Hitting That Send Button

Joining in with the online discussion on the book “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Today we are working through Chapter 6: Send.

Newspaper print laid out on the table, cutting and pasting the articles into their place. In High School, I spent much of my time on our school’s newspaper. It was a way for me to write articles and share my love of writing in another way. After high school and college, while at seminary, I joined the Persistent Voice. The Persistent Voice is a newsletter that is “an ongoing conversation between men and women at Wartburg Seminary; Dubuque Iowa that  reaches across the world.” As a member of the staff of the Persistent Voice, I had several poems and articles published. I gained more writing, editing, and publishing skills.

However, I never though much of having those items published because I was on the staff and was a student at the seminary. After while, I got braver and started submitting writing material to other places. I submitted a poem to poetry.com for their poetry anthology. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a letter saying they would like to publish my poem in their anthology. I purchased a copy of the anthology to share with my friends and family. (You can find that poem here: Tribute to New York Rescue Workers)

Over the years, while serving in Minnesota, I began submitting my work to a few literary contests. I often would ask my friends and family for their input. I would carefully select my submission and email it off. The waiting was always the hardest part. Often times when I saw the submission place in my email “from” line, my heart would skip a beat as I clicked on the email to open it. My eyes would scan the email to see what they thought of my piece. Every time it was rejection. One can only experience rejection so many times, so every time my heart and ego became a little more deflated.

I have learned to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep writing. Last April, I was out with some colleagues when one of them asked a question. I popped onto my work email to check out the information for them. As I was looking for that email, another email caught my eye. I quickly found the information we needed and then I went back and read the other email that had caught my eye. It was from a respected blog that I read daily asking if they could republish one of my blog posts on their site. I replied that indeed they could republish it. I can’t even tell you how giddy and excited I was. Several of my seminary friends and colleagues have had their pieces published on this blog too. It was finally MY TURN! (Living Lutheran: You are Seen)

And, suddenly, I didn’t feel so scared about hitting that send button.

All A Twitter About Being A Pebble in the Shoe of the Church and Living Lutheran

My mind is full of a scattering of thoughts today!

Thankful for those who were elected to be voting delegates at this year’s ELCA Churchwide Assembly but also wishing I was there too! I never realized how much my life has become about technology. I’ve considered myself a pretty technically savy person but as of late, I’ve realized how much more I am becoming ingrained in this technology. Internet, Twitter, Facebook, a Kindle, Blogging and the list goes on and on. Last night I found myself tweeting while watching the live stream of the ELCA churchwide assembly. Today I got up early (way early for me) to watch the live stream. Then this afternoon as I worked on stuff in my office, I found myself once again follow along on the Tweeter feed and following along/participating in the Bible Study as well. (I really should have been working on/finishing my sermon for Sunday!)It amazes me how much technology is playing into our world. No wonder this generation is so ingrained by technology. I still am not sure how I feel about technology in general; is it good or is it bad? But what I have come to realize is that it can be helpful. I am excited that even though Im not at the CWA11 I can tweet and follow along with those that are there and those that are also following on the Twitter feed. Makes me feel like a little part of me is part of what is happening in Orlando as well.

“Sometimes you just have to be a pebble in the shoe of the church!” This statement is a statement a friend shared awhile back and it makes me smile because I think it encompasses my call to “diakonia.” Sometimes, ok most of the time, I feel like Im such a stickler, pain in the butt, etc but what I’ve come to realize is that if Im not going to stand up for myself, other rostered leaders and the lay leaders of this church, who will? I understand that when guiding documents were created etc they were created with certain things in mind but like our culture, I believe the culture of the church has changed as well. Therefore I believe it is time to change the language. So for all my dear friends and colleagues in Christ who understand where Im coming from, Im sticking to my guns, “Sometimes you just have to be the pebble in the shoe of the church!”

What does it mean to “Live Lutheran?” I love that the assembly has been showing videos answering this question. They all have been fantastic and make me smile! It also has gotten me thinking about what it means for me to “Live Lutheran?” For me, Living Lutheran is living out my call to diakonia; my call to wash the feet of all God’s people. Living Lutheran is telling all to come to the living water. Living Lutheran is helping all God’s people see what it means to share his love with the world and to see how beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News. Living Lutheran is about grace, faith, hope, and the promise of the Resurrection. For in the words of WND Synod Bishop Mark Narum, We are an Easter People or in the words of Haitian Pastor Josephus Livenson Lauvanus, “We will not be defined by rubble, because we are a people of the Restoration.” In the words of the ELCA CWA11 theme, Living Lutheran is about being “Freed in Christ to Serve”; freed in Christ to serve the neighbor!!

“How Beautiful Are the Feet….”

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!”

Awhile back, I blogged about this and today it hit me again. Recently many of my Diaconal Ministry friends and I have been having a conversation about how we would like to help educate churches, bishops, etc better about who we are etc.

I think this quote popped into my head again because as DMs we are called to pick up our basins and towels to serve all God’s people. As you my faithful readers know, I felt a strong call to Diaconal Ministry because I saw how others treated my mom because she lives with a mental illnesss. God truly calls me/us to reach out to all God’s people. We can wash anyone’s feet whether it be in a prison cell, at a nursing home, at church, on a mission trip, etc etc etc!

For me, “Living Lutheran” means that I am called to show God’s love, grace, and acceptance as a Diaconal Minister by bridging the gap between the church and the world. “Living Lutheran” for me means that I am also called to bring the needs of the world before all God’s people. Also “Living Lutheran” means that I am called forth from Word and Sacrament to be freed in Christ to Serve. “Living Lutheran” means that it is important for me to live out my identity through “diakonia.”
How else do you see DM “Living Lutheran”?

Living Lutheran: Trying to Figure Out How To Respond in the Midst of Varying Opinions?

I frequently like to read www.livinglutheran.org! It is a great website that declares our Lutheran heritage and has many different views on world events etc. Recently my friend Renee was featured in a video on their page about “Resurrection Faith.” What an amazing witness to God’s grace, love, and mercy!

Today I happened to be checking out this page when I came across an article about Bin Laden’s death from a personal blog that was featured on this website. The author talked about how people weren’t celebrating Bin Laden’s death but rather our defeat over him. (You can find the article here:http://www.livinglutheran.com/blog/2011/05/celebrating-our-enemys-defeat.html)Now that makes sense to me. However I still am having a hard time wrapping my head around all of this. As a woman called to pick up her basin and towel, I know that God has called me to wash the feet of all God’s people. Now I’m not saying that Bin Laden’s feet should be washed because Im not even convinced that he should have been allowed to live on this earth. But what I do know is that God often reached out to the lost, the least, and the lonely among us. How would he choose to react? What I am also saying is that I don’t believe that hate or even joy or celebration is the way for us to react. It seems to me that hate only feeds off of hate and creates more hate! What does that do for us in today’s world? Is that what the Resurrected Jesus looks like?

I understand that people need to celebrate their enemie’s death and I will let them do that. I don’t hold that against them at all! I just can’t choose to do that myself! I understand that we all have varying opinions on this subject but for me it is not about the death of this evil one or the victory over this evil one but rather for me its about choosing love over hate, forgiveness over holding a grudge, peace over violence, etc!