The word for the day - thankful!!! Today was a beautiful day!! And I enjoyed it immensely! The hubby did some baking and the house smells wonderful. And tomorrow we celebrate All Saints Sunday. I’m thankful for all those who have gone before and shared their faith with me. Sadly, the list is rather long this year of those from the congregation whose names will be read tomorrow in worship. Each one has made an important impact in the life of the assembly, and are missed. But I’m grateful their lives have been a part of mine, and so many others. Glorious All Saints!