Saturday, November 25, 2017

Day #1425

November 25, 2017 

Well, he just keeps on growing. Today (actually yesterday - I was a day off!) marks his fourth (another correction - not fifth) month with us. He’s lost all his “baby” teeth and grown to a whopping 55 pounds - hardly a puppy anymore. :-(

This I snapped quickly while he’s waiting for breakfast. Not the best time to try to capture a “willing” model. :-)

And then the day ended with seeing Santa at the Parade of Lights:

And watching the lighting of the tree:


Day #1424

November 24, 2017 

Another day filled with joy - a non-shopping, be at home “Black Friday” vacation day. Even more to be thankful for as we just “be.”


Day #1423

November 23, 2017 

What a gift to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with others. Yes, there is much to give thanks for - the friends beside us, the food before us, and the love of God between us. Amen!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!


Day #1422

November 22, 2017

While out and about on this Thanksgiving Eve, it’s hard to keep a focus on this holiday when all around it seems to be Christmas time already. After all, shouldn’t Santa at least wait to arrive at the mall until the day AFTER Thanksgiving?!?

Ok, I must admit, I got just a tad caught up in the coming holiday when I saw this:

Only in MT would the antlers be added. Right?!


Day #1421

November 21, 2017

Those quilts and personal care kits and school kits that we lovingly blessed a week or so ago, and that were carefully packed for shipping, all had to be loaded up and delivered to a van. So I am thankful that just a brief announcement on Sunday resulted in several folks coming to help. All those hands made light and quick work of beginning to fill that big van with warmth and supplies. And we were also able to help some others there for the same reason. 

Thank you to all who crafted, provided, and/or helped in any way. Your work is a blessing to many!


Day #1420

November 20, 2017

The descriptor of Jesus for today - thanks. Perhaps that is a little awkward grammatically, but Jesus is the one for whom I am thankful and also the one who deserves our thanks. As I prepare to celebrate the day set aside as Thanksgiving, perhaps it would be better to set aside time every day to give thanks to Jesus. I hope I do.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Day #1419

November 19, 2017

On this Sunday before Thanksgiving, the "Time with Children" included a bagful of things for which I’m grateful. Included were:
  • A doll from my childhood as I give thanks for memories and family
  • A “Smoky” koozie as I give thanks for all those who help care for us - firefighters, EMT folks, medical personnel, military, and more
  • A picture of my husband - oh, how thankful I am for him
  • A card from a friend as I give thanks for all the friends in my life
  • A reminder of Our Savior’s 125th anniversary as I give thanks for all those of the congregation and for this place to serve and worship (also today I give thanks for the congregation I first served, as well, as they celebrated their 150th anniversary)
  • A Bible as I give thanks for the word of God and the stories it includes of how much God loves us all
  • A bottle of water as I give thanks for water, food, clothing, shelter - all necessities God provides
  • And lastly, some candy, as I give thanks that I can share (each youth received some and smiled)
And there is so much more, but I couldn’t begin to fit it all in the bag. What are you thankful for as we get ready for this Thanksgiving holiday?


Day #1418

November 18, 2017

As the overnight came to an end, one word came to mind - thankful. Not that it was over, but thankful for good kids and awesome fellow leaders. It’s a joy to be with them all!


Day #1417

November 17, 2017 

At an overnight with the confirmation class, what’s the best thing to do? Make prayer pizzas, of course (thank you to one of the leaders for this great idea)! 

How to build a prayer is much like how to make a pizza: 
  • Begin with the foundation - the crust/dough as the address to God
  • Add the sauce as giving praise to God
  • Add some cheese as the giving of thanks to God
  • Next add some meat as prayers for others
  • Then add the veggies as prayers for our own needs
  • And lastly, end with the spices as the closing. Amen.
It’s a simple way to remember the basics, and trust that God does hear all prayers. 


Day #1416

November 16, 2017 

This from Simon, as he gets ready for Thanksgiving - how to cook a turkey:

Too cute! Although his momma did suggest that maybe she has cooked one too many “beer can” turkeys. :-)

Then this...the Christmas Tree for the White House is being provided from the state of MT. It made a stop in our town on its way there and hubby was able to go see it. Pretty cool. 


Day #1415

November 15, 2017

Following Bible Study came a really precious moment. One of the folks stopped me afterward to share with me a book of hymns. She pointed out one she said her mother used to play and sing with her - In the Garden. As she asked me if I happened to know it, we began to sing it together. Just one verse and the chorus, but oh the joy it brought to her, and to me, to share this special moment. 


Day #1414

November 14, 2017 

Coming again this Sunday is another difficult reading from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25 - a parable about talents. Jesus seems to be saying that doing nothing with talent given to us by God will result in judgment that separates us permanently from God. Is Jesus saying that not being willing to risk is our worst sin? 

At this time of the week, I'm not quite certain where this will lead by the time Sunday rolls around. However, today I give thanks for some good and deep conversation with colleagues while wrestling with the reading and even finding reason to laugh.   


Day #1413

November 13, 2017

The descriptor of Jesus for this day - Laughter. One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is of him laughing - a display of joy from our Lord and Savior. Perhaps I like this image of him because laughter has so many wonderful qualities - endorphins released, tension lessened, an outbreak of fun, and even hope. 

I wanted to include a picture of Jesus laughing, so I Googled it. WOW! There are so many to choose from, but this was a favorite:

What a picture of joy! Thank you to


Day #1412

November 12, 2017

What beauty filled the worship space as quilts lovingly made for Lutheran World Relief covered the pews (rats - I missed getting a photo) and care and school kits filled the area in front of the altar. The generosity of all this, along with the food and a delicious Blue Plate Lunch Special fundraiser, is overwhelming. Truly a way of being a beacon of hope in a waiting/hurting world! Thanks be to God!


Day #1411

November 11, 2017 

What a busy morning of sorting and carrying and loading over 2,400 items for the Can Do food collection that will go to benefit four of the city school’s food banks. And while it was busy, there were many hands to make the work go really quickly. 

I couldn’t help but keep the recent wrapper from my Vitamin C drop (each one has some sort of an encouraging message, but this one seemed most appropriate!):

Yes, with the help of many and the pitching in of us all, we turned Can Do into Can Did!

And then a fun afternoon with several youth from a couple of congregations coming together for an event with counselors from Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. A good start to holding a monthly youth learning and growing event. 

All in all, a day to be thankful for and enjoy! 


Friday, November 10, 2017

Day #1410

November 10, 2017

As I struggled to understand, be inspired, and prepare a sermon about a rather difficult gospel, I found myself giving thanks once again for theologians who publicly share their ideas and differing perspectives. It’s just another example of the importance of collaboration and study. Thank you all for your faithfulness and sharing!


Day #1409

November 9, 2017 

Time for the monthly Ladies - Let’s Do Lunch. It is great joining with a group to share a meal, laughter, get to know one another just a little better, and celebrate how we are there for one another as women. All this makes these lunches more than just fun.  


Day #1408

November 8, 2017 

A morning spent with the most recently ordained colleagues in ministry brings joy and makes me thankful for the opportunity of the future. So talking about tools that may be helpful for them makes it even better.

It’s tough just starting out, but realizing you are not alone in the process is beyond helpful. I am grateful to be able to help, even in a small way, to give back because of the amazing support that I received some nine years ago. So another thank you to mentors and encouragers for me!! And know there are others there for you who are just starting out!


Day #1407

November 7, 2017 

I have said this before, but I am always amazed and encouraged by those whose memory may be compromised in many ways, yet the words of institution and the Lord’s Prayer come through and touch a place deep in their hearts and souls. Ahh…the work of the Holy Spirit is amazing and I am grateful for it. Also grateful to witness it. 

And what fun - a joyful, random encounter with someone in the church parking lot. A brightening of the day!


Day #1406

November 6, 2017

The word to describe Jesus today - Guide. The guide for us through life, through faith, even through death and into resurrection. Yes, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are not only our guide, but our hope and salvation. How, or through what, is Jesus guiding you today? 


Day #1405

November 5, 2017 

It could be considered another trifecta day of intersecting with God's grace:
  1. The importance and joy in celebrating All Saints Sunday. It is so good to remember and give thanks for those who have come before us to share faith, love and relationship with us. 
  2. It is a joy to be included by others who share their celebration of ethnic traditions (yep, Lutefisk Dinner). 
  3. There is gratefulness I feel for others who share their musical talents and gifts by having a concert. It is so good to receive those gifts and relax in the music. Thank you!
Perhaps the best, however, was having a video shared of two little ones “playing” church. I’m told they love church and take turns “leading” worship. Oh, may it always be that they love worship! Who knows, there may be a couple of budding pastors in these two?! Awesome thought!


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Day #1404

November 4, 2017

Another day with more cooking and cleaning and reading - oh and some working, too. What is going on with all this cooking, however?! Certainly not my usual, but I’m enjoying it. And so is hubby. :-)


Day #1403

November 3, 2017

The word for the day - thankful. For a day at home, cooking soup(s), doing some cleaning, lots of laundry, reading - and watching the snow fall. A day off snow day. :-)

And then this on the CBS Evening News about A young man and his car brought tears to my eyes. Hope you can follow the link - it's quite the story. Have to love the reporting of good news!!!


Day #1402

November 2, 2017

What a nice evening - an overdue “date” with the hubby, including a nice dinner and attending Jersey Boys. 

Yes, a really nice evening!


Day #1401

November 1, 2017

On this All Saints day, I am remembering many who have entered the church triumphant who made an impact on my life of faith - too many to name individually, but I am thankful for each one.

I am also thankful for all those I have had the honor of baptizing into the church present - saints of the now and into the future. What a gift!

And for the saints who worship regularly, receive Christ’s meal, study God’s Word, and serve God faithfully, your witness is most important!  

Yes, for all the saints, I give thanks!


Day #1400

October 31, 2017

We could say it is the trifecta day of awesome proportions:

1. It’s this guy’s birthday (thanks to his sister for the picture):

Happy Birthday, love!

2. It’s the actual day of Reformation, trusting that God isn’t finished with the church, but continues to grow and reform it.

3. It’s Halloween. Oh the cuteness of the trick-or-treaters, even with the rain and the ones who say "thank you" for pointing out the scariness of their costumes. :-)

And, how clever for the motel who had skeletons climbing all over it (sorry for the blurry picture):


Day #1399

October 30, 2017

The descriptor for Jesus - the one of second-chances! Jesus never gives up in calling us, gathering us, seeking us - and no matter what, loving us. Over and over, Jesus grants forgiveness, welcome, and inclusiveness. We can turn away, walk away, even run away, but Jesus is always there forgiving and full of grace for us. Isn’t that simply amazing!

Also, several of us traveled to the St. Helena Cathedral 

for a Catholic/Lutheran Evening Vespers service in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Even with a long drive, mediocre dinner, and a crowd, it was glorious to be there. After all, there will never be another 500th. (Here's about half of those who were able to go):

Maybe one day, the description Catholic/Lutheran won’t apply - it will simply be a church worship service. Let’s pray that one day we will all be reunited and truly be the one holy catholic church! 


Day #1398

October 29, 2017

And what a glorious worship service for Reformation Sunday! The music was amazing, the folks assembled engaged, the word and the meal celebrated joyfully. Giving thanks for the church!!


Day #1397

October 28, 2017

On the eve of the Sunday of the 500th commemoration of the Reformation, I’m thinking about what is next for the church. There is much concern that “the church” is dying. To that I say, it is Christ’s church, after all, and Christ isn’t dying - he’s been resurrected, which will never end. 

The question remains, however, will the church look different 500 years from now? Certainly - after all, it looks different now than it did 50 years ago. But will the church die? I don’t think so - not as long as there is a remnant, Christ’s new covenant remains. 

What an amazing time to be the church - just as it has been for the last 2,000 years. Thank you for reforming us always, God, and for never giving up on your relationship with your people!