Monday, March 28, 2016

God Whispers

"Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!' (which means Teacher.)"  John 20:16


Gracious and Loving God, 
You are with us each and every day in every situation.  

Help me to hear when you whisper my name 
and to recognize you.
Help me to recognize you in my life 
every day and in every way. 
Help me to receive your comfort, 
your peace, your guidance and your love 
as you whisper my name and call me to you.


Easter Monday

I realize I'm a day late but Happy Easter!  I decided to not post anything yesterday and just spend the day in worship and with my family.

We had a wonderful day of worship, joy and rest.  Actually, yesterday evening I pulled out my crochet again!  It's been a month or two as my fingers have been giving me some trouble but I decided it was enough of a rest and I am ready to get back at it!  I'm looking for some new patterns for some prayer shawls.  I love working prayer shawls.  They are a blessing for me to make and I hope they are just as much a blessing to those who receive them.

I hope you all had a blessed Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016


"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." 


Last night I had the privilege to help in a Maundy Thursday service.  I was so excited when the pastor at the church said, "I'm sending you this in case you'd like to help."  

"OF COURSE I'D LOVE TO HELP!"  I am always wanting to help in worship services.  Last night was really amazing.  After my feet were washed, I watched the pastor wash another person's feet and I thought, wait, who will wash his feet?  Has he thought about that?  

So, when there was a lull, I quietly walked over and asked if I could wash his feet.  He seemed surprised at first but then got up and removed his shoes and I washed his feet.  What a humbling moment.  It's always awkward and yes, a bit humbling, to have our own feet washed but it was really a different feeling to wash the pastor's feet or really any one else's feet. (Who isn't your child.)

That's really what it is all about isn't it?  Humbling ourselves enough to have our own feet washed by someone else in a worship setting and then humbling ourselves enough to wash the feet of others, to be a true servant outside the worship setting, outside in the world around us, outside to those in need physically, financially, and spiritually.  

Being a servant, becoming a servant, it's not always easy.  Sometimes we don't feel like it, sometimes we don't like those who need us, sometimes we have to sacrifice for others. 

Sometimes we are just selfish and so being a servant is hard but that's when we need to be one the most!  

To remind us who we are or really whose we are, who it is we represent.  

To remember that we are to be imitators of Christ himself, who humbly washed the feet of those around him even those who would deny and betray him.

An imitator of Christ, that's who I want to be.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Music and Worship

This morning I had the privilege to listen and offer my thoughts as my DD chose the hymns for Good Friday and then also for Easter Sunday.  

What a blessing to get to watch her work through the process.  She puts so much thought into it.  She reads the verses of each song to be certain they reflect the mood and setting of the day.

I'm very proud of her and her faith.  She is amazing every day with her deep thinking and her full heart.  She gets it!  and that means so very much to me.

So, if you are in church on Sunday, the church where she plays or any church, know how much thought and effort goes into each hymn choice and special music so that your worship can be a full experience.

Walks, Talks and Gratitude

I really wanted to post this gratitude post last night but I was enjoying spending time with my family too much.  

I got to go on two walks last night!  I had no problem getting all of my steps in at all.  YAY!  

I had a nice long walk with DD which meant we had a nice long chat.  I love chats with this girl.  She is so wise and her take on life is always so refreshing!

My second walk was with my DH and again, nice long chat about life and how we are doing.  It was nice and refreshing.

Before that DS came by for a nice visit!  Those are coming fewer and farther between as he starts his own life so I cherish every single second I get to spend with him.  He is so smart and funny.  He's just like dad and knows how to tell a story!

And I ended my evening with nice long chat with my mother.  I miss her terribly and wish I could live closer to her and my siblings and their families but my life is here and I know that I right where I'm supposed to be even it is hard sometimes.  Anyway, love my chats with my mom.  I call her several times a day and each call is so important to me.

OH!  And I got to talk to my DB (darling brother) today too!  I talk to him or my sister enough.  Shame on me but I think of them every day.

I love them all so much and they bring me such joy and yes, I am forever grateful for them.  I can't imagine life without them.  Family is the best.

Thank you, God, for every single second I get to spend with these amazing people you have surrounded me with in this life.  I can't express my gratitude enough.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Am I Awake? Are You Awake?

I'm sitting here listening to my favorite soundtrack of all time... "Jesus Christ Superstar" It seems weird to say it's a favorite but I do love it.  It makes me sad but it tells a great story and one that is so important in my life.  It always makes me think and think hard.

