Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Day #1596

May 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to the mother of our Godson!!!!! 


We love you!!! 

Blessings.

Day #1595

May 14, 2018 

With Mother’s Day still on my mind, a prayer for women:
Mothering God, thank you for those in this world who nurture others. Those in professions of care such as nurses and teachers. Those who have children and grandchildren they love and cherish. Those who struggle to care for their loved ones. With your love and grace, surround them with peace, endurance, tolerance, and the support they need. Also, we pray for you to be with those who experience the pain of hurtful nurturers, those who are sitting with nurturers as they near the end of life, those who are unable to nurture due to illness, etc. You are our strength and our loving example. We are grateful! Amen.
Blessings.

Day #1594

May 13, 2018 

Mother’s Day. A day set aside to celebrate all those who nurture, care, and share of themselves for the sake of others. Mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, sisters, daughters, nieces, etc. While there are many who celebrate joyfully, this can also be a day that carries pain for some who have not experienced that nurturing as a mother, daughter, etc. 

Yet, while I am one with no close female relatives that are "blood," I am grateful for the women who are in my life. You are as important to me as anyone could be. Thank you for loving me, nurturing me, caring about me. I hope I do the same for you!!! 

Blessings.

PS A very special thank you to the woman who made me a godmother to the one this blog is dedicated to - I am grateful for you, love you and am proud of you!! Happy Mother's Day!

Day #1593

May 12, 2018

We saw something today we had never seen before - a huge shipment of beehives! 


As we pulled up to a stoplight, I said “BEES!” Hubby is used to the tone I use for bees - I am allergic. Where?, he asked, looking all around the car. There!! I pointed to the back of the 18-wheeler in front of us. Bees!!

More than once he (former trucker extraordinaire) has reminded me that most everything we touch, eat, wear, etc., has been transported by tractor trailer at some point in its production. But I had never thought beehives might be included. 

All I could think was, I would NOT want to be the person who pulls off that screen when they are delivered. Yikes!!!

I will also add, I am thankful for those beehives. Where would we be without them?!

Blessings.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Day #1592

May 11, 2018

What a surprise I received when we picked up Boomer after some time at “doggy daycare!” "He" had made his “momma” a Mother’s Day card. 


Isn’t that just the cutest thing!? What good care they take of him - another reason to be thankful.

Blessings.

Day #1591

May 10, 2018 

Time for the monthly Ladies: Let’s Do Lunch! And as usual, there was much laughter and conversation to go with good food. I am so thankful for these good-hearted folks who laugh with themselves! They are a joy to spend time with! 

Actually, the day was filled with holy conversation, good-hearted, caring folks and laughter. Much to be thankful for!!

Blessings.

Day #1590

May 9, 2018

It’s almost impossible to believe that the confirmation class year has nearly come to a close. Wednesday evenings will be much longer - and less fun - after Sunday the 20th, when five of our youth plan to Affirm their Faith in worship. They will make for themselves promises that were made for them at their baptisms.

Tonight, however, we gathered to have a celebration dinner and to hear/see the projects each student put together. The task: make a creative expression of what the past year (or two years) of confirmation has meant. And the youth responded well! There was a poem, an interview, a video, a lego creation, a couple of picture posters and a computer generated picture. All creative ways these young folks chose to convey what faith and learning has meant.

As these young folks take this next step of faith, I pray for them and ask that you do, as well. God, be with them and keep them - they are claimed and marked with your seal. Forever!!

Blessings.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Day #1589

May 8, 2018 

It’s your baptism birthday, Simon. Seven today - how time flies! What a treat to FaceTime with you, hear your voice, see your face, and remember that day not so long ago when the Water of Eternal Life was poured over your head and you were welcomed into the family of God. Your mom said it best:
Simon Hunter, child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. Happy Baptismal Day! You are beloved. #celebratedwithcake #andtalkingtogodmommaanna #sevenyears
But what’s a birthday without a picture and cake!!!!!


Always remember, God loves you and we love you!!! Happy Birthday!!

Blessings.

