Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another First!

Hello! So some of you know that I preached on Wednesday. It was a small service..6 people including me but it still was good practice. I emailed my sermon and got a few suggestions from friends which helped me with my sermon. It came leaps and bounds from the first draft. I decided that even though Im done with the sermon I am still going to work on it some more so below you will find the final draft. The texts are Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14, Revelations 1: 4b-8 and John 18: 33-37. Sermon is based mostly on the gospel text. I was happy with what I preached last night but think that now this sermon is even stronger thanks to the wonderful and constructive advice of my friends and peers. Hope you enjoy it!

The One True King

In the glorious land of Camelot, there is a strong and powerful king, a king who is on the search for the holy grail. He rides in on his magnificent horse and gathers his knights around the round table where he once dubbed them the knights of the round table. The knights of the round table listen intently to what their king has to say and then they begin their quest for the holy grail. This king and his knights continually find themselves in numerous adventures as they search for this treasure. But in time, they become tired and weary from their journey. And soon this powerful king; King Arthur, falls under his own sin and foolishness and dies a broken man.

King Arthur is not a true king. In fact, he pales in comparison to the true king; Jesus Christ himself. Jesus did not sin and conquered death. Throughout his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus shows us that he has the power and authority of the true king sent by God.

This true king, sent by God, surprises us all in so many ways. He heals the blind. He walks on water. He dies for each and every one of us and unlike any other king, he is resurrected again on the third day. I find myself realizing that the only true king sent by God could perform these spectacular acts of love.

Not only did this king perform these remarkable acts, but this king did something absolutely amazing when he died on the cross. He was able to conquer death for each and every one of us. This beautiful and selfless act of love by a true king reminds me of the song by Matt Redman called Once Again. The lyrics to this song read, "And once again, I look upon the cross were you died and I am humbled by your mercy and I am broken inside. Once again I thank you, Once again I pour out my life. Now you are exalted to the highest place, king of the heavens were one day I'll bow. But for now, I marvel at your saving grace and I'm full of praise once again." This song is one of my most favorite songs. It captures how much this true king did for all of us when he died upon the cross and conquered death. And because Christ conquered death for us, we too are called to trust deeply in God's saving grace. This saving grace allows us to to take chances and risk screwing up because we know that we are embraced in the arms of grace.

God sent Jesus to show the ultimate authority of the true king. By conquering his own death, Jesus proves that only he has the power of a true king. Unlike King Arthur and any other king in today's world, Jesus does have to power to overcome death.

Jesus' power to overcome death solidifies the reality that he is the one true king sent by God. At the time of his death, Jesus does not give in. He simply conquers death. In today's text, verse 36, Jesus states, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." Throughout King Arthur's life, the knights of his round table tried to protect him. They followed him no matter what. The difference is that King Arthur is from this world and Jesus is not. Jesus' followers were so caught up in other things that they didn't even realize what they were doing was wrong. In all actuality, they were clueless to what was happening around them. Jesus died for our sins but it was God's saving power that truly conquered death. Jesus had to rely on God's saving grace to resurrect him from the dead. And through his resurrection, Jesus demonstrates that he has the authority, glory, and sovereign power of a true king....a true king sent by God to rule over the nations and to give life to all the world.

This true king, Jesus Christ, rules a kingdom that will never be destroyed. In the mythical tale of King Arthur, King Arthur's kingdom falls and his dominion passes away. However in Jesus' world, his dominion never passes away. In fact, Jesus continues to rule all the nations through all eternity. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. He will come again because God refuses to abandon us to the consequences of our sins.

Jesus' cruxification is the ultimate judgement of God on a world that continually sins. God fashioned a world in which sin bears fruit. However Jesus died for our sins, was raised, and ascended into heaven. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus announced the reign of God and brings redemption and reconciliation to all God's people.

As the one who offers redemption and reconciliation, Jesus once again shows us that he is the one true king. Unlike King Arthur, Jesus is able to redeem and reconcile us from our own sins. Jesus helps us to see that only a true king has the sovereign power to pick us up and dust us off. Only a true king helps us to see that no one is truly broken forever!

Jesus is the triumphant king of creation who unlike kings of this material world comes to set us free. This king is the one true king who unlike King Arthur comes to bring forgiveness, life, and salvation to all God's people. Jesus is the one true king who is the Ancient of days; the one who is, who was, and is come---whose kingdom will have no end! AMEN!

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Quick Hello

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I sure did. It was good to see my family and friends but now back to the daily grind. With Advent and Christmas soon to be upon us, it is a busy time....time for Advent celebrations, Sunday School Christmas programs, Christmas Caroling, etc. I dont have a lot to say tonight but wanted my readers to know I am alive. I love this time of year. I put up all my Christmas decorations last night, dug out all my Christmas cds, and listened to them at work today. It was great. I collect nativity scenes so its always great to get out my nativitys for others to see but more importantly to remind us of the true reason for the season. Well guess thats it for now. Just wanted to pop in and say hello so people know that Im still around!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Its Delurking Time!


Well everyone its delurking week so if you visit often and never leave a comment, this is the week to do that. It will be fun to see how many lurkers there are on prayingontheprairie.blogspot.com. Happy Delurking week everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saying Goodbye to a Mentor and Friend!

I dont even know where to begin this post. My heart is breaking. One of my dearest high school teachers lost her battle with cancer yesterday. She was only 65. This woman is one of the most influential people in my life and I cant even fathom how to tell you what this woman means to me. Throughout my high school career, this woman believed in me. She believed in my writing. She believed in my dreams and now I want to try even harder to fulfill those dreams. After she retired from teaching, Mrs. H worked at the local weekly newspaper. Whenever Id go to town, Id walk into the Tribune building and stop and see her. It always amazed me how visiting her brought such a smile to her face. She always wanted to know what I was doing and how my life was going etc. She found such joy in her family and her students. That is one of the things Ill remember the most about her and walking into the Tribune building will never be the same. Since Mrs H and her husbands farm were on the way to our family farm, I would often see her outside working in her yard, etc before she got sick. She would always wave back at me. This woman touched my life in a way that I cant even describe. All I can say is that I was truly blessed to have known her and as the tears continue to stream down my face as I write this post, I cant but think how truly blessed we all were that knew her. And as we get ready to celebrate this thanksgiving feast, I want to say thank you Mrs H. Thank you for believing in me! Thank you for the joy you brought to my life! Thank you for simply being you! And thank you to your family for sharing you with all of us. So tonight as I close and wipe the tears from my eyes, I ask you to pray for Mrs. H's family that they may find peace and comfort. I also ask that all of us that knew her celebrate in her wondrous life!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thankful Friday Five!

5 things Im thankful for:

1. My family---My family means the world to me. I dont know where Id be if they werent in my life. I love them dearly.

2. My Wartburg Friends---The friends I made while attending Wartburg Seminary mean the world to me especially Liz, Mackenzie, Mark, Mike, Chris, Heather, Collette, Sandi, Hillary, Jen, Jon, Carrie, etc. There are so many to name. You all are such a blessing in my life and Im so glad we are friends. No matter how many miles seperate us, I know our friendships will remain strong.

3. Camp of the Cross and my camp friends--These friendships mean the world to me too. Also without CCM, I dont know where Id be today. It helped me become the women of faith that I am today. It also helped me find my call to ministry.

4. Laughter--Laughter is something I am so thankful for. Sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. I love being able to laugh especially with my friends and family. Without laughter, life would be boring.

5. A great place to live and work!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Im So Excited...And I Just Cant Hide It!

Post #125 which is cool but I actually came on to post about some more exciting news. I love Holden Evening Prayer. It was one of my fave things in the whole wide world to listen too. When I was at the Mothership, we would do Holden Evening Prayer on the weekends they held their conference on ministry events. It was so awesome. Well I am soooo excited that I cant hide it!! I know its a lame segue but I just couldnt help it. At my church, they have an Advent Family Night and when I started, I was told that one of my responsibilities would be to plan the program for that event. My first thought was boy it would be awesome if we could use Holden and sure enough they own it! Right away I was like we are going to use Holden! I plan on getting one of the youth from the congregation to play their flute with the piano for accompaniment. I cant wait to use it! Its such a beautiful piece. Besides as I was reading through the words, looking at the Magnificat, etc, I was like this is so fitting for Advent. Advent is one of my fave times of year as we look forward to the Christ Child's birth. Pretty amazing! Today was our second day of practicing Christmas music for the church Christmas program. Its fun to hear and sing those songs again. I understand we need to start practicing now to put on a good program but it royally irritates me when I go into stores, that have Christmas decorations up right after Halloween. Seems like we are forgetting Thanksgiving and totally skipping over an entire month.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup

Good Morning all! I hope this fine Saturday morning finds you doing well. Im feeling much better today. I think whatever I caught must have been a 24 hour bug. I had a temp pretty much all day yesterday and last night when I went to bed it was 99.2 but this morning no temp so thats good news and I dont feel as sick today. Hopefully Im not jinxing it though!!! I took my readers advice ate hot soup, slept, and just stuck at home yesterday. I must say Id rather get sick and get it over with so hopefully this is it for awhile. I think Im going to go make some lunch, do some laundry, and chill in front of the tv. I guess i'll see what the rest of today brings.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Time to Play Friday Five!

