I experienced some firsts this week; at least, since the pandemic and the phrase “social distancing” began. I was in a group of people. I ate in a restaurant. I hugged someone outside my immediate family! All on the same day… Why? I attended my uncle’s funeral, my dad’s oldest brother. Funeral restrictions are now being lifted in my home state. We were allowed to gather; masks were on and distances maintained – at least for the first half of the day. As the gathering progressed it became more difficult to follow those rules, even when you know they serve an important purpose. (I pray we do not come to regret anything from this gathering…) Continue reading
I completed the last course for the certificate program last week, four years in the making. Let’s revisit… what is a “Certificate?”
A certificate from Wartburg Seminary demonstrates either basic or advanced mastery in a specialized area of ministry or theological studies… This certificate is earned by the completion of eight courses, taught in a combination of online and on-campus intensive courses, covering Bible, church history, theology, and electives. Continue reading
First thing tomorrow morning, bright and early at 8:00 am, I begin the very last class for my 8-course online Certificate in Theological Studies. My final class is an introductory study of the Hebrew Bible. The goal, as written in our syllabus: To assist students in entering the delightfully diverse and expansive conversations of the Hebrew Bible in order to grow in their own understanding of biblical faith and to gain resources to continue the living biblical conversation in their places of ministry. This final class was intended to be live – in person within the walls of Wartburg Seminary! It is actually meant to be taken early during the Certificate program but I pushed it out, finding it difficult to commit to one full week away from home. Continue reading
We all crave some sunshine in the middle of winter. Sometimes we do not realize how desperately we need it to help cope with the endless cold, dark days. The weather last weekend in my little part of the Midwest was incredible. We had warm temps and sunshine – on a weekend! It was sunny, blue skies and sixty degrees on Sunday… Sixty! Continue reading
This week’s writing is a continuation of the last… Stay calm and write on! I challenged myself to be better about seeking God each day, even in the most trivial moments. There’s this question I am often asked: Where did you see God today? Usually this is a fairly easy question to answer. Yet at times, there are days when I must dig real deep to recall God’s presence in the midst of the mundane.
It was the kind of week where I drive from the garage at my house to the parking garage at work; no stops, no time outdoors, no sunshine. It’s dark and cold outside. It is the kind of week where it would be easy to set God aside and trudge forward. Continue reading
I have patiently waited to use my last of three blog posts written by a friend as a Christmas gift last year. We had He is Enough back in January, and The least of these in May. I’ll enjoy my week off… But I encourage you to reflect on deep faith from the raw and intimate writing of my very dear friend! May you find comfort within your own unique life experience from the gift of her words! Continue reading
My daughter (my youngest, my baby!) turned 7 years old yesterday. Allow me to be a little nostalgic… She’s had a tremendous amount of growth in the last year – she can read a chapter book, tie her own shoes, get herself dressed. She is incredibly independent and self-sufficient. She knows what she wants, and she will do what it takes to make that happen! (Even if that means deceiving her parents…) Continue reading
The stars aligned, schedules and babysitters were coordinated, and I had the rare opportunity for a night out with some wonderful people this weekend. We enjoyed dinner, a few drinks, and many laughs! We ended our night with an escape room.
So, at 9:00 pm on a Friday night, the four of us were placed in a small room and challenged to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues and hints discovered in the room. Our ultimate goal: unlock the cabinet which held the gun to be used to kill Abraham Lincoln. We were very confident! We are smart women, and no doubt will find and solve the clues and save the President from imminent death! Continue reading
I had the opportunity to serve communion last weekend. This Christian practice of partaking in bread and wine comes in many forms and frequencies. I’ve communed in churches big and small, in the middle of a forest with a campfire nearby, and as a part of a wedding ceremony, including my own. Continue reading
There have been a few events lately which have forced me to think about life and the passage of time.
As this writing posts, I will be arriving at a 24-hour “Taste of Camp” with my six-year-old daughter. This is the camp where I learned that it is okay to share my thoughts about faith with a group of strangers. This is where I spent my summers during college, where I met my husband, where I met some of my closest friends. This camp had a huge impact on my life, and continues to be a special place of ministry for my family – and now my youngest child is old enough to actually attend! Continue reading