Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day #148

May 28, 2014

When it comes to paying bills, I am a stickler for paying them on time (if at all possible). That is why when my doctor’s office called last week about an outstanding bill, I became a little defensive. Well, let’s face it, I was pretty much rude. “I haven’t even received a statement or the Explanation of Benefits from the insurance (I’m so grateful I have insurance!) company,” I told her. After all, it had only been a few days since my visit. And she was calling because I owed them money?! And she wanted me to pay right then?! What happened to having thirty days?!

The person calling kept saying, “but the doctor told me to call everyone (emphasis on EVERYONE) who had an outstanding amount due.” I wanted to say, well, tell him I disagree with the way he’s running his business. But I didn’t. No, I was just insistent that I would pay the bill as soon as I received either a statement from them OR the EOB from the insurance company.

Well, the statement AND the EOB were in the mail when I got home. So I took a check by today. And with it, an apology. She appreciated me saying I was sorry, but she reiterated she had to call everyone and that she wasn’t singling me out. I wanted to say, it sure felt like it.

Sad thing is, there will be another bill since I had to see the doctor today. Oh well. When it comes, I will pay it quickly, if at all possible. :-)


Day #147

May 27, 2014

Just have to say again how much I enjoy Tuesday Bible Study. A great group of folks come and I always learn something. What a joy to gather with others and study God’s word. Thanks be to God!


Day #146

May 26, 2014

We have friends that we met years ago at church. They have moved several times since then and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of one another. The last time we saw them was when we took our cross-country trip six years ago and we visited with them out west.

They are now back on the east coast. And the neatest thing happened today. As we were watching some of the Memorial Day festivities on television, my very observant husband caught sight of one of them. How exciting to find out where they are.

And how awesome to be able to track them down by email, send them a message, and have them respond in just a little bit. A reconnection with friends from long ago is such fun. And a reminder that we are, really, all one big family.


Day #145

May 25, 2014

During the announcements today, I asked that all those who were currently serving, or had family currently serving in the military, to please stand. Then I asked all those who had served, or were family of someone who had served, to stand. It was a humbling moment. Nearly everyone in the assembly stood.

Even though Memorial Day is really for remembering and honoring those who died in service, I believe that everyone who serves, along with their families, experience death or loss of some kind, even if they survive physically. Loss of limb, loss of family, loss of time, loss of relationship, loss of mental health, etc. There is nothing about war and military service that comes without sacrifice. As the saying goes: all gave some, some gave all.

Some may wonder why this wasn’t part of the worship service itself. One thing I have said is that God isn’t just American, that God is God of the whole world. But there is something else, too. Worship is meant to be all about God and for God. Certainly, we put our humanness to it in singing, praying, listening, etc., but, in the end, it is, or at least should be, all about God. In other words, everything should be done to build up the body of Christ and to bring glory to God, not ourselves.

With all that said, let me say one more thing: thank you to each and every soldier, past, present and future. While we pray that there come a day when there will be peace on earth and soldiers become obsolete, we appreciate your sacrifices made until that time!

Day #144

May 24, 2014

Two little ones were born today. Grandchildren of members; twins born at 31 weeks. Tiny babies with some special needs at birth. Today I am grateful for doctors, hospitals, nurses, and all those who know what to do, have the skills and gifts in doing it, and are there to be of aid.

We trust that God has these little ones. But we are also grateful that God has given us humans minds, technology and wisdom to help. Thanks be to God.


Day #143

May 23, 2014

It was a frightening moment. I came home today to a sick husband. A very sick husband. As I came in, he was lying really still on the bed, as white as a ghost, and my heart sank. I had just talked to him a few moments before and he had not mentioned anything was wrong. But something was very wrong and that first look scared me to death. In 25 years of marriage, I have never seen him quite like this.

We believe it must have been something he ate. But in the moments after I realized he was sick, yes, but that he was going to get better, I was so overwhelmingly grateful that all God heard from me was “thank you,” over and over.

It is so easy to take for granted that the ones we love will always be there for us. Today was a reminder to be thankful for every minute of good health and togetherness. And I am!


Day #142

May 22, 2014

There are two places in nature that, in my mind, are tough competitors for the spot where I feel closest to God. One is in the mountains, any mountains. There is a majesty for me in the mountains. There is a permanence that exudes God’s everlasting nature, along with a strength that reminds me God is always in control. I stand in awe when I am in the mountains.

