Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Repent and Believe in the Gospel

This past Wednesday we were told:  Repent and believe in the gospel. We see this word again, and again in the scriptures…REPENT.

I think in most seasons of Lent I focus on the first part: In my humanity I am sinful, I am broken, I am not what I need to be. 

I do this so much:

This past Wednesday, I had the awesome opportunity to preach, and it was a good message…..yet by the time I got home I only focused on what I did not say, what I did not do, what I could have done……so when Dan asked me how it went, I was like….it was ok.

When I did not pass DCOM this year.  I thought this is not what I need to be doing, I tried to imagine myself doing other things….so that I did not have to face them again.

When I work out now, I only think of the things that I used to be able to do that I can no longer do.

I don’t need to be reminded by the ashes on my forehead that I am human, that I am broken, that I can be so much more. I do that to myself so easily.  It is my nature.

Then Wednesday night I got an email.  It was a kind message from a church member saying that God used me to speak straight to her.  She was not planning on attending Ash Wednesday but found herself in the pew.    The words that she said were kind and uplifting, but more importantly, it reminded me that God uses broken people to heal the world, to bring light where there is darkness. I did not say everything I wanted to say,  in being open to the Holy Spirit, I was able to speak to her heart.

My DCOM meeting this past year has only given me the total assurance and conviction that I am called to this work.  

I can't run a 5K anymore, but I can move.  So, I need to start moving.

Repent, and believe in the gospel…To believe in the gospel to me means to fully 100% believe that God does love me, all of me- the good and the bad.

Today I wanted to tell you:
you are broken, AND you are loved.
You are sinful, AND you are loved.
You might have been told NO, but you ARE loved.
You might not be doing all you want to do today AND you are loved.

Yes, let the ashes lead you this lent, but don’t get lost in them.  Remember that you are created from the dust from the image of God.  I can only image how intense the love it that God has for us.  I hope to live into THAT this lent…..let the ashes lead you toward the light.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Why I love PokemonGo….

So, let me start this by saying I don’t know much about my Pokdex. (I had to look up how to spell it correctly).

What I do know…..

I get to spend some fun (ish) time with my boys. 

You see- my boys have really bonded easily with my super husband.  Anything he does they love, laugh at, appreciate with ease…….

I have a great connection, but don’t always have easy connection points.

For example:

  • I don’t know or really care about the college sports events.
  • I don’t know or really care about professional sports.
  • I don’t know a ton about WWII history.
  • I don’t know or really care about mindcraft.
  • I am not their Dad.

I DO love my boys and try to find connectors when I can.

When this game came out a much younger co-worker was so excited about the game so I looked into it. 

 I then set up accounts for my boys.  (let the angel music play).

Here is what I do know:
  • I can take a walk with my kids and search for different pokeymon.
  • I can set up a lure module and sit for 30 minutes waiting for pokeymon.
  • I can go to local parks to go for hunts. Using incense.

This game how weird, stupid, a waist of my time….has become a time to walk and talk with my boys.

I am now on level 16 and have some very rare Pokeomon. Cool right------most of all it is a time where I do find out what my boys are up to and how life is going.  

Can I do this with out Pokemon Go?  Yes.  
But, this tool is something that I have embraced.  My church, and place of employment, has some cool Pokeystops that are right next to a cross and a pond.  This is a great place to just sit and chat. 

This crazy game that I don’t totally get has given me a place at the table with my kids.  I will accept that. 

Perspective:  So, you are a Pokemon hater…. that is fine.  I get it.  But, find a tool in your life to get some one on one time with your kids.  I know that I have 240 weeks before Slick graduates from HS and 344 with Pickle.  I am going to find ways to connect and build our relationships.   I will learn football plays, mindcraft stuff, study WWII…….I will keep a connection going, even with Pokemon.......

Friday, August 26, 2016

Living in the Calm Water

This summer my family took a vacation to Colorado.  As a part of this trip we went white water rafting.  This year we were able to do a Class III and IV rapids- FUN!!!  This means that trip was more intense at times, the water was serious and we had to listen to our guide telling us what to do.  This is us before the trip:

The guide gave us instructions; let us practice on some smaller rapids, etc.  But, he did something that has stuck with me.  After every rapid that we crossed he had us turn around and look at what we had come through.  “That was a class II, next is a class III, get ready.”  

Each time while we were in the calm waters, he would have us turn around and see the rapids that we accomplished together. 

This has really changed me.  How I look upon my life, and how I do life with others.

Some of us are living in a class IV rapid, we are working so hard to just move and get through that we can’t see much else. 

Some of us are living in a class III, it takes work and focus, but we can do this.

Some of us are living in a class II, it has some bumps and some waves, but all and all it is smooth.

What I am realizing that the past 10ish years I have been living in class II-IV rapids.

marriage, teaching, 1st home, miscarriages, babies, career changes, illness, moves, grad school, work stress, family stress, etc.  

All of these times were full of amazing times, of tough times, and they were all hard work and full of anxiety and stress, even in the joy.

I am at a point in my life where we are in the calm waters.  It feels weird.  I feel like I need to splash, waiting for the rapids to come again.   I am getting used to the calm.  I am learning to be happy with calm. 

