Out Of Commission

Hey folks! Sorry I haven’t posted much in the last few days. My intention was to go out and take some shots of the blizzard we just had. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I got busy cleaning up the yard and then I came down with this flu bug. I ended up sleeping 16 hours yesterday and the hours I wasn’t sleeping I spent laying on the couch hoping for sleep.

Anyway I think I am back now. At least it seems that way. We will see how long I last at the office today.


Share Your World 2015 Week #3

It is time once again to share our world with Cee and this week Chris has helped her to pick some really good if really tough questions!

This ought to be an absolute blast and really revealing!


Here are the questions:

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I suppose the obvious answer for me would be, Jesus, but I figure HE is already a guest at every dinner I host so I won’t be saying Jesus today. I was just listening to some music by Celtic Thunder singer, Ryan Kelly the other day and I would really like to take him to dinner sometime to pick his brain and to hear about his faith story.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Since I lead worship pretty regularly, singing to other people is something I do just about every week. As far as singing to myself I do that constantly. Today I had the song “The Love of God” burning through my brain all day, that and “Broken Things”.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

If I could wake up tomorrow glorified in my body (that is made supernaturally complete and perfect) that would be a great boon!

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Ooh this is a really hard one. I joke about a lot of things. Sometimes I even joke about and with God (He jokes back by the way God does have a sense of humor). Sometimes I feel like I am a bit irreverent with God and have to tone it down.

I would say that one thing I never joke about is sex. It is perhaps the most personal and sacred thing on the planet and dirty jokes really have no place anywhere in my life or in anyone else’s for that matter.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am really grateful that my lead pastor’s mother made a miraculous recovery and came home from the hospital!  This week I am looking forward to editing more chapters of my book and sending them off to the editor!

Find out how others have responded to these probing questions at


Just For Me Not For Thee

The Daily Post has asked, “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you wouldn’t give to anyone else? Why don’t you think it would apply to others?”

You can find out how others responded by going to

I suppose it is not JUST for me but I definitely know it’s not for everyone. The best piece of advice I ever received came directly from God and it was the call from Him to become a full-time minister of the gospel.

Ministry is not just a job. It’s a calling, which is to say it is not what I do but what I am. The line between working in ministry and being a full-time minister is drawn when ministry stops being something you do and becomes something you are. I could no more stop being a minister than I could stop being a white guy. At this point in my life it has less to do with my particular job than it does with how I go about my particular job. It ain’t for everyone because it ain’t who everyone is.

The Roots in Rocky Soil

This post is written in response to:


Ireland 275

Roots in Rocky Soil

by JE Lillie

I stood by the western wall of Blarney Castle staring at the twisted roots, remnants of the growth that had once encased the castle in its strength. The image took me back to my own family whose roots were not in Ireland but in a place just as rocky, some would say barren.

I grew up just South of the New Hampshire border smack dab in the middle of Massachusetts. I was third generation conservative Republican in one of the most liberal states in the union. My father was a small business man and civically minded citizen in the seventies, fully ensconced in the small business world, strongly favoring the free market economy while standing firmly against every philosophy of the “liberal pinko commies”, as he called them. Both Dad and Gramps served in town leadership throughout their lives choosing to ply their minority political stance wherever they could.

Dad was a hard man and I was his soft son. We were as different in manner as two men could be. He spent his days practicing his shot on ants in the back yard. I collected the little critters in jars trying to save them from my dad’s quick draw.

I began my spiritual journey early in life. At first I was fascinated by witchcraft. As a young teen I studied with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and then followed the bread crumbs God left me into the Pentecostal church my Uncle attended. My father an avowed agnostic (which really just means he refused to make any decision at all) instantly declared me crazy.

Maybe it was just teenage rebellion but I ran rather than walked deep into the church. Dad and I had many arguments over that and over my subsequent decision to become a minister. But when Dad became sick in the early nineties I left Bible College and came home to help in the business. After he died suddenly I launched into an eight year stint in the business world working newspapers and other management positions before finding my way back into the church.

I have served as an assistant pastor in the town I grew up in since 1996 and recently I was appointed to a town board in that same town. Somewhere along the way I seem to have captured my father’s sense of humor (something I didn’t even know he possessed when I was growing up) at least that’s what people tell me. I also captured his politics though I am sure he would probably think I have some “pinko commie” leanings were he still around. Somewhere in my journey I got a little tougher which tells me that maybe somewhere in his journey my father was a little bit softer and maybe he and I weren’t so different after all. Maybe we were just at different points of growth in this rocky New England soil.

