Happening Now Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Work Party - 9am Sat Aug 29

SOV Family, Just a reminder;

Work Party
This Saturday, August 29th
9:00 AM

Bring your work gloves, garden tools, paint brushes...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Family of Christ at SOV,
The reverie that is sometimes summer is winding down.  I really don't want to think about it much, but think about it or not, that time still seems to stretch out for so long when viewing it from the end of May, never seems to last quite enough.  It can feel so bittersweet, no matter how many years have passed.  And I hear one person after another say, "I can't believe it's over already."  Not meaning to be quite so sorrowful sounding because this is just the way it is.  Time continues to roll, and things are certainly not always sorrowful.  It is often a matter of perspective. 
If those warm summer days had not continued to pass there would not be those tasty pears, plums and grapes to indulge in from our back yard.  Yes the time passed quickly, but was the expectation really that time would slow down now?  So instead of lamenting what has gone by, the choice can be made to simply give thanks for what has gone by.
It was late afternoon of the day off, a beautiful day, and I lay on the couch on the deck, in the shade, reading a book.  What a simple, glorious time to enjoy.  Nodded off once in a while, reading the same paragraph more than once.  Then stopping to simply look at the canopy above me.  The green of the tree, the blue of the sky, the sound of the birds and a slight wind rustling.  Instead of thinking of time passing, simply letting the moment be a gift.  And it was.
Thank you Lord.  What moments do you give thanks for?  May they lift you well.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"O God, give us times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life.  Grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."
Reminder; Sunday Supper Social August 30th, 4:00 PM at Pastor Randy and Choices home in Albany;

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran,
It seems that the quail are always around, regardless of the time of year.  Sometimes there are a dozen, but lately there have been only two to four of them.  I can always hear their distinctive call long before they show up, and I get a kick out of watching them walk around, with that herky-jerky walk, and the plume on the males flopping around.   One of them must always be on guard, to come in first to check things out.
I Had been working outside for quite a while, now standing just behind the house looking out toward the garden, when I saw the first quail come out from the raised garden beds, a bit cautiously, then closely followed by another, and then another, and  a whole troop.  There was a parade, and as they first stopped underneath the pear tree and then on to the feeders I counted twenty-two birds. 
Sometimes we may expect very little and get surprised by alot.  (And while that isn't always a good thing, now consider blessings versus challenges.)  And the only way that big brood is going to move from place to place and continue to grow is if they look out for one another, just like us.  God  continues to enrich life, providing surprising moments of teaching If we are willing to learn.  May we pay attention.
"Most loving Creator, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay all our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Grant that fears and anxieties in this mortal life may not hide from us the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy

Bridal Shower for Amy Sugiyama Sunday
at 2:00 PM

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Sitting here early on a Wednesday morning, and my it is a lot different than just a couple of weeks ago and our record breaking heat wave.  Talking about the weather again because it had an effect on some hopes many people had for last night.  Last night was to be the height of viewing for the Perseid meteor shower.  Enjoy the night time sky a lot my self, and that event is a yearly treat.  Thoughts of driving out away from the city lights a bit and taking in the celestial show were made moot with the arrival of the rains.  It was disappointing, but also a perfect metaphor for what happens sometimes in a life of faith.
Even though the light show was not visible by me, the truth is it still went on.  It was not dependant on my sight to make it real and true, and beautiful.  Sometimes my vision gets clouded in other ways.  Feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and sometimes just a gloomy outlook, prevent me from seeing the good news that is still there, from knowing the joys that God would have me take in.  Makes me remember again a favorite Bible verse of mine that I turn to again and again, from John 1:5, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
Let me also share a part of a prayer, written by Henri Nouwen some years ago, "Please accept my distractions, my fatigue, my irritations, and my faithless wonderings.  You know me more deeply and fully than I know myself.  You love me with a greater love than I can love myself. ..... Look at me, see me in all my misery and inner confusion, and let me sense your presence in the midst of my turmoil.......Take my tired body, my confused mind, and my restless soul into your arms and give me rest, simple quiet rest.....Come, Lord Jesus, come.  Amen.
In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy
Fellowship Host's needed for Sunday August 16 and August 30

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Christ,
We have lots of birds that visit our back yard, and they provide many moments of simple pleasure, watching their interactions and nervous natures.  There are finches, doves, jays, towhee, sparrow, quail and more. I get a kick in particular out of robins.  They have a distinctive hop, but it is their method of hunting that always brings a smile.  They stop, cock their head and seem to listen intently, apparently to a sound no one else can hear.  And then suddenly strike the ground, and more times than not it seems, come up with a worm that is quickly chopped up like a chef preparing a meal for someone else.  They seem to have an ability to pay attention, to notice the slightest thing, that astounds me.
Life is almost always in a rush it seems, and while we cannot take it all in, I sometimes wonder what we do miss because we don't take the time to pay attention, even for just a moment here and there.  What things we may take in and relish that only we can hear, see, taste and then share with others.  And in it all we find even more reasons to give thanks for the richness of our lives. 
Thanks for the gifts Lord. 
 In Christ,
"O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied.  Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
Ushers needed for 10:30 service this Sunday, Please let me know if you are available.