Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Sunday in South Dakota: Christmas Cantata

December 17th, 2017

A cantata is choir music that tells a story in sections. The Christmas cantata, first performed in Italy, tells the music of the angels, shepherds and cradle songs of Christmas.

If you haven’t experienced a Christmas cantata, many incorporate narrations connecting the songs to create the whole story. Christmas cantatas are popular across Italy, France, Germany, Romania … and in America this 3rd week of Advent This weekend I spent time practicing for our annual cantata performance.

The most well-known cantatas are those of Johann Sebastian Bach. However, we are singing Lloyd Larson’s “Sing Joy to All the World” with the theme of “Come, Lord Jesus!” It celebrates the promise of joy that comes to those who wait, following the long dark night, the breaking of dawn brings joy for the new day. The music incorporates original melodies with familiar carols in a work that ranges from contemplative to celebratory that I hope everyone enjoys.

Invite the presence of God into your heart this season as you sing and celebrate with family and friends.

Friday Funnies

December 15th, 2017

For Christians, the birth of Jesus Christ has a deep spiritual significance, but that does not mean to say that we don’t enjoy jokes at Christmas:

 

Did you hear about the St Michael’s School nativity play? Two children were dressed as Mary and Joseph, and making their way to the inn at Bethlehem. Meanwhile on the other side of the stage, a lad in a shepherd’s outfit was on a mobile phone calling the inn to make a reservation.

 

It was the Sunday after Christmas at Mulliken United Methodist Church in Mulliken, Michigan. The Pastor was looking getting ready to pack away the nativity scene figures when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing from the scene. Immediately, Pastor Vaughn turned towards his phone in order to call the police. But as he was about to do so, he saw little Harry with a red wagon. And in the wagon was the little infant Jesus figure. Pastor Vaughn walked up to Harry and said, ‘Well, Harry, where did you get the little infant Jesus?’ Harry replied honestly, ‘I took him from the church, Pastor.’ ‘And why did you take him?’ With a sheepish smile, Harry said, ‘Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to little Lord Jesus. I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas, I would give him a ride around the block in it.’

 

Young Andrew was watching his father, a Vicar, write a sermon for the Christmas service. ‘How do you know what to say?’ Andrew asked. ‘Why, God tells me’, the father replied. ‘Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?’

On This Holy Night: Nativity Scene

December 13th, 2017

If you’re like me, you grew up seeing various nativity scenes in front of churches or a neighbor’s house. Nativity scenes can be found on Christmas cards, billboards and commercials. They’re everywhere this time of year. By now they are probably just part of the background.

But instead of just glancing over the, let’s take a few precious moments to focus on what makes up the nativity scene. For example:

The Star: God commissioned a special star to lead the wise men from the East to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem. The Christmas star was God’s gift of direction – God’s travel guide for seekers. Look at your nativity star as a symbol of the fact that God has always provided a guide for those earnestly seeking Him throughout history.

The Stable: Look at the stable., quaint but nothing as great as the star. God choose the stable for His son to be born in to symbolize that Jesus wouldn’t be sheltered from the harsh realities of this world. He wasn’t sent here to live as the rich and famous without troubles, Jesus would experience life in all the boldness of our sin. Whatever we bring to Him – He’s been there! From the beginning in a stable.

The Manger: Don’t mistake the manger for an early bassinet, it was a far cry from that since it was a feeding trough. Ordinary farm equipment in every way. Because He was laid in a manger we know the word and the ordinary became extraordinary. That’s quite a transformation! The manger symbolizes what can happen to an ordinary man or woman when they cry out in repentance and Jesus changes their hearts.

The choice is simple. You can just observe another nativity scene go by on the screen, or you can stop in your tracks and worship Him. What will you choose to do this Christmas?

Sunday in South Dakota: Christmas Caroling

December 10th, 2017

Listening to Christmas music is one of the iconic ways to celebrate the season.  And families get jolly by singing Christmas carols, so I couldn’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit then by singing and listening to Christmas music. This afternoon I gathered with church friends and went to a local nursing home to sing Christmas carols.

The aides and nurses wheeled the residents into the lobby where we were going to sing.  It was just a lovely holiday experience.  I especially enjoyed seeing a few of the residents sing with us.  There is something about singing while someone is singing to you at the same time.  Combine that with the fact that they were songs about the birth of Jesus, what a marvelous feeling in that room!

After caroling I attended a Christmas dinner and Cantio Flute Quartet concert at St. Andrews Episcopal with friends. What a distinctive Christmas gala of lively conversation and favorite Christmas music. http://cantioflutes.com/

I hope you find ways to enjoy this luminous Christmas season.  Let Christmas be a happy time; let music fill the air with chime and joyful songs galore.

Friday Funnies

December 8th, 2017

Have you ever heard of the Heavenly Air Force? Or maybe the Angel Harold? Probably not. But if you have children or grandchildren, or you work with kids, you can likely guess how such terms originated. As we all know, kids say the darndest things! 

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? -You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. — Alan, age 10 

HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?  You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. — Derrick, age 8 

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE? -When they’re rich. — Pam, age 7 

IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED? It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. — Anita, age 9 (bless you child) 

HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED? There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?  — Kelvin, age 8 

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK? Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.  — Ricky, age 10

 

On This Holy Night: A Star and a Stable

December 6th, 2017

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:11

We’ve all read the story in Matthew chapter 2 of the wise men following the star. Pastor preached on it last week for Advent. But I wonder … what if we followed a star that led us to a stable? What if suddenly after expecting something grand, you end up behind a barn? And there, instead of a palace and king on a throne, you find a baby in a manger? Nothing is as you anticipated. How would you react if you followed a star and found a stable? How is your conduct affected by the outcome of your expectations?

Seriously, imagine the disappointment the Magi might have felt when they finally ended up in Bethlehem. They’d visited Kind Herod’s palace to find out about this star and the child king to be born and probably a royal court.

Every one of us have had times in life when we’ve followed a star. Everything looked so promising, but we were to find out at the end that we were in a stable. Go back and look at what was written in your high school yearbook, have you met those goals? Some college kids graduate with their diplomas tucked under their arms ready to win the world – but quickly find out the jobs they wanted aren’t the ones they got.

Or maybe your stable was a relationship so full of promise, or a job where you were expecting a long due promotion. You get called into the office and are certain you’re about to get it only to be introduced to the new guy that got your promotion. In a daze you realize you were following a star and ended up in the stable.

Wise men of every age, when faced with a stable, don’t panic. They hold stead and know that God is there. A mature Christian sees God not only in palaces and pleasures, but also in the barnyards and stables of life.

Have you ever had a stable moment that changed your life? I’ve had plenty. Those are usually times He wants me to change direction and look at what’s in the stable. A baby that would save mankind, the same that the wise men found. Let’s be wise and look for God in the stable. Let’s bring Him our best and allow Him to change our direction to become greater than we are.

Sunday in South Dakota: Homestake Opera House Festival of Trees

December 3rd, 2017

Lead’s historic Homestake Opera House invited the public to attend the kickoff event of the Christmas season – the 2017 Festival of Trees Vintage Holiday Celebration. This event is the oldest of its kind in the Black Hills, the original festival was hosted in 1982 in the “Theater Built by a Gold Mine.” It didn’t take long to see why it has continued as a popular Christmastime event in the mining community.

The Lead Opera House & Recreation Center was built in 1914 as a gift from the Homestake Mining company to the people of Lead and the surroundings communities. Phoebe Hearst, widow of Homestake co-founder George Hearst, played a major role in the facilities conception. Once a useful public entertainment and cultural center, the Opera House was hit with a disastrous fire in 1984. The beautiful building is being resurrected to productive use for the enrichment of the community at this time.

Spirits were bright amidst the charmingly decorated theater, while visitors enjoyed free cocoa, hot apple cider and cookies while touring the heavily decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and unique items for auction. The trees and wreathes were donated by opera house supporters from local Black Hills communities. http://www.homestakeoperahouse.org/

Cowboy and calf photo on canvas auction item.

