A Book That Needs to be Read and Shared!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved to read. I love and read just about everything. But rarely is there a book that captures my heart, soul and mind deeper than I could ever imagine. But Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Pastrix has done just that!! (Seriously I think everyone should read this book. It is pure grace!)

I saw Nadia speak when she spoke at the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. Not only were my youth hanging onto her every word but I was too. Nadia is REAL! And so I was super stoked to read her book!

I got my wisdom teeth out on Sept 9 and her book was released on the 10th. I downloaded it onto my Kindle that day and was totally pulled in from the very first word.

I found myself laughing, crying and experiencing so many emotions as I read Nadia’s words. I read as she shared about learning about the Haiti earthquake and that their cantor’s friend was killed. Tears ran down my face as I thought of my own friends and our experience of losing this dear soul in our

I read as she shared the stories of those in her congregation at House for All Sinners and Saints. I especially found myself listening and reading about the man who was struggling with mental illness. I thought of those in my family who daily struggle with this illness. Nadia reminded me again that we all–including them–are beloved children of God. (I honestly wish people saw these individuals like Nadia does!)

I was constantly highlighting as I read Nadia’s words. I think I’m going to have to buy the hard copy too. This book is a gem. And if you are only going to read one book this year, please make it this one!!

You see, God always shows up. I leave you with this words from Nadia’s book. “This is the resurrected God to whom we sing. A God who didn’t say we would never be afraid but that we would never be alone. Because this is a God who shows up: in the violence of the cross, in the darkness of a garden before dawn, in the gardener, in a movie theater, in the basement of a bar (Pastrix; Nadia Bolz-Weber, P.200).”

You see God calls us all to the table; to gather around bread and wine where we come together in all our brokenness and messiness. And I think more often than we care to admit our lives are more broken and messier than we think or even realize ourselves.

Nadia, thank you for a beautiful book filled with pure grace!!

2012 in Review

2012 has been a great year! It really hasnt been filled with many huge milestones etc. Just the great wonderful every day stuff. Here is a quick little recap…

January-Rang in the New Year with my Dad. Had Prime Rib and shrimp from the local restaurant in my hometown. I know so exciting!

February-My uncle got married!!! Its crazy. He has been single most of his life and now hes married! So happy for them and love her!!

March-A visit from one of my favorite people and her girls on their way back home from visiting family in NE!

April-Celebrated my 6th anniversary as a Diaconal Minister in the ELCA! Going to awedding and spending time with a dear Diaconal sister and WTS friends! Volunteering at an Adoption benefit for a college friend and her family!

May-My colleague went on Sabbatical…a well deserved one! A great Sabbatical pastor filled in and spent the summer serving alongside and with us!

June-Lutheran Academy of the Rockies! LOVE this Continuing Education event! 10 days of wonderfulness. Great time with great friends and meeting new friends. So blessed by LAR and the people it has brought into my life!

July-ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. 6 youth and another adult from the church I serve at. We went with our local Bible camp and it was awesome. We did lots of tourist fun..6 Flags in Missiouri, The Arch, Day on the Beach, National Civil Rights Museum. Wonderful speakers and fun at the Gathering! Finally meeting a wonderful lady who has become one of my BEST friends!

August-Colleague back from Sabbatical, Day Camp/Vacation Bible School, and a little vacation time!

September-My 34th Birthday. And a little trip to visit Mama!

October-WTS fun! Road trip for a seminary friends wedding. I went with one of my best friends from seminary days. It was awesome. So fun to catch up. We even got a little stop in at the Castle which was sooo good for my soul!

November-Jr High Youth Gathering. Receiving the MN Care Providers Community Partnership Award on behalf of DLC. The youth and homes of DLC received this award for their partnership with Serenity Assisted Living and DLC!

December-Advent and Christmas! I love this time of year. Reminds me of the importance of the season. Wonderful family time! Love spending time with my family! Now ready to ring in 2013 and see what the New Year will bring! Whatever the New Year brings, I know God is always there. Hope the New Year brings you, my readers, peace, hope, joy, and love!!

For All To See…

It’s late and I SHOULD be sleeping but tonight is one of those nights were my brain doesn’t want to shut off! (Don’t you sometimes wish your brain had a shut off switch?!?) So since I can’t sleep, I thought I’d blog! Silly I know…but as a writer, sometimes that’s just what I need to do…..spill it out for everyone to see, hear, read…blemishes and all!! I’m probably not always the most elegant speaker but it’s what I do! It’s the one gift I really feel God has given me to share with the world! In a lot of ways, blogging is like leaving my journal open for all to see…which is an extremely scary place to be but at the same time, it is also freeing!!

