Archive for November, 2011

Thanksgiving

November 28, 2011

We had the joy of spending the thanksgiving holiday with Kjerstin and Jamie and their boys and Kari and Matthew and their girls.  Many of you know how great it is to have family around the table–a table filled with all kinds of good things to eat and too much of it.  It’s very satisfying.  We missed Ahna and Oren, but Oren had to work  Thursday and Friday this year.  Ahna wanted to stay home also as they continue to grieve their loss.

I don’t know if gratitude come naturally or needs to be learned.  We certainly teach our children to say thank you.  We also keep reminding them to speak their thanks as they receive from others.  On the other hand the emotion of thanks does come naturally as we discover that our lives are filled  with the gifts of others.  The greatest lesson  is when we learn that all that we have and all that we are are gifts from God.  What can we do except to turn in thanks to that great giver.

We hope yours has been a good Thanksgiving.  May you live always with an attitude of gratitude.

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All Saints’ Sunday

November 5, 2011


As we celebrate All Saints’ Sunday this weekend, we’ll remember two special people in our family.  Pictured above are Dave’s mother, affectionately known as ‘Bestemor,’ and Liam Andreas, son of Ahna and Oren Bersagel-Briese.  One died at the age of 99, the other died at the age of 9 weeks.  Both are missed.  We grieve for both.  Our lives are not the same without them.

They both are saints of God.  In their baptism God claimed them as God’s own and made them saints.  Bestemor lived a long and productive life that had it’s share of sorrows and hardship. In spite of that she frequently said that she was very blessed.  Liam lived a short life that produced an effect on those around him.  He lived courageously even as he always needed the help and support of those around him.  We grieve that we will not know what other good he might have done in the world.  We were blessed by his presence in our lives.

We don’t believe God needed them more than we did.  We do believe that in all circumstances of life that God’s steadfast love doesn’t ever desert those God calls saints.  We believe in the wonder of life now, our call to God’s purposes in the world.  We believe in a life to come when we will gather with them around the throne of the lamb,  We will gather with the angels and archangels and all the host of heaven to praise God.  We believe we practice for that great day as we gather as Christians to worship, to praise and thank the God who makes saints out of 99 year olds and 9 week olds and all of us.