Saturday, March 31, 2018

Day #1551

March 31, 2018

As I finish preparation for Easter worship, this from the Moravian Daily Prayer is good to have in mind: "Help us seek out and comfort those around us who long for Easter hope."

It's really a good reminder for every day!


Day #1550

March 30, 2018 

What could be more appropriate than at 3:00 pm (where we live) on Good Friday, the skies darkened, the wind blew and the snow began to fall! A reminder that on the day Jesus hung on the cross, even nature succumbed to the tragedy.

And a thank you to everyone who helped make the worship services on this day meaningful! 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Day #1549

March 29, 2018

On Thursday during Holy Week, I am remembering my colleagues and friends as we begin the great Three Days of worship. May God’s peace surround them all.

And this reminder of the importance of Maundy Thursday from the Moravian Daily prayer: “As they gathered to break bread and drink the cup you revealed your love and grace.”

As we gather tonight to celebrate this moment and give thanks for Jesus’ gift to us of his body and blood in and through the bread and wine, may the three young folks receiving the meal tonight for their first time be assured of that love and grace. Not only tonight, but each time they receive! Really, all of us!


Day #1548

March 28, 2018

If Tuesday during Holy Week means getting the work done at the office, Wednesday means making some visits. And the laughter, and the holy, during those times always warms my heart!

Then, just as the day ends, is this:
What beautiful words!!!!


Day #1547

March 27, 2018 

Tuesday means one thing during Holy Week - getting the work done. I’m so grateful for the staff I’m blessed to work with. You all rock!!!!!

And the volunteers who make certain all is as it needs to be, I cannot say enough thanks! You all rock, as well!!!

I'm grateful!!!


Day #1546

March 26, 2018

A prayer for Holy Week:
Almighty God, as we walk through this week with you, accompanying your celebration of the Passover with your disciples, and your Passion and the cross, give us strength to remember that your death was not the end. Sunday is coming!! Amen.
Then there was this at supper: 

How would a fortune cookie know!?!?! Let's just say I hope it's true!!!

Last, but not least, this on the way home just before dark:

Of course it is simply the random crossing of the contrails of two jets, but it seems like a lot more than that to me. Yes, I'm feeling God strongly today and the intersections are certainly welcome!!!


Day #1545

March 25, 2018

And so with Palm Sunday, the holiest week of the church year begins. The week that made all the difference, turning the world upside down and inside out. We are off with a glorious worship service and a visit with folks from Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp to talk about camp and its ministry. 

Then the counselors had some fun with the kids - helping them learn and grow. 

What you see above is the aerial “blueprint” for a theme park. Doesn't it look like a fun place!!! What was really fun was witnessing youth work together to design it. I'm ready to go - are you?!


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Day #1544

March 24, 2018

As promised, Boomer’s eight month anniversary picture:

Hard to believe he’s the same little fellow we brought home last July. Maybe we have been feeding him grow juice instead of puppy food?!?!

But the highlight of today, and a definite intersection of faith and life, was the annual WELCA Brunch. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton was the speaker for the day (yes, really!), along with MT Synod Bishop Jessica Crist offering devotions. Two female leaders in the church who I not only admire, but deeply respect (not the best picture, but definitely a "best" moment!).

What a wonderful event! So thank you for the impeccable planning, terrific decorations, delicious food, beautiful music, and for all those who were able to attend. A truly inspiring day.


PS Ok, yes, I marked an item off my bucket list and was able to take a selfie with Bishop Eaton. :-)!

Day #1543

March 23, 2018 

Today is National Puppy Day - who knew there was such a thing!?!? 

But we celebrate Boomer, who at just over nine months old, is still very much a puppy at heart - even though he is 75 pounds. So stay tuned for his eight month anniversary picture with us tomorrow - and see how he’s grown!

Happy Puppy Day to all those in the midst of snuggling, and training, their new family members!


Day #1542

March 22, 2018

The word for the day - thankful. For a morning ride to a town about 30 minutes outside the city. Snow geese, antelope, Belted Galloway cows (that always make me smile!!), and snow-covered mountains were just a part of the beauty I was privileged to drive past.

The drive led me to a wonderful gathering with a group of dedicated and wise leaders that topped the day. It is always a joy to be in study and conversation with colleagues!!


Day #1541

March 21, 2018 

We said an early morning goodbye (sadly!) to family, only for them to get stuck in an airport part way home. :-( Spring has not been kind in all places, and snow storms in the east are causing havoc. Rats!