So tonight because I can’t sleep and because the good ol’ brain won’t shut off, I guess I’m just going to attempt to put words on a page! Sorry if it isn’t Noble Peace prize winning or even noteworthy!!

Life is grand! I’m happy to be in a wonderful place that God has called me to! I love the people I serve!! They have blessed me! I have wonderful family and friends!! I’m blessed to have them in my life too!! Yet despite all this wonderfulness, there are still times when I feel restless; feel the Holy Spirit moving in my life! ( No reason in particular; just how I feel somedays!) And I wonder what that might mean?

This week my mind has been on the people of New Orleans and Hurricane Isaac! It was just over a month ago that I was there for the ELCA National Youth Gathering with 33,000 of my closest friends! :p So many of them are still recovering from Katrina! My prayers go out to them!

The ParaOlympics just started too! What inspiration!! And yet so many are focused on politics! Whose right? Whose wrong? Who should we elect? The ads are awful and demeaning and just plain ugly!! Why can’t we focus on what really needs to be done? Prayer and Thanksgiving! Perhaps we need to reread the book of Ephesians so we can be reminded that we are to be reconciled in Christ!!

Well that’s my journal page from this week out in the open for all to see! Hopefully I won’t regret leaving this page open later…

B L E S S E D!

Have you ever met someone and felt kismet/peoria immediately? You know what I’m talking about…one of those people that the moment you meet them you feel like you’ve known them FOREVER! Before the Gathering, a dear Pastor friend of mine has been trying to connect me with his youth person. He was like, “I just think you two would get along great.” At the Gathering, we were able to connect via phone but werent sure if we would be able to meet in person. However due to rainy weather and my group wanting to hang out at the hotel, I was able to run away for a brief time. I found her and we hit it off immediately. We stood and talked for like twenty minutes or so! It was crazy because I felt so comfortable around her and just feel like Ive known her forever! She is like a sister to me already and we have only known each other a week. On the busrides home, we found each other texting each other and talking. I’ve met some pretty awesome people in my life and when I met them I felt so at peace, so full of kismet and they became and are still some of my closest and best friends. I have a feeling this new friend and I will be friends for a LONG TIME TO COME! So blessed to have her in my life! I can’t even begin to describe how amazing I feel about this friendship! God, thank you for the wonderful blessings in my life!

NOLA and Back!

Well we made it to NOLA and then the Gathering kept us super busy so I didnt have a chance to update the blog. Wed night we gathered with 33,000 plus of our friends in the LutherDome. Rachel Kurtz sang her song “Make a Difference” which is also the Gathering theme song. On Thurs, we spent time with 800 of our friends from the NW MN synod. So good to spend time together as a synod! Then in the afternoon we went out on our discipleship lab which was so much fun—basically a scavenger hunt. Friday we learned how to practice peacemaking. Youth had opportunities to give blood, donate hair etc. Saturday was our service day. Our service project was about experiencing the culture. We went to the New Orleans School of Cooking where Chef Kevin cooked for us. Then we talked about our perceptions and misconceptions of hunger in the world. Sunday we loaded the buses back up, worshipped one last time and then begin the journey home. We stopped at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis TN and then on to Lamberts; the home of throwed roll. Yep they really do toss/throw rolls at you! So much fun and the food was awesome! Finally made it home around 6 pm on Tuesday night. The Gathering was fun and had great speakers that the youth really identified with but we all were ready to be home!

Roadtrippin' to NOLA Highlights!

Some trip snippets:

-Buses rolled on out of Moorhead!

-Stopped at a rest stop and already ran into another group from EaND!

-Landed in KC for the night!

-Six Flags! The Boss was a big hit!! Kept my friend Mel company since she couldn’t go on any rides! We did ride the train a few times!

-Up in the Arch! So cool!

-Lunch at the Hard Rock in Union Station!

-Landed in Meridian Mississippi for the night!

-On to Gulfport! Spent time at the beach! Such a great day!!

-Supper at the Cajun Crawfish Hut! Catfish, Shrimp, Chicken!

-Cool worship on the beach! I got to help bless everyone!

-Lots and lots of time on the bus watching movies, playing camp games etc!

-Onto NOLA tomorrow!!

More to come later!
Goodnight friends!!