Passionate Abundant Life!

Thought I would share my July newsletter article with more than just my congregation. Hope it inspires you.

John 10:10:

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (New Revised Standard Version)

I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (The Message)

But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! (The Passion Translation)

Are you living a passionate abundant life? Jesus came to do just that – in fact in reading Leonard Sweet’s book Gospel According to Stabucks: Living a Grande Life,(which we will be using in the Women’s Circle Bible study this fall and if you would like to join us – 2nd Tuesdays starting again in September but if that doesn’t work maybe we can start another one at a different time – and it doesn’t have to be just girls!) he is giving a definition of the Greek word for life in this passage: zoe. Which translates fully as a flamboyant, passionate life.  So the passage would read: I came that they may have a flamboyant, passionate life and have it abundantly. Isn’t it the coolest when you do simple word study and find out there is so much more to the words of Jesus?

I try but I wasn’t the best in Hebrew or Greek, and to have scholars like Sweet and my friend Arko from seminary, I can learn more. And isn’t that what we are to do as followers of Jesus – learn more? Learn more about God’s love, how to serve others, speak up to power, to not be afraid and remember we have faith.

Hebrews 11:1-3 gives the definitive definition for faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.  Or we can get a clearer meaning with the Message: The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Our foundation is faith and upon it we build a passionate abundant life. Our life as followers of Jesus, who repaired our relationship with our Creator, is meant to be flamboyant, passionate, wild, radical, spontaneous, joyful, creative, incredible. So why do seem to be so serious about our faith? Why do we think God wants us to be serious in our worship of a loving, life-giving Creator Parent who wants joy for us, laughter and to just do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

Starting NOW TODAY on this 1st day of July, pledge to begin having a flamboyant, passionate, abundant, extraordinary life – to the glory of God!

Blessings! Pastor Liz –


It is the sign of the end of Summer…

Image result for beginning of school year

…when all the big box stores put out school supplies. I love school supplies! I taught high school but I was like an elementary school kid when it came to supplies: I wanted the newest pencils, erasers, notebooks, folders – anything. And I especially love when it was Batman, Pinky and the Brain, and other newer characters: MINIONS!

And I do still get excited but I have moved on to just admiring, buying for the local school supply drives. I instead head to the sharpie section and stock on fav colors or get the newest collection.

I am going to be more proactive this coming year to let teachers know they are not alone – ever. Gratitude and appreciation is not shown enough. Shouldn’t be just an appreciation lunch at the beginning of the year, a single prayer during worship but it should be continous support through our prayers, keeping up with what is happening in the world of Education – like the appointment of someone who is NOT a supporter of public schools but is THE authority of Public Education in our government –  being present at school functions whether we have children in the schools or not, volunteering to read, to assist, to mentor or tutor – whatever we are able to do to let teachers and staff know we are behind them.

Rev Thom Shuman, a Presbyterian minister in the PCUSA, is a writer of poetry, liturgy and insight that is inspiring and instills reflection of one’s self that I have encountered in very few writers. He posted this observation today and I shared it on facebook but it got me thinking and lead me to write(haven’t written anything for a long time)

Here is Rev Shuman’s post from Wednesday Aug 9, 2017:

Here is the thing about teachers.
A teacher will never blow her own horn but will place musical instruments in the hands of kids and melt their hearts.
A teacher will never strut his stuff butwill take a bus load of kids to an afternoon ballet and years later watch the boys who sat on the back row snickering and rolling their eyes play the sharks and Jets in the High School production of West Side Story.
. A teacher will never make a scientific discovery but will introduce a microscope to a bored kid who 20 years later will discover the key that unlocks the door of her grandmother’s prison called Alzheimer’s.
A teacher may never write a great novel that will hand poetry and fiction and biography to a generation who will.
A teacher may not change history but will help her students discover the past so they can understand today and make tomorrow a better place.
So let’s stop making teachers our scapegoats, our pinatas, our bullet points in a political platform. Let’s start supporting them and caring for them and encouraging them and praying for them. Why not fill a box with school supplies and drop them off to a teacher? Why not become a volunteer in your local school? Why not give back to the teachers who have given so much to your community?
Because here’s the thing about teachers. They teach. And if they ever stop then everything else will stop as well.

Thank you Teachers! And I will do better by you –

Strees Test!

