Saturday, July 28, 2018

Day #1670

July 28, 2018 

Today I am thinking about the abundance of God. I have been pondering how it is that when we seem to have few resources and our ideas have run their course, that is where God steps in and shows us power beyond imagination. I believe we humans tend to think in terms of scarcity (will there be enough for me) and that focus shapes so many of our actions. If only we could move from worrying about whether I will be taken care of to focusing on being the conduit for God’s love and grace. Yes, if only. 


Day #1669

July 27, 2018

One of the fun things about the size of town in which we live is that we often see folks we know when we are out and about. We saw several folks from the congregation today as we were running errands and such. It’s so good to see them outside the church walls! Makes me smile!


Day #1668

July 26, 2018 

Another monthly Ladies Lunch is in the books and, yes, it was fun as usual. Good food, good conversation, a good time!

Then, in celebration of Boomer’s anniversary yesterday, he decided to destroy his kennel pad:

For the record, this is the third one he has shredded, along with some other things, too. While I hesitate to share his rotten side, I do remember he is still a puppy. Oh, well! 


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Day #1667

July 25, 2018 

What a privilege to talk with folks about prayer during Bible Study today. Using the study by Anna Madsen from the WELCA’s Gather magazine, we were reminded by her of the different aspects of prayer: what it means to pray, prayer as an act of praise, prayer as an act of orientation, prayer as an act of trust, and prayer as an act of lament. 

What a timely, for me, reminder of the importance of prayer as being a conversation (two-way) with God  and the privilege it is to pray with and for others. Those were good things to think about as prayer partners were “drawn” for the next quarter. Because, as Anna pointed out in her study, “no matter the reason for prayer or the manner of prayer, God will listen and attend.” Amen!


Day #1666

July 24, 2018

Well, today is a milestone day. It is the end of the first year with Boomer. It’s been quite the journey! Messes, laughter, joy, frustration, anger, exasperation, sweetness, fun, and more. The best way to celebrate this milestone, it seems, is with the “Best of Boomer” in pictures: 

Picking out Boomer to be "the one" to bring home:

The ride home - one year ago today:

The end of his first big day:

His first booboo - a bump on the head from a very bad wasp:

Two months goes by and he's growing like a weed:

Experiencing snow for his first time:

His first ride getting to hang his head out the window:

He's all about the toys:

A lot changes in four months!!!:

And even more so in six months!!!:
And nine months:

And some things don't change - he still likes to ride:
And play with toys:
And sleep:

All in all, he's quite the normal dog! Happy one year anniversary, Boomer! We do love you!


Day #1665

July 23, 2018 

Today a prayer for tolerance with those who have difficult jobs:
Almighty God, there are times when the news we hear is not what we wanted or hoped for and there are those whose job it is to make that contact and convey the message. May there be an attitude of tolerance for their work, their necessity to do the hard thing, by those on the receiving end. Thank you for those who are willing to tackle a difficult situation, and who try to make it as easy as possible to receive. Amen. 

Day #1664

July 22, 2018

There were many folks at worship today who are family of members or who moved away and are back for a visit. Many times I heard the words, “It is so good to see you.” It IS good when folks return, get those hugs I mentioned yesterday, and catch up a bit on life. Today I am grateful for a place where that seems to happen regularly. It is good to come “home.”


Day #1663

July 21, 2018 

I often miss the “national” days, until I’m reminded by someone or by posts on FaceBook. So I didn’t realize until late in the day that July 21 is National Hug Day. Oh, a missed opportunity! What a gift a hug can be (even better than the phone calls I mentioned earlier). Growing up in a family that didn’t hug much and being somewhat hesitant at times to do so, I was first overwhelmed when I discovered my husband’s family were just the opposite - big hugs all around, and often, is the norm! And it is a good thing! However, I have come to be hesitant again to give spontaneous hugs, not wanting to impose or make someone uncomfortable (hugs are not for everyone). Yet, with all that said, here is virtual hug for you (( )). They can be very important - and needed - and just the right thing at the right time!


Day #1662

July 20, 2018 

Thinking of this day, nearly 30 years ago, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history as the first people on the moon, this reminder from NASA’s Johnson’s Space Center as seen on their FaceBook page, is a timely point to share:
“On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong spoke the famous words, “That's one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.””
It is still hard to imagine - and can even be hard to believe - this happened. What an amazing thing, however, for us humans to be able to explore this vast and wondrous universe created by God! 


Friday, July 20, 2018

Day #1661

July 19, 2018 

Have to share a picture of our boy, sporting his new dog tag, and just being him - lazing in the sun, being curious. 

Ahh...the lazy days of summer. :-)


Day #1660

July 18, 2018

On the heels of National Ice Cream day comes National Hot Dog Day. What could be a better combination than a hot dog and some ice cream?! Or is that simply a southern thing? 

Which makes me think of our favorite place in NC - Yum Yum. For a LONG time Yum Yum has been the staple of our hometown for hot dogs and ice cream. Homemade ice cream. Chased with a Cheerwine soda - in a bottle. That comprises the Yum Yum menu - hot dogs (with ketchup, mustard, chili, slaw and onions as the only toppings), ice cream, chips and sodas. Cash only! 

Tucked on a corner surrounded by the University of North Carolina - Greensboro campus, this little place stays busy. And consistent. The taste seemed the same the last time we were there as it did when I was a little girl. Yum Yum!!

Oh, we miss Yum Yum. But we can - and have - learned there are other places just as yummy. We celebrated today by getting a hot dog - and throughly enjoyed it. Hats off to our local favorite. Yum! :-)


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Day #1659

July 17, 2018

When there is opportunity to have a conversation with someone who has become a soul-encourager, it is a joy and privilege. Thank you to one who brings a lift to others just by the sound of their voice! 

Are you that someone? If so, don’t hesitate to make a call. It could mean way more than you know. 


Day #1658

July 16, 2018

A prayer for the week:
Almighty God, thank you for those who serve others, who have the heart and calling to be involved in helping those with needs. Thank you, especially, for the leaders of these organizations. Give them wisdom, courage, direction, tolerance and endurance for their tasks. Help us all to support them and their work. Amen. 

Day #1657

July 15, 2018

It’s National Ice Cream Day! Yay!!!

Except I think that each day should be ice cream day! It is one of the joys of life, isn't it?! What is your favorite favor? I can't think of a flavor I don't really like, but chocolate chip, huckleberry, pistachio almond, butter pecan and coffee anything are some of my favorites. 

With that said, however, there is another joy of life. Worship on Sunday! Combine the two - oh, what a great day!!


Day #1656

July 14, 2018

This from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation is certainly worthy of sharing. It’s the refrain of a song by Father James Marchionda that Richard shared: 
It’s not up to God alone to listen to prayer.
It’s not up to God alone to answer.
But when the people of God become what we pray,
the kingdom of God is revealed. 
Being the hands and feet of God - that’s our calling. Wow - what a privilege and a burden, right!?! Prayer is certainly powerful!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Day #1655

July 13, 2018

This just seemed to speak to me today:
I surely believe this - God does give us strength! And also gives us folks who help lift us up. It's called the Body of Christ. I am grateful!!


Day #1654

July 12, 2018

On the third day of Vacation Bible School, we were reminded once again that Jesus is with us always and with the world, helping us provide for the needs of others.

We did a service project - packing lunch bags for those who are hungry…

Before - the items:

During - the packing:

What a blessing - 150 bags are ready to be given to folks! 

With that, another Vacation Bible School is in the books. Thanks to all who came, who donated, and especially to those who worked hard to make it all happen!


Day #1653

July 11, 2018

On the second day of Vacation Bible School, we learned that Jesus was with the disciples in the boat - calming the sea. And he is with us when we feel nervous or afraid, happy or sad. Jesus is with us always!

And we played games...

Day #1652

July 10, 2018 

On the first day of Vacation Bible School - Jesus and Me Camp - we were reminded that we are never alone, that Jesus is always with us!

And we sang… 

Day #1651

July 9, 2018 

A prayer for those who are grieving:
Almighty God, we trust your promises to gather together all your believers into your eternal Kingdom. We look with faith toward the day we will join our loved ones who have gone before us. We do not live without hope. Yet, we grieve the loss of their physical presence with us in this world. Give us peace in our grieving, comfort in knowing that we are not alone, and patience with ourselves to work through the process. Amen.

Day #1650

July 8, 2018

On Sunday Morning, broadcast journalist Steve Hartman told quite the story about a young man from Seguin, TX, by the name of Gerald Hodges. Gerald is a good athlete who participates in many sports, yet he joined the one team that gave him the biggest challenge. He joined the swim team - when he couldn’t swim! 

Seems crazy, but Gerald’s idea was that “if [he] couldn’t handle not being good at something, then how could [he] consider [himself] a successful person?” So he worked hard, really hard, and ended up helping take the team to the state finals. Quite the victory!

I believe there’s a lesson in there for me, too. If I don’t challenge myself in ways that push the edges of my comfort levels or try things that I don’t think I have ability for, then am I actually limiting the work of God through me? 

Maybe you are wondering the same.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Day #1649

July 7, 2018 

I heard last night that today is World Chocolate Day. It is a good reason to enjoy a little of this food gift today. But then I think every day could be chocolate day. 

Also, this prayer from Rachel Wrenn in the God Pause devotion is well-worth sharing:
Jesus Christ, your love-upon-the-cross is humbling. Bring me to my knees in adoration and confession, then raise me to my feet to thank and serve you. Amen.

Day #1648

July 6, 2018 

We could say it got hot here today! And we would be right about that!

My thoughtful husband took me for a ride into the countryside today. The views of the mountains are healing and the green grass covering the pastures is beautiful. Oh, and a little ice cream along the way never hurts. :-)

Thank you, sweetheart. You are good to me!!


Day #1647

July 5, 2018

There was quite a bit of excitement in our town today - the president of the U.S. came for a rally. Traffic was crazy. Roads were closed. Parking lots of businesses blocked. The town’s security personnel at the ready with all hands on deck. A big day.

Me? I was doing what I do and making some home visits, spending holy ground time. 


Day #1646

July 4, 2018 

Here's wishing everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July!


Day #1645

July 3, 2018

For nearly three years, Cindy fought against cancer. What started as trouble breathing was found to be much more than asthma or allergies. She was diagnosed with lung cancer, and it spread quickly, eventually going to her brain. 

She tried most everything and thanks to the doctors in Houston and the good care of many, she had some good times. Cindy was a nurse who was actually a very compliant patient. Her attitude was great, but her pain was also great and often she would say she didn’t pray for God to take away the pain completely, just make it a little easier to bear that day. 

Early in her diagnosis I sent this to her that I pirated from a store:

This was true for Cindy - cancer took much, as you will see below, but it never took her faith, her spirit, her laugh, her friendship. 

Cindy’s battle ended today. Words cannot adequately express how much I admire her and how I was awed by her strength. She taught me so much during the years of our friendship - how to laugh at myself, how to be more comfortable meeting folks, how to care for someone, how to have fun, how to talk to someone deeply about faith and trust in God, and so much more. To say I will miss her cheapens what I feel, but as long as I live, I believe her impact in my life will grow. 

Here are a few pictures that show who Cindy is:

This is one of the best pictures ever, I think, of Cindy. This is B.C. - before cancer.

She always had a thing for pirates. Who knows? 

A little taste of her sense of humor while enjoying one of her favorite meals - 
she called them crab ribs.

We spent some time together not long after her treatments began 
at her happy/peaceful place - the coast

The foursome (well, it only shows half of her hubby so maybe we should say 3.5 of us) 
took a trip to see the west coast (her 1st time) in sunny Southern California. 

And one of my favorites - her laughing. 
I'll always hear her laugh in my mind. Can't you almost feel her joy!

Cindy, I will always love you! Thank you for being my friend. Rest in peace!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Day #1644

July 2, 2018 

A prayer this week for the United States of America:
Almighty God, thank you for your creation. Thank you for countries and their leadership. As the United States celebrates another year of existence, grant us wisdom in how we use resources, compassion for others around the world, tolerance for differing ideas and values, and a desire for justice and mercy. Guide us and keep us, continuing to turn our desires toward your will and direction. Amen. 

Day #1643

July 1, 2018

Being back at worship was wonderful. Lively services (the early morning summer service began today), and family and friends of members visiting, helped make it a great morning. And getting back in the routine of writing a sermon seemed to turn out just fine.

Thank you to the Holy Spirit for its presence, once again!


Day #1642

June 30, 2018 

It was a fun evening at the ballpark with Family Promise night. The 50/50 game proceeds were designated to be split between that program and another one in town. Generously, over $3,200 in tickets were sold, meaning a good amount for the ministries. But to top that off, the person who had the winning number donated the proceeds to Family Promise, as well. This made for a very good night for Family Promise - and a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

Play ball!!


Day #1641

June 29, 2018 

Routines are rather funny, I think. Doing things the same way, at somewhat the same time, can give way to many things becoming rote. For example, I don’t really think too much, or need to, about brushing my teeth. 

Some routines, however, make my life richer. Bible Study, worship, and prayer could all be considered routines that are positive in nature. My life is enhanced and my relationship with God grows deeper through these routines, or practices. 

Sermon writing is somewhat similar, a positive routine. There is a familiar rhythm that moves me along from reading the scripture texts for the first time early in the week to actually writing a sermon, usually on Friday, to preaching it Sunday morning. I suppose this is the reason that, because the routine has been interrupted for nearly three weeks, I’m finding it tougher to get back in the swing of writing. 

Nope, I have no inspiration, and Sunday is coming. Let’s hope Saturday goes better!!