Later in the day, while at the hospital, I said thank you to one of the medical staff for what they do for folks and how important their job is. Aren’t you a pastor, she asked? Yes, I am. Then what you do is maybe even more important. I think we work hand-in-hand, I replied. And she smiled. I am thankful for medical personnel, but even more for the great physician, almighty God. 

Lastly, toward the end of the day, we heard the final faith sharing for our Lenten worship services. I am grateful for the ways that God works in and through each of us, in various ways and methods, yet always in a loving, grace-filled way. Thanks and praise to God!


Day #1540

March 20, 2018

On this first day of spring (oh, welcome to you, glorious spring!!), we journeyed with family to the state capital. What a beautiful day, at nearly 50 degrees, to enjoy the city! 

Happy Spring!


Day #1539

March 19, 2018 

A prayer for this week:
Almighty God, your love for the world seems to be misunderstood in so many ways and in so many places. Instead of seeing your Light and being transformed by it, there are those who wish to snuff out your Light, and the ones who proclaim it. Protect those who are persecuted for their belief, their witness, their faith. Watch over them and give them courage to trust you in the midst of the hatred subjected toward them. Amen.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Day #1538

March 18, 2018 

What a gift to be able to talk with youth about Holy Communion! But the fun is baking the bread.

May these young ones soon know the love and grace of God through Jesus’ body and blood. 

And Boomer has been enjoying immensely the attention of his aunt and uncle. Doesn’t he look so innocent and peaceful. 

HA! Don’t let him fool you!!!


Day #1537

March 17, 2018

As mentioned a couple of days ago, there is much art to see this week. And while I know we are missing just as much as we are seeing, my eyes are full. I’m just in awe of the talent, however!

And, whether there is Irish blood in your veins or not, I wish you the Luck O’ the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And always!


Day #1536

March 16, 2018

What beautiful art we enjoyed watching folks bid on at the Russell First Strike auction. The talent and gifts these artists have are truly God-given and incredible. I’m glad we were able to attend. A good time was had by all. 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Day #1535

March 15, 2018

Russell Art Week - its 50th anniversary! A big deal in this town - and with family who have come to visit, we get to enjoy the art and such. So much to do and see - don’t imagine we’ll get around to it all. But we’re going to give it our best try.

And what could be more appropriate - a little snow for the morning. Haha!!


Day #1534

March 14, 2018 

Another evening with a special Lenten Worship Service and faith sharing - with a large dose of humor. What fun to participate with others in sharing their faith and their stories of God’s presence in their life.

I really am not looking forward to Lent ending because I’m enjoying this so much. Perhaps we can incorporate this sooner rather than later into our Sunday worship?!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day #1533

March 13, 2018

Just have to share the question I had from a young one - "is there a school here" (meaning at the congregation)? "No, there’s not," I said. "Oh, I was going to ask if you were the principal."

Out of the mouths of babes. Haha! Principal/pastor - similar....

But the same one later gave me a fist bump and said, I’m so glad I got to see you.

Makes my heart smile!!!


Monday, March 12, 2018

Day #1532

March 12, 2018

A prayer for today in the midst of Women's History Month:
Almighty God, thank you for the gift of women. Those with generous hearts and courage who have paved the way for others of us to follow. Women who help raise children, educate them, love them, and encourage them, and who are wonderfully made in your image. May there always be women who follow you, teach about you, and love you. Amen.

Day #1531

March 11, 2018

Happy 29th wedding anniversary to my patient, kind, loving husband. Amazing how fast the years have gone! Here’s to at least 29 more!

I love you, hubby! Very much!!!


PS Thank you to others, too, who helped make the day special!

Day #1530

March 10, 2018 

Two items of appreciation today - one was a quick yes in response to a plea for some help. Another, a place that was all too happy to make room for two who wanted to celebrate their anniversary a little early. 

I truly am thankful for folks with willing hands and welcoming hearts. Life is good!


Day #1529

March 9, 2018 

For 18 years, an annual event to benefit FISH, the local Food Emergency Assistance program, has been lovingly planned and executed. Loaves and Fishes, a freewill offering salmon loaf meal, along with a silent auction and raffle, brought in lots of folks who want to do what they can to help those who are hungry in this city. 

Thank you to all who came to eat and buy, brought really nice items for auction and raffle, made jello salads and desserts, and who have hands and hearts that care and are generous. 

