Worship Words-In Remembrance…

In Remembrance..
We have so much to remember. Because I can’t remember everything, I appreciate the many ways I am reminded of what is important. Today, Facebook reminded me that 2 years ago we buried my grandmother. Facebook shared silly and serious family pictures we took that day. I am thankful that Facebook reminds me of people and events I shared in the past. And communion gives me time to pause and remember. The song, In Remembrance of Me, reminds me that when we gather at Christ’s table we do it to remember.
As people of faith, we are not called to live in the past. We are called to live in the now. We are called to “search for truth and always love.” We are called to work toward a future of justice for all. We do this by remembering, by learning from our communities, by listening, and by opening our eyes and our hearts to the needs of each other.
As we remember, let us pray.
God of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Your ability to remember is amazing. Ours fails us sometimes. Thank you for ancient rituals and modern inspirations that keep us grounded and in touch with our ancestors and our memories. Give us courage to learn from the past. Give us courage to live boldly as your beloved now. Give us courage to dream big dreams of the future that can be. In remembrance of Jesus, we live and pray. Amen.
While I cannot remember what was happening before and while this picture was taken, it remains one of my favorite pictures from the day of Grandmother’s service. A big thank you to my sister for this awesome memory!

Fancy Chinese Tea


My husband was given this tea as a gift. I have enjoyed a few cups of this tea. In order to share what it is, I had to enlist the help of a friend who can read this tea tin. A big thank you to her for this information about this tea.

“The tea is the flower of plains coreopsis. Although the flower is quite common, people only use the flowers growing above elevation 3000 meters to make this tea. So not much tea can be made each year actually. And we believe this tea is good for your health. It’s definitely a good tea and becoming more and more popular in recent years.”

This tea smells like a spring day with flowers blooming. It tastes delicious too. It has a subtle, cheerful, and calming taste that is unlike other teas I have enjoyed. I highly recommend this tea.

Worship Words-A Prayer for Sleep

It is useless to get up early
and stay up late in order to earn a living.
God takes care of God’s own, even while they sleep. -Psalm 127:2

I love sleep. I believe sleep is God’s gift to us. While we sleep, our bodies can renew, relax, and recharge. When I don’t get enough sleep, I am not at my best. (This is probably the understatement of the year!) Last week, I had to set my alarm for 2:15am to catch a flight. I’m sure other people were just getting to sleep at the time I needed to wake up. Changing time zones and sleeping in a strange bed always throw me off. All of these changes to my schedule has me thinking about sleep. So today’s prayer is a prayer for sleep for all of us who need more sleep!

God of All Hours,

You created Sabbath, and you created sleep. You beg us to slow down and rest. You urge us to shut off the lights, crawl under the covers, and stop worrying. Today we pray for sleep for all who need it. We pray for safety and your protection for those who have nowhere safe to lay their heads. We pray for sleep for the children and babies who refuse to nap or go to sleep at night. We pray for those in hospitals who want to rest and can’t due to tests and noise. We pray for those who work overnights and must try to sleep during the day. We pray for each other knowing that if we could all get a good night of sleep the world would be a more cheerful place tomorrow. God, grant us rest! Amen.


Book Review-Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens


Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens

Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter, editors

Scholarly Response-4

Emotional Response-4

This fall I began a youth ministry position after the program year had begun. I needed a resource that would jump start my planning each week. This book was that lifesaver. In this book, each chapter is written by adult and teens around a topic of faith. When combined with the leader’s guide, each topic can fill a full night of youth group or a Sunday morning class time.

This book is not new. It was published in 2002, so you will need to update some things. However, you will still find that the struggles and concerns that youth face are much the same.

And even if you don’t work with you, this is a good read for anyone. One of my favorite chapters is Stuff. Like so many people, I have too much stuff. This chapter reminded us to think about not just the quantity of your stuff but the quality. Is the stuff you own making the world better for others? Do you purchase stuff that can be used for years, was created in safe environment by people paid a living wage, and is something that brings you joy? “Stuff belongs to God. Stuff is for sharing. God will provide the stuff. Keep the stuff in perspective” (62-63).

This book will open your eyes to God in the everyday questions and situations of life. I highly recommend it to anyone who works with youth. I highly recommend this as a slightly different read for those of you who want to ask questions of God about your regular life. I highly recommend reading this with the leader’s guide and doing the activities and worship described. Give this book a read!

Our Place in God’s Universe-Reflection on Psalm 8

The Psalm for this week is Psalm 8. I love this Psalm because it reminds me of how big God’s creation is and how small my part is in that creation while also reminding me that my part is important and essential. I heard this Psalm read by children and youth leading worship on a church family retreat by the water at Camp Albemarle. I have read this Psalm at the bedside of  hospice patients. I have joined in singing this Psalm with congregations big and small. I have read this Psalm by myself while enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.  [Read more…]

Thistle Stop Cafe Herbal Blend


Another tasty tea from the good people at Thistle Farms. This tea was part of the gift pack I received for Christmas. And since that gift pack included honey sticks, I added honey to this tea while it was steeping. This is a subtle, delicious. calming tea. I would enjoy drinking this before bedtime or on a rainy afternoon before a nap. It contains only three ingredients: milk thistle, dandelion root, and cardamon. None of these ingredients overpower the others. In fact, they all work together to make a tasty cup of tea. My information sheet says that this tea also helps with liver health. If you would like to try a cup, it looks like this tea is only available in the tea gift set or by visiting Thistle Stop Cafe.



God is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler


God is Disappointed in You

Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler

Emotional Response-5

Scholarly Response-4

When I opened a beautifully wrapped Christmas present to find this book on CD, I was shocked by the title. While I know God wants us to do better, I do not like the language of disappointed. I believe God loves us more than we can fathom. So, I might have argued with my husband about this present he got me. Once I started listening to the first CD, I realized it was a perfect gift for me. The author shortens each book of the Bible down to a manageable length about 2 to 3 pages. He selects what he thinks is most important (something we all do anyway). I will warn you that there is some foul language in this book, and yet I thought it added an authenticity to the story. The author uses a lot of masculine language to describe God. Not surprising but a place he could have changed things up for the better.
Since I was listening to this while driving, I didn’t have the opportunity to write down a bunch of quotes. My favorite line that sticks with me comes from the book of John. The disciples keep not understanding Jesus and finally at the end Peter gets that the stories that Jesus has told were metaphors. Peter ends John’s gospel by saying, “It’s a metaphor.” One disappointment (see what I did there?) of listening to the book on CD is that I didn’t get to enjoy the cartoons that are drawn to go with each book of the Bible. I hope to see a copy of the book in the future and enjoy the cartoons too.
I recommend this for someone who has always wanted to read the Bible and has never made it all the way through! I recommend this book for someone who has read the Bible from cover to cover and still wonders what was in there. I’d recommend this book for a lively Bible study with a Bible nearby to see what he skipped and changed. I recommend this to anyone who takes his/her faith seriously but not too seriously.

Thank you, God, for worms!

Thank you, God, for worms.

For years, I’ve want to have worms help me by eating things I’d otherwise throw away. At our last house, we had a compost pile. Living in town makes it more difficult to compost. Last week at Princeton Theological Seminary, I attended a seminar that inspired me to do it! So, after a little research our worm community was created. Currently our 12 worms are living on our screened in porch enjoying food and paper scraps. Hopefully, they’ll love their new home and help us be better stewards of our resources.
Creator of All, Thank you for worms who eat what we do not. Thank you for ideas that are finally implemented. Thank you for those who open our eyes to the many ways we can be better caretakers of your creation. Amen.



Our worm community’s home.


A couple of worms hiding among all their delicious food.