Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I read more of Fearless today. The chapter I read was about the fear of insignificance -- of not mattering. Being invisible.

I understand it, and I imagine everyone experiences it at one time or another. One paragraph (or two) stopped me:

When the billionaire realizes that he will run out of years before he runs out of money, he establishes a foundation. No doubt some altruism motivates the move, but so does a hunger to matter.
Part of my job is helping those who are motivated to give financially to the ministry of the church. I have met with a man who established a scholarship because it was a way to honor his wife who had died under tragic circumstances. I have spoken with another man who wanted to create an endowment to aid three ministries he and his wife felt were close to his heart. Another woman is building an endowment for her church, year by year, because the ministry matters. Another man is giving a percentage of his retirement upon his death because tithing is part of his make-up -- a part of who he is.

I'm sure there are people who give because it helps them to feel that they matter, but the people I have met are answering a call from God. They are honoring those they have loved. They aren't giving because it will make a difference in how people will remember them, but because their giving will make a difference.

Image: Forget-me-not, the state flower of Alaska.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 4 -- Juneau

On the fourth day of the cruise, we stopped in Juneau. Juneau is the capital of Alaska. Everyone in Juneau came on a boat or a plane, or was born there. It is the only state capital in our country that cannot be reached by car. As our bus driver told us, "Everyone has a car, but the roads all end outside of town."

We toured Juneau on a bus, starting at the State Museum. It was an interesting place, with displays concerning Alaska's animal population, history and culture. We weren't there long, but we liked it. Right outside of the museum (which is in downtown Juneau) was a beautiful mountain with a waterfall.

From the museum, we drove to Green Angel Garden. This garden was designed and is maintained by a couple who lives nearby and comes to great the tour bus, then serve tea and snacks. The garden itself showcases local Alaskan flowers and other plant life. Peaceful and quiet.

Our next stop was Mendenhall Glacier. Gorgeous. I was distracted by the arctic terns. These birds nest at the foot of the glacier. Once their young are a few weeks old, they start their migration to Antarctic. Imagine -- breeding in Alaska and then flying to the continent centered on the South Pole to live.

The water at the foot of the glacier is full of chunks of ice that have broken off the glacier itself. Since the salmon weren't yet back from the ocean, there weren't any bears for us to see. We did see a beaver's dam. The visitors' center was nice as was the set up for walking out to see the glacier. I imagine Mendenhall was my favorite part of Juneau.

On the way back to the ship, we stopped at Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. This facility imprints their water on young salmon and then releases them into the river, where they make their way to the Pacific Ocean, living there for 7 years. When nature calls, they return to the hatchery.

After the tour, we returned to the ship, shed jackets and gear and went to lunch in town, at the Twisted Fish (good food). We then rode the Mt. Roberts Tram up to the top of the mountain. We had an all-day ticket, but once up and then down again, we decided once was enough. We went shopping, then returned to the ship for an hour or two of doing nothing but sitting in deck chairs -- Steve in the sun and me in the shade.

Great day.


Monday, June 28, 2010

God's Plan

I received an email a few days ago sharing disappointing family news (not my family -- the emailer's family). The news was followed with the phrase, "God has a plan." In my head, he was saying that what happened to his family was part of God's plan.

I object.

  • First of all, sometimes things happen just because -- I don't think everything that happens is part of a grand plan.
  • I think it sounds like God uses us as pawns in his grand scheme when we say things like that.
  • Are we supposed to just accept with thanksgiving disappointing news because it is part of "God's plan?"

What does it say to the person who is suffering if we tell them to on one hand blame God for what has happened to him/her and on the other hand rely on God to care for them? It is the opposite of comfort.

Why do we accuse God of terrible things just because we want to believe everything happens for a reason? Does a reason make it "better?"

