Thursday, January 31, 2013

Counting to One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts
As Ann Voskamp tells a simple story

 that calls us to step into the moments of our days
Pay attention

 and Count it All GRACE

Collage cover to Counting Gifts Journal

Could we really make sense of all of life?

in the word 

Chara- Joy

Charis- Grace

Eucharisteo- he gave thanks

Greek words that wrap together

  "to make the meaning of everything"

Numbered and remembered-
 phrases that return the memory of a whole story

The hard things and those that slipped in easily

 but all a reminder as the new year moves along---
 He walked in the days before and He enters them now

His timing.
My obedience

That is the rhythm for me to enter IN-
and not miss my own life- the bessings waiting-

The Gift of days-
of minutes.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When you need a little Love

Some things are still looking a little red around the house.

Trees drip hearts and paper garlands....

something to spell the dark January days....

and waiting for February- the month of LOVE....

Vintage heart vases

a gathering of hearts
  A reading from Jesus Calling this week talks about
 how God's love changes me......
being enfolded by God's love...
 as He works to transform me...
my part is to yield to the creative work
 that He does within me,
 neither to resist it or speed it up...

resting in anticipation of the enfolding of love
When Hope waits and a double measure of Faith--

 rest securely-

Jesus is the heart giver- the love provider..
 it is never missing...
  cold January days of winter,
 it sets waiting for the door of our hearts to open..

 and receive the GIFT.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stamping and Visual Prayer

Always experimenting to find more ways for people to enter into the experience of visual prayer.

Often hear the old "I can't draw"  litany and so they fear trying it out- even just a little bit.

 So recently I played around with stamped Bible verses- for those who 
"hate their own handwriting" and even played with some basic stamp shapes that give small prayer cards a good head start.

In our new ministry setting we meet many pastors when visiting in the District. I have chosen to bless them by spending time in prayer for the ministry couple, their children, the congregation they serve, and the people impacted in their ministry neighborhood.  It is certainly helpful to me to pray the verse over them and just rest in the Spirit. This is my intercession as I lift them up in prayer.

 I send them the original prayer and make a copy of the prayer and keep it in a photo album so that I can pick up the album anytime to renew prayer thoughts. The 4 by 6 index cards are portable, travel with me and I can often find prayer time in waiting rooms, or riding in the car.

Sometimes I use Artist watercolor paper cut to 4 by 6 cards and play with watercolors  and color pencils. I upload a pin to Pinterest to the board called Praying for the Southeastern District as I explore the thought of covering the whole geographic area in prayer.

What would it look like?

Friday, January 18, 2013

January odds and ends

A chilly day out in the carport- garage today but the  last of the "Winter friends"
 seem nestled in just fine...

oh and the garage project ---- well Winter is taking a toll.......

The pink stuff goes up and then the wind takes the old stuff off...
When Miss Alaina visited this week she said to
 "tell Pastor John to leave the house PINK."
 I have always dreamed of living in a pink house-
ah! dreams do come true.
 They came to install the garage door today 
but they sent a wrong size piece to hang it -
  so back to the drawing board.
Not sure how long this wrinkle will take.. 
 we ordered the door in NOVEMBER!
 Can't wait to reveal the finished door.
Think we will  LOVE IT!!

They said the S word in Northern Virginia
And I dreamed White thoughts

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rough and Ragged Days

Seems like the gray days lately have brought a heaviness... 
 the hard news in families I love,
 heartache and loss.

The kind of things that there is no cure for, 
 illness of body and illness of mind.

Times where I hear the lost and lonely and isolated voices-
 it keep us humans always wanting more light, more hope.

Things look like they lean, and are falling apart-
 ears wait and wait for the news that change is coming.

A pastor friend grew up on the farm across from this building.....  he said that this is the old store that was a part of  Poplar Mount Plantation in the 1800's.
The gray patina shows the wear of days here on earth ...
 can't get around that part of living here.  We all eventually show our age.
And these verses speak to me today-

" In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help.
 From his temple he heard my voice...
He parted the heavens and came down; 
dark clouds were under his feet... 
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him.. 
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced.. 
He shot his arrow and scattered my enemies;
 great bolts of lightning and routed them." 
 Psalm 18:6,9,11-12.14

And the parting of the clouds
 are to remind me- My Lord hears ME.

And their quick advance is to whisper
"You are never far from ME."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year's Auld Lang Syne

The last in the trilogy of vintage New Year's  post cards-

Yellow roses-  a sure sign of new things

And purple violets too

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year -Epiphany

Jan. 6, 2013
The beginning of a new liturgical
 season in the church year.
Best Wishes for a New Year.

Worship today in Charleston, South Carolina
Listening for God's Voice for this new year.

Another  posting of the vintage
 post cards from 1901-1911

New Year Prayers and New Year Hopes

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year Musings

Hmmmm..  A Glad new year. 
 Maybe a new word to look at 2013. 
 Glad that this past year is behind us
 and glad for the clean slate new perspective.
The vintage New Year Postcards that I will share
 in the next few days are all from 1901-1911.
The view of at least 100 Glad New Years since they were posted.
Some years in this past century were perhaps not so Glad.

 Clocks are certainly a useful visual 
when looking at the next collection of days on the calendar.

A Happy New Year. 
 Is that a here and there viewpoint or an overarching umbrella for the year?
What is that like to count a whole year as Happy?

Is that the portrayal of a serene scene with pristine Winter snow?