Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Have You Seen God at Work in Yourself and through Others?

Where have you seen God at work in yourself and through others? I just heard this question posed as I was listening to Sermon BrainWave on WorkingPreacher.org so I thought I would give their suggestion a whirl. So I need your help my friends, I am working on a sermonette (only have a half hour so the sermon will be shorter) for our synod council meeting on Saturday. Please do me a favor and comment on my blog (Besides, I love receiving comments on my blog) and share examples of how you have seen God at work in yourself and through others? Where have you seen yourself and/or others being salt and light in the world?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Bold Woman?

So earlier today, a friend asked if she could use a pic of me in a collage of bold woman, I told her yes. The crazy thing is I guess I've never considered myself as a bold woman. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, bold is defined as "fearless before danger"; "showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit", or "standing out prominently." When I look at these definitions, I still don't see myself as a bold woman. I think of my cousin who is an amazing mother to Jack and Maia who both are now in heaven. She still amazes me to this day. I think of those who struggle with cancer yet still find the blessings in the midst of it. I think of my own mother, sister and others who daily struggle with mental illness. They all exude people who are bold in my eyes. Its pretty amazing that this friend thinks Im a bold woman! I just never would have put myself in that category. I wonder what makes ME a BOLD WOMAN?!?!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Favorite Bible Verses Friday Five

For today's Friday Five, list your five favorite passages/verses from the Bible and tell us something about why you love them.

1. One of my fave verses has always been Micah 6:8. "He has told you, O mortal, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." I love it for a variety of reasons. It was our seminary senior class verse. I love it because it reminds me of how I should treat others.

2. Psalm 30:11-12 "You have turned my mourning into dancing;you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever." I love the entire Psalm but these two verses pack such a punch and remind me that there is hope; hope in the one who promises to never leave us or forsake us. Last January when the Haiti happened in Haiti, my small group at the Diaconal Ministry Formation Event and I listened to Ben Larson's musical version of this verse as we grieved his death.

3. 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us." My fave Christian artist is Jars of Clay. I love that this famous band used this verse to create their name. It reminds all of us that no matter what God has the power not us.

4. Psalm 139:14 "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well." Working with youth, Special Olympics, etc, I see how youth and others are affected by how they dress, what others think of them, etc. I like this verse because it proves that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that God created us and loves us for who we are. Such a beautiful reminder for everyone of us. Through the waters of Baptism, God calls and claims us as God's precious children!

5.Romans 14:8 “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords.” This has become one of my new favorite verses. What a great reminder for us each and every day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Books, Books, and More Books Friday Five

Since I just got a Kindle for Christmas,these were so fun to answer. I love reading but its been so much fun again with my Kindle.

1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them. I read Charles Dicken's Great Expecations and Jodi Picoult's House Rules. I love a Christmas Carol but I must admit Great Expectations was hard to get through at times and probably wasnt my favorite. However I still enjoyed it. House Rules was awesome. I enjoy anything by Jodi Picoult and this was no exception! I'm currently readng Say You're One of Them. Im not far enough into the book to really give an opinion yet!

2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read? I have so many and even have a wish list started on my Kindle. Jodi Picoult's The Pact and Second Glances, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Time Traveler's Wife, The Pillars of the Earth, Nathan Coulter and Remembering by Wendell Berry.

3. Have any books been recently recommended? Yeppers! Both Say You're One of Them and Pillars of the Earth were recommended by a good friend. One of my church youth recommended Jodi Picoult's The Pact to me.

4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best? I love everything! But some of my faves include Jodi Picoult, Wendell Berry, Danielle Steele, and many many more.

5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?) "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldridge is awesome. A great book for any woman. Its a Christian book just for woman and how woman should look at themselves. Its been fun to read. I havent agreed with everything in the book but has really made me look at myself as a woman in a new light. "House Rules" is worth the read too especially if you like Jodi Picoult.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We Are The Lords

Romans 14:8; “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords.”

I've been thinking about this verse a lot lately. I think of Christina Taylor Green the young girl who was killed in Arizona. I think of Ben Larson and the people who died last January in the Haiti earthquake. I think of my cousins two little babies. I also think of those that are battling cancer and other illness. It seems every day I hear another story that reminds me how blessed I am to have good health, good insurance. But yet these individuals remind me of why this verse is so AMAZING! You see,things happen in life that we can't explain or understand. We still ask that age-old question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" But the beauty is that God loves us so much and in this verse, God reminds us that we are God's beloved children and that we will always be God's children. God will never leave us or forsake us (despite how hard we may try to escape him when we cant understand why this or that is happening to us or our loved ones!)

My newsletter article focuses on this Bible verse. Check it out at the link below!Romans 14:8 Post This verse is an amazing reminder for us all!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sleep in Peace, Sweet Baby Boy

I love spending time with my Wartburg friends and other colleagues in ministry. What a gift that time together is. In another note, if you could say a prayer for my cousin, her husband, and their baby Jack. Jack was born in April and was at home for four months before he had any signs of anything being wrong. His little lungs and heart have just been struggling. Jack went up to heaven sometime this morning. He is now with his sister Maia. My cousin lost her first baby too. I feel so bad for them and hope they can find some answers as to why both of her children went to heaven before they were a year old. Please pray for healing for all of them! Thank you!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Worth Getting Up For Friday Five

Share five things that made getting out of bed worthwhile for you today!

1. I had a haircut appointment. As a woman, I love pampering myself. It reminds that I am beautiful and it just feels good to get all done up even if I dont have anywhere to go.

2. Ben Larson's version of Psalm 30. You might think this is strange but the one year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake was two days ago. For several days after, we didnt know if any of them were alive. My small group at the Diaconal Ministry Formation Event ended up planning worship for that night. We used Ben's version of Psalm 30 as a prelude as people were coming in. Since today is the one year anniversary of that service and the day many of us found out Ben had been killed in the earthquake, it was important for me to listen to that song today.

3. An invitation to spend time with a friend tonight. Just to hang out, watch movies, etc but now I probably wont go because it is snowing and starting to blow. YUCKY! So Ill probably just stay put!

4. Fridays are my day off so I enjoy Fridays alot. Time to just chill! Time to catch up on the shows I recorded throughout the week.

5. My Kindle. Ever since I got my Kindle for Christmas, I love getting up and reading. I have been carrying it in my purse because it is just nice to have if I have a few minutes to wait somewhere. I love reading but it is so much more fun now with my Kindle!

P.S. If you have time, you should check out my last two posts. They focus on the anniversary of the earthquake and my thoughts!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Remembering.....

It is 11:30 pm on Thursday evening January 13th. Tomorrow is January 14th; two days after the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. Now you are probably wondering why that is such a significant day but the morning of the 14th was the morning I along with many others received the news that Ben Larson had been killed so this day is also a sad anniversary. However I am reminded of the beauty of the worship service my small group put together for that evening. Little did we know that the songs we chose, the service, etc would honor Ben's life. You see at the beginning of the two weeks we were given which night we would lead worship. It just happened that my small group got Thursday evening Jan 14th. As we prepared for this day, we decided to do a service based around MLK Jr Day since it was on Monday etc. One of the girls decided we should sing the song "Freedom is Coming" because she liked it. We picked the MLK Jr Service out of the "This Far by Faith" hymnal etc. My group was ready to lead worship but then Thursday morning came and we received the news about Ben. Many tears were shed that day. I remember one of the girls letting me cry on her shoulder. That afternoon as we were preparing for the worship, we decided to play some of Ben's music as a prelude as people were entering into the chapel. We also would tie Ben, MLK Jr, and the Diaconal Community all into one as we explained why we chose that service. The song we played was Ben's version of Psalm 30. Then we entered into worship, we sang, we danced, we worshipped. Then later the next day, we found out that one of Ben's most influential songs in his life was the song "Freedom is Coming." Talk about a Holy Spirit moment! I am forever grateful for all the people gathered on that night in the small chapel at LTSG. I was blessed to know Ben and am glad that he made my friend Renee so happy. So tomorrow I will remember with fondness that worship service. I will remember listening to Ben's version of Psalm 30 and will probably play it a few times tomorrow. I will always hold that service in my mind as a special worship I experienced in my life and I am thankful to all those that experienced it with me. It still gives me chills even just thinking about it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake

Well today is January 12, 2011. Today is the one year anniversary of the earthuake that shook Haiti. I can't help but think of them today. I think especially of my friend Renee, her husband Ben, Ben's cousin Jonathan and their families. I also can't help but think about where I was that day. I remember sitting in small group on Tuesday morning Jan 12 listening to one of Ben and Jon's songs during my small group at the Diaconal Ministry Formation Event. That day is a day forever stuck in my mind. It seemed so impossible that this could happen to friends. Today I wasn't sure how I would feel but I find myself remembering that day and praying for the people of Haiti.

