Monday, July 26, 2010

A Fortune Cookie Reading

I had an interesting fortune cookie today for lunch. Wonder what it means? It said, "Your fondest dream will come true within this next year." Hmmmm.....wonder what it could be?

In other news, it was such a great weekend. "Younger Brother I Never Wanted"'s wedding was great. Such a fun weekend. So happy for him and his new bride. May their life together be continually blessed!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ever Have One of Those Moments

Have you ever had one of those moments when you really realize how big of a blessing someone/something is in your life? Yes, we realize how these people/things are blessings most of the time but have you ever had one of those "aha God" moments, I get why you brought so and so into my life. Tonight at my friend B's wedding I had one of those moments. B and I met at camp and he calls me the "older sister he never wanted." Well I was watching everyone dance etc. He came over, grabbed my hand, and took me out onto the dance floor. His wife and him met swing dancing so most of their music was swing music. He tried to teach me to swing dance. Now it's such a little moment but a moment that reminds me of how important this person is in my life. Thank you God for the blessing of our friendship! And as I think of this moment, I am reminded that as I wait patiently for my Mr. Right, B will still be my friend and make sure that I get who I deserve!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yet Another Friday Five....You Should Play Too!!!!!!!!!

1) Cake or Pie---Definetely Cake...German Chocolate Cake to be exact

2) Train or Airplane---I like both but if I had to chose, I would pick the train. Can see some beautiful scenery on the train!

3) Mac or PC---PC

4) Univocal or Equivocal---Equivocal

5) Peter or Paul---Thats a hard one. I think Paul!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spontaneity!

I don't consider myself a spontaneous person but once in a while something happens that makes me spontaneous. I must admit God does work in mysterious ways. So earlier today I was asked to do a favor for someone which has kind of made me be spontaneous. The camp director of the camp I used to work at called me. He asked if I would fly to Michigan and drive back with another female with her U-Haul. She doesnt feel comfortable driving by herself and I dont blame her ONE BIT! I would be the same way. So I am flying to Michigan on August 3rd and then will drive back to camp with her. Fun huh?!?! So my vacation plans just got a little more exciting. They were exciting to begin with but now became a little more exciting and now I will be more spontaneous! Looking forward to my new adventure!And cheers to having some spontaneity added to my life! :P

Monday, July 19, 2010

The "Younger Brother" I Never Wanted!

It's hard to believe that one of my best guy friends is getting married this next weekend. It is kind of strange that he is getting married but I am also super excited and happy for him. This gentleman has blessed my life in more ways than I can imagine or even begin to count. He jokes about how I am the "older sister" he never wanted and I joke about how he is the "younger brother" I never wanted.

The truth is there have been times in my life when "younger brother" has really been there for me. I can think of one time in particular when my mom was sick and in the hospital. It happened my senior year of college. It was later in the evening like 9 pm or so when I got a call letting me know that my mom was in the ICU in said-town. Her lithium level had gotten too high which caused her kidneys to shut down. I quickly ran to the computer lab in my dorm and sent a quick prayer request email. I wasn't in my room more than five minutes when "younger brother" called. He tried to get my mind off of it by making me laugh. He even prayed for me and my mom and our family. "Younger brother" has always truly cared about me!

The woman he is marrying is one lucky lady! "Younger brother" truly cares for people and has a deep faith in God. I am blessed that he is in my life. I know this isn't goodbye but definetely feels a little bittersweet. Thank you for being such a good friend "younger brother!" God bless you and your bride as you begin your life together!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pet Friday Five

1. Did you grow up with pets? Yes, my sister and I each had a cat. My sister's cat was named Butterfinger after her favorite candy bar. I couldnt think of a name so I asked my dad to help me. He said, "Rocky, like as in Rocky Balboa" so I named my cat Rocky. When my parents got divorced, my mom had cats tooo. One was "Spooky" and the other is "Marshmallow." My auntie and uncle now have Marshy!

2. Do you have any pets now?Nope; I cant in my apt building. Sometimes I wish I could have one

3. What is the funniest or worst thing any of your pets have ever done? Hmmmm thats a hard one. One of the strangest things about our pets was they had six toes.

4. Who is/was your favorite pet? My Cat Rocky!

5. How did you train your different pets? Just tried to teach them!

BONUS: Pictures of a pet or one you wish you could have.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who is Your Neighbor? Sermon from 7-11-10

I got a lot of compliments on this sermon so I thought I would share it on my blog! Enjoy!