The close competition is at the beach. As I watch the waves come in and go out, I feel in that rhythm God reminding me that I am constantly being sought. That God is always reaching out to give me strength and endurance. Then, just as constantly, God is taking away my pain, my fear, my doubt.
We sat on the beach today at dusk. And took in that rhythm. Were renewed by it. Were given peace in it. And celebrated God’s goodness. Thanks be to God.


Day #141

May 21, 2014

I cannot say how bad I felt when I realized something today. It was an awful feeling of having missed a most important day. Today I remembered that I had forgotten to contact our godson on his 3rd baptismal birthday.

It’s not that we didn’t remember before the day that it was coming. Or that being out of town is some kind of good excuse. Nope, there is no getting back a missed day as special as the day he was baptized.
What an honor and joy to be the one to baptize our godson. What an honor and joy to be his godparents (even though we did go and let the day slip by without recognition).

We are very sorry! We do love you! We pray for you everyday! And while we make mistakes and forget, may you always know and remember that your Heavenly Father never, ever, does. God knows you and loves you inside and out, upside and down, now and forever.

Happy Belated 3rd Baptism Birthday!!!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day #140

May 20, 2014

Some folks have the gift of never meeting a stranger. They find it very easy to just start talking to anyone and everyone they meet (well, within reason). It is truly a gift - and one I am still a ‘work in progress’ of developing.

It is my shy nature. It has always been there, and I suppose it always will be. It is not that I do not love people, or want to make new friends, I just do not always know what to say or think about starting a conversation.

Thankfully, I have a good teacher. She makes friends easily, draws people to her, and exudes more self-confidence than I’ll ever dream of having. She is a gift to me as she pulls me out of my naturally introverted self to have great fun meeting really great people.

I have a few more days of lesson-learning this week and I am thankful for every minute. It is also amazing how people respond to her and the things we can learn from them. You know, loving neighbor also means getting to know them. What fun!


Day #139

May 19, 2014

It’s hard to be away. In three weeks time, I will have been gone more nights than I have been at home.

So, as I leave for another week (even though I am very excited!), I realize that while the trips are good and relaxing and productive, they also leave a void. Things do not get done that are usually done (little details or tasks, like going through the “junk” mail); I do not get to spend time with all the people I want to (I’m behind in making visits - again!); and while some relationships are strengthened through spending time together, others may suffer from the lack of contact.

But there is comfort in knowing that, while I may be away, those I love and care about are not alone. And through my prayers, I am brought closer to them than even if I were present. Because God loves them much more fully than I can and is caring for them, providing for them, and will never, ever, leave them alone.

So, may the Lord bless you and keep you until I am back. And thank you for allowing me the time away!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Day #138

May 18, 2014

The idea, from what I remember, came as sort of a whim. As the five of us pastors planned the end of the year, someone suggested, “How about, instead of some written “test” for the students, we ask them to “create” something that indicates what the year has meant.” So, the assignment became: use any creative medium of your choosing to somehow show what meant the most to you in your time of confirmation. It can be something you did, something you learned, something you experienced, etc. And it will be due and presented at the Campfirmation Cookout (which was today).

We began with a meal, which we ate inside in case the weather continued to be uncooperative. Then it was time for the “presentations.” We had everything from PowerPoint, to yarn art, to written prose, to the baking of communion bread along with verses for each ingredient. Then we ended with the celebration of Holy Communion using the bread the student baked. Pretty cool!

It was amazing to hear what reached these students; it was exciting to hear how they grew deeper in faith and assurance of God’s love; it was fun to see their creativity and thought; and it was a moment of pride in being allowed to be a part of their growth.

Thanks be to God for abiding with us and guiding these youth!! My heart is full.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day #137

May 17, 2014

As the early morning hours turned from darkness to dawn, several of us woke up at the church. The morning of the lock-in. As adults and youth began to stir and the sounds of waking up, gathering up, and cleaning up took place, I was once again thankful for this group who had fun together and grew in faith and relationship over the last twelve hours.

To continue the weekend theme of "intergenerational," tomorrow we have the Confirmation Class Cookout at our congregation. About forty-five folks (students and families) plan to gather to share a meal and see the projects the students are to have completed about their last year or years of being in confirmation class. I am looking forward to what “stuck” with these teens, and considering how it might help us teachers in the years to come.

