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Showing posts from 2012

Skimming over the grief to a place of peace

Since the news last week of the shooting in CT, I've been skimming over the grief. A good friend of mine stated, that it wasn't possible for her to look at the photo of the 20 children and 6 adults that lost their lives. I can't either, as least I can't if I stay in this space of skimming.   The extent of this loss and violence makes me feel as if I might drown in it. I don't want to really see it. I'm fearful that it will pierce my heart in an inconsolable way. And then I'm only looking at this loss from arms length.  I did not know any of these people personally, however this kind of loss cuts all of us to the quick. Children and adults that were full of life, hope and promise; were taken away. This kind of tragedy just shouldn't happen.  My dear friend Becky send me this Psalm this week to be a help to me. She gave it to me as a reminder of how God in the way that only God can - work in the midst of tragedy, call others to help

Pictures of hope: always we begin again

. Photos have an amazing way of bringing back old  memories  don’t they? No matter if you collect them in Albums, Scrapbooks, Facebook or Instagram – photo sharing is an important way of telling your families stories in a concrete way. You can point to and talk about who is in the picture, what they were doing and why that moment in time is still important to you today. Photos tell us not only what we were doing then, but what group or community was important as well. When my family was young, each summer we would take a photo at the photo booth at Midway Park. Over the years, we collected these strips of photos, and my husband created a collage. This collage (above) is one of my most cherished possessions. It reminds me of those early days, reminds me of how small my own children once were and continues to give me hope for the future. Pictures that we take at church have to same power to help us remember who we are and carry hope into the future days to come.

Please release me, let me go

The lyrics of the song, "Please release me, let me go.."  (thank you Tom Jones ) have been bouncing around my mind all week. I've been pondering on the practical and spiritual meaning of the story of Lazarus and what it means to be "untied" from things that bind or hold people back. Later this weekend, I will be sharing a children's message based on the reading in John 11, concerning the death of Lazarus. I know the story and I'm pretty sure that we shared it with the kids at VBS a few years ago, but I'd like to be careful in how it's presented. This Sunday is All Saints Sunday, it was just Halloween - and as much as I like the fun of Halloween, I don't want the account of Lazarus and Jesus to sound like another spooky story. The more I read this account, the more I'm struck on how Jesus walks into a situation of grief, experiences that grief, and takes action to release his friends and himself from it. The words that I keep g

Rainy Day Recipe: "Stir it up Sandy" Veggie Curry

Ingredients: 3-4 Heads of Kohlrabi 4 Beets (Fresh) 3-4 Yellow and Green Squash 1 Large Sweet Onion Bunch of Green Onion 1 Bag Baby Carrots 2 Apples Handful of Kale Canned tomatoes Spices: Berbere (African Spice) to taste. Fresh Ginger Root - as you like it. Papricka Cinnamon Olive Oil Pepper Salt Chicken/Veg. Soup Stock Chop all veggies and toss in large saute pan with olive oil and all spices. Simmer till all veggies are tender. You may want to add the tougher veggies first (Carrots, Kohlrabi, Beets and Onions) and the more tender veggies later.) Before you serve, mash the stew a little to desired consistency. Serve over rice, quinoa , or with good bread. I add an additional dash of cinnamon toward the end of the cooking process for an extra dose of taste. If you like, add a little fresh mozzarella to the top of the dish for contrast with the sweet spicy flavor. Enjoy! T

Hurricane Prayer

My Facebook friend Gary posted this link earlier today and I can't help but re-share it here. While many on the East coast stand up to oncoming hurricane weather, first responders  have been preparing and those inland watch pray-fully from hundreds of miles away. We all are keeping friends closer to the storm close in thoughts and prayers. We all want to help in some way. At the least, or some might say most, we can all pray, support and work together to bring all people to safety in this stormy time. Thanks Gary for sending this link out today. "God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the wind and the waves were born. The seasons follow your plan, and the tides rise and fall on your command. In both calm and storm, you are with us. On the Sea of Galilee, even when the disciples began to fear, Jesus

Remembering Grumpkins

A little over two years ago, our family friend Pat passed away due to complications in heart surgery. Every Halloween I am especially tuned into memories of Pat and his amazing, creative and artistic skills. Take a few minutes to visit his website and learn a little more about the creator of "Grumpkins". Happy Halloween Pat -JOY!

