Monday, August 31, 2015

Day #604

August 27, 2015

What better way to spend most of a relaxing day than on the river fishing. Another photo courtesy of our photographer niece.
Word of the day – peaceful!


Day #603

August 26, 2015

In honor of National Dog Day – here is ours doing what she most loves - rolling in the snow (no, it’s not snowing here, YET! This is from earlier in the year, but appropriate for today). She's enjoying pure joy!

Day #602

August 25, 2015

More fun! Now at the National Bison Range.
Yep, sometimes you’ve just got to see what’s on the other side of the road. Haha! (Photo courtesy of our photographer niece!)


Day #601

August 24, 2015

Off on an excellent adventure – to Glacier. What fun to be showing the family the beauty of this area.
Yep – gotta have a selfie, too.


Day #600

August 23, 2015

On day #600 (who would have ever believed I would continue blogging this long – with plans to keep going strong!), we worship! Here’s the family! Truly a day to give thanks!

And…I received the following in an email. This is much longer than the usual Daily Intersection Blog, but truly worth the read.
How much do we notice as we go through a day?
Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America - If you remember, she's the wife of Todd Beamer who said "Let's Roll!", and helped take down the plane over Pennsylvania that was heading for Washington, DC back on 9/11. She said "It's the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him."
Lisa recalled this story:  "I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her Insight with a classroom of students.  As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there.
With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, 'Class is over, I would like to share with all of you, a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel Is very important.  Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves.  None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day.'
Her eyes began to water as she went on, 'So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice.  It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground.
Please look for these things, and cherish them.  For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life.  The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy.  The things we often take for granted.'
The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.
Take notice of something special you see today.  Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset.  Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Day #599

August 22, 2015

We’ve had a full and fun day - a little extra sleep, lunch at a local spot, shopping, and a pig roast time of fellowship with the church. All in all a great first day!
We started with smiles at lunch - and a little extra clothing (chilly here in Big Sky Country today). But beautiful!


Day #598

August 21, 2015

Family arrived - safely! Thanks be to God for safe flights and their arrival. Looking forward to a week of seeing the sights and enjoying time together!

And my sister-in-law came bringing surprise gifts - another white stole to be used during the Christmas season.

She’s VERY talented - and very generous with her time and gifts. A huge THANK YOU! It’s perfect!


Day #597

August 20, 2015

The word for the day - teamwork! There has been a concerted effort to accomplish a lot around the office in order to be ready for some vacation and general time off. It has been busy - and a tad stressful. Yet, the teamwork effort has paid off.

I am giving thanks for the accomplishments - and looking forward to some days with fewer hours behind the desk.


Day #596

August 19, 2015 

d365 for the last two weeks has taken time off from the regular Sunday readings and focused on the theme of going to or back to school. I thought the one for 8/19 is especially appropriate. Ann Whitfield Carter talks about the reading from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verse 27, which is: "He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” This is what she has to say:

I love this passage because it gives concrete ways to love God. My senior pastor breaks it down like this: When you spend your days learning in school, you are loving God with all your mind. When you exercise, play sports, or rest, you are loving God with all of your strength. When you spend quality time with those you love, or you do those hobbies that bring you joy, you are loving God with all your heart. And when you nurture your spiritual life, whether through prayer, Scripture reading, or worship, you are loving God with all your being. And to have a balanced life, you need to include all four of these into your everyday life. We do most of these things every day. Now we just need to be mindful of God’s presence when we do them. This will change us on the inside. And whenever we love those around us at school or in our neighborhood or on our team, even those who are hard to love, we are loving God in a way that changes others’ lives. This is what will change our world.
Doesn’t this make a lot of sense?!


Day #595

August 18, 2015

Sometimes three words can illicit the most joyful moments of thanksgiving: all went well.

Giving thanks for someone’s test today that went well!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Day #594

August 17, 2015

As the time draws near, and has already begun for some, this post I saw is very appropriate.
Yes, I am thinking about, and praying for, all those headed off to college - for the first time and/or returning.


Day #593

August 16, 2015

After three weeks of the Gospel of John, chapter 6, hearing about, thinking about, and pondering about who Jesus is as the bread of life, we finally get a rather concrete nod and connection to Holy Communion. As Jesus says in verse 53: “... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

Strong word - unless!  True, but these words also contain a promise. God’s promise that as we eat and drink, we do have life in us. As we “chomp” on Jesus, he clings to us as inseparably as food does in our systems. Meaning life now AND life forever.

