Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day #1236

May 20, 2017

This prayer from the Moravian Daily Texts: 
Sometimes we have difficulty seeing you, Lord, because we look for conventional signs of power and strength. Help us to notice your presence in all things. Amen. 
Must be that many of us are thinking along the same lines of “practicing” seeing God’s love at work in the world (see Day #1223). Not surprising, however, because when we see God at work, that helps us believe in God’s presence and power. At least it does for me. And helps me trust that the Light really does scatter the darkness, and wins over it!! Thanks be to God!


Day #1235

May 19, 2017 

For a few minutes of wind-down time, hubby and I took a short drive just outside of the city limits and discovered a new spot of beauty on the river. 

With all the rain, the falls are gorgeous. It is certainly amazing to live in such a beautiful place!!! I’m grateful!


Day #1234

May 18, 2017

Whew…being back in the saddle, so to speak, means being really busy. Lots to plan for in the next couple of weeks. But it’s all good! And I’m rested from vacation, right!? Suuuurrrreee!


Day #1233

May 17, 2017

And all too quickly, it comes time to say goodbye. Thanks to the hospitality of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, we stayed with them part of the time. Which meant that before we left we were able to spend a little extra time with our great-niece who had spent the night. 

She took her great-uncle’s nose (he would like it back, by the way), 

and gave me the biggest hug I think I have had in a long time (good because it has to last). 

So when my sister-in-law asked on FaceBook, “who had the most fun,” I called it a toss-up. 

Then another couple long, bumpy flights and we're home. It sure is good, too, and way cooler!


Day #1232

May 16, 2017 

What could be a better way to wind down our time in North Carolina than by eating BBQ, slaw, and hushpuppies and drinking sweet tea. LOTS of sweet tea. And, having more great conversation with long-time friends. It has been a great trip!

By the way, I think we’ve managed to hit all the food spots we were hungry for. I surely dread getting on the scales! :-(


Day #1231

May 15, 2017

As I ponder the mystery of Jesus for this Monday, I’m drawn to think of Jesus as relationship. Being one of the "thirds" of the Holy Trinity of God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is a part of the epitome of relationship. There is no beginning or end with the three-in-one. It is relationship at perfection. 

This particularly comes to mind as we reconnect with friends and family this week in North Carolina. Relationships begun and continued from long ago, new ones more recently formed, and ones to come (our nephew’s wife is expecting another child in just a few weeks), are very important and it is so good to spend time with people we love. It’s wonderful to celebrate our past, laugh over so many good memories, and in most cases, pick right up where we left off. 

If relationships on earth can be so wonderful and life-giving, imagine what it must be like for the Holy Trinity. And, even better, knowing that we are a part of that perfect relationship is amazing!!

And, speaking of relationships, it is our godson’s momma’s birthday - so a Happy Birthday to you! Love and hugs!


Day #1230

May 14, 2017

And the visiting continues - uncle and aunt, long-time friends, tears, laughter, food (seafood twice - yum!!), and more. Oh, the time is going quickly, but wonderfully. 

Oh, did I mention it is HOT!!


Day #1229

May 13, 2017 

Another day of celebration with a brunch for our niece and husband (sorry, no pics taken) and then more time with family, including dinner with my aunt. Precious times - joy-filled times! 


Day #1228

May 12, 2017 

A wonderful day began with some country ham (one of those foods we’ve missed)…

But then there are more important things for the day, especially our niece’s wedding. Here are the lovely bride and groom - the newest Mr. and Mrs. in the family.

And here’s most of the family ready to celebrate. 

Suffice it to say, a fabulous time was had by all!


Day #1227

May 11, 2017 

After a couple of long, BUMPY flights, once again travel takes us to North Carolina. I have said it before, but there sure are a LOT of people here!! And it sure is HUMID!

But with that said, looking forward to a wedding, much visiting, and some food we have missed. More to come…


Day #1226

May 10, 2017 - The Daily Intersection - Day #1226

After months of meeting regularly with a great group of youth, it’s getting close to the end of confirmation class 2016-2017. Soon five will affirm their faith at worship and we will break for the summer with the others. 

