Thursday, May 29, 2008


As we were under a frost advisory last night, I had to cover up my remaining tomato plants and my bay tree and herbs and this on May 28! This is the latest frost advisory I can remember in a long, long time. I am thankful that I didn't yet plant my other 3 tomato plants or my new Basil. I hope to plant them Friday and this frost stuff had best be over and done with by then. It's practically June!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


1. Pray daily; it holds your day together and connects you with God.
2. Read the Bible regularly. It is the guidebook to living out your faith in life.
3. Worship often: your spirit needs to express praise to the Creator in community
with others.
4. Become part of a fellowship/Bible study group: it helps you to grow in faith and
the support of other Christians is encouraging, inspiring and comforting.
5. Make and keep a place for faith in your life; the well-being of your spirit
depends on it.
6. Don't be fooled by slick advertising, the pull of society and the Hollywood
crowd; they do not hold the ultimate truth.
7. Stand firm in your faith even when challenged and don't be ashamed of your faith.
8. Live by the Great Commandmant. (Matthew 22:34-40)
9. Do the best you can where you are with what you have. God expects excellence not
10. Expect some pain and disappointment in life. God will be along side of you and
will bring you through even the most trying of times, even when you feel as God
isn't there, God is there, most profoundly.
11. Live with the hope of Christ in your heart.
12. Don't be afraid of troubles or failures; God provides opportunities and growth
even through these.
13. Read the Beatitudes often. (Matthew 5:3-12)
14. Let the joy of your faith shine out from your heart and hands to everyone
around you.
15. Sing out hymns boldly, joyfully, and with all the feeling your body can muster.
16. Be still at times and listen to the quiet of God's voice.
17. Trust God even when it is hard to do so.
18. Nurture a thankful, loving heart. Let the love of Christ dwell within you.
19. Express gratitude for all things big and small.
20. Tell others you love them. We all like and need to hear those wonderful words.
21. Let your life be a doxology: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow...."
22. Remember that forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door to love.
23. Accept that life is not always fair and there are no guarantees except for
God's grace and love.
24. Celebrate the great moments in your life and in the lives of others.
25. Pray for wisdom, courage, strength and guidance and not merely for "things."
26. Let music or art wash away the dust of everyday life from your soul.
27. Remember that there are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown
hopeless about them.
28. A good leader is concerned about others, not him/her self.
29. Happiness is found along the way and not at the end of the road.
30. When you are grounded in God, peace and contentment blossom and flourish.
31. Pray genuinely and sincerely for others. Sometimes it will change you more
than it will them.
32. Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
33. Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.
34. Responsibility is taking care of all that you can for yourself and not expecting
God or others to give things to you or do it for you.
35. Own up to your mistakes and learn from them.
36. The measure of success are the degrees of peace, joy, love and gratitude you
have in your life.
37. Integrity is being true to the self God desires you to be. It is a life-long
38. Life is partly what you make it and partly how you respond to its unfolding.
39. Read widely to expand your horizons and challenge your thinking.
40. Be willing to take a risk, but not foolishly. Listen to your inner spirit and
heed the prompting of God's Spirit at work in you.
41. Give credit where credit is due.
42. The short-cut is most often the long way around.
43. Be patient, not all things come about instantly. Things of worth take much time
to grow and be.
44. Make time to play or just watch for shapes in the clouds.
45. Be gentle with yourself and others.
46. Dream dreams and reach for the stars. You may not reach the stars but the view
from the mountaintop is breathtaking.
47. If you can ease the way for others or soften their burdens, do so.
48. Everyone is a child of God, whether they know it or not, you do.
49. Embrace the fullness, the freedom, the spaciousness of God's love for you.
50. My prayer for you: that God be with you wherever the days, the years, and the
future may take you.
St. Inuksuk 1999

