Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 10

The Israeli hero of the Bible Joshua made a famous speech at the end of his life. The times were changing. Joshua saw that the national dedication to God was waning and that questions of faith were rising up among the leaders of the next generation. So before his death he rose up to make one more appeal to the Israelites to encourage and to warn them. In one part of his speech he said:

“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.  But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”  Josh. 24:14,15

We live in similar times. The generations before us have accomplished great things in this great nation we call America; But questions of faith have risen in our generation. Our nation’s dedication to our Christian heritage has all but failed. Yet God has chosen us to be a part of this chapter of His story. He has not chosen us to hide our lights under a bushel. He has called us to choose this day whom we would serve… to choose this year whom we would serve. God has chosen us to take up our passion and our place in the world and to become the pens with which He would write the rest of Earth’s tale.

Will you choose to be His light? Will you choose to be His bride? Will you choose to let Him do whatever He wants to through your life in order to finish the story?

Ringing In the New Year Pt. 4

Sometimes the best way to launch a new venture is by capitalizing on the victories of the past.  I am determined to believe great things of 2013 in spite of the significant challenges I see ahead. For the God who did such great things in 2012 is still the God of this moment and of all the moments that lie ahead. His power is not diminished by our national debt, or by the threat of winter storm G—– coming soon to a state near you. In the face of future tragedies his love will not pale or lose its potency. He is God, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End. He is the same yesterday today and forever! Let’s believe Him for big things in 2013 as we thank Him for what He did in 2012.

Here is a brief list of my Thanksgivings for 2012:

1. I am thankful that God met my sister’s budgetary needs so she could move to The Netherlands for the work of missions.

Brenda and Leqad Missionary Judy Mensch

Brenda and Leqad Missionary Judy Mensch

2. I am thankful that God supernaturally healed Brenda from a terrible sinus infection in one minute with no medication just before the Easter play was scheduled to go up!

3. I am thankful that God provided an eight week internship for my daughter to Thailand for $700.00.

A trip down the river, Thailand

A trip down the river, Thailand

4. I am thankful God provided for a thirteen week internship for my son in Myanmar.

Joe in the air control tower at Yangon. He has been helping air traffic controllers with their English.

Joe in the air control tower at Yangon. He has been helping air traffic controllers with their English.

5. I am so thankfu God gave me time to visit relatives in both Maine and The Netherlands.

I visit Maine

I visit Maine

St. Bavo's  sits in the center of Haarlem Sqare.

St. Bavo’s sits in the center of Haarlem Sqare.

6. I am thankful for the opportunity to minister in music at Special Touch Camp in Connecticut with my daughter.

My first year working at Special Touch

My first year working at Special Touch

7. I am thankful that after being hospitalized four times last year my daughter Amanda’s migraines are under control.

Amanda

Amanda

8. I am thankful that the grammatical edits on my book are done!

9. I am thankful that after a bad tomato harvest in my own garden someone gave me a enough tomatoes to make a gallon of sauce!

tomatoes

tomatoes

10. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit has been showing up in service when our church gathers. I am so blessed that our church is alive with His presence!

11. I am thankful that our lead pastor took the staff this fall to the Cape for a ministers retreat with Mark Batterson

Sunset DIamonds by JE Lillie

Sunset DIamonds by JE Lillie Cape Cod

11. I am thankful that our artists community has continued to meet.

second annual art show

second annual art show

12. I am thankful for the wonderful team of people God has allowed me to work with all these years.

Praise God for the big and the little in 2012. It will cast a better glow on 2013.

 

Ringing In the New Year Pt. 3

Our church begins every new year with 21 days of fasting and prayer. I am sensing that the season of prayer in 2013 will be perhaps the most significant of them all. Our Lead Pastor has asked the congregation to join him in a Daniel fast. We are also going to be participating in a church-wide Bible study campaign called The Circle Maker.

Last night I received a call about yet another death in our congregation. Maybe it’s just my vantage point but it seems that all our world is shaking.  I sense deep in my heart it is not going to stop. Prayer is our solid ground. Let me encourage you to find your secret place of prayer with Jesus as  2013 dawns! For He is our hope and a mighty source of strength!  As Robin Mark has written “Though these are days of great trials, of famine and darkness and sword, still we are the voice in the desert crying “Prepare Ye the way of the Lord.” Days of Elijah

I appreciate those of you who have commented about praying for this season of mourning for our church. I sense the power of those prayers. Here’s the thing! I am determined to claim victory in the face of every enemy that confronts the church in Winchendon.  In this mighty battle we have the high ground for we have Jesus. Our Savior has defeated even Satan’s greatest weapon which is death. Those who have passed from this realm in the last months have gone onto glory according to their Christian testimony. Theirs is a mighty overcoming.  In the light of that, though Satan’s weapons sting in the moment of their release our shield of faith quenches every fiery dart.

In 2013 let the church raise up a constant praise to silence the foe and the avenger wherever he may gather against us to battle! Be brave my friends! Be brave and advance against this present darkness!

My Grace Notes

This post was inspired my good friend Lady Barefoot Baroness at http://barefootbaroness.org/. If you have not read her blog check it out today. She has lots of inspiration for you!

The premise here is to describe your life in 4 or 5 musical choices. Here is my musical description:

My childhood was filled with encouragement to imagine and think. My father often said “I don’t care what you believe but I won’t let you just regurgitate someone else’s beliefs. If your going to believe something,J, know why you believe it!”

While Dad wasn’t completely truthful with his statement about caring (he wasn’t thrilled with my choice to become a practicing Christian) I will forever be thankful that he required me to be able to defend what I believed.

Charlie Brown was my first musical role if you don’t count playing Joseph in school pageants (that was back in the day when the birth of Christ was still allowed in public school).  I was in eighth grade. I didn’t realize how this one song would set my course for the remainder of my school days.

I was the “Wimpy Kid” through most of my high school career. I was labeled “Jesus Boy” and “the Band Fag” (that last one was a name all instrument players got from our good friends on the football team). For the most part I didn’t mind the labels.  I took the comments as persecution for doing and being something that few others had the guts to do or be. I determined to just keep running kite in hand until I graduated. Then I hit my stride.

I learned about “The Piano Guys” just a week ago from Deb, another blogger friend of mine. Check out her work at http://theforkintheroad.wordpress.com/ and http://twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com/. Since I heard them I have been listening incessantly to their beautifully complicated arrangements.

The last twenty-five years have gone by in such a rush. I can’t point to one thing  that I would say is THE BLESSING of those years. So much has happened: marriage, children, four or five different career paths, ministry and miracles galore! God has done so many wonderful things for me and each blessing has played its part in making life a beautiful song for the world to hear Jesus through.

I have learned that the river of life cuts deep wounds into all of our lives. No one is exempt from the cutting. It has happened to you and it has happened to me.  While we have no choice about receiving the wounds, we can choose what fills them.The gorges of our pain can run with the waters of bitterness or blessing. God has helped me to keep my eyes fixed on Him in praise through it all.

I don’t know exactly where my life is going to take me. I don’t know what adventure lies beyond this morning’s sunrise.  But I’m secure in the knowledge that my ultimate end is Heaven. Between here and there and beyond even that this eternal life promises to be a great adventure!

Please! Please! Please! share your Grace notes in a post and link back to this site so I can read them!

Pastor Wrinkles: Hey Jude Pt. 28

To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:25

When it comes to this life God is the only expert. We may not understand why He has dictated certain things. We may not even like some of the dictates, but we have to acknowledge that the biblical laws come from an expert who understands how the cosmos works. We have to acknowledge that no culture that defies his pathway long survives. We have to acknowledge that His way and only His way works!

Because He alone is the expert He is the one who deserves to be revered as the authority. He is the one who will walk in power throughout all time!

Christmas Pt 5: Christmas Carolling

Photo Courtesy of Tammy Charbonneau

Photo Courtesy of Tamie  Charbonneau

One night a year during the Christmas season our church family gathers to send Christmas carollers out into the community. This is an opportunity for the two areas of ministry I work in ( creative arts and pastoral care) to meld together to bless our townships. I love the chances God’s children get at Christmas to spread the Light of Jesus.

Photo courtesy of Tammie Charbonneau

Photo courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that
the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then
smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven’s
making.  ~Leigh Hunt

photo courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

photo courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

Isaiah 9:2 tells us that people walking in darkness will see a great light. That light God has chosen to shine through us! What an awesome privilege we have to be chosen to be His ministers to the world!

A Partridge In a Pear Tree.:hoto courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

A Partridge In a Pear Tree.:hoto courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops
Heaven to Earth.
~Richard Crashaw

Cousin Charlie Photo courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

Cousin Charlie Photo courtesy of Tamie Charbonneau

Who is God calling you to share the light with this Christmas? Nothing else about this season is as important!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ugV6QGcafEE#t=5s

The Christmas Season Pt. 4: The Christmas Tag

I love the high holy days of the church! The world can try to turn Christmas into Winter Holiday, Kwanzaa,  or End of the Mayan World Day for that matter, but as long as the church inhabits the earth, this time of year will remain Christmas the season in which we celebrate the birth of Christ. You can’t stop the church…or its Christmas because its backers ( that would be Father, Son and Holy Ghost in case you were wondering) are too powerful.

