Monday, October 31, 2011


I might just be a little obsessed. My teenage daughter says, "it's cute how you love it so much." Yep, I'm head over heels for 58. Isaiah 58, 58: the film, 58 the movement.

Isaiah 58
1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. 
   Raise your voice like a trumpet. 
Declare to my people their rebellion 
   and to the house of Jacob their sins. 
2 For day after day they seek me out; 
   they seem eager to know my ways, 
as if they were a nation that does what is right 
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God. 
They ask me for just decisions 
   and seem eager for God to come near them. 
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, 
   ‘and you have not seen it? 
Why have we humbled ourselves, 
   and you have not noticed?’
   “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
   and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
   and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
   and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
   only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
   and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
   a day acceptable to the LORD?
 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
   and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
   and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
   and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
   and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
   and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
            The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Join me in the thought, the hope, the reality that extreme poverty could be eliminated in the next 25 years. This Friday night we'll be showing 58: the film at Newberg Friends Church, 7pm.

I do love 58. I made little 58: flyers and stapled them to the halloween candy tonight. I had fun greeting the neighborhood kids in my Zumba "costume" and giving them handfuls of candy with the flyers attached. My husband carved an amazing LIVE 58: pumpkin and it made the trick or treaters curious.

I'm not sure that a Reese's peanut butter cup with a 58: flyer attached can change the world. But I wonder what conversations will be sparked when kids go home and sort through their candy.... some will simply throw the flyer away. Maybe a few families will be curious enough to go to the live58 website. Others might actually find their way to the church and see the film. And perhaps even one will be encouraged to find a way they can participate in eliminating poverty.

My prayer is that God will continue to show me his heart, inspire me to share his love, and work through me to live out Isaiah 58.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

13.1 Accomplished.

A week ago I accomplished my goal. Completing a 1/2 marathon. It's finished. But honestly, this is just the beginning. It was so much fun, I'm hooked and after my knee recovers a bit, I'm going to begin training for my next one. I learned so much from this process.

1. If you say you'll do something, don't give up. Just restart and keep going.
2. Running is 1/3 physical and 2/3 mental.
3. It's possible. With God ALL things are possible.
4. Prayer matters. Prayers work.
5. I can run for 13.1 miles without stopping.

My two favorite t-shirt slogans I saw at the Girlfriends Half
1. (the one I was wearing) Start Strong, Finish Stronger
2. (the one the lady in front of me was wearing) Courage to Start, Faith to Finish

Before the race in downtown Vancouver, WA.  Great window sign.

Ok, maybe a little nervous/excited/anxious to get going...

With my buddy Abbie. She made me a necklace that I wore during the race that said:
He energizes the tired and gives fresh strength to the weak.

Starting off with 3199 other women! Working my way through the walkers.

Mile 13. Finishing the .1 with the best smile I could muster.

Focus...what? What focus?

Multiple occasions have come and gone when I should have been blogging lately. Processing through my thoughts through written words help me to clarify what I'm thinking and what I'm doing. Instead I've been spending a lot of my time in the last two months trying to stand facing one direction in the middle of a merry-go-round. If you've ever tried to do this you know it actually takes a lot of work to keep your balance while moving your feet just enough so that while the merry-go-round spins, you stay focused straight ahead. Unfortunately, while you're in the middle of the wheel, exerting all your energy to stay upright, you miss the 360 degree view. You also tend to avoid motion sickness, but that's another story and where my analogy breaks down.

Today I sat down in my pew and began scribbling down the list of questions I was asked and the interactions I was involved in during the 35 minutes of "community time" between services. Here's a glimpse of my life between being a guest presenter in the high school Sunday school class and settling into my pew for worship. In no particular order.
  • Asked to take a picture of the kids playing outside on the church lawn in the fallen leaves.
  • Told that 2/3's of the cotton balls from the resource room are now used up.
  • Checked on the Ladies Tea sales upstairs in the church library and downstairs in the social hall. Made sure we had a volunteer at both stations.
  • Picked up attendance folders from 2 adult and 9 children's Sunday school classrooms. Put in church office.
  • Spoke to a friend about the tears in her eyes.
  • Was asked where my daughter Jolee was.
  • Was "surprised" by my daughter Jolee and her friends. They had been hiding in the library.
  • Sold a tea ticket to my mother, upstairs.
  • Discussed with a PsyD. student about being a floater/volunteer in children's ministry. Sold her a tea ticket downstairs.
  • Tried to sell another tea ticket to a woman I miss seeing regularly. Her family will be out of town next weekend to visit her husband's mother. Had a short conversation about the importance of spending time with family no matter the cost of time and travel.
  • Tried to sell a tea ticket to a college student - a definite No Go.
  • Tried to sell tea tickets to two soccer moms. They are busy next Saturday at 11am.
  • Was asked if I was teaching Sunday school in the 3rd grade class next Sunday. Couldn't remember.
  • Spoke to a family about the fact that three weeks ago they had told me to take them off the church/children's Sunday school roster. For the last two weeks they have been at our church. Found out they are going to make NFC their church home after all. Will happily be reinstating them to all my email groups this afternoon.
  • Checked to make sure the nursery volunteers were in place. One was missing. Went outside and downstairs to find her. Found her. 
  • Cleaned up Ladies Tea ticket supplies. Placed items in my office box.
  • Checked in with a first time volunteer about Children's Care happening during 2nd service and what she could expect.
As usual I missed the welcome and announcements (so I have no idea if K-2 Fun Night got announced). But I was feeling pretty good about making my way in to the sanctuary during the "stand and greet" section of our meeting. I thought, "ahh, now maybe I can settle into worship." 

During the church service I always leave at offering to help Children's Care get settled in. Today took a bit longer since we had a new volunteer and I needed to create "name tags" out of masking tape for the kids. Heading back into the sanctuary I saw a mom and her baby hanging out in the church library. I stopped to check in...who can resist a baby!

I made it back in to service and was enjoying the message when I was tapped on the shoulder and asked to come quickly. A child was bleeding profusely due to an injury caused by a coat hook. I got the little boy cleaned up and bandaged. As I was getting ready to return to service another child needed help. Potty time. Since our new volunteer wasn't quite sure of the protocol for bathroom procedures, I stayed and modeled what to do. Back in my pew I heard the last two minutes of the sermon and enjoyed the closing songs. 

The quick pic I snapped with my iPhone between services.

Church is just a wacky time for me. And honestly this post is NOT a complaint. My Sunday morning was filled with what I love...being a part of community. Certainly I do miss getting to be fully present in worship. But for now I will embrace where God has me. In the middle of the merry-go-round. Working hard to keep my balance and my eyes focused on Him.