Saturday, May 28, 2016

Day #879

May 28, 2016

What fun to receive two videos today of our great niece! One swimming and one dancing. My how she is growing!!

And what a gift to have the time to get The Daily Intersection caught up. Thank you for continuing to read my daily musings!


Day #878

May 27, 2016

I saw something on FaceBook (did not get the author) that I wanted to share. It was called “Seven Ways to Hurt Your Pastor.” However...

Certainly many pastors are hurt as they go about their calls. But I thought it might be more helpful to turn the things around to positives. I have been fortunate as a pastor to be the recipient of many of these, and I am very grateful for that!!

But I also believe these reminders could be helpful to many more people than just pastors - in fact, for most all of our relationships. So here are “Seven Ways to Support your pastor (and others):”
1. Praise the pastor’s family. Few things are as helpful to pastors as praising their families.
2. Say the pastor is not overpaid. Avoid making the pastor feel badly about his or her pay.
3. Defend the pastor. Be vocal in trying to help others see both sides of an issue, especially if the pastor is being loudly criticized.
4. Tell your pastor you understand their job isn’t always easy.
5. Be affirming. While occasionally criticism is necessary and constructive, be overall positive.
6. Avoid making comments about the pastor’s personal expenditures.
7. Point out ways your pastor’s preaching, sharing, and/or teaching inspires your spiritual growth.
Thank you for blessing me!!


Day #877

May 26, 2016

This reminder from the Women of the ELCA Blog strikes close to home. Often I am distracted by so many things when I’m with my husband, and I needed these words:
In late winter, I went to my mom’s home for a few days while she prepared for surgery and a hospital stay. I was stranded there by a snow storm.
My dear cranky old cat was left alone back at my place. He had plenty of food and water, but he was a needy monster when I returned, following me around, grumbling, mewing and crying. He needed attention and affection; he needed me to be really there.
I think this is a lesson about the things we are attached to – people and pets. Sometimes they just need us to be really there. Not distracted by tasks or electronic gadgets. Not physically present but mentally someplace else.
The best thing I did for my mom that week was to be there–present and supportive during a trying time. Even if my cat didn’t think so.
This message was adapted from “Being There,” written by Kate Elliott.

Day #876

May 25, 2016

Happy Baptism Birthday to me!! (See Day #510 for the full story.)

How thankful I am that God claimed me in those waters!! Thankful every single day!!


Day #875

May 24, 2016 

Thank you to several faithful servants who spent some time planting flowers to make the Memorial Garden even more inviting and beautiful. What a gift this quiet space is in the center of the church property! And now it’s even more so.


Day #874

May 23, 2016

Some Mondays are just plain frustrating. So when the computer doesn’t work as it should - well, that just takes the cake! But then, a call to someone, who drops everything and comes quickly to fix it, and suddenly the day isn’t quite so frustrating after all. Yay!! And thank you!!!


Day #873

May 22, 2016

What a fun time I had with the kids during the Children’s message. I went with the reading from Romans 5 about God’s love being poured into our hearts. Other pastors had given me an idea and I adapted it by setting an empty glass into a bowl. This represented our hearts. Then I had a pitcher of water. This was God’s love, and I slowly poured the water into the glass. The kids really got into it and kept saying, pour more, ramping up to "overflow it, overflow it!" So I did - then asked, what do we do with the extra that poured over? One said, give it to other people.

Absolutely awesome!!!! Then I splashed a little bit of “God’s love” onto them. We had a wonderful time!! What fun learning about God’s love!!

Also, I celebrate with my internship supervisor upon his retirement after 27 years at the same congregation. I am fortunate to have learned from him and served with him. Thank you Pastor Rinn, good and faithful servant!!


Day #872

May 21, 2016

As I watched folks share their stories and memories and hug and generally care for one another at a funeral, I was reminded of the gift and joy of a big family. And the importance of community in general. To be there when folks need us (especially in grief) is one of our greatest gifts to one another.

I have benefited from this gift more than once. And I am grateful!


Day #871

May 20, 2016

I was encouraged to take a “down time” day - NO work. So I took the advice - an afternoon with some retail therapy (haha), chillin’, and pleasure reading brought a renewed perspective in attitude and bodily rest.

Thank you for the care - and the encouragement!!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Day #870

May 19, 2016

The word for the day is thankful! Thankful for a great staff (yes, I've said this before, but I'm saying it again)!! Thankful for members/volunteers who give tirelessly of their time and talents!! Thankful for colleagues and community leaders!! But mostly, thankful for the call to this odd and wondrous thing called “pastor.”