I suppose, to sum it all up, the thought for today is actually a full heart. Last night in our devotions before bed, we read the passage from the Gospel of Luke, the 18th chapter, verses 15-17: Now people were even bringing their babies to [Jesus] for him to touch. But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them. But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

So, with a full heart, and the positive example by the youth from last night, I say...

Blessings. And...isn't this a great drawing of Jesus and children I found on the web?!

Day #136

May 16, 2014

My very first lock-in. I cannot believe I have gotten to this age and never attended an authentic lock-in. I cannot say that anymore! We had fun tonight. Eating, talking, playing games, having devotions, and, yes, midnight bowling. The youth were great! Respectful, appreciative, attentive. It makes me proud to be their pastor!!

We also came up with a new name for this committee we began a while ago. The Intergenerational Committee just didn’t have quite a ring to it, much less make it easy to understand what it means or who is included. We unveil the name on Sunday, so I won’t let the “cat out of the bag.” But stay tuned. The neat thing?! Several folks submitted suggestions, investing in the purpose of the committee and the events it plans. Suffice it to say, not one idea was the “one,” but it is a conglomeration of two or three. True intergenerational and inter-relatedness at work.

Can’t wait for the next event!


Day #135

May 15, 2014

It struck me hard today. The need for me to practice what I preach. Literally.

Let me explain. Overall, I am capable, even good, at being able to forgive others. I know the gift of being forgiven because enough people have forgiven me over the years and I hope and pray more will do so in the future. My husband is an excellent example of gifting me with his forgiveness. So my heart wants to be big into forgiving others, and mostly I succeed.

But there are a few instances that I have continued to hang onto. One just recently reared its ugly head. Someone, who now happens to be a colleague, hurt me deeply several years ago. What made it worse, my efforts to try and talk it out got me nowhere. He refused to hear my explanation or understanding of events and believed another person's version.

Even after years have gone by, I find myself still holding onto that hurt. It came out recently where I serve, in a way that sounded self-justified and, quite frankly, pompous. Shame on me! I know better than to not practice what I preach. I know I should forgive this person and never speak in a way that might harm them.

So I ask forgiveness for not forgiving. I ask forgiveness for not living as I challenge others to do. I ask forgiveness of myself, and I pray, this time, I truly forgive my colleague.


Day #134

May 14, 2014

It’s hard to hear someone is leaving. It can be just as hard to break the news when you are the one leaving. We just heard the official word that the Director of Music will be leaving the end of the June. We have been blessed by his presence and the sharing of his gifts and talents. He is a talented young man and a joy to work with.

These gifts, talents, and attributes put him in demand, and he has been offered an exceptional opportunity. I believe he will miss us, and I know we will miss him. Yet, while we mourn, we also wish him well.

And begin praying for the next person to come. Any applicants available?


Day #133

May 13, 2014

I warned you yesterday when I said I would probably talk again about thankfulness. Well, today I am thankful there is a discretionary account at our congregation. This means that when someone calls, like they did today, and needs help with something like groceries because they are hungry and without, we/I can help. What a joy! What good stewardship!

There is a double-edged thankfulness, however. Someone (actually more than one) was blessed beyond their expectations and recently helped re-fund the account. Little could they know how timely this was and the degree to which it could help someone else by being passed along.

So, as the gift went out, my prayer is that the recipient may know the grace of God, the abundance of God’s blessing, and our thankfulness and joy in being able to share God’s bounty.


Day #132

May 12, 2014

Sometimes, as I have said before, the thought for The Daily Intersection comes by way of a feeling. For example, a feeling of peace. Today I am at peace with how a decision went. Sometimes it is thankfulness (I’ve talked about this one several times and probably will again) for healing or answers. Often it can be joy for prayers answered or love renewed. Maybe it is contentment with work or in a relationship.

It’s not always wise to trust our feelings. They can lead us down wrong pathways, get us into “trouble,” and create a whole mess of misunderstanding. Yet, when the feeling seems to build up instead of tear down, perhaps it truly is one way God has of speaking with us.

Whatever it is, today I am peaceful. Thanks be to God!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Day #131

May 11, 2014

Mother’s Day. Some years it slides by, others it truly is over the top difficult. I suppose the stage was set for this year to be difficult when a well-meaning friend said, you don't have a mother or children. What do you do for Mother's Day?