Restored area of lobby

Horses in winter painting in auction. Beautiful

Homestake Opera House lobby

Homestake Opera House

Historic piano and instruments used prior to the 1984 fire that destroyed the opera house

Homestake Opera House lobby

May your season be festive and bright!

Friday Funnies

December 1st, 2017

Cringe worthy jokes & riddles to share at holiday parties ~ Tis the Season!

A woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. Clerk: “What denomination?” Woman: “Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this? Well, give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic.”

A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery factory is now fully recovered.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

He often broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

Every calendar’s days are numbered.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

A merry Christmas to Ewe, and Ewe and Ewe!

On This Holy Night

November 29th, 2017

Christmas is a time of festive celebrations. It’s a to reminisce about days gone by, a great excuse to eat too much, sing too loudly, and spend more money than we should. Christmas can stir up intense and complex feelings (both pleasurable and painful) that sometimes take us by surprise. And for Christians, Christmas is a time of awe, reverence and wonder, when the timeless story of Christ’s birth is once again read from the Gospels for all the world to hear.

Some of the most cherished Christmas joys are found in family traditions that link one year to another with the harmony of favorite carols, the sparkle of familiar ornaments, and, of course, gift giving. Year after year, decade after decade, we delight in the reappearance of well-worn downtown Christmas lights and garlands. We are thrilled when the church sets up its nativity scene, angels, shepherds, wise men, and all no matter where we are.

But the very familiarity of Christmas sometimes causes us to overlook the most vital expressions of what should be a meaningful season. We have listened to the words of the great Christmas hymns so many times since childhood that we sometimes fail to appreciate their eloquent meaning. We have heard a hundred times about Mary and Joseph’s long, weary trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but we haven’t always stopped to remember just exactly how and why it happened. We’ve almost memorized the Bible story, we’ve sung the carols, we’ve hung the holly, and we’ve roasted the turkey. When it comes to Christmas, we’ve done it all…. including missing it by being too busy with the festivities.

Somewhere along the way, many have lost touch with what happened on that holy night, the heart of Christmas itself. With that in mind I hope the following weeks posts remind you of the beautiful, inspirational and profoundly spiritual good news of Christmas that are sometimes eclipsed by the gleam and glitter of today’s celebration.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday in South Dakota: Hiking Spearfish Canyon

November 26th, 2017

Some people like to wear masks and hit each other with sticks and call if fencing. As for me, I am enjoying hiking. Hiking is an excuse to be outdoors surrounded by the smells and sounds of Mother nature. There’s something about being on the trail wherever I am, feeling the wind brush against my skin and the world seems to come to a standstill, that keeps me going back outside for more. This weekend I found a couple great local hikes near Spearfish, South Dakota.

If you don’t have much time to hike while you’re visiting Spearfish Canyon, I would like to encourage you to put Spearfish Falls on your list. At only ¾ mile long it isn’t too strenuous. The hike descends 110 feet of wide pathway. It is a wonderful place to stretch your legs while soaking in the beauty of the canyon floor. And this is just one of the waterfalls of Spearfish Canyon.

Across the street is parking for Roughlock Falls 1-mile Nature Trail that I took after getting warmed up on Spearfish Falls. (Warmed up is a relative term when the temperature was 28 degrees F.)

Roughlock would be a great place for wildlife enthusiast to hike. Located in Spearfish Canyon it’s considered one of the most beautiful locations in the Black Hills. This trail is easily-accessible and winds its way slowly to a breathtaking waterfall that flows into Spearfish Canyon from Little Spearfish.

Fun Trivia: Spearfish Canyon is where Dances with Wolves final winter scene took place. The site can be found just north of Roughlock Falls in the Black Hills National Forest.

Enjoy

Let’s Give Thanks

November 22nd, 2017

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalms 118:1

A pastor and his wife invited a new young couple in the church over for Thanksgiving dinner. As the couple entered the home, they smelled the wonderful turkey and all the trimmings in the kitchen. As the four made their way to the dining room table, there was a great feast before them!

But as the young wife scanned the table, she noticed something out of place. Among the turkey, dressing, casseroles, and pies were three Chinese takeout cartons and a plate of egg rolls!

