Calming of the Storm

Our storms are all part of the drama of the Divine romance. Our hero walks with us today!

DebBe Still and Listen

  I’m sure we all can think of a time in our lives when there was a storm that seemed it would never end.  Did you struggle for a long, long time before realizing you needed to ask for help?  Did the storm calm down soon after you invited Jesus to help or maybe after you started praising Him for His will to be done and not yours?  Luke 8:22-25 (NLT) says this:

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into the boat and started out. 23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap.  But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake.  The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.  24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown. When Jesus woke up, he…

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Turbo Follow- Week 7

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Cornerstone Church Winchendon is into week  7 of a congregation-wide study written by, Daniel McNaughton and Bryan Koch, entitled Follow: Learning To Follow Jesus. Each Sunday our pastoral staff is preaching from one of the seven attributes covered in the book while the congregation reads the daily devotions and participates weekly in a life group focused around the topic at hand.

 

The group I am tasked with leading has been dubbed “Turbo Follow”. Rather than approaching the class as a traditional Bible study we have chosen to act as an accountability group. The class begins with a brief overview of the daily devotionals. Then participants break into smaller, accountability groups. Each group participant asks questions of their fellows concerning the teachings. At the end of each class individuals are asked to decide what God would have them do in light of what they have learned. Then we pray for each other. This week we will be discussing: Learning to Pray

Last week we had our discussions on Learning to love and to look at ourselves through the lens of God’s love  Here is a synopsis of each day’s devotional material:

 

Day 1: Learning to trust God and His forgiveness.

Day 2: Learning, receiving and walking in God’s approval.

Day 3:  Learning to enjoy God’s acceptance.

Day 4: Learning that God and you can change you if you will work together.

Day 5: Learning to enjoy God’s peace

Here are the questions we asked of each other this week. I look forward to your responses!

  1. What was your goal last week. How well did you accomplish it?

 

 

  1. Put the five subjects from this week’s study in order for yourself from “best” to “needs the most work”.
    1. Trusting God’s forgiveness
    2. Receiving God’s approval
    3. Enjoying God’s acceptance
    4. Partnering with God to change
    5. Enjoying God’s peace

 

 

  1. What made you put number 1 as number 1?

 

 

  1. What made you put number 5 as number 5 ?

 

 

  1. What is God telling you to do to work on number 5 or is He telling you to work on another item and if so how?

 

Before I sign off I just wanted to point out a follow-up discussion several of us participated in on the subject of healing. If you want to add your voice to the mix you can find it here:

The Simple Complexity of Healing-    http://wp.me/p39vIx-Ze

 

 

When God Seems Silent

God may be silent but He is not absent.

artistdayapart

The LORD remains near to all who call out to him, to everyone who calls out to him sincerely. (Psalm 145:18)

Why is it that we seem to ignore God until something in our little world starts to fall apart?  D.L Moody believed that there are three kinds of faith in Jesus: struggling faith (like a man floundering and fearful in deep water; clinging faith (like a man clinging to the side of a boat); and resting faith (like a man safe inside the boat–strong and secure enough to reach out his hand to help others).

But how we get there when the trials and challenges of this life seem about to overwhelm us?  Only by staying in tune with God on a daily basis and by believing in God’s faithfulness enough to trust Him.  It’s not always easy to maintain that faith or to clearly hear what He is…

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A Story About C.cada

For those of you who may not be familiar with it, C. cada is the artists community of Cornerstone Church our mission is to: give artists from every genre an opportunity to come together to discover, develop, and deploy their talents in ways that will better the church and the community.

The C.cada Cross. One of our collaborative projects

The C.cada Cross. One of our collaborative projects

I haven’t written much about our doings because we have been so busy doing them but God has been good! We are currently working on several projects as a group:

1. A group of our artists is in the planning stages of redoing the pediatrics play room at our local hospital.

2.  One of our artists just finished collaborating with a local elementary school on the show, Aristocats. In fact, I have to unload our portable sound system, which they used, after I am done here.

