Horrifying to Amazing, Worship

ND Cross
Even with the roof debris scattered on the floor, the cross remains…and seems to be glowing.

So many feelings have run through us over the tragedy at Notre Dame. Watching it blaze, knowing what the building stood for over the centuries. The history that took place in that building. The love the people of Paris, France and around the world people had for this building. The art it contained. Such a loss, and yet, now as the dust is settling, we are amazed at what was not lost. The millions of people who visit this place daily were not there. The most sacred artifacts were saved. A lot of the artwork was saved. Some of the beautiful stained glass windows as in the beautiful rose window was saved. The fireman did an amazing job saving as much of the structure as they did from the over 200 foot high flames that rose about this structure with an intense heat that I could never imagine.

The unity of the people on the streets as they sang hymns in loving memory of what it used to be but I think the comment I heard says a lot about this tragedy and the fact it is Holy week. As Christ died this week, he arose to bring new life. This building will again rise to bring new life. My hope is that the love and passion felt in the streets as it seemed the building would die, would remain and go forward in the Godly love that is to come out of any building of worship of our Father.  However, Acts 7:48 reminds us that ‘The Most high does not live in houses made by man.’ We must never worship the building or anything in the building. And we must also remember that we who follow Christ have Christ living in us and we together are the church. We go to worship in a specified building to honor him for what he did for us on the cross. This is Holy week and that must be our focus, whether we are a fine church or a tent meeting, needs to be Christ and what He did for us.

Jansen-photo challenged us for today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge on Worship in  honor of the tragedy of Notre Dame.

I am enclosing pictures of my church as it is nearly 200 years old and has many beautiful stained glass windows. It would be tragic for us if we lost it but we know we would continue onward. In 1955 a tornado took off the tall spire of this church and it was not replaced when repairs were done.

Below are the 3 large windows that I thought you might enjoy. All of the windows in the sanctuary and parlor are beautiful stain glass that reflect color all through the room when the sun is shining.

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My favorite. Jesus carrying us, His beloved lambs.
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Baptism by John
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Jesus in His youth

As we focus on the meaning of this week, Holy Week, let us remember to share the love God shared so richly with us. You never know what tragedy someone may be going through in their own life so always remember to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.

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Gift of Thankfulness, SoCS “fab”

My devotional reading this morning was about thankfulness. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you inner mind becomes dark and disgruntled. When you approach God with thanksgiving, the light of His presence surrounds you. Lets have some examples from my life –

The harshness of this past winter only to be reminded of the ever resilient fabulous bulbs of spring.

The poor commitment of the “handy man” that showed up to get the old curtains down but has yet to show up to put up the new rods. But yet the light shining through the windows has been beautiful and helped my violet to burst forth in fabulous white and purple blooms.

The most inconvenient idea of being without a refrigerator for 10 days, yet I can still enjoy a fabulous cup of hot tea. And last but not least…

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Mandarin Oranges

The ability of being able to enjoy fabulous fruits all year long from those warm climate zones and the trucking industry getting them to the stores for us to enjoy.

The inconvenient challenges of life can drag us down or we can give thanks to God that we have an ability to view those challenges through His eyes and find that silver lining – there is always one however small it may be.

So all the more reason to understand you inconvenience and be thankful of the light they can shed on us and bringing forth kindness to others who are also experiencing inconveniences themselves. Remember to always be kind.

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Show kindness to others

Linda G Hill’s challenge today for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” And I think if we really look around we can find more fab than non-fab. You just need to correct frame of mind. So I challenge you to review and give thanks for all the fabulous things you have in life. You could probably amaze yourself in seeing your gifts.

1,000 Steps…and Counting

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Thanks to many pictures of sunrise on internet

I was up and at therapy early today. While I did not see the beautiful sun pictured here, I did know it was to be a beautiful day. I am about 1/2 way through the proposed plan and seem to be doping well. Pain is down considerably and unless I get tired, the penguin walk is gone. Today on the seated step machine(I have no clue what you call really these  machines) I got up to 1,000 steps. I was a wonderful milestone for me. Then I went to Lowes to get window caulk and a center rod bracket for the double window. Then coming home I stopped and took some cool door pictures. I am getting out. Yay me!

Today’s devotion was written especially for me I think. Waiting on Me(Christ) was the title and the first sentence said it all. ‘Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do.’ Waiting is not a strong suit for a lot of us. It requires a lot of patience, also not a strong suit for some of us. Then  there is trusting something we can’t even see. So waiting, patience and trust – that’s a lot. But he goes on to say : ‘Waiting on Me is the way I designed you to live; all day every day. I created you to be conscious of Me as you go about your daily duties. I promise renewed strength.’

Since my surgery I have been waiting to walk properly, waiting for pain to lessen and waiting for winter to get over. And even though we are forecast more snow on Saturday (really!) My daffodils popping through the ground and my lilac budding promise me that spring is coming, and 1,000 steps shows I am healing.

Isaiah 40:31 tells us : ‘but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

I know that several of us are healing from various things in our lives so I encourage you wait, have patience and trust. He will renew your strength.

And always remember the gift of kindness that is so easy and free to share. Sometimes when you feel surrounded in a dark spot, a shared gift of kindness can also brighten your day. So always be kind.

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An Elfchen

Midwest Fantasy has challenged us today to write an Elfchen.

An elfchen is an 11 word poem written in 5 lines— Line 1=1 word,  Line 2=2 words,  Line 3=3 words, Line 4=4 words,  Line 5 =1 word.  Lines 1 and 5 should not be the same word. Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. We hope to offer all of you something that will spark your creativity and willingness to participate.

Since I had never heard of an elfchen, I thought I would play along and see what I could come up with. The three word choices are You, Stronger or Alive to be the first word of your poem. I accidentally used all three.

You

Dear Lord

Are the reason

I am stronger and

Alive

 

And as I close from this fun, I remind all to be kind. The kindness you share may be the only sunshine that person may see that day.

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Dirty, Just Jot January

Linda G Hill with the final guest prompt by Jim has challenged us with “dirty”. Right now I am more consumed with snow and cold than dirt but I have heard cold being called “stinking cold”. Stinking usually refers to something really smelly dirty. So I am going with the cold being dirty. At least it is leaving a mess at my front door.

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Dried melted salt and salt crystals in the carpet

I just came in from getting the mail and these new pictures and the current temp is 3 degrees and steadily falling with the onslaught of this polar vortex. Temps to drop to an estimated -22 with a wind chill of -51. For all of you also in this dirty stinking cold, stay inside as much as possible. I am praying we don’t get further damage from this cold air mass. Sunday we will be basking in  heat at 44 degrees. That’s 60 degrees warmer so it will feel great.

I am adding in a few pictures of the snow. While I know it is silly to post snow pictures but being from south Georgia, this is not a normal scene for me. So chuckle with me and stay warm.

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Knee high

While the angle is not good, the snow is knee high and drifted higher in some areas.

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Front yard

The mound in  the center of the yard is the Christmas decorations and a small live Christmas tree. The decorations may have to wait until spring to get remove.

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Archway over the sidewalk

I hope these evergreens are resilient enough to straighten back up with spring.

Even though we are stinking dirty cold, we can always be crystal clean kind. Sometimes when things are under stress, kindness is more important, more needed and much loved on the receiving end.  So remember to be kind.

snow kindness

 

Learning to Walk, Again

Those of you who have been following me know that since August I have been having correct bone alignment in my feet. We corrected the left foot first. It is about 85% healed. So it took about 6 weeks before I could put pressure down on the foot and learn to walk again with the new alignment. It gives you a new appreciation for babies learning to walk.

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I still get the sharp healing pains as the nerves are knitting back together as they say it will take about 1 year. Not a fun experience but part of the healing experience. In November we corrected the right foot and I have been going from bed to sofa with the help of a knee cart. Its nice to be able to get around without crutches but when you already have knee issues from challenges of youth, it can be painful.

The challenges of youth should be correctly called the stupidity of youth because as an adult you would never do these things. And with me being a tomboy, I was not about to be shown up by any boy. And since I was into horses, well now you have added in another factor of – “You did what?” For example – diving from the top of the hay loft into the pile of hay below. Was it thick enough to cushion our fall? Were snakes hiding in the hay as they often were? How about standing on top of your horse as he walked around the pasture with no bridle or saddle? And of course there were the neighborhood ball games with all the guys? And the list goes on. I am sure others have similar lists.

Yes so now in my mid 60s I am paying for those challenges. But doing OK. As I have stated before I have earned every gray hair, every wrinkle…and every pain. But I would not have changed a thing, well maybe one thing that still scares me to think about it to this day involving a train.

So this week’s challenge is to start walking without the boot. Its twice as difficult as the left foot has not fully healed so I am having balance/confidence issues. My goal is to be back in church before Christmas. I go back to Dr on Thursday so we will see. But regardless, progress for this challenge is being made.

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Slow progress is still progress

So in this season of thankfulness I am ever grateful that I can walk at all and that I have been blessed with another day of life. So tagging in with jansenphoto TPC weekly challenge word of ChallengeI submit my challenge of walking and ask you to play along for the fun.

And as I always say, remember to be kind. Even though someone may not look like they are hurting, a kind word will ease those silent hurts that are deep within.

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Word Prompt, Optimism

I can see it…light at the end of the tunnel. I am optimistic I can make it. It has been a 5 month uphill battle of necessity but it is almost done. One last week of the knee cart, then one more week of walking in boot then on to real shoes. Yahoo!!

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Soon to be twin feet

Left foot about 90% healed, Right foot soon to free of heavy boot.  QC’s prompt on optimism is exactly where I am. I can see the end and optimistic that with therapy I will be back to normal…as normal as I can be at this point of my life. I am looking forward to spring where walks through the parks and forest can be done again.

I loved QC’s opening quote by Roy Bennett – “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett.

Life is a choice and life is what you make it. QC also stated the difference between optimism and pessimism and fully hit the nail on the head – Optimism is contagious while pessimism is infectious.

Think of how optimism can drive a car through rough times but pessimism will just deflate the tires.

The holidays is a hard emotional time for many. Recent tragedies can amplify those painful times. Reach out to those and give reason for optimism, give them hope to continue. Spread encouragement and kindness where you can as it breeds hope and optimism.

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