I often find myself trying to imagine living then.  Who would I be?  Would I be a disciple?  Would I get it?  Would I be like them and stay confused?  Would understand any better than they did?  

I like to think that I'm would but honestly, I have the benefit of hindsight, of knowing the whole story.  I have the benefit of years of commentary, explanations, explanations of the parables, the metaphors.  The disciples had Jesus right there with them but they also had their recent past, and the current situations that all influenced them and their understanding.

As I listen to Jesus ask "will no one stay awake with me", I'm brought to tears.  Would I have? Would I have stayed awake with him? Do I now? Am I awake?  Am I paying attention?  Do I hear what he is saying to me?  Do I hear what he is calling me to do?  Am I there for him?

That question.  Am I there for him?  Wow, I've never thought of it that way before just this very moment.  

Jesus was asking the disciples to be there for him, with him, and they fall asleep on him.  They missed this opportunity!  What an opportunity!

Am I missing it?  Am I sleeping through it, through opportunities that Jesus is calling me to, that God is calling me, is asking me to be there for and with him?

Oh goodness, I surely hope not but it is definitely something for me to ponder on, to consider during this Holy Week.

Am I awake?  Are you awake?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let the Sunshine In!

Today I'm grateful for the beautiful sunshine!  We had snow falling on Saturday and it was beautiful too but I'm ready for the spring warmth from the sun.  

I'm thankful that spring is here.  I'm so enjoying looking for the new growth on each bush and tree.  I love seeing the green showing up.  I'm as happy for the pollen that goes with it that makes me feel miserable BUT I am thankful for the medicine I am able to take that helps me get through it.

What are you grateful for today?  
I'd love to see your gratitude posts below!  
Sharing our gratitude helps to spread it!  

Glimpses of JOY

James 1:2-4  "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Almighty God,
Thank you for opportunities to grow ~
to grow in faith,
in strength, and steadfastness.

Thank you for always being there with me
through it all ~
leading me,
guiding me,
holding me,
and comforting me.

You make life worth living.
No matter what is happening,
I know you are with me 
helping me through it all ~
the good and the bad.

Thank you for glimpses of Joy in all things.
Joy made complete in and through you.
~~~ Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Such A Precious Gift

Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"


Thank you, Lord, for your precious gift of your son.  
Thank you for the many gifts you give me every single day.
Help me to remember your love for me always 
and to focus there when things seem to be hard 
or tough or just not going the way I think they should.  
If you are willing to give me that singular most precious gift, 
how much more are you already giving me in the little everyday things of life.  
Thank you.  
It hardly seems good enough to say but Thank you.

Springtime Gratitude

This morning as I sit in my chair by the window,  as I listen to the birds chirping and I see the blossoming trees, I'm reminded that spring is quickly coming upon us.  The warmer temperatures that come with it will mean more walking time for me! I'll be able to jump start working on my health again, I'll have lots of long talks with DD on those walks and some alone time with DH on other walks.  AND I'll get to see if all these allergy shots have done their job.

I'm grateful, today, for all of this... the beauty of the new season, the birdsong, the walks and family time.

Thank you, Lord, for the little things they lead to great things!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spiraling Down A Rabbit Hole...

Today, I felt like I fell down Alice's rabbit hole only I couldn't find the bottom.  I just kept falling and there was nothing for me to grab ahold.  

I can't really say what was going on but it was awful!  I felt lost and just pitiful.  It took most of the day to get back to life.    My morning just started out terrible and I just couldn't rebound.  I did do some housework but for the most part I was just worthless.

I had been having such fun this week with my praying the scriptures posts and my version of the scripture art but today, after my rough beginning, I just couldn't make it happen.  It's probably just exactly what I needed to do but I just couldn't.

So for now, this is my post for the day (I promised myself I would post something each day this week) and hopefully after a good nights sleep, I'll be back on track and ready to share again.  

For now, what do you do when you feel like you are falling down that rabbit hole?  How do you bring yourself back? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Today, I'm getting back to my gratitude posts.  I have so much to be grateful for always and I need to be more aware of it.  Today, my gratitude is about these two fellas.


First my amazing DH came to the rescue as my hero yesterday.  As I was cleaning up after lunch, the kitchen sinks became clogged...  What a nightmare!  DH came home after work and got right to work, when he really didn't have the time, so that we could save a little money by NOT calling a plumber.  I'm thankful I have him.

Second was that my precious DS came by for a visit!  I love spending time with him and will miss him so much after the Army steals him away, so I am grateful for every single second I get to spend with him right now.  2 months remaining and I'll count and cherish every single second of it.

What are you grateful for today?  I love to hear!


Philippians 4:4  "Rejoice in the Lord Always, again I say Rejoice."


Lord, giver of peace and love,
Thank you for this day,
for the bird song that fills the air,
a sure sign of spring coming.
It's easy to rejoice in the spring times of my life
but help me to rejoice in the cold, wintery times too.
Help me to rejoice always, in the good and the bad times.
Help me to see the good even around the bad.
Rejoicing lifts me, builds me, revives me and grows me.
Today and every day I rejoice in you!

How do you rejoice?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Who will condemn?

Praying the Scriptures

Romans 8:33-34  "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that he was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."  ESV

Gracious God,
In case you can't tell,
this is supposed to be a judge's gavel...
You are so forgiving.
Thank you.
Thank you for such an amazing free gift!  
Help me to remember this gift - so freely given - 
is not just for me - not just for those like me.
You offer it to all 
because that's the kind of loving God you are.  
Help me to remember that it's not my job to judge,
not my job to condemn.  
It's just my job to love as you love me.
                            ~~ AMEN

Still trying my hand at this... bear with me, I know I'm not great at it but I'm trying!  Have you ever prayed the scriptures?  How did you feel about it?  Did you like it?  Do you still do it?  Have any words of wisdom?  Share!

No More Life on Hold

Do you ever feel like you are keeping your life on hold?  

I often do!  I feel like I'm always waiting on someone - my husband, my kids.  I'm always waiting to do something until DH (darling husband) gets home or if he is traveling, until he calls.  I'm always waiting for the older kids to get here before we can do something or at least waiting until I hear whether or not they are coming.  I'm always waiting on DD (darling daughter) to come home from dance or from hanging out with friends before I can go here or do this.  I'm always waiting and yesterday, I felt as if my life had been put on hold indefinitely.

Yesterday, I was wanting to go see DS (darling son) at his apartment and spend a little time with him as he is on spring break and has a new puppy (BIG puppy) but DD wanted to go hang with friends first so I waited... and I did a few things around the house that needed doing and I waited some more but then I just wanted to go and that's when it hit me!  

I don't have to put my life on hold all the time!

So I texted DD and let her know I was leaving and you know what she said?  "Have Fun!"  What??  

As I was running out the door DH called and I told him I was going to see DS and you know what he said?  "Have Fun!"

Yay!  They were all for me going out and doing what I wanted to do even if I did it without them.  

DD missed me and called me and texted me throughout the time I was there but it was good.  

DH called me after a bit too but no one rushed me home and everyone thought it was great that I did what I was wanting to do.  No one's feelings were hurt AND I had a great time!

Sometimes I think Moms give more than they really have to, especially when the kids are older.  I think sometimes that we start to lose ourselves, if we aren't careful, and that's not very healthy.  It's taken me forever to learn this.  I mean my kids are 21 and 16 and I'm just now learning it but better late than never!  Right?

Do you ever feel this way?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Trying something new...

So I'm trying to write more and am looking for ways to be inspired and so I have decided to try something new.  I'm going to try my  hand at praying the scriptures and maybe throwing a little art into the mix as well.  I'm definitely not an artist, I don't even have nice handwriting!  But I thought it might be fun to try.  So here is my first attempt at praying the scriptures with a touch of art thrown in as well.


John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  ESV

God, you are so gracious.  
You love us all so much.  
Thank you.   
Help me to remember this love throughout the day.  
Let it fill me, comfort me, encourage me, and lead me.
Help me today to find ways to share your love with those around me.
Remind me how important that is- 
it's above everything else!
When I feel frustrated with others- 
remind me of the love you show to us in spite of your frustrations with us,
and help me follow you in this - 
to imitate you, 
so that I can be a better disciple 
and live a richer, fuller life.
I love you, Lord.



Do you pray the scriptures?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Catching Up

Happy Saturday, my friends.  I know I haven't really been writing here much lately and so I'm sure the few of you who did check in every now and then may not be here anymore but I thought I'd share a catch up post. So pull up a rocking chair and let's sit and chat for a spell.

I've been busy, busy preaching.  I love it but it is getting ready to slow a bit and I think I'm good with that for a while. I think I'll take some time to write a bit again.

Things are really hopping here at our home.  My son (DS) is getting ready to graduate from college, commission into the US Army and get married to a sweet young lady all in a two week time period in May!  It's going to be crazy!

My daughter (DD) is busy dancing and cooking and living life.  We took her on her first real college visit Friday and it was GREAT!  She really liked the school and they seemed to like her as well.  We'll make a few other visits but this may be a good fit for her.  We'll see.

Now, I've not really talked a lot on this blog about homeschooling but we do homeschool and honestly I love it.  I do want to say that we do NOT homeschool for religious reasons, or political reasons, or anything weird.  We homeschool because it works for us.  We don't use a particular curriculum.  We are a little interest led but we also study stuff we don't like too.  You know, because you just have too...  

Right now, my DD's interests lie in the 1940's.  She and I are having a blast!  We've been rationing as they did midwar in Great Britain as best we can and we are discovering that we don't need as meat as we thought and that we actually enjoy eating veggies (with lots of potatoes) more than we thought we did.  I'm loving the extra money in my pocketbook!  This could help pay with the expenses coming up due to graduation, commissioning, and wedding!  My husband (DH) on the other hand is not enjoying it as much... He's first response was where's the meat?  Then, do you really hate me?  LOL  Poor guy but he's getting used to it.  He only has to ration at dinner.  He still gets his regular breakfast and lunch. 

We've really enjoyed it and are learning lots.  Plus!  I've been in my kitchen cooking lots more which I love!!  I love to cook and for some reason I don't always and this is forcing me to and I'm enjoying it immensely.  I love baking bread and eating it is my FAVORITE!!  Though, I love it slathered in butter and since butter was rationed... it's barely buttered but it's still supper yummy.  I've been staying on top of my housework better which is amazing!

This was the beginning of my
garden several years ago.
I'm looking forward to getting back to gardening too.  We've been reading so much about the Victory Gardens and well, I used to have a lovely garden but I've not been very successful since we moved here, plus my allergies have kept me away from it.  This year, though, I'm hoping to keep them under control and be able to grow more our own fresh veggies and do some canning and freezing so we have them all year and can save some money for our pocket book! 

I was all set and ready this morning  to get out and start cleaning up the garden area, but when I got downstairs, it was raining... Maybe tomorrow, or one day next week.  IT WILL HAPPEN!  I just have to be patient.  The rain is good for the earth.

Anyway, you are now all caught up on me, so what's happening with you?  I'd to hear from you!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

This is the message I shared yesterday with the lovely people at Grinter Chapel UMC.  Not sure it reads the same as I shared it but thought I'd share.  The scripture references are Joshua 5:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:26-21 and Luke 15:1-3, 16-32.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

A couple of weeks ago, when I last spoke here, we talked about being imitators of Christ and I have to say that is not always easy.  There is one of his actions that I find incredibly hard to imitate… it’s the first thing I thought when I read the scriptures for this morning and that is Forgiveness.  It is a hard one for me and yet every Sunday as we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say that we will forgive.  In fact we ask God to forgive us as we forgive…  That can be pretty scary for those of us who have a hard time with forgiveness.  I want God to WAY better than I do, because sometimes I fail at it!

