Friday, September 30, 2016

Day #1003

September 29, 2016 

At the end of a very difficult day for a family celebrating the life of a loved one and saying final goodbyes, there is nothing more awesome than catching a glimpse of a 7-year-old young man kneeling in silence and solitude at the sanctuary rail to pray. There is only one word for it - WOW! - as it filled me with gratitude for the love of Christ that sustains us and brings peace.


Day #1002

September 28, 2016 

What a busy day!!! And a day to be thankful - for an awesome staff, hard-working volunteers, and divine inspiration that created an idea someone had to solve a problem with getting sound to a different room. 

Yes, the creativity and the dedication fill me with gratitude!!! Thank you all!!


Day #1001

September 27, 2016

Is this really the temperature at the end of a “fall” day in MT?!?!?

It sure is! :-)


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Day #1000

September 26, 2016 

On the 1,000th post, the word WOW! comes to mind. ONE THOUSAND days of reflecting on God’s work and moments of grace/thankfulness. WOW!! I would have never guessed I would continue this long, with no plans to stop. But then, God’s work and grace never stop. Praise be to God!

As I look back on Day #1, I cannot believe all the changes that have taken place in these 999 days (yes, I used the word change, haha). Our lives and the lives of our friends and family have seen ups and downs, highs and lows, pain and joy, new beginnings and sorrowful endings. How grateful I am for this means of being able to catalogue and remember a bit of it all, especially God’s presence and grace. And I am humbled and thankful that what I intended as I began still rings true. It is a privilege to put into word God's presence in the world. 

So thank you for reading, encouraging, and praying with me. It means a lot. I also hope you recognize God’s hand in your lives at the Daily Intersection! Especially you, Godson!


PS I am also thankful that over these 1,000 days there has evolved a habit of more reading and less television. :-)

Day #999

September 25, 2016 

What a joy it is to welcome a new one into the family of God through baptism! 

Then later in the day, what a privilege to celebrate the installation service of a new colleague. While I listened again to the promises she made in the service to preach, teach and administer the sacraments, I am reminded by whose strength I (and all of us) do these things. Only through and with God’s help can they be done, especially in times of weariness or feeling overwhelmed. I will, and I ask God to help and guide me!! That is important to remember and practice!! Every day!


Day #998

September 24, 2016

It is very sad to see a favorite place to eat and gather close. Prayers for this family and those affected as they sort through what has taken place.

And yet thankful to be able to take a few moments to marvel at some of God’s beauty at the close of the day. 


Day #997

September 23, 2016 

As I have mentioned before, doing what I do often includes the invitation to enter into places and moments of holy ground. What a privilege and honor it is to be with folks in those special times. And I am grateful for the presence of Christ, the presence of love, and the presence of peace when standing on that holy ground! It is amazing.


Day #996

September 22, 2016

The state where I grew up is hurting. Once again, tragically, another life has been ended, surrounded by questions and accusations. Now the reactions to that tragedy appear to be nearly as painful. When will the harmful demonstrations end? When will the need for them end? When will we learn to respect one another and the preciousness of life? When will we find peace? When will we promote peace? Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be any time soon. 

My prayers are heavy-laden with lament for all who suffer - and yet, I am hopeful that the God of peace will teach us, strengthen us, and fill us with mercy.


Day #995

September 21, 2016 

And another year of Confirmation Class begins! I am really looking forward to this year - the energy of the youth, spending the time with them each week, and the building of relationships between them and with God are all exciting as I think about what is ahead. It’s going to be a fun year, I can just tell.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Day #994

September 20, 2016 

The story of Jonah in the Old Testament has always been a favorite of mine. There is something new to learn each time I read and/or study it. As a group was meeting to get ready for a study later in the week, the discussion centered on the God of second chances.

What an amazing God of grace we do have - always giving us chance after chance!! Something to be truly thankful about!!


Day #993

September 19, 2016

Late summer evenings and the beauty of the sunsets amaze me. I am also struck by how much the sky changes in only a couple of minutes. The pictures speak - even though they don’t really do the beauty justice!


