Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Day #1275

June 28, 2017 

One never knows when the phone rings who might be on the other line and what their request might be. Sometimes the request is beyond the imagination of possibility. Yet, the faith in asking, along with the words, “I would rather try than not” is heartwarming. Who knows how the “church” might respond, they said. Well, true, but don’t get your hopes up, I tried to say. I won’t, but I’ll pray, they replied. With that degree of trust, it will be interesting to witness how this turns out!


Day #1274

June 27, 2017 

Today I’m thankful for colleagues who gather weekly to study, challenge each other, listen to each other and encourage each other. It isn’t the first time, I don’t think, that I have said how much colleagues can be life-savers, and probably not the last, because I’m grateful for all those who share this calling. It’s good to have others who understand!!!


Day #1273

June 26, 2017 

The descriptor for Jesus today - challenger. He challenges us in our comfort zones. He challenges us in our thoughts of what we think we need to be happy or content or joy-filled. He challenges us to think of others rather than just ourselves. He challenges us to love and serve our neighbor. He challenges us to think out of the box. He challenges us to trust, even when things are difficult and don’t go how we hope. 

Yes, in the midst of loving us, he also challenges us, giving deeper understanding to the old saying that, “Sometimes with God we are comforted in our affliction and sometimes afflicted in our comfort.” 


Day #1272

June 25, 2017 

What a great day!!! A worship service with a baptism, another worship service, lunch with several youth, and another worship service. What else could one ask for? Thanks be to God!!!


Day #1271

June 24, 2017

Oh my, we’re looking at puppies again. Are we really doing this? Which one should we pick? But, are we really certain we want to be “parents” again? 

Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be more to this story! 


Day #1270

June 23, 2017

We witnessed the kindest action today - one that warmed my heart, but I have to admit, surprised me. 

We were in a place eating a quick lunch when at one of the nearby tables, an older gentleman spilled his drink. As he got up to get a couple of papertowels, a young gentleman at another table also got up. I watched, surprised, as he grabbed a handful of towels, got down on his knees, and mopped up the spill. He was not an employee. He was not with the couple where the spill occurred, nor did he know them. He asked no questions and made no comments, just pitched in and helped.

As the older couple thanked him profusely, I wanted to tell him how he had affected my day for the better, and made a lasting impression on me, but thinking I might embarrass him, I sadly let the moment pass. But I thank this young man (probably late teens) for being kind, I thank him for being a servant, and I thank him that I witnessed his action. Well done!!!


Day #1269

June 22, 2017 

Here we are, Great Aunt and Great Uncle again. Welcome to the world, precious baby girl!!! 

Can’t wait to meet you in person!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Day #1268

June 21, 2017 

Welcome Summer! It’s your first full day for the year and you are outdoing yourself – sunny, not too hot, slight breeze…gorgeous. 

So what does this summer hold? Vacation? Relaxation? Visitors? Cookouts, campfires, s’mores? Whatever is planned, whatever spontaneous gatherings summer sends our way, I am thankful it is here! But then, there are reasons to be thankful for all the seasons God provides!


Day #1267

June 20, 2017 

On what would have been my Mother’s 88th birthday, and two days before the 10th anniversary of her death-day, I couldn’t help but think of her as I took “store bought” snacks to a working group. It was something my mother would have never settled for and I can imagine her shaking her finger at me for doing so! 

Mom had a gift for hospitality when it came to feeding others, especially those working. One of my favorite remembrances of such was a time workers from the city were replacing some water pipes on her street. When she realized they were in front of her house, she quickly baked biscuits, put some ham in them, and took them out for their “break.” Let me tell you, after that, city workers loved working on mom's street and there seemed to be more accomplished near her house than any other in the neighborhood. 

Well, I’m sorry, mom, but that kind of hospitality just doesn’t seem to be one of the genes I inherited from you. Oh, mom, I sure do love and miss you!


Day #1266

June 19, 2017 

The descriptive word today for Jesus’ mysteriousness is Teacher. Jesus gathered his disciples, taught them, and then sent them out. It’s a good model for all who teach – explain, model, watch and send. 

