Peace Be With You

Welcome to my blog! My name is Rev. David Lindenberg. I am a pastor at Peace Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Rapid City, South Dakota. "O Taste and See That the Lord is Good" is from Psalm 34:8, and it describes several of my favorite things, which this blog will be about. Taste: I am a "foodie," and I love to cook, so from time to time there will be some of my favorite recipes, or cooking tips on here. SEE: I love art, drawing, and am currently taking some art instruction, and learning how to paint as well, so there will also be some things about art and painting in my blog. I also love history, which has nothing to do with the title, but it a real interest of mine. But most of all, I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and so most of my blogging will be about matters of faith, and some daily devotional writings. I hope that you enjoy "Tasting and Seeing That the Lord IS Good!" Happy reading!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 7 of our NYG Adventures

NOTE: So I am composing this post NYG while on Vacation, because I ran out of time (and hotel internet access), and after a 26 hour bus ride I was too tired to do it the night we returned to Rapid City.  Then next morning my family and I left early for Wisconsin, arrived last night, and this is the first time I had to blog.

Thursday, July 4th.  Started out like most days at the NYG.  A quick breakfast and then off to events.  Today was the NYG Divine Worship Service with President Harrison Preaching, my cousin's daughter singing in the NYG choir, and Holy Communion for 25,000+ people.  All I can say is AWESOME!!!
From there our group--short on sleep--decided that instead of trying to get into some of the sessions for that day, would go over to the area with all the booths, and then head over to get some lunch and then head back to the hotel.  Lunch today was at a Texas specialty...Whataburger.  It was pretty good, but quite busy with lots of other NYG go-ers having the same idea as us.  Then we went back to the hotel for swimming or napping or both.
It was decided that half of us were going to walk and half of us wanted to try and take a water taxi down the riverwalk to the Thurs. Mass Event.  The walkers were already at the Alamodome before we ever got a taxi.      We ended up being late for the Mass Event, but came in for most of a very wonderful speaker...Jessica Stevens a (26?)yr old young woman who gave a very inspirational and awesome testimony and speech, reminding us all that our identity is in Christ Jesus.  Well done young lady!
The night was closed with one of my favorite songs from the NYG, "Our God is Love," complete with a few fireworks going off inside the dome.
Outside, seeing as how it was the 4th of July and all, we were treated to some AWESOME San Antonio fireworks.  WHAT a wonderful, God-blessed and joy-filled day!
Remember that your identity is in Christ Jesus!
Here are some photos of a wonderful 4th of July at the NYG in San Antonio.
My cousin's daughter Ally singing in the NYG choir
Pres. Matthew Harrison preaching at the Divine Service.
Jessica Stevens pointing up to Christ, who is our identity.

San Antonio fireworks after the Mass Event.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Next Blog coming soon...

Sorry guys, my internet access at the hotel runs out in a few minutes.  I will blog about the last 3
days of our Trip, including todays adventures when we get back to Rapid...assuming I survive the 28hr bus ride home.
Love and God's blessings.
Good Night All!!!  And happy 4th of July!

Day 6 of our NYG Adventures

So yesterday was more of the sessions, and several of my group were in the same sessions that I wanted to go to.  YEA!!  One speaker in particular was so good that we went to his presentations back to back.  At least they were on different topics.  Brad Alles had sessions entitled: "Love Lived--and Here's Evidence" and also "The End is Near".  The first was about defending our faith with what is called "apologetics."  Apologetics is NOT apologizing for our faith.  It is the branch of study that deals with the establishment and defense of faith.  He was a great speaker in both topics.
From 5-6pm several in our group worked the South Dakota District booth, where groups of people got their pictures taken with their faces behind a cutout board of Mount Rushmore.
Today though, I think the week finally caught up to all of us--we were all so tired, which can have an adverse effect on group dynamics.  But we pulled together and had a wonderful night of celebration.
What were we celebrating, you might ask...
I have to go back a few days to explain.
On Sunday at dinner, one of our group asked me if I would baptize her.  Originally we were going to do this on Thursday.  But Becky figured out that the worship service for the gathering was Thursday morning.  So we decided to make a change in our plans and have it on Wed evening in place of going to the Mass Event.
When we were all done with sessions we went back to the hotel rooms to change clothes and rest a bit.  Then we went to our destination for the baptism...a fountain with a pineapple sculpture on it that is on the riverwalk near our hotel.
We then had the baptism of Brandi Bentz into the family of God.  It was awesome!!!  And then when we were finished, a turtledove landed on top of the fountain and stayed there.  It was quite a moment.
To celebrate this wonderful event, we went to have a late dinner at The Rainforest Cafe.  We had the best waiter ever, the food was really good, and the decorations in the place were really cool, with the sounds and sights of a Thunderstorm going off every once in a while, and various animatronic jungle animals all over the restaurant.
All in all it was a fantastic day!  A blessed Day!  A day to celebrate God's grace and blessings.
Here are some pictures...
Baptism of Brandi Bentz

