Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feist of a Rally Day

In many churches around the world, this coming Sunday is "Rally Day"! It's the Sunday most churches return to Sunday school programs for the just begin school year. We will be having cookies, sharing scripture and devotions, and painting a banner to be displayed in worship space throughout this school year. We also will be singing some songs like "This little light of mine", "Peace like a river" and a lyrical spin off of Feist's pop hit "1 ,2 , 3 , 4."

So for honesty's sake, I'm borrowing the tune of "1, 2, 3, 4" and plugging in words that will fit for Sunday school (Don't worry, I'm not selling my adaptation - this is just for fun.) If you would like to hear the original, check out the video below and below that is my switch-a-roo for the words.

If you would like to join us at First Lutheran Church on 120 Chandler Street in Jamestown for Rally Day - we'd love for you to join us. Contemporary worship is at 9am, Rally Day at 10am and Traditional worship is at 11am.

Have a great rally day out there, I'll let you know how "1,2,3,4" goes!

1, 2, 3, 4… Sunday school song - adapted from Feist's song "1,2,3,4." Feist also made a version for Sesame Street, really!

One, two, three four – It’s time for Sunday school. We sing, we pray, we honor God this day.Learning about love is what we’re here for. Give it to others as we head out the door.

One, two three, four – God loves you that’s for sure. In the day and the night – God holds us tight.Learning about love is what we’re here for. Give it to others as we head out the door.

Preschool, grade school, middle and high school – Grown-ups and tots – God loves us a lot.We have God’s hope for the tears people cry – Take love to the world – we will try.

Ohh oh ho - God’s changing our hearts – Ohh oh ho He know who we are. 4XS

One two three four five six nine and ten – Jesus is the way to God and covers sin.
One two three four five six nine and ten – Holy Spirit watches over till we meet again.

One, two, three four – It’s time for Sunday school. We sing, we pray, we honor God this day.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Grow where you are planted

On my way to work this morning, I was sitting at a red light and saw something quite unusual growing in the front lawn of a city apartment building. People usually beautify their yards and homes with flowers, climbing vines and gnome sculptures - but not the town I live. This home's small front yard was filled with rows of corn! The stalks were at least six feet high and filled with growing stalks of eating corn.

As the reality of this front-yard bumper crop made it's way into my view and mind I was reminded of the saying, "Bloom where you are planted!"
Image found at Rachel's Blog.
Years ago I had this quote on a Mary Engelbreit calender. I loved the quirky, colorful way Ms. Engelbreit encouraged the viewer to stand and thrive where they were placed.

There are a few things I think people need in order to "bloom where they are planted." Obviously they need food, water, shelter and health care. But in addition to these things I think people also need: the space to be their true selves, a community (even two or three folks) to encourage and support their growth and development, and a way for each individual to use their gifts to give back to the community they are abiding in.

For a little while now, I've been caught up in a grass is greener point of view. In light of this, it's been difficult to allow my roots to run deep. I think part of the challenge is that I often have the feeling of not fitting in where I am; but when I looked at that corn garden I realized I'm probably not alone in that feeling.

Even though that small field of corn does not "fit" in, in the midst of my small city; it still was thriving where it was planted. The point of all this might just be that blooming where you are planted has more to do with keeping focused on growing, instead of where you happen to be growing. There is a great deal to learn from this unexpected city corn garden.

This garden has reminded me about an important key to finding happiness, holding on to resilience and growing where you are planted:

1. Be your true self, 2. Gather people around you that support growth of the authentic self, 3. and use your unique gifts to then build into the authentic selves of those you come into contact with - wherever you may be!

Be like this corn field in the city, stand tall and let your blooming presence be an encouragement to those who just happen to passing by.Your presence, gifts, and faithfulness are greatly needed in the human needs of harvest for a full and true life!

Image found at Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage blog.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

School shopping can be fun?

The first few days of school are rolling along and teacher's supply lists came home the other day that required a shopping trip for pencils, pens, gym combination locks, loose leaf college ruled paper, binders and more. In addition to my kids a youth member and volunteer (off camera) came to join in the fun.

Just about the time I thought we all had been overcome by the office supply department, my crew took it upon themselves to lighten the mood and help the entire store full of shoppers know that school shopping can be fun.

Here's to teenagers, dance breaks and spending time together!What back-to-school traditions do you have each year? Please feel free to tell me about them in the comments section.

Happy back to school everyone!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Daze of days meme

Pictures have a way of showing how much, and how quickly children can grow, don't they?

Did you know that calendar's can shout - "This week is important?"
This week, my calendar is bursting with a outpouring and fusion of special days. How about you?

1., 2., 3. Labor Day with a family picnic and grad party for Heather who begins college on Friday, 4., 5. the first day of school for Nigel as a high-school freshman and my Mom's 71st birthday on Tuesday, 6., 7., 8. several weddings on Saturday of friends and previous youth group members who are now all grown up as well as a major fundraiser for Infinity Performing Arts and 9., 10. going back to the fall church schedule with Sunday's Rally day in the works and remembering the folks influenced by the actions of September 11th 2001 through this week's remembrance of that day.

Movement and change are always a part of our days, but some days a weeks seem to be brimming with it. It's always interesting to hear how people mark these kinds of days and how they work through the transition they represent.

How do the turning of days impact you and yours?
What are the days of change have been the most impacting or meaningful in your memory?
Where has the act of remembering helped to navigate the reality of the present and future?

Please share your meme responses in the comment section by clicking the comment tab, I'd love to hear about your changing days too!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor's day surprise

I'm very much looking forward to this Labor Day. Each year we have a slam dunk of a picnic at my mother-in-laws home, and this year is no different except that we are also plotting a surprise celebration my our daughter's graduation from high school.
The decorations are gathered, the special photo cake is ordered, and some special guests are ready for the party to begin!

Heather is heading the college later this week, so we wanted a chance to have cake, balloons and an honest surprise before summer's end. Here's to hoping the surprise works out well!

You're life is all ahead of you Heb - soak it all in, shake off what dosent' suit you and be yourself. You are beautiful and bright - inside and out!

We love you.
Mom and Dad

PS. The surprise worked! Thanks to everyone who helped make this Labor Day/Grad Party great!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Letting go with Casados

A few years ago I saw the band Casados play at Labyrinth Press Co. in Jamestown, NY. Labyrinth is a local gem that hosts wonderful musicians from all over the world (really!) and tasty vegetarian food and coffee and tea delicacies.

In the midst of the shifting passage of time, I'd almost forgot about this beautiful song I heard played there called, "Letting go."

There is something so bittersweet about letting go.
Letting go can be a difficult task, but one that is required in order really hold on to the things that matter.

I've been holding on to something for a while now, and I think I've come to a place that if I ever hope in the hope to see it come to pass - that I need to release it. A wise teacher once told me, "You can push the river."
It's when I think I'm in charge, that I find I'm really not.
I need some time to wade in the waters of the river, instead of trying to direct it my way, in my time.

Why did it take me this long to see I've been trying to push the river?

I'm in my canoe, the canoe is in the water, but truth be told - you can't push the river.
(My adaptation of the Polish proverb, "Do not push the river, it will flow by itself."
Take a listen to Casados - may they help you let go as well. You can order/download songs here.

Tangled strings weave knots into my soul
Twist and turn they fail to un·rav·el

Feel the pull
Take its toll

Cut this rope that’s holding us together
Years from now I’m sure we will see better
What’s so good it couldn’t last forever?
letting go, i know it will be better

Ashes formed, post embers burn out slow
From the fires that once inspired me so
And let me go, (this hand to fold)

Cut this rope that’s holding us together
Years from now I’m sure we will see better
What’s so good it couldn’t last forever?
Letting go, I know it will be better

Naked, there’s no more for you to see
Good and bad, you’ve seen all sides of me
Let you be. leave slow·ly

Cut this rope that’s holding us together
Years from now I’m sure we will see better
What’s so good it couldn’t last forever?
Letting go, I know it will be better

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Doodles make a difference

Doodle pattern a sample of Mary Corbet's drawing found at her blog: Needle-n-thread.
When I was a little girl, I had a terrible time sitting still for any extended period of time. In light of this my Dad used to call me "Tigger", because I bounced everywhere, all the time! One of the most difficult places for me to sit still when I was little was church. It might have been the combination of the itchy lace on the collar and hem of my dress, the shiny patent leather shoes, and the big sanctuary that seemed made to run and romp through with it's high ceilings and all, but it usually took an act of God to make me sit still.

My Dad was the person I'd usually sit next to. I suppose he might have been considered the muscle in this circumstance. Most of what I remember about sitting next to him was holding his hand, singing from off his hymnal, swinging my feet that were too short to touch the floor and doodling on visitor cards that were sitting in the back of the pew.

Dad would hand me a card, a pencil, and a hymn book to support my doodling each Sunday. I would draw over every single part of that card and fill it with drawings of patterns, people and puppies. I would draw puppies as a hint to my Dad because I wanted one! The amazing part of this doodling practice is that not only did it work positively to channel my fidgeting, but I believe it helped me to learn more of what what being said and done in church. Week in and week out, I would sit happily as long as the papers kept coming and the short pencils in the pew in front of me were sharp!

Years later, I still love to draw and even paint when I get the chance. Doodling became a means of channeling creative energy for me then in a way that still helps me today.

When I am in a meeting, the best notes I take are a mic of doodles and words. If ideas come too quickly, I can sum up the idea much better in doodle form. Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?", it's so very true for me.

You can imagine how thrilled when I saw this segment on CNN about "What we learn from doodles."

It turns out that doodling is just as helpful to me in my meetings, when I was personified as "Tigger", and to multitudes of visual thinkers as well. According to the article at CNN, some of the worlds most famous doodlers are people like, " George Washington, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Nabokov". (CNN Doodling article)

All this talk about doodlers make me wonder, who else benefits from the focus-aiding-idea-channeling-fun-giving art of doodling? Doodling talk also makes me wonder where my pen and sketch pad are. If you'll excuse me, I have an idea I've got to doodle before it bounces away...just like Tigger.