Worship Words-A Prayer

In Sunday’s Scripture from Numbers, we meet the Israelites at a point where they are beyond frustrated, and so they complain. This Scripture might have hit me a little too close to home. For all those times I have been frustrated about things that really didn’t matter and overlooked things and people who did matter and need my attention, I ask forgiveness. If any of this applies to you too, please pray with me.

Faithful God,

Just like our ancestors in the faith, we are impatient. They did not want to wander in the wilderness. We do not want to wait in traffic. Help us to turn our impatience into action. Focus our frustrations on the things that need to be changed. God, we do not want to wait any longer for an end to war. We do not want to wait any longer for an end to homelessness and hunger. We do not want to wait any longer for everyone to have enough. Kindle our righteous anger, O God, and move us toward acts of justice, so all may experience the saving love of your Son, our Savior. Amen.
Published on liturgy link on March 4, 2015.

Book Review-Sabbath in the Suburbs

Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time

MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Emotional Response-5

Scholarly Response-4

This book began with conversations between the author and her husband on the Isle of Iona (a place I highly recommend everyone visit). Life on Iona is slower and invites questions of life back at home. It is here that the author decides to make a major life change-incorporating sabbath into her life and her family’s lives. Their conversation reminds me of the Thanksgiving talk my husband and I have each year on our road trip. it is a time to share our joys, frustrations, and dreams. We make plans to change what needs changing and congratulate each other on our dreams realized. These types of conversations are an important part of life. Too often, we are too busy to stop and reflect. I encourage you to take time to think about what brings you and others joy and include more of that in your life. Think about what frustrates or discourages you and those you love and work to change or eliminate that from your life. And dream. Dream big and wild. Make lists and come back to them. Make the changes you want and ask others to help you!

And now back to the book…The author and her family undertake a year of weekly Sabbath. Each chapter is one month on their journey. I appreciate her honesty in sharing their struggles and triumphs. This book leaves me believing crafting a practicing of Sabbath is extremely difficult and extremely necessary.

It was difficult for me to select which quotes to share from this book. I highlighted so many phrases and ideas and paragraphs. This is a book you need to read for yourself to find what portions speak to you and your life. For me, these portions are the words and ideas that have stuck in head between readings of this book. I need to remember I am dispensable and wholly loved. I need to remember that I won’t do everything I dream about and yet I am grateful for the people in my life and the achievements I have accomplished. This book reminds me to keep things in perspective and to stop being so hard on myself. [Read more…]

Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo

photo 4-18

This morning in my tea cabinet I found one bag of Wild Sweet Orange Tea by Tazo. It is delicious. I’m hoping I’ll find a few more bags of it hiding in the back of my tea cabinet. According to Tazo’s website, this herbal tea contains lemongrass, spearmint, rose petals, and orange peel. All of these flavors combine into a smooth and tasty cup of tea.

Worship Words-Call to Worship (10 Commandments)

One of Sunday’s Scriptures is the 10 commandments from Exodus. If you haven’t read them in awhile, it might be a good time to read them again.

One-Let us be called to worship. God has given us the ten best ways to live.

All-It is hard to live as God commands.

One-God’s ways bring fullness of life.

All-We know we should follow God’s commands.

One-We are all God’s beloved. God’s commandments help us treat each other as beloved.

All-We are ready to hear God’s word and work together to follow our God.




Book Review-Call the Midwife

photo 3-19

Call the Midwife Jennifer Worth

At the suggestion of many friends, I have watched and fallen in love with the BBC series, Call the Midwife. I highly recommend watching it. You can enjoy it on Netflix or on PBS. Because I love to read, I wanted to read the books too. On a recent road trip, I listened to the first book on CD. It is wonderful.

This is the memoir of Jenny Lee. She is a midwife who served in the East End of London in the late 1950s. She enters the homes and lives of families and gives us a glimpse into their world. She is a gifted storyteller who transports us back to a previous time. We meet large families, prostitutes, young mothers, the other midwives and the nuns who live and work together, and the children of the East End.

