Archive for June, 2008

Week 4–Social Well-being

June 30, 2008

On your walks this week, it’s suggested that you consider these questions from “The Road to Emmaus.”

1. When did you last feel invited or welcomed?  When did you last demonstate hospitality for another?

2. When do you feel that you are part of a community?

3.  When do you nurture your relationships?

4. When do you play?

Advertisements

Water

June 30, 2008

Water seemed a theme today.  The fawn frolicing in the shallow pool early this morning.  Then a trip north toward Lead and Deadwood and Spearfish.  We found three waterfalls and followed the stream all the way through Spearfish Canyon.  We ended the trip at the historic fish Hatchery in Spearfish.  All that water a marvelous gift of God’s goodness and gift of creation.

But also at church this morning. the congregation gathered to help a four month old remember the baptism he received at the beginning of his life as he faced a hospital emergency 6 hours from Custer in Sioux Falls.  The pastor took him to the baptismal font where there is actually running water.  He took that water and touched the little boy again with water, God’s good creationand the water that is filled with God’s promise of life–physical and spiritual.  What a good day gathered around water.

This is the day the Lord has made

June 29, 2008

The Psalm writer says,  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  It’s 38 degrees with frost on the grass this morning at Lee Valley Ranch.  The morning sun glisten off the water droplets on the long grass.It promises to be a beautiful sunny day.  We’ve taken our walk back along a logging trail, past ponds that are dry because of the mult-year drought.   Two deer drink from a small puddle dug out from the last pond.  We stop to watch.  They watch us for awhile and then trot off.  “This is indeed the day the Lord has made….”

I think about you as you are at worship this morning and rejoicing in this day..  As we attend worship at Custer Lutheran Fellowship, I’ll think about you again and include you in my prayers.  Thanks for including us in your prayers on this day.

Lee Valley Ranch

June 28, 2008

We’re spending the weekend with members of our daughter Kjerstin’s church as they attend a family camp here at Lee Valley Ranch near Custer, SD, in the Black Hills. The 76 year old director of the camp has a long history of camping. I knew of him 50 years ago when he started in ministry just a few miles from where I spent my teenage years. He’s changed some over 50 years, but haven’t we all. He’s still fit and leads hikes up the mountain on the property.

The weather is cool and beautiful, but there are clouds of pine pollen on everything. It’s that time of year for them. We’re at 6000 feet in a beautiful valley surrounded by 5000 acres of private and public forest.

We spent the afternoon with our grandsons visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial and trying to get our minds around the magnitude of carving that whole mountain. Some of the cathedrals in Europe that took a hundred years to build. Perhaps that will happen with this memorial, and my grandsons will see it finished.

Few of us, including myself, think that big. Maybe that’s God’s call too, as we stretch our minds, to think much bigger than we do. God has given us greater gifts that we realize. Imagine what we could accomplish with those gifts if we put all those gifts to work. It’s something to think about.

Two pictures:  With grandson Isaac and with Dick Borrud–48 years as a camp director

Learning spiritual truths through mistakes

June 25, 2008

Our presence at home reminds us of the many projects around the house that need to be done.  I got at a couple of the outside ones that couldn’t wait.  As I did these tasks, I was reminded of a couple of spiritual lessons I need to keep relearning.

1.  “If you pull the weeds in the wheat field, you’ll probably pull up some wheat with it.” It wasn’t wheat or a field, but a flower bed.  In the flower bed on the side of the house, we’ve always battled with the little violets that act like a ground cover.  Mulching has helped, but we still have lots of them to pull.  In a rush to get them out, however, I pulled at least one of the small verdena plants along with the weed. The verdana are having a tough time this year and we didn’t need another one pulled from the soil.  I pushed it back in, but I’m not sure it will make it.

In Matthew’s gospel Jesus once told a story about a man who planted wheat and an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. when the seed sprouted, you could see the weeds.  His workers offered to go in and pull the weeds.  But the farmer said no.  When the harvest came, that would be the time to separate weeds from wheat.  His fear was that in pulling the weeds some of the wheat would be pulled up too.

I’m not willing to let the weeds grow in the flower bed until everything is ripe.  But I am reminded of how much havoc is caused within a community of faith, when some are judged unfit or unworthy and asked to leave.  Some wheat is always pulled out with the weeds.

2.  Stay connected. A second job outside was to prune the bushes in front of the house.  I’m thankful for the electric trimmer, but am also rather clumsy with it.  So like many rank amatuers, I cut the powercord.  I’m probably the first person who did that?  or maybe not.   Not only that, but I tripped the breaker switch as well.  The breaker wouldn’t reset, so I had to find another source of power to fnish the job.

Does that happen to us?  We do good things, but in the process cut the cord that connects us to the power of good in the world.  Where do we turn then?   We have no other real source of power than God revealed in Jesus Christ who has sent God’s Holy Spirit to power our lives.  That power is always there, even when we disconnect.  Like the sun that shines continually, God’s power is constant.  In times of disconnect God encourages us to reconnect through prayer.  In fact God commands us to pray and promises to hear us when we do.  How’s your prayer life?  I’m working on mine.

Hmmjm!  from Tuesday’s blog.  What questions would I want to ask God?  Well, for starters, Why mosquitoes?

Home again

June 23, 2008

After two weeks of living out of a suitcase, we’re back home for a couple of days before heading out to South Dakota on Thursday.  We’ll spend next weekend with our South Dakota branch of the family at a family camp in the Black Hills.  We’re looking forward to some time with our grandsons, and Kjerstin and Jamie and Jamie’s family, and their church family from Sioux Falls.  In the meantime there’s the nitty-gritty stuff that goes with living.  Good to do that too.  We keep you all in our prayers.  

Over the weekend we spent time with some of Mary Jo’s family in the Twin Cities and then with my mother and sisters in Iowa.  A wonderful full day.

By the way, traveling was great this time.  No delays, in fact, we were ahead of schedule.  Nice!

Here’s a couple of pictures.  Mary Jo crocheted the beautiful blanket.  

Ezra at 2 weeks.

 

 

Intellectual well-being

June 23, 2008

From the “Follow the Road to Emmaus” materials.

“As Jesus walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and interpreted the scriptures which foretold his suffering, death and resurrection, the disciples struggled to believe  We all struggle to live in trust and faith.  Intellectual well-beng is knowing when to stimulate your mind and when to rest it. Finding balance provides peace.

:While walking reflect on  these questions.

1.  In what ways can you stimulate your mind to new ways of thinking?

2.  What practices help you slow your mind down at the end of the day?

3.  What do you know intellectually that you do not believe in your heart?

4.  What questions do you want to ask God as he walks with you?

 

Happy walking!!!

How’s it going, Pastor Dave?

June 20, 2008

We’re coming to the end of the first two weeks of Sabbatical. Time to look back to see how things are going as we try to live out that wellness wheel.

Physical–We’ve been really good about getting a half hour walk in each day. The mornings are always great, usually cool. So it makes for good walking time. We’re eating healthily.  My daughter, Ahna, is a vegetarian. That means we get to try some new combinations of foods. We’re sleeping well at night. Ezra doesn’t always do so well, but the construction of the house means we don’t hear him in the night.

Intellectual–I’ve spent some time almost every day at a coffee shop or the library here in Castle Rock doing some research and working on the writing I’ve wanted to do. It’s slow going, but I can see some results.  it’s nice to work on a bigger project.

Vocational–We attended worship last Sunday at Faith Luthera, an ELCA church in Castle Rock. On Monday the pastor gave me an hour to pick his brain. One of the good things at worship was that a couple sought us out and engaged us in conversation after worship. It made us want to go back because now we knew someone there. They were part of the “Ambassadors of Faith.”  I’ll tell the outreach committee more about it when I get back.

Emotional–Being with family means that lots of love gets shared. Sabbatical means a decrease in the level of stress one feels. It’s been a good couple of weeks that way. We’ve thrown in some laughter watching Jon Stewart on the Daily Show and the Stephen Colbert Report.

Social–It’s been great to spend time with family. We’re bonding with Ezra. Those of you with grandkids know that everyone is special and exciting to know. We don’t see enough of Ahna and Oren during the year so it’s been great to have so much time to just be around them. Ezra is turning them into great parents.

Spiritual–For those of us whose spirits are filled by the wonders of God’s good creation, Colorado is a good place to be. We haven’t ventured into the mountains this trip, but they can be seen from Castle Rock. Just the huge rock on top of the mesa that gives Castle Rock its name, is a reminder of the majesty of God.

I’ve also been able to spend time each day in Bible reading and prayer. In a busy world those can easily get pushed aside. I’m using a devotional book that has me reading several psalms each day (I do love those Psalms), and right now, reading the story of Samuel’s call in the Old Testament, the history of the early church in the book of Acts, as well as selections from the gospels. I keep all of you in my prayers each day as well as the staff at Our Savior’s who along with Pastor Eggen are serving you well. In these days, I’m especially keeping the family of Helen Lewis and the family of Zoe Langrehr in those prayers.

Thanks again, for this opportunity. So far it’s been great.

Laughter

June 19, 2008

One of the suggestions on this week about emotions is to laugh.  It’s really a healthy thing to do, releasing endorphins and making us feel better.  I found these old jokes on line and thought I’d share them.  Do they make you laugh?

R: Did you know what kind of car the apostles drove?
C: No, what kind did they drive?
R: They shared a Honda.
C: How do you know?
R: The Bible says that they were “all in one Accord.”

C: Do you know why they couldn’t play cards on the Ark?
R: Nope, Why didn’t they play cards on the Ark?
C: Because Noah was standing on the deck.

R: For all you coffee lovers out there, did you know that it’s a sin for a woman to brew coffee? Yup, it’s right there in the Bible; it says, He-brews.

C: What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
R: I give up; What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
C: Ruthless.

R: Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
C: Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

R: If you’re so smart tell me this: Besides Adam and Eve, of course, who is the only person in the Bible who had no parents?

C: That’s easy. Joshua, the son of Nun.

More Ezra

June 18, 2008

Okay, okay. You’ve been asking for Ezra pictures. Here’s a couple.