Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Norwegian Golf is defined as...

Well I better get first things first done, some of my readers asked what makes Norwegian Golf different from other golf so though I better not leaving them hanging and describe it. This was the first time Ive ever played and didnt even know that was what it is called until someone told me. It also is called ladder ball. You have a thing that basically looks like a small ladder with three rungs on it. Then you have golf balls tied on to string (two golf balls tied onto string). Each rung of the ladder is a point...top is 1, middle is two, buttom is three. The goal is to get the balls to land on the rungs. Its harder than it sounds though but sure is lots of fun. Not the best explanation but I think you get the idea. Now that that is out of the way, I wanted to let you all know that I am going on a little trip for the weekend so wont be blogging for a couple of days. A dear seminary friend and I are meeting up in South Dakota for the LifeLight Festival. Im super excited. LifeLight is similar to SonShine...100 concerts on 6 stages. Im looking forward to hearing Go Fish, Casting Crowns, Rebecca St James, etc. My friend C and I are going to have a blast together. Figured it was a good time to get away for a little break before things get crazy busy around here. Besides my 28th bday is on Sunday and it is no fun to spend your bday alone. C has to be back to her internship site church to preach on Sunday so Ill probably go to my dads and help him paint the house. He's trying to sell it so him and his girlfriend can move into a new house. She wants to retire and move to my home town. I wonder if they will ever get married! Well I suppose I should head to bed since I have to be up early to head to text study tomorrow. Have a happy Labor Day Weekend! And Ill be back up and blogging early next week!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It was a good day...but Im tired now!

Today was Rally Sunday at my church. I was excited to finally get to know the kids and start Sunday School etc. Since I started on June 1, I havent gotten to know many of the kids because the church isnt very active in the summer months. Today was awesome a local christian worship band from youth in the area played and some other youth from the congregation also did the special music. It was a glorious day but I think even greater was the attendance at our Garden party. When I started the Pastor and I talked about having a kick-off picnic etc for Rally Sunday, wed provide brats, hamburgers, drinks while the congregation was to bring salads, desserts, etc. We had taken a count but there was more people than we expected. In fact, at one point, I thought we might run out of food but we didnt. It was so awesome to see people who barely come to church or dont come at all that came today. We set up a volleyball net, played Norwegian golf, etc. It was great. People came out and started playing games and before I knew it, it was almost two in the afternoon. Im so delighted and excited that this idea went over soooo well! It puts a smile on my face. Im also excited to meet and get to know the youth of this congregation. However now I think Im going to go take a nap, being out in the sun for sooo long sure makes a person tired. Praise be to God that Rally Sunday was such a success!!!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Sis!

I cant believe! 25 years ago today my little sister came into the world! It seems almost impossible that that much time has flown by but then again doesnt seem possible that I will be 28 next week either. Today just has been thinking about the day Ann was born. I dont remember much of it since I was only three but Ive heard stories. My mom said that her water broke so they called Grandma and Grandpa and told them that they were bringing me over because they were headed to the hospital. Mom and Dad dropped me off at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Then after Ann was born, they called to tell me that I had a new baby sister. When we were little, we used to fight a lot but over time we have become close. I wish I could spend it with her today. However I know her friends are being good to her and taking her out so that makes me feel better but wish I could be there too. Thanks for being such an awesome sister! Happy 25th birthday sis!! I love ya!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Back to School Friday Five

1. What is your earliest memory of school? My earliest memory of school was meeting my best friend Mandy. Mandy is a couple years older than me but had been held back because she had a kindey transplant. I tried to cheer up and soon we became very close friends. My other memory was having to retake kindergarten. Because my bday is Sept 3, I had already started school in Nebraska because the deadline was the 4th. In ND, the deadline was the first so they called state and they let me start but really I probably should have just waited a year.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education? Hmmm my fave teacher was probably Mrs. K. She was just a joy and a delight to be around! I learned so much from her!

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now? Lets see schools are probably more apt to wait for students to start if there bdays are close to the deadline. I also think schools have become more intentionally about teaching certain classes especially in the older classes.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned. Im sure I did have to memorize but I dont remember what it was!