It’s hard to believe time passes so quickly! And can be sad, too!! It’s been a great honor to walk with these fine, young people. As you can tell, we've had fun while learning and relationships have been built. I look forward to what and where their life of faith will take them as we continue in Christ’s service.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Day #1225

May 9, 2017

The word for the day - patient. As in a very patient husband who understands a crazy schedule with trying to get ready to be out of town, along with a busy time of year. I’m so thankful for him!!! 


Day #1224

May 8, 2017 

The word for the day for who Jesus is - the Gate. From Sunday’s gospel reading (John 10:1-10), Jesus describes himself as the gate for the sheep. What does a gate do? Keeps some things in and other things out. 

But what does a gate also do? Provides protection and a way in. Which is more in line with who Jesus seems to be - not so much the quintessential judge and gatekeeper, but the one who loves us enough to watch over us, call us by name, and provide the way into the Kingdom of God. Good news!


And not to forget, Happy Baptism Birthday, Simon!!!! What a joy to be your godparent! Please know we pray for you regularly and love you!

Day #1223

May 7, 2017

For those who guessed what Sunday the “flock” was gathered for on Day #1222, you are correct if you said “Good Shepherd Sunday.” What fun was had with the sheep and the children, especially to see their eyes really widen when we called for the errant sheep to “come back” and several from the congregation came back obediently. It was a LOT of fun for some cotton balls with faces and feet. :-)

Then the question to the congregation of “where Jesus’ love has been evident in the world to you” brought forth many slips of paper with written experiences. Can’t wait to read them all and celebrate Jesus always being present with his flock!


Day #1222

May 6, 2017 

Understand it’s National Nurses’ Day, so I want to convey how thankful I am for all those nurses I know and have known. There have been some wonderful nurses who have lovingly and patiently cared for me in the past and they are most appreciated. I wish I could name them all, but unfortunately they often go about their work anonymously to their patients, especially this one. Also, thank you to those nurse friends of mine who have cared for me and my family!!! You know who you are and I love you for all you’ve done.

Then there is this. 

What Sunday do you suppose this flock has been “gathered” for in order to celebrate with the children? Any guesses?


Day #1221

May 5, 2017

On a beautiful spring day, what does hubby do? Goes fishing!! What do I do? Stay home feeling puny from all the gorgeous blossoming flowers, preparing for Sunday. What’s a pastor to do?!


Day #1220

May 4, 2017 

This date has become a fun one for Star Wars fans - May the 4th (force) be with you. I especially love this meme:

After all, it’s sooooo Lutheran. :-)


Day #1219

May 3, 2017

The question asked to the confirmation students has me thinking: is stewardship a spiritual matter? 

The quick answer is a resounding, YES! After all, everything we are and everything we have comes from God - the one who made everything and placed us here to tend to it. Therefore, what we “give back” to God’s work in the world is a reflection, I believe, on how grateful we are for God’s gifts to us. Can be quite a sobering thought - and one that can/should spur us to action. For stewardship isn’t just about money, it’s the “giving back” of our time and talent, as well. 

Good learning for young adults - and us all!!


Day #1218

May 2, 2017 

There are often “Simon says” notes here at the Daily Intersection. After all, this blog is dedicated to our godson. One day, hopefully, he’ll appreciate being reminded of some of his wisdom from his younger years. 

Today, however, I’m wondering how many things Simon has trouble saying now that his 4th front tooth is missing. :-)

No worries - they will come back soon!


*Note - for those who I am honored to have regularly read this blog, please accept my apology for being so far behind. I will be catching up - and I haven’t abandoned the sharing. Thank you for your patience!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Day #1217

May 1, 2017

Happy May Day!!! The beginning of a month that can bring new birth, new growth, new life - Spring. Prayers that your May will be filled with the knowledge of the presence of God and the assurance that Jesus’ love is "all over the world" (thanks to d365 and Elizabeth Cervasio for this insight about Jesus’ love).