3. We are in the midst of preparing for an outdoor art show in honor of our town’s 250th anniversary. Here is our link if anyone out there is interested

http://artistdayapart.com/winchendon-250th-anniversary-art-contest/

4. Plans are underway for C.cada to be a collaborator with many other town committees on a town Makerspace project.

5. One of our artists is preparing to lead worship for a Frontiersmen Camping Fraternity Fellowship in May

6. One Desire, our church youth band is cutting its first album.

7. Clayton Phelps, one of our artists is playing out several times a week reaching people with the gospel through his guitar. In fact yesterday he played at GALA another art association’s art show.

That is just a taste of the exciting stuff going on. Books are being written. Music is being played. choirs are singing. Paintings are being prepared for shows and galleries around the area. GOD IS GOOD.

A few months ago our group project was a short story writing prompt. I have already shared Deb Maciorowski’s offering with you and mine but here is another from our very own Charlotte Dorais

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First Day

 

          The flashing school bus lights warned me how late I was. My first day teaching Junior High was causing me enough anxiety without being the last one to arrive in my class room. I had planned on time to pray and make final preparations for the day before the first students arrived, this day would only be blessed if I depended on God to lead me. I prayed God this is your day and I need you more now than ever. Thank you for your peace.

          Last nights dream was playing like an old silent film in my mind. Still shots of the class room and each student flashed one by one. I knew a few of the kinds personally from church, but so many of the faces were strangers and the fact that this class was special needs excited me. God see potential where no one else does. He would lead me to the best plan for each student.

          The parking lot was filled and late comers like me were left to the back 40. Shouldering my heavy bag I trotted the length of the parking lot. First bell rang as I entered the class room door and most of the students were paired up and talking excitedly to one another. As the final bell rang I turned to close the door Jeff rushed past and slide into an empty seat. Jeff was one of my church kids and I counted on him for support. My greeting to him was ignored and he kept his head down and eyes averted. 

          These students would spend the day with me, one by one we would get acquainted and develop an individual teaching plan. I looked forward to the challenge.

          Marie stood in the front by my desk and introduced herself to me, she knew all the students and offered to assist me in any way I needed. I knew God had sent her. As I turned to get material to pass out I saw Jeff slip out the door. Rule number one broken the first hour of the day, no one leaves the room without permission. I decided to step out and look for him and he was right outside the door with his face to the wall praying, God make it stop.

          My quick pray was give me words, and I ask Jeff to tell me what had to stop. His said a line from a book:

He heard the crunch of leaves behind him, he turned……

was playing nonstop in his mind and he couldn’t turn it off. I suggested he finish the thought, when he turned what did he see? All fear left him as he replaced the lie with Jesus. God’s power is always work and He never fails us when we cry out to him. I was where He meant me to be.

 

 

 

Charlotte L Dorais

I can honestly say what we are doing is hard work but it is so exciting! I am convinced that God is in this because the results are beyond us. We are offering what we have. We know it is not enough and yet He is multiplying us even as He multiplied the fish and loaves.

A Steaming Cup Of Bliss

This posts is created for Across the Board’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge:BLISS

Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it's hard to go back to sleep. Fran Drescher

Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.
Fran Drescher

The first thing I think about when I think about bliss is Jesus. I have found my peace, my rest and my joy in Him. I enjoy life because He has made it eternal for me; But now if you ask me aside from worshipping Christ what in life makes me feel blissful it is coffee. Everyone who knows Pastor Wrinkles knows he loves his coffee! When I visit with friends it always involves a cup o’Joe. In fact I have even told people that when we all get to Heaven they should look me up and we will share coffee together in my mansion.

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My sister Brenda and her friend Mona In Haarlem the Netherlands

When I travel I love to relax with a cup of coffee.

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Don’t I look rested here?

Oh, I like a hotel with a nice pool and a hot tub to unwind in.

pool

But if I can’t have that a steaming cup of bliss will relax me anyway.

“If coffee were like dreams, then I would be wired in constant bliss, never needing sleep to live out my dreams.”  ― Anthony Liccione

“If coffee were like dreams, then I would be wired in constant bliss, never needing sleep to live out my dreams.”
― Anthony Liccione

Check out other people’s answers to the bliss question here

http://acrossthebored.com/2014/03/18/two-cents-tuesday-challenge-bliss/

What makes you feel blissful?