In honor of all graduates, including my nephew who will be receiving his Masters. Congratulations and God's blessings.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I just checked my profile which I haven't done in ages and discovered that my birthday year was 1756 or some such year and I was listed at 252 years old? Now, I may certainly feel old on some days, but never quite that old!!!!!! So, for anyone out there who thought I was being facetious about my age, opps, just a typo! Don't have a clue how that happened, but there ya go. I am older than dirt!!!!!!!!
Lars and the Real Girl this weekend. Made me reflect how I as a pastor would've handled the situation. Quirky, funny, and inspiring to see community forming and what is done for love of one in community. Catch it on DVD!
Over the weekend, I had put some mealworms out for the bluebirds and was peeling some bark off our River Clump Birch when I noticed a bird's nest. Looks like there will be some baby Robins sometime in the future. No eggs yet, but the nest looks near completion!
Planted a butterfly bush, lupine and another larkspur. Sure hope they take and bloom.
Back in April, I planted 5 Milkweed seeds in a wee clay pot. Finally, two seeds began to grow. Now, of all things, there are 2 more fragile green stalks and one very wee green sprout appearing. That means all 5 seeds took even though they were a year and a half old. I don't know how I can plant these wee tender plants beyond our fence by the meadow. The weeds and grasses are aggressive and tall and would choke out these tiny milkweed. I don't know how they will ever grow enough to bear pods.
In the meanwhile, I water and set the pot outside and tend these fragile sprouts. Eventually, I will put them in a bigger pot.
Maybe, I should start the seeds in the fall indoors and perhaps, by spring they will be big enough and strong enough to be planted outdoors and not be overwhelmed by the meadow vegetation.
In the herb garden, I planted Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon (looking a bit weakly), Basil, Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Hyssop and a little Bay tree! The chamomile have run with abandon through the garden, the garlic should've been thinned last fall and didn't, the chives are beginning to bud. I also planted tomatoes. So far, I have lost 1 Basil - I always lose the first one every year, and 3 tomato plants - either the first few days were too wet or as I suspect, a little too much tomato food fell into the hole and burned the roots. So, I have a back-up Basil to be planted this weekend (surely well after the frost date) and 3 new tomato plants. I usually lose 1-2 tomato plants every year as well. Go figure.
There is such a joy in planting these wonderful herbs and being able to pick leaves fresh off the plant or enjoy a turkey with my own sage, or chicken or lamb with homegrown Rosemary. And there's nothing as good as a ripe tomato fresh off the vine. At least with the herbs and tomatoes, when you plant them, eventually there is fruit by the end of the growing season. In ministry, it seems that all I do is plant seeds, and prepare the soil and rarely see any fruit. That always remains in God's care and hands.
The flower beds are lush and the poppies should be blooming within a week. The pin cushions have grown all over and have buds, the Bee Balm are growing up, the Baby's Breath has buds, and the larkspur has a bud. The Coneflowers and Brown-eyed Susans are growing well. The Siberian Iris have buds. June should be a colorful month and I am looking forward to a profusion of color gracing the front of our house.
May God be bringing good things to sprout and grow and eventually to bloom in the garden of your life.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


OK, I thought it was time for a change. I should take a class to see how you all do things with pix and videos and links. I keep it simple but I thought it would be nice to look a bit different. So here we go...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


What Your Favorite Color Green Says About You:

Balanced --- Relaxed --- Flexible

Compassionate --- Philosophical --- Humble

Loyal --- Inventive --- Unique


What I should be doing is rewriting the openings and closings for VBS, but I'm not.
What I should be doing is making a few phone calls, but I'm not.
What I should be doing is reading, but I'm not.
Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner!

Monday, May 19, 2008


In honor of upcoming trips many are making, name 5 places that fall in the following categories:

1. Favorite destination - someplace you visited once or often and would gladly go again:
Cedar Beach, WI - it's so lovely on Lake Michigan, so relaxing

2. Unfavorite destination - someplace you wish you had never been and why:

The trainstation in Frankfort/Mainz late at night, dark, lonely, filled with
some seedy characters

3. Fantasy destination - someplace to visit if cost and/or time did not matter:

Space, I'd love to see our world from a spaceship and marvel at it

4. Fictional destination - someplce from a book or movie or other art or media form
you would love to visit, although it only exists in

The gardens of Giverny - although they really do exist!
5. Funny destination - the funniest place name you've ever visited or want to visit:

Intercourse, PA & Bird-in-the-Hand, PA, stopped there on our way back
from venerable Presbyterian Seminary con ed program and spent a day
wandering around!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just Because -

Just because the rain is done
just because the sun is shining
just because the sky is azure blue
just because the bluebird sat on our fence
just because the birch is tall and full of leaves
just because the redbud bloomed
just because the grass is green as green can be
just because it's Tuesday in May
just because it's a beautiful world
just because I'm here, alive and appreciate the miracle of May!
Thank you, God, just because.

