Saturday, May 21, 2016

Inviting Friends

Good evening friends! It's the end of another good day. It's the weekend of my niece Marissa's college graduation, so some of the family were at Bethel University for that event and then had lunch at the house that Marissa has been leasing with 7 friends. She'll be moving soon to northeast Minneapolis, also with friends. I really appreciated the messages given at the graduation ceremony, one by a student and another by an alumna, both of whom passed through painful circumstances to become strong, positive, women.

My niece is in a stage of life when friends are at center stage. Not to say that friends aren't important always, but in the years before marriage there seems to be more time and energy for building relationships with non-family members. Marriage is a great thing, but it does tend to shrink the field of friendship, and then when children come into the picture the world gets focused and small. And when families move from one town or city to another, as most do these days, friends, sadly, get left behind. We try to keep up sometimes but the importance and intensity of those young adult friendships probably won't be maintained.

EVEN SO, I believe friends are worth keeping even when it's not easy, or possible, to keep them fresh all the time. One thing I enjoyed in the past, when I was serving a local church, was having "visits" from friends that I had known from other times of my life. Fortunately, I'm still in a public job, so it's still possible for friends to visit me at work. and because I believe this job is a part of my current call from God, I'd love to share it with those who have seen me in my other roles. AND, if your job invites visitors, I'd love to come visit you at work! Or we'll make another time!

Friendships are precious, like all relationships. We're made to be like God, and God is all about relationships. As Joseph Tkach says:
By becoming friends of God, we also become friends of each other. Since we will each live with God eternally, we will also live with one another eternally, in a relationship characterized by love. We are reconciled not only with God, but also with each other. (Click here for the article that's quoted from.)
In the end, there will be no separation, so let's get used to keeping those friendships now.

So, if you're willing, come ride with me! I love my job and I'd love to share why. (The other day someone I knew in Cokato happened to be riding! That was fun!) You can ride with me any day, Monday - Friday through June 17 (except Memorial Day) on my really interesting current routes in Minneapolis. 

How can you find me? Well, if you have an hour to spare, come to Northeast Minneapolis and look for me on one of the southbound route 10 buses on Central Avenue at 19th, just after 3:05 PM. (There will be more than one, so if the first 10 that comes by isn't mine, just wave it by and I'll probably be driving the next one.) You can ride with me to downtown and stay on the bus until I get you back to the same corner (19th & Central) about an hour later. Or stay on that northbound bus and I'll get you back to your car after I'm done with my whole PM set of routes at about 7:00. 

 All my routes now are local or limited stop, much more interesting than the express ones that I'll start June 20. They're more interesting now because of the diverse crowd I get to serve right now.

Time to stop writing and publish this.

God's peace to you all.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Extraordinary and Ordinary Days

I started writing this blog post back in April, about 3 weeks ago. I'm not sure why it is that I've been writing less these days. It certainly isn't because I'm not thinking of things to write about!

The big event in our lives since I wrote what follows here was Dan & Shatera's wedding last Saturday (May 7). What a sweet and Holy Spirit filled time! The newlyweds have been on their honeymoon this week. I think they return today.

All three of our kids have married such wonderful people. Dan's Shatera is a delightful, strong and beautiful addition to the family. When I get a chance I'll post a picture of us all.

Toni and I were more or less in charge of the rehearsal dinner last Friday evening. (Toni more, I less -- way less. Toni's a champ when it comes to family events.) My brother Peter's family, Toni's friend Jody, our daughter Naomi and her husband Tim and who knows who all else helped Toni make the dinner at "St. Paul Fellowship" to be an extraordinarily lovely time. For me personally a highlight has been getting to know Shatera's family, and the many others who have blessed her life up until now. I, and we, are so thankful to the Lord for ALL He has done!

What follows here was written last month. You'll see that what prompted it was an invitation from my cousin who suggested that I take and post photos of "ordinary days."

--- Written Tuesday evening, April 19 ---
last week's guys "MOVE" group with
Jesse B. & his guitar

I have a few minutes to write at the moment. None of the guys who usually come on Tuesdays could make it tonight so I've had a little time to relax. We're postponing the second part Jesse's Bible study until next week.

Life is good and full. Toni's been able to be in Cokato with Jon & Breanna and their three girls (1½ year old Lydia and month old twins Amara & Karis). She's arranged her schedule to be free on Mondays. My parents got to meet the twins last weekend. Thanks to Jon & Breanna for making the trek with the girls to our Roseville home!

Last week my cousin Sandi challenged me to post some photos of "everyday life" on facebook. The guys group picture was from Tuesday. Monday's was of my running shoes, I've committed to starting to train for the Twin Cities Marathon... don't know I'll actually do it. I'm doing my best to stay in shape as I get close to my 60th birthday -- NEXT MONTH!

tried getting my uniform badge
in the pic but failed   :-p
My pic for Wednesday was of my morning bus. Yes, I'm still enjoying this "new" occupation. I've been on the job since July 15 of last year (after several weeks of training), and so far, amazing to me, I have had no accidents or negative marks on my record. I'll get a one year safe driving award if I make it another 11 weeks, but when I think of everything that could happen at so many moments during the rush hours I drive, I know it's very much a "one day at a time" prospect. Come ride with me and I'll show you what I mean!

The good thing about the job is that I do have some time for other things. I'm working about 8 hours a day, but that includes the double commute, so it really isn't a bad life. I'm so thankful.
at the new Bridging warehouse
My Thursday "ordinary life" picture was taken from the top of an industrial style storage rack at Bridging in Roseville. I've been volunteering in their warehouse for a few hours every other Thursday. I had wanted to keep active in some sort of social service work when we moved to the Twin Cities and the Lord opened the door to help out there. I've kept at it pretty regularly beginning in early January.

On the day I took this picture I was helping get the donated furniture ready for Bridging "clients" to choose from. The warehouse crew handles donations from individuals and businesses, and we load and deliver furniture and other household items. Other volunteers sort through piles of donated items, others work in the wood or electrical shops, and many others help about 13,000 families "shop" for free every year at the Bridging warehouses in Bloomington and Roseville.

Beyond the bit of physical warehouse work I designed a flyer that social service agencies and others can use to help their clients get to the Roseville Bridging. Suburbs aren't easy to navigate for those without cars, and those who benefit from what Bridging often don't have reliable vehicles -- many are just coming out of being homeless! [Since I wrote this in April I've been asked to make a similar flyer for the Bloomington location. I hope to get to that project before too long.]

By time time Friday rolls around I'm ready for a break. Here's the what got posted last week (April 15):

Ordinary Day photo #5 - Toni took this on our evening walk around Como Lake. I always look forward to getting off work on Fridays so Toni and I can do something in the city together. This is our second Friday in a row enjoying take-out and a walk at Como until dark. <3 br="">

So that's all I got written, more or less, on April 19. Now it's Saturday, almost a month later. I've been relishing a day without any real plans. I wanted to finish this blog post and now I'll go on to other things.

spring at 1490 Lydia Ave W in Roseville
the home we rent from Pastor Paul Anderson
I don't know how much blogging I'll do in the future. Back when I was serving as a pastor in Cokato I knew that at least some of the folks from my churches there were reading what I was writing, but now I don't have a captive audience like that. I do share, quite a bit, on "social media" (facebook and twitter). I'm continuing theological and biblical work when I have time and energy -- I've started explorations of Trinitarian Theology on this blog that I'll probably continue at some point, but the best way to keep track of what's up with me and the family is to personally connect, or to check out the social media

It's my hope and prayer that all I've written and shared here has been a way to give thanks and praise to the Lord who sustains and strengthens every day.

God bless you all.