Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Rare Energizer

While I hoped to start this mad-dash to the end of the semester re-energized from my wonderful Thanksgiving break at home, I was already dragging by mid-day yesterday.  Woof.  I rolled into my 6:30-9:30pm Church History class tired and anxious about the long night of work ahead. ...And then, we visited LSTC's Gruber Rare Books Collection, housed in JKM library. 

I was excited to have the opportunity to hear about these rare books from the library's current curator--and my current Pentateuch professor--Dr. Ralph Klein, but little did I know what we were about to see... 

Luther's "September" New Testament
For an hour and a half, my class slobbered (metaphorically speaking)  over original prints of numerous books including a Gutenberg Bible (15th c.), Martin Luther's translations of the New Testament into German (1522), and a King James Bible (1611) to name a few.*  It's not every day when you get to stare at such profound and tangible pieces of history.  I was tickled! To say the least, this was an amazing field-trip for a girl with an imagination--I could only think about the hands that prepared these books and then passed them down from one century to the next...

Oldest known complete
Greek cursive New Testament (9th c.)
I cannot express how humbling it was to be in that room. I was standing among books that changed the course of church history; I was standing among two esteemed Biblical scholars of the modern age; I was standing among my peers while we engaged this history even while looking forward toward our own discernment journeys and how we must continue too share the gospel as it had been shared for centuries before us.  

And while I cannot explain exactly why this trip to the library was so re-energizing, when I left that room I was ready to hit the books again with full force.  Three cheers for books!



*For all you Greek New Testament scholars out there, Dr. Klein even brought out the big kahuna: the oldest known complete New Testament written in Greek cursive (9th c.), known to New Testament scholars as manuscript #1424!!!

Deck the Halls

So, I know that Advent is coming up soon, but I am currently really excited to have Christmas Decorations up in our house finally. Don't get me wrong, advent is a great liturgical season, but they don't really make 'Advent ornaments' to deck the halls with.

Which means I got to put up the Christmas tree and such this past weekend. I spent a good couple of hours rummaging through our basement to find the Christmas tree and ornaments and then spent the better part of Friday and Saturday making sure everything was just right. We talk about living simply in Urban Servant Corps (and there is a good article in this month's Lutheran about shedding stuff) but I figured Christmas decorations could be a little less simple. Granted, everything I used was in the basement, but we can use a little extra electricity this month, right?

Though using that electricity, and playing into the consumer nature of Christmas (however small a part I play in the Christmas Industry this year) still is at odds with my favorite liturgical season of Advent. Perhaps this Advent will finally be a way to bring together those sides of myself that both love the holiday and its glittery extravagance and the side of me that says 'wait! Don't bother with stuff, prepare the way of The Lord!' We will have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Same Bat time, Same bat channel.

Last week of classes, and I can hardly believe it!  Then again, as I sat on the bus and the L during my commute from Madison to Chicago tonight I had my Greek vocabulary out studying like crazy trying to master the words which seem to always escape me.  Of course, as I go through my list, I come across words with a wonderfully funny, sometimes wonderfully inappropriate mnemonic- and for those chuckles, I can thank my fantastic Greek Study Group!  As we go through the words, sometimes a mnemonic is immediately apparent.  Sometimes the mnemonic has a crazy long story.  Sometimes the mnemonic has a wonderfully inappropriate story.  All are good because they help us remember the Greek words!

As I chug through these last two weeks on campus, I know that I will look back with amazement as I remember how I first wandered onto campus and into various classrooms wondering how I would make it.  And now that the first semester is near its end, I know, and  I can share with all future seminarians, that God gets us through this- we are called to serve God, and that is why we are here.  But, we also need to do our part and ask for help when we need it, and take advantage of people forming study groups.  I find that these study group times are when I talk through problems, talk through questions, and always see issues through a different lens.
Blam- another Paper is Done!
All these are lessons which I learned this semester, and I'm certain I will learn another one or two in the next two weeks!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday, Say Whaaaat?

Really Walmart? Really?

Recently an article in the Chicago Tribune's Business section stated that "families are looking to do things after the turkey is done and are eager to shop so its a great time to have the stores open."

Thanksgiving scoops up many different brushes and paints a variety of portraits and landscapes for many of us who travel toward this time of year with anticipation, of what lies over the beautiful horizons that captures the changing seasons. For those who boast a heritage that traces back to the troubled time of religious persecution and yearning for that freedom, this is a time of celebration and delving into traditions. Yet, for those ancient peoples who rightfully claim this land as their ancestral home this is a day of mourning and of sadness. For that matter, any people whose ancestors suffered and perished whether having their lands, their ways, their language and their spirituality and religion ripped from them, deemed incorrect or taboo as well as those who were dragged from the comfort of their own Motherland, this is not a day of rejoicing; this is a day of remembrance as well as of celebration that the Creator God has continued to journey with us, teaching and reminding us that He still cradles us close, teaching us who we are and what He has given to our spirits.

Several years prior, Thanksgiving eve was the mad rush enveloping long lines at grocery stores gathering what one needed for a healthy, filling Thanksgiving meal because on Thanksgiving proper, every store was closed so that the employees too, could rest and relax with those they loved.  Nowadays, it seems that we have tossed tradition, respect and sacredness to the winds instead, having those employees sacrifice sanity for the sin of greed. 

Every waking moment as dawn beats our hearts anew, as children of the Most High, we should shout joyful noises or lift our hands in lamentation and prayerfulness of how God continues to breathe life into our souls. This time of the year as we welcome in the season of Advent; for those around us who have lost their way or sheltering themselves as best they can from the battering life sometimes descends and surrounds us, we should reach out, taking hands and holding our fellow brothers and sisters in faith, In Christ, in love so close. This time of year we should be reminded that we should strive to do for others, as the Holy Spirit continues to inspire us and Christ continually teaches us.

Lape Bondye, God's Peace.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey/Giving Thanks/Thanksgiving Day!

Well, it’s Thanksgiving Day and I’m wondering what to write about.  I suppose I could write about the intensely awesome ritual that is baking the caramel pecan rolls which I got to partake in this morning as we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Or maybe today I’ll write about what I am most grateful for as a seminary student coming home to a stress-filled household.  This semester is wrapping up at a quick pace.  Soon it will be finals week and all of our papers, projects, tests, quizzes, and translations will need to be finished.  The seminarian mindset at this point seems to be, “Oh no! The end is near! Run away!”  Then we go to whichever home we go to where the stress of Thanksgiving as a holiday is in full swing.  Food needs preparation, schedules need to work out, relatives and friends must be accounted for in setting up for the meal, and there is usually a good amount of deep anxiety surfacing as all of these elements come together.  

As my own family stresses about all of these things I hear my mom say to Dad:

“Chin up, baby, we’ve got each other.  We’ve got our family.”

And in an instant, Mom has just shown me what the most important thing in her life is and what she is grateful for. 

I know it’s a cheesy and overly repeated question, but it really makes sense to ask it on this day.  What are you thankful for?  There’s a reason why we think about it, because it’s in those places where we find God most active in our lives as we know it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Turkeys, Oh MY!

turkeys taking a bath
So, this week, House For All Sinners and Saints is giving away free food to people on Thanksgiving. We call it Operation: Turkey Sandwich and basically, we make homemade turkey sandwiches, stuffing muffins, pumpkin cookies, mayo and mustard packets and put them all in a brown lunch bag with a sticker on it that says "It sucks you have to work on Thanksgiving. Operation: Turkey Sandwich brought to you by House For All Sinners and Saints." We then go around Denver distributing them to anyone who is working on Thanksgiving (cops, bartenders, 7-11 clerks, strippers, nurses, bus drivers, etc). I've been told it's absolutely incredible to see people's face light up when they get their sandwich and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Yet, there is another, less glamorous side of Operation: Turkey Sandwich. The organization. Luckily my Meyers-Briggs is a "J" which means I'm really organized and like to be an administrator (Mom, don't judge this based on my laundry). So, I've been compiling spreadsheets with all the information on it about who is bringing what and how many of them, as well as who is helping make and distribute. I've gotten to send emails, make stickers and signs, plan for Thursday's assembly lines...it's been great. I've also had the joy of being a somewhat unofficial turkey drop off center. I'll be roasting birds two at a time the rest of the week and making a bunch of stuffing muffins as well. I love cooking, and I love cooking in large numbers. It is, in fact, the first time I've roasted turkey, but I figure: Go big or go home.
yay turkey!

