Estes Park, CO

For the last several summers, I have found myself just outside Estes Park CO for the Lutheran Academy of the Rockies. I love this continuing Ed event for what it offers. But my favorite thing about this event is where it is located; in the Rocky Mts of Colorado.

I have walked along the boardwalk and the Big Thompson River in Estes Park. I have indulged in Blue Bell ice cream at the Blue Bell ice cream shop in downtown Estes. I have eaten at Ed’s Cantina. ( If you are reading Pastrix or have heard Nadia Bolz-Weber’s story about 9-11, you know that’s where she was on that horrific day). I have enjoyed the many shops with the tourists of Estes Park. I have experienced the true joy of Estes Park, CO!
(There are so many pictures I could share. Perhaps I will soon!)

Tonight my heart is sad…sad as I watch the walls of the Big Thompson spilling into the streets of downtown Estes Park. Living in the Red River Valley I know all to well how destructive water can be. I’ve done my fair share of slinging sandbags. Tonight I wonder what I can do to help. So I pray…pray for all affected by the rising waters of the Big Thompson river…those in Estes, those in Boulder, etc.

Please join me in prayer!

Always Being Made New

It is a big day in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA elected the first female Presiding Bishop this afternoon. I am on vacation this week and have been trying to stay away from the live feed but as I read my Twitter and FB feeds, I found myself logging in to watch as I truly felt the Holy Spirit at work. I believe Rev. Elizabeth Eaton truly has been called and will lead the ELCA into the future.

But I cannot post without telling you how much I respect current Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson. Bishop Mark Hanson has been a tremendous leader especially over these last tumultous years of the ELCA. He is a gracious man and has led with such grace and humility. As I look at my life in the ELCA, Bishop Hanson has been the only Bishop I have truly known as I was 23 when he became Bishop. Bishop Hanson’s words have and will always hold a special place in my head and my heart. I must say that I truly will miss him but I will truly support Bishop Eaton as she has heard this new call.

Thank you Holy Spirit for raising up a new leader. Pray for Bishop Hanson and his staff as they transition. Pray for Bishop Eaton as she too transitions to this new call. And for her synod as they have just given up their Bishop. Prayers for all of us as we are led to a new and certain hope.

“Always Being Made New”

“That They All May Be One”

Anytime I drive from Moorhead into Fargo or go home to Ashley for a holiday or vacation, I see a “Welcome to MN” sign as I take the first exit into Moorhead and to my apartment. For the most part, it is something that I know is there but don’t really pay that close of attention to it. However it was different this afternoon. Right as I was leaving work to go to Zumba, I saw that Minnesota passed the Freedom to Marry bill.(I’ll be honest I was ecstatic. I know not everyone feels that way but that was how I was feeling.) On my way home from Zumba, I came to my exit and saw that sign again. Yet today it was different. Today my heart was happy. Today I knew that those words were true…..more true than they had been an hour ago or even 24 hours or 6 years ago.

I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I turned onto that exit leading me home. Tears welling up for my dear friend L and her wife M and their beautiful son L. He has always been both of theirs and always will be. However because their marriage wasn’t legal, they could run into all sorts of obstacles. Because L didn’t carry their son, she had to legally adopt him. Today though they are and will truly be a family in the eyes of the law. What a beautiful step. I think of the members of their church family who stood with them today at the Capitol grounds. For them, there is and never will be a line between who is and who is out!

I think of my friend J who is going to marry his sweetheart next month in R’s home state. I met J after he graduated seminary and through mutual aquantances of both of ours. I’ve always respected and admired J for being honest with who he is. I mean that in the best possible light. What has saddened me throughout this whole journey is that J has been able to marry many others but has never been able to legally marry himself. There is just something totally not right with that picture. He deserves to marry as much as you and I do. Today J and R can now both get married in their home states.

I think of the many others who now will be able to legally be a family. I don’t know what Jesus will say when we all get to heaven, but what I do know is Jesus always chose love. Jesus was always the one crossing the line onto the other side. Yet I know there are people hurting tonight because of this decision…people who don’t understand. I keep coming back to Jesus’ words to his disciples that night in the upper room…”that they all may be one.” Jesus spoke these words to his disciples that last night in the upper room even though they were far from being one themselves. Today I’m proud to be a Minnesotan but I know that there are those who do not agree with this decision. In the end and despite our disagreements, may peace prevail…

So tonight as we lay our heads down for the night, may we pray for all….for all God’s people…for the people on both sides of the line…may we pray that peace; God’s peace will always prevail!

Treasuring Time

Why do some things move so slowly? It seems that when I am excited for an upcoming event; a wedding, a Baptism, etc, it takes forever for that event to get here! I sometimes find myself wishing for time to move more quickly! But that is such a ridiculous thing to wish for! We shouldn’t wish time away! So many pray and hope for time back with family who left too soon etc! I am doing my best to treasure every minute and not wish for time to move quicker even when I want something do desperately to come!

Doing Something!

It’s been an incredible day today! Why, you may ask? Today has been a day of prayer. Now, of course, I work in a church so yes, I do spend most of my days already in prayer. But today was a little different..today was about lifting up TeamKoppy and sarcoma research, today was about doing something for a friend who is battling sarcoma at this very moment, today was about continuing to carry the mat for her.