“I know what you’re thinking,” the old pastor said. “Why is there Chinese takeout on the table?” “You see,” he continued, “23 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, my dear wife burned the turkey and started a fire in our kitchen! In fact, our entire kitchen nearly caught fire and the whole Thanksgiving meal was charred black!”

“So, after the fire department left,” he chuckled, “we ordered Chinese takeout and that was our Thanksgiving meal! And every year since, we’ve had Chinese takeout as a part of our meal to remind us to be thankful for what we have!”

This year, I hope Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday for you. It should be a way of life for every Christian. We serve a wonderful God who sent his Son to die for us. As you continue to reflect on what you are thankful for this year, remember God’s blessings in your life!

GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR HOW HE HAS BLESSED YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND ESPECIALLY FOR SENDING CHRIST TO DIE FOR YOU! HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

 

Sunday in South Dakota: Lille Norge Fest

November 19th, 2017

Whether you’re a local, new in town, or just passing through, you’ll be sure to find something to pique your interest at this weekend’s Lille Norge Fest in Rapid City.

My high school years were spent in Jamestown, North Dakota where many of the locals were Norwegian. After arriving in Rapid City, it didn’t take long to realize that the Dakotas share that heritage and there’s a lot more to being Norwegian than just Ole jokes and Lutefisk.

This weekend the Sons of Norway hosted their annual Lille Norge Fest at the Borgland Lodge. Crowds of people wearing Norwegian sweaters and bunads (traditional Norwegian outfits) were savoring fresh lefse, krumkake, and rosettes. For a region rich with Norwegian ancestry, this annual festival is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, featuring Nordic cuisine, cultural entertainment, dancing and handcrafted gifts.

The Rapid City Lille Norge Fest was founded in 1973 to promote and preserve Norwegian culture in America. It was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours getting into the holiday spirit with Norwegian flair and Lefse. (They ran out of Lutefisk before I went through the line. Maybe next weekend)

 

Whatever you do this week – do it with flair.

Friday Funnies

November 17th, 2017

This weekend I will be attending the Lille Norge Fest. It’s a celebration of Norwegian Lutherans, Lefse and Lutefisk. In case you are unfamiliar with this Norwegian delicacy, let these give you an inkling. Poor lutefisk, that quavering smelly dollop of codfish-flavored Jell-O and today the butt of so many jokes.

Ole and Lena were sitting on the porch and smelled an awful smell. “There must be a skunk under the porch!” exclaimed Lena. “Well,” said Ole, “just throw some lutefisk down there. It’ll be gone in no time.” Lena considers this and says, “Ooo, well, I don’t mind the skunk that much.”

Ole, Sven and Lars die in a tragic Lutefisk dinner accident. They are met by God on the stairway to heaven. God says, “There are 3,000 steps to heaven. It’s very serious up there. I’ll tell you a joke on each 1,000th step you reach. If you laugh you go to hell.” So they start walking and reach to the first 1,000th step. God tells a joke, Lars laughs out loud and goes straight to hell. Ole and Sven look at each other nervously. On the 2,000th step God tells another joke, Sven tries his best but laughs and goes to straight to hell. On the 3,000th step God tells the last and best joke, Ole doesn’t laugh and proceeds to the gate. Suddenly, Ole bursts out laughing hysterically. God asks, “What are you laughing about?”. Ole replies, “Oh that’s funny. I just got the first joke!”.

To be honest, lefse and lutefisk are white and bland and simple. Their humble, long-storing ingredients are the flavor of poverty and survival, of northern climate a with short growing season.

Lefse started out as an unremarkable flour pastry. It’s believed the potatoes—the ingredient that makes this food really special—only became an element when Norwegians traveled to Ireland, where potatoes were a staple and more plentiful and nutritious than flour.

Lutefisk origin stories, on the other hand, are all over the map. Both Norwegians and Swedes claim to have invented it. One legend says some dried cod fell into a vat of lye by accident, but the people were too poor to throw it out, so they rinsed it off and ate it anyway, eventually finding that soaking in lye was better than water at rehydrating the cardboard-like dried fish.  

