October 17, 2008
Yesterday was my 52nd birthday. I actually love to celebrate birthdays, including mine:) It is a natural time for me to take some time and reflect on my life. My birthday began the night before when I got a bunch of Facebook birthday wishes and then an 11:00 p.m. phone call that our daughter-in-law, Hyemin was in labor. I knew there would be a good chance that our 12th grandchild would be born on my birthday. I thought, “what a beautiful gift” the gift of life, another person to welcome to our family and add to our ongoing story. I was in and out of sleep and prayer for Ben and Hyemin all night long. In the morning I woke up to Rich and Alex’s happy faces giving me a whole bunch of kisses and love. Then got to the office and I was greeted by Myra and Max with happy birthday wishes. On Thursday mornings I pray with a group of women. They brought a cake, coffee, cards, gifts and we had a fun little party and a good time of prayer. We found out on the way to the office, via a text from Ben that Daniel Haesung Cho Swetman was born around 7:00 a.m. We met him in the afternoon, he is gorgeous! I received lots of phone calls, texts, email and FB birthday wishes throughout the day. We went to dinner with some of our kids and grand-children. Then home exhausted and to bed.
Today as I take a few moments to reflect on my life at age 52 I sit in amazement and gratitude. Here are the words that come to mind:
There is of course sadness that has to do with broken relationships. In the sadness I find great comfort that at some point, maybe not even in this life “all matter of things will be well.”
I am one very grateful person. I could not have imagined the gifts that are given to me daily and for which I am most thankful!
October 15, 2008
I so try not to care about this…but then something like this happens and it makes me want to scream…
October 8, 2008
It’s no secret that I have decided I am voting for Obama. The one question that most Christians ask me is how I can be a follower of Jesus and vote for someone that is not pro-life. I am pro-life and I believe that being pro-life is bigger than “one” issue. Here is where I reach back to my Roman Catholic roots and lean into a the overarching reality of what pro-life means and meant before the 1980’s Moral Majority campaign (and others) redefined pro-life around one issue. Here is what I am talking about. So, I consider myself Pro-life and pro-Obama.
October 2, 2008
The news this week has no doubt caused anxiety and fear to creep up in many. Today I reflected on Psalm 112. It brought the reality of what it means to live through times like these with some perspective.
Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.
His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.
He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.
September 22, 2008
Today is the first day of fall. Here is why I love this season:
1. I actually don’t mind the rain and I love cold/sunny days
2. I love the colors of fall – I am already seeing tree leaves start to change
3. It’s about the only time of year where I love to buy a new pair of shoes
4. This may sound morbid but, I like the idea of old things dying, going through a winter and then new life. Fall is the beginning of letting some necessary things begin the cycle of death to make room for the new life that wants to emerge.
5. My birthday is in October:)
6. The kids are back in school and there is again a semblance of order.
7. This is my favorite season for cooking and having folks over to share a meal – lots of roasted meats with root vegetables and red wine.
8. While I am not much for Halloween, I love the Thanksgiving holiday. Not in the respect of what we are celebrating but more in how we choose to celebrate it with family and reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for.
9. The smells of fall
10. Even though I am not interested in sports, there is something about the football season and the world series that I like. Mind you I don’t watch them, but I catch the excitement from my husband and my kids and somehow I vicariously experience the season without really entering it.
That’s about it…
September 19, 2008
Just started reading Phyllis Tickle’s latest book, The Great Emergence. Another must read for anyone wanting to understand the back drop for where the Christian church in North America currently finds herself and where we are more than likely heading.
September 9, 2008
Check out this new video Brian did on Hope here
Short and to the point. When he talks about the Muslims in the first part of the video it made me think, this is exactly why the youth initiative TNT is an important experience for young people to learn about and from one another.
September 5, 2008
I am looking forward to the annual OTM party! That’s what usually happens. You will have a bunch of fun getting to know tons of interesting people, stories that stretch your thinking about God, Church, Christianity, the Culture and this year will not be a disappointment. Check out the website for Seattle’s event…and keep checking because they will be adding more daily!
Did you know:
“Younger adults and those Americans who live in the Western part of the United States are much less likely to believe in God than are those living elsewhere…
The highest number of atheists and agnostics live in the western USA… One quarter of western U.S. adults claim no religious affiliation” (Pew & Gallup, 2008)
This startling statistic tells us why we need to focus on reaching young people with the message of Jesus
We happen to live in the section of the nation with the largest number of unreached young people
Not only that – this number is growing – non believers are the fastest growing faith segment in the US
And some of them are coming right out of our churches
We need to turn this around
Come to The Born Again Church Tour in Seattle October 10-11
Hundreds of people like you have already signed up because they believe that the church can be better – the kingdom can be expanded and young people can find a spiritual home as followers of Jesus.
Learn how at The Born Again Church Tour in Seattle October 10-11
Get your tickets (Groups only $79)
Could you hold 4-year old Max in prayer the next few days? He has contracted ecoli, has been in the hospital for days and is not doing well. They discovered it has gone into one of his kidneys and his liver. He is being transferred to Children’s Hospital today. Please pray for healing, strength and that he will not have kidney failure.
Max is the grandson of our good, good friends, JR and Nancy. Please keep them all in your prayers as this has been an exhausting week. Thank you.
September 4, 2008
Well not exactly Oprah but a producer from her show. Remember the story of my friend Jessica singing with Sting in July? If not go here and here. I emailed the Oprah show a lot to tell them this would be a great story on so many levels…fairytale come true…Jess is a good, good person, Unitus is involved, is has all the makings of an Oprah segment right?
Well this morning I got a call from one of Oprah’s producers wanting to know more about the back story and wanted contact info for Jess. Jessica talked with them, they opened a file on her because they like the story. So here’s what needs to happen next, we need as many people as possible to email the Oprah show at the link below (it will only take you a few minutes) and in the message section put: Jessica Ketola and Sting – please bring Jessica on to tell the story…then copy and paste the link to Jessica’s myspace account which is http://www.myspace.com/ketolajessica
To get an email to Oprah go here
and let’s get Jessica on Oprah!