Share Your World 2014-Week 47


This is Thanksgiving week, my favorite time in the entire calendar year. In honor of this auspicious day Cee has asked her contributors only one question.

List at least 50 Things You Enjoy.  

So here are a few of my favorites things:

1. The privilege of having a relationship with the God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through the atoning death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Freedom from a life of sin, guilt and shame

3. a lifestyle of worship

4. My daughter Amanda.

Us on the way to Ireland.

Us on the way to Ireland.

5. My daughter Melanie.

I walk Melanie down the aisle.

I walk Melanie down the aisle.

6. My son,Joe.

Joe and Gramma Lillie after the wedding.

Joe and Gramma Lillie after the wedding.

7. And my son-in-law James.

My daughter Melanie married the man of her dreams last Saturday

My daughter Melanie married the man of her dreams last Saturday

8. My ex-wife Tina (how many men can say they still have a good relationship with their ex? I am forever grateful for this).

firecracker (1)

9. I am thankful for the relationship I have with my mom.

10. And my sister.


11. I enjoy the privilege of sharing the Good news with people as a minister.

Me preaching for Special Touch Ministries

Me preaching for Special Touch Ministries

12. and the church family.


13. I enjoy having two church services now so that I can lead worship in one and be involved in prayer in one.

14. I enjoy art…

15. And artists.


16. I enjoy music…

17. And musicians.

The band Cloverton played to a nearly sold out house in our church last week.

The band Cloverton played to a nearly sold out house in our church last week.

18. I love writing…

19. And writers.

20. I enjoy cooking (which is good since I am in charge of the Thanksgiving meal).

21. I enjoy being busy.

22. But I enjoy those quiet moments when I can just sit and hear the voice of God as it comes across the landscape.


23. I enjoy travel.

24. I enjoy a good book.

25. I really enjoy a good cup of coffee. Though in a pinch I will even drink a bad one.



26. I enjoy blogging.

27. I enjoy reading blogs.

28. I enjoy being part of this blogging community.

29. I enjoy my little dogs.

Jacopo Keens

30.  I enjoy a good movie. Anyone seen the new Hunger Games movie?

31. I enjoy a good concert. I am going to see the Piano Guys on Dec. 8th with the pastor who officiated at my daughter’s wedding

32. I enjoy photography.

32. I enjoy exercising.

Me reclining after walking up the "Rocky" stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Me reclining after walking up the “Rocky” stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

OK that might be stretching the truth a little.

33. In enjoy singing.

34. I enjoy playing the piano, although my hand injury is still limiting this a bit.

35. I enjoy playing the flute (an old instrument I recently picked up again after many years).

36. I enjoy eating out.

37. I enjoy my gardens.


38. I enjoy a good laugh.


39. I enjoy studying the Word of God.

40. I enjoy a night at home watching TV.

41. I enjoy working with people on projects.

42. I enjoy pizza.

43. I enjoy a good grinder every now and then (hoagie, sub whatever you may call them)

44. I enjoy the ever-changing New England Seasons

45. I enjoy the fact that I now have a snow-blower as the season is about to change to winter tomorrow according to the morning news.

46. I enjoy peace-making.

47. I enjoy the fact that after a season of incredible busyness I am settling into a season of quiet.

48. I am enjoying writing again.

49. I enjoy life.

50 I enjoy eternal life even better!

Now check out how Cee’s other contributors have answered at


Share Your World 2014 Week 46


It is time to share a bit of my world again. To see how others responded to Cee’s sharing questions go to

Share Your World – 2014 Week 46

Here are my answers:

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? 

I need a comfy bed, a clean room, and quiet. Nice views and a deep tub are an added bonus but not completely necessary.

Music or silence while working?

It seems I work faster or at least more focused when I have instrumental music playing.

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

I think I would want my pictures, my wood stove and my book collection. I don’t have any family heirlooms or anything like that.

What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I was grateful to get a little rest last week. This week I am looking forward to settling down to writing the new book. Oh and I am looking forward to having lunch with Mr. and Mrs. James Franklin.