Anger does not equal hatred

Anger is a very real and volatile emotion. I do not want to discount those that have been mistreated or hurt as a result of it. Being on the receiving end of anger generally isn't pleasant.  Image found at Anger control. However,  d o not mistake anger as hatred. Anger is a secondary emotion that can come from a place of frustration, concern or deep care for people. It is an emotional vehicle that is misused all too often, but can also be rooted in love and be a means of defeating injustice and hatred. Anger is a secondary emotion. It is important to seek the root of it - ugly or beautiful; if you are going to move towards any resolution or peace. It is important to learn ways - healthy ways - for everyone to deal with anger. It's an emotion that we all experience from time to time. So instead of being the "elephant" in the room of relationships, lets give anger a chance to count to 10 and take a step toward restoration. For some hints on how to deal wit

Mission Meal October: Heart in my hands

This Sunday at 1pm, Abbi Rajasekhar will be playing a live music set at First Lutheran Church in Jamestown NY. This concert does not have a standard door fee, however please bring a dish of food to share (as we all will share a meal together), a non-perishable food item to donate to Joint Neighborhood Project and a little cash to help Abbi put gas in her tank for this leg of her Fall Tour. Take a moment. Watch and listen. Your ears - and heart are about to get a treat you'll want to experience again - this Sunday, @ First Lutheran Church Parlors, 1PM. My Heart in My Hands Abbi Rajasekhar | Myspace Music Videos

Bread for the road and evicting the gremlin

 I found this quote on a board in the dorm I'm staying in this weekend - who would have thought that Joan Chittister would meet me here and greet me, just when I needed it the most. St. Benedict's is a Benedictine Monastery  that I visit regularly and it just so happens to be her home community. Coincidence - I think not. :) Here is a short video clip to see what kind of ministry these amazing ladies are active in every day... Bread to take with me... This week I'm in Dubuque, Iowa at Wartburg Theological Seminary for a weekend of intensive study in the area of Lutheran Worship. The work week has already been very full after a fun overnight with the Shared Lutheran Confirmation Youth on retreat, planning for an upcoming Youth Sunday, and getting ready to hit the road, and air today at 4am to head west to Wartburg. This bread may not be well thought out, but these things are the ones I take with me for the adventure ahead - I hope this "quick bread&quo

Winnie and the Jesus dream

Pastor Cartwright's wife's name was Winnie. At least that is what I think her name was. No she wasn't "Winne the Pooh", but she was very friendly and kind. She had gray fluffy hair, a kind face, and a easy going way about her. All these characteristics were reasons I probably wasn't afraid to tell her about the dream I'd had. I was no more than 5 years old and I was sitting in her Kindergarten Sunday school classroom. There was I picture on the wall of Jesus and a multicultural group of children crowding around him. I really liked that picture. At some point, I'd had a dream about Jesus when I was in her class. In the dream, I was one of the children in the crowd huddled around him. In fact, at one point of the dream I was sitting on Jesus lap having a nice chat with him - probably about how much I loved my red patent leather Buster-brown dress shoes. No matter what I actually talked to Jesus about in my dream, I was so excited to have been &q

SWB: Things to keep

Image found at:  herecomesthestork There is a distinct difference in what I actually need and what I want. And if I'm honest, I know that all the seeking after the 'wants' can prevent me from digging into the needs I actually have. The last week has been a whirlwind of want/needs. When I pause to look at what I'm most grateful and least grateful for - I'm pointed to the spaces of need and the thin residue of want that often gets in the way. So, if you will bear with me - I'm going to do some thoughtful sorting this week in SWB. It may be a process that will take more than this one post. But the sorting has to start somewhere, right? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you have ever watched those remodeling shows on TLC - you'll recall the keep, throw away, and donate piles that are necessary to come to a place of elbow room and change to whatever space is being reworked. If I were to remo

Sleeping with Bread: Getting Re-started

It's been a while since "Sleeping with Bread" was a regular practice for me. A while back, there was a sweet little community of bloggers that would share in this Monday practice but over time, pressing schedules, and life's movements  - it was a practice that sort of fell away. One of our community posted this to his blog a while back to explain more of what Sleeping with Bread is -  So here are some thoughts from Unfinished Person... During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace