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Showing posts from March, 2020

Reflections for Easter: Sanitized

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Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter are some of my favorite celebrations and remembrances of the year. Each year I've taken palm branches and made crosses out of them. And as I make them, the thought always crosses my mind is that the problem with palm branches is that the kids start running around and hitting each other with them. However, as I reflect on the events of Palm Sunday, it occurs to me that children have been the same throughout the centuries. I'm fairly certain the children 2000 years ago may have been rambunctious too. The atmosphere was loud, noisy and celebratory. More than likely the children then were also running around, shouting and whacking each other with palm branches. How often do we sanitize these stories? We make them solemn and full of religiosity. Yet, the story of Jesus time here on earth was messy. It wasn't pretty and solemn. It is the story of God coming down in the form of man and getting dirty. He spent time with the "

Reflections for Easter: Open the Eyes of My Heart

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Mark 10:46-52 ~ Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”   Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. The blind man sat day after day, hoping and praying for a miracle. When he realized that Jesus was in the temple, he began to shout, "Have mercy on

One Day at a Time

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Today started out not so great. I woke up, it was dreary and raining and I felt a wave of depression wash over me. However, what started out not so good ended up being a very good day. Dan and I went to the church and practiced the music and message for tomorrow's live stream service. It's so different to be doing it this way and my non-techie husband has really stepped up to learn new things.  After lunch, Dan did a bit of work and then he and the boys went to the church to hang out and play some ping pong. I cut 22 yards of fabric for our local fabric store. They are giving out free kits for people to make face masks and can't keep up with the cutting. Our church secretary works there and asked if I'd be willing to cut some. For the first time ever I tried my hand at grinding my own flour from wheat berries. It worked great and I made pizza for dinner from the flour.  I made my own pizza sauce and then had fun coming up with the different

Beauty in the Desert Places

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I was in Colorado Springs last year and the beauty of that state always takes my breath away. It's such a different type of beauty than what I'm used to here on the east coast. There is beauty in the canyons, mountains and desert places.   We are in desert places right now - isolated from one another, stuck in our homes, seeing the fear of people around us and maybe, for some of you reading right now, you also feel that fear and anxiety. And yet, look around you and you may see some beauty in the desert. People stepping up to do what they can in a crisis - making masks, giving food to the hungry, checking in on the elderly. People are doing what they can to help even while practicing distancing. This is an opportunity to allow God to work in you as you practice patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control in dealing with your own family in close quarters. It's an opportunity to spend much time in prayer and study. It's a time when

Multitude Monday

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I haven't done a Multitude Monday post since the end of December and feel like it's time. It's so easy to fix our eyes on our problems and begin to get overwhelmed, especially in this crazy situation the entire world finds itself in at the moment.  I want to remember look at what God has done and be thankful for that. I want to stay positive and do what I can. What I can do is look out for my church family, neighbors, family and friends. I can stay grounded in God's word. I can pray and I can remain thankful. This week I'm thankful for the blessings #3,748 - 3760 3748. I'm thankful that our church is stepping up during this crisis by offering to do some errands for our shut-ins, as well as providing soup and bread for those who need a meal. 3749. I am thankful that I can get out and go to my office at the church so I can at least get a change of scenery. I'm thankful that Dan and I have enough to do to keep us busy and productive. 3750. All

Daily Sustenance

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I shake my head in dismay as I see empty grocery shelves and hear about people hoarding food. I'm tempted to give in to anxiousness and worry. I have all I need for a couple of weeks, but what if the stores don't have what I need when I need it? I'm not giving into those worries and panicking as many are doing, but the thought does cross my mind that perhaps I should go buy more even though I don't need it. However, I push those thoughts away because that is the exactly the thing that everyone is doing which is causing the problem. I opened my Bible this morning to the passage in John 6 where the entire chapter is talking about bread. Jesus fed the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish and later on Jesus says, "I am the Bread of Life." He is our very sustenance. He is enough for me in this day and He will provide what I need in the future.  I was reminded of the Israelites in the desert when God blessed them with manna from heaven. He told them to gath

Some Ways to Pray

I did this for our district women's group but thought it would be a help for readers here too.

The God that is in My Today AND My Tomorrow

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COVID-19 has come to New York State and life as we know it has changed in the blink of an eye. Schools across the state are closed. There are states of emergency in many of our counties including the one we reside in. State colleges have closed for two weeks and have gone to online education for the remainder of the spring semester. Worst of all, people have gone crazy and are hoarding food, cleaning supplies, and paper goods. It's enough to make the calmest of us start to feel anxious. As a church leader, as well as the director of our district women's organization, I have hard decisions to make as well. This morning I had a moment where I wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. However, life goes on and like it or not, we rise to the occasion. This is an opportunity to be the church to a hurting world and so that is what we are trying to do. Dan is preaching through the book of Philippians and yesterday's message was on worry. It was interestin

Pleasant Boundary Lines

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    My blogging has been sporadic lately and much of that is just because I've been busy and to be honest, there are some days I just have writer's block. I've been blogging since 2008 and now adding to that, I write a monthly article for two different district newsletters so there are days that I just have no words. My family may think that's awesome! ;-) Things are good and there are days when I feel overwhelmed with the blessing of my life. This does not mean my life is perfect. We still deal with the same struggles we always had - a son with disabilities, another with anxiety, health issues, stress issues, etc. But overall, I see God working in ME in the middle of dealing with those things and that's a good thing.  We are settling in here and one of the things I am so thankful for is that we are only an hour away from my in-laws. Dan and I got to see my niece perform in a play last week. That was the first time that has ever happ

All In?

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Joshua 14:6-13 (NIV) ~  Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him,  “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.    So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’     “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses

Growing into your Pot

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I don't have a green thumb and it's been a running joke in our family at how many plants I manage to kill or stunt no matter how much I follow all the rules of planting and caring for them. One thing I do know is that when a plant gets too big for the pot it's in it will start to get stunted and eventually will wither and die. It needs to grow into a bigger space. The same is true of our spiritual walk. If we stay in the same spiritual state and situation we were in when we came to faith in Christ then we will be always be a baby Christian. Without expanding our pot we will never grow beyond infancy. As we mature in Christ we need to be stretched in our faith. And that stretching can come through a variety of ways. Sometimes it's a struggle the Lord allows us to walk through. Other times it may be through a change in ministry. It may mean that you are taken out of your comfort zone.  It's only through being transplanted into a bigger "pot" that we