Our reading today from Joshua is really quite interesting.  When I first read it, “today I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt”, I immediately thought of forgiveness.  Then I read it several days later and couldn’t find forgiveness anywhere in it and had to wonder if I was losing my mind!  Then I read it again a few days later and found forgiveness again but then I was kind of worried about my mental state so I started reading different translations and looking for commentary.  The first commentary I read didn’t mention forgiveness.  It talked about the disgrace of being slaves and leaving that behind.  At this point I really think I’ve lost it and am wondering how in the world, I found the topic of forgiveness here!  You may be thinking the same thing by now.  But stick with me a moment.  I did finally figure out what I was thinking and where the thoughts were but now, I’m really thinking I need some back up here!  I need some confirmation that I’m not the only person to see this in these scriptures.  So I googled some more and found a lot of really interesting commentary that is way too deep for me but I did find other people who backed up my thinking a bit.  You may think I’m crazy for needing for the back up but… I still do.  Anyway, in my way of the thinking about the Israelites at this time, they were kind of whiners.  Remember they were rescued out of slavery in Egypt and they seemed to rejoice and praise God in one moment only to whine and complain about the trip in the next.  Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t complain too but since I’m not the there and I know the whole story, I can say that they seemed a bit ungrateful at times on this journey, which took 40 years!  Why did it take so long?  Well, because they were so ungrateful.  With each hardship, they would whine, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”  What??  Really??  They would turn to other Gods and Idols even though they knew it was the One True God who saved them!  So to me these verses in Joshua are about God saying, “Ok, I’m letting go of that and we are starting anew.  I forgive you and now you have a new life, a new place, and new food.”  They experience God’s grace and get a new fresh start.

Then we read our scriptures from 2 Corinthians and it talks all about how with Christ we are a new creation and tells us that the old has passed away.  It talks about reconciliation, another word for forgiveness.  It says we are reconciled to God and that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation.  What?  That’s not looking too good for someone like me who struggles with reconciliation, with forgiveness.

This week as I started really thinking on these scriptures, I found myself angry with Shannon.  I know it’s hard to believe but sometimes that guy makes me crazy mad and I found myself putting off working on this sermon because well, I couldn’t really write a sermon on forgiveness when I was still mad at him and to be honest, I didn’t really want to let go of it but by Thursday, I knew I had to get started writing.  I sat down at the computer and started writing.  Actually, I started it Wednesday morning but stopped because I was still angry and not letting go.  So Thursday, I sat down to get it done and it was going ok, except Shannon kept coming to my mind.  I kept telling myself, “Oh I forgive him but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be a little upset.  That doesn’t mean I have to be nice to him yet.”  Yes, well, with those thoughts going through my mind, this sermon was not happening!  So I finally picked up the phone and called him at work.  I told him to just listen and that it was going to weird but to let me have my say.  I said, “I’m still not over the other day but I forgive you.  I’m writing a sermon on forgiveness and I can’t until I forgive you and so I forgive but I’m still not totally over it.”  He said.  “OK” and I said bye.

I got back to writing and well, he still kept interrupting my thoughts, by now, I realize that it’s probably God and the Holy spirit convicting me so I call him back.  This time I say, “Ok, so I guess that’s not good enough.  I have to be over it so, I forgive you.”  This time he says, “Ok, I love you.”  And I said, “I love you too.”  To which he replied, “it’s doesn’t sound like it!”  and so I laughed and said, “I love you.”  And he said, “ok bye.”

See this reading from Corinthians, was just getting to me!  I kept thinking on the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”  Through Christ we are reconciled with God and our ministry, our ministry according to Paul, is that of reconciliation!  See why I couldn’t get on with writing this sermon until I reconciled with Shannon?  Until I forgave him, and did so wholeheartedly? 

Reconciliation is our ministry.  We are called to forgive.  We are called to reconcile.  Now, as I wrote that, I started thinking about those two words, reconciliation and forgiveness.  At first glance I thought they were synonyms but I decided I needed to look to them up.    To forgive in simple terms means to stop feeling anger towards someone or something.  One site I read said, that forgiveness is an internal discipline, it’s private.  But to reconcile… well, that one is a little more complicated.  Reconciliation happens between two or more people.  The simple definition of reconcile to me isn’t so simple but here it is…  to find a way of making two different ideas, facts or whatever exist or be true at the same time…  to cause people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement.  Hmmm…  The full definition is to restore to friendship or harmony, this one made me laugh… to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant.

Suddenly the politics of today came to mind.  The division in congress, the division we as a church, the big church, have been feeling, honestly, there is too much division in the world to list it all!  But as we read the verses from 2 Corinthians we are told that we need to reconcile our differences.  We need to reconcile.  It’s our ministry.  Can you imagine a world where everyone made reconciliation their ministry?  Wow!

I think this is what the father in the Prodigal Son parable was trying to teach his older son.  It’s what Jesus wanted to us learn, about him and also about ourselves.  We don’t all do the same things, we don’t all make the same decisions, the same choices but we can live together in harmony.  We can forgive each other, we can adjust to our differences.  We can learn from each other and we can try to walk each others shoes.  I’m not saying we all have to agree, I’ll be honest, Shannon and I will never agree on a lot of things but we can choose to adjust, to forgive, to love each other through and in spite of our differences.  What a world this would be if we could all do that as a church, as a society to adjust, to forgive, to love each other through and in spite of difference.  To reconcile with one another so that we fully participate in the reconciliation with God that is offered to us through Jesus Christ and given to us as our ministry in the world.