Today, Norwegians across the Dakota Territories eat these foods around the holidays to remember the old ways. Here you can find lutefisk suppers in church and lodge basements every weekend throughout the winter. Wish me luck!

 

 

Devotions from Baba’s Front Porch: Phone Conversations

November 15th, 2017

Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

Have you ever been on the phone and you lose the signal and the call drops? Did it take you a few minutes to realize that the person was no longer listening? Don’t laugh, I know it has because it happens to me at least a couple times a week while driving into the Black Hills. Sometimes it’s easy to get so wrapped up in what we’re talking about that I don’t realize I’m about to pass the imaginary line of phone communication driving up the hill. And I think she’s just listening. It’s kind of embarrassing, isn’t it?

Or maybe you tend to interrupt others. Your friend says something that reminds you of something else, and without warning you change the subject. Do you find yourself later realizing that your friend never finished their story?

Sadly, our prayer lives sometimes resemble a one-sided conversation. We begin by telling God all the things that we think we need. We outline for Him exactly how we’re going to carry out His plans for our lives – without always asking Him what those plans are! On we go, full steam ahead, without realizing that we haven’t heard a response from God. We’re so busy talking that His silence slips by us.

Other times we begin to get a vision for something Gods wants us to do. But before He can finish preparing us for His plan, we rush off with only half the story. It may be a good idea for us to slow down just a bit. God knows our hearts, and He doesn’t need so many of our words. Our friends might appreciate a little more listening too.

Murder on the Orient Express

November 12th, 2017

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed a magical cinema event. I use the word magical because Murder on the Orient Express takes you out of your own reality and places you in another world that is not macabre or dangerous but filled with beautiful people, exquisite dialogue, snowcapped mountain landscapes and sumptuous costumes. The exquisite cinematography alone was worth the cost of admission.

Murder on the Orient Express has many aspects to applaud. It has a good portrait of some 18th century look with all those etiquettes and manners. The movie is fully loaded with the story many already know, with a few different suspects that made it intriguing. Please don’t compare it with the novel lest you lose the momentum of this cinematic whodunit.

The supporting cast includes some big names including the likes of Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi and Michelle Pfeiffer. All play their roles well, but because, Branagh himself apart, this is very much an ensemble effort, it would be difficult to single any of them out for special praise.

However, one thing that took me off-guard was that Johnny Depp was not only not the star of the film, he was playing one of the least interesting characters in the whole film. What also took me by surprise was how much I enjoyed Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of the character of ‘Hercule Poirot’. He was captivating to watch. He left me undoubtedly wanting more. I would happily welcome a follow-up film (which may or may not have been hinted at in the film).

Whereas Agatha Christie understood human nature in its myriad forms, Kenneth Branagh so fabulously unveils in his Murder on the Orient Express. Yes, he has assembled a world class cast of superstar actors, but it’s Branagh himself, both as actor and Director, who pulls the real tale of loss, unrequited grief and revenge, of this story out brilliantly. You don’t get much more powerful emotions in human existence and these are wonderfully executed in this film.

I highly recommend Murder on the Orient Express as a “not to be missed” film. It’s fantastic, even if you know the plot. Go and see it and watch this wonderful tale again from a different perspective. This is a tale which plumbs the depths of human existence: what Poirot calls ‘the poison of deep grief.’ Fabulous.

Devotions from Baba’s Front Porch: The Pantry

November 8th, 2017

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

Does this happen to you? You wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden craving for a certain food, but the only thing in your kitchen was some instant oatmeal, peanut butter, a sleeve of crackers and an apple? Or perhaps a sudden winter storm blew in, and you couldn’t leave your house. Those are the times you realize the pitiful state of your pantry. Being snowed in is a reasonable concern in Rapid City, and it’s NO fun without sufficient supplies. (“supplies” is code for coffee and chocolate) It’s frustrating not to have what you need when you need it.

When it comes to the spiritual aspect of our lives, however, it’s more than frustrating when we find ourselves unprepared…it’s dangerous. Scripture tells us that we should always be prepared to defend our hope. Imagine that you were in a conversation with someone and they had questions regarding your faith. Would you be able to supply them with a response, or would you be unprepared?