A homeless African American boy who has no idea who is father is and whose mother is into drugs. He has no formal education and barely any skills to learn.// It seems that this young man doesn’t have much or anything going for him, but then this unsuspecting woman comes across this young boy, sees something in him, and takes him into her home and her family. // The young homeless boy is well-known Baltimore Raven football player Michael “Big Mike” Oher and the woman who took him in his Leigh Anne Tuohy. // Their story is the story told in the recent blockbuster movie, “The Blind Side.”// In many ways, their story is a modern-day retelling of the parable we hear in this morning’s gospel text.//

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan stumbles upon the half-beaten man in the ditch and has compassion on him.// In fact, in verses 34 and 35, it says, “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him.”// The Samaritan simply has compassion for the man. He cares for him.// The Samaritan shows us who Jesus is and what he represents.// It seems to me that LeAnn Tuohy does the exact same thing for Michael Oher.// She has compassion for this young homeless boy, takes him into her own home and cares for him as if he is one of her children.// Now Leigh Anne isn’t Jesus but she does, in many ways, show Michael who Jesus is and what he represents.//

An unlikely source, this rich woman, somehow seems to empathize with Michael, just like the Samaritan identifies in some ways with the half-beaten man in the ditch.// The Samaritan knows what it feels like to be an outcast.// Leigh Anne also seems to be an outcast especially among her other rich friends.// Perhaps that is why both the Samaritan and Leigh Anne reach out to these two individuals. In several ways, the Samaritan and Leigh Anne are “wounded healers” themselves.// Through their examples, it seems it is important for us to put ourselves in the place of the half-beaten man in the ditch.//

What if you are the individual lying beaten and half- dead in the ditch?//What does it feel like to be the half-beaten person, left alone in the ditch, with no help in sight?// The reality is that we all are the half-dead person lying in the ditch in need of God’s compassion, mercy, and grace.// In all actuality, we become the recipients of live-saving compassion by an “other.”// In the words found in today’s reading from the book of Colossians, we are reminded that “He (God) has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).”// God, by sending God’s Son Jesus to die on the cross for each of us, brings us compassion, mercy, hope, and grace.//

The lawyer in today’s gospel text asks a simple question of Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Now the lawyer doesn’t ask the question because he wants to know who he should love, but rather to identify who he shouldn’t love.// By the end of the parable, Jesus has flipped the lawyer’s question on its head. He simply responds by showing us that neighbors love knows no boundaries!// In other words, Jesus calls us ALL to pick up our basins and towels to serve all God’s people; to serve even the “others” in our midst.//

So who is that “other?”// Or in other words, who is the neighbor that reaches out to you when you are half-beaten, lying in the ditch, waiting for someone to have compassion on you?// In today’s gospel reading, like I stated earlier, we have the Samaritan who is the neighbor to the man lying half-dead in the ditch. The Samaritan’s example shows us what it truly means to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.//

I am reminded of the book and movie based on Dr. Seuss’ book, “Horton Hears A Who.” Horton the elephant wants to help the people and does so faithfully.// When questioned about helping these people, Horton responds by saying, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”// Horton’s example shows us what it means to truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Horton understands that we are called to reach out to even the “others” in our midst.//

So who are those “others” that we have a hard time reaching out to ourselves?// What if we reached out to them as they are lying half-dead in the ditch?// Or to spin things around, what if those neighbors we were least likely to reach out to, were the neighbors who reach out to us when we are lying half-dead in the ditch?// The reality is that we could learn so much from the other.// Throughout the course of the movie “The Blind Side,” it is, not only, Michael who is changed by the Tuohy family reaching out to him, but it is the Tuohy family who also is transformed by having Michael as part of their lives.// What a wonderful example of what it might look like to reach out to the “others” in our midst!//

The parable reminds that anyone of us including the “other” in our midst could be in need of grace.// Bernard Brandon Scott in his book “Jesus, A Symbol-Maker for the Kingdom” summarizes the parable as follows: to enter the kingdom one must get into the ditch and be served by one’s mortal enemy.// He expands by saying, “Grace comes to those who cannot resist, who have no other alternative than to accept it.// To enter the Parable’s World, to get into the ditch, is to be so low that grace is the only alternative.// The point may be so simple as this: only he who needs grace can receive grace.”//

