First Forray 2013

A few years back God told me I would be doing some travelling. He told me with every journey I was to seek His purpose in it.

The girls and I left the frosted state of MA

The girls and I left the frosted state of MA

This week my daughters and I traveled to PA to visit my son.



Our purpose was to reconnect with each other…and to catch up on some long neglected reading. I think I read about a hundred blogs!



We arrived late Sunday night; So after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast the girls and I met up with Joe at his campus and headed out to…

100_1032The Shady Maple! My son was soooo happy to see my daughters.

100_1037Joe has become quite a young man. I am proud of him! Part of our reconnect on this brief journey was to find out his plans after graduation. It is hard to believe he is just short months away from that date and from the title Pastor Joe.

Here are some of our other pictures from that trip:



Share Your World With Cee Cee Pt. 35

I am so grateful to be able to come away from the work for a bit and just answer some simple questions. It has been a rather heady week and my mind is still spinning. Thank you Cee for giving me these queries to kind of bring me back to a normal space. It means more than you know.

  • Do you make New Year’s resolutions, or not?  If so, what one have you made and kept from the past?  I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions as such. But our church has 21 days of fasting and prayer starting at the beginning of every year and I feel like these are times to gather direction from God about what I am to do in the year to come. I suppose the result is the same except if I don’t do what is set out from the fast I kind of feel it’s not just me I’m letting down but God. MAybe that’s better incentive 🙂
  • Do you prefer Nuts or no Nuts?  Depends what it is in. I like nuts in my brownies and they are pretty good on Sundaes but I’m not a big fan of the nut sauce they make for spaghetti (pesto). But maybe you were referring to the emotional kind of nuts? Some days I feel a little nuts and I like that less than pesto. 😉
  • Do you like winter, or not, and why? I love winter. It’s going outside during winter that I abhor.
  • Do you prefer to receive gifts or give them? I like giving and receiving but I love gifts that have a purpose… things I can use and I like to give gifts that others find useful.



Lessons I Learned In the Summer Wind

I believe life is a lesson to be learned. Even the very hardest parts have benefit if we can somehow draw out of them the lessons hidden in darkness. As my lead pastor likes to say life is just “training for reigning!”

This summer has passed by in a whirlwind. Tonight as I prepare to venture onto summer’s last leg I am pondering what lessons I have learned.

The summer started with us sending two children overseas on Missions internships.

Joe with New Friends in Yangon

Joe ventured first to Bangkok via Dubai and then after spending some time along the Thai border he landedin Yangon, Myanmar.

Riding bareback

Melanie flew West to Japan  on to Bangkok and then Chang Mai where she learned to ride an elephant and taught English (not necessarily in that order). I learned….

1. Contrary to popular opinion fathers do not worry more about daughters than sons.

2. Worry feeds on perception not on reality but when your perception is skewed reality doesn’t really matter.

3. Prayer refocuses  perception onto reality and does away with worry.

Brenda and the Windmill

This was a summer of international travel for the Lillie clan.  I hopped a plane to Holland to visit my missionary sister.  I was introduced to peace and quiet again and I learned…

4. Rest is necessary and for me unplugging is the best way to get it.

5. Unplugging takes planning.

I became a Red Sox fan. Mom and I have watched many games together. From this I learned…

6. Television can be a community activity. I never knew it was possible to watch the tube without shushing everyone around me.

7. Being a fan is not for fair weather people especially if you are a Red Sox fan (there hasn’t been much fair weather this year). Yelling at players together is fun!

I hiked Doanes Falls in Royalston MA twice.

The Lower Falls, Doanes Royalston MA

Once with my daughter and once with a friend who just likes to hike while we talk rather than drink coffee.

From this I learned…

8. I am gloriously out of shape.

9. It is time to change that if I want to go on in my work for the Lord.

I got a note from someone in our congregation when I returned from Holland. Included with it was a candle and a picture of Tuscany. The note was a prophetic word saying the Lord had given me rest away but a time of heavy labor lay ahead and that I would not be getting away on vacation again for a while. The writer told me the candle and the picture were to remind me that even in the midst of mighty ministry it is necessary to take breaks and breathe the free air.

The word proved to be true. Since returning from Holland I have had one of the busiest seasons of ministry I can remember. There have been nights I  packed up the puppies and slept at the church because one day just folded into another. I have visited. Prayed. Led worship. Preached. Written. Met with leaders and artists.Driven Van for VBS. Now I am getting ready to travel with my daughter to lead worship in Connecticut for Special Touch Ministries. From all this I have learned…

10. I do not know why God has graced me with this time, this opportunity or this freedom but for Him I will not waste one more moment,one more chance, one more ounce of strength. I will build His kingdom!

Warning In the Wind-JE Lillie

What have you learned this summer?

The Netherlands Pt. 9: The ZaanHopper

I know it has been a while since I posted pictures of my trip to The Netherlands but I just had to finish the “Ferocious” study and “Get Up and Glow”. I’ve put a lot of things on the back burner these last couple of weeks but hopefully for good reason. Now I want to share a journey down the Zaan River and the beautiful city of Zaandam ( which is currently under construction but once the canal is done it will be BEAUTIFUL YOU BETCHA!)

My sister lives in Womerveer along the banks of the Zaan River. The Zaan Hooper Ferry is a perfect way to explore the waterway!

The top of a factory along the Zaan

Zaanse Schans in the distance

Dutch church along the Zaan

A house Monet painted when he lived in Zaandam

Dutch house with three “good end year” additions

The old gatehouses at the locks have been converted to apartments

The Intel Hotel, Zaandam

A street in Zaandam lined with sycamores

Brenda and I finished our excursion to Zaandam by having coffee with missionary Judy Mensch! It was a perfect day!

Coffee at Judy’s



The Netherlands Pt. 4: The Many Faces of Brenda

Of course I love to travel. Seeing new places is one of my great joys. But my trip to Holland was not primarily about Holland. I never would have thought to travel there had my sister not moved. Brenda is in Holland assisting missionary Judy Mensch with a theater project. You see, my sister is both a Rev. and a professional stage manager; So she certainly fits the bill for this calling. If you would like more info on Judy and Brenda’s project go to

Life’s a play. And it’s a comedy!

Brenda by” Fishing For Souls”

I thought it fitting to get a picture of Brenda by this picture since it is her purpose in Holland. From here however our museum journey quickly devolved into madness!

Brenda by “Portrait of a Dead Bunny”

Brenda saying “Don’t eat fruit that looks like this.”

Bugs on fruit

Brenda and the “Angry Swan”

Brenda has made many new friends in the church.

Brenda and Judy Mensch

Brenda and friends Willem and Mirjam Jackson with son Ian

Brenda and Friend Mona Lichtenveldt at a cafe in Haarlem

Brenda and friend The Dutch Leprechaun

So as you can see, Brenda is adjusting well and meeting many new and wonderful people. Still no one can quite replace her big brother.

Brenda saying good-bye


New Endeavors

Life is full of change. This next month shall be veritably overflowing with it!

I said “Bu-bye” to my youngest last week as she embarked on her summer internship in Thailand. Soon I shall be posting updates on her perspective of the world from Chang Mai province.

A few days ago I said another “Ciao” to my son who is on his way to a  summer internship in Myanmar! You sill be seeing lots of pictures from the Far East in the weeks to come.

My daughter Amanda has just started a new job in a nearby town and will be teaching children’s church here at Cornerstone with me 🙂 (God knew I probably couldn’t handle all three out of country at once).

And then this month I have the awesome privilege of travelling to The Netherlands to visit my sister who is working as a missionary associate there!

So …yeah… lots of change which will bring lots of pictures. At least Cee Cee will be happy I can stop posting pictures of broken trees! 🙂

Share Your World With Cee Cee Part 8

Week eight of my life and times through Cee Cee! Thanks for these great revealing questions Cee!

  1. If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?
    I would like to say “no! I would never cheat!” By the power of Jesus I would stand firm in that word. I have however lived long enough to know that you can never tell what you would do until you are in the situation. It’s easy to criticize the lobster for thrashing until you’re the one head down in the pot!
  2. Since adolescence, in what three-year period do you feel you experienced the most personal growth and change? My three- year period had to be from 1989- 1991. It was during that time my three children were born. I went from Bible College into the business world ( beginning a seven-year period of time in which I truly prepared for the calling I am now walking out). My father passed away suddenly shortly after I bought my first home. So yeah… lots of change and many life lessons I feel I am still processing and learning to apply.
  3. If you could change one thing about your home, what would you like to change? Nothing I am very happy with the place I live right now. Lots to fix but that’s OK we will get to it.
  4. If you were given a yacht today, what would you name it? The Foreword to Glory

Here are this week’s photography offerings:

Pastor Wrinkles: The Perfect Christmas

Christmas 2011 is now upon us, dear reader. Therefore, I thought it appropriate to take a few moments to share some pastoral points about how to have the perfect Christmas tomorrow.

1. Give yourself grace: As a culture we put too much pressure on ourselves to get it right. We expect that we are going to be able to produce the Norman Rockwell Christmas that even Norman Rockwell couldn’t create. It’s time to realize, the “perfect” Christmas doesn’t exist. You can not create it; So relax and receive Christmas as it comes. It can be wonderful without being “perfect”.

2. Give others grace: If you can’t create the perfect Christmas neither can your spouse or your kids. Release them from impossible expectations and let them be themselves.

3. Thank God Tomorrow: By releasing unrealistic expectations you will be able to stop looking at what Christmas is not and praise God for what it is. So many of us are in less than perfect situations this year. That doesn’t mean there aren’t blessings to be found in the day. Take some time to thank God for every good thing in your life.

4. Make the day about Christ: We talk a lot about how commercialized Christmas has become. Let’s stop talking about it and do something about it. Take some time to make Christ the focus.

5. Take a Break: For God’s sake (and I really mean that) sit down sometime during the day. Take a load off. Shut up and rest!

6. Take Heart: In the end it is only one day…twenty four hours. Even if the sucker totally tanks anyone can make it through twenty-four hours! So rejoice the twenty-sixth is boxing day. You can bag up any bad memories and just return them to the store. Next year will be better.

7. Remember Pastor Wrinkles loves you. That alone should make for a perfect holiday 🙂

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Christmas Joy Monday Pt. 3

  I could subtitle this post “Hat-Head”.

    At our church’s recent Christmas movie event we were overrun by Christmas elves and their hats!It was all the head elf’s idea!

But it was fully endorsed by his wife, the head elfette. She was in charge of the movie and cookie decorating!

Santa and his reindeer showed up to make the pop corn. Looks like Santa has some fattening up to do between now and Christmas Eve!

These elves were part of a line up, to find out who stole the cookies from the cookie jar.

It turned out to be this elf.She was too embarrassed to show her face after getting caught.

It’s a good thing this strapping young elf was there to shed some light on the subject!

For my big finish I leave you with this Christmas blessing!

What exciting plans does your community have going on this season?