God will not abandon us. He will suffer with us through the bad times. Ultimately, his will prevails, but sometimes it will be in spite of us, or around us, or even just without regard to the terrible things that happen.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


I noticed something during the children's sermon. Jeremiah was wearing a stole that has fringe on the ends. One of the young boys in our church was sitting next to him, listening. He reached over and started playing with the tassels. I'm not sure Jeremiah even noticed, but it seemed very innocent and child-like. I'm not really even sure that the little boy even knew he was doing it.

To me, it showed a level of comfort with his pastor. If someone intimidates us or worries us, we wouldn't feel free to reach out and distract ourselves by playing with a stole.

May we be so comfortable with our heavenly Father that we will reach out and touch him with no fear and no worry.


Saturday, June 26, 2010



Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime

The Friday Five tonight at RevGalBlogPals is to list five things you like or don't like about summer.

  1. Heat -- I don't like heat. I don't like to be hot. I don't like to sweat and be uncomfortable in the heat. Big mark against the weahter in the summer. Lest that be all bad, at least in the summer, it doesn't snow. Truthfully, I like spring best.
  2. Summer is much more colorful than winter. The flowers, the trees -- lots of color.
  3. Beach. I do love the beach, the ocean. One of my favorite things to do is to go out on the beach in the evening, when it is cooler.
  4. Fruit. Fresh fruit is great, although I do miss the soups of winter.
  5. No socks. Sandles. It's a good thing.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nothing is Impossible

While we were on the Alaska cruise, we missed a Disciples class. I enjoyed doing my reading on the balcony of our cabin. Sitting on the back of the ship, watching the shore go by, I read Hebrews. Great experience.

Read these verses:

Christ, however, was faithful over God's house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm, the confidence and the pride that belong to hope. Hebrews 3:6

We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,...
Hebrews 6:16

Those verses stopped me. We are taught that pride is a sin, and yet in the verse above, pride is something we hold onto in order to be part of God's house. And hope...we often use the word hope to mean wish, and yet in this verse, hope is the anchor of our soul. I daresay, it is not a wish.

The difference is that these have been transformed by God. It is not our sinful pride, but we are able to boast because of God. It is not our wishing that is the anchor, but God's promise.

And if you keep reading Hebrews, you find this verse:

...looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Imagine that -- Christ, crucified, for the sake of the joy that was set before him. Transformation.

I said once in Sunday school that those who are ordained in the UM church say they are moving onto perfection. Someone told me that wasn't possible; I must be mistaken. I wasn't wrong -- it is one of the historical questions. It seems to me if God can transform pride into something to which we must hold firm, hope into steadfast assurance and bring joy from death, then moving me or you to wholeness is not nearly as impossible as it sounds.

With God, all things are possible.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fearless in the Face of a Storm?

I’ve started reading the book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado. The first chapter speaks about the story of Jesus and the Disciples in the boat when a storm comes.

To tell the truth, Jesus’ reaction bothers me a little bit. When the storm comes, and they wake him up, he rebukes them, saying “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” (MT 8:26). Lucado says that the word used for storm is seismos. That words is probably better for our understanding of what is happening than storm. Seismos – not just a thunderstorm, but a huge, terrible storm. The boat is being swamped; this is deadly. Fear is a reasonable reaction.

Fear comes in our lives, and our hope is that we are not alone. God is with us. So, they wake Jesus up. I don’t think that’s a wrong reaction, either. Fear can lead us to the good reaction of reaching for God.

I also don’t think the disciples can expect that their close association with Jesus is going to protect them from the storm. Jesus isn’t telling them – don’t be afraid, nothing is going to happen to you.

So why rebuke them? They have a natural, healthy reaction to a deadly situation, and they reach out to Jesus.

I like Lucado’s statement about fear. Look at the question the disciples bring to Jesus when they wake him up (in Mark 4:38b) “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Lucado says, “Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness.” The disciples (in Mark) wake Jesus up and question his character. They don’t ask for help or for guidance – they question his care for them.

I wonder if that is the source of the rebuke. I wonder if he is telling them to not let fear destroy their faith.

One of the lectionary readings this week is Psalm 77. Below are verses 1-2 and verse 11:

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me. In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old.
Lucado calls it “spiritual amnesia.” He says fear “dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.” Elijah, who had witnessed the greatness of God, has spiritual amnesia in the wilderness (last week’s lectionary reading). Our faith in God is strengthened by our memory of what he has done in our lives. Fear can erode that faith.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Law that helps but doesn't change

In the sermon last Sunday, Jack talked about Galatians. Much of the book is concerned with the idea of whether or not the gentile no-longer-pagan-now-Christian followers would be required to obey the Law or not.

I read last week that the word disciplinian in the Galatian text is missing some of its original meaning. In the Hebrew and Greek, is connotes a slave who guards the young children of the master -- maybe we would call this person a nanny.

The Law was the guardian of the Jews. It gave them a way to determine if their paths were straight -- if they were following God or not. Jack talked about how we are now, as Christians, more mature in the faith (not of our own doing, but of God's doing). We know more about God; we are closer to God because of Christ.

Law -- rules -- can "keep us in line." It can tell us what to do. Jack's point (or one of them) was that the Law can't make us love God. It can't transform us into people who love and care for each other. Christ can do that. God can make that transformation. I had never really thought of that before, but it's true.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 3 -- Misty Fjord

Our first excursion away from the cruise ship was to Misty Fjord. We left Ketchikan on a "high speed catamaran" which I'll call a boat. It was a very nice boat -- two levels, with inside and outside viewing areas. Misty Fjord National Monument can only be accessed via sea plane or boat. It might be one of the most beautiful parts of our cruise -- if not, it ranks right up there.

It is located (as is much of Southeast Alaska) in the Tongass National Forest -- the largest Temperate rainforest in the world. As we cruised through the landscape, we saw breathtaking beauty. I've included a few pictures for you, but, sadly, I had my camera set on a setting that opened the shutter too small, so it stayed open too long, and about half of my pictures are blurry. I can't show you the puffins we saw or most of my images of New Eddystone Rock -- a 237 foot tall column of basalt that is the reminents of a volcanic vent. (Someday maybe I'll write a post about the irony of calling it "New" when it's 5 million years old).

We saw places in Misty Fjord that were created by glaciers. Think of a large punchbowl with high cliff sides. As we cruised, cliffs rose high above the water, with waterfalls and beautiful plant life.

We also saw eagles nest and bald eagles -- the first time I had ever seen one in the wild. They are majestic.

The Fjord was once the home of an group of Native Americans who left pictographs on the walls of the cliffs. The narrator pointed one out as we cruised over to the cliff to see it. It was very much overshadowed by the bald eagle perched above it.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Never Alone

One of the topics in Sunday school today was whether it makes us uncomfortable to be around those we consider to be faithful believers who are suffering from tragedy because it makes us question the idea that the faithful are protected by God from hardship.

Well, no. I might be uncomfortable around those who are suffering because I don't know what to say, but not for the reason in the question. I don't believe that God protects us from harm because of our faith.

Thinking about it today in class, I can see how a reading of the Old Testament could be interpreted that way. The idea of delivery from enemies and protection from harm appears pretty often.

But, we are people of the New Testament. Our understanding of the covenant and of God has matured. We are a people who know that suffering is a part of life, even a part of a Christian's life. Christ himself suffered torture, pain and death. Paul the same. How can we even consider that we might have some protection from the awful things of life?

What we have been promised is that whatever happens, we are never alone.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Your Image of God

I was asked once to pray with a woman at the altar rail. She asked me to help her. She desperately wanted to have a faith in a God of grace, and yet, she believed God was always angry with her for what she was doing wrong. Is that your image of God?

I was teaching a class once about grace, and one of the students told me that a person like the one who anointed Jesus in the Luke scripture we read today, had sinned against God and would never be forgiven. Is that your image of God?

Someone else in the same class told me that she was certain God loved the members of the class more than he loved a murderer serving time in prison. Is that your image of God?