Day #992

September 18, 2016 

Had to smile while watching a young person learning to ride a bike in the parking lot of a local restaurant. I was reminded of my own learning, and the scrapes, and the fun I have had over the years riding. And the fun I am still having as we recently purchased bikes after a long time of not owning one. There is still something about riding a bike, or watching someone learn, that makes me smile. 

And unrelated but important, I’m thankful for learning CPR, the instructor, and how to use an AED. Hoping this “skill” is never needed, but thankful to know it!!


Day #991

September 17, 2016

It’s an odd phenomena to me that folks are quick to “horn in” on conversations on FaceBook, especially to correct you. Or disagree, or make another point in the conversation. And especially I notice it to/from strangers - friends of friends - who feel the need to correct a comment grammatically. 

I have to wonder, would we do something like that in person to someone having a conversation at another table in a restaurant? Would we do it in line at the grocery store? Perhaps some would, but that begs the question, should we? Is it helpful? For what purpose does someone “out” a person publicly for making a comment with a grammatical error in it? Do you feel better by making me look ignorant? 

Okay, rant over.


Day #990

September 16, 2016

What do you do on a beautiful late summer day? If possible, you take a walk on the River’s Edge Trail. 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day #989

September 15, 2016 

At a meeting today, we were reminded by a very impassioned preacher that as a country/society we are in need of a renewal of the heart. That the fear, greed, entitlement, etc., is really a heart problem. 

Who and/or what is in your heart? Who and/or what is in my heart? Something to ponder deeply. 


Day #988

September 14, 2016 

The word for the day - fulfilling. 

Making visits and spending time with others in their homes is one of the more fulfilling opportunities I have in this calling. Yes, it is another great joy!!


Day #987

September 13, 2016 

It struck me how evident it is that our lives have changed when I realize we have moved from the land of knowing that fall is coming because there is frost on the pumpkin to knowing it is coming because there is snow on the Rocky Mountain Front.


Day #986

September 12, 2016 

The word for the day - excited!

There may not be anything more exciting than talking with parents about the planning of a baptism. What a joy!! 

Yes, I am looking forward to the end of the month!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Day #985

September 11, 2016 

This from the devotion God Pause written by Pastor Peggy Leuzinger of MT: 
Today in many Lutheran congregations (ELCA) around the United States people will be joining in a day of service, to do God's work with our hands. Today is also the fifteenth year since the events of 9/11, when terrorists attacked the U.S. Recognizing the service of first responders, fire fighters, police and all those who respond quickly in service when the need arises, the church expresses gratitude today for all those who serve "on the front lines." After 9/11, the image of the persistent, continuing search for victims for months in the rubble--that people wanted to be there, helping, searching, not giving up--is one that still powerfully connects with us. The powerful image that God's concern and compassion can be mirrored in human response is limitless and unwavering. The call to see and serve the neighbor is issued to God's people. Today, give thanks that as Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood stated, quoting his mother, "Look for the helpers. You'll always find people who are helping." Holy God, we give thanks that you raise up helpers and inspire so many to act with courage and compassion. Protect them from danger and grant them wisdom in their serving. Amen. 
Yes, thank you to all who put others first as they serve as police, firefighters, EMT, first responders of all kinds!!! There is much gratitude for what you do!!!

Then, we participated in a fun and unique way to spend an afternoon in MT - What the Hay. See this website for more information: Montana Bale Trail. These are a couple of our favorites, too:


Day #984

September 10, 2016 

What a wonderful time spent today at the annual Fall Potluck Salad Luncheon hosted by the Women of the ELCA. We had an inspiring speaker - Lois Olmsted (see her website: Time Out With Lois  Her words pivot around the idea of being joyful in the midst of whatever happens, trusting God. She’s also quite good at telling a story, using humor in the midst of angst, to make her point. 

Yet, the way she ended the talk really touched me deeply. She talked of driving around town before the event, observing the ways things have changed in the years since she has been gone. And she shared what she jotted down as she traveled roads she had decades before when she lived here - “thank you for what you did while I was away.” 