So What Qualifies As Pink?

As I started to compile  photos for this week’s travel theme from Ailsa which is: Pink

I came a cross a bunch of photos which I labeled “pink” but as I looked at them I had to ask myself, “Are these pics really pink?”

Row house in Amsterdam

Row house in Amsterdam

Or are these shudders more of a magenta?

How about this portrait of Queen Beatrix by Andy Warhol which hangs in the Rijks Museum

100_0118Is she pink or more of a lavender with red highlites?

Brenda in St. Bavo's

Brenda in St. Bavo’s

I am praying that what my sister is wearing here is pink but y’know  it just might be salmon.

Cornerstone Church

Cornerstone Church

I used to be confident that the color of our sanctuary was dusty rose but after this morning’s search I am a little shaky. It just might be pink!

But of one thing I am pretty certain… when the sailors of old looked for a red sky at night I am pretty sure they meant pink.

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Mel11Find some real pink…I think at

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/

 

The Simple Complexity Of Healing

Image by Debby Maciorowski used with permission

Image by Debby Maciorowski used with permission

The stream of Christianity I swim in holds as one of its four cardinal doctrines the following statement : “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.” http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Statement_of_fundamental_truths/sft_full.cfm

I believe in divine healing. I have personally experienced it. I believe supernatural power to heal is found in the atoning work of Christ ( Jesus death on the cross and resurrection from the dead).  I believe that all Christians have access to this healing power. I believe it is received simply by praying and receiving by faith the healing work.

BUT IF THAT IS TRUE…

Why is it some people get healed and some people don’t?

I have a friend who has been healed of certain ailments in the past and who is seeking healing for another sickness just now. Yet the healing has not come to pass. Many well-meaning (I am certain) Christian friends are telling her that the reason she is not being healed is simply because of her lack of faith.

I find that answer a little too narrow for my liking. Healing is  simple. We pray for it, expect it and then receive it apart from any work of our own. We don’t have to jump through hoops for it or say seven different types of prayer while standing on our heads rowing down the Delaware. Yet heaing is also complex in that it fits into God’s plan like a puzzle piece. It is a part of the puzzle not the whole puzzle. God wants to heal as a part of His plan but physical healing is not the whole plan.  And sometimes I think we try to put healing in place of some other works God would do.

Sometimes the reason God does not heal is because a person lacks faith; But I am convinced that sometimes God does not heal because healing  doesn’t fit into the part of the puzzle He is working on in our lives.  We get cancer and we begin to cry for healing but God is really trying to get us to set our houses in order and reconcile broken relationships. We break a leg and cry for instantaneous healing so that we can take care of ourselves when God is trying to get us to learn to trust Him and others more so we can grow in humility. We develop chronic arthritis and begin to harangue Heaven about a pain-free life now and God is really interested in the fruit of patience He is developing through the fiery trial.

I agree, lack of faith can hold up healing.

But so can:

the process of sanctification,

God’s need to bring us into people’s lives for the purpose of evangelization,

AND

God’s sense of timing.

Dear brothers and sisters, before we throw around our platitudes about why certain people are not being healed of certain things we had best pray and realize that healing is a part of God’s very complex plan. We had also best humble ourselves and admit there are parts of that plan that are wonderful beyond our ability to comprehend. Once we have done that maybe, just maybe, we will bring a better answer to our struggling comrades than condemning their faith.

But I Really Need A Big Wood & Metal Bucket!

This post was created for Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge

Take a gander at her other submissions here

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/03/20/cees-odd-ball-photo-challenge-week-4/

Y’know, I could very easily be a hoarder…I mean collector of odd items. 🙂

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So when I saw this big old square bucket at a market in Haarlem I thought “that would look really cool on our dining table.”

Never mind that our dining room is decorated in turn of the century  Victorian fashion…well except for all the other junk my mom and I have put in it….

Honestly the only thing that kept me from buying it was the knowledge that I would have to use it instead of my suitcase as my one carry on. It makes me think I should maybe never vacation in the States. Who knows what I would come back with?!?