1. Favorite red food: Hmm I would say my fave red food is probably strawberries.

2. Tell us about the bluest body of water you've ever seen in person. This is a hard one since I havent been to many bodys of water but I must say the camp I worked at had a great body of water. It is right off of Lake Sakakawea in ND. Its one of my fave places in the whole world!

3. It's movie rental time: Blue Planet, The Color Purple, or Crimson Tide? Definetely The Color Purple!

4. What has you seeing red these days? Not much is having me see red these days. I guess people that are annoying, mean, etc.

5. What or who picks you up when you're feeling blue? My friends and family especially when they can make me laugh, a good book, a good cd, etc

Well my friends Im going to close for now. I think Im coming done with something. Earlier this morning, I didnt have a temp but now my temp is 99.1! YUCK! I think I might have caught something from the kids at church. Well talk to ya all later!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Joyfilled Weekend

Boy did I have an awesome weekend. The Special Olympics State Bowling Tournament was great. It was great to see the people I worked with while I interned at the state office and it was great to see all the athletes again. What amazing people they all are. One of the athletes shared with me her gold medal from when she attended the national games in Ames Iowa this summer. All the athletes get so excited to win. I love watching them bowl and interact with each other. Friday I drove to the town where the event was being held to get some shopping done and so I didnt have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to drive down on Sat morning. Friday I spent some time at my fave christian book store. I bought the cd I have been anxiously awaiting for...Jeremy Camps new cd Beyond Measure and also bought an Advent calendar etc. Then I headed over to the mall and did some shopping. I bought some new clothes, got some pics developed and explored the new Target store. Then I got my hair cut which by the way, Im absolutely loving at the moment. It was just getting way too long for me. After that, I got some supper and then headed over to Barnes and Noble where I hung out until my friend S called me. I met up with S and D and then we headed over to S's parents house where we made sandwiches and counted out carrots for the Sunday lunches for Special Olympics athletes and their coaches for on their way home. After everything was finished, we headed to bed. Sat we got up early and were at the bowling alley at 8:30 am to set up tables etc. S's mom and I counted lunches and got them ready for when the teams arrived. After the lunches, I watched some bowling and then headed over to the awards area where I entered the scores into the computer to calculate final results. They gave me that job because they dont let just anybody into this special program. Sat night we headed over to a local school were we had the opening ceremony and then the dance. The athletes LOVE dancing and its fun to watch them. While the athletes danced, S, D, K, and I went and had supper and then cleaned up after the dance. Sunday we got up and were at the bowling alley at 7:30 am to set up yet again. We have to take down the night before because the bowling alley and bar are open at night. On Sunday, the ramp bowlers bowl so the local university which I am a graduate of sends its football players out to volunteer and help out for the day. In fact its great. The super duper sweet athletic director
(SdsAD) of local university gets all the athletes to volunteer over the course of the weekend. There is never a shortage of athlete volunteers! SdsAD and I even got to chat about life at local university. He couldnt believe that it has been five years since I graduate from there. At noon, the tournament was over. We cleaned up quickly. My friends headed back to the headquarters in other ND town and I decided to check out the new Kohls store because I had never been in it and its been opened almost an entire year. I found some more dress clothes on sale which was great. After that, I headed home, bought groceries, did laundry and just chilled out in front of the tv. I love being with the Special Olympics athletes. They make me appreciate life in so many ways and always put a smile on my face! So that was my fabulous weekend, now Im at work listening to my new Jeremy Camp CD and waiting for the end of the day to come but will close this post because I know people dont like to read really long posts!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Quick Friday Five

1) The Tooth Fairy ---I used to love the tooth fairy when I was little but feel like Ive kind of outgrown it. Now that I think about it, the tooth fairy is kind of funny. You lose a tooth and she gives you money. Seems funny that we get money for our tooth.

2) Flossing---I need to floss more.

3) Toothpaste Brands---Im not too picky but usually buy colgate or crest. Im a mint girl so any mint toothpastes are good but I also like the whitening expressions different flaves too especially the cinnamon one

4) Orthodontia for Adults---Dont really have much to say on this subject

5) Whitening products---My teeth are somewhat stained so I want to start using more whitening products. I think I might try Crest WhiteStrips. Anyone got any suggestions?

Well my friends Im off. Thought Id play the Friday Five before I take off. Im heading to the state Special Olympics Bowling Tournament and volunteering for the weekend. Im super excited. So I will talk to you all when I get back on Sunday. Maybe Ill have some good stories to tell. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!