God is calling all of us today to a realization of how much we are in need to God. The creator of the universe is desperately working in our world to make us aware how much we have been forgiven, and how much we are loved. Once that becomes our image of God, then we will love.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Eagle in Alaska

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Alaska Sunset (10pm or later)

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Great Love

Listen to verse 47 from Luke:

Therefore, I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.
Her sins have been forgiven and because of that, she shows great love. Once we become aware of our sinful nature and our desperate need of God – once we realize how much we have been forgiven and how much we are loved by the creator of the universe – we cannot help but show love.

Think back to Jesus’ answer when he was asked what the greatest commandment is – to love God with everything you are, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Being “good” – following God’s will – is the result of being loved by God. We cannot earn God’s love by obedience, but when we realize how much we are already loved, we will – as a response – obediently love God and love each other.

God is not Santa Clause, keeping a list, and checking it twice. He is the creator of the universe, and you are his child. What a wonderful, amazing grace that is.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Santa Clause Faith

When I was dating my husband – and I have been married 22 years and have a 16 year old son and a 13 year old son, so you know that was a long time ago – Steve told me a story of a father and his little girl. She was three – and any of you who have had three year old children know that they are not always perfectly behaved. She was having one of those days that try parents’ souls. Perhaps in a fit of frustration, he picked her up and stood her on the checkout counter in a store. She was just tall enough that this made father and daughter standing eye to eye. He told her that if she didn’t straighten up, he was going to call Santa Clause and tell him that she was being a bad girl.

As you can imagine, that didn’t set very well with the little girl, and she started crying – not little tears, but big loud noisy sobs. “Don’t call him; I’ll be good! I’ll be good.”

Sometimes I think we have a Santa Clause faith. While we may not admit it, and we might not even agree that is the case, but are there times when we believe that our good behavior will be rewarded and our bad behavior will be punished? That maybe God has a score card and he keeps track of our mistakes and sins, counting them up?

The good news is this: there is nothing – nothing – you can do to make God love you more. And the really good news is that there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Nothing.

He loves you, and he loves me. He doesn’t love us because we are without sin. He knows every ugly, black sin, every corner of our humanness. He absolutely knows who we are. And he loves us. He died for us. In fact, if you had been the only person who would be saved by his death, he would have died, just for you. Just for me. He couldn’t possibly love us more; he will never love us less.

I think it is imperative that we come to understand that. Vital.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Alaskan Shore


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Internet down

The internet is still down here at our house. Posting from the iPhone is OK for short things, but I think I'll leave it until tomorrow for something of substance.


Saturday, June 12, 2010


Internet is down at home this evening, so I'm blogging from my phone. My thoughts are
working through a sermon for tomorrow, and how much I wish it were already finished. I feel like I'm thinking in circles.

Annual Conference continues through tomorrow, although came home this evening.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Power in Contrast

Have you ever noticed the power in contrast?

I noticed this week, that while the organ can be a very powerful instrument, when it is silenced, and the congregation sings a capella, the silence is even more powerful.

When you frame a close up picture, and the foreground is in focus while the background is fuzzy, that the picture will be better if the background is a different color than the foreground.

I'm not sure why I mention this, but is there power in contrast in our lives? Is there power in silence when everyone else is talking? Is there power in love when everyone else is hating? Is there power in forgiveness when everyone else is angry?

Tired. Going to sleep.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Liturging Son

G read scripture this evening at Annual Conference. He did a wonderful job -- we are blessed.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Top Ten Reasons

Annual Conference starts tomorrow, so how about 10 reasons I like to come to Annual Conference?

10. Late night (relatively) coffee with friends.
9. Seeing people I haven't seen in a while.
8. Meeting people who are my "friends" on Facebook (shouldn't there be a different name for "friends" who really aren't your "friends" but get to call themselves that on your computer?).
7. Watching the business of the church being done. Call be a geek, but I like it.
6. Walking around the campus and experiencing the feel of college once again.
5. I get to stop "getting ready" for Annual Conference.
4. Great great music.
3. Great great worship.
2. I love the altars and how they decorate them.
1. Experiencing the connectional church, up close and personal.