Her words made me thankful to be here now as a caretaker of the places and people. They made me thankful for the time I spent in my first call, caring for the people and places while I was there. They made me thankful for the time I spent in seminary, caring for the people and places while I was there. They made me thankful for all the years I’ve been with my husband, caring for the people and places who crossed our lives. Thankful, yes, but also reminiscent. And touched by the goodness of God who calls us to be where we need to be. 

Then, to end the day, we went to see the new movie Sully. It is about the landing of the airplane in the Hudson river in 2011, saving all passengers and crew. Here’s a link to an entry I made on the perspective I had when we visited the museum where the plane now resides: Day #69. This is truly an amazing story, and a very good movie. Speaking of being where you need to be, Captain Sully certainly was who needed to be there when he was. 155 people might just agree! 


Day #983

September 9, 2016 

The Gospel reading for Sunday is from Luke, the 15th chapter. It is the parable Jesus tells about the shepherd who leaves 99 of his sheep huddled together to go and search until he finds the one that has been lost. Or the woman who loses a coin and sweeps the house until it is found. Check out verses 1-10 for the full story.

So I’m thinking a lot about things that have been lost and then found. Items that get misplaced easily - keys, notes, a tool box in the move. Sometimes they are found, sometimes they are simply replaced with another. Even if it isn’t quite the same, at least something can become functional again, like with a car due to a replaced key.

However, the parable is much less about the item being found and more about the one who does the searching. In the parable, the one searching never gives up - for the searching is done UNTIL the item is found. This is very different from searching for a while or until the searcher gets tired. There is a relentlessness to the one searching. Their devotion is unending - and amazing. Yes, amazing grace/love. For the one doing the searching in the parable is an image of God, who never gives up in “searching” for one who wanders off. Because God loves us beyond measure and is relentless in seeking relationship with us. 

If that isn’t amazing grace, what could be?!?!


Friday, September 9, 2016

Day #982

September 8, 2016 

Almost embarrassing to admit, but the birthday celebration continues. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, just truly overwhelmed. The "day after" brought lunch with a beautiful gift and card, and more FaceBook wishes and texts. 

The diversity of folks I’ve heard from - from childhood friends to the most recent - are all special to me. Thank you, again. This year is off to an amazing start.


Day #981

September 7, 2016 

Another year has passed - another birthday has come. But what a day! 
  • Breakfast with High School Youth - a great start to the day
  • Bible Study with Men’s Square (women have study circles - these men have a square) - always great insights
  • Bible Study with a group of ladies who surprised me with cake and cards - a wonderful group
  • a surprise visit and balloon/card from a wee one and her mom - just precious
  • candy from my loving husband - yum
  • a late afternoon meeting with yummy snacks, a delicious cake and a resounding rendition of Happy Birthday with instruments and kazoos - joyous
  • and MANY calls, cards, FaceBook wishes and texts.
Yes, what a day! I feel loved and appreciated - what more could you ask for on your birthday?!?! Thank you everyone for making me feel special! Love you all!!


P.S. A “Simon Says” to share: His mom told me the congregation she serves went to monthly Holy Communion during worship for the summer. Sunday they celebrated the sacrament and Simon went to the rail loudly saying something along the lines of: I’m so glad to have Communion. I’ve been so hungry for Jesus. What an amazing young man!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day #980

September 6, 2016

This caught my eye from the d365 Daily Devotion portion “think” by Jeremy Sims. It is based on the Gospel of Luke, chapter 6, verse 31 (“Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.” New English Translation): 
Here are some mantras of living from some of the world’s wisest:  
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. (Hillel)  
Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. (Confucius)  
Do not do to others what would anger you if others did it to you. (Socrates)  
What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others. (Epictetus)  
Do you see the similarity? These are all versions of the Golden Rule that say, “Do not do to others…” Do you see how radical Jesus is? He says, “Do to others.” The brilliance of Jesus says that when we do consult our own interest and act toward our neighbor out of our own interest, we find ourselves delivered out of our own interest.
Quite a distinction Jesus makes from avoiding hurting others versus taking the initiative to be bold and DO for them as you would want done to you, isn’t it?!


Day #979

September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day – a tribute to everyone who works hard to provide all that is needed! Thank you!!!

