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.
Blessings.

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. 

Blessings.

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? 

Blessings.

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.

Blessings.

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?!

Blessings.

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!

Blessings.

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!

Blessings.

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!

Blessings.

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.

Blessings.

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. 

Blessings.

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.

Blessings.

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!

Blessings.

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!

Blessings.

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.

Blessings. 

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.

Blessings.

Day #1193

April 7, 2017

The word for the day - thankful! For a little down time with the hubby before the frenzy of Holy Week, I give thanks!

Blessings.

Day #1192

April 6, 2017

What is there to do on 4/06 but celebrate Montana! Well, at least one of us did by spending the day fishing and enjoying the scenery from the Missouri River. 


As quoted by him - “I had a GREAT day!”

Okay, I admit I’m a tad jealous, but happy for him the day went well! 

Blessings.

Day #1191

April 5, 2017 

With the final Wednesday Lenten soup supper and worship service complete comes the reminder that Holy Week is nearly upon us. Easter is coming. 

Oh, the celebration will be glorious once again, I trust. But what an important time this has been to remember, turn and focus once again on trusting Jesus through his life and death. 

Blessings.

Day #1190

April 4, 2017

From “Daily Grace,” the Women of the ELCA daily blog, these words about doubt:
Doubt goes with us on our journey. Often, it doesn’t leave us even when we get to Easter. But doubt isn’t strong enough to keep Jesus in the grave. Jesus is risen, even though those closest to him denied him, doubted him and locked their doors. Even if we lock our doors, Jesus shows up. And he doesn’t just show up. He lets us, with Thomas (the Doubter), feel how his wounds connect with our pain and doubt. This message is an excerpt of “A geography of hope” by Elizabeth Hunter in the April 2017 issue of Gather magazine.
Thankfully doubt is not the opposite of belief. That is not my statement, but I am thankful for its truth and hope. For those moments when belief seems far away, I am grateful that God can handle our doubts and that Jesus shows up whether we ask or not, whether we doubt or not, whether we trust or not. 

Thank you, God, for helping me with my doubt and loving me in the midst of it.

Blessings.

Day #1189

April 3, 2017 

Monday - and Jesus’ mystery as revealed in the Gospel of John with his “I am” statements. “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48) is but one example. 

I was reminded of Jesus’ “I am” assurances by Marissa Galván-Valle who wrote these words in the devotion “d365” on March 30: 
John’s Gospel is full of “I am” sayings. These sayings seek to give us the certainty that Jesus is the son of God. Every time Jesus says, “I AM,” it is an affirmation of his identity and an assurance of what he can do and give.
Who is this Jesus? He is...

Blessings.

Day #1188

April 2, 2017

What a wonderful way to spend a part of Sunday - discussing the sacrament of Baptism in class and later talking with several folks about possibly becoming members of the congregation. Baptism - the sacrament that assures inclusion in the family of God. Membership - belonging with a certain group of people who are a part of the family of God and become like a human family through worshipping and serving together. 

Both of these have meant more to me than I can say in my adult life. I am thankful for the invitation that led to being baptized. I am grateful for the people I have met, known, loved and mourned through being a part of several congregations. 

I cannot imagine my life without either - or without being a disciple of Christ. And how wonderful to be a part of helping others receive the same. I am humbled.

Blessings.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day #1187

April 1, 2017

Happy April Fool’s Day!! Did you get tricked? Did you trick someone else? Suppose a little harmless fun is just as good a way to start the month as any. :-)

Blessings.

Day #1186

March 31, 2017 

The FISH Food Ministry of Great Falls held their 17th annual Loaves and Fishes fundraising dinner and silent auction at the congregation where I serve. This ministry is comprised of over one dozen congregations of different denominations who come together to distribute food to the hungry. Many hard-working folks put in lots of hours preparing food, gathering items to be sold, doing set-up and clean-up, and tirelessly greeting folks, all to raise funds to keep the ministry viable and helping others. 

What a privilege to witness the dedication and determination of these folks! And to know their work means others will have needed food makes it even more special

Blessings.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day #1185

March 30, 2017 

Suppose there can only be one word when the skies are blue and the temperatures are warm - fever! As in Spring Fever!!! 

What a privilege to be out and about, visiting and taking care of business on this beautiful day!!!

Blessings.

Day #1184

March 29, 2017 

As I finished reading a new book on keeping faith alive in our lives (Sticky Faith), the author suggested using a twist on a question often used, “Where did you see God at work in the world,” to “Who did you see God working through?”

What a great question! I asked it in a couple of group settings and heard some great examples/stories. What a perfect reminder to keep our eyes open to the ways God is at work in and through us. Or, as the tagline for the ELCA suggests for our lives of faith: God’s work. Our hands. 

Blessings.

Day #1183

March 28, 2017 

One of the things I learned from a pastor mentor was to never hesitate to pray with folks - even over the telephone. There is much power in prayer and the reminder of what it means to people with needs should never be underestimated. I’m so thankful for ways to pray, even when you’re far away.

Blessings.

Day #1182

March 27, 2017 

The mystery of Jesus revealed today is as “Restorer.” The One who can and will restore health, inclusion in community, relationships, peace, hope, and more. When there is so much happening in the world around us, the reminder that Jesus through his life, death and resurrection fulfilled the ability to completely restore us is so comforting. Where we cannot often see the possibilities in a situation, Jesus can and does. Where we cannot often make things better or restored on our own, Jesus can and does. 

Thanks be to God for never giving up on us - and helping us see/navigate the way. 

Which is a reminder of the joy of this time of year. Spring is a visual reminder, especially to me, that new life can come from what was fallow and dormant, even seemed dead. We had to take this photo opportunity in front of a redbud tree - not something we often see now where we live. 


Happy Spring and hopeful restoration of whatever needs Jesus’ touch in your life! 

Blessings.

Day #1181

March 26, 2017 

A God-moment that gave me cold chills: the sermon ended with “Will we trust Jesus to remove our blindness so we also can truly see [him and our neighbors]?,” which followed discovering ways the man born blind had his heart opened to faith by “seeing” Jesus. The hymn that immediately followed the sermon? Amazing Grace. I once was blind, but now I see - I’m not certain those words have ever been more clear to me than today.

Yes, God's amazing grace!! So thankful.

From there, we took a quick trip to catch up with our niece who was traveling on her birthday in our time zone. This was taken in the final moments of a “9th something” year for her (at least mountain time) before a “0 something” new year begins tomorrow. 


What a great surprise - and looking forward to the fun I imagine we’ll have!! 

Blessings.

Day #1180

March 25, 2017

A morning spent in conversation/planning with the congregation council resulted in some deep discussion and honest feedback. Looking forward to continuing to work with these dedicated people - with all the dedicated people at OSLC. I am grateful to be here. 

Blessings.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day #1179

March 24, 2017 

The word for the day - beautiful. As in the weather. And a word of thankfulness for a sunny, warm day! Spring is here, at least for today. :-)

Blessings.

Day #1178

March 23, 2017

I just do what I do, I thought as someone shared how a part of my ministry had made a positive impact. Their words were something like: what seems simple to you can be monumental to others. 

I suppose that is much like a doctor who takes the extra time to really hear your complaints. Or a teacher who goes the extra mile to explain a difficult concept. Really, anyone who does their “job” with what seems ease to them can mean more than they know to others. 

Today, however, I am giving thanks for the affirmation. 

Blessings.

Day #1177

March 22, 2017

In light of the Gospel for Sunday from the 9th chapter of John, this from the d365 devotion’s “think” portion by Matt Andrews reminded me of the importance of each person’s voice and I had to share:
Seeing isn’t always believing. At least that was the case for the Pharisees. After several rounds of probing this now-seeing blind man, they still wouldn’t accept Jesus as a man from God. You can hear the frustration in the voice of the young man on trial, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again?” 
Have you ever felt unheard? As a young minister, I once expressed disagreement with a particular program at a youth camp my students were attending. Instead of respecting my opinion, the camp directors verbally abused me and threatened to send my students and me home early. While having been strongly supported in my ministry since then, I still carry the wounds these religious authorities inflicted. 
When your voice seems unheard, it’s tempting to believe your voice is not worth hearing. In times like these, I hope you remember the young man in this passage. In the midst of insult and disbelief, he remained confident in his voice, ultimately becoming a teacher to his teachers.
Blessings.