Just after the Baptism

A Turtledove landing on the fountain after the baptism.

All of us very full and happy after our dinner at The Rainforest  Cafe.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 5 of our NYG Journey

Today we started into our diverse breakout learning sessions where every two hours there are different speakers on different topics that youth and chaperons get to choose from.  It can be utter chaos at times when hundreds of people want to get into the same room with a limited amount of seats.  I went to some pretty good talks, and some of our youth seemed to like the ones that they went to as well.  I spent a lot of the day with James, who came to many of the same ones I did.
The BIG news for me today was that I finally got to see my cousin Lana and her daughter Ally.  We were all three very excited for the little reunion, and hugs went all around.  We chatted for oh such a very short time, but it was very good to see them.  It sounds like their group is having an awesome time at the NYG as well.
Tonight (Tues night) we went to the second Mass Event at the Alamo Dome.  It was good,  there are some great song that are played every night that we get to sing along to.  Love to sing, but I am not much for the dancing around and waving my arms kind of thing.  I will leave that to the girls in our group who were really getting into it.  You know who you are! :)
After the Mass Event was over--they had an EVENT PLUS, which translates into extra entertainment after the main Event.  So we stayed and watched "The Jesus Painter" and the "Sand Painter."  These guys are both truly amazing artists.  If you ever get a chance to see them DO IT!  But if not, you may find both of them on YouTube.
We had lots of fun, but I was completely wiped out after we made the long track home.  It was probably 1:30 in the morning before I went to bed.  Then we had to get up early again the next day.  That's why I am not blogging about it until 12 30am the next night (Thurs Morning).  I will try and blog about Wednesdays activities tomorrow morning.  I think you will want to read that one.  We had a very exciting and fun night tonight!  Til then, Thanks for reading and God Bless!!

The Jesus Painter

The Sand Painter

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

NYG Day 4 (Monday) Opening Night

That's all I can say about last night's opening Mass Event. 
"Mass Event" refers to the special ceremonies that NYG participants have each night to close out each day of the NYG activities.  It is an amazing time with 25,000+ Lutherans of the community of God worshiping and praising God together as one BIG family in Christ Jesus.  And unless you have been to one of these, you cannot do it justice in trying to describe it.  From the lights, to the music (which you don't even care how very LOUD it is--see Psalm 100 to know what I am talking about.), to the stories and the humor.  Here at this time and in this place youth are free to let go and be themselves and to be enthusiastic about their faith and life in Christ.  
What an awesome day!  We had a district (South Dakota District) event at another hotel near the convention center, where we had a catered luncheon that was very yummy (especially that gigantic piece of XTREME-ly rich chocolate cake...OOOOH yeah--gimme some more of that!  Also, we were provided with entertainment from 3-2-1 Improv, a Christian improvisation group that travels all over the country (and sometimes across borders) to share joy and laughter with people.  We ate and laughed and had a great time!
The rest of the day was spent doing what we wanted all gearing up to the Mass Opening Event at the Alamo Dome. We finally got Torri her Mexican food.  I found out that she enjoys a good Chimichanga as much as I do!  (Have you ever tried saying that word..."CHIMICHANGA"  Say it fast and loud.  It's kind of a funny word)  Anyway, we ate at a Mexican restaurant on the riverwalk.  
After dinner, we went to the Alamo Dome, the site for all our Mass Events.  You have not experienced anything like what it is like to see so many youth and chaperons coming from different directions and converging on to one place.  The air was thick with excitement.  You could feel the love (No, I'm not kidding about that...there were teens going around giving out free hugs to--EVERYONE).  It seemed like forever for the sea of people (was this what it was like for Moses trying to lead Israel to the promised land?) to get to our destination, and once we got there it was more chaos of sorts trying to get to one of the openings for each section of the dome.  When we finally made it to a less crowded section, we went in and that's when the music started, and those who were already seated let out a great big cheer!  During the Mass Event, there were many singing along, waving their arms, clapping, and some beach balls being batted around different parts of the stadium.  It is like one great big giant worship and praise party going on.  And our youth were really getting into it.
What a night.  Once again, our youth are awesome, and I am proud to be their pastor and help them to continue to grow in their faith and live in their baptismal identities.  That's all I have about Day #4.  I will share about our Day 5 adventures tonight...unless we get back too late!  God's blessings, and I look forward to sharing our special news with you later in the week!
Love in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Dave
Jenna & Devin with 3-2-1 Improv guys.
Opening Mass Event