Day #1588

May 7, 2018

A prayer this week for relationships:
Almighty God, you are the God of perfect relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, entwined in and with one another. You know, however, the challenges of human relationships - that often we are not one, not abiding in love. When relationships fracture and shatter, hold the broken pieces close to you. Give us strength to trust you to carry us and guide us. Protect those, especially the young and innocent, who are in the midst of these situations, and give us all the grace we need from you. Amen. 
Blessings.

Day #1587

May 6, 2018

On the first Sunday of each month, we generally celebrate Holy Communion using “real” bread. Small, flat loaves of home-baked wheat/honey bread. 

As I gave each person their bit of this bread, the body of Christ, given for you, it occurred to me how much more meaningful this is to “see” the bread/body broken for each person. Crumbs scattered on the plate, pieces broken too big or too small (often just right), extra time needed at each break - these are all reminders to slow down and really think about what we share in this meal. The love, forgiveness, and grace of Christ, in and through this bread and wine, body and blood.

Wow!!! Thanks be to God!!

Blessings.

Day #1586

May 5, 2018

There is a rather popular theory/thought that there is no such thing as a coincidence - that God is in the midst of those random things that happen at just the right moment and just the right time. I believe that thought - in fact, I base this blog mostly on that theory. Sometimes the things are so small that we don’t even notice them - other times, it’s like a bonk on the noggin saying “hey, pay attention! I care about you and your life!” 

The bonk today happened as I was preparing the sermon for Sunday - go and love as I have loved you (a quick summary of John 15:9-17). The hubby began playing a video that was shared on FaceBook of a story by Steve Hartman about the newest superhero - “President Austin” of Birmingham, AL. Here you can watch him at work and see why I think he's living Jesus' command - this even made it into the sermon: Don't forget to show love

I pray we don't forget to show love, show mercy, show justice, show tolerance, show patience, show forgiveness, show God’s light. The world needs more Austins! The world needs US!

Blessings.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Day #1585

May 4, 2018 

I find it very humorous that this has become a day to “commemorate” the Star Wars’ greeting: May the force be with you. It’s rather taken over the day and, of course, Lutherans fit right in with the Liturgical response: And also with you. It all makes me smile.

But today I am also thinking about something way more important - gratitude. I’m grateful, simply grateful, today. For so many reminders of God’s love; so many important and talented people in my life; good health, weather and one of my favorite seasons of the year. And so much more! 

And also with you!!

Blessings.

Day #1584

May 3, 2018 

Today is the National Day of Prayer. This explanation from the nationaldayofprayer.org helped me understand its origins:
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
While this is a good thing, a day set aside to pray for our nation, its leaders, peace, mercy, etc., I’m thinking everyday would be better to include those things in our prayers. So I invite you to join with me in praying: 
Lord have mercy on our nation, our leaders, our people. Guide our leaders, and all of us, to make good and just decisions. Show us how to live not only for ourselves, but for others - our neighbors around the world. Amen. 
Blessings.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Day #1583

May 2, 2018 

A prayer for the final Confirmation Class:
God of love and relationship, thank you for calling us together. Thank you for bringing these young people to class to learn, to grow, and to build relationships. Thank you for their families who faithfully bring them, encourage them, and trust us with them. Thank you for the time we have had to pray, to laugh, to read, to discuss, to listen, to talk, and even to be frustrated. We want so much for these youth - a life of living and learning and growing with you. Keep them close to you. Protect them. Continue to fill them with your Holy Spirit. Strengthen relationships with them and between them. And give them courage through you to meet everything that happens in life with faith and hope. Amen.
Blessings.

Day #1582

May 1, 2018 

It’s my Faceversary. Which means it is my 10 year anniversary of being on FaceBook. Who knew?! I certainly didn’t remember until FaceBook conveniently reminded me with a cute little video. Special!

What it did, however, was cause me to think about where I was 10 years ago today. I was finishing my final year of seminary, getting ready to graduate and move along to the next thing, packing boxes, making plans for a long vacation headed west, and trying not to think about how much I would miss the place and folks who had become such an important part of my world. 

Simon, your mother started me on this FaceBook adventure as a way to stay connected, share events of my life, and "be current" (and cool). So while I had my doubts about getting “involved,” I jumped in. It’s true I don’t spend much time posting (never really have), or even reading FaceBook posts, but I have enjoyed connecting with folks from various stages of my past and seeing pictures and adventures others have. 

Things have progressed on FaceBook from how it was when I started. Who would have thought FaceBook could now be used to help raise money for good causes in celebration of someone’s birthday!? In ten years, there have been many advantages and good parts to this form of media, but also some tragedies created through it. I suppose, however, that is like most things in this life - the good and the bad mingle together. 

Many have decided FaceBook is not worth the effort or the risk of a possible breach of security. That is certainly a possibility and something to consider. For now I continue, hesitant to break all the ties I have with folks in this way. So, to all my FaceBook “friends,” Happy Faceversary. Look forward to continue seeing you online!

Blessings.

Day #1581

April 30, 2018 

With Jesus’ illustration of vine and branches on my mind (see John 15:1-8), the prayer for this week: 
Loving God, you remind us that a branch cut off from the vine will wither and die. Keep us ever close to you, abiding in you, trusting your promise to abide in us. Help us grow in faith, strength, courage and love, nourished by, and connected to you, as the vine. Then send us out as branches to mingle and grow with others, bearing fruit for you along the way. Thank you for your love. Amen. 
Blessings.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Day #1580

April 29, 2018 

At the risk of sounding vain, I must admit I am excited that the congregation is getting closer to posting weekly sermons online. I see it as a leap toward being more connected with folks whereby they can hear a message if they are not able to attend worship for some reason. Which, in itself, is a good thing - feeling connected. Therefore, I am thankful for folks who have technological skills way beyond mine. 

So where can these sermons be found, you may wonder? Check out Our Savior's Lutheran Church under the media tab. They are coming. :-)

Blessings.

Day #1579

April 28, 2018

On a beautiful spring day, we were fortunate to take a little drive to a local reservoir. The mountains still have some snow on them, and the lake some ice, but the warm temps are changing that quickly.


Oh the beauty of a blue-sky, spring day, and the joy of exploring our home.

Blessings.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Day #1578

April 27, 2018 

Most often, I find, decisions are not cut and dried. Or even right or wrong. If one way is decided, it means disappointing someone or a group. If a different way is decided, another someone or group is disappointed. And there can be good reasons to go either way - sometimes both ways.

So what does one do? How does one come to a conclusion? Well, asking for help in deciding is one good way. Community/groups who hold honest conversations can be hugely helpful, bringing up thoughts and ideas that one person might never have considered alone. 

Today I am thankful for the wisdom of others, and their willingness to engage in speaking truth and fairness. And praying the decision is the best for most involved.

Blessings.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Day #1577

April 26, 2018 

Then there are days that are full of holy conversations - enjoyable ones with laugher, holy ground ones with tears, and all manner of those in-between. 

As the week winds down, I realize it’s been a challenging one in many ways. And yet, most rewarding and full of grace. 

As the saying goes, God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!

Blessings.

Day #1576

April 25, 2018

Some days are simply made to be filled with prayer - surgeries, deaths, classes, people who are hurting, along with some things to give thanks for - talents rewarded, honest conversations. I am so thankful for the gift of prayer - God does hear and respond. Always!!! 

Blessings.

Day #1575

April 24, 2018

Hard to believe that on this day nine months ago we brought home a little puppy we could hold on one arm. Now he’s a whopping 77 pounds of “mess!” Cute mess, but mess.

Happy anniversary, big boy!!! You’re truly are a Boomer!

Blessings.

Day #1574

April 23, 2018

As I reflect on the conversation with council yesterday, a prayer of thanks for the gifts from God:
God of grace, you give each of us gifts and talents and create us as unique individuals. You also need each of us in your kingdom, using what we have been gifted. Give us the wisdom and courage to do what you need us to do. We pray for this wisdom not only for ourselves, but for the communities you create as congregations, also unique in the gifts and talents brought together. Thank you for the opportunities and your trust in us. Amen.
Blessings.

