Christ’s Rightful Place

The message today was taken from the scripture lessons: Acts 16:9-15, Ephesians 1:15-23 and John 14:23-29. The idea was based on the following title and the weekend we spent with our daughters. Enjoy!!

Christ’s Rightful Place

You may have heard me mention last week that James and I were going to Jamestown yesterday. I am starting to understand why I don’t want to leave the house after the first week in June. April and May are crazy, and I think this year has been way worse than past years. Our initial intent was to watch Paulina in their home track and field meet, but soon we also found out that Jaxon would also be competing in a wrestling competition in Jamestown. We were able to watch him from 9:30-10:30 then head up to the college to spend most of the day with Paulina.

There were a few parents and families at the college meet, but it was nothing like the parents at the wrestling match. Actually it started at the hotel at breakfast. We went up to Jamestown on Friday night, so we were eating at one of those hotel breakfast places in the morning. While James and Jaxon were standing in line waiting for the waffle machine to be available, I had time to watch one poor father trying to coax his son into eating something. I couldn’t quite tell if he was giving him medicine or if it was a piece of banana. I just kept hearing him beg the boy to eat this thing. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but he was saying, “Just try this one time, and I will never ask you anything again.” The kid was probably 8 or 9 years old. I just wanted to say, eat the stuff and get on with life, really this poor guy is in for a long life.

Later when Victoria showed up for breakfast with the two youngest, I mentioned it to her, and she shook her head. She admitted that her generation of parents has this idea that children should be asked to do things. Since opening a day care, she has been taking various day care classes and in one of her last sessions, she read an essay about telling children instead of asking them. Her example was, you are in the Dr office and the child needs his blood drawn, instead of asking if they could please sit still the parent says, you need to sit still for a bit because the nurse is going to take blood from you. The choices might be do you want the chair alone or my lap. Do you want the blue sticker or the red when you are finished? She has been using this on Jaxon, and though he was a bit upset about being told what to do, she said within a week, she has noticed the change in his behavior. Wow.

I sort of have to laugh about it. I think maybe that generation, at least in my house, gets the idea of giving choices because they didn’t have too many in their day. It was here is your breakfast, now eat. This is what you wear to school today. The choice is get dressed now or in the car, and Victoria specifically had at least one of those sessions. I also don’t remember sharing the television too often, so I can see where Victoria might have wanted to allow her son a bit more freedom.

Looking at those parents, I got to thinking about when James and I were first married, and we often went to church in Hull in his home church. It was interesting to see the way those families sat in church. It was quite different from the way I grew up. It our church a few of the younger couples sat together, but the older ones sat pretty strictly men on one side and women on the other and the children all in their particular Sunday School benches. Babies and children too young for Sunday School sat with their mothers. I don’t remember how my parents sat when I was old enough for Sunday School, but before that, we were in between them. I suppose to rein us in, to keep us in control. In James’ church the parents sat side by side and the children sat around them. I was told it was to show that the partnership of the couple was the center of the family, the children were the additions. I guess for those who put the children in the middle maybe that represented that the children were the center of the family. I am not sure on that, maybe it would be an interesting psychological study.

My point and question today is about the center or perhaps the focus. What is it that we focus on? What is the center of our family? What is the main focus or our main thought when we are in church, or when we are out and about for that matter? Certainly our livelihood needs to be somewhat of a focus or all that we have falls apart. So we do need to have at least some sort of “tend to our business” sort of focus. And our family both immediate and perhaps even extended needs to be there someplace near the top if not the top. But what else is there in terms of our focus? Is it friends, clubs, organizations, hobbies? What about Christ? Where do we fit Jesus, and what we are taught about him and by him into our lives?

The story from the book of Acts about the apostle Paul seems to be a little out of place in this message today. There is nothing really in that story about who is our focus, who is our center, or is there? Let’s take a closer look. This story happens after Paul and others were sent by the disciples to the area of the gentiles to spread the news about Jesus. During this trip Paul has a vision telling him to go to the area of Macedonia. He does this and ends up in the city Philippi. During this stay, Paul meets a God fearing woman named Lydia, who is a dealer in purple cloth, which is what that region is known for, and probably means she is a wealthy woman. When she hears about Jesus, she and her whole family, her whole household, which likely means all her servants and slaves too, were baptized and she invites Paul and those with him to come to her home to stay while they are in the city. She opens her home to those who brought the good news of Jesus to her life. She responds to the words of the apostles by accepting salvation by offering herself and her household to be baptized, and then she opens her home to the messengers who brought her this good news. Although she believed in God, she now knows the truth of salvation and she changes her focus; she opens her heart and home to allow the teachings of Jesus to be its center.

Our gospel lesson for today is a passage from John that Jesus told the disciples before he was crucified. He was telling them about how he was about to go away and the Holy Spirit would be sent to them. He also told them that for those who loved him, he would return to live with them, something we may think of as a future thing, but perhaps, we might realize more as a now thing if we really put our focus, on Christ as being the center of our lives. Jesus in this passage as he is talking to the disciples and telling them that he is going away says: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.”

Somehow this sounds much like things we have talked about in bible study. The peace that Jesus gives probably won’t eliminate all the drama and tension and issues that come up in our lives, but with that peace, we have a different way of dealing with those things. With the peace of Christ our focus shifts. We come to the, “not my will but your will be done” type of attitude. We are no longer like the child who wants our own way at all times. As we tune into a loving relationship with Christ, we understand that God’s ways are not unreasonable demands from a dictatorial parent. Instead they are words and nudging and guidance from a point of complete and total love, a love that is so deep it was willing to offer an only begotten son in order to redeem us as an heir to eternity.

Just as parents want what is best for their children, so God wants what is best for us. Sometimes we just need to shift our focus to see what is important. It is when we have Christ as the center of our lives that we are able to embrace the peace that he offers us.

This week on Thursday is the day we celebrate the Ascension of Christ from this earth to join his father in heaven. On Ascension Day, Christ was given his rightful place as ruler of all just as is written in the scripture lesson we heard from Ephesians. According to the author that place is, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the age to come.” Christ’s rightful place is above all, and for us should be the center of our lives and our focus. And even though we won’t be having a special service on Thursday, we might just want to take a bit of time to think about what Jesus life and death and Ascension really means to our lives. Let’s go today with that attitude of Christ’s peace going with us. Amen.

More Birthday gifts

In looking back I see that I have been absent from blogging much of the time. It must be an indication of having too much to do in life at this time. On another note it is getting harder and harder to make the transition from story in my head to the actual story on the keyboard. Oh, so much to do and so little time to get it all done. Enough complaining, pretty soon you will be offering to send me some cheese to have with my wine. Ha!!

Peanuts clock

Peanuts clock

I just have to show off the alarm clock that my daughter, Jessica, gave me as a birthday gift. If it wouldn’t be such a perfect addition to my Peanuts  collection, I might have to raze her that it means I don’t get out of bed and do anything (which today I wish were more true than less). Anyhoo, the song is perfect. It is the Peanuts theme, the one they dance to before Charlie Brown gets them organized for the Christmas play practice.

I have set it and used it a few times. I am thinking that the way yesterday went, I will have to use it especially on Wednesdays from now on. I just could not get myself moving. It did not help that my phone was left in the kitchen, so I couldn’t even roll over and check the time. In those cases I turn on the television and hope they say the time on the news every now and then. I do at least know the schedule and so if certain shows are on, I am aware if it is before or after 7 a.m. or 9 a.m. What a life. I was able to finish up what needed doing, I just didn’t get next week’s  finished as I had hoped I would. Now to finish up the message for this week, then take a break. I have Mother’s Day off and boy does that feel good!!

Not much else for here. I took a few pictures of the rain here this morning and will post those on the lucindagardens site.

Love for all, Earth Sunday

The scripture lessons for our Earth Sunday message were: Acts 11:1-18, Revelation 21:1-6 and John 13:31-35. The title is above.

Sample of one of the pictures from the Earth Day power point.

Sample of one of the pictures from the Earth Day power point.

We started the message today with pictures of nature, sunrises, sunsets, animals, flowers garden produce, and it was all in an effort to make us think about the earth that we live on, the world we are a part of. Hopefully those pictures were esthetically pleasing. Hopefully they gave you joyful thoughts. Hopefully they were the sort of pictures that make you want to care for the earth and all that lives and grows on it because in reality, that is essentially what we were created to do. At least that is how I interpret the creation story from the first chapter of Genesis, we, humankind, are to take care of the earth and all that is in it and that is quite a responsibility.    So, my interpretation of this earth loving, tree hugging sort of thing is tied a bit to the words of Jesus that we read in John, but I want to save talking about them until a little later.

The scripture lesson we had from the book of Acts, today, tells us a story about Peter being the disciple who went out and shared the good news of Jesus with the Gentiles. This word, Gentiles, originally was a word that meant nations. But when God made the covenant with Abraham and his offspring and they separated away from others, the term Gentiles came to mean those who were not descended from Abraham. The break came mostly because the others worshiped idols and so were not part of God’s chosen race.

In this story, in the vision and the actions of Peter, we see that God has opened the door of salvation through Jesus for all people. In his vision when Peter sees all of the different animals that the Jewish people considered unclean, animals they were forbidden to eat the flesh of, and the angel’s voice told him to eat of it, the meaning is that Peter was to go to the Gentiles and proclaim the story of Jesus, to teach about Jesus death and resurrection and to baptize even the Gentiles into the salvation that Jesus brought to earth. For us this is great news because it means that this story is not just for the Jewish people and not just for the people in the time of Jesus, but it is for all nations at all times, and it is for us. But I kind of sort of think, we already knew that before today. This story in Acts is nothing new for those of us sitting here today.

So, what about the next scripture? The nearly last chapter in the book of Revelation talks about a new heaven and a new earth. For those who are…oh what do we call them, Apocalyptic thinkers, this is a great chapter. You know what I mean, those who look at the events of the world and throw up their hands saying the end is near. The fact is, it doesn’t matter which time you are in, there is always something that points us to the end times. There is and was and always will be something going on in the world that is so bad it can indicate we are near the end. The truth is we don’t know when the real end is, and so we have to live in the here and now. We need to live as if there is a tomorrow, and that what we do today matters for that tomorrow.

Something about this reminds me of a sitcom, I think it was an episode of Becker, the test results of a patient were mixed up and this man thought he had end stage cancer and only had a few weeks to live. He ended up quitting his job, spending all of his money, getting rid of everything he had only to find out that the lab had mixed up the papers and he had something minor, and now he was basically out on the streets with nothing. This scripture lesson should not put us in that sort of mindset.

What it should tell us is that God cares. Besides the lesson about the someday, the eventually time when this world ends as we know it, there is the hope and the lesson that God is more than just a creator who sits back and allows things to play out on their own, or at the least just watches what happens to us. Verse 3 says that a voice came from the throne saying that God’s dwelling place, God’s home is with mortals, with us. And later in verse 4 it repeats the words we heard last week, the words that assure us God cares for us. It says again, that God will wipe away the tears from our eyes. If that doesn’t mean God cares, I am not sure what does.

And so we turn to the message for the day, the words from John’s gospel. This lesson today is the final commandment that Jesus left for the disciples, the commandment to love one another as he loved them. One of the readings I looked at for this week pointed out that the sort of love Jesus was talking about was not just the difference between the types of love you have for a spouse vs. love for a child, or other family member or friend, and on and on. The difference in that reading was between the act or feeling of love and the action of love.

According to the writer, Jesus was talking about way more than the feeling of love that we might have for each other whether in a friendship way or a family way or a romantic way. The word love in this commandment is not how you feel about someone, but how you agree or decide to act toward someone. Jesus commandment says we are To Love one another. Love, then become not just a feeling or a thing, but a commitment to a way of behaving.

Let me share one paragraph from the book…How can we love as Christ has loved us? How can this love be so evident in our lives that those around us will know we belong to God? (Song we just sang…”They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love”) When it comes down to it, this is where our faith really becomes tangible. When love becomes a commitment, it produces actions in our lives. It means going that extra yard to do something for someone, taking the time to talk with someone and work through tensions and problems. It means not giving up when we don’t get our way, but learning to live with differences ( The Minister’s Annual Manual 1994-1995 pg. 370).

[What an amazing idea, imagine if all our national politicians acted this way]

Jesus commanded us to love one another, and that doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything that someone else says or does, but it is a matter of concern and compassion and grace and at the least civil respect. What is that saying, you tell children when you aren’t pleased with what is going on, “I don’t like what you are doing, but I love you.”?

Love is a commitment. Love as Jesus commanded it doesn’t turn and run or give up at the first sign of trouble. This is true in a marriage, a parent-child relationship, a friendship, the church fellowship, really a partnership of any kind. If we love as Christ, loved we are willing and able to work through many problems and issues.

And then we come to a couple of recent readings from our devotional booklet, The Upper Room. I was struck this week by the reading on Thursday and Saturday. The message on Thursday gives us great reassurance and what I would almost call relief, as we read that love is more than something we are expected to do. Love is what God does, and because God loves us, we are then able to love others. Love doesn’t start with us, it starts with God. One line in particular says, “…endless, abounding, overflowing and incredible supply.” This makes me think of the spring of the water of life mentioned in Revelation. This particular devotional even mentions God as the Alpha and the Omega. Again, I am thinking less and less that these things are coincidences.

The reading for Saturday talks about how children in a kindergarten class go about learning their calendar lessons. The class described was one of caring and encouragement. The children were taught to clap when their classmates answered correctly and to encourage when they couldn’t remember and to help the others to learn the correct answer. The writer used this lesson to remind us that we are to encourage others in their growth and learning as Christians. As the church we are not the judge and jury, we are the examples and teachers and leaders.

This brings me to the person story for the day. It is from one of our track meets this past week. We went to Fessenden, ND on Tuesday. If you remember Tuesday morning, we work to a good amount of fog. It was misting on and off most of the morning. We kept waiting for the call that the meet was off, but it didn’t come, and when we loaded the bus around noon, the sun was shining in Linton, and the wind had died out, and we thought it would be a great day.  By the time we hit the interstate and got to Steele and started heading north, the fog was back. James was having fun trying to keep the windshield from fogging over while maneuvering around curves on a road that was without shoulders. It was a fun trip, let me say. Anyway when we got there, we found the track was indeed surrounded by mature trees, so any wind there wasn’t really a factor, and that was nice. But the setting sort of reminded me of the story, Bridge to Terabithia, because there were footbridges from the track to the field events. None of that is really important to my point; it is just a picture for you.

At this meet, we finally had our new team t-shirts, and while we were waiting for an event to start, a lady came up to the girl beside me and asked if she could take a picture of the saying on the back of the shirt. I hadn’t really thought about the saying much, but we were all impressed that she liked it until she told us why she liked it. She wanted it to laugh about how some of the people of her church acted. [picture of shirt or shirt] The back of the shirt says, “We are not here to take part, we are here to take over.”

Now, this might be a great attitude for an athletic team who wants to be the big winners, but this is not really a great attitude for a group of people out to share the love of Jesus with the world. Christ’ love is not about being the winners; it is about winning others to Christ’s love. It is about loving.

And finally one last thing, though we have not spent the entire message talking about the earth in an Earth Sunday sort of way, I believe that the love Jesus commands of us reaches beyond the bounds of human beings. If we really love as Christ loved, we are also caretakers of the earth. Living in the type of communities we have in our area, I am not sure how we can be earth haters, though I am sure there is something we can all do to ensure that those after us continue to have the sort of lifestyle we have.

If you follow some of the news from the national office and from around the area, there is an effort to protest fossil fuels, and the new pipeline coming through the area and probably other things too. Those are all things we may have opinions about perhaps even mixed opinions. To paraphrase my son-in-law he says he understands all that people are against and why, but he also says, “just let me get my student loans paid off, then I will hug any and all trees that need hugging.” Sadly that is where we all are on some of these issues. How do we balance our needs to the needs of the future?

How do we fulfill Jesus commandment to love one another as he loved us? How do we love as a commitment instead of as a feeling? The answer is that we draw from the love that God gives to us, and we keep going back to that well on a daily basis and in Christian fellowship. Let’s make sure to drink deeply from that well this week, Amen!

Life giving acts

I have not been able to post or even read anyone’s posts for the past week. It has been crazy busy at our house, so for now, I will just post the message from this morning and try to do some read and gather my thoughts to do some real posts tomorrow if at all possible. Below is our message for today.

The scriptures were taken from: Revelation 7:9-17, John 10:22-30 and Acts 9:36-43.

If you remember to last week, I told you that there wouldn’t really be a message just a group of stories about the theme which was: God’s plans and at the end there were some comments that you were supposed to ponder when you left here. Today we also have stories though fewer than last week. And, this time instead of pondering, I think the assignment will be more on the line of brainstorming, or at least thinking up some actions to go along with our theme of: life-giving acts.

But life-giving acts aren’t our only focus today. There is also this idea of Jesus as the good Shepherd, and so we have used it in our music and in our liturgy. It comes from both the gospel lesson and the passage in Revelation. And, the Psalm of the day is the 23rd Psalm, and so we used it in our call to worship.

The gospel lesson tells us that Jesus said “my sheep know my voice.” He says this in the temple in Jerusalem in the Portico of Solomon as he is answering the Jewish leaders, who are trying to trick him into blasphemy by saying he is the Messiah. And, when he lets them know that they are not one of his sheep, they are so angry that they want to stone him. What they missed in his answer about who he is, was the answer about how those who become his followers, his sheep, to them he gives eternal life. They weren’t willing to follow. They wanted to be in charge, they wanted to be the leaders, to show everyone how to follow the laws and do what they said. They weren’t willing to be the followers, to humble themselves to obey the call of the Shepherd. They weren’t willing to be a part of those life-giving acts.

So, before we look at the other scripture lessons, let’s start with a little story about the board meeting we had this past Wednesday. Normally those things can be a bit dry. We start with a reading of the past minuets, and this time there were two of them, then we go through the budget and we hear reports of what we have been doing and finally we talk a bit about what is coming up.

Let me tell you there was nothing dry about Wednesday night, and the not dry part started with the cake that Susan brought. We were laughing from before the meeting started almost straight through to the end, and it wasn’t just a smile here or a polite little laugh there. These were full on holding ourselves laughing. It was the sort of laughing that is actually good for you. I am not kidding. That sort of laughing is healthy because it pushes old carbon dioxide out of the lungs and allows you to breathe better. Come to think of it that might be the sort of church activity we should be sponsoring, or at least holding more often, a laughing session, a life-giving activity.

Anyway, this brings me to the next day, my next day, Thursday. By the end of that night

I was beginning to wonder if perhaps I had been struck for sins committed on Wednesday night at that board meeting. Was all that laughing a “fa-sind-mich” thing? Was I being struck or punished for laughing about those things.

Here was my Thursday. Our track team hosted a four part track and field meet in Linton. For those of you who have helped at a meet either on the field or in the press box, you have an idea how stressful they can get. Well to shorten this story up let me just say the computer scoring program broke down before we started, and so we had to hand score the varsity meets as well as the junior high meets. This was enough to send me over the edge because I mostly want to double check all the sheets that come in before they get announced and ribbon-ed and scored. Now I didn’t really have the time.

Next the sheets from the running events began coming to the press box without the overall places being noted, which is something our clerk normally does. This wouldn’t have been such a problem, except the girls handing out the awards were inexperienced and when they saw the numbers on each heat sheet, they started giving awards that way (six heats of the 100 meant 6 blue ribbons, 6 red ribbons, and on and on for the 100,) etc…As I think about it now, it is about the same as only giving one ribbon to a team when they placed in a relay, which has happened in the past.

Anyway, it didn’t take long for me to be just a little stressed out. I finally realized that I needed to leave the area to clear out my mind to figure out a solution to our problem. Besides that, I needed to go to James’ classroom to get two more paper charts so we could do the varsity hand scoring. Fortunately I had made extra copies.

Well during that long walk up the hill into the school, I finally realized that I couldn’t fix this alone. I needed help and from a couple of different areas. Yes I could do my part, and yes I needed to step up and be the leader and the one who explained the rules and such to the others about how to determine who was first and second and so on, but I couldn’t do every sheet myself, nor could I do all of the scoring alone. This became a group effort and after I told the others how we needed to do it and asked them for help, we got through everything very well, and even laughed a few times. Fortunately those working in the press box were able to adjust to the need to pitch in and help a little faster than those sending the sheets from the finish line. I think it took until the 800 meter run before we started to see the stickers coming in the order of fastest to slowest per heat.

By the end of the night, the thing that gave me a real lift was the way our mile relay teams performed. Mostly though, I felt sort of upset about the way, I initially handled the stress. I wanted so badly to be able to fix the computer problem on my own, but there was no way I could, there was nothing I could do, no configuration I could come up with to make that path reconnect to open that program, and the worst of it was that I knew all the work I had done entering events and rosters that day in preparation for the meet would have to be redone before I could type in the final results on Friday.

So, on Friday morning when I sat down to reread the scripture lessons for this week the final verse of the passage in Revelation hit me. It is the verse about “wipe away every tear from their eye.” I realized that God is there with us in all things through all things, and that we don’t have to go it alone. When we are hurting or frustrated or even at our whit’s end, God is there to comfort us, to calm us, but it doesn’t happen when we try to go out on our own. Just like those Jewish elders who were too important, too pious and lawful to follow Jesus, we won’t get to be part of the sheep if we refuse to listen to the voice of the shepherd.

This passage in Revelation is not about how great the ones robed in white are because they have made it through the great ordeal, although that is a pretty amazing feat. It is about how God took care of them. It is about how Jesus the good Shepherd guided them through, and they followed, and they made it. It is about how God drew them in and sheltered them and in the end even wipes the tears from their eyes. This passage is about how we have that same good shepherd to guide us through the tough times. The way God guides us is not just to go to God, but to be willing to accept help in times of trouble. As independent and bossy as we might want to be, we can’t always do it all on our own. We need to remember God is there for us.

This brings me to the passage from the book of Acts. This is another of the stories about the early church that I wish was longer. I want lots more information about Tabitha, or Dorcas as she is also known. It would be interesting to know more about this woman from Joppa. She sounds like an absolutely wonderful woman who any community, any church, any family would love to claim as their own. From what little we are told, we can believe that she was caring and compassionate. She must have had some financial means as she was able to do much for others in the form of charity. And the women who mourn her show some of the sewing work that she did. But that is all we really get in the way of knowing much about her. By the time this story begins, Tabitha is dead. The women, described as widows, who are with her have already washed her body and prepared it for burial. They are all in mourning, but not quite ready to give up on their friend and so they call for Peter to help them.

They are crying about Tabitha’s death, but still not ready to call it over. And Peter comes and goes to Tabitha and prays to God and she is returned to life. God gives her back to her friends, back to the young church, back to her family, back to this world. And as he does it, the tears are wiped away. Peter becomes the instrument; the women who called for him become the instruments through which life is given back to Tabitha.

This story lets us know how God works through his believers to help those in need. Peter and the disciples were the beginning of the early church. The women around Tabitha were part of the church. They worked not just to spread the news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but to help each other, to do for each other. I have a pin on my Pintrest site that I am hoping to paint on an old board this summer and hang it in my room. It says: “God is not calling us to go to church; God is calling us to be the church, the hope of the world.”

In other words, the questions for the week, the brainstorming thoughts are: What are the life-giving acts that I can do this week where I happen to be. I need to ask myself, how can I show the love and compassion and life-giving acts of Christ this week? I need to ask that even when the computer breaks down, and maybe especially when the computer breaks down. I was hit with the reality that I am pretty much a work in progress, and there is lots of room for improvement. What life-giving acts are we willing to do for each other and for those around us this week? I bet if we take the time to look to our Shepherd, we will hear some directions. Amen

Saturday at the meet

Paulina tossing hammer

Paulina tossing hammer

On Saturday we went to Bismarck to see Paulina throw at the U of Mary track and field meet. She throws for the University of Jamestown. Let’s start by saying it was a miserable day. The wind was blowing like crazy. The sun was shining so intensely that you needed “zutron” sunglasses. In case you are wondering what those are it is a made up word. I always wear the big wrap-around your normal eye glasses type sunglasses and that is what my oldest daughters named these glasses of mine. It was also so cold that we were wearing clothes under our clothes and sweats then winter coats. I am not sure how anyone was able to throw when the girls were tossing hammer and the boys were shot putting. The deal on the shot was you might have been able to call it “wind-aided” if there would be such a thing in shot put. The discus was better weather, but by that time everyone was pretty well toasted out of functioning. Paulina needs a good week of decent weather to practice and get herself back into the rhythm of how to toss the discus. She was fighting an earache all week and when you need to spin to toss both the hammer and discus, it sort of wrecks what you are trying to do. At any rate, she ended up with a career best in the shot put hitting 33′ 71/4″.

The sun that day.

The sun that day.

After the meet, we went out to eat then picked up a few items and headed home. I was on a mission to get stocked up on food for the track meets this week. We also picked up sunscreen, muscle rub and some massage sticks for the team. We have been meaning to do this all year, but with three meets coming up this week, it was time. James and Paulina also managed to sneak in the birthday gifts that I wrote about yesterday. It was a good day and we were even home in time for me to get the message for Sunday put together without staying up past midnight. Hooorah!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

My Peanuts gang hanging out on the piano.

