Friday, May 29, 2009


We all know them...the "Huggers"...those people who, regardless of how long it's been since you've seen them (5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks), will reach out and hug you. It's their way of greeting. In my life, the hugger is normally a woman and it is simply her way of saying hello. Most of the time it's very gratifying to be hugged. It means that someone is interested enough in you to demonstrate to anyone looking that they care for you.

I've always been one to stand back, rarely initiating the hug unless it's a relative or very close friend. When my husband and I married, I was warmly accepted into his family by all. Sisters, brothers, mother, father all greet me with hugs and kisses! After growing up in a family that wasn't very demonstrative, it was a little culture shock but I must say, I love it!

Seems like the times, they are a'changing...according to the NY Times, this has become a common greeting amongst the young people. I know, I know, we have to be concerned about unwanted touching but it seems we should not just dismiss this outright, is it really a problem to greet one another with a hug? Take a couple of minutes to read the article...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed,
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
whose charm were broken if revealed.
Charlotte Bronte

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What are you doing?

"What are you doing?" a man asked of three laborers beside a building under construction. The first man replied, "Puttin' in time until a better job comes along." The second smile. "Stone cutting." The third man waited a moment and then said simply, "I'm building a cathedral!"

Help me remember that each day I'm not just walking through life, but preparing for eternity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

In honor of all who have given their lives in the service of our country:


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ascension Sunday...

...will be celebrated today, 5/24/09

A wonderful piece from the Taize Community

Don't just...

Don't just look, see.
Don't just listen, hear.
Don't just touch, feel.
Don't just think, understand.
Don't just do, accomplish.
Don't just move, go some place.
Don't just speak, say something.

I cannot find the author of this poem but feel it speaks volumes! If you know, post it in the comments as I'd love to give credit where credit is due!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Packaged Programs

I recently read about a new Youth Ministry program that's stated goal is to "help teenagers attain a point in their spiritual development where they begin to become spiritual multipliers." Guess I'm a little off track according to them. The programs I present have always been for the express purpose of helping the youth develop and mature in their own spirituality. It's all about their growing as individuals in their walk with Christ.

According to this program, the students prove that they are "spiritually mature" by going out and telling all their friends about Jesus...and then bringing them to our Youth group. So whoever brings in the most is the winner and the best Christian? If you don't bring in anyone you're a failure and a loser? So faith is reduced to a competition?

I'm sorry, our group is about relationships and love with no strings attached...not about numbers! We come together to "Be" in the presence of God. They are allowed and even encouraged to question, doubt, grow, fall back, test and fit themselves with their faith...all the while being affirmed on the journey. It is a life long road and if, at some point, we get to see them live it out then we've all blessed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

For the Graduates:

All I need to know I learned from Noah and the Ark:
1. Don't miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don't listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn't everything. The snails were on board along with the cheetahs.
9. When you're stressed, float awhile.
10. Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God there's always a rainbow waiting.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The little voice...

Growing up my family did not regularly attend church. I can only think of twice that I recall seeing my father in the my baptism and at my wedding. I'm not faulting Dad, he had his own path to follow.

Most of my worship experience was thanks to my two grandmothers. As an adult I realize that they were the ones who kept me in touch with God. He never left me but I didn't pay Him much attention for several years. There was also one other...she was a sweet little lady who picked me up on Wednesday evenings for a year or so and took me to the church's childrens program. We talked as we drove and she revealed so much in those few minutes. I watched her and the way she lived her life...her devotion to God and the church, her love of all of us "kids", her love of creatures great and small. Funny, it's been so long I have a hard time recalling her face but between her and my grandmothers I seldom have trouble knowing which path to follow. As I struggle with decisions I feel their love and hear their voices...

Someone asked me the other day how I hoped the young people in our youth group would remember me...I pray I've been an example to them as I had in these 3 ladies and that when they struggle, they'll hear my voice and know that I love them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do You Love Me?

In John 21, Jesus asks Peter this question three times. The NIV version goes on to say that "Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time". I guess he wasn't thinking of the fact that others had recently asked him if he even knew Jesus and he said "No" three times.

Even though Jesus knew ahead of time that Peter would deny Him, it had to hurt when Peter actually said the words. They had lived, worked and travelled together for 3 years...Peter had recently told Jesus that "others may deny you but I never will". Peter is the "Rock"...Jesus told him so! If a man who was personally taught and loved by Jesus can deny Him, what hope do we have?

We have Peters' story before is not meant to make us question ourselves and our ability to stand firm in our faith. It is meant to show us that even if we falter, even if we fall, Jesus will take us back. Rather than losing faith in us, Jesus will give us work to do for His Kingdom...He is not like us, Thanks be to God!

Monday, May 18, 2009

From The Deacon's Bench

Can I show the world this much love? Can you?


And I did not realize that I hadn't posted since Thursday...didn't mean to be gone so long...perhaps this drawing by the "Naked Pastor" will explain things!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pie Jesu

Pie Jesu

I listened to this on the way to work this morning (for the thousandth time)...What beautiful sound! The Latin translates:

Pie Jesu: Merciful Jesus
Qui tollis peccata mundi: Who takes away the sins of the world
Dona eis requiem: Grant them rest
Agnus Dei: Lamb of God
Dona eis requiem sempiternam: Grant them everlasting rest

Who is to blame?

An interesting article about blame...check it out? Do you agree?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Empty and Full

Emptiness and fullness at first seem complete opposites. But in the spiritual life they are not. In the spiritual life we find the fulfillment of our deepest desires by becoming empty for God.

We must empty the cups of our lives completely to be able to receive the fullness of life from God. Jesus lived this on the cross. The moment of complete emptiness and complete fullness become the same. When he had given all away to his Abba, his dear Father, he cried out, "It is fulfilled" (John 19:30). He who was lifted up on the cross was also lifted into the resurrection. He who had emptied and humbled himself was raised up and "given the name above all other names" (see Philippians 2:7-9). Let us keep listening to Jesus' question: "Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?" (Matthew 20:22). Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


With astronauts working on changes/ repairs, this final picture from the WFP camera aboard the Hubble. It has brought us so many amazing images and shared the beauty of God's universe...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Who ran to help
me when I fell,
and would some
pretty story tell,
or kiss the place
to make it well?
My Mother
A. Taylor

Mother's Day is celebrated to honor all mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up a child. Most countries including US, Australia, Canada and India celebrate Mothers Day on the second Sunday of May. Mothers Day came into being due to the efforts made by Ms Julia Ward Howe and Ms Anna Jarvis. The Resolution for having a dedicated Mother's Day was signed by US President Woodrow Wilson on May 8, 1914. Since then people across the world have been celebrating Mothers Day with joy and devotion.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We, as Christians, have created an image of what holiness looks like that's unbelievable. We expect truly holy people to be saintly and perfect. How many of
those people do you find in the Bible? Other than Christ, the ones chosen to do God's work are human and carry their fair share of flaws and frailties.

Holiness is not knowledge, great professions, doing many works, zeal for religious matters, morality and respectability nor keeping company with Godly people. It is being of one mind with God, ever seeking His wisdom and direction. It includes kindness, generosity, mercy and humility. It takes much work and practice but by the Grace of God, it is there for us all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Things are not always what they seem...

Or appear, in this case a little paint can make a world of difference!

Check it out!

There's bound to be a lesson in here somewhere!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer...take time to lift up friends and family, your church and community, those employed and unemployed, those serving in the military along with firefighters, policeman, doctors, nurses, EMTs, our President those who represent us in the government, those who would be our enemies, those in need no matter who is at fault, the sick, homeless, helpless...and any others who come to mind.

But before you close, recall the words of Psalm 113:3: "From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised".

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One of those days...

Several years ago, Judith Viorst wrote a children's book called "Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day". You know, the title kind of says it all.
Amongst other things he went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke with gum in his hair, had a cavity at the dentist, dropped his sweater in get the picture.

There are degrees of bad days. Some we can turn it around with just a little effort, some start out that way but change before the end of the day and some are just to be endured. We look forward to going to sleep and pray that tomorrow will be better.

Although I would wish you all good days, there are lessons to be learned from bad ones. Lessons about how to handle troubles, lessons about who is and is not our friend and maybe most importantly, lessons about who we are. Do we suffer in silence or try to inflict a measure of suffering on all we meet? Do we face these days with a growl and a scowl or do we smile in spite of it all?

Everyone faces trying days but what God would love to see happen is that we learn to turn the troubles over to Him, trusting that He will bring the best results and welcoming the insight and growth that come from them. I'm speaking from experience, thankfully for me today is not one of THOSE days.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sunshine in a song...

As I mentioned yesterday, it's been cloudy and rainy for several days here...and the weatherman says we are in for another day or two of it. I know some of us are affected by the lack of sunshine and thought, let's post another song! So, here we go...

It may not be quite as good as the "real" thing, but it will do...

Monday, May 4, 2009


One of the best gifts that friends give us is the joy of being accepted and loved just the way we are. They don't ask us to change because truth be told, it was our uniqueness that drew us together in the first place. Friends make us feel good about ourselves. Laughter from tears is just one of the ways they show their love.

Friends are companions who walk with us through life...sometimes walking along side, sometimes leading, sometimes following and sometimes even carrying us. They often act as mirrors by reflecting back who we are and what they see in us. Their actions allow us to grow into who we want to be.

I pray each of you has at least one of these friends...

Dancing is for the birds!

Don't know what it was like where you are but it rained ALL weekend in our part of the world...thought everyone could use a good dance to start their Shake your tail feathers!