This morning was an unusual morning for me. I hardly ever wake up before my alarm but at 7 am this morning I was awake and had a hard time falling back to sleep for about another hour or so. (The church office doesnt open until 9:30 am) As I lay in my bed, my mind kept returning to a year ago but it also made me think about all my friends scattered near and wide. You all are so important to me!

May we continue to pray for all those shaken by the events of a year ago today now and always! And in the words of Ben Larson, God's Peace to us We pray.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Failing at Blogging Every Day

Boy I suck at this...I promised myself I would blog everyday and that has not happened. This is definetely a difficult thing but thought I would at least give it a try. I promise I will post a more "meaty" blog again soon! Hope you are all staying warm!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Moments that I Cant Seem to Shake or Forget

Our lives are made up of moments....moments that are forever captured in time. Sometimes those moments are happy moments, Sometimes those moments are sad moments, sometimes those moments are joyful moments etc. I remember the moment I was consecrated as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA. There are the moments that I treasure spending with my friends and family. And then there are those moments that I can't seem to forgot about, no matter how I try. I think of Representative Gabrielle Giffords as she and many others were shot yesterday in Arizona. But the one moment that I think of is last January and the Haiti earthquake, realizing I had friends there. As we remember the Haiti earthquake this week, may we remember all those who lost their lives there...the Haitian people, my friend Ben Larson, and so many others. This Wednesday Jan 12th, the one year anniversary of the earthquake, take time to tell those you love how much you love them. And in the words of Ben Larson," God's Peace to us We pray."

Friday, January 07, 2011

My 365th Post or Today's Friday Five

Wow.....my 365th post...crazy to think!I thought Id play the Friday Five today since I havent played it in a long time!

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper? It's always the cheese ball my Grandma makes for Christmas. It has a bunch of veggies in it (green peppers, onions, dried beef, cream cheese, etc) So yummy!

2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this mose recent holiday season? It's always the ones with my family. Just so good to spend time with them.

3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker? Kind of. There was an item on my Christmas list that I never thought I would get but the thing is I DID GET IT. The item on my list was a Kindle and boy am I loVING IT!!! My family tricked me and numbered three presents... the first I opened was a gift card to Amazon, the second was the case and the last was the Kindle.

4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship? Yes!

5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year? Not sure!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Teaching Confirmation

Sometimes I enjoy teaching Confirmation so much, and other times it can be such a task. Today was a great night. I had so much fun teaching my 7th graders and their mentors about the Apostles' Creed. I played Agapes' song "I believe." Just a good night. I hope I can be this excited about teaching all the time. I also hope that I make a difference when I teach. Other than that, not much, enjoying the Peoples Choice Awards which I recorded, then off to bed after reading a little on my Kindle. Such a great Christmas present. I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Entering Into A New Year

Happy 2011 Everyone! I can hardly believe a year has gone by already. Hope things are going well. I've been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago at this time. Hard to believe that a week from Wednesday it will be the one year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and the death of seminarian and friend Ben Larson. (I promise to post again on that date!) It really has me appreciating those relationships in my life. I am so glad to have been blessed by so many wonderful people. Thank you my friends!

The Diaconal Ministry Formation Event is happening now in Gettysburg PA so please pray for all the participants as they embark on this two week journey. I was so blessed by my experience there but also was incredibly blessed by being a small group leader there last January as well. (I'll say more on this later too!)

Thinking about Haiti, the DMFE, Basin and Towel, Tissue, and String Cheese......(Some of you are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about and others of you totally will appreciate this statement!)

P.S. I'm inspired by a friend (You know who you are!)so I am going to try and post every day too. It probably will be difficult but its worth a shot