But with that said, I just had to share this I saw on FaceBook:


Day #978

September 4, 2016 

A rainy day in MT. It seems to be a rarity for a day of slow easy rain here. But it’s so nice – for reading, napping, or even traveling. Ahh, the refreshing nature of rain! Thank you!


Day #977

September 3, 2016 

It’s too quiet at home! What are we to do with ourselves? After a busy summer enjoying visits from folks, we sure do miss them when they leave! This time is certainly no exception!


Day #976

September 2, 2016 

The power of the wind. We took a ride to just beyond Judith Gap to see the wind farm. It’s fascinating to me how we can harness nature’s natural wonder for convenience's sake. There is a small information station set up at the farm. This bullet in answer to the question “What are the benefits of wind energy” especially caught our eye:
Development of just 10% of the wind potential in the 10 windiest U.S. states would provide more than enough energy to displace emissions from the nation’s coal fired power plants and eliminate the nation’s major source of acid rain, reduce total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by almost a third, and help contain the spread of asthma and other respiratory diseases, aggravated or caused by air pollution in this country.
Hmmm….that sure is something to think about as stewards of God’s creation! 


Day #975

September 1, 2016 

What a gorgeous day in MT!!!! Could this be the last hurrah of the summer? If so, it’s going out with a bang - and so are we.

Pictures speak a thousand words - what a fun day enjoying God's creation(s):

In a boat on a gorgeous day - life is good!
Beautiful brown!
Fish #1
Fish #2

Day #974

August 31, 2016

From the devotion d365 (which has been focused lately on going back to school, especially thoughts on being with others): “In this moment, bring to mind three things or people for whom you are grateful. Take 20 seconds to hold them in your mind.”

On this first day of school in the community where we live - three things I give thanks for: schools, teachers and students. May this be a wonderful year of safety, learning, and relationship building.


Day #973

August 30, 2016

This seemed appropriate from the Moravian Daily Prayer as we travel with some of our family: Father, you have provided us with loving families. We are so grateful for these special people in our lives. Lord, please help us to reach out to those who are lonely and without family. Amen. 

And what a beautiful day at Grand Teton.

And as the fires burn and firefighters battle the blazes, we give our deep appreciation to the exhausted folks on the battlefront! Thank you for your service!! (This photo captured as we exited Yellowstone.)


Day #972

August 29, 2016

And so it begins - Simon’s first (not first "official" until tomorrow however) day of kindergarten. 

He looks excited and ready - and just a tad nervous. And we’re all those things for him, too. He’s off on an excellent adventure of learning about all kinds of things in all kinds of ways. Prayers for this day - and all those to come. And for those who will lead and guide him along the way!!

We’re also off on an excellent adventure with family - first through Yellowstone to Jackson Hole, WY. This is such a beautiful state - and country - and we are fortunate to have some time to enjoy seeing it firsthand.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Day #971

August 28, 2016 

This from Richard Rohr as he writes this week about life: "getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding [..] tend to pander to the ego. It is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway."

Many times I have heard folks lament - I just need more faith. Or maybe, I would like to know more about how to get more faith. Or maybe, how can I do more to please God? All of those seem to be more about what we can do more to get more or achieve more or succeed as a better Christian or person. 

It’s so easy to get trapped into thinking we have to do more to get more of God’s approval or even of God’s grace. That somehow it's really up to us to ultimately save ourselves. What Richard Rohr seems to be saying, it’s more about letting go - of what I want, what I think I need, what I can get out of life or things, etc. Therefore, letting go is so that we can be more attune to what God has already provided - grace beyond measure. And love beyond end. For us and for all others.

Hmmm…lots to think about and trust God for. 

And then, with a grin on my face I begin some vacation time. I’m thinking it’s time to “let go” of the schedules, concerns, etc. and “achieve” some relaxation. :-)


Day #970

August 27, 2016

What do folks do on a Saturday evening in MT? 

We spot for animals -- maybe we should call this "Pokemon Go" for adults. ;-)

Admire the river

Or simply watch the amazing colors as the sun sets

PS Thanks to our niece for the pics!