Amazing Stonework, 10/13

Welcome to my ongoing post of beautiful old architecture. If you know of wonderful old buildings with interesting architecture, post them here. I would love to see them and the only criteria is brick, stone or mortar and of course concrete but we are focusing on older buildings instead of the mega concrete structures of today with modern straight lines. The architectures of yesteryear would cost a fortune to replicate today so I share them to show their beauty that I feel we should appreciate. So, welcome to Amazing Stonework. Link up and share what you see.

Today we are focusing on another church, Trinity Episcopal. Churches seem to always have ornate architecture, and amazing stained glass windows. And if you think about it, most older churches follow this pattern where the newer churches are straighter lines with colored glass instead of pictured stained glass. If you are a bible reader are at all, you will remember that in Exodus 35, God told Moses how to build the Tabernacle, with gold, silver and precious stones in honor of Him, so we still try to honor that today, many years later.

I was not able to find a date anywhere on the outside of the building like some have had, but it does have the bronze plaque from the National Register of Historical Places.

This particular church seems to have had several additions and you can tell the era of each by its architecture. Today I am focusing mostly on the original building and its two main entrances; one that faces the busy road and one that faces a small inadequate parking lot. On Sundays, the road and the parking lot on the opposite end are mostly used. This church also has the typical red door of legendary safety. I do apologize for the pictures being a bit crooked. The terrain was not level and I was a bit precarious on some pictures as I tried getting on the grass to get good shots.

With the many interesting shaped windows, I want to tap in with Ludwig and his Monday Windows Blog. Check it out for some interesting views of windows. All of the windows of the original building had this tall arched look to them, even when they were smaller, and all are stained glass.

The shape of the building was also interesting with turrets and sections of the building jutting out like in that last picture. The side door off of the little parking lot was a turret and that entire section of the building was surrounded by huge hardwoods.

The side view shows better and those clover shaped holes are wire messed grills so I am not sure of the purpose for this structure.

From this side view, you also have the side view of the huge steeple. This steeple tower is also a chimes that goes off every hour with a chime for each hour.

The last bump out section of the original building is actually part of the sanctuary. With beautiful stained glass windows and dark oak woodwork on the inside that accentuates the interior.

And the last photo is something I don’t seen much anywhere, decorative metal work along the top line of the roof; maybe its tied to a lightning rod or it may just be decorative.

I hope you enjoyed this walk around with me. I have been inside this church and the sanctuary is stunning but the rest of the church can easily get you lost with all the extra additions. Growth is a good problem to have sometimes.

As you walk about enjoying the things you like to do, remember to always be kind. Kindness makes any situation you face look good.

Always Be kind

Morning Encouragement

Good morning friends. What a beautiful day we have today after the dreariness of yesterday – although we needed the rain. At least we did not have the forecasted storms. This morning I am bringing you some encouragement from Billy Graham and Oswald Chambers. I read both of their devotion each morning and this morning their messages easily merge together. 

“Being a Christian is serious business. Many will believe intellectually about God but then live a life unworthy of Him believing He will save them in the end.”  Billy Graham

I am afraid it doesn’t work that way.  Our walk in the everyday day life reveals where our true priorities lay. While we may not walk as pure as Enoch did, we must take our walk seriously.

“The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times.” Oswald Chambers 

It can be a truly hard thing to walk as Jesus asks us to walk because He seems to walk ten paces ahead of us.  Remember, when Jesus was here on Earth, He was not doing His own walk but walking how the Father wanted him to walk. So, he fully understands how difficult it can be for us. He knows we can’t do it alone, so He comes along beside us in the form of The Holy Spirit to guide us as we go. 

It is the Holy Spirit that changes our mindset in how we see the world churning around us, giving us strength and courage to face whatever comes our way. And those times when we are fully in step with God, we feel a peace about us that even we can not explain. 

He doesn’t want us walking intellectually with Him, knowing all there is to know about Him. He wants us to walk willingly, heart to heart with Him and He will take care of all the rest. 

So, walk humbly with your Lord today and let Him see your heart and He will ease all of your concerns so that you can continue to walk beside Him at peace. And remember as you walk, share the kindness that He wants us to share. Sharing kindness adds another layer of Joy to your heart..

Always Be Kind

A Morning of Encouragement

I step out to the early autumn day to feel the light coolness still present from the night before. The summer has been hot and we are ready for it to move on. With camera in hand I head out to see the beauty of the day. The sun is awake but the trees are hiding its heat for we know summer is not ready to fully let go.

My gourds are still blooming but the vine has seen its better days. I find it interesting that the older sections of the vines are becoming dry and leafless while yet it determines to reach out with new life.

My neighbor still has cherry tomatoes robustly growing. They have grown over the fence daring anyone to stop their journey. The dew is quite heavy this morning beading up on the fuzzy leaves to drip further down the plant to nourish the lower limbs.

Further onward I see sweet peas displaying their rich dark red color including splashes of yellow. They too are covered in this morning’s heavy dew.

I am always fascinated with droplets of dew or water drops that cling to leaves and flowers after a shower; God’s attempt to refresh the earth.

As the sun reaches higher into the sky, the clouds begin to make their way further on in their destination wherever that may be.

The beauty of nature shows us the beauty of God as he left us these sights for us to enjoy his creation. He created all of it for Himself to enjoy but then gave it as a gift to us so we could enjoy it together with Him.

As you enjoy the beauty of this earth, remember the beauty of you, as you are part of His creation as well. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made.

As you remember the beauty of everything around you, remember the beauty of kindness and share it as much as you can.

Always Be Kind

A Gift of Hope

Enclosed is a short story I wrote this afternoon as I am slowly gathering my crafts together to get them done for Christmas. I ran across my glass hearts and thought of how to me they resemble hope more than love. Especially at Christmas. This year, year two of Covid, there are many who have lost hope so we must find ways to encourage others. So I wrote this story. Its kind of long, over 900 words, but I think it has a message we can all understand. We all have been hurt at one time or another and can sometimes lose hope. We must come along each other and rebuild each others hope so that they can then encourage others, thus creating a circle of encouragement. So if the story is too long for you to read, remember to encourage each other and help rebuild hope.

Buried Hope

“Hey sweetie, hand mommy that heart,” said Meredith as she motioned to her daughter.

“Are you going to put it back in the dirt like you found it?” questioned her daughter Hope. Her young blond curls fell into her face as she bent to pick up and examine the small glass heart.

“I am.”

“But why. It’s pretty. You could wear it.”

“It’s a little big for a necklace, but it is pretty isn’t it?” Meredith examined the heart before she carefully placed it under the flower she was potting. She though back to when she had been given a similar pot of flowers and this lovely poem of hope. She was miserable and had lost all hope because she had miscarried her second child. She had wanted children so badly and now that hope evaded her. The poem had encouraged her and gave her some peace. The following spring as she followed the instructions in the poem by planting the plant in the yard, she discovered in the bottom of the flower pot a tiny laminated copy of the poem and the glass heart was attached to it.

“This is a heart of hope for someone who is very sad right now,” explained Meredith. “When this was given to me, I thought I would never be able to have children and I was very sad.”

“But Mommy, you had me,” Hope said matter of factly.

“Yes, I did, two years later. And now you are a grown-up 5 year old who starts school in the fall. Won’t that be fun?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” said Meredith dusting the remaining dirt from her hands. “Let me go get the poem and I will deliver the flower.”

“You going to give it to Mrs. Lawson?” Hope said sadly.

“Yes. I think she needs it, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I know that Bobby is really sad too. I can’t imagine us losing Daddy.”

“They all need our love and prayers to get through this tragedy.”

As Meredith got out of her car at the Lawson’s home, she saw Nancy working in her flower bed. Nancy sat back on her heels with a soft wave and a sad smile on her face.

“Hey Nancy. I know how much you love your flowers and I just wanted to give a little extra color. This lily will be beautiful all summer, and then this fall you can add it to your garden.”