Let me start by saying, I AM SO THANKFUL for mothers, especially mine. She was a one-of-a-kind woman, who often drove me a little crazy, but who taught me some wonderful values and ethics. She was generous to a fault, thrifty to an even greater fault, and showed more sacrifice for me than anyone should ever have to. And she was my absolute greatest fan. She never thought everything I did was excellent, and often challenged me to do better, but in the end she was always proud of me. I probably miss that most about her every day!

No, I don’t have her here with me physically (she died in 2007). And while that is hard on many days, it is especially so on Mother’s Day (Father’s Day can be just as challenging for many, I know!). So I try to be sensitive to how others may be feeling, too. Not to even mention those who have lost children, never had children, had a rough relationship with their mother, etc.

It’s a reminder that everything we say and do really does have a double-edge sword tendency. In meaning to honor the joy of mothers and their nurturing spirit, we can hurt others who are in pain. Just a reminder to be sensitive and remember the old saying about walking in someone else’s shoes.

And, a personal reminder that next year, I might just boycott the whole day from FaceBook. Just saying.


Day #130

May 10, 2014

This is not the first time I have thought about this, and probably not the first time I have written about it, either. My thought for today is thankfulness for technology. I know there are challenges with having every thing you do available for public scrutiny. Yet, when holy conversations can happen via text, phone, email, etc., that is truly a gift. It’s wonderful to have the possibility of connection when you are feeling isolated, afraid, joyful, whatever, yet can’t physically be with the one you want to share the emotions with.

So, for the holy conversation today, the ones from the past, and the knowledge there will probably be more tomorrow and in the future, thank you inventors!


Day #129

May 9, 2014

The time for another travel day comes quickly. Today there are no close calls to “rescue” a fellow traveler from, no guardian angel moments of “correct change.” No, today is simply a day of grumpy, delayed travelers, packed airports, a packed airplane, personal space invasions, and fatigue. I will be so glad to get home to a house without a crowd. :-)

Traveling is tough on an introvert. Maintaining patience and tolerance even tougher. I surely do not want to be like the complaining traveler last week, so thank goodness it was over soon!


Day #128

May 8, 2014

It was a day of holy conversation and relationship building. Folks from two different denominations who find they have as much in common with each others' theology and practice as they often do within their own, gather as a committee once a year to celebrate places where ministry happens, identify places where it might, and facilitate the overall growth of the church. It is always a holy time, but it can also be a challenge.

Overall, it is a time I look forward to each year. Also, the setting is delightful for this year’s meeting. The 11th floor of the “Higgins Road” building overlooks the Chicago skyline on one side and the park on the other. So when we might get bogged down in our talks, we can look out over the wide space of God’s world and collect some perspective.

I give thanks for my brothers and sisters, for their commitment and joy, and celebrate our full communion status and the opportunities it brings for the future.


Day #127

May 7, 2014

It was another day of travel. Headed to Chicago for a meeting, I had two opportunities for good deeds today that, I must admit, helped send me off with a smile on my face.

The first was at the newsstand before takeoff. I stopped after getting through security for a drink and a snack (no chance for lunch). All I had was a $20, so I handed it to the cashier to cover my $4 purchase. She proceeded to hand me back $96 in change. She mistook my $20 for a $100 (don’t carry those around, for sure!), so as I looked at all she was giving me back, I said, "but I only gave you a $20." She looked very confused, opened her cash drawer and took out the bill I had just given her. Oh no, she said. I thought I saw a $100. Oh no! Thank you!! Thank you!!! If I had been that short, I would have gotten fired. You saved my job. Thank you! I just smiled and said, you’re welcome. Have a nice day. Can you imagine having on your conscious someone losing their job over the $80 you benefited from receiving?

Then, after I arrived in Chicago, I was on the long walk to the airport shuttle service. Another traveler was nearby walking with his head down and looking at his cellphone. In the middle of the walkway, for some reason, was a rather large and tall barricade. The closer we got to it, I realized he wasn’t looking up. He was walking at a good clip and not seeing this danger right in front of him. Just in the nick of time, I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa” and when he stopped, he was literally only a couple of inches from falling over about a three-foot high barricade. Startled, he said, “Thank you, that would have hurt.” I smiled, and said, “You’re welcome.” Can you imagine watching someone get hurt when you could have simply spoken up and prevented it?!