I am really thankful to Lizzie from http://kickingtheleaves.wordpress.com/ for tagging me in “The Christmas Tag”. If you have not stopped by her blog give her a read this season!

Here are the questions I have been asked about Christmas:

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?  When I was little my mom was an ER nurse. It seemed she always pulled the Christmas Eve shift. Dad ran the town restaurant. He closed two days a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Christmas morning mom would get home about 7 A.M. and head off to bed for a few hours of shut-eye and my sister and I would open our stockings by ourselves while mom and dad took advantage of a ” day of rest”. I say all this just to point out there wasn’t a whole lot of Jesus in our Christmas. My folks worked through his birth!

As I have aged I have discovered that the whole gift giving end of Christmas has waned in importance. My favorite part of the season is the church celebration. Christmas Eve is one of the most important services of my year and when Christmas falls on a Sunday…I feel like I am living in a Dickens novel!

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?
Make-up? Ummm….

Real or fake tree?
Most definitely fake. I like to put the tree up on Thanksgiving so a real tree would be brown by Christmas.

Giving presents or receiving them?
I think I could actually go without presents. I love the idea of giving to a missions project for the season. I probably would do this for everybody if I knew that I wouldn’t offend certain people on my list by giving their gift to someone else.

Do you open your presents on Christmas morning or evening?
The last couple of years we have actually not opened our gifts until the kids came home at the New Year. I have really pared down, too, so the holiday is more about being together than about the gifts.

Handmade Christmas cards or bought?
Usually I buy my cards.

What’s your favourite Christmas film?
The Nativity…And Little Women the old version with June Allison playing Jo.

What’s your favourite Christmas food?
Lasagna and cole slaw, eggnog and pumpkin roll! 🙂

Here are the three folks I am choosing to tag for this challenge.

http://plantingpotatoes.wordpress.com/

http://imexcited.wordpress.com/

http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/

Quotes Pt. 27

128570~1

It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.
Washington Irving

w5

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
Lucretius 95 BC 
– From Perseverance

The Christmas Season Pt. 2

His first coming was gentle to usher in the age of grace. He came as a helpless baby, as my pastor says “God in diapers”. But as we remember that first coming this year let’s remember He is coming again and next time it won’t be as a helpless child but as the One who will judge the quick and the dead. Ultimately Christmas like every other celebration in Christendom is meant to help us remember both what He did and what He has yet to do!

Share Your World With Cee Cee Pt. 32

I know this is actually week 49 for Cee but I have only been following for 32 sessions. Have to say though this has been fun!

I have heard from my readers that my Share Your World Posts are some of their fave reading 🙂

 

  • What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? I have been blessed to see so much of God’s beautiful world. While I haven’t seen the Pacific Northwest I have driven the southern route to the West Coast through the Great Plains, Arizona and New Mexico. The red desert in New Mexico and the Grand Canyon were absolutely stunning. I also love the white sand beaches in Pensacola. The rolling hills of Valley Forge Park have to be figured in here as well; But I think the one picture I have in my mind right now is the moonscape of Iceland. I can still see the volcanic dirt dotted with stands of purple lupine. The snow-capped mountains rising in the distance. I would love to see that again!
  • What as your favorite food as a child? Do you eat it now? I am with you Cee. Mac and cheese was a Sunday night favorite. But Mom made it with cheese Whizz and often would cook up hot dogs in it. I still like a good bowl of macaroni and cheese but once a few years ago I tried cheese whizz. EEEWWWWW.
  • Would you travel into outer space? I used to sing with a group called “Faithful Men” one of our songs was “Steppin on the Clouds” the lyrics went something like this.In the heaven blue dawn (in the heaven blue dawn)Sometimes I get in a hurry (Gonna pass the moon) The stars and the planets (the stars and the planets) I’m gonna walk (I’m gonna walk) On that milky white way (on the milky white way) Oh, and Gabriel (me and old Gabriel) He gives the signal (he gives the signal) I’m gonna leave (I’m gonna leave) For heaven to stay (for heaven to stay).   So I suppose someday I just might travel through outer space!
  • Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.) Sunny with cloudless skies! Light and variable warm winds coming from the south! 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R65QKOhd7mo&feature=player_detailpage#t=15s