Friday, June 14, 2019

Day #1991

June 14, 2019

Today marks the 11th anniversary of our Godson’s mother’s ordination. She wrote on her FB page:
Eleven years ago on Father’s Day, on the hottest day of the summer at Grace Lutheran Church in State College surrounded my family and friends, I was ordained into word and sacrament as an ELCA pastor. My journey in ministry has taken me many, many places. It has allowed me the opportunity to meet many, many people. It has changed me as a person inside and out. Some days it fills me with so much joy I could burst. Some days the weight of the office is so heavy I feel like I can barely stand. But through it all there is nothing else I’d rather be doing than living out the calling God placed upon my heart. Thank you to everyone who has supported and walked along side of me for eleven’s to a few more.
I’m so grateful for you and your ministry, your collegiality, your faithfulness, and all those who walk with you. But mostly, I’m grateful to have you in my life and that we were able to be there 11 years ago to be a part of such a special and important day! 


Day #1990

June 13, 2019 

More thoughts from the devotion d365, this time by Erin Spengeman Hutchison:
We are not defined by fear. We are defined by love — God’s love. We don’t rejoice in the suffering; we rejoice that suffering cannot destroy our hope. We have hope that God loves us today, just as we are, whatever we’re going through. God’s love for us is greater than our fears.
Imagine...suffering cannot destroy our hope, because hope lies in the fact that God loves us. Wow!!


Day #1989

June 12, 2019 

The word for the day - thankful - for a passionate reminder from someone that our hearts need to be changed by God. I agree and am thankful God provides the way for that to happen; through the Holy Spirit Jesus promised in the verses following yesterday’s Thoughts on Scripture.

Also, I have to share something that happened yesterday that has me overwhelmed (and thankful I was not close to it). A truck transporting beehives (see Day #1593) overturned and some 40,000 pounds of bees, roughly 133 MILLION of them, were at risk. And angry. And escaping. But thanks to the work of many, only a small portion died. Still…yikes! 


Day #1988

June 11, 2019 

Tuesday’s Thoughts on Scripture comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 16, verse 12: [Jesus said,] “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (NRSV)

Jesus will soon be leaving his disciples and he has so much to say to them and so much to teach them. But there is not time, nor the capacity in the disciples’ minds and hearts, to receive it all at once. We further read that Jesus promises to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will continue to teach them along the way. 

Could this be compared in a small way to learning something like math? Perhaps 1st graders should be taught calculus, right? Of course not, because our brains don’t work that way. We begin with the basics - addition, subtraction, etc. and with teachers who understand the appropriate progression helping them, students can learn calculus at the proper time. Maybe that is a simplistic comparison, but it helps me realize why lifelong learning about God, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is not only vital, but possible. 


PS There is also reason for giving thanks - the hubby’s shoulder is doing really well and he’s out of his bulky sling. Yay!! Thanks be to God for healing, and for giving surgical gifts to the physician!

Day #1987

June 10, 2019 

The day could not go by without remembering it’s Boomer’s 2nd birthday. 

He’s a tad less of a puppy now, but don’t tell him that! 

Note: Full disclosure - the picture was taken a day late. He had to spend his special day and night at his favorite “doggie spa” because the hubby had a surgery follow-up appointment. But what could be a better birthday than spending it playing with lots of friends?!?!


Day #1986

June 9, 2019

The “think” portion of the daily devotional d365 caused me to ponder. Daniel Ingram wrote that it takes two months for something to become a habit. I think that is actually a rather long time, considering it may only take a couple of days or so of not doing something for a habit to be broken. Either way, creating good or healthy habits takes work, intentional work. 

What really caused me to ponder, however, was the question he posed: “What could you do every day for the next 60 days that would help you to love more and fear less?”



Saturday, June 8, 2019

Day #1985

June 8, 2019

Angie Shannon wrote an article called “We’ve Got People” for the September, 2011, Gather magazine. It was redacted for today’s Daily Grace blog by the Women of the ELCA. She writes:
Baptism names, claims, and confers salvation. It is not “fire insurance,” but rather it commissions us for a life of love and service as a child of God.
This perspective and definition is most helpful. Thank you God for adopting us into your Kingdom, and for giving us purpose and work!


P.S. This may have been my longest stretch ever of getting behind in posting for the Daily Intersection. Thank you for being patient with me and continuing to read my musings. Hopefully they remind you that God is with you everyday, all day, and may they help you to make connections between God's grace and your life, too. 

Day #1984

June 7, 2019 

Danita Jones’ article, “Connecting the Dots,” from the June/July Guideposts spoke to me. She wrote about her Mama, who said to her after she lamented over something not being fair, “‘It’s just a dot, Danita.’” When she told her mama she didn’t understand, she wrote that her mama “pulled a sheet of paper out of her desk drawer, a worksheet with numbered dots all over it.” It was a dot-to-dot picture, but Danita couldn’t make sense of it because it just looked like a bunch of dots with no apparent shape. Then her mama explained, “‘That’s how life is,’ she said. ‘God places things in our lives, and sometimes they seem confusing or out of order. Most of the time, we have no idea why things happen the way they do.’ ‘So…we’re the dots?’ ‘No, we’re the pencil,’ my mother said, handing me one. ‘The pencil never knows what the dots make up - it just goes from one dot to the next. But God sees the big picture.’”

I thought this explanation helpful. I believe God allows things in our lives (not necessarily placing them there) that we cannot understand and that seem unfair. Yet, because God has the knowledge of the big picture, there is always something to learn from them or use in the future. And sometimes the dots make a beautiful picture. 

May we all trust the artist, who loves us and is with us, always. 


Day #1983

June 6, 2019

It seems as though the last couple of weeks have been exceptionally busy. I’m trying to catch up, but I don’t seem to be getting too far along. Yikes!!

On another note, today there have been many reminders that 75 years have passed since D-Day. A good thing to remember, and pray nothing like it ever has to happen again. 


Day #1982

June 5, 2019 

School’s out (almost) for summer! Well, at least Wednesdays are done for summer. The High School Youth met for the final time of this school year. 

And the Confirmation Students enjoyed their celebration dinner. I am going to miss this great group of kids:

I'm going to miss seeing ALL of you on a regular basis, but have a blessed, safe, and relaxing summer!


Day #1981

June 4, 2019

This Tuesday’s Thoughts on Scripture comes from the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 8: Philip said to [Jesus], “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” (NRSV)

I am so very thankful for this question from Philip. After following Jesus for years, watching him and learning from him, Philip still isn’t certain about who Jesus is. Just show us, he pleads. 

This gives me hope as we humans seek some sort of proof. This gives me a sense of tolerance when we have questions about the reality of Jesus as Son of God, both human and divine. This gives me patience when others scoff at those who have faith. 

We, who don’t have the advantage Philip did of spending physical time with Jesus, can take heart at his question and desire. And we can trust that the Holy Spirit works in the midst of all our doubts and questions. It certainly worked in Philip and all the disciples. And works in us, too. Thanks be to God!

And, a Simon "is" - finishing the school year. Here is a comparison of the first and last days:

You are becoming quite the young man! We love you!


Day #1980

June 3, 2019 

Three things about today spoke to me of God’s love and grace at the Intersection of life. 

The first, a person who listens and understands is worth their weight in gold. It was a long weekend and the mind, body and spirit needed some refilling. Thank you for hearing that in my voice and sensing my need to be heard.

Next, a song I sang long ago came to me. These are some of the lyrics:
Jesus, Lamb of God, worthy is your name. When I fall down you pick me up, when I am dry you fill my cup, you are my all in all. 
Thank you, God, for this reminder when I certainly needed it.

And then a fun thing. Last fall a neighbor boy told me about his excitement that he was getting a four-wheeler at the end of the school year. Tonight as I checked the mailbox, he called out to tell me he gets it tomorrow. The fact that he remembered he had told me so long ago made me smile. Oh, by the way, I did remind him to be careful and to wear his helmet!


Day #1979

June 2, 2019

Almost as quickly as it began, the Synod Assembly ended. 

This is the final Holy Communion Bishop Jessica will serve at an assembly and she gave the assurance of God’s love in the Body and Blood with her usual grace and pastoral presence.

When we left the assembly, we went to the graduation for one of the High Schools where three of the youth from the congregation received their diplomas. What a joy to witness this special and important day in their life. Well done, guys - I believe you will all go far!


Day #1978

June 1, 2019 

As the Assembly progressed, the voting that seemed overwhelming at the beginning was completed. There is a new bishop-elect, Rev. Dr. Laurie Jungling. There is thanksgiving and anticipation. 

I also found this to be ironic - three years ago at another Synod Assembly, I took this picture of Bishop Jessica on the screen as she gave her annual report. In the audience is the back/side of Pastor Laurie. She is in the blue shirt at the right side of the picture. 

Who could have known that three years later Pastor Laurie would be elected to follow Bishop Jessica upon her retirement. Only the Holy Spirit knew, and certainly led us all throughout the day. 


Day #1977

May 31, 2019 

Today was a busy day. It began with a Synod Council meeting, including the final preparations for the upcoming annual Synod Assembly.

Then I was honored to attend a celebration for some of the servant work of the congregation I serve. For many years, the congregation has been assisting the ministry of the Transition Center, a place for those leaving incarceration and returning to their lives “outside”. The administration and Board of Directors of the Transition Center invited several of us to lunch in order to give the congregation this award. 

Certainly the award is appreciated, although the real gift is the congregation’s heart for the ministry.

Then there was the beginning of the Synod Assembly, including worship and Holy Communion. This will be a “big” meeting as a new bishop will be elected. Many prayers for all the business and the attendees.