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share? I was usually a pretty good child so I didnt get into trouble too often and if I did it was probably for talking to much while the teacher was talking or something like that. When I was in Kindergarten, I wet my pants during recess and that was a very embarrassing moment for me!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Captured in Time

Good Evening everyone! I hope this finds you all doing well. I just finished washing dishes and was going to watch Celebrity Fit Club but decided to post instead. I've been thinking a lot about photos lately. Its so awesome how so many wonderful things, memories, etc can be captured in a photo. I love scrapbooking so of course photos are a big part of that but there is so much more to a photo for me. I love how a photo can just capture a memory in time. I agree its probably not as great as being there but it does preserve that moment. Tonight I found myself once again scanning my scrapbooks. Each of my scrapbooks has stories to tell. There is the scrapbook of my family. There is the scrapbook of all those wonderful summers of camp. There is the scrapbook of college. And then I get to my last two scrapbooks, my scrapbooks of seminary...life, friends etc. Camp and seminary seem to be the only places that have warranted more than one scrapbook at the moment. As I look back on all of my photos, I find myself just sitting there, escaping to that time and place and thinking about how I felt, what it smelt like, what we ate and how it tasted, etc. Something about looking at pictures makes me smile and remember those times in my life that I want to treasure so closely to my heart. Maybe that is just why I have learned to appreciate photography and capture the beauty of each and every moment. In college, as a communications major, I had to take a photography class but needless to say, I wasnt very good at it. Maybe it was because I was suppose to take pics of certain things etc. I think now if I took that class, I would do much better. I think over the course of time I've really managed to appreciate and understand photography. What a wonderful gift to treasure and remember such awesome memories. I know some people dont like to have their pictures taken and part of me wonders why that is? I guess I really dont have an answer. I hope that in time they will let their pictures be taken without hesitation. For me, photography has become such a wonderful thing and I hope to capture the beauty of lifes moments through the pictures I take.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Cheeky Friday Five!

The RevGals came up with yet another fun Friday Five! Below you will find five phrases seen or heard by Songbird on her British holiday. Use your imagination to define them. Points will be granted for humor. If you are one of our British RevGals, don't play, but please e-mail either Songbird or Kathryn to let us know of any definitions you find particularly amusing or inventive. There will be lovely prizes provided by Kathryn (Diocesan magazine, St. M's notelets, history of St. M's, parish magazine--come on Barbara Pym fans, I know you want that last one!!!), so do your best!

Adverse Camber:When an individual on snow skis moves in an opposite direction of the skies. Adverse camber causes the skis to pull away from the skier. Not exactly what you want to happen when you are on a ski slope.

Butts Wynd:What happens when you are sitting at a restaurant and the individual sitting at the table before you left there cigar butts in the ash tray. Yes the ash tray may have been taken away from the table but the butts smell is still smelt in the area thus a butts wynd!

Plague Church: A plague church is a church that constantly bothers others trying to get them to attend their services and come to their church. A plague church will stop at nothing to get new members!

Free House: A house that anyone is welcome to occupy without paying. Since it is free, it can become quite crowded at times.

Mind the Gap:Means to pay close attention to our thought, perception, emotion, will, memory, and imagination when shopping at the gap in order not to spend too much money.

Not sure how good these are but at least I gave it a shot!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Do Not Read If You Havent Seen The Finale of America's Got Talent Yet!

If you are a fan of America's Got Talent and you havent watched the finale yet then you better not read the rest of this entry. I must admit Im a huge reality tv junkie. I love to watch shows like Americas Got Talent, American Idol, Amazing Race, Big Brother etc etc etc. Well tonight I sat down to delight in the finale of America's Got Talent, and yes America does have talent. I was totally awed by what I saw. I couldnt believe how many young acts had such awesome talent. Taylor Ware, The Millers, Bianca Ryan, etc. From the very beginning I fell in love with Bianca. Not only does she have an amazing voice but she is cute and is an awesome entertainer. I thought it was so cool when Brandi told her that she made her want to go practice more. It was even more awesome when all the judges compared her to a young Liza Minelli. How amazing to be compared to such a wonderful performer! Well tonight they got down to the buttom and there were three left...Taylor Ware, Bianca Ryan, and Celtic Spring. Before Regis even read it, I knew Bianca had won. But what happened next just made me cry, Bianca was totally shocked and tears fell from her eyes. Regis handed her the million dollars and asked her if she would sing one last time. She was like Ill try. I am so happy she won. And all I can say is YOU GO GIRL! Congratulations Bianca!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Is it okay to be frustrated?

Is it okay to be frustrated? Tonight I attended my first council meeting. It went well but when I brought up a new piece, a piece that needs to be reworded and changed, I was challenged. Do we really need to make this change? Now after many discussions with pastor, I truly believe this is in the best interest of the youth. It was extremely frustrating to be challenged. Being the new one in the bunch I dont always think of what I need or want to say until after the meeting is over. I know that I am called to this ministry and know it is hard for this congregation since it is a huge change for them. They have always used Youth Directors in the past and my position is definetely different than that. My focus is to be more family and youth orientated...to make it intergenerational; part of a life-long faith formation. So I am sure it is hard for them to change their mindset but at times, I feel so frustrated. What if Im a disappointment to the congregation? What if Im not doing a good job? What if...what if....what if? Well sorry just had to get that off of my chest. I know that I have gifts for ministry but some days this job is a lot harder than other days!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Books, Books, Books

One book that changed your life: I would have to say Praying Our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp. A friend recommended it to me and I was glad I read it. It helped me get through saying goodbye all the time at seminary. I recommend it to anyone who moves a lot or has to say goodbye a lot! Another book would be anything by Mattie Stepanek. He is an amazing writer and had so much to say at a young age.

One book that you’ve read more than once: I love to read so if it’s a good book, Ill read it again. I’ve read Danielle Steele’s book "Jewels" like five times. I like the history and the story behind the book. I’ve also read several other books numerous times as well.

One book you’d want on a desert island: The Bible of course! But if I could pick another book too, Id choose anything by Maya Angelou

One book that made you laugh: Jenny McCarthy’s book Belly Laughs. I haven’t read the whole thing but a friend when she was pregnant shared some excerpts and we both were laughing so hard. It’s hysterical.

One book that made you cry: I’m an easier crier. My friends laugh because I even cry at Hallmark commercials…LOL! However the funny thing isn’t I can’t remember even one book that I cried at when I read it. Maybe later Ill think of one.

One book that you wish had been written: Well since I want to be an author, that would have to be my book. I would love to have a children’s book by me some day. It also would be cool to have my own poetry book published.

One book that you wish had never been written: At this moment of time, I’m drawing a blank and cant think of a book that I wish wouldn’t have been written.

One book you’re currently reading: I’m reading Tracie Peterson’s book "Under the Northern Lights". I also am reading Max Lucado’s devotional, "Grace for the Moment (the second edition)."

One book you’ve been meaning to read: I love to read. I need to read "The Notebook." I’ve also been meaning to read Mitch Albom’s books. I also have been meaning to read "The Da Vinci Code" too. Anyone got any other ideas? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Now tag five people: Lets see, Ill tag Rev Abi, Stumbling, What is Going on Here, Skdo, and Missionbound. Anyone else feel like doing go for it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Ringer

I finally got around to watching the Ringer today. For those of you that havent heard the Ringer is a Farrelly brothers moving starring Johnny Knoxville. The movie centers around Knoxville's character rigging the Special Olympics competition etc. I was a little worried about how the athletes would be portrayed etc. However I learned that Special Olympics wouldnt let the Farrelly brothers do the movie unless they consulted SO and also used real SO athletes. So the movie went ahead and was made and yes they did use real athletes. For example, the Jimmy character is popular SO athlete Leonard Flowers. Ok so I decided to purchase the movie on Pay per view and watch it today. I must admit I was extremely satisfied and happy with the results of the movie. The Farrelly brothers did a good job portraying true SO athletes. It was fun to see things like the real oath," Let me win but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt" in the movie. This movie could definetely be used as a teaching tool. Kudos to the Farrelly brothers and SO for making a movie that captures the SO spirit! I worked with SO last summer and it was one of the best experiences of my life. These athletes have such an awesome drive and spirit. Its fun to watch them compete. I learned so much from them! Check out the movie for yourselves! I think you will be truly surprised.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fruity Friday Five!!!

Galatians 5 describes the fruit of the Spirit. With all the sadness and despair out there, we certainly need it! So, the Friday Five is simple. Pick any five of the following attributes and go wherever the Spirit leads you... your choice! Suggestions: When have you experienced this attribute? When have you struggled with it? Or who embodies it for you?Or if you're feeling light-hearted--just assign a fruit to each one. I think Generosity is a Banana, don't you?

Love-Love is in my friends in family. The love they show me each and every day. Love was when my aunt and uncle let me stay with them for almost a year even though I was difficult at times. Love is in my sister Andrea, love is in my dad, love is in my mom, love is in all those that share their love with me.

Joy-I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart to stay! Joy is something that is embodied in the friendships I have gained throughout my life. Joy is in our late night Perkins runs, joy is in our game nights, joy is on our many spur-of-the-moment parties. Some of my fave stories of joy took place at seminary. Seminary was such a place of joy for me when we fellowshipped together. I remember my first bday there and we decided to watch the movie Chocolat so I bought my own bday cake (you must remember it was one of our first days of seminary so no one really knew anyone) We watched the movie and then ate the cake. At one point, we decided to dive into the cake with our hands. Needless to say, soon we were rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter. That image is forever engrained in my mind as a picture of joy. Joy was also in seeing my friends get their first calls. Joy was seeing my friends grow in their faith journey.

Peace-Peace to me is seen in the prairies of ND. I dont know there is just something in the prairies of ND that are so peaceful and serene. Peace is also knowing that Im never alone!Peace
is knowing my sister is not in a bad relationship anymore.

Patience-Patience is waiting for your first call when the rest of your classmates already have those. Patience is learning that good things come to those that wait. Patience is trusting that God will be there through the pain and the sorrows and the joy and the happiness. Patience is waiting for the rain to come when you so need it for your crops and your garden to grow. And patience is waiting for God to bring Mr. Right into your life!

Kindness-Kindness are my friends Darrell and Em being there for me my last semester at seminary when I was doing fieldwork. (The seminary wasnt sure if they could let me stay on campus and D and E were willing to do just about anything for me to help me out...including even possibly staying with them). Kindness was Jen and Daisy taking me to the train station when I wasnt able to get a ride there. Kindness was Dawn and Kip letting me follow them back to ND so I wasnt driving alone. Kindness is Liz and Carrie driving to ND for my consecration service to be a part of my special day. Kindess is all my friends checking up on how my mom is doing. Kindness is Mark, Liz, Mackenzie, Kevin, Neel and all my other seminary friends accepting me for me and helping me to grow as a women of faith.

Generosity-For some reason, this one is taking the most time for me to think of. Im not sure why. I know there have been many times in my life when people have being extremely generous to me but I cant think of any specific times. Generosity, is something that I experience when my grandma shares her garden produce with me. Generosity is when people help me move. Generous is paying for my meal when they know Im having a hard time making money. Generosity is inviting me over for a meal to share in fellowship.

Faithfulness-Faithfulness is definetely my mom. All though she has lived with a mental illness all her life, she has remained faithful. She doesnt let her illness get her down. She trusts in God's love. And because she lives with this illness, this has been the biggest example of faithfulness in my life.

Gentleness-Again this reminds me of seminary and also camp. So many people have helped me to see my gentleness. They always tell me that I have such a loving and gentle spirit. That is something I will always remember but this spirit was a characteristic of my friend Chewy in college. Chewy was a gentle soul most of the time. He had a drinking and drug problem and I never saw that side of him. However Chewy and I connected because he had dealt with mental illness myself and could understand where I was coming from. One weekend the two of us were at a retreat together and I was crying. Chewy sat down next to me, and placed my head upon his shoulder. Ill never forget that image. Chewy, in that moment, was so gentle and comforted me.