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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ministry with love

Another question from Disciple last Sunday:

The 12th and 13th chapters of I Corinthians speak of spiritual gifts and the "more excellent way" of love. Sometimes we miss that link just because they are in different chapters. What does it mean to exercise a ministry with love?

Sometimes we get so involved in carrying out our mission -- our ministry -- our calling -- that we ignore the Greatest Commandment -- love God and love each other. To exercise a ministry with love, to me, means that the person in front of us is more important than the ministry. The person in front of us is more important than the rules, than the organization, than the schedule. It means carrying out God's mission in a way that is kind and generous, loving and compassionate. it means that whatever you are doing, when you are finished, the person in front of you has been loved. The person in front of you should see God's love for him or her through you and through your acts of ministry.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Faith without works

Rather a long scripture (relatively) today:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,* if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith without works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.
James 2:14-26

This was one of the scriptures we were asked to read for our Disciple class last night. We were then to consider the question, "What does it mean that faith without works is dead?"

From my musing --

Our faith in God calls us to action. Faith without works is faith without obedience. We are called by God to a particular rule of life -- called to live a life that shows forth love in action. We are motivated to that life by our awareness of being loved by God and by our willingness to be obedient and to be transformed by God so that we can do what he calls us to do. We do not earn grace and love through our works; we give evidence of love and grace through our actions.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010


On the third day of our cruise, we stopped at Ketchikan, Alaska. If you were to look at a map, you would see that this town is in the panhandle of Alaska that boarders Canada. It is called the "First City," because it is the first city that one comes across in the state. It is 500 miles north of Seattle.

In the past, the town has been supported by fishing (Salmon Capital) and lumber. Tourism is a big part of the economy now. This town of not quite 8000 people hosts large cruise ships like the one we were one every day.

We didn't get to spend much time in the city. We explored Misty Fjord from Ketchikan (a great excursion that I'll cover in another post). We didn't get back to town until around noon, and we had to be back on the ship before 2pm, so we just walked around downtown for a little while.

The town is nestled between the waterway and mountains. In some ways, it reminds me of West Virginia (steeper mountains) with its wooden buildings and the town built on the side of the hill.

The area was once home to Tlingit Indians. Tlingit Indians are divided into two lineages -- the Raven and the Eagle. Our tour guide for our Misty Fjord trip talked about this. Her sister had married an Tlingit Indian in the area; our tour guide came to Ketchikan in the summers to work while she is college. Part of the culture of this type of Native American is totem poles. We didn't see any, but they are in various places around town.

The light pole to the right was interesting. Those aren't flags. I couldn't tell if they were actually stained glass or not (I imagine not), but they looked like it and were a beautiful addition to the town.

There was lots we didn't get to see; I imagine more time would have allowed us to explore more than the surface of this town.


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Greater than our sin

I went to graduation this evening for one of our local high schools.

Graduation is a celebration. It's a ritual right of passage as kids who have worked their way through 12 years of school prepare to take the next step.

At this particular graduation, the students' names were called, and they walked across the stage, shaking hands with Board of Education members, principals, etc. As each name was called, family members and friends applauded.

I noticed for some of the students, the applause was larger, the cheers were louder. I'm sure some of that had to do with the personality of their families, the number of family members present, the popularity of the student, etc. Some of it, though, I imagine had to do how close the student came to not graduating.

For some of these students, with great grades and high test schools, graduation was a foregone conclusion. I imagine that for some of these students, not graduating was never even considered.
For others, graduation was not expected. Reaching that milestone was a struggle. Grades weren't high, absences were many. When they walked across the stage, family members who had shared their struggles couldn't hold the joy in at the accomplishment before them.

‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus* said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Luke 7:41-43
For those of us who have lived in sin, and who are aware of how far we have been from God, when God appears, there is great celebration. Those of us who believe God will never forgive us, that God would never grant us grace, find ourselves stunned by God when he appears. Our joy is great -- greater, perhaps, because of our sin.

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Friday, June 04, 2010


Image: Reflections in Misty Fjord.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day 2 -- At Sea -- Grayness

The first full day of the Alaskan cruise was spent at sea. I hadn't yet adjusted to the time change, so I was up pretty early (and it was already daylight).

I sat on the balcony of our stateroom, which was on the back of the ship, and read my Disciple lesson for the week. It was, to say the least, peaceful.

As we cruised, I noticed how monochrome everything was. I played with the camera, seeing if I could get good, interesting images without much color. The skills required to find beauty in something I wouldn't normally think was beautiful (I like color) are the same skills necessary to find God, sometimes:
  • I had to pay attention. Even if monochrome can be boring, it can be beautiful if you just watch. In order to find God in the ordinary (and he is there!) you have to pay attention. You have to set aside your pre-judgment, and have an open mind to the possibility of something you do not expect.
  • Light can change anything. Photography is recording of light -- photographs change when you use the light to your advantage. God is light. He can change anything, and seeking him out is to have the willingness to believe that his light is transformational.
  • Finding beauty in something that is not obviously beautiful requires patience. Beauty may not be readily obvious. Breathe. Wait. Watch. Wait for God in his own time.
  • Diligence isn't the same as patience. Stubbornness. See the image of the lighthouse? Notice that the light is shining? Know how many pictures I had to take to get one with the light burning? Many. I was stubborn, and wouldn't stop until I got the picture. Sometimes, I think stubborn faith is important in order to find God.
God is there. Watch. Have Faith. Wait. Persevere.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I was reading the blog Seven Day Gospel, written by a West Virginia United Methodist Pastor. In his latest post, he talks about the Ascension, and an invitation he was planning for Ascension Sunday:
It will most likely be shaped around Jesus’ pronouncement “You are witnesses of these things”. As such, the invitation is to current followers-to consider what you have witnessed and commit yourself to sharing what you have witnessed.
When Christ is at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us, it should make a difference. It should make such a large difference, that we can't help but share the light. And yet, I know that I don't always do this. Do you?

We are witnesses to the work of God in the world. We have front row seats. Sharing that news -- being the salt and light in the world -- doesn't just happen. It takes commitment and discipline. Practice. Courage. Willingness. Attention.

The song we sing at every Emmaus Gathering is "Let Your Light Shine." You are a witness and so am I. Do we let our lights shine before others so they will know our God of love's in the land?*

Image: Forget-me-nots outside the Alaska State Museum (it's their state flower).
*The phrase is from the song "Let Your Light Shine."


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Day 1 -- Vancouver

Over the next few weeks, I'll share some images and thoughts from our trip to Alaska. I'll try not to make it too much of a travel log, but then's my blog, and I'll log if I wanna. (Click on any image to make it larger.)

Day 1 was Vancouver. We arrived in town about 2pm after flying from Charleston to Washington, DC, to Denver and then to Vancouver. We rode a bus from the airport to the dock with a talkative bus driver who told us about the city.

There are two ethnic areas of the town -- China Town and India Town. There were still several buildings that one might recognize from the Olympics. They had removed the temporary roof from the building where the opening and closing ceremonies were held and were currently installing the permanent roof (not done in time for the event). The dorms where the athletes lived were to become low income housing. I thought that was a cool idea

The original part of the city was called Gastown (named after Gassy Jack Deighton -- yes, really). The city used to be heated by a steam heat system, which was also harnessed to power a Steam clock -- very interesting.We boarded the ship at the dock. Seven large sails are the highlight of the area -- once for each province of Canada (I think). Victoria, the capitol of the Province, is located on a an island near Vancouver.

The bridge over the bay as we cruised away was designed by the same man who designed Golden Gate Bridge.