My daughter Melanie married the man of her dreams last Saturday

My daughter Melanie married the man of her dreams last Saturday

Incredible Season Of Harvest

Through my long years of Christian service I have learned that God generally speaking works seasonally in our lives. Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season,    a time for every activity under heaven.”

This has been a season of great harvest and as I sit back this morning on the last day of my harvesting I can see that God has given me abundance through this time.

In September I was honored to lead worship and do personal care-giving at the Special Touch New England Getaway. I was honored with the privilege of baptizing six new converts into the faith!100_4726 Besides that incredible week we held our regular C.cada meeting and hosted the monthly communion meeting at the Gardner Visiting Nurses Center for a congregation of nearly forty people. The month culminated with the Winchendon Enhancement Committee’s Toy Town Fall Fest where almost two thousand people came to examine the site for a potential makerspace.

The pie-baking contest

The pie-baking contest

Four days after the Fall Fest my daughter Amanda and I departed for a two week stay in Ireland while our teams continued planning for the upcoming art show, Cloverton concert, Double service launch, oh yeah and Melanie’s wedding.

A Celtic Cross in the cemetery atop the Rock of Cashel

A Celtic Cross in the cemetery atop the Rock of Cashel

We touched down on American soil again on the 14th of  October and were back in office on the 15th catching up with all the plans. Cornerstone launched its double services on the 19th and as of this date it looks like the church has grown by about forty people!

C.cada’s fourth annual art show was the largest ever. We hung over 250 pieces and almost every artist sold at least one piece. To top it off connections were made with another area art association for a possible project collaboration.

Three concerts later I stood at an altar giving away my youngest daughter as a bride to my new son-in-law James Franklin II.


Then last night just two days after my daughter’s wedding Cornerstone hosted Cloverton to a nearly packed house.

The band singing Patterns

The band singing Patterns

God has given me a season of much fruit! Now the harvest has been brought in. It is time for the land and this laborer to rest a bit and get back to a quieter schedule. Cornerstone isn’t stopping but the next big projects are not mine; They belong to other harvesters. Aside from a carolling event and Christmas Eve I have nothing to prepare for outside of my ordinary duties between now and Easter. While I am sure something is bound to pop up I think I am going to take a month or so and just try to be quiet(er).

Maybe now is a good time to hide myself away a bit and finish the new book!

A Photo A Week Challenge: In Memoriam

This post is written in response to Nancy Merrill’s challenge: In Memoriam



Grave of the very first Joseph E. Lillie

Grave of the very first Joseph E. Lillie

Death is Nothing at All

by Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you have always used to.
Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
without a trace of shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval
somewhere very near,

just around the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!




I so long to meet the great cloud of witnesses who long before I was born prayed that God would  save my soul!

Share Your World 2014 Week 33


Once again it is time to share my world with Cee. Every week Cee asks four questions (and a bonus). We her readers answer and by this everyone has a chance to know us better. A few weeks ago everyone learned I like spaghetti sauce with my peanut butter. This week you will learn:

Do you believe in ghosts? 

I answer with a qualified yes. I believe there are evil spirits that roam the earth (that is biblical by the way see Job 1:7, Rev. 12:9) and I believe they masquerade as the spirits of our dearly departed (2 Cor. 11:14,  1 Sam. 28) for the purpose of deceiving us and drawing us away from the One true God. This is why we are commanded in Scripture not to consult with those who speak to the dead (Deut. 18) . That is perhaps a longer answer than you were looking for but there you go.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility:  If you could play any sport professionally what would it be?  Or if you can’t picture yourself playing sports, what is your favorite sport?

I would be a professional snowboarder or maybe an acrobat.


Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

I prefer short hair on myself. It is getting shorter (or more non-existent) with every passing year.

If you were on an small island, who would you want to be with? And where is it?  How big is it?

My island is big enough to get away from a tsunami but not so big that I can’t get to the beach easily. It is in a zone where the temps stay 75 all the time. I would love to have my family with me on the island. Friends can come and stay for up to two weeks but I need my privacy in between visits.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am so grateful to have gotten my sister all settled in at our house for the next year. The office is set up so she can work.  Now I am looking forward to our dogs transitioning in with each other which will be a lot easier once the female is out of heat!

Now learn a bit about Cee and her other contributors:

Share Your World – 2014 Week 33