Monday, July 15, 2019


 So what is an 
LCMS National Youth Gathering?
There is a Theme- Real. Present. God.
There are nightly mass events.
This year it is the US Bank Stadium-
home of the Vikings.
With over 20,000 of your fellow high school students
and great speakers.
TobyMac was the Mass event
 Extra for the first night.
                                      (photo from LCMS NYG Twitter)
There are Bible Studies, speakers,
interactive fun things to do,
hang out space and time
 to gather with others from your District.
New T-shirts from your alumni college.
There are many displays and
connection spots.
FARM- Family Adventure and Recreational Ministry 
highlighted Visual Faith prayer cards
 using the theme Psalm for the Gathering.
A favorite speaker was Ashley Paavola.
                                                              (photos from the LCMS NYG Twitter)
There was the very cool hands-on
 group Creative project led
 by Artist- Jeffrey Miller.
The Skit Guys were the Mass Event Extra
 on the Second night.
                                                                  (Photo from the LCMS NYG Twitter)
Landmarks and lovely flowers
 in downtown Minneapolis.
You saw the flowers over and over again
 as there is LOTS of walking.
Some pretty cool visuals in the Stadium.
                                                              (Photo from the LCMS NYG Twitter)
Spying new and old friends 
out and about in the interactive center
 in the Convention Hall.
So-CARL stole the show for the NYG.
 He is all of us. 
Way to go Max Harmon.
Good eats and cooling beverages.
And as the event was winding down-
 a bit of road racing warriors.
Thanks Chuck Hiller for jumping 
on the Razor Racer plan with John.

We loved catching up with native Minnesotans- 
who just happen to co-grandparent with us.
A final night walk back
 to the hotel and a lovely landmark.
Minneapolis - thanks for gracing us 
with sunshine and good weather.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Enduring Word Bible- Acknowledge Christ

Enduring Word Bible- # 49
Luke 12: 8-12

Acknowledge Christ Before Men
Some powerful words of Jesus here
 in this section about speaking up.
Consequences are pretty plain.
We may want to skirt around the script,
 but it is crystal clear.
Be BOLD- in the speaking of who Jesus
 is as the son of God.
In places where that is kind of tough-
you don't go it alone.
The Holy Spirit will tell you way
 to say in those instances.
In our weakness- the Holy Spirit 
will lay the way to converse 
and give us the right words to say.
This is a simple trust relationship.
Not easy-
 but if we remain with a "teachable spirit"-
the gift and blessing is ours to claim.
Teach me Holy Spirit-
in that VERY HOUR.

Enduring Word Bible
Colored pencils
Micron pen

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Worship into the Week- Rejoice

Worship into the Week-
 Luke 10: 1-20
The Sending and Return
 of the Seventy-Two

Jesus had sent out the group of 72 
into the towns ahead of himself.
Two by two into every town-
 where he was going.
With no budget, strategic plan, 
or evangelism trading manual- they went out.
Simply looking for "people of peace."
Where they were received- 
they shared in life with them. 
Living with them and eating 
and drinking what was provided.
 They blessed the people by healing the sick
 and casting out demons. 
But, the unrepentant cities got the-
 Woe to you!
casting aside from Jesus.
Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum-
 you rejected the one the Father sent.
It will not be well for you.
And as the 72 returned jubilant 
with their power in the name of Jesus,
He reminds them of the real gift.
..."but rejoice that your names
 are written in heaven."
Let us be mindful-
 when we swell with pride
 in any earthly accomplishment, 
that we live "rest assured."
Enduring Faith brings us the greater gift- 
to imagine more.
A place in heaven waits for us-
 a residence with our name on the mailbox.

Visual Church Year Project
Magazine cutouts
 Junk mail
Micron pen

Monday, July 8, 2019

When I Lift Up My Eyes

A long time and dear friend
 died this past weekend.
She had suffered from 8 years of dementia 
and then recently a cancer diagnosis.
She know wears a crown of the faithful sojourner-
and I imagine that Phyllis
 has sparkles added here and there.
A clergy couple
 is facing challenging days
 with a cancer diagnosis.
Very aggressive, no cure, 
non-operable, and metastasized.
Hard days. Hard days.
They had traveled to Israel 
with us a few years back.
Delighted to be in the Holy Land.
We just don't know the future of our days.
Health changes.
Life gets altered.
Hardships arrive.
Some days I can only lift up
 my eyes to the hills-
 read Psalm 121 
and pray this over these dear families.

My Help Comes From the Lord

lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
 will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Worship into the Week- The Cost

Worship into the Week- 
The Cost of Discipleship
Luke  9: 57-62
Just following along with Jesus.
Conversations about the plan to be with Jesus.
What does it take? What does it cost?
Some answers seem a bit harsh from brother Jesus.
Do you have what it takes? 
This God became God-man.
The Word became flesh- 
giving up heavenly realm to 
live with us on earth.
A lowlier life than the birds with a nest.
No place to call home for Jesus.
The message was too important to spend time
 with house and upkeep.
Drifter life, pull up stakes, on to the next town.
 But, I am reminded how many times
 I have questioned the life, looked back, 
and wondered about the path I was on.

My prayer becomes:
"Lord, make me worthy and strong enough
 to be a part of your plowing team.
Make me stand out from the work of the world. 
And when I fail-
set me on the path again, 
and again." Amen

Visual Church Year Project Resource
Magazine cutouts
Junk Mail

Thursday, July 4, 2019

FREEDOM Celebration

Some better lighting outside
 for a gathering of 4th Decor.
 Ms. Flying Angel with the flags
 and the book of Presidents.
Last entry is Eisenhower- 1953.
 A Betsy Ross school 
musical playlet- undated. 
  A bit of vintage Mary Engelbreit.

An old book in a handmade frame.
 Stars and stripes on the 
church pew with the quilts.

Papa and Gigi getting ready for the troops 
to come home for a family celebration.
 Papa and Gigi with the  boys-
What fun with the troops!
 Draping the deck in 
red, white and blue.
 Some back yard fun
 in-between rain showers.
You can't beat water play 
when it is 90+ degrees and humid.
What a blessed day to be 
all together for the 4th of July.
Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Scripture Doodles- June

Portals of Prayer Devotions 
by Concordia Publishing House 
with their printable Calendar.
Scripture Doodles-
as a devotional practice.
A take-away word or verse each day.
Choose 4 colored pencils for the month.
Organized in a Traveler's journal for portability.
Meditate on the good things.
 This month's devotions 
by Rev. Ryan Ogrodowicz-
Benham, Texas.