Be Strong and Courageous: A Prayer for Graduations and Transitions

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/graduation-1311237

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/graduation-1311237

This time of the year is always bittersweet for me. As our church prepares for graduations and transitions, we reflect on the memories we’ve had with students, but also prepare to send them onward.

Over the years, this has only gotten more difficult as we watch the young ones we’ve lived life with prepare for what is next. But during this time of the year, I’m reminded of the importance of these bittersweet moments. They are a reminder that life is made up of transitions and new beginnings.

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My Lenten Journey

Used with permission http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

Used with permission
http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

I grew up going to a private Catholic school from first to eighth grade. This is where I first I heard about Lent. In fact, Lent was kind of a big deal during those early years. We celebrated Fat Tuesday with a school-wide carnival and talked openly about what we’d choose to give up for the season. I distinctly remember one of my teachers giving up coffee for Lent. She was noticeably grumpy for weeks.

Outside of my elementary school days, the practice of Lent wasn’t something I actively participated in. Sure, I knew when it happened and certainly thought about its significance, but I didn’t pursue it.

This year, though, I decided to embark on my own Lenten journey. It’s been a season of contemplation, joy, and focus.

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Preach the Pauses

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One of the things they teach you in seminary is the importance of crafting sermons. A lot of instruction goes into creating biblically sound, articulate, and application heavy messages. Of course, there are certain things about sermons that can’t be taught, but can only be learned.

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Haight Ashbury

Hendrix's House

Hendrix’s House

 

There’s this neighborhood in San Fran where history and progression collide. It’s like that part at the end of the Great Gatsby, where Nick talks about the green light of the future simultaneously existing with the waves dragging the boats back into the past. It’s history, but also innovation. This section of town is called Haight Ashbury, named after two streets that intersect in the center of the neighborhood. In the Haight, you’ll find culture and life, love and acceptance. Jimmy Hendrix lived here. So did Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. Because, you know, they built that city on Rock and Roll.

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