Day #1573

April 22, 2018 - The Daily Intersection - Day #1573

Earth Day! A good cause to remember during the Time with Children. They get it - the need to care for the earth that God created and provides. Pretty cool - maybe future generations really will benefit from our carefulness.

Then some honest, heartfelt conversation about the congregation, and its present and future. What is God calling us to do? How is God calling us to be? How are we doing now? Is our focus aligned with God’s desire for us? All good questions to think about and struggle with. I am thankful for folks who take seriously the need to do so.

Blessings.

Day #1572

April 21, 2018

Oh, yes!!! I think it just might be spring - 68 degrees and sunny! A beautiful day for a wonderful, but quick, visit with friends. Woohoo!

Guess this warm weather is a great thing, except for the possibility of flooding. Praying for the safety of all who may be in harm's way!!

Blessings.

Day #1571

April 20, 2018

A drive to an overnight getaway with the hubby gave us cause to wonder - is that spring we see?!?! Some blue sky, warmer temps, hmmm…..could it be?!?!

Blessings.

Day #1570

April 19, 2018

It was quite a busy day. From a planning meeting to a study to a tour that included awesome conversations about helping youth learn and grow to a prayer rally for peace and understanding to another meeting. It is wonderful kinds of busy!! Praying for good outcomes!! 

Have I mentioned lately I love what I do?!

Blessings.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Day #1569

April 18, 2018 

As I feel sad about missing my 10th year reunion of my class from seminary, I have some thoughts about a few things from these past 10 years:
  • An amazing cross-country driving trip with my husband
  • The lasting and life-giving friendship with our Godson’s momma!
  • Friends and colleagues I have made/reconnected with who have enriched my life in so many ways
  • Ordination, first call, second call
  • Weddings, funerals, baptisms, Holy Communion celebrations, worship services, Bible Studies, and more - so many ways I have walked with others in faith and hold each in my heart as holy moments
  • New homes bought and sold
  • Making a home in a new state
  • Lessons learned about life and relationship and community
There are so many more things that have happened in this decade of post-seminary, both monumental and simple. I hope my colleagues and friends enjoy and celebrate their time together in ways that give thanks for the past and look with hope to the future. All is in God’s hands!

Blessings.

Day #1568

April 17, 2018

This day included meeting a new friend and fellow companion on the journey of life, having a beautiful/peaceful drive home, even with windy conditions and some snow, and ending the day enjoying an amazing concert. Such talent this town has! 

After a couple of days away, there is much to catch up on. But the time away was worth the trip and the effort. And I enjoyed being stretched in new ways to hear God’s word for us through scripture. That is most always a good experience!!

Blessings.

Day #1567

April 16, 2018

Inspired by Morning Worship at the Spirituality Retreat which included a reading from 1 Kings, chapter 19, a prayer to hear the still, small voice of God:
Almighty God, you speak to your creation in many and various ways. In the new life of Spring, in the fallow of Winter, in the warmth of Summer. Yet, to hear your voice most fully, we often find you in the simple, quiet moments, sometimes asking, “what are you doing here?” Guide us to know what your purpose is for us here and help us to have courage to follow your call and your way. Amen. 
Blessings.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Day #1566

April 15, 2018 

A Sunday of celebration and appreciation. First worship - always a celebration. Then a meal and a celebration for the roof loan being paid off (much appreciation to all who helped make the celebration joyful and delicious!). 


Now, on to the next thing. And what a generous response to the appeal from an amazing group of folks faithfully working together! Just think of what we can accomplish!?

The afternoon was filled with fun times with youth, a beautiful drive to Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp 


(the two “dots” on the ice of the lake are deer - I was concerned for them but they made the crossing safely), and a great start to a retreat. All-in-all a spectacular day!!!

Blessings.

Day #1565

April 14, 2018

What better way to spend the day - being lazy in the sun. Here’s Boomer chilling and dreaming of the spring to come:

Blessings.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Day #1564

April 13, 2018 

So “they” said the spring snows aren’t as challenging because they don’t last as long. Think they're right! Yesterday’s several inches of snow are no match for the sun (notice there’s a shadow!!!! of the railing on the deck and there’s dripping off the grill cover and the bench in the backyard - woohoo). 


Spring, could that finally be you in that blue sky we see?!?!?!


Blessings.

Day #1563

April 12, 2018 

Quite the way to begin the day with some very poor customer service at one of the local “fast food” restaurants. Thirty minutes is waaayyy too long to wait patiently for a meal, especially when many others get their orders before you when they placed them after you. Not a shining moment as my anger showed - we’ll just leave it at that. But it was a moment of redemption for the restaurant worth sharing when the manager came up to me, looked me in the eyes and apologized. Pretty amazing to do so when he knew how upset I was. An indication of good management (and caring), even on the heels of poor service. So there’s that.

Then later the ladies gathered for our monthly lunch. Seventeen women laughing and telling stories and enjoying good food and great company. I’m so thankful for this time together.

Blessings.

Day #1562

April 11, 2018 

Finally, confirmation class begins after the break for Lent and Easter. And we begin the last four class times with the road to Jerusalem and the Last Supper. What better way to talk about Jesus’ journey to the cross than by sharing the meal he gave us a sign of the new covenant - Holy Communion. How wonderful and grace-filled to share the body and blood of Christ with these students who will soon affirm their baptism!

And on National Pet Day (even though he seems to think he’s mostly human) here’s our ten month old, Boomer:

Blessings.

Day #1561

April 10, 2018 

When you know something is happening that could be devastating, I am grateful for those who remind us to pray when there is nothing else we can do - and even when we can. 

So on this day, and at all those other times we hear sirens: the Lord be with those who respond to calls for help, those who are affected by the danger or situation, those who care for the ones affected, and all the families involved. We give thanks for police, EMT, fire, 911 call responders, medical personnel, and ALL those who work long and dangerous hours to help others. What a gift each and every one of you are! Thanks be to God.

And thanks be to God all were safe in this situation!!

Blessings.

Day #1560

April 9, 2018

A prayer for this week:
Lord of all, we pray with thanksgiving for the signs of new life and second chances. Trees that bud, flowers that bloom, forgiveness that is given, love that is shared, and babies that are born. Give us hope for the renewal the world needs through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen. 
Blessings.

Day #1559

April 8, 2018 

The message for Thomas from the disciples who had a visit from Jesus when Thomas wasn’t with them (see John 20:19-31) was simple: We have seen the Lord! 

It’s a message that comes down through the ages to us and to those who come after us. A message of hope and renewal and new life and second chances. A message that makes all the difference in our lives. When Thomas desires to see Jesus as well, Jesus does not let him down. He appears again - as he does with us. Jesus is with us day after day after day. 

Where have you seen Jesus? Remember - He is risen indeed! Alleluia! 

Blessings.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day #1558

April 7, 2018 

This:

And then this to prove it’s truth (taken outside our door 30 minutes before posting):


It would certainly be nice to uncover that grill and use it for its intended purpose! Spring, oh Spring, where are you really!!!!!!??????!!!!!! 

Blessings.

Day #1557

April 6, 2018 

As we drove across some of Montana toward home, it looked like it could be January. However, it’s really Montana Day - 4-06. Trust me, it’s not an old photo, it was taken this morning.


When we arrived home, we found an “ice alien” had attached to our truck’s wheel. Kind of pretty, in a dirty ice sort of way.

Then the day ended with enjoying some special music at a community concert - thanks to the generosity of a Christmas gift of tickets. Steel drum artist/player, Paul McDermand, gave a great performance, along with some education about the instrument. He said that in Trinidad, where the steel drum was “invented,” it became an instrument/sign of hope. When those in power tried to crush the hope of the people by taking away their musical instruments, keeping them down and controlled, it could not be done. The music did not die. Instead, the steel drum was born, fashioned from the bottoms of 55-gallon oil drums. And the music - and hope - lived. Happy music, in fact. 

It was certainly a happy concert and we left feeling uplifted. Great performance, Mr. McDermand. And a great job!

Blessings.