And that would also be the descriptor for Jesus today - Love. The Love that is present in the breaking of the bread of Holy Communion, the meal Jesus gave as assurance of love and forgiveness. The Love that is present in the reaching out of others to care for the sick, the poor, the hungry, the oppressed. The Love that is present in the Word, the Holy scripture. The Love that is present in the ways that worshippers will hopefully bring to worship next Sunday that they observed in their own corners of the world! Jesus - the unconditional and overflowing Love!


Day #1216

April 30, 2017 

The word for the day - glorious!!! A glorious day of worship - and celebration. Thanks be to God! Simply, thanks be to God!!!


Day #1215

April 29, 2017

On a spring day, nothing brings a smile like watching a man, his dog and some ice cream - for both of them. While we enjoyed our own treat, we watched a gentleman enjoy his cone and the special one the store gave him for his four-legged friend. 

It’s the simple things in life!


Day #1214

April 28, 2017

The word for the day - good! Some sermon writing, some planning, some visiting, some time with the hubby, some good food, some extra sleep - all somewhat “normal.” And normal is good!


Day #1213

April 27, 2017

The Women of the ELCA study from the Gather magazine this month comes from Galatians, chapter 5. As we gathered to review, the reminder to “treat one another with gentleness” when there has been an offense is a good one. It seems this could be very helpful in our world today since there is often the desire to not only point a finger at the offender, but to jump to quickly punish, banish, and/or shame them, as well. And don’t we all need a second chance once in a while?!

Then to make me smile, there was this picture of our Godson enjoying the springlike weather. 

Certainly the face of a boy glad to be at play outside!!


Day #1212

April 26, 2017 

Following a long hiatus for Lent and Easter, it is time to resume Confirmation Class. Wednesdays are back to normal and I’m grateful. 


Day #1211

April 25, 2017 

What a busy week - one thing after the other. Which is not a complaint, for most of it is really good busy, especially as we prepare to celebrate on Sunday - new members, a roof update, thankful for Sunday School teachers, special music, and the love of God in Jesus revealed in the breaking of the bread. 

Life is good! And so is God's work!


Day #1210

April 24, 2017 

Mystical Monday and the descriptor for Jesus was inspired by the water tank at the local cemetery. Sounds strange, but as I drove by the huge tank, water was overflowing from its top like a waterfall and in that moment I thought how much it reminded me of Jesus - the Water of Life. It was a visual reminder of how his love and grace overflow like a water fall: abundant, overflowing, raining down, way more than enough, unable to be contained - all ways I think of Jesus’ love and grace. It is more than I can possibly imagine and for that I am grateful and humbled. 

Thank you, Water of Life, for raining your love and grace upon me always. 


Day #1209

April 23, 2017 

It is customary that at the end of each Time with the Children during worship I invite them to pray with me, repeating after me the words of the prayer. So when something happened, or more accurately did not happen, on Easter Sunday, I was shocked. What was it? It was that I forgot and didn’t pray with the children. What has become one of the most precious parts of spending time with them was missed…and on EASTER! 

When I realized later in the day that I had forgotten, I just kept saying/lamenting, “I didn’t pray?!” In fact, I said it so many times that my dear husband finally said, “Let it go!”

So when I asked the children this week what we missed doing on Easter, one of them knew exactly what I meant. Almost immediately he said, “We didn’t pray.” 

What a wonderful thing that the children have come to expect prayer each week…and that it was missed! 

Then there was this:

Our Godson’s loss of another tooth is just another reminder that time is passing quickly and he’s growing up. Sigh!!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day #1208

April 22, 2017

Thought this was appropriate to share on Earth Day. It is from the WELCA Blog and “is an excerpt of “This Earth Day” by Venice R. Williams in the April 2017 issue of Gather magazine:
You and I were born in the  middle of someone else’s story. When we wiggled our way into the world, our mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, maybe even our older siblings, were already living out the narratives of their lives. 
The Earth, too, has a story. Each generation of humanity is born into an emerging tale involving rivers and rain, soil and stone, climate and clouds, ozone and oceans. Just as we were formed in the water of our mothers’ wombs, the Earth, also, was sired and shaped in the stirrings of God’s Spirit. 
We must continue to ask ourselves: What is the Earth story we are crafting for the generations who will follow us? For the children just born or yet to be born?As we celebrate Earth Day today, I pray we will renew our relationships with the Earth and with all of creation. Let’s think deeply about the story we are fashioning for the generations of children of God to come.