Monday, May 12, 2008


It was a quieter Pentecost, but still powerful. Everyone got a birthday candle to make a wish (a prayer) for the church. The choir anthem was great. The Communion Hymn: I Come With Joy, was played far too slow :( yet the communion was meaningful and flowed well. Even the red fabric panels got hung up in time for worship!
All the women received a chocolate bar for Mother's Day.
Had my much needed nap that afternoon.
Perhaps, the longing ache of unfulfilled motherhood made it just a quieter day for me. I still cannot understand the reason I was not able to be a Mom. I think I may never have an answer. Someday, God will explain it to me and I will understand. Maybe at that point, it won't even matter any more.
In the meanwhile, I think...I think about who will care for words I have written, for photos taken on our vacations, for our wedding photos, for my wedding dress which my mom made for me, for our family heirlooms, when LH and I are gone? There will be no legacy, no forward into the future for us, forgotten as though we hadn't ever lived. It bothers me. It grieves and saddens me. Others will be remembered either well or poorly simply by being mothers and fathers, part of the family tree, grandparents, great-grandparents. There is no one LH's side, funny, six siblings - only 2 are married with no children and the other 4 are single with no children. That family line is ending with this generation.
On the other, I have a niece and nephew, but I know they will not care. I am their only blood aunt and their only aunt in the States. It is rare that I ever hear from them. I even tire of calling of them and leaving messages on their cell phones. I always remember their birthdays, graduations, and at Christmas. I have sent them care packages in college. Would they ever think to send me a birthday card? Or just call to say hello more than once a year? I don't understand that generation, they long for relationships but they don't put themselves into them.
I have no answers and from time to time, these questions rise up and unsettle me. I will stay with being unsettled for now.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Ever have a day when the weather outside just reflects what you are feeling inside?
It's cool and rainy and grey. Sorta feeling that within me. No special reason, just kinda grey. I will be with this greyness and let it speak to me to see what it holds. But maybe, it's just a grey day in my soul.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


In recent weeks, I have had to keep the door of the bluebird house open as the sparrows again had taken over the house. On the roof of the house is a small plastic dish for mealworms for the bluebirds.
When I hadn't seen the sparrows for awhile and saw the swallows flying around, I closed up the house. Last Friday, a swallow went into the house, and there were some chirps and the swallow and a sparrow flew out.
So, I once again opened the birdhouse door.
In the meanwhile, I still put out mealworms for Beau and Belle, the bluebirds. If we can't be a Bed & Breakfast, we can at least offer a snack.
For the past two days, the sparrow has crapped in the feeding dish. Pure, unadulterated spite! So, I've had to clean out the dish before putting in the worms.
Last evening, Beau came by, ate his fill and perched on the birch for some time, just resting, just giving me opportunity to enjoy him. I delight in the bluebirds and it is sad that they cannot use the house that is theirs. But I enjoy their visits and am glad they return often to say hello and let me be in their company.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I confirmed three young people yesterday and what a joy it was! The one girl had just been baptized a little over a month ago. They are great kids and grew up for most of their lives here at Country Church. I pray that their faith will grow stronger and be an essential part of their lives from this point on and throughout their adulthood.
This is the first time where I started out with 5 confirmands and only three followed through. Usually, it's been the entire class. One got caught up in sports and missed far too many classes. She has a good faith understanding and hopefully, later will be confirmed. The other a boy who chose not to be confirmed. He is a moody, introverted kid and try as I could, simply could not draw out. His mother is hurt that her son didn't want to go through with confirmation. He is a smart kid, has shoulder responsibility for younger siblings, and volunteers to help clean up and serve the monthly community dinners. Mom and grandparents, even Aunt, have been wonderful examples of faith and involved church members. I have spoken to the Mom and suggested that she not push him to do what he is not ready to do. I assured her that the family has been a wonderful example of faith to their child and we pray that God and God's Spirit will continue to work in him until he reaches the place where he can embrace the love of Christ and make public his profession - whether that is in a year or two or when he is an adult.
I have enjoyed getting to know these young people better and to explore with them their faith and beliefs. They are a blessing and have been a blessing to me!
All that's left is to schedule the pizza party and movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" for next month as a closing hurrah with thoughts on discipleship.
There are some things about being a pastor that make up for all the crud we often have to deal with. Confirming young people is a joy that makes it all worthwhile!