Ok – getting older can suck… I mean really suck.  Back in 2008, I had a headache for several weeks. With my history of allergies, that is what I knew it was but it lingered, like on the back burner simmering, never really bad enough to take meds but never going away.  Someone asked about my blood pressure. My blood pressure? Nothing wrong with my blood pressure until someone just gets on my last nerve!  I was “encouraged” to see a doctor – which I really needed to do, not having one listed as a Primary Care Physician on my insurance.  Went, took my blood pressure, checked my weight(OMG!) and then asked why I was there. Headache. How long. Too long. Your blood pressure is in the pre-hypertension area. WHAT!? And you have super sensitivity(bp was 145/100 – most people not a problem). And that means? You will have symptoms others don’t have until it gets higher – you one in a thousand that this happens. Oh wow, finally becoming one in a something and it is my health!

So I began meds and the headaches went away. But miss a day and it is back! So I have to become chummy with my doctor and when I move I get to find one immediately so meds can continue. Which brings me to last week when I had an appointment to see the doctor so I may have meds prescription filled – running out and was cutting it close. Every doctor has a routine and my new friend was no different. He has an ekg run on me – ok no problem. At least it wasn’t a needle! Comes in and says: Don’t like what I see on this. This l;ast part of the heart beat should not be a straight line(was only after three to four beats). I am sending you to get a stress test. WHAT!?(in a high pitch voice in my head but said calmly to the doctor). 

Yes, and I will get an appointment as soon as possible.

GREAT! Just what I need is to have to stress myself over a stress test! But it is walking on a treadmill right? Yes! I can do that. But what he didn’t tell and the tech did when I got there, needle was involved! An iv to put in NUCLEAR stuff in to take pics of my heart – not once but twice! It was in a lead box! I was about to be juiced up with stuff that causes cancer! And I had to sign a form understanding that there were side effects(fortunately no added limbs growing out) and what was the last on: DEATH.

Ok I don’t have to get on a treadmill – heart rate is rising. And it nearly shot out the top of my head when she tried to get the needle in – twice and blowing both veins. I was a mess. I got dizzy, and I was trying to be strong but cramp that hurt.

So ER nurse helped out, pics done and I was hooked-up for the treadmill. Went about 6 minutes. Doctor asked if I had any tightness and needed to stop. No tightness, but my hip is hurting(bursitis), can I stop.

Took dr couple of days to call, which sorta said to me Things are not life-threatening. And when I got the call, I got upset: I would have to see a cardiologist and have an angiogram. So I was to see the dr that day.  Yes there was a small something in one of veins – what else could happen!!? God am I really falling apart or what! Be still my chaotic spirit.

Now I am waiting for the cardiologist to call me. It has been a week. So is it life threatening? Apparently not or I would be there but it hasn’t stopped me from worrying and stressing and wondering what is next – which right now is finishing up college hours, play performance, voice and piano recital, and lastly a class pottery show.  Not much going on –

But it did make me pause: I was doing the worrying, I was stressing, I was taking all this on myself. I finally shared with others what was going on and the burden is lighter. I also remembered God’s promise through Jesus that I was not alone and have access to a peace beyond understanding.  I need that peace, I forgot I have that peace if I just stop and tap into it.

Which I did last evening: I was asked to assist in presenting a labyrinth walk to a group of high school youth.  I got the space ready and walked the labyrinth praying for what direction was waiting for me, why is taking so long, what am I suppose to be doing in the here and now?  And it was just that: explaining to a group of youth how to use the labyrinth as a prayer tool.  As my Grandma would say, “If it was a snake, it would have bitten you.” And it did. I said a prayer of thanks. And God said, “You’re welcome” by raining grace all over me.

So what have you been stressing about? Remember who can handle so much better than us.


Rehearsing – can be very taxing!

I am in a play which will be presented Feb 4/5! We had our first rehearsals without our scripts – always the longest during the process.  I was not too bad but could have been much better. Felt for the others especially our lead – she has about 2 minutes OFF stage.  She did a great job considering she was suffering from major sinus stuff.  It is going to be a great show and I hope it will be well attended.

Rehearsing our prayer life is necessary also.  Creating habits that benefit us is harder than the we think. Setting time(our biggest obstacle) aside to be quiet, talk with God, listen to God, gets pushed aside by what is deemed more important.  My goal is to improve this habit, rehearse during a scheduled time. Of course when should that time be set up.

Are you up for the challenge?