Sunday, February 28, 2010

Up close and personal...

Greg du Toit paid a terrific price for these breathtaking pictures...3 months in a watering hole where he spent time with some all to friendly parasites! Read here...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

They're learning more than you think...

An article about young children in church:

But what my good friend said made more sense than any other explanation I have ever heard for putting children in the pews once a week: In order for her children to lose their faith, she said, they would have to have learn their faith first. You cannot be a lapsed Catholic without having been a Catholic. Same goes for Jew, Protestant and Muslim. Then she added she hoped her children would retain their faith, as she did from childhood, but if they ever did drift away they would know that the Church would always welcome them back and what they were going back to.

Read the article here...what a great perspective!


I'm going to form a new organization...called INLUATO. Perhaps there's one like it already and I just don't know about it but...our main focus will be to fight stereotypes! Will be sending out more details soon.

Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out, the name stands for I'm Not Like You and That's Okay.

Friday, February 26, 2010

When the medal didn't matter...

Joannie Rochette, the Canadian figure skater, is made of strong stuff.

Although she has practiced for years to reach this point, the loss of her mother on Sunday morning would have been enough to derail most. How can one be expected to skate with passion and precision when their heart is broken? The mother who had been her biggest cheerleader throughout all those years, would not be there to watch her moment of triumph. But she knew what her mother wanted. She wanted Joannie to skate, and do her best.

In this article she says, "I feel proud and the result didn't matter." She was able to make it a tribute to her mom.

I can say from experience that our mothers mold us in ways that are beyond comprehension. Whether the world would judge them as good or bad is not relevant. It's the love and wisdom they impart as they raise us to adulthood that matters. Even though moms are not perfect humans (who is?), they give us our first glimpse of perfect love. Selfless and strong, defying all odds, it is the touch of our Father in Heaven.

My mom passed away more than 20 years ago. She was human and as such, had her share of weaknesses. But she loved me. Her love is genuine and unconditional and continues despite her absence. I have leaned on her memory many times in the past 20 years and the foundation it gave me.

Bravo to Joannie and her bronze medal. But mostly bravo for showing the world what a mother's love can do.


This song has been around for quite some time...the youth used to sing it every chance they got. It's been many a moon since I heard it so I thought I'd look it up and put it out for you all to sure and hang around to the end! As someone once pointed out, this might give us an alternative to saying Alleluia during Lent!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Now you see it...

The visual technology used to make movies and television programs is absolutely fabulous! And amazing. But what if this ability were used to manipulate or deceive people? While it is normally used to make what we watch more entertaining, I'm a wee bit nervous about it's potential for misuse. What if you can't believe what you see anymore?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Before you...

Before you say an unkind word...think of someone who cannot speak at all
Before you complain about your food...think of someone who has nothing to eat
Before you complain about your spouse...think of someone crying out to God for a
Before you complain about your children...think of someone who is barren and desperate
for children
Before you complain about your dirty house...think of someone living on the streets
Before you whine about the distance you drive...think of someone who walks everywhere
Before you complain about your job...think of someone who is unemployed or disabled
Before you think about condemning another...remember none are without sin

When your thoughts depress you, always, always, always consider your blessings.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What youth have done...

I've posted illustrations from Asbo Jesus on more than one occasion but have to say I really like this one. How many times do we look at the headlines concerning the behavior of our young people and find it is all negative? I do like the way he's drawn this one...Wonder what would happen if we regularly looked at these statistics?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Super Bunny

It's only a few weeks until Easter and stories about bunnies are popping up all over the place. While this is interesting to watch I can safely say, I'm wouldn't want him hopping around my yard!

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Social Media...

Do you know what it means? Do you know what it is? You may not know it, but you're using it...right now...while you're reading this blog. It is the way of the will it affect the church and the way we reach out to the world?

I don't know anything about the group that put this video together but their content says something...

Think about it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When was the last time...

you felt this joyful? Sure, you could mention that you have many more responsibilities than these monkey's...and you'd be right. You could say that the cares of the world are a bigger burden...and you'd be right. You could say that society frowns upon such frivolity...and in many cases, you'd be right. But...think of how it would make you feel...happy, energized, light-hearted. So go ahead, take a moment and just dance for joy and for might be amazed at how much you would both love it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Lenten Prayer

by Henri Nouwen

Dear Father,
The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Lord, in a special way, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death.

I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voice, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life.

I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are not times or places without choices. And I know how deeply I resist choosing you.

Please, Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place. Give me the strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me.


Ash Wednesday...

is a wake up call. It hits us squarely between the eyes, or it should, forcing us to face our own mortality and sinfulness. During the service, we hear scriptures that are vivid and urgent and receive ashes in the form of a cross on our foreheads. Each time we look at this sign we are reminded of the cost of our sin. This day is given to us for prayer and repentance. We gather in the midst of other sinners and hold to the hope that "God hates nothing He has made and He forgives the sins of all who repent." We are called to confess and then approach the Lenten season with a penitent heart. We are blessed with 40 days to draw closer to our God.

For those who are unfamiliar with Lent or for those who wish to know more, an "in depth" posting on Lent here...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrove Tuesday

As far back as 1000AD, Shrove Tuesday has been observed. It gets it's name from the ritual of "shriving"...when the faithful confess their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season begins.

Historically it also marks the beginning of the 40 day Lenten fasting period when the faithful were forbidden by the church to consume meat, butter, eggs or milk. But what to do if you have a store of these foods? What could you do to use them up so they didn't go bad by Easter Sunday when the fast ended? A solution presented itself in the form of pancakes...and lots of them!

Shrove (or Fat) Tuesday has long been a time of merry making (think Mardi Gras or Carnival) prior to the days of reflection required by Lent. The next day, we are called to church to have our foreheads marked with the Ashes to begin the Lenten season.

Monday, February 15, 2010

So not fair...

As someone who has spent more time than I care to admit trying to solve the notorious "Rubik's Cube", to watch this machine do it in under 12 seconds...that's right under 12!

I'd like to think if that was my only function in life, I could do it too but, I wouldn't place any bets...

President's Day Prayer

In honor of Presidents day...
A Prayer for Guidance by George Washington

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul....

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life bless my family, friends, and kindred.

A sampling of prayers from other Presidents can be found here...

Today is designated as President's day to honor two of our greatest. It originally started as a celebration of George Washington's birthday (on February 22). After Abraham Lincoln's service to our country, some states chose to observe his birthday on February 12)instead. In an effort to honor them both, a day was chosen that falls between the two dates. Even though this day was chosen because of two specific presidents, I find it is a good time to lift up our current President as well. To offer prayers and petitions for guidance. Who among us is not served by prayers lifted in our names, most particularly one on whom so much rests? Take a moment and do your part.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day!


There are at least fifty Christian martyrs named Valentinus (Valentine). The most likely candidate for the original saint was a priest named Valentine who helped other Christians who were being persecuted by Claudius II in third century Rome. Some say this Valentine was arrested because he refused to follow a royal decree not to perform weddings for soldiers. Whatever the actual reason Valentine was arrested, while he was imprisoned, he performed a miracle to restore sight to the jailer's daughter. The jailer converted to Christianity. Nevertheless, Valentine was beaten and beheaded on February 14, 269 AD. Legend has it that before his execution, Valentine wrote a note for the jailer's daughter signed, "from your Valentine". This note may have contributed to our current Valentine's Day customs.

Around 270, Pope Julius I built a Roman church in this Valentine's memory. He is the patron saint of lovers.

Info from:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things I love...

Because Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I thought I would make a list of things I love. These are in no particular order, just things that make my heart go pitter-pat:

The Triune God, my husband, son, daughter and grandson, flowers, yoga, Sparta First United Methodist Church, ALL my in-laws, massages, music (bluegrass to classical), labyrinths, candles, the Youth group, mountains, pedicures, eating fruit, history, University of Tennessee football, earrings that dangle, theater, the farm, my garden, Skinny Vanilla Lattes from Starbucks, prayer stations, James Michener books, my friends, Shea Terra lotions, incense, Cabernet, laughter, scarves, the smell of fresh ground coffee, cards and stationary, crosses, Nascar, dance, reading, the South, chocolate, early morning in the spring, fancy pens, birthdays, horseback riding, shoes with heels (HIGH heels), water skiing, dogs, date night with hubby, whitewater rafting, heirlooms, old movies...

Just to name a few. Now stop and think...what do you love?

Heart Pictures, Images and Photos

Take Care

I saw this picture and the accompanying Bible verse earlier today:

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

And then read this quote by St. Augustine: "Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever; take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow."

And they connected. The picture showing the tree by the water as a human body with roots in the earth. Deeply planted and drawing nourishment for physical health. The arms reaching heavenward. Can you see the longing for connection with God?

We are "in between"...the earth, our physical home created by God our Father and heaven, our spiritual home created by God our Father.

This may seem to be pretty abstract...perhaps you don't see the connection...and I haven't fully formed it yet. This is definitely something that needs to germinate...there may be more on this later...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Abraham Lincoln said, "He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help". President Lincoln was a wise man. He spent much time in study and contemplation and I believe filtered many of his remarks through his own heart.

How quickly we jump to conclusions. Do you take the time to gather all the facts before opening your mouth? I don't. I admit it is a serious failing of mine. Too many times I desperately need to make my thoughts known on a subject only to find out later that I was wrong. If I had taken the time to collect information, think about them and then filter it through my heart, I would never have spoken. Or at least, I would not have spoken the same words.

Lent will soon be upon us. Instead of giving something up this year, I'm taking something on...meditation. Time spent silently in the presence of God. Allowing Him to mold me, teach me, love me...perhaps my heart filter needs a good cleaning...He is just the one to do it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I asked God...

"I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey ...I asked for health, that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things ...I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise ...I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God ...I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things ...I got nothing that I asked for-but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed."

The Author is unknown but the prayer is beautiful!

Friday, February 5, 2010


From the animated feature "Up", Carl and Ellie's married life is told in just 4 minutes...with no words. How beautiful and touching. Showing that life is not always a cake walk, it's all in how you live it. Bravo to the nominating committee, this movie is up for an Oscar!

Oh, and keep a tissue handy! Watch it here...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Watch a sunset, save a life...

"A woman admiring the sunset on a tourist webcam in northern Germany spotted a man who was lost on the frozen North Sea and probably saved his life by alerting authorities, police said Wednesday.

The man had climbed over pack ice off the coast to photograph a sunset near the town of St. Peter-Ording, then became disoriented on the ice, Husum police spokeswoman Kristin Stielow said."

She was hundreds of miles away, enjoying the view from the comfort of her own home and yet, something didn't seem right. Coincidence you say? I think not. I've never been one to believe in coincidence. I believe all things happen for a purpose or a reason and even though they may not be instigated by God, they must have His approval. What purpose or reason behind this event? We may never know, but God does and it will be useful for someone, somewhere, someday. Read the rest here. Each and every action has an impact. EACH AND EVERY matter how small, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Keep your heart open for God's direction and then follow!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


In order to be compassionate, we must be humble...willing to serve any and all in need. Humbleness calls us to tend to and listen to others. In the act of serving, we learn. Learning with an open heart leads to wisdom. God's wisdom. What more could we want?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Live Stream

Since the weather was so bad and so many weren't able to attend, the conference used Live Stream to show our Worship Meetings from this weekend...

Friday nights service...Enjoy! Wait for the's worth it!