Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Procrastination 101--update

DONE!!!! Not only done, it's all in the mail! YES!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Acts 2: 1-4 (NIV)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

I've read that passage of scripture before. I've marveled at the power of the Holy Spirit, at the power of God. I've imagined what it must have been like for the people at that time to speak in their own language and who didn't speak that language understand them, in their own native tongue. WHAT??!! Totally beyond me.

Sunday we remembered Pentecost. We wore red, to signify the tongues of fire and we had 10 people in our congregation come up and read this scripture passage, in different languages. It was read through in English first, with one person signing (ASL) and then it started, this beautiful reading of scripture. One person started, then another, then another, then another until at the end 8 people were reading the same scripture passage together yet each in their own language.

I stood just off to the side listening, waiting to lead the congregation in a song. As the scripture was read, I started to get goose bumps. Soon it was full body shivers. By the time the last word was spoken tears were streaming down my face. I got it. I heard it. I didn't even have to understand the languages, I got what God had done. The Holy Spirit leveled the playing field. God said, "I'm here, not just for one group but for everyone. You're all mine." It was a beautiful reminder of the power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and an important reminder that Jesus didn't just die for me or for people who talk like me, but for everyone. No matter what their language.

Scripture came to life for me on Sunday. And it was beautiful.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Parade

I love living in a small town. I love the Memorial Day parade with Veteran's, Fire Engines, Harley's, Horses and preschoolers. It's an awesome display of patriotism and small town charm.
Looking up and down the street I see generations sitting together. People that have grown up in this town, who have moved away and come back home. Parents, grandparents, new generations of small town residents. I feel blessed to be one of those people. One who has grown up here, moved away and come back home. I like my small town life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Not a typical Thursday

Thursdays typically fall into the same category. I either have meetings all day long or pretty much nothing scheduled. Today fell into the pretty much nothing category. Except there was a twist. I'm still working on getting my final papers and project for school together, so I planned on staying later at church than usual. I really haven't had a full day off in a couple of weeks, so I didn't feel too guilty when I decided to go for a walk with friends in the middle of the day. The walk turned into "a walk, coffee and running errands" and I got back to church about 2 hours after leaving. No biggie.

One of my jobs is to make sure the multimedia stuff is done for Sunday mornings. I knew the choir was coming in to rehearse and wanted to get things done before they arrived so I ran upstairs to the sanctuary. Now, here's where two things happen that don't normally happen on a typical Thursday. #1. I took my cell phone with me. Most of time I leave it somewhere in the pile that is my desk, or in my purse, but today I grabbed it and put it in my pocket before heading to the sanctuary. #2. I enabled the Internet on the sanctuary computer. It sounds silly, but there have been times in the middle of worship when the computer will start updating and require an immediate restart. It's pretty embarrassing and frustrating to have the computer shut down in the middle of a worship song, so I disable the Internet access unless I know I'm going to need it. Turns out, I needed both those things tonight.

As I was finishing putting the media together, my phone beeped with this text message from a youth pastor friend "do u have a suicide hotline?" My church doesn't but I knew that there is one for the county, so I quickly did an Internet search and within a minute got the number to my friend. Then I started praying. "Lord, be with my friend. Be with their student. God give them strength." My next thought was, "Why did they text me? Why did I have my phone with me? Wasn't it interesting that I had enabled the Internet?" That's when it hit me. God's behind this all.

I sometimes forget that God is all knowing. I forget that God can orchestrate things as little as putting a cell phone in my pocket. I forget that God is the one who sees more than I see. I forget that God brings people together to share in life for a reason. Sometimes those reasons are big, as my youth pastor friend found out tonight and sometimes those reasons are small, as small as a one sentence text message "do u have a suicide hotline?". God is big, I am small. I think I like it that way.

Thank you, God, for the reminder that you are so big. I pray tonight that you will be with the hurting soul who needs your comfort, understanding and love so desperately. God, help them to know that you are there, that you are love, that you care. Thank you for bringing youth pastors into this life to walk alongside them and to care. Be the words, be the strength, be the hope. God I pray that you will just be there. Amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

it's coming...

I can tell that the end of the school year is near and summer is almost upon us. This week people have been crankier and a little more sensitive than usual. The kids don't take their time getting off the bus, they RUN! Parents are a little more on edge. The weather is getting warmer...well sometimes. Don't even try to tell me that Global Warming is a myth. But the number one thing that tells me that summer is almost upon us is that everyone is driving bad.

One of the columnists for the local paper asked readers what they were dreading about the coming tourist season and I immediately thought "I'm dreading the locals driving techniques trying to avoid tourists and traffic!" I can handle tourists who don't know where they are going (I usually do a lot of talking to them, but I can handle them). I can deal with the traffic. What I get irritated with are the local drivers who decide that they don't have to obey the traffic laws. That's how I know summer is coming. All the locals start to drive crazy.

Yep, summer is coming. Better make sure my car insurance is up to date.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Procrastination, my old friend

I recently re-entered the world of graduate school. I'm not really sure why I feel the need to torture myself like this every-so-often. Seriously. I am so good at procrastination. It comes naturally. I put off writing papers until the last possible second and then am a stress case until it's done. There was one paper in college that I didn't write until the last minute (literally hours before class started) and then the printer in the computer lab wouldn't let me have my paper. And every printer on campus that I had access I couldn't get on to print the paper (because so many others were late with their own papers). My only option was to run home and retype the whole thing on my old computer and print it out (dot matrix printers...gotta love 'em!). I was 45 minutes late for class, but I got it in! And got a lower grade.

Yeah, procrastination and I are old friends. These days it's even worse. When I was an undergrad I didn't have DSL or cable. I couldn't afford it...actually DSL wasn't even available. But now, I have On-Demand and Wi-Fi. The possiblities for procrastination are limitless! Not to mention a full-time job, friends, books that I like to read, ITunes and a blog! I'm even considering cleaning the shower or any room in the house to avoid writing the papers I have due in two weeks. Now that I think about it, my apartment was always really clean when I was procrastinating on school work. Hmmmm.

It's not like these papers are hard. 2 pages, double-spaced, reflections on three books that I read for the class. I liked the books. It shouldn't be so hard to write out my thoughts on paper and be done with it. That's what I'm doing here, right? So why is it so hard to get myself motivated? Sigh. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes. Yep, procrastination and I are old friends. It has been awhile since the shower was cleaned...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Well, now

I've been thinking about doing this for this I mean starting a blog. I thought about being anonymous (which may still happen at some point) but ultimately decided, why not just go for it. So, here I am.

Blogging makes me nervous for many reasons. One is that nobody will read it and two that people will read it. Yeah, I know, a little wacko. It's not the reading part that makes me nervous, it's the commenting thing. I think it's too easy to be mean or careless when commenting on a blog. I read enough blogs, I see enough comments and I know that when we don't have to say something to a person's face, we're more likely to be cutting and cruel. I like to pretend that I have thick skin, but I know better. Words hurt. All this to say, if you disagree with anything I have to say here and want to let me know in the comment section, please, be kind. There really is a live human being behind this blog. With real feelings.

And so, the journey begins.