Self-control Selfcontrol is knowing when to say no to ice cream. Self-control is knowing how to say no in general. Self-control is something I need to work with especially in the area of food. Self-control is learning how to do things in moderation.

(SO as I finish up this F5, I have somewhat of a challenge for all of my readers and the rest of the webring. (It might be hard because we dont know each other that well)How do your readers see you embody the fruits of the spirit? It would be fun to see how others see the fruits of the spirit in each of us. How do I embody the fruits of the spirit?)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sticking Up For Those We Love

I don’t get upset or mad easily and I often don’t hold grudges but this week I must admit I was put to the test when a friend was judged on another individual’s blog. I think I was mostly upset because this individual was judging my friend despite the fact that they had never met. I along with many other friends stood up for our friend. We know that he has many awesome gifts for ministry and will make a superb pastor. We felt that it was important for us to try and speak the truth in love to this blogger. When I saw how all of us stood up for our friend, I couldn’t help but think of the power of these relationships. We weren’t going to let our friend be hurt. We felt it was important to stick up for someone we truly love and care about. When I think of how we were there for our friend, it makes me wonder what kind of a family member or friend are we? Do we stick up for those we love? Do those that love us stick up for us? Can you think of a time when someone (or several people) stood up for you? Lets share some stories of friends looking out for friends or family members looking out for family members!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Beauty of Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about life. You know, marriage, kids, etc. I guess part of me really wants to settle down and have kids but then another part of me is enjoying being single. Maybe it’s just that a lot of my friends are settling down and now that I am in a new community myself, I’m yearning for new relationships. I’m not talking just romantically but friendship wise as well and I haven’t found many people my age here yet which is hard, but knowing that I have good friends throughout the United States helps. I know that the friendships I made at seminary are friendships that I truly believe will last a lifetime.

It amazes me the friends I made at seminary. Some of us clicked because we had worked at Bible camps and could share camp stories. Others of us had similar interests but then some of us probably never would have become friends in any other situation. Now I know that probably sounds ridiculous but it’s true. But despite our differences, we became friends because we were there for the same reasons. I see such beauty in those friendships because of that reality. These friendships are the friendships that I hope will withstand the test of time. These friends are the ones that helped me to grow into the woman of faith that I am today. These friends are the same friends who got me to open up about my mom’s illness and stood by me when I decided it was important to share our story. These friends are the friends that were with me in the joys, the pleasures, the pain and the tears. These friends are the ones that no matter where we are at know that I am thinking and praying for them as they do the same for me. These friends are the ones that came miles to be at my consecration service, to sit beside me, and to wipe away the tears of joy as I ventured into this new place God called me to!

The amazement and strength of these friendships have grown out of the experiences we shared. One of these experiences took place over the entire course of seminary. In class, I was extremely quiet. I was afraid of what others might think and say so I kept quiet but these friends encouraged me to grow and helped me to find my theological voice that I continue to claim to this day. Another experience was road-tripping with these friends, sharing our stories, and learning about each other. One trip in particular was when M and L and I went to Milwaukee. Needless to say, I drank a little too much Sangria but they kept me safe and helped me to realize it was okay to drink in moderation and in a safe environment. There also were the trips with K, M, L, M, and I eating Red Vines as we talked and shared together. But probably the most profound experiences were our Perkins discussions, our late night chats and our game nights. Just in those little moments, I learned more about these dear friends that I could ever have imagined. And to this day, I see those experiences as some of the best times of my life because they truly solidified these friendships.

Without these friends, I’m not sure I would have made it through seminary. Seminary was not the easiest thing for me. In fact one of my professors put it best when he told my candidacy committee, "You know how easy it would have been for Tara to walk out those doors and not look back, but she hasn’t she is still here and that takes guts." These friends supported me and encouraged me throughout my seminary journey. And as I reflect on these friendships, my prayer is that everyone will find friendships that will withstand the test of time and will be treasured throughout our lives. I also pray that each of us can feel the power of our own friendships and can spread that power to the friends we make throughout our lives. Thanks be to God!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sending Up A Prayer or Two!

