Behind the Pulpit, Lines & Squares

Our church is a wonderful mix of traditional antique windows and more modern architecture.  In the 60s a tornado came through and ripped off the steeple crashing it through the roof behind the pulpit. Since the old world architecture can not be exactly duplicated very well or cost effectively, we opted a different route. We removed the steeple permanently and revised the pulpit area. Fortunately for us, the pipes of the organ, which us behind the screen of the cross,  were not damaged beyond repair. Today this is the look which goes greatly with out style of worship combining traditional with a more contemporary sound.

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It is not really what our churches look like but how they make us feel and how we can feel His presence. Looks are only secondary to how we feel.

As you go through your day, remember the importance of kindness and how it makes you feel and spread that feeling to others, who then will spread it and so on. Its a ripple effect.

kind ripples

 

Thoughts to Start Your Day

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

Today’s devotion from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young was right on for me. ‘My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection.’

What an awesome reminder. As humans we tend to forget that and get wrapped up in our own self pity and despair, or ride that train of pride and self will forgetting who got us where we are or who has us protected in his hands. ‘The way to stay on the path of life is to keep your focus on Me.’ Awareness of God’s presence has always been our best protection whether on the  mountain top of great things or deep in the valley of fear. Never let go of His hand.

Where ever you are in your life journey, remember His presence and try to reflect the grace, love and kindness he has bestowed on you to others. Its a way to make you feel even better than you are making others feel.

God love ocean

The Quiet of Fog

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The bat-cave of my street

Some think fog eerie but it is it’s peace that I feel

It shrouds all things that it touches, making it look unreal

The early morning fog comes but usually burns by noon

The evening fog can enter and bring on a sense of doom

I prefer the daytime fog brought on by changing seasons

It’s calmness gives off a quietness for no apparent reason

When fog comes in surrounding the branch as it glistens

Nature seems to come to a stop and watch fast while it listens

Beauty in life can be read in nature from where ever you stand

As the peace of fog moves quietly over the surface of land

Anita Neal

 

Remember in all that you do to share the kindness that has been shown to you. And if you feel kindness has not been shown then be the first to spread it around and be kind.

butter

 

 

 

 

 

Frown to Smiles

Our attitudes toward all our of trials in this life is what helps us get through them, as long as they don’t own us. So I challenge you this day to keep your spirits bright and to not let the “Negative Nancy” get the opportunity to fill your thoughts.

Trails of Life

We start out eager and young on this wide trail of life,

In hopes of receiving great fortune and very little strife.

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Daisy

Curvy paths seem smooth, with beauty brightening the day

No concerns considered of what may happen on the way.

Bridge to Sunshine
Courtesy Irene Tron, Heaven’s Sunshine

But not all paths are rosy along this narrow way

And trials of life can happen causing you deep dismay

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Max

Don’t let that sadness take hold of you, creating a deep frown

But rise above that sad trial and turn it upside down.

Anita Neal

                                                          Googel pics

And as always when you can smile, you can be kind so try always to be kind.

kind smile

Technically Not Flowers, FOTD

Cee has wonderful fun  challenges for us to play with and today I am going a little off path with the Flower of the Day.

Between working part time, playing with the children at Party in the Park events, blogging and trying to write a book, several days in a row of heavy rain…who has time to cut the grass.

FOTD is supposed to be flower of the Day, well flowers are growing beauties, so I reached in and pulled out my clowning silliness and I give you….’shrooms.

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Yesterday’s view

Boy, the difference a day makes….

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This morning’s view

They are kind of cool and I was going to wait and share the one below for Sunshine’s Monday Micro but its going to be tomorrow before I have a chance to mow so we will see what they look like tomorrow.

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Beauty all its own

Each creation has a beauty all its own and as poisonous as some ‘shrooms are, they can really be beautiful.

Remember the beauty of your creation as God made you special to do what you do. Allow your beauty to shine and reflect God’s love on others.

Kindness 13

 

Recharging

recharge

There are times when our supplies are low and we need to build them back up and recharge our efforts. This week has been one of those weeks for me but due to the massive heat wave we are having, which is not normal for this area, the outdoor activities for today have been canceled allowing me to recharge.

This morning’s devotion was very much a recharge for me and I thought I would share. I am a firm believer in sharing the riches I pull from my devotions as much as I also enjoy other’s teachings on things they obtain from their studies. I think it is a way we can build each other up in His love.

Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling for July 18 made a statement from Hebrews 11 talking about faith as being something we believe in that we can not see. While that is true as the stories and truths of the bible happened thousands of years ago, we still believe in them happening, the truths that they teach us and how we can apply those truths to situations we face today.

But understanding those truths, as much as I am able, (because each time I read them I get a different perspective)  when I see the beauty and ugliness of life, it only strengthens those truths.

The beauty we see helps bring us hope when ugliness happens. Here are today’s scripture readings to remind you that he did it all for us – Acts 17:24-28 NIV

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so men would seek him and perhaps reach out to him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in  him we live and move and have our being.

I pray that today as we come together in reading each other’s blogs, that we also share in each other’s love and happiness and may you also share in the peace, love and grace offered daily to you by God above. And if you can, share that love and kindness with others so that the ever growing ripples of love never stop.

kind ripples

 

Trust, Obey and Enjoy

My  morning devotion spoke to me today and so I am sharing my thoughts with you. When God was first laying down the foundational rules in Exodus, he told the people he was a jealous God and to worship no other God’s but him.

moses

In today’s world, we often sugar coat the gentleness and kindness of God and forget his powerful being – the ultimate rule maker, the mighty Father. We don’t want to believe he will ever punish us, we don’t want him being something we fear because fear is a negative aspect. God is never negative, right? Do you read the same old testament that I read? How many people were killed by the command of God. Why would you worship a being that does that? Be cause he loves me! And people forget that and lose his love.

When Joshua first invaded Canaan, the first town on agenda for God was Jericho. Jericho, who many many generations ago, forgot who God was now going to be punished for forgetting. So God tells the people to walk around the walled city and then come back to camp. The people – the entire nation of Israel – just walking around the massively walled city. So let’s think about that a minute. You are an Israelite, and God says you will conquer the land. How is walking around the city conquering the land. I am sure there were some in that group that were think, “what? is this how we are conquering?” And I am sure the people of Jericho, who were originally shaking in their boots with fear hearing all the stories of the Red Sea parting and the destruction of the Egyptian army, were wondering “what is this, why are we scared of this?” Evidently none of them knew the song called Trust and Obey.

Then on the 7th day, the walls miraculously just fell down. Walls that had been standing as a fortress for hundreds of year…just fell. And all the people of Jericho, all the people, were killed. Trust and Obey, for there is no other way….

In Sarah Young’s devotional  Jesus Calling for July 11, she reminded us that today’s false gods are out of the realm of religion. Those of us who are practicing the Christian religion have a tendency to get complacent, especially here in the US. And sometimes that complacency can turn us to worshiping other things than God. Oh, it was not our intention and there may not be a physical thing we have set up in our home we bow down to, but any thing that gets in the way of our worship of God can easily become an idle; our jobs, more money, and a big one is our TIME.

24 hours in a day x 7 days = 168 hours, 168 hours in a week x 52 weeks = 8736 hours, 52 Sundays x 1 hour = 52 hours. Not sure 52 hours out of 8736 hours show a good representation of loving our God. How many hours do you spend with your friends doing fun stuff. If you spend an average of 5 hours a week doing fun stuff that is 260 hours, you see where I am going here. God does not want you to not enjoy going and doing fun  stuff. He created a lot of fun stuff for you to do. He just wants to go with you. He wants to be part of your everyday, to share your highs, not just coming when the moments are low.

So as you go about your day, everyday, ask Him to come along smile with him at the funny ‘coincidences’ that seem to happen and realize – “I know that was You God.” And as you smile with him, remember to be kind like him.

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