Saturday, February 20, 2016


Lent arrived quicker than I would have liked. Lent is going quicker than I would have thought!
Six purpled weeks and I am still planning for Holy Week and Easter.
  This year the Lutheran Cluster is doing a round robin for mid-week services. That means each week I am preaching the same sermon at a different church using the Evening Prayer Service which I am not chanting. The topic is the covenant of baptism - focusing each week on a different part of the
promises we make at baptism. I picked my week and was told that the focus was servant leadership following the example of Christ. The gospel reading was part of Maundy Thursday's reading. I just couldn't get past preaching two Maundy Thursday sermons. So I changed the reading to Philippians 2:5-11 which talks about Christ becoming a slave (servant) emptying himself and dying on the cross.
When the bulletins arrived, my part then was worded as it is in the ELW - caring for others and God's creation. That is not necessarily the same as servant leadership.
   I fumed. I muddled. I had something sort of worked out in my head. And then the focus changed.
What would I do?
   And in the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday - with a funeral thrown in - I was stressed. I needed
to come up with a sermon. My neck got sore again. About a week and a half ago, I tossed my head, and near fell to my knees for the pain of it. That was a stupid thing to do! Ouch! Last Saturday, morning I worked on that sermon and it came together - somehow the two joined - serving after the
example of Christ caring for others and God's creation. And then wonder of wonders, my neck pain was totally gone! As if that one sermon, was causing all the pain and once written and put together, healed my neck. I am grateful. I felt as though a burden had been lifted from me.
   But now, lies before me, the rest of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter. I have ordered wildflower seeded crosses to give out on Easter Sunday as we look for signs of life around us.
   I have something partially together for Maundy Thursday. The rest of which I am working on.
Good Friday remains a mystery at the moment!
   In the midst of all this, I am to plan the wedding ceremony for my niece and godchild which will happen May 21st. I need to give them some options for vows, etc. I have part of a sermon worked up and will have to finish off.
    The shower will be April 9th - and I am providing the party favors. Thankfully, my niece wants things simple and not a formal blown out bridal affair. The wedding is a simple outdoor ceremony and party with barbeque. She doesn't have a bridal gown - just a nice dress. So, that helps.
    For the bridal shower, I went to three craft stores looking for lavender paper bags with handles, none to be found. There were purples ones in a pack of multi-colored bags. So, on-line I went and found some. Ordered. Done. I will need to fill little plastic purses with lavender M & M's the week after Easter and put the cute heart-shaped murano-like glass compact mirrors in the bags. Cookies are ordered and everyone will get the most delicious frosted sugar cookie in their bags as well.
I have to wrap all the shower gifts as well. I will do a little at a time since I have several items.
    Somehow, it will all get done and in-between I will get the rest I need. I figure between now and Pentecost, it will just be a non-stop marathon just like from November until January. And already
half the year will be gone! Yikes!
    This would be the year with the early Lent!
    Oh, and since my niece is graduating with an MD/PhD just before her wedding, I am putting
together Diploma Cookies and taking the can with for her shower. These are Pirouline (rolled hazelnut/chocolate wafers) with a string of red raspberry licorice tied around them. I figured
red raspberry would taste better than strawberry with the chocolate and hazelnut. Thankfully, there
is a bulk candy warehouse in Cleveland - not far from the other church I serve - where I found the
    My Lent is full, filled to overflowing and I am trying to keep my focus there. That is my Lenten
disciple this year - only I am often distracted by the wedding stuff. I am thankful for God's grace that forgives and will bring through - hopefully as sanely as possible!