Off to an interesting start. But, I must say, I’m feeling a little like a guardian angel today. :-)


Day #126

May 6, 2014

A friend asked me today what they should do about a particular situation. They gave me their perspective of what was going on, the event that needed their decision about attending, then said, what should I do? Tell me, my pastor friend, what should I do?

Now that is a tough spot for anyone to be in - to be asked to help someone else make a decision about their life that has potential for rippling consequences. What happens if I tell them something and it doesn’t work out? It could because I don’t have all the facts, I don’t know the perspective from the other person's viewpoint, and my friend and I have different values and life experiences. Is there ever a good time to tell someone what to do?

Well, there may be instances that require stepping out in faith and speaking in Christian love. But my response is often more along the lines of asking the important questions to help someone else make a decision. What might be the outcome if you did this or that? What do you hope happens if you decide one way or another? How would you feel if you were the recipient of your decision? Those kinds of things.

But, just tell me what I should do, they said again. In this case, I couldn’t. I didn’t have all the facts needed to make a wise decision. But the more we talked, the more the person began to ask, what should I do as a Christian? What response is the most Christ-like? There we go. Where I often don’t think I’m qualified to tell someone else what to do, I certainly believe in Who is. And He is always right there with us to help.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Day #125

May 5, 2014

It’s been a full day. It's been a thank-full day in at least three ways:

1. I had an encouraging message from someone about The Daily Intersection. A very encouraging message. This blog has not been something I have advertised until just recently, and the message was very helpful. Thank you (you know who you are)!
2. I had an encouraging conversation with my Godson’s mother, who is also my good friend and a worker with me in the kingdom (another pastor). She’s a very smart woman (VERY smart) and an excellent pastor and she knew just what to say and when (never doubt your gifts, my dear)!
3. I had an encouraging conversation with two local colleagues and friends. They are also workers with me in the kingdom and friends and we had a lively talk about a book we are jointly reading, our calls, congregations, challenges and joys of public ministry. Thanks be to God for these two who understand and walk a similar path!

So, the first day back after vacation was a joy. Can’t say enough thank yous for that!


Day #124

May 4, 2014

After another late night, early morning day, we were down to one last day of vacation and one more (sigh!) drive, but that’s another story.

Because, today’s Daily Intersection comes by way of an article for The Lutheran by Rev. Peter Marty. His monthly article for April, 2014, was on Science and Faith. He wrote - “science doesn’t create in us the urge to do the right thing.” No, but faith does. But not in a 'God will get you if you don’t do the right thing' way, but in a 'how do I respond in the right way' sort of thing (my explanation).

What is the right thing, though? I believe God will let us know. But here are a couple of questions to consider when trying to figure it out.

    1) Is the “thing” relationship building? After all, God is all about relationships.
    2) Is the “thing” honoring of God’s love and grace? God’s grace may be free and unconditional, but it’s not cheap.


Day #123

May 3, 2014

Confession time. There are days I sincerely, truly, desperately miss the skinny me of my youth. Days of flying are certainly those days. Who designs airplane seats anyway? Perhaps folks who resemble the skinny me of my youth.

Or maybe it’s just from being in a car way too much, living out of a suitcase in motels, or having two cross-country flights in six days. But I have to say, the woman next to me on the plane was WAY too talkative and too invasive of my personal space.

Now what was that I said on Day #117 about tolerance….???


Day #122

May 2, 2014

Here is a shout-out to creativity at its finest (and my understanding of what happened):

The Freemont Neighborhood of Seattle had a problem. It was being overrun by drug dealers and thugs. Under the bridge, it seemed, was the opportune place for this illegal behavior.

What to do? After trying many options, the leaders of the community contacted the Freemont Arts Council and asked for their help. Would they construct - artistically - a troll for under the bridge to ward off the unwanted behavior? Here is the finished product:

Yep, a huge troll now protects the neighborhood. And from what we heard, it’s the only place in America where a real bridge troll exists. Way to go for creating something fun and positive and transforming something scary and negative! 


Day #121

May 1, 2014

Some days there just isn’t anything earth shattering to talk about. That’s ok. There is something to be said for simply being content. And for just "being."

I am especially thankful for this time to just be with my husband, having time for rest and relaxation.