My dear friend said to me, “Kim you have everything you wanted in life.  Enjoy it.  Stop searching for more and get a hobby.” 

He did not say that my life is perfect.  He just pointed out that I now have what I have been working for.  I just need to see it.  I need to enjoy it.  I need to STOP searching for more.

I am now stopping my, “What is next?” dialogue. I now will enjoy my what is NOW.  Guess what, I am happy.

Most of us have heard this passage below read at weddings, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.  But keep reading…this passage talks about hard work in this timing (9-15) and enjoying what is in the PRESENT that you have worked for (16-22).  Read it again, and see it in you life.  See that where you are is ok and know that you are not alone. 

A season for everything
There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:
a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
    a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
a time for killing and a time for healing,
    a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
    a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
a time for searching and a time for losing,
    a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
    a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
a time for loving and a time for hating,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
Hard work
What do workers gain from all their hard work? 10 I have observed the task that God has given human beings. 11 God has made everything fitting in its time, but has also placed eternity in their hearts, without enabling them to discover what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there’s nothing better for them but to enjoy themselves and do what’s good while they live. 13 Moreover, this is the gift of God: that all people should eat, drink, and enjoy the results of their hard work. 14 I know that whatever God does will last forever; it’s impossible to add to it or take away from it. God has done this so that people are reverent before him.[a] 15 Whatever happens has already happened, and whatever will happen has already happened before. And God looks after what is driven away.[b]
Enjoy what you do now
16 I saw something else under the sun: in the place of justice, there was wickedness; and in the place of what was right, there was wickedness again! 17 I thought to myself, God will judge both righteous and wicked people, because there’s a time for every matter and every deed. 18 I also thought, Where human beings are concerned, God tests them to show them that they are but animals 19 because human beings and animals share the same fate. One dies just like the other—both have the same life-breath. Humans are no better off than animals because everything is pointless.
20 All go to the same place:all are from the dust;all return to the dust.
21 Who knows if a human being’s life-breath rises upward while an animal’s life-breath descends into the earth? 22 So I perceived that there was nothing better for human beings but to enjoy what they do because that’s what they’re allotted in life. Who, really, is able to see what will happen in the future?

Friday, April 22, 2016

The simple answer that changed me forever

A week ago I was working on a presentation titled, “Best Practices on How we Connect Church and Home.”  Sounds really exciting, I know.    I started this task like I do so many others with a simple outline:

Then I began some research to help back up what I though would be helpful to others.

I started putting together my 10 minute talk.  I had the typical research in it; some ideas about how social media can help.  I had slides full of wonderful typical information.

Then I started rehearsing.  My talk was fine.   It was totally boring.  I did not want to listen to myself.  I was frustrated, is there really a best practice?  Is there something that will help every church no matter how large or small?  Why is this so BORING?!?!?!  

Then an image of a child appeared in my mind.  A child. 

That is the key, that is the answer.  No matter what curriculum you are using, what size your church is, if you are connecting with the children of the church in ways that makes them so excited about God, about sharing, about praying, about church.  The children will wake up their parents.  The children will bring friends.  

The children…….The children……….  The children. 

This is the start to my journey of looking at a simple answer in a deeper way.

Perspective:  Sometimes we make things much more difficult that they are.  Today look for the simple answers.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let’s Tell the Easter Story

Our Christian Faith is one that reminds us we need to spread the good news!  Yet when it comes to Easter and children we get very nervous.  The Easter story has some pretty sad and scary stuff in it!  How do we share it with our kids in a way that will help their faith life grow?

First, you know your kids best, so always start with your intuition. 

Second, remember they see and hear about scary stories all the time on the news, with friends, and don’t forget, every Disney story has a scene or two that make us question why we brought our kids to this movie in the first place.  (Or is that just me? I might get scared right along with them!)

Third, this is our story.  Don’t be silent about it! 

How do you tell this story? The Bible is always a good starting point:

Mark 14: The Last Supper, Jesus Prays in Gethsemane,Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested: 

Mark 15: Jesus is Crucified and the Death and Burial of Jesus

Mark 16: The Resurrection


Early Childhood-Preschoolers:  If talking about death and killing is a bit much for your children, frame the Easter story that people wanted to take away our love (Jesus).  The people did succeed in taking the love and Jesus died. (Pause) But, this is NOT the end of the story.  Jesus came back from death to save us all.  Some good books to read together:  
What is Easter? by Michelle Medlock Adams
The Easter Story, by Tracy Harrast
The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs
Early Elementary:  This is when you can add some details of how people were so mean to Jesus.  We have to remember that our kids deal with people every day, and they see kindness and they seen people being unkind.  This story reminds us what can happen when a group is VERY unkind.

Late Elementary:  It is my honest opinion that you need to tell the full story.  This is an age where they are in a questioning phase of faith development and this story is VITAL to whom we are as Christians.  

Here are some resources that I use for Easter:

Please reach out to me this week if you have any questions about how to walk Holy Week as a family.  We have created a Holy Week Coloring Book to help you tell the story.  I also invite you to all of our Holy Week services and activities (listed below).  The pot lunch dinner is an addition to our Maundy Thursday celebration I am excited about.   I would love to see your family telling our Christian story through worship this Holy Week. 

CLICK HERE to visit St. Andrew Holy Week and Easter Services: