Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Video

Hi all,

I have posted another video from GodTube today. It is a powerful video that brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. It is all about how the temptations of life sometimes get in the way of our relationship with God, but Christ is still there and he will break through those temptations and trials to restore our relationship with him. Enjoy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A while back I mentioned the song "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman. Today I am trying something new, and hopefully below will be that video and his explanation as to how he wrote it. Please enjoy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Humor is such a wonderful thing. It helps to bring joy during times of struggle and lifts a person up when they are feeling down.

Humor also gives life. Last night I was up late waiting to feed Scarlett before I went to bed, and there was nothing on TV to watch, so I checked in on my facebook account. While I was there, one of Jennifer's friends was on-line, and we started chatting, via Jennifer's page. By the end of the conversation I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. Being able to laugh like that feels so good, and brings so much joy to my life.

But there are so many times when it is hard to laugh. Times when we are going through struggles, times when we are facing different pains, times when the world seems to be closing in on us. And it is during these times that we need people in our lives who bring a little joy, a little hope, and help us to see that there is more to life than the current struggle we are facing.

So I search out joy wherever I can. I try to find people who see the bright side of life and see true joy. It is not that I just pass over the bad things, but rather I work through them with people who make me smile.

So today, may you be blessed with people in your life who make you smile. May you be lifted up with joy and humor, always knowing that God is walking with you and he desires to see your smile as well. And may you laugh out loud, and feel the healing power of humor in your life.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pastor Olson's family

I received the following e-mail from a friend earlier this week. Pastor Rolf Olson served at Our Savior's Lutheran Church 1981-1986. His daughter was murdered a year ago, and here is some information that they would like to share with everyone.

In case you have access to a TV next Friday morning... Rolf, Nancy, and Sarah [Olson] Richter will be on the TODAY show on Friday, October 17, talking about the ordeal with Katherine's murder and the aftermath. The show has been kind and persistent in asking us to be on ever since the event. Now that we have the memorial concert scheduled [May 1, 2009, at Prince of Peace in Burnsville] and some sense of when there might be a trial [February... perhaps as late as April], we feel it may be good to go on and tell Katherine's story.

The anniversary of her death is October 25. Our focus, as it has been for the past year, is trying to leverage as much good out of this horror as possible.

So, if you are around a TV next Friday between 7 and 8 a.m., we will have a short piece to share with a national audience. Prayers for calm and a safe journey please.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The girls

Here are a few pictures of me and the girls.


Over the past few weeks we have seen a major financial crisis start to hit. It has been a time when the stock markets across the world are taking major hits, banks and other businesses are struggling, and people are very worried about how they are going to make it. It is a scary time for many people.

This is also the time when many churches, including the one I serve, are approving budgets or spending plans for the next year. As you may imagine, many are nervous about how these budgets will be viewed.

But with me just returning from leave, I am looking at life a little differently. It is not that I am unaware of the struggles of the economy or unaware of the fears that are out there, but rather, I still see blessings. My eyes have been opened, once again, to the multitude of gifts that I have been given in my life, and these gifts are such great bessings to me that they overshadow the struggles we all are facing.

So today I would like to invite you to spend a little time reflecting on the blessings you have in your life.

First, think about your friends and family. Think about all of the things that these people give to you - love, support, a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, their loving presence in your life. These people are blessings for they are involved in your life in intimate ways and bless you with love and support throughout your life.

Second, think about the talents you have been given in your life - the things you are good at, the things you are passionate about and love to do. These talents are blessings for they help to give you purpose and in using them you live out your calling.

Finally, think about the God that loves you. He is the one who walks with you during the difficult times in life. He carries you when you cannot make it on your own. And his is willing to give everything he has, including his own life, so that he may be in a relationship with you.

When we think about these things, and the many blessings we have been given, we are reminded that no matter how difficult the storms in life are, we are still blessed. We are still loved. We are still needed and cared for. So may we all trust that God will provide for us, and that God will continue to bless us, even, or maybe especially, in the midst of our struggles.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Back from leave

As you may have noticed, I have not posted anything for the past couple of weeks. Our second child came a few days earlier than we expected, and I have been at home for two weeks adjusting to the new life we have with us. Scarlett Deborah was born on Sept. 24, and she is a true blessing in our lives. Everyone is doing well, and Sierra is loving being a big sister. She wakes up and the first thing she wants to do is hold her sister. It is a joy to watch these two and the love that is shared between them.

And as it is throughout life, these blessings bring with them change. Change in the amount of sleep we are getting. Change in our daily schedules. Change in our lives as a whole. And it is a wonderful change, I must say.

So last night, as I was up late feeding Scarlett, I looked down at this little girl and was overcome with emotion. In my hands was a little, 6 pound blessing, and with her came a whole new set of responsibilites and changes in my life. But what I saw at that moment was pure grace. A little girl who can only eat, sleep, and fill diapers (which she fills plenty of:). But even though she cannot "do" anything, she brings a new sensation to others. All you have to do is look at her, hold her, and you are given this warm feeling that all is right with the world. No matter what is happening out there, in here, with her in your arms, there is only joy and grace and love.

So today, as I came back to work, I left this child at home with her loving mother, and I miss her in amazing ways. Life has changed for me, and it has changed for good. Now I am getting ready to go home and have lunch with her, and I will hug, kiss, and rock her as much as I can. Knowing that these moments will not last forever.

So today, may you be blessed with the joy of change in your life. May you see grace and love in those you meet. And may you always know that God is holding you in his hands, rocking you, loving you, and showering you with his grace.