Oh, and thankful for a renewed connection to a friend of old!! All in all, just plain thankful!!


Day #869

May 18, 2016

In preparation for this upcoming Sunday and the celebration of the Holy Trinity, Rev. David Lose had these words in his blog, "In the Meantime:"
So perhaps being part of a Trinitarian community is to be a community that looks outward rather than inward or even upward. Outward not inward: we are not called to survive, but to bear witness to the peace of God in Christ that responds to the needs of the neighbor. Outward not upward: God doesn’t need our good works, our neighbor does. In a sense, God in Christ takes care of all the “vertical” dimensions of our life – our relationship with God and eternal destiny, for starters! – so that we can throw ourselves into the “horizontal” dimensions of our live with those around us.
I really appreciate this perspective - God taking care of the upward/inward so that I can focus on the outward. Very cool!!


Day #868

May 17, 2016

A little humor for the day (as I am also sad that Confirmation Class is done for the summer):

Day #867

May 16, 2016

Jeff Gibelius in the devotion "d365" had this to say:
When you were younger you may have seen God in a certain way, but now you may have new insights into the fullness of God and God’s world. God is teaching me lessons today that I was not ready for ten years ago. As you grow in faith, you will be ready to learn deeper, harder truths. You may find that the Spirit reveals to you that your previous ideas about the Bible, Church, Jesus, and others were incomplete — or maybe even wrong. Don’t be surprised when your understandings of important things change as you walk in the Spirit. God is still speaking.
Oh, how true!! Thank you for these words!! And thank you Holy Spirit for teaching me along the way when I need the teaching!!


Day #866

May 15, 2016

There are just too many things to name today that point to the intersection of faith and life. One is the Affirmation of Faith of two faithful and wonderful young men. Another, an awesome worship service with beautiful, inspiring music. Also, a lively discussion at the book reading meeting. And a trip to the hospital with someone that will turn out ok, thankfully. And there were many more.

But the day ended with this text from our Godson's Momma (Happy Birthday to her, too!!). Enjoy this "Simon says:"
Simon: I love you a whole lot.
His mom: a whole lot?
Simon: yes, a whole lot, but not more than God. If I loved you more than God that would be called an idol and that would be bad. I’m sorry, mom, but I can’t do that.
His mom: who can argue with that?!
 Gotta love it!!!


Day #865

May 14, 2016

There is a constant struggle that goes on inside of me. It is between the desire (and need) to care for self (and for spouse) and the desire/call/and need to care for others. Keeping some sort of balance is difficult, sometimes nearly impossible. The needs are huge and ever-present - and the feeling of overwhelming selfishness when I must say no, or do not get to what I feel should be done for someone else, is great. Yet, sometimes I must let something go for the good of something else.

How are decisions made? With lots of prayer! Are there ever regrets? Yes! Do I make mistakes? Certainly. Can I be in two places at once? Oh, if there was only a way.

Please know it isn’t that I think only I can be the one to do something for others or tend to their needs - it’s certain I cannot or am not. Yet, only I can be wife to my patient (thankfully) husband, or only I know when I must have some refueling time. Just know that when I do take time out, it isn’t without struggle or prayer. And if I miss something important, it isn’t without feeling much angst.

In the end, I love what I do. Truly! And it’s all good. Yet, the struggle is real. Thank you for recognizing that and understanding!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Day #864

May 13, 2016

This one made me stop and really think
It came on the heels of what Sarah Boatwright had to say in d365:
We are not enslaved by an angry God who demands acts of allegiance; on the contrary, we are freed by the everlasting love of a merciful God who wants to give us exactly what we need to live lives filled with love.
Hmm… seems a double whammy for something God is trying to tell me.

Also, I cannot let the day pass without another thank you to colleagues, helpers, store salespeople, friends and family for helping event #2 (see Day #861) happen successfully. Thank you ever so much!!


Day #863

May 12, 2016

Today I had a first in ministry. I made a visit to the hospital for someone I had not met. As I entered the room, I asked the hospital personnel working with them if this was the patient I was seeking. Yes, they said, so I introduced myself as their child’s pastor, talked with them for a few minutes, and prayed with them – using the name of the person I meant to visit.

After I left, I made a phone call to the person I know, telling them I had visited and was sorry I missed them. Later, I received a call back. They said: I was sure I heard your voice saying my name from down the hall. So I asked, what room is your loved one in? Sure enough, it’s two doors down from the person I visited.