Monday, July 1, 2013

NYG Trip Day 3 (Sunday)

It is day three of our journey together and it has been full of surprises.  The day started with heavy rain, and a forecast that called for more.  There was a lot of discussion about going to Six Flags or not.  Our group and Bethlehem-RC, decided we would come up with a plan B.  So we ended up choosing to go to the Alamo (mainly because you shouldn't visit San Antonio without visiting the Alamo.  And we got SOAKED!   I don't know which is worse, my clothes being soaked from the rain, or my clothes being soaked later on from all the sweat pouring out of me from walking in the Texas heat.  Our plan was to then go on from the Alamo to the River Center Mall on the riverwalk.  Bethlehem's group went to the IMAX theatre there and saw "Man of Steel."  The rest of us went shopping and walking around their huge mall.  I didn't want to shop, so I went exploring on the Riverwalk, and saw lots of culture...and a crawfish scurrying backwards almost right on top of my foot.
Later on we took a ride on one of the Riverwalk taxi boats.  That was a neat experience, and it was narrated  by our driver.  We met up with the Bethlehem group and decided on The Hard Rock Cafe I had found while exploring, just up a ways by many other restaurants on the riverwalk.  It was loud there but they had good food.
It is 1am on the 4th day now and I just wanted to catch all y'all up a little bit.  You probably saw my pictures from Sunday anyway on facebook.  I am going to bed now, but will post on day 4 (Monday) tomorrow morning after I have had a chance to wake up.
Have a great night all!
P.S.  I will share the awesome news later this week.  Can you handle the suspense???

Here is a photo of our group at the Alamo.  Even soaking wet, they are a pretty happy bunch!  Love these guys!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

NYG Days 1&2 of our Adventure

Well, last evening completed our long and tiring 28hr marathon bus ride to San Antonio from Rapid City.  And when we arrived, we found Texas to be HOT HOT HOT!  Triple digits all y'all.  (That's a local Southun  thang).
We finally got checked in to our hotel after 8pm I think it was.  The best description I could give of our group if I were a local watching us get off the bus would have to be "Smelly Zombies."   Now I am not much at all for zombie this or that, but I suppose it would have been an accurate description.
When we got here and got our rooms, it was individual's choice, sort of...some were hungry, some just wanted to shower, some went swimming, and I would imagine, some just wanted to crash in their beds and sleep.
Our group from Peace decided to have a pizza party in my room, which the entire Rapid City group is affectionately calling "The Breakfast Room" because all 30+ people are supposed to cram into it for breakfast each day.  We are about 1/2 hr away from seeing how that is going to work, or not work as the case may be.  Our Peace group had lots of fun talking last night, and parents I am very proud to say we have an outstanding group of youth.  I am having a blast with them already.  What you might be surprised to hear, (I know that I was) is that after only one month out of school, that is mostly what we were talking about.  It would seem that they like school more than they may be letting on during the actual school year.  But I was fascinated to learn what all their interests, likes and dislikes with school are.
One thing is certain, I am truly blessed to be pastor of such a wonderful group of youth.  I hope they feel blessed to have me as their shepherd.
Today looks to be adventurous with more temperatures in triple digits and the threat of T-storms in the area. Right now that threat looks promising, b/c it is 6:56 am and quite overcast here.  No sun in sight, which might help with the temps a little bit.  It may be a very wet day at 6-flags.
I will leave you all with a scripture verse and try to get some pictures once I have taken some.

Psalm 78:52 
    Then he led out his people like sheep
        and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.