Day #1207

April 21, 2017 

Two items for the day, the first being from the last day of the retreat. The speaker quoted someone I did not catch, but the gist was, “Adjust the agenda to what is actually happening,” as a way to reduce stress. Good advice - things never quite seem to go as planned and not getting bent out of shape is helpful.

The second was an invitation to a fun evening to socialize and meet new folks. Not sure that was what we were up for at the end of a long day and drive, but am glad we “adjusted the agenda” and attended. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day #1206

April 20, 2017 

Once again one of the speakers for the retreat challenged us. She reminded us that the tagline for the ELCA is God’s work! Our Hands! But what does it mean? Could it be that the work our hands have to do is the work God did in Jesus Christ - obedient service?! Are our hands ready for that kind of work? Do our hands also hold scars of serving others? Shouldn’t they? 


Day #1205

April 19, 2017 

I mentioned Aunt Ginny’s death on Day #1202. Here is a picture of her the last day we saw her.

In typical Ginny style, she snatched the hat off my husband's head and put it on her own, just grinning. (See Day #243 for more)  She still had that hat, as far as we know. I hope so.

Sadly we are unable to return for her viewing or funeral service. Our hearts are certainly there, but, dear Simon, so was your momma. We cannot thank your momma enough for going in our stead to give hugs and the assurance of our thoughts and prayers. I am so grateful for this great big family of God that is there when blood relatives can’t always be.


Day #1204

April 18, 2017

Continuing the theme of Hope - here’s a thought delivered by the speaker today at the retreat: “What if the darkness isn’t a tomb, but a womb?” What if what seems the end really is only the beginning. What if there is something more to come we cannot even begin to imagine. Yes, what if?! Well, that’s Easter!

And a little levity: only in Montana would you be instructed to stop for road construction in the middle of nowhere. 

Know that we dutifully stopped - it was a traffic light, after all. Soon a pilot car arrived and we were on our way. But you just have to smile, don't you?!


Day #1203

April 17, 2017

On this Mystical Monday, we consider Jesus as Hope. His death and resurrection is what changes everything from what seems like the finality of death to the hopefulness of new life. In him is hope “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5.5) And the Holy Spirit was given to us by the one through whom we have hope, Jesus Christ, after he was ascended. 

It is this hope that sustains me when things go wrong or go against what I desire. It is not over - there is always new life in Christ. Thanks be to God for hope in the risen Christ!


Day #1202

April 16, 2017

What a glorious Easter Sunday! Music, worshippers, children, the Good News!! What a joy and honor to worship the Lord.

And for Aunt Ginny, today was her homecoming. After many years of declining health, Ginny's fulfillment of her baptism happened early Easter morning. So it was fitting to read this in the WELCA Blog, Daily Grace, by Jenna Pulkowski:
Everything that I know about God’s love and grace has helped me to see death in an old age as a beautiful experience. Death is where our baptismal promises are  completed because in baptism we are joined to Christ through his death and resurrection. When we die, we belong to the resurrection. For all of us who have lost loved  ones,  we hold onto these baptismal promises. We know they aren’t a magic potion to make us feel better about death, but the hope our very lives is built upon. 
That is the great Good News, that because Jesus lives, we can live, too. And die, too, with hope and promise! Thanks be to God that Christ is Risen! Indeed that news is even more precious today. We love you, Aunt Ginny!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day #1201

April 15, 2017

As the day began on Holy Saturday (the in-between from Good Friday until the joy of the celebration of Easter resurrection) there were moments for silence, reflection, and final preparations. I am thankful for those.

However, I am even more thankful for a surprise phone call. While this blog was begun in honor of our Godson, Simon, many years before we even knew his parents, we stood at the baptism of another baby and promised to pray for him and help guide his life of faith. He’s now a freshman in college, soon finishing up his first year. But it hasn’t been an easy time for him or his family the last couple of months. His younger brother recently died from injuries sustained in a severe fall. During this tragedy, his family often spoke publicly about their faith. But today we had opportunity to speak with Sam directly when we received the phone call from him. We talked about how he and his family are doing, what he’s up to in school and life, and even shared a chuckle or two. It was wonderful to hear his voice and good to hear that his faith is helping sustain him and his family. I hope he knows, as does Simon, that our love and prayers continue. And know this for certain, neither of you are ever too old to be our Godsons!


Day #1200

April 14, 2017 

And on Good Friday, it is worship x 2. The events of this day can never be remembered or experienced too often, I believe, as we hear once again through the Gospel of John about Jesus being pulled from one direction to another, beaten, stripped, humiliated and crucified. 

As the words of the song, “Were you there?” invite us to consider: “sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble, were you there when they crucified my Lord.” All for us! 

Thank you, Jesus! I praise you and I am grateful for your love and grace.


Day #1199

April 13, 2017 

Maundy Thursday and the great Three Days of worship begins. Even though the unsettling events of the rest of the week loom largely as we journey with Jesus to the cross, there is joy in hearing that it was all done “for you.” 

It is my hope that this step in the life of faith for these two youth who celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time tonight, brings them much assurance of Jesus’ love and forgiveness - all the days of their lives. 


Day #1198

April 12, 2017

When I read this from Kathryn Schifferdecker, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in the daily devotion, God Pause, about Hebrews 12:1-3, it spoke strongly to me as we prepare for Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. Kathryn writes:
I have never been much of an athlete, but I have always loved the imagery of this passage: a track and field stadium, an Olympic-size stadium, the stands all around the track filled to overflowing with the "great cloud of witnesses." And in that great cloud of witnesses are those saints we have loved--for me, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Herbert and Aunt Viola, Dad--along with the people of faith listed in the previous chapter--Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Rahab and countless others who through the centuries have lived by faith. 
And we? We are the ones running the race, cheered on by those in the stands, those we have loved and those we have never met. Sometimes we run through tears, sometimes we only manage to walk, but we persevere, looking to Jesus, "who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." 
As you run the race this Holy Week, follow the example of Jesus. Keep on keeping on. And know that you are surrounded by the communion of saints, the great cloud of witnesses, who are cheering you on. 
The saints I think about are: Grandma, Mom, Granny, Mike, Nellie Ruth, Jack, Bo, Nina, and all those I have loved and served with that I trust are at rest with Jesus. Their memories are close by me as I go through life and I often hear their voices in my head. How eternally thankful I am for their witness, encouragement, and love! And I cannot also forget the saints that are still with me. That list is too long to name, but I am grateful for each one!

And what a gift to join with them all, past, present and future, around the table of the Lord. Yes, they are there - each and every one.


Day #1197

April 11, 2017

As several colleagues gathered to plan last minute details for the noon Good Friday Worship Service, the comment was made: "in the planning is the truth of the season." In the details of focusing on the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of Good Friday, which will be experienced that day, is the truth of what Jesus endured. The pain, the humiliation, the betrayal. All for you and me. 

Humbling....and amazing!


Day #1196

April 10, 2017 

On this Monday, it seems appropriate to consider who Jesus is as the obedient one. Obedient to his mission. Obedient to his love of humanity. Obedient to stay focused in the midst of those who wanted to destroy all he came to do. 

So thankful for what God does for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus!


Day #1195

April 9, 2017

With the celebration of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, Holy Week begins. What better way to remember his journey than talking about it while baking bread with the two who will receive Holy Communion for their first time on Maundy Thursday. Great questions. Great conversation. Great joy in preparing for this feast from Jesus. 

And then, a bit of wisdom from Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) on NCIS: “When you lose everything, you make a choice where to go from there.” We do have choices, no matter what life sends our way. We can let what happened define our future or we can go through it, looking ahead. These words were a good reminder that hope springs eternal. Actually, that’s what this Holy Week is all about - new beginnings coming forth from what seemed hopeless.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day #1194

April 8, 2017 

“Walk in the Light” was the theme for this year’s Women of the ELCA brunch hosted by Miriam’s Circle. It was a lovely time of good food, good fellowship, good location and good speakers. Thank you to all who worked hard to plan, prepare and execute a wonderful event.