It isn’t always easy to teach. Being creative in that process is something I admire in others. And Jesus was certainly creative – using parables, miracles, prayer, etc. And he was patient. Thankfully. Because sometimes it takes us students a long time to “get it.” :-)


Day #1265

June 18, 2017

Happy Father’s Day!

As I read over and over about someone celebrating that they have the “best” father, I couldn’t help but have empathy for those who had a somewhat less than stellar, shall we say, experience with their father. It’s something I understand. I also empathize for those who mourn their father’s presence, whether due to death or some other reason. Therefore, I give thanks for the men in my life who have been like fathers. Thank you for showing me there is a loving way!


Day #1264

June 17, 2017 

A beautiful spring day, a community celebration that included more teaching about Native American traditions, and a walk along the river. 



Day #1263

June 16, 2017

Some days are just amazing – joy-filled, celebratory, and welcoming! A wonderful day for a wedding. Congratulations to the “new” family: 

Also, a wonderful day to welcome the “new” family into God’s family through baptism. This picture I will always cherish as I make the sign of the cross and one of the newly baptized hears “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” 

Thanks be to God for a fantastic day!!


Day #1262

June 15, 2017

Scrubbies are coming! Scrubbies are coming! 

Whatever can that be?! Something you will want and something you need, I am told. Watch for more.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Day #1261

June 14, 2017 

One word for the day – glorious. Wonderful weather, wonderful discussion, wonderful fellowship, wonderful planning and wonderful laughter all make for a glorious day. 

I just have to say thank you every once in a while for life being good! And that in the midst of events that rise from fear and hatred, it’s glorious to know God is with us always. 

Thanks be to God, and peace to God’s people.


Day #1260

June 13, 2017

On a Tuesday evening, at the C.M. Russell Museum, we gathered with others to learn about the Sun Dance of the Blackfeet People. Thanks to artist Gary Schildt, the important aspects of this event have been portrayed in paintings that come alive with emotion and beauty. It was a meaningful evening with Don Fish, Mr. and Mrs. Schildt, and others who helped describe what this event means to the people and their culture. And I couldn’t help but notice the similarities there are in worship, as we all seek to honor God. It is astounding. 

I am grateful for this opportunity, and the generosity of Dr. Daniel and Mary Ann Fiehrer for sharing their collection with the museum and the public. Click here for more information: Sun Dance at C M Russell.


Day #1259

June 12, 2017

On the heels of Holy Trinity Sunday and considering God as One Being in three persons, it seems only logical for the mystical understanding for this Monday to be of Jesus as Son (of God). But that "descriptor" brings with it many questions. 
  • How can Jesus be Son of God, yet simultaneously still be one of the persons of God? 
  • Does that mean Jesus “breaks away” from being the One God for a little while to become embodied on earth? 
  • Does that mean he is still One of the persons of God during his time on earth and if not, what is the point of him being here? 
Yes, there are lots of questions surrounding One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with no concrete answers. After all, the list above only begins to scratch the surface. So, I suppose one could say it’s simply a matter of faith, including trusting that when Jesus prays to his Father, God hears - and responds to - the Son.

For me, my prayer echoes those of others - O Lord, help my unbelief.


Day #1258

June 11, 2017 

Want a helpful way to relax and unwind after a busy morning? How about yoga!? Why not!? Thank you for suggesting this - it’s great!


Day #1257

June 10, 2017

Having a day at home to clean and purge means a big YAY!!! It’s spring cleaning, just in time for summer. Well, you take what you can when you can. 😊


Day #1256

June 9, 2017 

This from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation caused me to think deeply:
If you can’t honor the Divine Indwelling—the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit—within yourself, how could you see it in anybody else? You can’t. All awareness, enlightenment, aliveness, and transformation begins with recognizing that your DNA is divine and unearned as is everyone else’s. You realize that life, creation, people, animals, and the earth itself are all imbued with intrinsic worth and are to be respected for their own sake.
I was thinking about how Richard Rohr says every, every, creature carries the DNA, or the Imago Dei, of the Creator. And that DNA cannot be taken away from them – not by what they do or don’t do, what they seek after or don’t seek after, who they decide to follow or not. God’s imprint is on us all and in us all as DNA and cannot be eliminated or, seemingly, altered. 

