Daring to learn, change and grow

ImageAs I write this, professional movers are here in my townhouse loading up a [way too big] moving vehicle with my stuff. The heat index is something over 100 degrees today. I bought a [very small, 669 sq ft] house in St. Paul, MN and am taking my time getting settled there. I’m a student. I work with students. I’m learning a lot.

I have not embraced change and learning as often as I could have in life. In therapy, I’ve remarked that it feels like changes happen to me. I don’t lead it. I don’t cause it. It happens and I passively move with it almost as a victim. This move feels like one of those changes that is causing me to learn and change and grow but not the way I would have written the story.

Disciples are called and commissioned to walk by faith, not by sight. Or at least, more by faith than by sight. I have not done this well. I’ve done it kicking and screaming. I’ve done it crying. I’ve done it huffing and puffing like a ticked off teenager. This time around, my posture has been more of surprise and “whatever.” Daring to walk by faith and follow change and the leading of the Lord is getting boring to me. I can’t say i’m happy about it. Sometimes it makes me angry.

Still, I follow. Still, I learn. 

I’ll open books as a grad school student this fall in Seminary. Remind me to order them, please, because I’ve been kind of busy getting a mortgage and thinking about weeding a lawn and other things a renter never had to deal with. I’ll read those books and I’ll write papers and I’ll do reflection and I’ll pray.

Dear God, grow me up. Forgive me for not following by faith. Help me. Please guide me. Please help me be a light. Help me learn your ways. Help me live them. Amen.


The Ministry of the Acolyte

I made my first Acolyte schedule this week. We invite students who are in our confirmation ministry to serve … It ends up being about 4 students per service. They process in with the book, the cross, the receive communion plates, they light and extinguish candles. 

Enough weeks go by when i observe them and I know many of them do not have a single clue as to the significance of their presence nor their ministry. They probably have no idea how their serving the congregation in those white robes are a testimony to grace or promise or how it bears witness to the light.

The first time I visited this congregation and saw young people holding the communion cup holder things and being so involved in every aspect of the worship life, I was so struck. I hope I never forget what a blessing that was for me to see.

It’s quite a “thing” to consider adolescents at the most vulnerable time of their lives carrying the cross (literally) or lighting the candles for us. We lead them, they lead us. It’s beautiful. On this day, I’m thankful that God includes all of us to bear the cross and the light, sometimes when we have no idea what it means or who sees it. Amen.

Summer is not over

August 19th and the Minnesota State Fair will begin in just a few days. Confirmation groups start up on 9/18 and gee that’s about a month away. Kids are getting school supplies and I’m buying a house and i’m in therapy!

I don’t think i got a summer this year. That’s okay. I know a lot of other people had boring things happen and not happen that they can choose or not choose to be thankful about. I remember when summers were BORING as I was a rural kid. This summer was far from boring and it’s far from over. I’m taking time to slow down as much as i can, in the middle of buying a house and trying to re-launch a ministry at a new church. I’m praying for students and bewildered parents. I’m thinking about those who fit in too well, and those who don’t fit in at all. I’m asking God’s grace to be on all of it.

It’s going to be hot this week. I’ll let the sun hit my face and just stand there. Be… thankful. Be.

Starting a blog is like a loner going to a jr. high dance

God bless young people. God bless their parents. As I prayed about starting a blog, I realized there is a lot blogging has in common with young life… You put yourself out there and you’re never really sure if people will accept you. You feel vulnerable. You aren’t sure.

You do it anyway.

I’m thinking of the many young people I was hired to serve, most of whom I still haven’t met, even tho I started on May 21, ’13. I pray for them. I pray for their choices and their hearts. I wonder about what they think about and what they do when they are lonely. What are their creative outlets? What if they don’t feel like they fit in?

Can i invest enough in shared ministry with loving adults to shape their faith? Let’s hope.