Monday, March 30, 2009

The Mighty Red

It's hard to believe that over a week ago, we began preparing for the flood in the Red River Valley as we watched the mighty Red rise. This community came together to help each other out. It's hard to even put into words! Today life seems much calmer in the F-M area except for the occassional spotting of an Army vehicle or the hum of a helicopter over head surveying the area. Right now, it snows outside and we know that this potentially could bring more water. However the weather service informs us that snow is better than rain because it takes longer to get into the already swollen Red River! Today the river is down about exactly a foot from when it crested. However there is still caution and uncertainty in the area as we are not sure what this snow will bring! I am sad for the people that have lost their homes and/or been displaced. Hard to imagine the power of the mighty Red until now! Last night's news showed people on the Main Ave bridge (right now one of the only access points between Fargo and Moorhead), standing in awe of the Red River. I would love to go and take pictures but I also don't want to get in the way. Continue to keep us in your prayers in the days and weeks to come as we wait for the River to continue to drop and as we cleanup after the flood waters have receded!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sandbagging

I am sore today! Yesterday I spent close to three hours helping in the Red River valley sandbagging efforts. I had meant to go on Saturday but didnt get around to it since I was writing a sermon for yesterday. So when I got up yesterday morning, I packed an extra bag of clothes for sandbagging. After church, I went from church straight to one of the sites where they were hauling people to sandbag sites. When I got there, I was the first one on the bus but within moments the bus filled and we had about 15 people on the bus as we headed to our site. We were shuttled to a residential area where we helped a homeowner build a dike around the back of his house. Boy it was hard work but it was sooooo worth it. We continually passed bags along to the line to each other. It was a strange, uplifting experience that I can't even seem to put into words today! There is just something about standing in a line next to someone, not even knowing their name, as we work TOGETHER to save people's homes. I found myself laughing and conversing with the people next to me. And the weird thing was it kind of felt like I had met this person before or known them for a very long time. I wish I could describe it better but I don't think I could do it justice. As I got back on the bus to head home, I knew I was going to feel sore but I didn't care. I had helped someone save their home, their belongings, etc. As we hopped onto the bus to head back, other volunteers clapped for us and thanked us for coming. There was so much comrodity in that line...what a truly wonderful exciting experience...to come together to help our neighbors. It's been surreal in a sense too as I listen to the news reports of other towns in ND and listen to the weather reports. Will the river crest at 40 or below? Its hard to say. Again today they are calling for volunteers. I am hoping to get out again today. My body may hate me for it later but I don't care. I want to help people. My call to Diaconal Ministry is all about Word and Service and that is what this is all about! Maybe I'll see some of you out there!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What is Bread?

I've been continuing this Bible Study on the Lord's Prayer. This week we are focusing on the phrase, "Give us this day our daily bread." Bread, of course, is food but is bread more than that? Is it the things that we need to survive...shelter, clothing, etc etc. However is there more than that? What do you think of when you think of bread? Bread sustains and nourishes us. Bread is what we partake in when we partake in God's holy meal. I can't help but wonder who out there still needs bread such as children in countries who dont have food upon their table. Jesus broke bread with all types of people...sinners, the outcast, the downtrodden etc. Just some thoughts that this petion brings about for me. What do you think of when you think of bread? What is bread to you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive!

You ask, you shall receive! One of my faithful readers said she wanted some more of T's thoughts so I decided I would oblige and post some thoughts. Sorry it has taken me so long but life in the church is crazy busy during Lent. At church, we are doing the Lord's Prayer study using the book from Augsburg Fortress. I haven't been able to sit in on the class yet because I have prior commitments during that time but tonight I'm hoping to get there. I have enjoyed reading the book though and it really has sparked some thoughts for me! In the book, there is a section for journaling. The one the other day asked us to list things that we worry about. It was interesting to me that I found it so easy to post the things I worry about. I worry about so many things in my life. I worry about my family, if Ill be single forever, what others think of me, etc. As I was writing these worries down on paper, I realized that I need to truly give them to God. God is the one in control, not me! It's been so fun to sit and actually put my thoughts on paper. I enjoy writing and want to take the time to actually journal, write, etc. What does it truly mean when we pray "our kingdom come?" It is intriguing to me that according to the book, the offense may not be that we are praying to our father but rather the "our" is the biggest problem. Im not sure how I feel about that but I think what the author is saying is that when we pray "our," we are not praying individually but as a community. In other words, our faith is NOT individualistic and I think for some people that is hard to grasp. Just some thoughts running through my head today!