Saturday, September 27, 2008

Raspberry Mountain Wilderness Lodge

I grew up in the church. I am 41 years old. I have probably attended, over the years 60 retreats, maybe more. I have just gotten back from a very unique retreat. And yet there were things about it that were delightfully typical:

beautiful location- mountains of Southern Colorado
great hikes
lots of women in one place
fire pit
Amazing Grace
development of inside jokes, "Bless your heart"
Psalm 103

And yet it was different...

Here were some of the firsts for me on a retreat:

adventures on ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles)
cattle in the high country meadows
calves at play and grampa cow always working to catch up
an engagement annoucement
hot tubbing
movie watching in a state of the art theatre room
women actively trying to get to know all the other women there

But best of all the home we stayed in was a work of art. It was beautiful. It honors God's creation. It invites you to dream big dreams... It was obviously built with love thinking always of all that would cross its threashold.

Our hostess was the embodiment of hospitality and loving sacrifice in every possible way.

The combination of these two realities did something to us, her guests. Our souls were opened up in beautiful ways. We were free to be generous with each other as she and the Lord through her had been generous to us.

I have never perosonally been more impacted or watched others be more impacted by this gift. There are passages in the book of Acts that will forever mean more to me than they ever meant before.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above you heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update on Terry

I am writing to let you know that the doctors have been able to figure out what was going on with Terry. After many tests, there is a fairly easy solution that will restore his health. We are very grateful for this outcome!

We are grateful for the answers to prayer that God has provided!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


My brother's name is Terry.

I know, isn't it cute our names rhyme. It came in handy when Mom was calling us. We both responded to a positive tone. We both assumed it was the other one when it was "the somebodies in trouble" tone.

My brother is a couple of years younger than me. We were very typical. Liked each other but also liked a good fight. Road trips were especially interesting. We lived in Kansas when we were little and there was no place to far for Mom and Dad to drive us. So we got some serious "don't cross that line" time in the car.

As we grew up we both were led to leave Colorado for college. We were both led to Christian Universities. Terry went to Northwestern in Minnesota. He married a local girl and they are very happily settled up there.

Terry is a youth pastor. I love his heart for the Lord and people. We have great talks over the phone. Processing what the Lord is up to in each of our lives. Encouraging each other to press on and delighting in what we each enjoy about ministry. He is more than my brother. He is a dear friend.

This week he called to tell me something serious was up with his health. He discovered this while swimming to shore dragging a kyack because he another person had accidentally flipped is on one of his adventures. He heart and lungs weren't working right. After we got off the phone I was horrifyied by the thought that it could have been my dear sister-in-love calling me to tell me Terry drowned in the lake and we can't figure out why.

Before that moment, I thought I already knew how much I love my 6ft 3in "little brother". Turns out I didn't. I couldn't imagine and still can't not having him to call. So now I know better how much I love him.

The doctors have made progress figuring out what's going wrong. He'll be feeling better soon. And all of us who love him will be more appreiciatve than we've ever been before.

I wish I knew why it takes events like these for us to know how much we love and are loved.

I'm always fascinated when the very thing we would never wish on somebody it the very thing that teaches was we need to know.

To those who knew what was going on with Terry this week, thanks for praying!

Monday, September 01, 2008

It's essentially over...

Well, I just wrote the closing paragraph to my final paper for seminary.

I cried through most of my conclusion. My final paper ended up being a journey paper. Where was I on numerous topics before I entered seminary and where am I now. Pretty cool process for your last paper. God's beautiful sense of timing shows up once again.

I cried because I am so overwhelmed with what the Lord has shown me over the last few years. What a joy it has been to work through what I believe, or don't believe or want to believe. And to go through all that experiencing God and his love for me through each question or revelation.

I have read again through the greatest book ever written. I have read many great books about the greatest book. I have sat under great teachers. They were great mostly because they love God and they want others to love God too. They wanted to teach me what God had taught them so I could pass it on to others. No earnest question was ever dismissed some led to the best conversations I've ever had.

Many people have encouraged me along the way. I have been thinking of many of you today as I have been writing. I have to give my dear husband a word of appreciation here. He has listened to me think through so many things. We couldn't even begin to count the number of times I said, "Oh honey you've got to listen to me read this..." It's been a sacrifice that my family has for the most part joyfully endured. May I do as well for them as they have done for me.

Soon my diploma will be in the mail and I'll be looking for suggestions about what to read next. However, that will come after I get through the pile that is already on my desk... :)

Thank you so much for your encouragement along the way!!

Much love,