Fruity Friday Five!!!

Galatians 5 describes the fruit of the Spirit. With all the sadness and despair out there, we certainly need it! So, the Friday Five is simple. Pick any five of the following attributes and go wherever the Spirit leads you… your choice! Suggestions: When have you experienced this attribute? When have you struggled with it? Or who embodies it for you?Or if you’re feeling light-hearted–just assign a fruit to each one. I think Generosity is a Banana, don’t you?

Love-Love is in my friends in family. The love they show me each and every day. Love was when my aunt and uncle let me stay with them for almost a year even though I was difficult at times. Love is in my sister Andrea, love is in my dad, love is in my mom, love is in all those that share their love with me.

Joy-I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart to stay! Joy is something that is embodied in the friendships I have gained throughout my life. Joy is in our late night Perkins runs, joy is in our game nights, joy is on our many spur-of-the-moment parties. Some of my fave stories of joy took place at seminary. Seminary was such a place of joy for me when we fellowshipped together. I remember my first bday there and we decided to watch the movie Chocolat so I bought my own bday cake (you must remember it was one of our first days of seminary so no one really knew anyone) We watched the movie and then ate the cake. At one point, we decided to dive into the cake with our hands. Needless to say, soon we were rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter. That image is forever engrained in my mind as a picture of joy. Joy was also in seeing my friends get their first calls. Joy was seeing my friends grow in their faith journey.

Peace-Peace to me is seen in the prairies of ND. I dont know there is just something in the prairies of ND that are so peaceful and serene. Peace is also knowing that Im never alone!Peace
is knowing my sister is not in a bad relationship anymore.

Patience-Patience is waiting for your first call when the rest of your classmates already have those. Patience is learning that good things come to those that wait. Patience is trusting that God will be there through the pain and the sorrows and the joy and the happiness. Patience is waiting for the rain to come when you so need it for your crops and your garden to grow. And patience is waiting for God to bring Mr. Right into your life!

Kindness-Kindness are my friends Darrell and Em being there for me my last semester at seminary when I was doing fieldwork. (The seminary wasnt sure if they could let me stay on campus and D and E were willing to do just about anything for me to help me out…including even possibly staying with them). Kindness was Jen and Daisy taking me to the train station when I wasnt able to get a ride there. Kindness was Dawn and Kip letting me follow them back to ND so I wasnt driving alone. Kindness is Liz and Carrie driving to ND for my consecration service to be a part of my special day. Kindess is all my friends checking up on how my mom is doing. Kindness is Mark, Liz, Mackenzie, Kevin, Neel and all my other seminary friends accepting me for me and helping me to grow as a women of faith.

Generosity-For some reason, this one is taking the most time for me to think of. Im not sure why. I know there have been many times in my life when people have being extremely generous to me but I cant think of any specific times. Generosity, is something that I experience when my grandma shares her garden produce with me. Generosity is when people help me move. Generous is paying for my meal when they know Im having a hard time making money. Generosity is inviting me over for a meal to share in fellowship.

Faithfulness-Faithfulness is definetely my mom. All though she has lived with a mental illness all her life, she has remained faithful. She doesnt let her illness get her down. She trusts in God’s love. And because she lives with this illness, this has been the biggest example of faithfulness in my life.

Gentleness-Again this reminds me of seminary and also camp. So many people have helped me to see my gentleness. They always tell me that I have such a loving and gentle spirit. That is something I will always remember but this spirit was a characteristic of my friend Chewy in college. Chewy was a gentle soul most of the time. He had a drinking and drug problem and I never saw that side of him. However Chewy and I connected because he had dealt with mental illness myself and could understand where I was coming from. One weekend the two of us were at a retreat together and I was crying. Chewy sat down next to me, and placed my head upon his shoulder. Ill never forget that image. Chewy, in that moment, was so gentle and comforted me.

Self-control Selfcontrol is knowing when to say no to ice cream. Self-control is knowing how to say no in general. Self-control is something I need to work with especially in the area of food. Self-control is learning how to do things in moderation.

(SO as I finish up this F5, I have somewhat of a challenge for all of my readers and the rest of the webring. (It might be hard because we dont know each other that well)How do your readers see you embody the fruits of the spirit? It would be fun to see how others see the fruits of the spirit in each of us. How do I embody the fruits of the spirit?)

Sticking Up For Those We Love

I don’t get upset or mad easily and I often don’t hold grudges but this week I must admit I was put to the test when a friend was judged on another individual’s blog. I think I was mostly upset because this individual was judging my friend despite the fact that they had never met. I along with many other friends stood up for our friend. We know that he has many awesome gifts for ministry and will make a superb pastor. We felt that it was important for us to try and speak the truth in love to this blogger. When I saw how all of us stood up for our friend, I couldn’t help but think of the power of these relationships. We weren’t going to let our friend be hurt. We felt it was important to stick up for someone we truly love and care about. When I think of how we were there for our friend, it makes me wonder what kind of a family member or friend are we? Do we stick up for those we love? Do those that love us stick up for us? Can you think of a time when someone (or several people) stood up for you? Lets share some stories of friends looking out for friends or family members looking out for family members!

The Beauty of Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about life. You know, marriage, kids, etc. I guess part of me really wants to settle down and have kids but then another part of me is enjoying being single. Maybe it’s just that a lot of my friends are settling down and now that I am in a new community myself, I’m yearning for new relationships. I’m not talking just romantically but friendship wise as well and I haven’t found many people my age here yet which is hard, but knowing that I have good friends throughout the United States helps. I know that the friendships I made at seminary are friendships that I truly believe will last a lifetime.

It amazes me the friends I made at seminary. Some of us clicked because we had worked at Bible camps and could share camp stories. Others of us had similar interests but then some of us probably never would have become friends in any other situation. Now I know that probably sounds ridiculous but it’s true. But despite our differences, we became friends because we were there for the same reasons. I see such beauty in those friendships because of that reality. These friendships are the friendships that I hope will withstand the test of time. These friends are the ones that helped me to grow into the woman of faith that I am today. These friends are the same friends who got me to open up about my mom’s illness and stood by me when I decided it was important to share our story. These friends are the friends that were with me in the joys, the pleasures, the pain and the tears. These friends are the ones that no matter where we are at know that I am thinking and praying for them as they do the same for me. These friends are the ones that came miles to be at my consecration service, to sit beside me, and to wipe away the tears of joy as I ventured into this new place God called me to!

The amazement and strength of these friendships have grown out of the experiences we shared. One of these experiences took place over the entire course of seminary. In class, I was extremely quiet. I was afraid of what others might think and say so I kept quiet but these friends encouraged me to grow and helped me to find my theological voice that I continue to claim to this day. Another experience was road-tripping with these friends, sharing our stories, and learning about each other. One trip in particular was when M and L and I went to Milwaukee. Needless to say, I drank a little too much Sangria but they kept me safe and helped me to realize it was okay to drink in moderation and in a safe environment. There also were the trips with K, M, L, M, and I eating Red Vines as we talked and shared together. But probably the most profound experiences were our Perkins discussions, our late night chats and our game nights. Just in those little moments, I learned more about these dear friends that I could ever have imagined. And to this day, I see those experiences as some of the best times of my life because they truly solidified these friendships.

Without these friends, I’m not sure I would have made it through seminary. Seminary was not the easiest thing for me. In fact one of my professors put it best when he told my candidacy committee, “You know how easy it would have been for Tara to walk out those doors and not look back, but she hasn’t she is still here and that takes guts.” These friends supported me and encouraged me throughout my seminary journey. And as I reflect on these friendships, my prayer is that everyone will find friendships that will withstand the test of time and will be treasured throughout our lives. I also pray that each of us can feel the power of our own friendships and can spread that power to the friends we make throughout our lives. Thanks be to God!

Sending Up A Prayer or Two!

Im sending up some prayers tonight. A congregation votes to extend a call to my friend M tomorrow. Please pray that all goes well and he gets the call. I know he’s waited a long time and he is so ready to move on. So please send up prayers that the congregation makes a wise decision and votes to call M! Also send up some prayers for my friend S who also is awaiting a call. And I almost forgot, some seminary classmates/friends get ordained tomorrow and next Sunday so be with C and S on their respective days and let them be blessed days. Also send up prayers for all those finishing up CPE, heading off on internship, coming back from internship for their senior years or those just starting seminary. Thanks for helping me out and sending up prayers for my friends. Prayer is such an awesome thing!

Friday Five Gets a Standing O!

1. Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it? I have to admit that living in a small town in the Midwest I dont have many opportunities to do these things. However I jump at the chance to see a good play or musical. The last musical I saw was the film version of “Rent” I absolutely loved it!

2. All time favorite play? Musical? My all-time fave musical is definetely RENT! I have a lot of plays that are my favorite but my all-time favorite has probably got to be Amadeus!

3. “The Producers,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Hairspray,” “The Wedding Singer”…all were movies before they were musicals (okay “The Philadelphia Story” was a play and then a movie, and they changed its name when it became a musical, but whatever). What non-musical movie do you think should next get the musical treatment? Hmmm this is a good question and Im going to apologize because Im probably going to come up with a lame answer but thought I should at least give it a shot. How about the Matrix? Or Harry Potter? or Saved?