How amazing is that?! And how humbling, especially when one begins to think they are better or worse than another, or loved more or less than another, or worth more or less than another. Wow - something to really think about!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Day #1255

June 8, 2017 

A fun time was had as sixteen women gathered for the first “Let’s Have Lunch” gathering today. Conversation, laughter, getting to know one another, and lingering were all indications that it went well. 

Thanks to all who came; I'm already looking forward to next month. 


Day #1254

June 7, 2017

The WELCA study for this month from the Gather magazine, written by Rev. Kelly Fryer, contrasted “nice” with “good.” The gist - sometimes we are “nice” and avoid telling the truth in order to keep peace. The problem, “nice” and covering things up instead of facing them with courage, often hinders the possibility of healing or transformation. “Good,” on the other hand, tells the truth and out of that growth is possible. 

The one question that made the most sense, however: what is our motivation for being “good?” Are we certain the telling of the truth is from God (such as the prophets of old were led to do), or are there personal motivations involved? 

Hard stuff - good stuff. And great discussion!


Day #1253

June 6, 2017 

June 6th cannot come around without me remembering my Grandma. Today she would have been 113 years old. Hard to imagine so much time has passed without her (she died over 30 years ago), and yet her love and witness stay with me as strongly today as ever. I am so grateful for being her granddaughter and for her unceasing prayers. They have been answered. 

Oh, and what do you do on a beautiful day? A little fishing. No catching, but it was beautiful on the river!


Day #1252

June 5, 2017

The descriptor for Jesus for today - patient. To teach takes patience. To invite takes patience. To watch some walk away takes patience. To be faithful to the end takes patience. To love takes patience. All parts of the way of Jesus.

I am thankful for a patient Lord who doesn’t give up and who loves us unconditionally. Most thankful!


Day #1251

June 4, 2017 

And then, just like that, they are confirmed. Thank you for your faithful attendance, your willingness to share and be open, your humor, for teaching me and for challenging me. It’s been a great two years! What’s next for you five? Can’t wait to see.


Day #1250

June 3, 2017

Something the pastor said who led Morning Devotion at assembly spoke to me and I share with you the essence of what I heard (thank you Pastor Seth): The sign of a healthy congregation is when the church genuinely cares for one another on the inside, helping people on the outside want in.” 

It reminded me of something a waitress said recently - Don’t be all lovey at worship and then go to lunch and talk bad about one another. Hmmm…makes one think! And a reminder that people do pay attention to what we do and whether/how it connects with what we say. So true!


Day #1249

June 2, 2017 

It’s time for the annual Synod Assembly. Looking forward to hearing about ministries and challenges across the Synod and the church. And reconnecting with friends and colleagues!

And also looking forward to Sunday - it’s time for five young adults to affirm their baptisms. All is ready! And so are they.


Day #1248

June 1, 2017

In the midst of a crazy week, with several additional things being added, I am grateful for the good attitude of a staff member who willingly, and with a smile, made the monumental effort to correct a goof without complaint. I am blessed and thankful for all who I work and serve with!!


Day #1247

May 31, 2017

This prayer from the d365 blog spoke strongly to me: "God of Wind and Spirit, continue to encourage me not to live in a spirit of fear but with the fresh breath and anointing of your Holy Spirit. Amen." 

How often am I afraid to speak, afraid to say yes, afraid to step out of the box, or afraid to take a chance, instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct me? Well, thankfully, not as often as I once was! The Spirit does its work over time, and I am grateful. 

May that Spirit be with the graduates I had the honor of speaking with at Baccalaureate at one of the local High Schools. Thank you to those who asked me, and thank you to the Holy Spirit who gave me the words and the courage.