Day #1176

March 21, 2017 


In solidarity with Jason’s family and friends, someone suggested that fellow students at his High School write “Romans 1:16” on their hand when they returned to school following his death. His father had posted this earlier on FaceBook: “Jason has a verse on his Instagram profile from Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…””

The person suggesting this show of support said “This is not to say or push on anyone that this is your belief, although my hope is that it is…but rather a tangible way for us to honor this young man using something he BELIEVED in and held onto.”

Jason’s life has made a difference. His testimony of faith, and the sharing of it by his family and friends, has made an impact on so many others. I’m thankful for having known Jason and pray for peace in the days and weeks ahead for all who have had him as a part of their life.

Blessings.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Day #1175

March 20, 2017 

The word for this Mystical Monday is reconciler - specifically Jesus as reconciler. And “No one wants to make a cake” from the WELCA blog seems an appropriate place to begin: 
I ran into a conflict buzz saw a few days ago. When a touchy subject came up, a friend weighed in with her disgust. When she finished, no one else said a word. But we were silent not because we all agreed or disagreed, but because we were overwhelmed. I remembered back to when I ran into my first conflict buzz saw. My grandma assured me that conflict was nothing to be afraid of, but instead a process in life that produces something new. Her example was making a cake. “Eggs and sugar and flour in a bowl together are not a cake,” she said. “They’ve got to have a little conflict and get knocked around until that they decide to work together and blend into batter.” Instead of conflict being a process that we go through to grow and move forward, it has become a sport where sides just shout out their opinions and hold on to them. No one wants to make a cake. Our children are watching these tantrums so I ask: How can we reverse direction on how we handle conflict? This message is an excerpt from an October 2009 Women of the ELCA blog by Valora K. Starr.
Considering the above, how might Jesus be thought of as a reconciler? Seems the more we learn about him, the more we see his desire to make certain all are welcome, all are seen, all are shown to have value. 

Consider, for example, the woman at the well (see John 4.4-42)— Jesus spoke to her, invited her, and showed no judgement toward her - only worth. And through his actions of reconciliation, there is restoration to community. That’s amazing grace.

Blessings.

Day #1174

March 19, 2017

We celebrated the ministry of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp at worship. Its director shared the sermon and provided information about the transforming qualities of spending time away doing camp activities and learning about God. There was much excitement and many stories were shared. 

Who might you invite to camp this year? There are many to choose from, and different experiences at each, but the love and grace of God is shared at all. It’s truly a great experience!

Blessings.

Day #1173

March 18, 2017 

In the midst of the Russell Art Week here in town, it is easy to be almost overwhelmed by the talent and beauty of those who paint, sculpt, carve, and create all kinds of lovely works of art. What an amazing opportunity to see so much beauty in one place - well, in one town. 

We cannot begin to see it all, and certainly cannot purchase it all, but we’re doing the best we can. And in the meantime, also enjoying time with family. 

Blessings.

Day #1172

March 17, 2017 

The word for today - heartbroken. I'm not asking why, but I'm not really able to articulate my feelings, either. Simply heartbroken.

Rest in peace, Jason. May the Lord bless you and keep you and may the Lord sustain your family and friends. 

Blessings.

Day #1171

March 16, 2017 

d365’s blog entry by Kellie Wilson is certainly worth pondering in light of the “what if” question of Day #1170:
One of my seminary professors told my class we have two basic thirsts — to be known and to know what we are supposed to do. Most of our life’s questions boil down to these two questions: Who am I? What am I called to do? Only God can quench our thirst for answers to these questions. If we seek the answers from our friends, family, magazines, TV, or social media, we will never feel satisfied and will need to seek for answers again. Only when we ask Jesus to give us our Identity (Who am I?) and Mission (What am I called to do?) do we feel that our thirst for answers has been quenched. By turning to Jesus we discover, individually and collectively, that we are God’s beloved now and into eternity. We discover our purpose is to join in God’s mission of reconciling all people to God and one another. This identity and purpose never changes and will allow us to love others with the same mercy and forgiveness with which we are loved.
Hmmm....

Blessings.

Day #1170

March 15, 2017 

We are using the ELCA World Hunger Lenten Study for our Wednesday Bible study during Lent. As we considered lesson 2, the question “what if” kept coming to mind. “What if” we lived a life that focused on the grace of God rather than the merit of humans? In other words, “what if” we lived in gratitude for God’s simply loving us, rather than trying to earn God’s love? Might there be a difference in the way we live our lives if we really trusted that God loves us first, before we could even begin to try and earn it? Would we be more willing to share lavishly and fight for justice for all because we see all as equally valued and loved by God? 

What if? A good question to ponder and allow to transform our lives.

Blessings.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day #1169

March 14, 2017

Perhaps it is mid-Lent weariness. Perhaps it is that most all of us were together, which seems to happen less and less. Perhaps it is a little spring fever settling in. Whatever the cause, the laughter among colleagues as we gathered to study the scripture for the upcoming Sunday was a welcome release. 

I am so very fortunate to have this group of colleagues (actually, I have been blessed throughout all my ministry with wonderful colleagues!). Thank you for the giggles. And the learning!

Blessings.

Day #1168

March 13, 2017

On another Mystical Monday, the word used for Jesus is anointed, meaning set apart or chosen. Jesus, as God’s son, was chosen for a particular purpose and set apart as the only one to fulfill the mission. 

I may not understand, I may struggle to believe, but I do trust God knows what God is doing. I am thankful for God’s wisdom that passes all understanding. And for Jesus’ ability to fulfill the mission - for all.

Blessings.

Day #1167

March 12, 2017 

This is titled: Jesus came to church

During the brief Lenten study following worship, a rather disheveled man came walking up the sidewalk and entered the building beside the room where we were gathered. I quickly excused myself and followed after him. “Sir, can I help you?” I asked. He stopped and turned around. “Do you help folks pay for a motel room?” he asked in a rather matter-of-fact manner. Making an assumption the request was for him, I tried to explain that I did not have the resources available to do so at that moment, but asked if he had tried the local shelter. No, he explained, I don’t need that. Well, let me get you a resource list of what is available in town, I said. No, that’s ok, I was just wondering if you paid for folks to get a room. Then he looked at me and said, “Here, take this for the church” and proceeded to offer some money to me. Not sure how to respond, I said, “No, you keep this. You need it for yourself.” But he insisted that this was for the church. “We need to pay God,” he explained, “but many don’t,” and he pressed the money into my hand.

As I stood flabbergasted, he turned and walked back out the door he had entered just moments before. I watched him walk down the sidewalk and then went back into the room where those gathered looked anxiously at me, waiting for an explanation. Still not sure what to make of it all, I told them that I had just had the most amazing experience, and proceeded to tell them what had happened. We sat in silence for a moment, thinking of the man and his witness to us. 

I must admit, I believe Jesus DID visit today, and taught us a bit about stewardship, graciousness, and commitment. So why didn’t I even ask his name? I was so floored by what he did that I didn’t even think to, but I thank him (I also thanked him profusely before he left). And wish him godspeed. 

Blessings.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Day #1166

March 11, 2017 

On this day, many years ago, a wedding took place. The bride and groom were surrounded by friends and family, two pastors and an intern, and the love of God. There was much rejoicing and laughter. Much celebration and dancing. And commitments, vows and a covenant were made. 

That wedding was no ordinary one for me. In fact, it was one of the most important moments of my life and the beginning of our joint lives. Oh, there have been good moments and not so good moments over the years, but through it all I give thanks for the man who “chose” me and who I also “chose.” I love this man, like this man (he's my best friend), and am thankful for this man, everyday. 

But on this day, I also give thanks for all those who have been a part of our lives, especially those who are no longer with us, and who helped us celebrate on that special day years ago - and again today on our anniversary. We love you all!!

Blessings.