Every week, I am thankful and humbled that the church hears: “the body of Christ, given for you.” “the blood of Christ, shed for you.” “remember how much God loves you!” How awesome! How assuring! How hopeful!


Day #592

August 15, 2015

We’re getting ready - family is coming soon. Yay! Time to do some DEEP cleaning, completely finish settling in, and make final plans for their visit. Can’t wait! the man who always helps!!!


Day #591

August 14, 2015

This picture is worth a thousand words.
See that smile? What can be more relaxing than time on the river with a fishing pole and the love of my life?


Day #590

August 13, 2015

When I saw this post, I was reminded about the importance of returning a smile to children.
And I was reminded to consider who we might be making an impression upon when we do not even realize it. People do watch us, especially as Christians. We are watched for what we do and what we say and how they jive.

Humbling, isn’t it? And inspiring. And simple. After all, how difficult is it to smile back at someone, especially a child? Oh, but how important?!


Day #589

August 12, 2015

One of the local long-term care facilities sponsors a monthly breakfast that is open to the public with an outcome being charitable contributions. What happens is that the facility pays the costs of the food and for a relatively low price (additional donations are accepted), folks enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast and the proceeds received are given to a local agency. This month the agency that received over $400 was Family Promise.

What a great idea! Certainly the facility receives names of potential future residents in the process (there are a couple of door prizes randomly chosen from those who fill out slips with their names and phone numbers), but what a creative way to do public outreach, as well as public relations. Hmmm….


Day #588

August 11, 2015

There are many risks in life, most of which are attached to consequences of some sort. For example, take a risk and drive while under the influence of alcohol and the consequences could be dire.

Okay, that may be an extreme example. What is on my mind right now is more the risk of being “public” with thoughts and prayers. Certainly I trust that the folks who regularly read this blog (and thank you for doing so!!!) have my best interests at heart. But realizing that there have been over 8,000 (eight thousand!) views since I began (only a portion of which are my own to look up something, etc) means that lots more people see this than I can imagine. I am humbled by that. Truly!

Suffice it to say that I see it somewhat as a risk to be this public about my thoughts and my prayers. However, I also know that by taking the risk to be public, especially regarding my prayer concerns, means that not only am I open to the consequence of being vulnerable, I am also open to the consequence (hope) that many others add my concerns to their prayers, too. And who knows (only God) what the result of that can be!?

So thank you to those who have included my concern over my dear friend to their prayers. And who reach out to me in support. What a gift and blessing!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Day #587

August 10, 2015

As the journey is just beginning for my dear friend (see Day #573), we touch base most every day. I am thankful, and honored, for every bit of communication – text, talk, whatever.

But I am most thankful for the One who hears our conversations, knows our hearts, and knows her needs and thoughts. I am thankful for God, who I can talk to with her, for her, about her, and for me, trusting that God does not disappoint or turn away, but will guide her, lift her and keep her. In all ways and always.


Day #586

August 9, 2015

And then there is good news:
  • The birth of a healthy new baby!
  • The reminder that God never gives up on us – loving us, inviting us, forgiving us, even sending us Jesus, the Living Bread from Heaven. (John 6:51)
Now there’s some really, REALLY good news!


Day #585

August 8, 2015
We all need peace in our lives. Some of us need more peace than others, especially at certain times. An unsettling week with many pieces of news that were not what I hoped to hear, and some other things that just seemed to push my buttons (see Day #583), the “impatient with others” moments are happening more often than I like (thank you, dear husband, for enduring!). So when I saw this, I knew it is what I need:
Silently speak this centering prayer throughout the day: 
Peace be with you, _________ (your name).
Peace be with you, _________ (the name of someone you know who needs peace).
This reminder really helps. It is similar to the prayer I have suggested to others:
Breath in, calling on the name of Jesus
Breath out, releasing the troubling emotion – be it anger, frustration, etc.
What I appreciate about this one, however, it’s not just for me. It’s also for others in my life who greatly need God’s peace right now!! Know I am remembering you in prayer!!

Day #584

August 7, 2015

The word for the day – awe! I am in awe of the artistic, healing, beautiful talent of others. We went to an art show and the paintings, pottery, and all the other items for sale are gorgeous. How wonderful that folks have those talents and share them with others and the world. I’m in awe!


