Monday, July 1, 2013

Sunday & Monday

'Twas an early morning today. I woke to the alarm at 4:30 and shortly after 5:00 I was cleaning at the building where Toni rents an office for her massage therapy business.  We do janitorial services there once a week, usually on the weekend, but I didn't get to it on Saturday or Sunday.  Toni has brought her business on the road, offering massage at Mount Carmel Ministries, an event and retreat center just north of Alexandria, MN.  She's up there with her friend Wendy Berthelsen who is leading a week-long seminar for Call, Inc.

Soon I'll continue various projects that I've started at home.  At 11:30 I'm meeting with two women who went with me to a "My Hope" preparation session last week; we'll start planning for how Crossroads will have a "My Hope" event this fall.

We had a blessed day at Crossroads yesterday (Sunday).  MN Adult and Teen Challenge sent about 20 men and 20 women to share music and testimonies at worship.  I dressed to match the choir and was honored to sing with them as they did their sound check.  That happened at the same time as our regular Sunday morning Bible study so I missed that, though there were a half-dozen or so who met and continued the conversation around Acts 10.

Right after worship with Teen Challenge I boogied over to the Cokato Manor.  We've been leading worship there in June.  The other weeks at the Manor I've shared a message there that connected with the "I.D - Exploring the Book of Colossians" theme that we've been doing at Crossroads but this time I based it off what I had heard early yesterday morning in a message by a missionary named Grayling Trees.*  The message was based on the story at the end of the Gospel of Mark chapter 10 where "Blind Bartemeus" cries and shouts out to the Lord for mercy.  You can hear it here: Grayling Trees - 2.3.13 Calling out in Desperation.mp3.

After the Cokato Manor worship I went immediately back to Crossroads, hoping to catch the choir before they left.  I was too late.  The choir had already enjoyed their breakfast (thank you to the kitchen crew!) and conversation, some played frisbee in the yard and then their bus headed out.  As I drove into the lot the second to last car was just leaving and the last of the helpers was out at her car.  She said that a mom of one of the Teen Challenge participants had just left after giving a small donation.  I went in and saw the donation and it reminded me of the widow's mite.

In the afternoon yesterday I relaxed a bit and continued a house project, then went back out to Crossroads for our evening "Taking Care" event--a community forum and discussion on Grief, Depression and Suicide.  The 20 folks who came were blessed by Amy Brustuen and Beth Peterson's presentation and the conversation.  People really opened up, sharing their hearts with one another as they learned.  Thank you to Nicole Peterson of St. John's Catholic Church for her work in organizing the event that we repeated last night.  The handouts from event are still available and we can make a CD audio recording for you too upon request.

Time to move on to other things.  I share these here so that, if you miss something, you'll know what's been going on in this little portion of God's Kingdom.  Praise Father God for the mercy we receive through His Son, Jesus Christ and for Holy Spirit's comfort & vigor that flows without end.
Grayling Trees is a minister associated with Bethel College of Missions and the message I listened to.  His message, plus the Teen Challenge presentation taught me three things that I shared at the Cokato Manor.  When people cry out for help we learn (1) compassion; we see (2) the power of God at work when prayers are answered and we learn (3) that it is okay for us to cry out for help too.  Those who cry out are HEROES of faith!  It's all a part of bringing people out of darkness and into the light.

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