And ice cream!!! Tillamook, by the scoop, at McDonald's??!! As they say, life is good!


Day #120

April 30, 2014

Okay, I’m hooked on technology. I know it. I admit it. So even in the midst of exploring across Washington, Idaho and into Montana, I’m checking FaceBook and reading email. Lots of time in the car, while husband is driving, lends this possibility.

So, I saw this:
How do we respond to people who hurt us (I’m thinking of the not so friendly passenger Sunday night, too)? Do we get mad? Get even? Get ahead? Do we forgive over and over and over, only to risk being hurt over and over and over?

The above saying reminds me of another I commented on earlier (see Day #113): harboring anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It seems similar since the person who hurts us will one day be done - all used up - but we’ll be polished. Does that help us forgive?

Something to think about the next time someone hurts me. Something to think about the next time I hurt someone else.


Day #119

April 29, 2014

After a day in Seattle, with crazy traffic and the typical “big city” feel, we left to explore some of the rest of the state. Not quite an hour outside of Seattle is the Snoqualmie National Forest. Take a look at this!

Who would stay in the city of concrete and traffic jams when this awaits!?


Day #118

April 28, 2014

We arrived in Seattle late last night. Well, according to our internal time, it was the wee hours of this morning. After sleeping in, we took a trip downtown to the waterfront. There is food galore there - of all types and varieties. We found some delicious soup and crab and enjoyed a late lunch watching people go by.

Then we walked to a park area, just a few hundred yards from all this amazing food, and there was abject poverty. Homeless folks galore, with all their belongings in knapsacks, trash bags, etc. Right on the edge of food galore amidst housing that rents for thousands each month.

The dichotomy was striking. And sad.

Of course, this isn’t the only place in the world where this happens. What can we do to help? What can I do? What am I called to do (I’m thinking about the comment regarding God’s grace and response from Day #117)?


Day #117

April 27, 2014

We had a specific topic for this morning’s Coffee and Conversation. The foolishness of God as described in scripture, 1st Corinthians 1.18-31. Actually, this is what can be perceived as the foolishness of God through human eyes. Sure, God’s love doesn’t make sense; God’s grace isn’t logical; and God’s plan for restoring relationship through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is ludicrous. Those perceptions come, however, from the ways we often view God from our human eyes, with our human brains, and through our human perspective. What we call God’s “foolishness” is actually wiser than the deepest wisdom of humans. Because it’s all about unconditional love and a deep desire for relationship - God’s desire for relationship with us. Wrapping our minds around that can be tough. And even tougher to accept or live out in response.

Case in point. We flew across the country tonight. It was a bumpy flight, to say the least (the storms in the Midwest were challenging for the pilot to maneuver around), and a family of four near us was restless. I should say the young children, probably ages two and four, were restless - fussy, noisy, crying and chattering loudly. I’ll admit, it was annoying at times, but I can’t imagine how hard it would be to fly with little ones.

Anyway, as we tried to be tolerant, it was more than annoying to hear the passenger one row over complain about the children to the flight attendant. Then, when that didn’t get any results, he proceeded to complain to the parents, in a very disrespectful way. I was appalled. Where was an attempt at relationship? Where was an attempt at tolerance? Where was an attempt at empathy? In short, where was the love of Christ? Absent!

God can be tough to understand, I know, but God’s not foolish. God is amazing! And Christ’s love, Christ’s grace, is available for us, and new, every single day, for us to live out in response.


Day #116

April 26, 2014

Before I came to the congregation where I serve, a ministry began that I am thankful for - and a grateful recipient of, as well. It is simply called Shepherds. It is a group of folks who volunteer to “keep up” with one another. Meaning, they send cards for special occasions, pray for their sheep, and, if the sheep are “missing,” check in on them.

My husband and I have a wonderful shepherd. She sends cards to us for holidays and birthdays, and we hear from her on FaceBook and, of course, at worship. She’s terrific and keeps up with us faithfully, as with all her sheep. She is one, however, of about two dozen folks who do the same sorts of things. They are all wonderful - and a huge help!

This evening we honored those shepherds by having dinner for them. The Evangelism Committee spearheads this program, and they served a delicious ham and chicken dinner with all the trimmings, including dessert. It was a very enjoyable evening, topped off with a devotion and movie.

Thank you, one and all, for your important ministry of shepherding. It is much appreciated!