We all are in need of grace; lying half-dead in the ditch waiting for God’s compassion and mercy.// However when we are left as the half-beaten individual in the ditch, it is hard to comprehend why evil happens in our world, but the reality is that evil does exist in our world.// We don’t know why the man in the parable is attacked but it does happen.// We don’t truly understand why Michael is left homeless, but he is.// However the reality is that God gets right down into the ditch with us.// Brian Stoffregen in his commentary writes, “God not only gets into the ditch with the half-dead man and with suffering parents and friends.// God also gets into the ditch of the dead.// On the cross, God died.// There is the resurrection “donkey” who transports us to the heavenly “inn” where there is complete recovery from all pain and suffering---and it has all been paid for.”//

In all actuality, God meets us in the unlikeliest of places.// God meets us at God’s Holy Table.// God meets us in the manger in Bethlehem.// God meets us in the waters of Baptism where we are called and claimed as God’s holy children.// God even crawls down into the ditch and meets us there when we are lying beaten and half-dead as the “other” waiting for compassion, mercy, and grace! Amen!//

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Cant I Stop Thinking About This?

Not much is happening these days but thought I would post since I havent posted in awhile. Just keeping busy with work. Thinking a lot about how to change things in my life. Now don't get me wrong, I love my life! I have great friends, a job that I love (at least most of the time), and Im happy! However Im at that point in my life when I am so ready for a family. (I know you've heard this from me before but its where Im at) I love watching my friends with their children. I do enjoy hearing stories about what their children are up too etc. But like I stated a few posts ago, sometimes it does make me sad. I'm not sure how to explain it but it's just how I feel sometimes. I guess part of me wonders when it will happen for me but then I also wonder "Am I doing everything I can to make it happen?" When Im sitting at home relaxing and watching tv, I wonder should I be somewhere where I might find Mr. Right. But then I realize it will happen when I least expect it. I did join an online dating site. Last summer I emailed and chatted with a gentleman and we met in person but he just wasnt the one for me! Sometimes I wonder if Im being too picky!!! But I know that isnt the case. But I do wonder "Why am I constantly thinking about this?" Thanks for letting me speak my mind about what Im thinking and feeling about these days!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Forgetful Friday Five

a) What's the last thing you forgot? Hmmmm.....Im not sure!

e) How do you keep track of appointments? I write them in my planner and on my calendar.

i) Do you keep a running grocery list? Sometimes.

o) When forced to improvise by circumstances, do you enjoy it or panic? I used to tend to panic but I am getting better at enjoying more.

u) What's a memory you hope you will never forget? There are so many memories that I don't want to forget. One of the ones I hope I never forget is when I celebrated my first birthday at seminary. We ate with our hands and laughed so hard. What a great memory!!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

What Did I Just Say?

Something really hit me the other day.....I said something that I honestly couldn't believe I was saying out loud. I know how I feel but I often tend not to say much. I don't want to offend or hurt someone. So heres what happened. Good friends of mine are expecting their first child any day now. Now don't get me wrong....I am sooooo excited for them!! I can't wait for them to have their child. They will make awesome parents just like the rest of my friends. The other day a bunch of us got together for a picnic and it was so fun. We played this awesome board game and then decided to call it a night. Many of us had an hour or more to drive to get home. My friend was talking about baby in her stomach and things like that. One of our other friends said something about it weirding her out. And then I uttered these single words, "it makes me sad." I think I startled her with my response because she didnt expect me to say it. I honestly was surprised that those words were uttered OUT LOUD! I know how I feel. I am so ready to have a family etc but its hard to explain and share with others when they aren't where Im at. In some ways, it felt good to release those words because it is how I feel when Im not sure if it will ever happen for me. However I dont want to diminish my friends excitement either. I totally am excited for them!!!!!! I just wonder when it will happen for me too! And I find myself wondering why I uttered the words that I did?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things about Summer

We've been in a heat wave the last couple of days! It has been hooooot and humid! I love when the weather is nice. One of my favorite things about summer is getting to be outside. I love sitting on my porch and reading a good book. Today I sat outside for like 5 hours (on and off; was running inside to check on my laundry) reading my book. Some of my favorite things about summer are being barefoot; enjoying a nice iced tea, Crystal Light, lemonade or even just nice cold water; reading a good book (today it was "Jayber Crow" by Wendell Berry). The only thing that could make it better would be being with a good friend or being at the lake or at the swimming pool. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as nice as of a day. Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!! Stay safe! Thank you to all those that have fought for our freedom! Let freedom ring!

Happy 4th of July Everyone!