Our pantries may look very different, yet still serve us quite well in an emergency. You may whip up a homemade pizza while someone else is content with peanut butter on a spoon. Likewise, not everyone is pulling from the same spiritual stockpile. One person may have a seminary degree, while someone else is a new believer. That’s the beauty of faith. When it comes to defending it, the answer is the same. The reason for our hope is always: Jesus

Don’t get caught unprepared. Be prepared with a hot beverage and chocolate in the pantry and Jesus in your heart.

Marshall

November 5th, 2017

…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Our pledge of allegiance doesn’t command us to pick and choose liberty and justice for those of a certain race or religion. It clearly states “for all.” just as we’re supposed to love one another. Sadly neither has happened throughout history. Marshall is a movie about a great American that stood in the gap for such justice.

Set in the 1940’s, Marshall follows pioneering Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in his earlier years as a lawyer for the NAACP. A married white socialite in Greenwich, Connecticut, accuses Sterling K. Brown of rape and attempted murder. Out of fear of losing her marriage, and status in the community, she was willing to destroy another human being.

It’s fair to say Chadwick Boseman is becoming one of the best actors of his generation. Chadwick Boseman is suave in his portrayal as the future Supreme Court Justice. He reminds me of a young Sydney Poitier with his quiet confidence and his cool style. Boseman has taken on film versions of such icons as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in GET ON UP, so he likely jumped at the chance to play the revered figure, Thurgood Marshall. Mr. Boseman has true movie star screen presence, and portrays the young Mr. Marshall with a self-assured swagger that accompanies a brilliant legal mind – a mind that refused to be ignored during a time it was desperately needed. The film does portray Marshall honestly as a smoke, drinker and hints at carousing. The common flaws of a great man.

Josh Gad plays opposite of Boseman as a young Jewish attorney, Sam Friedman. Slowly a friendship develops between the two men and they soon find that they have more in common that they first thought. Neither is an accepted member of the community; one because of his religion and one because of his race.

This film is a historical heavyweight with a very good screenplay. The touches of comedy bring a welcome balance to its tension-filled courtroom and difficult subject matter. I appreciate that Marshall takes its subjects seriously, but doesn’t take on a dreary tone doing it. The scenes in the courtroom are intense and keep you interested in the action. As the case develops, these scenes get more and more engaging.

In 1967 when Lyndon Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court it wasn’t his race that made Marshall’s appointment unique. It was the whole level of experience in the kind of law he practiced for people like Sterling K. Brown. Marshall believed the goal is justice and the law must work for all for justice to be realized.

Overall the movie is both gripping and inspiring. The entire cast is excellent, and I was emotionally invested the whole time. Marshall will move viewers both to tears and anger from start to finish, and I highly suggest you go see it. Vow to follow your moral compass even when it’s hard.

Devotions from Baba’s Front Porch: Surviving Goodbyes

November 1st, 2017

There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25

There was a time when folks lived their entire lives and died in the same small town. It wasn’t uncommon to grow up right down the road from grandparents. And you would NEVER dare misbehave in public because everyone knew your family and would have called your parents before you made it home. But these days things are different. People don’t stay in one place, they pull up roots and replant them somewhere new. Many of us have lived a lifetime of goodbyes – like I had to say to my family last week before returning to Rapid City, SD.

No matter how much we wish it were different, goodbyes are a part of life. Circumstances change. People change. Life happens and jobs change. Sometimes we must leave people and places that are dear to our hearts. Other times those we love leave us. Some goodbyes are welcome, however many goodbyes aren’t happy and some even painful.

Through it all, it helps me to remember that we must learn to hold on loosely to the things of this life. The things and people we cherish must be held with open hands as we entrust them to the One who loves them even more. We can trust Him to restore all joy.

Wanting our Lord more than we want any thing is the key to surviving goodbye. He must be our heart’s greatest desire. If God calls any of us to a goodbye, He can bring good from it. If it’s painful, we can trust that He will use it for His glory. Yes, some goodbyes will hurt, and we’ll grieve. But at the end of the day He will heal all sadness and reveal purpose.

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.