Thanksgiving Week!

Earlier this month I followed a FB friend's initiative to make a daily post stating what I am thankful for. Considering this is Thanksgiving week and the fact that we have a break from classes, my initial somewhat superficial expression goes to that; the break from classes. Yet, when I dig deeper, reflect on my first semester in seminary, I can't help but be ever thankful to God for all that I have. And while I still sometimes question my ability to keep up with students 15- 20 years my junior, and question my stamina as I travel from Madison to Chicago, I dive into scripture to find my feet again. For reading scripture is my salve- it heals me, it strengthens me, in it I find peace.

  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. ~John 1:1-5

Friday, November 16, 2012

At the Feet of the Elders

What a way to celebrate a birthday.

As my pathways swerve deeper into the beauty of this ministry and of my call, I am privileged to be in the presence of theologians who shine as rare as luminous gems resting behind crystal glass.

It is apparent that this church of brothers and sisters perhaps does not always reflect who I am in the ethereal mirror which shimmers before me; the question is posed, for an ancient tribe of people so connected to the Creator why have we clung to Christianity throughout the ages?

When you are called, you are called.

Dr. James Cone, a premier African American theologian stated during the tumultuous and turbulent 60’s that “God is Black.” As we continue to explore voices that cry out for identification and liberation in the here and now, Dr. Cone reiterates, “I still believe that ‘God is Black ‘in the sense that God’s identity is found in the faces of those who are exploited and humiliated because of their color. But I also believe that God is mother, rice, red and a host of other things that give life to those whom society condemns to death.”

The Creator breathes justice within our spirits and it vibrates into how we can encourage and teach others.

So, Wednesday evening what could be more important than being in the midst of the Conference of International Black Lutherans as they celebrated their 25th anniversary? Elders, some like Dr. Rudy Featherstone who was Dr. Perry’s pastor; Elders such as Bishop Holloway from the Southeastern Ohio Synod who brought his wit and humor as he reconnected with others; Elders such as Peter Nash who reminded us in worship that evening “the jar of meal will never be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail”. 

You can never have too much church...

Being among these elders of African descent awakened me to the fact that the next generation of CIBL  needed to arise from the dying waves that visit the shores in the deepness of the evening and as they listened to my voice I realized, proudly that I was one among them.

Lape Bondye, God’s Peace.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

When I pray for patience, God feeds me soup.

I love school--always have, always will.  There is just something great about contemplating difficult questions and ingesting sweet knowledge!  The problem?  I want to get out of the practice ring and into the real world.  You see, it was the real world guided me to this place.  I chewed up lectures and assigned readings and spit out papers and presentations for my Religious Studies classes in undergrad, but I was adamant that I would not go to seminary just because I loved school.  And then I became a YAGM.

As a participant in the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission program, I was thrust into the real world in an all too unfamiliar way.  As a missionary volunteer accompanying a community in the West Bank, I learned that ministry looked a whole lot like relationship, caring, trust, sharing, grace, and agape love.  I felt a call to work alongside, guide, and care for people in faith, and ordained ministry began to feel a whole lot more like my reality.  This year exposed me to life outside of the classroom, and yet these experiences pointed me right back to the classroom.  I decided to attend seminary not just because I loved to learn, but because I felt called to share the Gospel.

Still, seminary is a 4 year process of which I am a little over 2 months of the way through.  Bottom line: though I love school, it seems a little counterintuitive to sit in a classroom again.  I am impatient.  These classes and assignments are extremely thought-provoking, practical, and applicable, and are helping me build a solid foundation for ministry that I would not otherwise have, but I still find myself praying for patience.  ...A few weeks back, God heard my prayers and fed me soup.  

This particular soup I'm talking about was a delicious chicken noodle soup a member of my dinner group made the other night.  She said the soup must simmer for four hours in order to reach its fullest flavor.  ...Okay, I get it.  Building a strong foundation for ministry is like cooking up some delicious soup--it takes intentionality and care for all these ingredients to mix and mingle and come together over time to reach their fullest flavor-packed potential. 

For this reminder, I am grateful-- there is still so, so much I must experience and learn.  I continue pray for patience and God continues to say, "Simmer down, Janelle.  We're still adding spices."  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hot Tubs Make Me Feel at Home...Among Other Things

On Sunday I preached like I do every other Sunday, but this time it felt super familiar.  I am getting used to my church yes, but this time it was almost like I was back in Chicago...oh wait is that the honorable Terry and Karen Baeder in the crowd?!?!?!  Terry, on staff at LSTC, was visiting my internship site before heading up to lead our cluster retreat for interns and intern supervisors.  So maybe this should have been scary or nerve racking, but the trick was that Terry and his wonderful wife, Karen, attend church at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection where I did my ministry in context last year, an almost part time internship lasting about 7 hours a week.  So when asked if I was nervous, I was able to respond, this is not the first time they have heard me preach.  In fact they have heard me preach at least 5 or 6 times...so for me this was comforting, not one, but two friends in the crowd, who have given me critique and support all last year.  I felt at home, and not just because the weather is getting colder, but because it brought me back to all the experiences last year that prepared me to be an intern.

Now the retreat itself was amazing, getting to meet other interns and supervisors, and hearing about what everyone was doing.  I loved it, but the highlight for me was the hot tub!!!  Now in WI, the best part about hot tubs was when it was cold out, we would jump in them and be able to be outside even though it was not appropriate swimming weather.  And it just so happened to be 52 degrees out... so Monday morning I crawled out of bed and got in the hot tub before breakfast and later in the evening with some other interns we went back in there and chatted it up.  This was just a perfect addition to a wonderful couple of days, and I appreciate the willingness of the two Ohioans from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Bob and Ethan, that joined me in remembering their baptism!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day, Stewardship Time, Easter Vigil

Which of the three doesn't belong in this time of year?

Veteran's Day.  Mark 12, Easter Vigil

Foot Washing-Photo M. Tweed
Today's text is often times used in connection to stewardship, and the poor widow is lifted up as an example of how to give to the church. Well, today is Veteran's day. What better correlation could be made? How many veterans have given absolutely everything? And to all veterans, THANK YOU!

Now then, on to an explanation as to WHY Easter Vigil DOES belong!

Easter Vigil Fire- Photo J. Yucha
When worship class occurs in the fall semester, the paschal retreat occurs in the fall instead of the spring. And what a wonderfully long day it was; a full day with all classmates, our professor, our TA, and LSTC's AWESOME chapel/ worship assistants. Some of the people are first year MDiv students, some are not. Some students live on campus full time, with their entire life based in Hyde Park. Some students are part time commuters, such as myself, who live on campus part of the week, and travel home weekends. Some students travel into Chicago every day for class, some students utilize the commuter housing, and are on campus 2 or 3 days a week. No matter what 'classification of student' we are, this day we spent 8+hours together. All on the same level, worshipping, leading worship, catching up on sleep, or catching up on studies. I felt like it just may have been a mini-introduction to internship year.

Yesterday as I listened to Dr. Stewart's sermon, and heard him mention the fact that we are preparing to go out into the world as ordained ministers of word and sacrament, I looked around the sanctuary at my classmates and felt pride. I am proud of the fact that such a diverse group of people study together, worship together, learn together, and share leadership together. Whether we are straight, gay, married, single, young, not so young, MDiv, nonMDiv, commuter, part-time commuter, or live on campus, we are a group of diverse people who live diverse lives. We are a group of diverse people who do not fit into one category, even in the way in which we obtain our degree, for this world becomes smaller with technology, and more transient with spouses being relocated due to their jobs. We are a group of diverse people, preparing to minister to a diverse world. Thanks Be To God!

ps- see Chad's post for MORE info on the paschal retreat!

The Pascha in November

Yesterday was Maundy Thursday.  

No, wait, that's not right.  It was Good Friday.  

No, that's not right either.  I'm pretty sure it was Holy Saturday.

No, actually, I think it was all three of those.  Yeah, that sounds right.  In the middle of November, we had all three days of the Triduum.  It wasn't officially that, of course, but for a number of us at LSTC, yesterday was the three holiest days of the year.  It was all part of Dr. Ben Stewart's Intro to Worship class.  Every semester, Dr. Stewart holds this Paschal Retreat, where the members of the class prepare, participate in, and lead the three services of the Triduum - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.  For many students, this is the first time they experience all three days, and even though it's outside the church calendar, it still has a powerful effect on us.

Right after this, Dr. Stewart doused us with what he calls the Holy Super-Soaker.

I'm the sacristan at LSTC this year, which means I'm in charge of keeping the space and liturgical items maintained - basically, I'm the chancel guild.  As part of that job, I get to participate in this Paschal Retreat.    During the course of 6 hours yesterday, we washed each others' feet, heard stories of Jesus' death and resurrection, listened to the greatest stories of the Old Testament, had communion twice, venerated the life-giving cross, heard the Word preached 3 times, affirmed our baptisms, and sang beautiful music together.

Oh, and we also made a blazing bonfire.

My favorite part of the Easter Vigil.

It's a little strange to experience these holy services in one day, outside of the regular church calendar.  However, when we were together in that space yesterday, God was with us, reminding us of the greatest promises of love and uniting us in Christ's resurrection.  

Friday, November 9, 2012


The word community has had many different meanings for how we as humanity view the places we reside, work or celebrate. Last Sunday, the LSTC community as a whole came to Rockefeller Chapel to celebrate another brother in Christ welcomed into our community. 

Yet as we have heard through conversations whether it be in small groups or sharing through social media, that the sacred community that enfolds and embraces Seminary Life is rapidly diminishing. Perhaps those who are discerning their call to ordination, lay or academic teaching have not had the opportunity to experience how enriching Seminary community can be for us, especially as students. 

I thought I would share some snapshots over the years that I have resided here now as my mood turns reflective in the midst of preparing for Internship. 

Seminary is something that you must experience, and if possible immersed in the playful  and thoughtful daily life among other children of God.

Lape Bondye, God's Peace. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leaving a Little Room

The Future just got a lot closer this week.

While hanging out with some other friends this week, someone said, “you know? After this semester and j-term, we’ll be halfway done with our class load at LSTC.”


My first reaction is to ask all sorts of evaluative questions of my experience in looking toward my future.  What have I been learning for the past half of my class time here?  Am I feeling adequately prepared to be a pastor?  Am I really ready to preach and teach according with the Confessions and Scriptures?  All of these are great questions to ask for any seminarian in whatever place they find themselves, but I have to continually remind myself that, while I love to keep close tabs on everything (especially when it comes to class loads and registration!), there’s got to be some room for the Spirit to move. 

This is another one of my growing edges that I have discovered.  I can make all sorts of plans and goals, and this is a very good skill to have, but to be in a loving relationship with God and with other people demands room for something more than what I plan on happening.  It demands room for spontaneity and openness to new experiences alongside of plans and goals.  It demands a willingness to let change and growth occur as God intentionally pours out God’s Spirit onto the whole of creation (Joel 2:28).  It demands these things because the Spirit is really what we are following and interacting with as we continually discern our vocations inside and outside of LSTC.

So am I ready to be a pastor?  Well, I still don’t have my first clerical yet, but I'm sure that will change in the future as the Spirit moves me ;)

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pickett's the Ticket!

It's no secret that political discourse is pretty loud at LSTC.  There are probably many reasons why this is, but it's safe to say that you don't have to walk far in our halls to find a few students - or maybe a classroom - discussing political issues, especially during elections like the one going on today.

Sometimes, we can take it all a little too seriously.  Sometimes, a majority opinion needs to be reminded that theirs isn't the only viewpoint represented in our community.  And, as election results are coming in at this very moment, I'm sure there are mixed emotions among all of us at LSTC.

Because of this, it's nice when a little lightheartedness comes to break the tension up a bit.  This morning, when we got to campus, we came upon this sight:

He was running unopposed this time around, I'm told.

On this election day, it was pretty fun to see all the reactions to this banner, hung on the second floor inside the courtyard.  I think it gave everyone a chance to laugh a bit, especially those of us who may have been a little too anxious about the day.  Dr. Pickett, one of our New Testament professors, is on sabbatical this semester, so I don't know if he knows he was at the center of the only political poster on campus this fall, but I'm pretty sure he'd enjoy the silliness of it all.

If anything, I think this one rogue act of a few students (I'm assuming students did this!) helped us all realize that we can't take these elections so seriously, especially when we believe in a God who is working to bring love to all of us in so many ways - including through laughter.

Election Day!

First time you can vote anywhere in Travis County!
So far from my registered state of WI where I vote, I was worried that I may miss out on the election day experience.  And although I know that my home congregation is a polling place in the small town I grew up in, it was a shock to me that of all the places in this college town Austin, my little church is the polling place for our part of town, which now makes us a polling place for anyone in the Travis County area (Austin and some surrounding area).  For the first time you do not have a designated place, but you can go anywhere in the county to vote.
So last night as we were calling it quits we started to see all kinds of signs for candidates and propositions, trying to give voters one last push before the big day.

Needs to be a certain distance away from the entrance...
So this morning the day arrived, Happy Election Day!  As I walked in to the kitchen I could see lines in our fellowship hall and the booths full of people casting votes.  It's an amazing sight to see all the people taking time out of their day to cast their vote, and for this area a lot of young people!

Who you gonna vote for?
Now some may see this as a contrast to separation of church and state, but I love that we are able to offer this service and be a help to our community.  I love that people who never come into our church are here in the most non-threatening and important way...
When I arrived in Austin, some people who I met would say, "Oh, that church by the bar Trudy's?... Oh yeah, I vote there!"
Which just makes it easier to say, "You should come back and visit..."

Monday, November 5, 2012

When the Pastor's Away, the Vicar Will have Gliturgy

So, my supervisor is in the Holy Land with Bishop Burnside from South-Central Synod of Wisconsin for 15 days.  That means it's time for the Vicar to take the reigns and really shine.

Except, the last week has been almost like every other week I've been here.

I'm not mad about that, but it helped me realize that there is something great about not having an office at internship: there's not the daily office-y tasks that need to get done, so I can spend more time with my parishioners, writing sermons, buying white roses for All Saints Day, and the like.  It really frees up time.

And so, this week has been practically the same as before, only I missed out on Supervision for the week...and will this coming week to (Field Ed: IF you're reading this, I have a list of things I've planned to talk about and am gonna schedule extra supervision sessions once Pr. B-W gets back!).  But, I have started to have my own "office hours" since Nadia is gone.  Typically, Nadia hosts "office hours" in a coffee shop in town (Pablo's) once a week for an hour and a half.  The date and time changes quite a bit, but it's a time for people to get together and talk.  It's part social, part pastoral care, and part community building/support.  I really like the idea, and wanted to do it myself, so when Nadia was gone, it was the perfect opportunity to start having office hours of my own.  I'll continue it all year, even when Nadia is hosting her own. (Don't worry, we'll never have them at the same time as a popularity contest)

So, I've added some responsibilities that I wanted to have, and have had a relatively normal week otherwise.  Except...well...Gliturgy.

(I'd like to clarify: Gliturgy is a Glitter-Liturgy which I threatened Nadia with while she was gone.  This is the inspiration for the title of this post, and did not and will not actually happen at House For All.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Half Way - - With Head in the Clouds

Downhill--- maybe?

As I look at the calendar, I see that the semester is more than half over.  Which makes me say YEAH, I've survived!  Yet it also makes me say, “Oi, I have so much to finish!” 

Over the weekend, I was pondering what to blog about today when Scott, my husband asked, “Whatchathinkin?”  Keep in mind he doesn't do that very often, so I was a bit caught off guard, but did mention I wasn't sure what to write about for the blog.  He said, “You need to take time to be with friends and family.  Like this weekend you traveled to Minneapolis to be with a friend when she got married.  And of course you got to spend time with your awesome husband.”  And he is right.  Even though we are 'over the hump' of the semester, may be a bit overwhelmed with those final papers, we still need to find time to balance our studies with family, friends, work, and social life. We may feel like our head is in the clouds, and we can't quite catch our breath, but that's when it is time to stop.  Enjoy the beautiful clouds. Thank God for the journey we've traveled thus far, and know that God will be with us as we finish the next few weeks.

1/2002  Ma & I half way down Haleakala Mountain


And the MOST important thing to do
THIS WEEK is get out and VOTE!  
Take the time you need to cast your ballot and make your voice heard.