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.

Day #1556

April 5, 2018 

As we learned more through discussion at the Chico conference about the need to tell God’s story as a way to build up the Kingdom, we discussed finding ways to talk about the intersections of God’s story to our own stories. Hmm…sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?!  

Blessings.

Day #1555

April 4, 2018

So we began our sharing/learning time considering a question posed by President Robin Steinke of Luther Seminary: what is a full life? 

After some thought, in my opinion a full life comes down to having others to love and care for, and being loved and cared for by others. That seemed simple enough, until we were asked to consider how this passage from Luke, chapter 18, verses 1-8, connects with the question of what is a full life. Here is the passage from the New Revised Standard Version: 
1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" 6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
This made finding a connection between God and a full life a bit more challenging, but after much discussion, this came to mind - in caring for others and being cared for I will fail (and have failed often). I will let others down, and others will also let me down. Similar to the unjust judge who does what is right simply to avoid being worn out by the woman, I may do/be similar - looking to my own interests instead of being faithful to God. Yet, thankfully, God never lets us down. Perhaps that’s the essence of grace, and the essence of why God’s story needs/deserves to be shared with others in order for the building up of the Kingdom.

Some deep thinking for a time of "relaxation." But life is good!

Blessings.

Day #1554

April 3, 2018

And we’re off for a time of relaxation and learning with colleagues at Chico. It is good to gather, be fed by the word and the meal, pray, share and network with others. Even if the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating, the time away should be refreshing.

Then, on a lighter note, there is this to share about the mentioned weather:

Blessings.

Day #1553

April 2, 2018 

The prayer for this day:
Almighty God, thank you for your devoted and courageous servants. Thank you for Martin Luther King, Jr. and his truth-telling about the need for change, inclusion and the recognition that all are your children and all are equal. Thank you for his dreams, his voice, his life and his vision of the promised land. As we remember the 50th anniversary of his death this week, and mourn that his vision has not become the reality we seek, we ask for your courage to work in ways to bring about his dream of the kingdom on earth. Amen.
The good news of Jesus’ resurrection means that we can dream of the reality of the coming kingdom, even as we work to make it real here and now. God have mercy - and thanks be to God!

Blessings.

Day #1552

April 1, 2018

It’s all about the alleluia! The declaration of joy and the rejoicing that the long wait is over and it is time to celebrate and give thanks that - Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!!! 

It was time to rejoice with the little ones, too. The “alleluia” had been rolled up and “hidden” away in a box under the altar (not too far out of sight during the Lenten journey and Holy Week). As I opened the box and unrolled the alleluia, out of the mouth of one of the children came the excited declaration - Alleluia! It was a perfect moment!!!!!

Yes, Christ is risen! Easter morning has come! The long wait is over and we now celebrate for 40 days the resurrection and Christ’s appearance to his disciples and others. A joy-filled time with joy-filled worship.

It also time - and appropriate - to give thanks - for each and every person who helped make the Lenten season, Holy Week and the Easter jubilation worship meaningful. You are each appreciated!! 

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessings.