Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Telling Stories...

Ever since our ancestors could first communicate, we have gathered to share our stories. We have passed along stories illustrating our faith and the tragic stories of love lost. We have repeated accounts of real heroism and simple stories of family history. When our forebears lived closer to the land and to each other, the practice of storytelling was full of ritual and was seen as a special occasion. Members of the family group would often gather around the fire to hear their genealogy recited aloud by an elder or master storyteller. Listeners could track their own lives, and the lives of their parents, as they interwove with the lives of the other members of the extended family. It would often seem that everyone’s ancient relatives once played out similar life dramas together.

As a custom, some cultures’ storytellers repeat the same tale over and over because they believe that each time you hear it, you come to the story as a different person and view it in a new light. Telling the stories again and again helped younger generations learn so that they could pass them to future generations.

When we hear others tell stories, we can laugh at their humorous adventures, feel the thrill of exciting encounters, and learn from the challenges they faced. Though most of our formal traditions of storytelling are lost, it does not mean we they cannot be revived.

These traditions draw us closer together through our shared ancestors and histories. Perhaps we can see some of their strengths in ourselves and in those closest to us. In choosing to honor this practice we connect to our shared human experience and see, once again, God's hand in all we do and who we are...



Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's a you!

Remember when you were 16 with that ridiculous hair?

And how you’d thought that by the time you got to here, to now, it was going to be good? That by now everything would be all good.

That by now you’d know down in the very marrow of your bones, what it’s like to really live loved. That you’d be known. Fully known. And wholly embraced.

That the Big Dream would have happened, that the peace and the purpose and the Big Point would be under your skin, that the awkward would be gone and that you’d finally fit and that your life made a real difference, you’d made a real mark, and that you really mattered.

The letter is called "Dear You" and can be read in it's entirety here....

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Have been MIA for a good part of the summer. Life has thrown a few curve balls and made some major changes to my everyday living. Seemed for a while that I had nothing to say that anyone would want to hear. 

But now it seems that God has more words for me to share. 

Looking forward to being back on a regular basis...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Food Forest

What a truly interesting concept...I do believe the last time this worked it was called the "Garden of Eden"!
Information from the Global Coherence Initiative.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The sights, the sounds, the electricity in the air! We've all experienced thunderstorms but I must admit this one filmed in Germany makes you feel as if you are in the middle of it...

Follow this link...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Due to circumstances which couldn't be helped, I have been unable to go on retreat so far this year...and I feel it in my soul! Hopefully this is something that can be remedied in the near future...but until then, I am relying on Thomas Merton...

“Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or from doubt. On the contrary, the deep, inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depths of the heart like wounds that cannot stop bleeding. For every gain in deep certitude there is a corresponding growth of superficial "doubt." This doubt is by no means opposed to genuine faith, but it mercilessly examines and questions the spurious "faith" of everyday life, the human faith which is nothing but the passive acceptance of conventional opinion. This false "faith" which is what we often live by and which we even come to confuse with our "religion" is subjected to inexorable questioning… Hence, is it clear that genuine contemplation is incompatible with complacency and with smug acceptance of prejudiced opinions. It is not mere passive acquiescence in the status quo, as some would like to believe – for this would reduce it to the level of spiritual anesthesia.” 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


This was filmed over a period of 7 days from the highest mountain in Spain, El Teide. 

Make sure your sound is on....the music is called "Nuvole Bianche" by Ludovico Einaudi (my absolute favorite modern day composer).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Sparta FUMC Members,
If you're looking for the article from my Newsletter post this week, just click (Nadia Bolz-Weber), and it will take you there! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sunday Morning Worship

Something has been missing in my life recently. Now I could load you up with all kinds of husband has been incapacitated and is still recovering, one of my children and her family have moved back home and are staying with us while they get things in order. The usual end of the school year business. My "real" job. The work I do with the Youth. Bottom line, while searching to find what is different I have come to realize that I've not been fully present in Worship for several weeks now. Looking back, I can now see that what was wrong was me. I was there to be entertained. In fact, I've become quite lazy! Perhaps I wasn't crazy about a couple of the hymns one Sunday. Another Sunday, someone was sitting in MY seat! Did the Pastor really use different words to the "Great Thanksgiving"? On each of these Sundays, I've entered not with a humble and contrite heart but knowing it just had to be "All about Me" and what I want!

Church is a community of believers. Worship should never be about just what I GET out of the service, but rather also, what I ADD to it. Has the experience been more fulfilling because of my presence? Have I been unselfishly giving of myself? Singing with gusto or at least devotion?  Following the verses read in my Bible rather than just listening? Greeting a visitor or spending time with a fellow member I haven't talked to in a while? Truly lifting up to God those whose names have been read during the Prayer Request time? 

We should be a gathering of individuals who, through praise and worship, form a whole body.

And, although I shouldn't have to, I must watch that I don't try to be a member of an audience. God is the audience. Going to church isn't like going to the movies. I am not there just to receive the Word that is spoken...God is there to receive our love and praise and HE is the object of our affections. If we believe it to be a "worship service", then we should be as much a part of it as the organ, the Pastor or the special music.

We're supposed to be the givers. And if we give, God will be blessed and we will receive what we need from Him and not the sound system.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Most of us envision our lives as being orderly with all things happening the way we want. We make plans and have dreams, some of them divinely inspired, that we want to see through to completion. We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So when life takes us to places we don’t want to go, we often feel as if something has gone wrong, or we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line. Although this will repeatedly happen in all our lives we rarely understand the least in the beginning. Eventually we all come to realize that trials are designed to strengthen us, teach us and mold us.