“Oh, Meredith. You are so sweet. Thank you.” Nancy stood to take the flower and give Meredith a hug. They had been good friends for several years. As Nancy reached for the flowers she froze staring intently at the flower pot and the poem that was being held by the flower stick.

“This is a white lily,” said Meredith. “Lilies represent hope and faith and white represents peace and purity. I thought this would help bring you peace.”

“Did you write this poem you placed on the stick?” she whispered softly as she reached just for the stick while Meredith held the flower pot.

“No. I copied it from one I received when I was going through a particularly hard time in my life. It brought me peace and I wanted to do the same for you.”

Meredith noticed the tears coming down from Nancy’s face.

“Nancy, I did not mean to upset you. I wanted you to know you always have a friend with me. I am so sorry I upset you.”

“No, no. You have not upset me but I do have to ask….did you also bury something in the dirt?”

“Yes. How did you know that?”

Nancy hug Meredith in a strong loving hug as tears and laughter came from her. “Oh, Meredith, you have no idea how happy you have made me. Come sit down and let me tell you the story.”

As they settled on the chairs on the front porch Meredith placed the lily on the table between the chairs.

“Meredith, this really is a lovely lily. So delicate and small but its fragrance is wonderful.” Nancy settled in her chair and began her story. “When I was a little girl my grandmother was a prominent member in our family. She loved Christmas and had clear glass ornaments for her Christmas tree. She loved the way the light twinkled through the glass. Some of the larger ornaments were cut class that refracted the light into tiny rainbows on the walls. When she found out she had cancer, she refused to go through the treatments. The doctors told her she would not last longer than a year without treatment.”

“I heard that treatments back then were a lot less effective and the effects were more painful than now,” said Meredith.

“I can hear my grandmother now.  ‘I would rather have one good year than three years of being sickly like I have seen some of my friends. Especially when it’s gonna get me anyway.’ She was a pistol. The spring before she died, she dug up her lilies and put them in flower pots and in the bottom of the flower pot, she placed one of her small heart ornaments along with this poem. Then she took them to the hospital and gave them to patients to help give them hope. Mom told me there were close to thirty flower pots. I had heard over the years how some people had regifted them but never thought I would ever see one. This is so very special, Meredith,” said Nancy as fresh tears flowed.

“I would have given it to you sooner had I know. I am excited and amazed of this story.”

“It just shows the full circle of love, hope, faith and even life if we allow it to grow.”

Anita Neal

Thank for reading my story. It was fun to write but it does show the importance of kindness and encouragement to rebuild shattered hope. Never forget the importance of kindness. It can be a spark someone needs to brighten their day.

Fandango’s Story Starter #14

Fandango has a fun story starter this week as I immediately went into Halloween mode, after all, it is October. Come join in with your imagination on this fun Story Starter and let your creative juices flow.

I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there…

The storm had been relentless last night and this muddy mess did not help in getting up the driveway to the house.

“Why am I being drawn back to Grandma’s house? She has been gone for over three years.”

Her mom had told her that everything in the house had been sold but her old broken piano. They would dispose of it when the house sold. She thought back to the summers she spent there. The laughter…the music. This was why she studied music. She so wanted to be the pianist her grandmother had been but the talent seemed to have eluded her so she taught instead. But many people loved her playing and her teaching was highly sought after. So she stayed in the background away from the dreams of being onstage. As she pulled up in front of the house, the sun began breaking through the clouds. The ‘For Sale’ sign loomed ominously sideways from the storm. The thought of someone else living here made her sad. Taking her keys, she open the door to the empty mustiness that was far from the memories of the bright sunny days she remember so well. The sun was streaming with split rays through the dusty living room windows. The light caught an object leaning against the wall and made Jessica smile. Her walking stick was still leaning in the corner. She could not believe it was still around. She walked over and picked it up, studying her name that her grandfather had carved. She remember fondly the great adventures from the back yard. He had a small apple orchard in the back but to a small child it was huge. She walked over to the sunroom and stood in the doorway remembering the beautiful music her grandmother would play as she and Grandpa would explore the vast outdoors. The piano leaned crookedly against the wall as one leg was completely broken off. Then she remembered the music again…no waitshe is hearing it.

“I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there was the broken piano against the wall,” she explained later to her mom when she told her about her visit. She told her of the whispers she heard about not giving up on her dream, that her talent was there and of other things only her grandmother knew. She was shaken but renewed and peaceful as well.

“It may have been a dream or some sort of hallucination of remembered love but it was more real than I have know in some years,” Jessica explained.

“So, what are you going to do about it?” her mom asked hoping that whatever this was, it would be enough to help her get over her stage fright and weak self-esteem. She knew the local symphony was searching for a new pianist and that in her mind she thought her daughter would be perfect for it. Of course she was prejudiced as this was her only daughter of 3 other children.

“I don’t know,” said Jessica, “but I think I owe it to Grandma to not give up just because of some bad experience from college. Oh, and I found my walking stick that Granpa made for me.”

“Maybe that will help you walk a different path. Not to pressure you, but the Symphony still has not found a pianist.”

“I dunno, mom. That’s an awful big step. That’s like trying to win the Olympics without training.”

“You train every day, Jessica. What have you got to lose?”

“I will think about it.”

In all of life we face challenges that can either enhance or thwart our dreams. If our dreams are not fully attainable, we must never lose the love those dreams gave us. Use that love to make another dream. That dream may be better than your original dream. And with all paths in all our dreams, remember to be kind. Kindness can make dreams for others come true.

Always Be Kind

Morning Encouragement

Good morning friends. Today in the Mid-west it is a wet and gloomy day. No rain but just heavy humidity and gray clouds. It is a great day to visualize and understand the true joy of Christ. In my reading this morning in Jesus Calling, Sarah reminded us that joy is not dependent on what we see, what our circumstances are or how we feel. We can be on top of a mountain enjoying the beautiful sunshine or in the bottom of the damp valley surrounded by foggy gloom. Regardless of what is going on around us, we can feel the true joy of Christ.

“True Joy is a by-product of living in God’s presence.” Sarah young.

We are creatures of habit trying to gain our happiness from the things we see instead of knowing or understanding who is standing right by us, that we may not see. God’s presence in our lives not only breaks through the gloomy clouds but can reflect from us onto others as we go through this life.  And there is no limit to the love He wraps around us for us to give also to others.

And although we don’t like the trials, the trials can give us perspective, understanding and hope. And Romans reminds us that “hope does not disappoint”. It strengthens our faith to survive the trials.

The Holy Spirit is ever present reminding us of His constant love even though we may be hurting from the effects of this world. That pain is not forever, but His love is. He speaks of His love all through His Word, and He showed us His ultimate love by dying for us when we didn’t deserve it. So when you face gloomy days, remember the light reflecting off of His face, just for us. He is always close by.

May you feel His love and Peace engulf your possible gloomy times. Know that the brightness of His love will melt that gloom. Embrace it and remember to be kind. Giving kindness, even when not deserved, can show others the beauty of God’s love.

Always be Kind

Fun and Wet Walk

Today, our community came together to walk for the awareness of hunger across the globe. I have not seen the total amount we raised in our area but it was fun getting together with others and sharing a common cause. We in USA have a tendency to take for granted the ability of opening our fridge and grabbing a snack or being able to plan a wonderful meal. There was a message I read recently from the missionaries that we help support through International Missionaries. They stated that the mind set of the people they serve in the Dominican Republic was thankfulness if they got to eat that day. They feel it is a gift from God for each meal on any given day. That is a hard concept to get our privileged minds around. So I challenge all of us to pray for the people across the world – even in our own privileged countries, there are those who go without food. And lift a special pray for those impoverished countries who think it is a gift from God to be able to eat. If you get the opportunity to join in on one of these special fund raisers, do so. It really does go to a great cause.

Below are pictures of our group along with others who joined in for a great day – even though we got rained on.

Remember, there are those who are struggling in life just as we all do. Let us remember to always be kind. Kindness shows a beauty that some never get to see.