4. Favorite song from a musical? Why? No doubt about it my fave song is No Day but Today from Rent! I just love the message behind the song! It also has great melody!

5. The most recent trend in Broadway musical revues is to construct a show around the oeuvre of a particular super-group or composer, where existing songs are woven together with some kind of through story. The most successful of these (“Jersey Boys” (The Four Seasons), “Mamma Mia” (ABBA), “Movin’ Out” (Billy Joel)) have made a mint, but many (“All Shook Up” (Elvis), “Hot Feet” (Earth, Wind and Fire)) have bombed. What great pop/rock singer/composer or super-group should be the next to be featured, and what might the story-line be for such a show? Hmmm I dont have a good answer for this one either but maybe a musical based on the music of Five For Fighting! They’ve just done some really good music that I think could make some really great storylines. However I cant think of a storyline myself right now!

Bonus question for singer/actors. Favorite part you’ve ever played/sung.
As always, let us know in the comments if you play! And standing ovations (as well as more visits, no doubt) for those who link directly to their posts. This one is easy for me. I was in so many plays in high school and college. In fact I really would like to get more involved with community theatre but my absolute fave part I played was Anne Frank’s mother in The Diary of Anne Frank. This was the first production I was in in college. Before this production, I had been prop mistress etc but had never been on stage. The director asked me to audition and I got the part of Anne’s mother. It was a neat role to play and I enjoyed the many awesome people I got to work with. In fact, I made some of my best friends during that production. After that play, I was involved in every play either backstage or onstage during my next three years there!

Body of Christ Given, Blood of Christ Shed For You

I need to do dishes and get rid of some pesky ants but before I do that, I want to share a great story I heard today. And before I share this story, I want to let you all know that my intentions are not to offend anyone but rather to share what I think is a good humurous story. Okay so here goes nothing. The story takes place in a rural church here in the Midwest. Now often times members of the congregation are asked to take care of communion etc. This week a man was helping out. He went to take the cover off the wine and thought to himself, boy that wine sure looks dark. Then he took the cover off the bread and it wasnt bread……it was chocolate cake, but what was he to do? There was nothing else around so the pastor had to proceed like nothing happened. He communioned each member, handing them a piece of the chocolate cake, “Body of Christ given for you” and then handed them a cup of brandy saying, “Blood of Christ shed for you.” He figured that it had to be okay because there was flour in the cake and the brandy was just distilled wine. Now thats got to make for some interesting communion dont you think?!?! Now that Ive shared my story, back to killing ants and washing dishes! YUCK!

Im a Reality TV Junkie!

I cant believe Im admitting this but I totally am a reality tv junkie. You name it I’ve watched. Big Brother, American Idol, Survivor, Real Word, Road Rules, Celebrity Fit Club, The Surreal Life. America’s Got Talent, Treasure Hunters, Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, Project Runway and the list goes on and on and on. Theres just something about watching reality tv that makes me laugh. I dont know why I like to watch these shows. I think part of it is the humor and craziness I find in each one. But then again I probably like to watch them because they let me dream and escape to a new place. I like to watch The Amazing Race because they do a lot of traveling. Some day I hope to travel myself but for now this show allows me to escape to these places a long with them. I think I watch shows like the Bachelor/Bachelorette and Joe Millionaire because it allows me to root for the underdogs etc. I must admit I hate watching the shows when people totally get humilitated. Simon Cowell on AI is imfamous for that. Even though I watch all of these shows, I must admit that my fave has and always probably will be Big Brother and this season with the All-Stars is no exception. WHat is it about this show that attracts me to it? Im not quite sure. Is it watching these people cock their evil heads? Is it watching these people humilitating themselves on national tv? I dont think its even of those things. For me, Ive noticed that I tend to gravitate towards certain people. Ive always like Kaysar, but I must also say Im a huge fan of Season 6 so maybe thats why but I dont think so. I think its because of who Kaysar is. He seems to be such a great guy. This week he gave slop to Chicken George because he already was on slop so he didnt make anyone made. Now I have to agree with Janelle’s statement, that Kaysar is playing it safe, but part of me wonders if he is just holding back and will strike when everyone least expects it. James seems to have changed this season. He doesnt seem as vindictive and Im not quite sure how I feel about that. Is he trying to save face? I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned and see what happens. I should close for now. Got to go make supper, buy groceries, and be back in time for Real World/Road Rules Challenges. I REALLY AM A REALITY TV JUNKIE!!!