I must say, however, one of my favorite comments was - I’ve never heard such giggling during salmon prep. Yep, I enjoy making some fun out of a not so fun task. A little of the humor gift from God can go a long way - smiles are so good!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day #1528

March 8, 2018 

Today is International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate the strength and influence of women in our lives and in the world. Women are amazing creatures. I do not say that because I am one, but because of the ones who have been influential in my life - from my mother, to my grandmother, to friends, to women I don’t even know personally but who have paved the way for others to follow.

And what better way to celebrate this day than at Ladies: Let’s Do Lunch. Sixteen wonderful women joined me for good food and great conversation and much laughter. I’m so thankful for each one of them. 

Thank you, women of the world! For everything you do and who you are!


Day #1527

March 7, 2018

Another evening of faith sharing and a reminder that the assurance of God’s presence comes to each of us in very different - and yet similar - ways. God’s presence in times of sadness or need can be so very apparent, and yet in the simpler times, God is just as present and cares just as much about us. That is good news!!

Also, today the question to begin Bible Study was about our favorite scriptures. A good reminder that scripture is another way God’s presence is made known to us, and that assurance of God’s love is found throughout the Bible. 

One of my favorite verses of scripture is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. A copy of that is front and center across from my desk. It often gives me courage - and a kick in the pants - when I'm hesitant to try something new. 

What about you? What scripture verse is most important to you? Do you keep it somewhere visible?


Day #1526

March 6, 2018

The requests do not come that often, but when I am asked to write a letter of recommendation for someone, I consider it an honor. It can be for all sorts of things, from jobs to awards to requests for money. Each time I take seriously the responsibility - it could make a definite difference in the outcome. 

I am also thankful - for all the people in my past who I have asked to vouch for me. Their responses, I know, have helped me, and I feel certain they took them as seriously as I do. 

There is much to appreciate in the joys of community and collegiality.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Day #1525

March 5, 2018 

This from the Moravian Daily Prayer:
O Lord, grant us a new spirit for work and growth today. May our hearts and minds be centered on the direction your Spirit seeks to guide us. May the work of our hands, our hearts and our minds please you this day. Amen.
inspired this prayer from me:
Gracious God, thank you for giving each of us meaning in our lives through the work of our minds, hearts and hands. May our minds be used for building up the kingdom in ways of creativity and inclusion, our hearts be turned toward you and our neighbor, and our hands busy with serving. And while our daily jobs vary in as many ways as we are people, may our vocation as Child of God and member of Your Kingdom, guide and direct us in ways that always bring you glory and honor. Amen.

Day #1524

March 4, 2018

When I make a promise (see Day #1512 ), I do mean to keep it. So I’m not saying anything more about this winter. But, if I were to, I’d have to report nearly 6 more inches of snow (80 inches for the season). 

BUT….the weather I’m not mentioning didn’t keep folks from worshipping. Wow!! Hearty souls hungry for the community, the word, the meal, and the assurance of God’s presence in our lives.

Thank you for a beautiful beginning to an otherwise, well, somewhat gloomy day. :-)


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Day #1523

March 3, 2018 

Saw this and couldn’t help but share:

It’s a good reminder that really the only person I have control over for behavior, decisions, choices, etc., is me, even if I think I know what might be best for someone else. I’m thankful God is the one, however, who ultimately knows the best - and sifts through my prayers otherwise.


Day #1522

March 2, 2018 

What fun to see pictures of children enjoying a day to honor a special author - Dr. Seuss - on what would have been his birthday. So on this day, I offer this:

To be a poet is a gift, for sure
To be one for children, a gift most pure
Green eggs and ham, Cat in the Hat, the Places You’ll Go
All books everyone should lucky enough be to know
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for bringing us smiles
May your words, your thoughts, your insights take us miles.


Day #1521

March 1, 2018 

Have I mentioned before how honored - and humbled - I am to do what I do. When someone has questions about their own faith or beliefs, it’s truly amazing to be one they may come to, to talk it out and be open to new perspectives. And one to pray with them, and for them. 

I give thanks for these moments, hold them in high respect, and handle them preciously. And trust that God is the agent of change - and assurance - always!


Day #1520

February 28, 2018 

The second week of Lenten worship and faith sharing went very well. Each person’s story is a bit different - the ways we recognize God’s presence in our life varies and how we experience God’s closeness comes in many ways. Yet, sharing strengthens not only our own faith, but encourages others, too. Yes, I am finding that to be true.

We all have a story of faith to share. Who needs to hear yours?