Day #583

August 6, 2015
“I’m a pastor. I get paid by the word.” This is not a quote or idea I came up with, but somewhere along the line I picked it up and have used it in kidding with others about the length of a sermon or Bible Study. But in reality it does have double-meaning: I get paid by the Word, Jesus Christ. Yet, don't we all get paid by the Word? Or at least uplifted, forgiven, loved, accepted, etc. (which, by the way, none of those deserve to have “at least” identify them) by the Word?
So where is all the talk about “word” going? It is on my mind due to my own frustration when the words I speak don’t seem to hit the mark. When I cannot seem to get across in a coherent manner what I’m trying to say, or explain, or think through with someone. It’s a frustration I notice more as pastor than ever before in my life. I used to think I was a good communicator, not as much now. J
Sometimes the hardest part of speaking, though, is listening. Hearing what the other person is actually asking so that I can answer their question. And when I miss the mark with that one, the frustration is really in me and with my inadequacies. A friend reminds me I’m not perfect. I know that, but I sure would like my communication skills to be as close to perfect as possible.
So, from the second reading for Sunday, August 9th, come these important words in Ephesians 4:29:  Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
Amen and Amen! Paid by the word? Well…..certainly uplifted (and convicted) by it!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day #582

August 5, 2015

It was a delightful evening for music in the park. And a member of the congregation (who, by the way, was on the Call Committee) directed the band. What fun!

It’s hard to tell by the picture, but this is the Bandshell. The concert was outdoors (hence “in the park”).

And just so you know, it was cool enough to need a light jacket at 8:30 pm. Gotta love that, too!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day #581

August 4, 2015

The word for the day - thankful! Thankful for a loving husband who spoils me. Thankful for technology that keeps me in touch with people I love. Thankful for colleagues to study with. Thankful for the availability of doctors and medical tests. Thankful for God, who receives all our worries and hears our prayers.

Yep, thankful!


Day #580

August 3, 2015

Staff Planning Meeting. Five of us gathered around a table with scripture, prayer and calendars in order to spend an afternoon thinking, dreaming, and discerning how we can best work together to build up the Kingdom through the congregation where we serve/work. There were many good ideas, along with much hope.

I am proud of the staff I work with. They do their jobs well and care about the jobs they do. I hope I tell them often enough, and that they hear, that I appreciate them!


Day #579

August 2, 2015

In a recent conversation, I listened to deep fear as someone was worried about not doing what God wants them to do. They shared how they are concerned almost to hopelessness that they will be turned away by God because of not getting the message out as God wants them to.

I have thought about this conversation a lot. I suppose what troubles me is their stressing about whether they are living their faith as God wants them to. I understand wanting to be faithful in responding to what God wants me to do, but where is the line between stressing I am not enough and trusting that God IS working through me, even when I don’t realize I’m being used by God as a reflector.

I suppose many of us worry about whether we do enough or do what we do correctly, but that is where God’s grace comes in. More importantly, that’s where who God is comes in. God is God, as they say, and I am not. Do I trust in God’s promise to claim me as a child of the Kingdom instead of worrying over how I’m working to earn God’s acceptance? Hmmm....


Day #578

August 1, 2015

A beautiful day on the river, floating in a raft! I apologize for no pictures, but I have lots of memories of things seen:
  • two deer drinking water down by the river
  • several bald eagles
  • an otter
  • lots of fish in the water
But most importantly, some quality time with two really awesome teenagers.

Another blessed day with God being very visible!


Day #577

July 31, 2015

I just love to hear about things our Godson has to say. Here is the latest “Simon says” (it went something like this): After an unfamiliar pastor would not give him Holy Communion during worship on Sunday, he told him, “I want Communion! It’s Jesus saying he loves me.”

How awesome that this young man “gets it?” It’s certainly different than the older person I saw a few days ago who refused Holy Communion and said emphatically, “I don’t want it!” Someone doesn’t want Jesus’ love?! Someone doesn’t want assurance of Jesus’ forgiveness?!

Someone doesn’t think it’s needed, I guess. How sad! I sure need it, and want it, and give thanks I can receive it often! And am thankful our Godson does, too!


Day #576

July 30, 2015

A day full of little things that all add up to a day filled with reminders of Faith Intersections:
  • A quick note from someone offering encouragement 
  • An offer from someone else to pray at lunch (*note this correction: it was not lunch when someone else offered to pray, but at another occasion. Please pardon my failed recollection!)
  • A sweet smile from a widow who is obviously grieving 
  • A declaration of “I’m so happy you came” from a homebound person
All in all, I would say a very blessed day with God being very visible.