Another friend Julia ran in honor of Laura and for Sarcoma research. I cheered Julia on from the sidelines. It was the least I could do as she ran today. I’m no runner but I wanted to help in some way. I wanted to be part of the journey with her and wanted to lift both of them in prayer. So I got up before 7 am on a Saturday (which is unique for this single young lady) but I was up before my alarm even went off. The Holy Spirit knew how important this was to me; to be their on the sidelines cheering as loud as I could.

I drove to Broadway and found my spot along the route. I walked up and down Broadway until the first runners came through. And then I watched and waited for Team Koppy to run by me. After she ran by, I stayed and watched and saw many other friends (some Running Reformers, some college friends, one of my confirmation youth) run by me and so I cheered them on too. I did all of this while praying hard for Laura, for all who have been affected by cancer. I left the race and headed home.

My best friend came up for the day. However my praying didn’t stop. Joni and I decided to spend some time out at the mall. We both found some great stuff. However while Joni was trying on clothes, I found myself checking my phone for Fb, Instagram and Twitter updates. I also found myself sitting and just simply waiting. And while I waited I found myself praying, praying, and praying.My friend and I went and had supper and then came home to watch a movie. And again I found myself still praying! 🙂

She just left so I thought I’d update my blog. Today has been an incredible, prayerful, love-filled day; full of prayers for Team Koppy, prayers for Laura, and prayers for the many who are battling sarcoma and other cancers. Like I said earlier, I am not a runner AT ALL but I wanted to do something and today that something was cheering on Team Koppy. Today that something was doing something I can do; PRAYING!!!

The Holy Spirit is Alive and Working Indeed!

The Holy Spirit is alive and working indeed!

The Holy Spirit is alive and working through new friends I have met on Twitter this week as I have watched the ELCA CWA online.

The Holy Spirit is alive and working especially through prayer this day!

Earlier today, I found myself with a prayer request. Immediately I went to my Twitter feed and tweeted my tweeps to ask them to pray. The crazy thing is a week ago I never would have asked for it via Twitter because I barely used my Twitter account. However this week I have grown to love Twitter. Shortly after I tweeted, I had people replying saying they were praying! WOW!!! People across the US were praying because of my simple prayer request. I also texted a friend who is also there at the CWA and asked for her prayers. She texted back that she would pray too! As I watched and participated with them in worship, I truly could feel their prayers ascending!

The Holy Spirit is INDEED alive and working!

When Enemies Fall…..

Tonight I was sitting watching one of my favorite Sunday night shows “Brothers and Sisters” when a national news report came in to interrupt the show. The news report was to announce that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I understand that many people have lost their lives and that Bin Laden probably didnt deserve to live on this earth. However I cannot help but think about what Jesus said in our gospel reading from John this morning. “My peace I give to you.” Tonight my fb feed is full of statuses about this news. But I cannot bring myself to celebrate death of any kind! Im uncomfortable celebrating anyone’s death; no matter who that person is! In the midst of moments like this, I find myself continuing to pray even more for shalom for God’s people! In the book of Proverbs, we hear these words, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles (Proverbs 24:17).” I know this is not easy for us to do but again I am reminded of those words we heard from Jesus, “My peace I give to you.” I could go on and on with other verses that will make us reflect on what happened tonight. Look up Romans 12:16-21 or Matthew 5:43-44!But in the midst of this historical event, I cant help but think about what Jesus says to us when our enemies fall. What example did Jesus set for us?

A friend had this quote on her fb status tonight and it seems so fitting. It was the words I was searching for as I listened and heard the news of Bin Laden’s death. “There are no good guys when it comes to hate. Our hope is not in death, our hope is in reconciliation through the life that is the light of the world!”

“Peace be with you, my friends!”

Direct Line to God, Please!

Why is it that certain things make your mind go immediately to one place? Tonight I got a phone call from a nurse at the place my mom lives at saying they had taken her to the clinic today. Apparently there was a lump in her left breast and it was imflamed. They gave her a medication and said it was celulitis in the breast which is basically an infection. However they did do a mammogram and depending on how the mammogram comes back, they might do an ultrasound. I am not too worried but I must admit my mind immediately went to that ugly “c” word! So I would appreciate a prayer or two! It’s when I hear “possible” bad news like this that makes me want an immediate direct line to God!

Lunch Conversation Thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot about a conversation I had about a week ago at lunch with some work colleagues. For some reason, the conversation turned to being single etc. Now many of you who read this blog regularly know that I am deeply yearning to be married, have a family, etc. My colleagues know this and respect it deeply. At lunch, one of my colleagues asked what I pray for when I pray about this. I replied that I often pray for God to give me patience, courage etc as I wait for my Mr. Right. This colleague then flipped this on its head and asked me to try praying for something differently. Basically he said “I should pray for God to put someone in my path who will bless me and who I will bless in return.” It got me thinking! I’ve reworded what Ive been praying for etc. I think often times we aren’t always sure what to pray for but God has this way of showing us how to reword it or whatever via other people etc. During the course of this conversation, we also talked about how church is definetely not the place to meet someone. Now I definetely know that, but I need to be more proactive about how I meet people. I love writing, poetry, etc. I am trying to find a writing group in this community….maybe this will be how I meet someone. I just continue to pray that God will put someone in my path that will bless me and who I will bless in return!