I love that the nuns are presented as faithful followers of Jesus who live out their faith without forcing it on others. They gather for prayer regularly. The midwives who live with them are welcome to join them for prayer but are not required to worship with them. One difference between the show and book is that this book ends with Jenny feeling inspired by Sister Monica Joan’s words, “Go with God.” As the book ends, Jenny is beginning to read the Bible.

I recommend both the book and the series to history lovers, women, mothers, and anyone who wants an engaging read or good television. This story is not typical of the theological works that I review and yet, I loved seeing faith in action in the lives of the nuns. I hope you’ll give Call the Midwife a try.

Worship Words-Commission and Benediction

photo 5-3

For forty years, my Dad served in full-time ordained ministry in churches around the Midwest. He retired last June. Today’s worship words are his words. This is how he ended worship each Sunday as he sent the congregation out into God’s world. Thank you, Dad, for letting me share your words.


We have gathered today in God’s house to hear again God’s good news, to share in God’s presence, and to share with one another. Now let us go forth from this place to take all that we have heard and done here and offer it up to others, so they too can know of our God and seek to follow.

And now may the God who created us, the Christ who has saved us, and the Holy Spirit who guides and protects us each day, bless, preserve, and keep us for this day and forevermore. Amen.

White Tea Pomegranate

photo 4-17

My family has been sick-Mom, Dad, my niece, and me. I’ve been trying to get the adults to drink some hot tea to help us feel better. I found this tea in the local supermarket and decided to give it a try when I saw that they donate 1 meal for every two boxes purchased. After two cups, I like the idea of this tea more than the tea. It isn’t bad. It just isn’t winning me over as my new favorite tea. It is a dark cup of tea for white tea and I don’t taste enough pomegranate. I do love that they are producing organic tea and that they are donating a portion of their profits to help others. Those two factors are enough to make me give another of their flavors a try!

Worship Words-A Prayer in the Night

Holy One, While many are asleep because it is nighttime, many of your children are awake. And so we pray. We pray for those who are restfully sleeping. We pray for parents who wish they were sleeping and instead find themselves rocking infants or caring for sick children. Gracious God, we give thanks for all those working the night shift. They are keeping us safe, keeping our stores open, keeping our heat on and lights working, keeping our roads clear of snow and ice, and doing so many other jobs we don’t even understand. We remember those who find it difficult to sleep at night because of pain or loss or other changes in life. In the cold of winter, we lift up to you everyone who does not have a safe and warm place to sleep at night. Watch over all your children, we pray. For all who are awake worrying, send your peace. And for those who are awake because they love the nighttime, we give thanks. In the dark of night, we give thanks for the diversity of gifts present in your children. Thank you for the night owls and early birds and everyone in between. Thank you for creating all of us in your image. Thank you for the gift of sleep whenever it comes to us. Amen.

Book Review-Peas on Earth

photo 3-20

Peas on Earth Todd H. Doodler

A wonderful book that I have read three times today at the request of the young one in the picture. I love this book because it inspires us to believe that peace on earth is really possible. She loves the book because she thinks it is a little silly, and she likes the animals and peas in the story. I find the silliness inspiring. Maybe we all could get along and live together in peace. I recommend this book for those days when you need a reminder that peace is possible if we work together. I recommend this book for the children you love and want to inspire to live lives of peace.

The back of the book tells us, “What if there really was peace on earth? Open this book and see! Charming artwork and playful text introduce the youngest readers to peace, harmony, and being green. And there’s even a peas-ful pop-up at the very end!”

Enchanting Moments Herbal Tea

photo 2-24

I am away from home and forgot to bring along any tea. Luckily, my hotel has this delicious tea and hot water available all day. This tea contains chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and orange blossoms. When I read that long list, I thought this tea is going to be tasty or horrible. Good news! All these flavors work together in way that isn’t overwhelming and leaves me feeling relaxed after drinking it. If you find this tea while you are traveling, give it a try.