My Peanuts gang hanging out on the piano.

So today was my birthday, and likely the last I will count. This year my age ends in a 9, but it doesn’t start with a 2 or a 3 and that is all I am saying. HA! I have never been at issue with my age before. I guess it is because most of my life, I have been comfortable hanging around and learning from older people, but as we age, it seems there seem to be far more younger people around. Besides that it always seemed to me that you couldn’t have an opinion on certain things until you hit certain ages. At any rate it was a good birthday as those things go. Jessica called me to tell me who wished me a Happy Birthday via her Facebook page. Wow! It was fun to hear everyone she mentioned. I really need to catch up with a few of them again.

The gift from Paulina

The gift from Paulina

Paulina came home for the weekend and brought a gift that was wonderful. She started the conversation yesterday with a, “When are you going to put away the Easter stuff that is on the piano?” I finally figured out what she meant when I opened the gift she gave me. It was a set of Peanuts characters. I set them up on the piano (as you can see above) on Sunday after we got home from church, and I had time to clear off the piano. I added the cards to cover the power strip that I keep up there for the Christmas and Easter villages. I also added the figurines on the end that Adie gave me a few years back.

The frog gift from Glenda and James' gift in the background.

The frog gift from Glenda and James’ gift in the background.

My aunt Glenda stopped by with a gift that was great, and both of them presented their gifts with apologies about how they weren’t probably going to be liked, and I love both of them very much. Glenda kept telling me not to be mad, but she just wanted to get in on the deal, which I was so clueless about what she meant until I opened the package to find another frog gift. What a hoot! After Paulina left, James and I took the time to set the frogs out in the garden, but if you want to see them there, you will have to go to the lucindagardens site for that picture.

James also chose two very nice things, and they are in the picture here just above the frogs. The first one I had asked for and that was the massage stick. The other, the light up flower, was a surprise and a very good one, now the little pink flower has a partner in the garden. Again to see it set up go to my lucindagardens site.

As you can see this post is surrounded by pictures of the gifts. Thanks very much for the gifts and to all who called or texted with good wishes. It was all greatly appreciated. I am hoping to be around for several more years, though as I said earlier, I may stop counting today. Thanks again!!

Reunion plans

Preliminary Agenda

Preliminary Agenda

For the past few months my sisters and I have been part of the area All School Reunion Committee. This committee , which changes leadership on occasion, has always been an active part of the community with reunions every five years or so. In the past few years we have stuck to the time line more tightly than in the past. In hindsight, I am thinking we should have held off until 2017 for the next one because with the first graduating class in 1918, that would have been 100 classes, but oh well. We did the five-year thing, and with so many of our alumni in the older part of the listings, it is maybe at least one more chance for some of them to return and connect with old friends.

We have several classes: 1918-1935 with no living members anymore, so that is significant. As of yesterday of 1,973 total graduates 605 are deceased. As you can see we are a small community. We never had a class graduate with more than 50, and I believe it was the class of 1973 that topped the charts with 48 members at one time, but they were not all here for graduation.

Although we have farming roots, this too, is a fluid community, and we have people coming and going. My brother and sisters were life-long students here, but I was an import as were my children. In fact my youngest was an export and is one of the only family members not receiving a letter. I think she will survive, and from the sounds of it, the my second child and my grandchildren will be off in Portland at a high school graduation during the reunion. I am still grumbling about holding it on any date other than the last weekend in June, but that is another issue that I won’t bring up here (though I just did).

Registration form

Registration form

Just for  a note here, the envelopes have been stuffed and the labels are about to be printed, and the letters will hit the mailbox very soon. Hopefully we have less returns than the “save-the-date” postcards. For those who are Herreid Alumni reading this, I have included pictures of the tentative schedule (we are already thinking of bumping the parade to 1:30) and the registration form. For more information alumni can stop at the Herreid All School Reunion Facebook page. I am not a FB member so have to just put my stuff here.

And, for those who read this, but are not Herreid Alum and want to show up, you could always take a page from one of the episodes of the Golden Girls and crash the party. We are handing out registration packets on Friday night. Maybe you can sneak in and “be” an alum. Of course be careful whose name tag you pick up, you might not want the one that Blanch had. HA!!!

Have a great day, and for more on what I am up to check out the other sites: lucindagardens and lucindacrafts

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