It may take something major to wake us up. After all, it's very hard to turn our lives loose, to feel out of control...even though control is a huge illusion! It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture. It reminds us that there is someone else in control. Hopefully, this awareness will help us release our resistance to what is. Joy exists within our lives whether things go our way or not. And when we don’t feel it, it is because we choose not to.

Learning to release our imagined control to the One who truly IS in control is life changing...and it's oh, so much easier!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How much...

do you love your cell phone?

According to a new survey by phone security company Lookout, the majority of Americans would put themselves at risk to get their lost or stolen phones back. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed cared more about their device and the data on it than the danger they were putting themselves in to retrieve it...

As for the aftermath of having your phone stolen, ten percent of theft victims lost confidential company information, nine percent had their identities stolen, and twelve percent found fraudulent charges to their accounts. They also suffered a variety of negative emotions:

Not passing judgement, just passing along information. Read the whole article here...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day gifts

We've all heard the phrase (and have probably used it), "If I could, I would give you the world!". We all know that's not possible but the love behind the statement is real and heartfelt.

If Mother's Day has snuck up on you and you're still wondering what to give to the woman who gave you life, try
The company is called Mothers on Mars and for prices ranging from $5.00 to $5,000.00 you can name a crater for the #1 woman in your life. Now how cool is that?

The website says:
Half the revenues from MoM will go to fund grants for space-related educational projects. Uwingu will publish the name of your mom’s crater and send it to the Red Planet on the private manned Mars One mission, scheduled to lift off in 2024. However, the new name won’t be officially recognized by NASA (or, we presume, the Martians).

But, after all, it's the thought that counts, right?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Look Up

I am as guilty as the next...
This is worth 5 minutes of your time...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy in God...

When people find that you're a Christian, are they surprised? Can they tell by your words and deeds that you have found joy in your life or do you follow the "I'm a Christian so I can't have fun" stereotype? Do you spend all your time thinking of the things you cannot do?

The happiest people on earth ought to be those of us in God's service. And we ought to
look like it. We have every reason to smile more than anyone else. Even though our work is terribly serious, we ought to have more fun and have a better time doing it than anybody. Why would we not enjoy life? For whom do we live it? 
Those who look as if they've just finished their last piece of bread do not minister very effectively. We really don't need to spend all our time on the negatives of life; there are enough heart-breaking experiences to go around for all of us. Who wants to follow a God who is perceived to be standing over us hand on His hip, shaking His finger? If God does not want us to be happy creatures, why would He have provided us with food, drink, books, music, friends and all the beauty in the world?

On top of all the wonderful things to be found in our world He also offers us the opportunity to be in communion with Him? One on one. We can't allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in daily life that we forget the gifts.

I don't mean to sound like life is always easy if you're a Christian...we do not have an easy calling. God holds us to a higher standard but He is also a loving guide who is always there to help us through the hard times and offer us joy, His joy. What more could we want?

Friday, May 2, 2014


As I've mentioned, we've had an illness in the family that has been serious enough to totally disrupt life as I know it...thank God, we've reached a turning point and can see progress toward health! With this wonderful news, I hope to be able to be more attentive to the blog from this point. 

In honor of God's good grace:

Jeremiah 17:8
"They 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."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

Jesus washing Peter's feet, by Ford Madox Brown

The word Maundy derives from the command or mandatum by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another. The Gospels relate that on the eve of his Crucifixion, Jesus Christ ate a meal with his disciples. After the meal, it is recorded that Jesus washed their feet, and gave them the following mandatum or command: "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you." 

Day 38

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week

Given that I have posted very little recently (except the 40 days of crosses), I want to thank those of you who are still stopping by the check out the blog. For those who do not know me, the last few weeks have been filled with doctors, hospitals, rehab clinic's as well as anguish and fear. 

My husband is on the mend now and if all holds "as is" will be coming home tomorrow. We are so grateful for friends, family, medical staff and most importantly the love of God. He has sustained us throughout this difficult period and blessed us with glimpses of His face throughout. We truly serve and Awesome God!

With hubby's homecoming, I hope that life will get back on track and that will begin with our Wednesday night Bible Study tomorrow! Followed by Maundy Thursday, the Good Friday activities (most particularly the Tennebrae service Friday night) along with Easter Sunday morning seem like a lovely place to start.

God Bless you all!

(Please note the dove nesting on the right shoulder of the crucified Christ...sculpted in wood by Jeane Deuber, Artist in Residence at the Sister's of Loretto Convent, Nerinex, KY)

Day 36

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Whether listening to the low muted murmur of a confidential whisper or the proud boom coming from a mic on the podium, there are few sounds more expressive than the human voice. Each persons voice has a unique tone that is all its own, carrying their own signature traits and characteristics. No two voices are alike.

The tenderness of a lover's voice can feel like a warm caress; words spoken in anger can seem like physical blows; and a voice tinged with laughter can't help but fill us with good feelings. And then there are the voices of other people we encounter...the radio announcer's soothing baritone on a long car ride or the cheerful chatter of children playing on the street are just a few of the voices we may be blessed to hear on any given day.

Every time we use our voices, we make an impression on the people around us. Like the words we use when we speak, our voices can communicate what we are feeling, what we desire and what we really mean. Timidity, desire, pain and love can all be expressed and felt through the human voice. Our voices also have the power to heal, to hurt, to love and to transform others. When we are aware of the impact our voices can have, we can choose what we are expressing. Remember that what you communicate when you speak goes beyond words. Take responsibility for the power your voice has to impact the people around you and let your voice be a sound that creates harmony and compassion in your world.

Day 18