Im sending up some prayers tonight. A congregation votes to extend a call to my friend M tomorrow. Please pray that all goes well and he gets the call. I know he's waited a long time and he is so ready to move on. So please send up prayers that the congregation makes a wise decision and votes to call M! Also send up some prayers for my friend S who also is awaiting a call. And I almost forgot, some seminary classmates/friends get ordained tomorrow and next Sunday so be with C and S on their respective days and let them be blessed days. Also send up prayers for all those finishing up CPE, heading off on internship, coming back from internship for their senior years or those just starting seminary. Thanks for helping me out and sending up prayers for my friends. Prayer is such an awesome thing!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Five Gets a Standing O!

1. Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it? I have to admit that living in a small town in the Midwest I dont have many opportunities to do these things. However I jump at the chance to see a good play or musical. The last musical I saw was the film version of "Rent" I absolutely loved it!

2. All time favorite play? Musical? My all-time fave musical is definetely RENT! I have a lot of plays that are my favorite but my all-time favorite has probably got to be Amadeus!

3. “The Producers,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Hairspray,” “The Wedding Singer”…all were movies before they were musicals (okay “The Philadelphia Story” was a play and then a movie, and they changed its name when it became a musical, but whatever). What non-musical movie do you think should next get the musical treatment? Hmmm this is a good question and Im going to apologize because Im probably going to come up with a lame answer but thought I should at least give it a shot. How about the Matrix? Or Harry Potter? or Saved?

4. Favorite song from a musical? Why? No doubt about it my fave song is No Day but Today from Rent! I just love the message behind the song! It also has great melody!

5. The most recent trend in Broadway musical revues is to construct a show around the oeuvre of a particular super-group or composer, where existing songs are woven together with some kind of through story. The most successful of these (“Jersey Boys” (The Four Seasons), “Mamma Mia” (ABBA), “Movin’ Out” (Billy Joel)) have made a mint, but many (“All Shook Up” (Elvis), “Hot Feet” (Earth, Wind and Fire)) have bombed. What great pop/rock singer/composer or super-group should be the next to be featured, and what might the story-line be for such a show? Hmmm I dont have a good answer for this one either but maybe a musical based on the music of Five For Fighting! They've just done some really good music that I think could make some really great storylines. However I cant think of a storyline myself right now!

Bonus question for singer/actors. Favorite part you’ve ever played/sung.
As always, let us know in the comments if you play! And standing ovations (as well as more visits, no doubt) for those who link directly to their posts. This one is easy for me. I was in so many plays in high school and college. In fact I really would like to get more involved with community theatre but my absolute fave part I played was Anne Frank's mother in The Diary of Anne Frank. This was the first production I was in in college. Before this production, I had been prop mistress etc but had never been on stage. The director asked me to audition and I got the part of Anne's mother. It was a neat role to play and I enjoyed the many awesome people I got to work with. In fact, I made some of my best friends during that production. After that play, I was involved in every play either backstage or onstage during my next three years there!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Body of Christ Given, Blood of Christ Shed For You

I need to do dishes and get rid of some pesky ants but before I do that, I want to share a great story I heard today. And before I share this story, I want to let you all know that my intentions are not to offend anyone but rather to share what I think is a good humurous story. Okay so here goes nothing. The story takes place in a rural church here in the Midwest. Now often times members of the congregation are asked to take care of communion etc. This week a man was helping out. He went to take the cover off the wine and thought to himself, boy that wine sure looks dark. Then he took the cover off the bread and it wasnt bread......it was chocolate cake, but what was he to do? There was nothing else around so the pastor had to proceed like nothing happened. He communioned each member, handing them a piece of the chocolate cake, "Body of Christ given for you" and then handed them a cup of brandy saying, "Blood of Christ shed for you." He figured that it had to be okay because there was flour in the cake and the brandy was just distilled wine. Now thats got to make for some interesting communion dont you think?!?! Now that Ive shared my story, back to killing ants and washing dishes! YUCK!