Ooops! So my first was praying for the “right” person while holding the hand of someone else. Oh my! Fortunately we had a good chuckle and I have to trust God got it all straight.


Day #862

May 11, 2016

What a great evening as the first of the three “big events” (see Day #861) is completed. This was the celebration dinner for this year’s Confirmation Class. The youth in the class were asked to complete a “creative expression” of what meant the most to them from the last year and to present it at the dinner. The emphasis this year was the Bible, and we were privileged to see/hear everything from Genesis to Revelation depicted in music, powerpoint, animation, poster, cross, and drawing.

I am very proud of the youth we have been meeting with, learning with (as much learning from as teaching), and praying with/for. What a holy experience!


Day #861

May 10, 2016

It is a big week with lots happening. There are three, what I call, major events this week that require much collaboration and planning. I’m thankful for those who have taken on some of the tasks – and for those who say, “yes, we can do that” when I call at the last minute. Or those who are willing and pleased to simplify things that seem way too complicated.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be an awesome week. And for those colleagues, helpers, store salespeople, friends and family – thank you! It will not be possible without you!!


Day #860

May 9, 2016

Wow! Today marks eight years since graduation from seminary.

Things have sure changed in those years – I’m well into a new “decade” of age; I’m in my second call; we’ve moved almost all the way across the United States; people we came to love are no longer with us; and we’ve made new friends in many places.

Yes, a lot has changed and this calling is, without doubt, an odd and wondrous one. Yet one for which I give thanks daily.


Day #859

May 8, 2016

Among all the events of the day, perhaps the most important was giving the 3-year old children their own Bible. This one I have a picture of - and her excitement (even after worship) surely shows.
Oh, that we all might be this excited about receiving the word!


Day #858

May 7, 2016

This year Mother’s Day has been on my mind a lot. It seems to be particularly hard this year. Perhaps it’s just that touch of spring fever I was suffering from earlier, but I’m more than ambivalent or distracted by it, I’m actually sad about it.

In worship, we’ll celebrate ALL women – sisters, cousins, god-mothers, aunts, and, of course, the traditional mothers, grandmothers, etc. Even daughters – surely we can’t miss anyone there. But I cannot help thinking of those who cannot even face the day being in worship – those who are freshly grieving the death of mom, grandmother, friend; those who have miscarried or cannot become pregnant; those whose child has gone missing or become ill or even worse? I personally know those who stay away on this Sunday, when the well-meaning Happy Mother’s Day greeting (even a Happy Women’s Day) is just too much.

Please know I understand. And I empathize. More importantly, God knows and thankfully is with us in the midst of the sadness and pain. Thanks be to God!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Day #857

May 6, 2016

At the end of a lovely day, it was a lovely evening for a drive out to the lake.

Wouldn’t you agree?


Friday, May 6, 2016

Day #856

May 5, 2016

Happy Ascension Day!

On this celebration of Jesus’ ascension back to the Father, this beautiful depiction showed up on FaceBook and I wanted to share it here.
As Jesus said to the disciples, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth,” we also have work to do as Jesus’ witnesses.


Day #855

May 4, 2016

May the 4th be with you! A throw-back to Star Wars. And a “joke” because especially us Lutherans automatically reply "and also with you” because we are accustomed to hearing the greeting "May the Lord be with you" or "May the peace of Christ be with you always" during worship.

Yet, these are so much more than just simple greetings we do in worship. Being assured of Christ’s peace can make a significant difference in our lives. And sharing that peace with others is both a joy and a responsibility. In other words, it’s big stuff. Just as having the assurance the Lord is with us is big stuff. Life changing!

So on May the 4th, and every other day, the peace of the Lord be with you!!


Day #854

May 3, 2016

May 3rd - set aside as "MT Gives" day. Hundreds of non-profit organizations across the state signed up to benefit from the generosity of folks who could simply sign-on to the MT Gives website and make a donation, designating it for a particular place. Simple - easy peasy.

Until…. technology failed. And folks couldn’t get the website to work, take their donation, etc. And a colossal fail took place. Very disappointing!!

So what happens when technology fails? Do we just not give? Do folks just have to suffer because it’s not as convenient to financially support them? Let’s hope not.

Still, very frustrating that such a great idea took such a turn. Maybe next time!!


Day #853

May 2, 2016

A beautiful day to start the week. And to welcome, officially, our newest staff member.

A good start to the work week.


Day #852

May 1, 2016

Words inspired from the devotion d365 helped me remember to be thankful for Sunday worship as time to fill the need to thank God for always being with me.

It’s just that simple.