Monday, July 2, 2012


Life is full of transitions. Transitions come in all shapes and sizes. But they all require us to change. move from one place to another. Or from one job to another. Or even from one relationship to another. Sometimes we think that staying in one place will give us the stability we crave. And sometimes it does. But only for a while. Because that's the way life is. Time moves on. And even if our geography stays the same, each of us will still face life's inevitable "passages." From one age to another. From one responsibility to another. From one stage of life to another. Each requiring a new way of relating, a new set of skills, and a new perspective.

The life of Jesus was clearly marked by moments in time which transitioned Him from one season to another.  These moments allowed Him to assess and close the previous season which, in turn, opened the door to the new season which lay ahead. His dialogue with the religious leaders at age twelve, His baptism and His Father’s confirmation at the Jordan, the Mount of Transfiguration experience, His personal crucible in the Garden of Gethsemane… these were all significant moments that concluded a past season and opened a new season. At each moment we find Christ making a fresh consecration to the Father’s will and thus journeying victorious into and through the next season.

One of the most difficult things is life to do is to say goodbye. I’ve given my saga many times on how I don’t believe in goodbyes. I like to call them “see you latters” instead. One can take comfort in knowing that in our baptism and faith in Christ that if we do not meet this side of heaven there is the joyous reunion upon eternal life with Christ.

With that said, saying “see you later” is never easy. I think of all the military families in the congregation of Our Redeemer and how many of them makes moves ever 3-4 years some more often than that. It’s difficult but it’s also reality. I may not be military for the US government but I am a part of the Lord’s Army.

As one seeking full time church work there will be many more “hellos” followed with “see you latters”. It happens with each move, with each call with each place God sends Adam and I. It’s apart of this whole thing to bloom where we are planted.

No matter where life takes you, you have a choice. A choice to be sad, lonely, upset for not being quite where one desires. But you have a choice. When I was given the choice I jumped in and fell in love with dozens of people and a land that now holds a special place in my hear.

Leaving Alaska is difficult but I also know that I fulfilled the work that God placed for this year of internship. There are of course still tears shed. I was told by a wise man with several decades of ministry under his belt that tears are good “tears means you were invested” he told me. Invested! That is certainly true. Leaving Our Redeemer behind I know that ministry will continue. Lives will be lived. Hope and happiness and joy will be renewed. Ecclesiasts 3 tells us “…that for everything there is a season”. The word "season" by it's very nature indicates that it will only last for a time. For each of us, this season will be different. Some seasons may last longer than others. But somehow we become okay with the thought of a season coming to an end. 

Sometimes what we're not okay with is the "transition" part. Very often we dig in our heels and resist change with all our might. The transition to the scorching heat wave back home I am not looking forward to, especially since I have not experienced temperatures above 75*F in over a year. Nonetheless, we look forward with hope to what God has for us in the future.

For me the next year of my life is a crossroads. Finishing college, getting married, our first apartment seeking my first call in full time DCE ministry, and moving and transitioning once again to where God would lead. It’s exciting, it’s terrifying, and it is transitioning. As I write I’m cruising around 30,000ft I do not know exactly when I will return to Alaska or when I will see my family but I know that right now, at this 30,000ft moment I am right where I need to be in this transition.

 **I plan to add more photos but this in-flight internet is super slow

VBS 2012

What a week it has been. This past week was VBS here at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. The theme this year was Amazing Wonders Aviation based on Psalm 147:5 which says “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”

The whole point of this years VBS was for kids to recoginize God’s power over all things, trust that God is always in control and teach them how to rely on God’s power. The setting/theme for VBS was all against the backdrop of some of the world's most marvelous natural wonders.

Each day the kids would “fly” to Registration under the Northern Lights, Music at Matterhorn Mountain, Bible Study at Victoria Falls, Games in the Grand Canyon, Snack at Paricutin Volcano and crafts at the Great Barrier Reef.

Like last year, we were able to have our fantastic decoration coordinator Sami. She seriously is so creative and if you ever need VBS ideas you should really contact her. Some of the ideas included wrapping rope lights in green and yellow crape paper to create the Northern Lights. She also turned a piano into a volcano with burlap sacks and red streamers. She constructed the Great Barrier reef out of table clothes and cardboard and made a life like Victoria Falls with cardboard, paper and a fog machine for added effect.
Wrapping rope lights in crepe paper to create the northern lights
Black lights, stars, rope lights-it's awesome!
There's a piano under there. Burlap sacks and streamers work wonders!

Under the sea! Sami painted that by hand!
I should also mention the yummy and creative snacks; Some of the highlights included Paricutin Volcano pancakes, airplane cookies, Grand Canyon layered parfait, and Great Barrier Reef muffins.
Paricutin Volcano pancakes

Our snack crew!
Of course I cannot leave out the fantastic music leaders who were bold enough to allow the kids to play bells, and the craft leaders who busted out paper Mache and game front-runners who did shoe box skiing, parachute explosions and a flight school obstacle course. Needless to say our volunteers are fantastic!

Paper Mache
Northern lights sun catcher made from squares of tissue paper.
We were blessed to have an AMC crew from Peoria Illinois help lead VBS as we do not have the man power to do it ourselves. Coordinating long distance was an adding challenge for me in the planning and preparation but they were wonderful!

I, personally, was in the Bible Lesson session teaching the kids the Bible stories. I sometimes underestimate the intelligence of pre-schoolers. I was teaching the story of the Good Samaritan as I explained how the Priest passed around the hurt man, and then the Levite to which I asked “How many have passed can we count?” To which on 4 year old girl blurted “two! But don’t worry the third man will stop and save him”…she’s absolutely right, but how about we learn it all together.

One of my favorite moments was when I was talking about being afraid. I asked the group if they ever were afraid to which a little boy (Who I know very well and who’s dad is avid hunter/fisher/all around Alaskan) said “No, I don’t get scared but one time dad got out his shotgun and shot 6 magpies out front and they were afraid, so afraid they were scared dead!” Knowing his dad that probably happened but I just laughed. I love the honesty of children.

We had a record breaking number of kids this year as we surpassed the 50 from last year and reached 57! VBS was a great climax to internship and sadly the last task for me here in Alaska. It went so smoothly thanks to our wonderful bunch of helpers and leaders and I will always remember this VBS since it is my first of what will be many in future years to come.