Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Emergent Ministry

Confession: I'm addicted to reading other people's blogs and as I was blog-surfing today through blogs of my friends and blogs of old classmates I had an epiphany. Recorded on the internet is the early work of what is a powerful and emergent generation of pastors, dces, teachers, missionaries, and deaconesses (deaconi?).

As I was reading these blogs I was thinking about their owners and realized that the face of ministry is changing in the LCMS.... and it's just beginning.

We're not the same as our predecessors... give us 20 years and you'll see a very different Lutheran church than the one here today.

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's All About You!

Ok'd is over! It's crazy to believe that after 10 months of planning and praying, ok'd is over! It seemed very well received--even if there were bad bad actors acting the drama i wrote. Below are some highs and lows of the weekend.

1. Messiah youth--thanks to all my youth that went and for making my weekend great. you don't know how blessed I am b/c of you.
2. Listening to the Now music collection (5-19) on the way back from Ok'd. Can we say flashback to high school? (or when my kids were 6!). Of particular significance is that HD knew EVERY WORD of every song. impressive. 3 stars :)
3. I heart Todd. The end :)
4. Hanging out with the lovely Jessica W. and lunching with her and her adhd friend Carl. "look there's a --look over there at the--I'm hungry!" lol.
5. Seeing the drama i wrote come to life. (though we could have had better actors. note to self for next year)
6. Dinner at Chili's (and taking up the full length of the building) and free spinach dip and seeing Chester order a blooming onion and strawberry margarita cheesecake.
7. Tim Woolery as a counselor. He's great. I heart tim.
8. Panic Squad and winning scottish jeopardy. It's great.
9. QT to get milkshakes in the middle of november.
10. Hanging out in the halls saturday night. (even though it was a fired hazard and jenny kept was fun)
11. "do you think that the top part of the glass ever feels neglected? It never gets used! It's not fulfilling it's purpose!"
12. Seeing my group grow closer to each other.
13. Amy L up on stage with panic squad.
14. Zach S. sharing in small group time.
15. The song Journey by one of the high school speakers
16. "that's a good idea--force other christians to lie to you:)" Lacey on the way to ok'd
17. Drummer jokes over the walkie-talkie

1. not spending as much time with my youth as i would have liked.
2. bad attitudes
3. psycho driver on the way
4. having the spare stolen sometime during the weekend and having to pay $450! to replace it.
5. Zach M. getting sick. :( poor guy.

Overall--there were more highs than lows and I think that it was a good weekend. i heart my kids and the oklahoma district :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Spoda's revelations

Ok, so spode had some good revelations on my last post:

*there is a thin line to walk between praying passionately for the things your heart desires and asking God for a brand new car. Go ahead and pray for your heart's desire

*eli was touched by hannah's passion that's why he said "God give you what you ask" and sent her off in peace... not necessariy b/c her desires matched Gods.

*the idea that God will give you what you ask if it's in line with his desires at the right time isn't exactly biblical... So spode concluded that we should pray passionately and keep knocking :)

*Ive done a lot of praying (complaining maybe) about certain things, but I dont know that I've ever directly asked. so maybe I'll try that and see what happens. the worst thing God can say is no and that usually turns out for the better.

* other thoughts: God's answered most of my requests before. case in point: I asked for a non-lutheran christian friend that was involved in church and that seeked to please God with their lifestyel (but one that wasn't too "goody goody" to go out to the bars with me:))and God gave me my friend lindsey (and answered my somewhat selfish prayers for a roommate and for jess to live in the city). So... there ya have it folks. God does answer prayer.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Untitled--feeling pensive

I'm giving you my heart
All that is within
Lay it all down
For the sake of you my king
I'm giving you my dreams
Laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride
For the promise of new life

And I surrender
All to you
All to you

I'm singing you this song
Waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear
Count it all as loss
The sake of knowing you
Glory of your name
Know the lasting joy
Even sharing in your pain

And I surrender
All to you
All to you

We sang this song a couple of times at pRAISE at concordia. Oh how i miss pRAISE and the fellowship and the worship there. I really think I truly understood what Christian community was during pRAISE and during the Bible study that I went to my freshman and sophomore year. God prepared me in ways i don't understand and for a future I can't see during those events.

I think that God is trying to get my attention and has been for the past couple of weeks and He hasn't been terribly subtle. How, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. :) In the past two weeks I have used the story of Hannah as an example for prayer in two bible studies (once my choice, once not my choice), led a chapel message on it, heard it in confirmation on Wednesday night and am teaching the story to the 4-6th grade religion class on Tuesday. Crazy. God couldn't be more obvious if he was holding up a flashing sign that said "Hannah Louise I'm talking to you". So, the Hannah of the bible has always been a role model for me (and not just because she has a great name) but because of her amazing story. And for those of you that haven't heard the story in a while, I'll recap it for you and then I'll get back to the song up there. I promise :).

So hannah's married to this guy and he has another wife. The other wife Peninnah (your guess on pronunciation is as good as mine) has kids, which is great, but Hannah can't have kids... but her husband loves her more. Every year they all go to the temple and after the sacrifice they have a big meal. Hannah's husband gives her a double portion of the food b/c he loves her so much and b/c she can't have children. Well this ticks Peninnnah off so she pokes and pokes at Hannah and makes her cry and she has no appetite. Then... quoted from the message version,

" 8Her husband Elkanah said, "Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren't you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?"
9So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to GOD's Temple in the customary seat. 10Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to GOD and cried and cried--inconsolably. 11Then she made a vow:
Oh, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you'll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you'll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I'll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I'll set him apart for a life of holy discipline."

As she is praying, the priest eli comes up and sees her weeping and praying and thinks she's drunk. When he confronts her, she says that she is not drunk, she is pouring her soul to the Lord. Eli, touched by her honesty blesses her and says "may God give you what you ask for" and sends her off in peace.

Not long later, Hannah becomes pregnant and she keeps her promise and brings young Samuel to the temple so he may begin his service. Samuel may have only been 2 or 3 years old!

Moral of the story and moral for my life? Hannah wasn't afraid to ask God for what she truly wanted. However, it doesn't stop there. Not only is Hannah not afraid to ask for her heart's desire, she's unafraid to give it back to God. Can you imagine. This child she is asking for is not only her "first fruit" (as abel offered in Genesis) but may very well be her only. Solamente. yet she makes the offer to God and she keeps her bargain.

Moral for my life? I think that God is like Elkanah, like a faithful loving husband giving me double portions of a feast I cannot eat, because I am looking at what I do not have and now He is saying to me " why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than your selfish desires?"

The answer should be yes, but this willful child gets lost in the things I think i need and the things I think I want but God is reminding me that He should be all I want, all I need. That's where the song comes in. I want to surrender. I want to give God my dreams and lay down the rights I have to this life and let him work through them and mold them so that they match his own. But I have to be willing to surrender. Am I?

I mentioned two blogs ago that I need a recommitment and I think this not so subtle message from God is exactly what I need.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chris Tomlin--Indescribable

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and
You love me the same
You are amazing God You are amazing God

Monday, November 07, 2005


for a while now, I've been wrestling with contentedness.

i'm not sure why its hitting now or its a yearly thing about this time of year (b/c I'm sure that if I look back at old blogs that I moped about the same things about this time a year ago), but contentedness escapes me.

Stuff at work is fine, i think, and I'm not sure if I'm doing what I'm supposed to. i'm not really getting much feedback if I'm doing a good job or if I'm doing anything. There are things I know that i can do better and I face my toughest critics sometime next week when i have my staff review. I'm nervous b/c I just feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel frustrated. I feel tired. I feel like there aren't enough hours that I'm working to get it all done.

My social life is there and thanks to Jess moving to Oklahoma City, I now have another buddy around. yay! im so glad she's here. i feel blessed that God continues to answer the prayers of his child that hasn't been that intent on spending time with him. So to my friends and my roommate--thanks for the blessing you've been in my life these past months. Another thanks is due to my wonderful friends from college--for sticking with me even if we disagree.

I've been longing for my future husband mightily these past couple weeks, wishing he were here, wishing that on my drives home that it was him i was driving home to. In my moments of weakness and loneliness, I keep thinking I should call or email a certain someone who resides in the great city of topeka (the place from which my lovely spoda hails), but in the words of Chandler there might be a "can open, worms all over the place"--and I don't really want an open can of worms to clean up. (which, when you think about it, makes no sense to me. who carries around a can of worms? ewww)

More importantly, my spiritual life is pretty..... well it's sucky. I've only half-heartedly attempted to crack my bible open and to journal my prayers, and when i pray aloud it feels stilted... like I'm talking to a stranger or to a friend I've lost contact with and am wondering what to talk about.... which is great for someone who works in the church.

More than anything I need a recommitment in my life to God, to my work, to my youth, to myself, friends and yes even my future husband. I am only as strong and as capable as the power of Christ in me....

In other news, Leon the neon is no longer. He has been traded off to the big parts business in the sky. I now drive a 2003 VW Bug (dark gray with cute little pink flowers in the vase):) it's waay cute and i'm thinking of naming it betty or bob. I'm leaning towards betty, but will take any suggestions of cute b names. :) (i dont think i can name it bethany though.. it would be weird to have a car and a friend both named bethany...thats kind of like naming your dog the same thing as your child)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Part 2

i think that us girls all have a boy to which we are addicted, to which we will keep going back to.
Without naming names, we know who they are, we know what they do to us, and why it's not a good idea to go back to them, yet we go back.

Why? I'm don't really have an answer other than the fact that they know us. They know our faults and our flaws and still like us, still want to be with us. and that's addictive. For whatever reason, we let them have our hearts and they can take them and stomp all over them, yet given the chance, we still would give our hearts to them again and again and again.

Why? I don't know. I do know that I think we deserve better.

Grr I say.. grr to boys

Ok, so a second title for this post could be. Questions to ask yourself regarding dumb boys.

I was up and restless all night thinking about a friend of mine. And without going into the specifics, I'm upset at the boy in her life. And there's nothing I can do about it. So I'm going to journal. Questions to ask yourself before getting involved (or getting involved again).

1.What will be different this time that will make it worth you spending your time/energy/trust on this person?

Ok there's really only one question on there, but I can't type the rest without sounding mean and judgmental. So grrr I say grr to boys.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Ok, so there's been some confusion from my last post. It was not, repeat not, meant to say that I'm being left behind while all my friends are hooking up. I don't feel left behind by those of you that are dating, getting married, having babies. It just seems like those things are events that happen to people who are old, mature and when there are people my age who are doing those things, and I'm still single, it just seems surreal. read carefully: I'm very happy for you who are dating, engaged, married, pregnant, buy a house and pets and I value the wisdom and experience that ya'll have when my day comes.

I just wish it would come a bit sooner. :) I don't want to be the only person changing diapers when everyone else's kids are in college :)