Share Your World 2014 Week 32

Every week (or almost every week) for the last three years I have been skipping over to Cee’s place in Oregon ¬†to answer four questions she poses to all her readers. In the process I have gotten to know Cee and her readers and they have gotten to know me.

This little exercise is a great way to make connections here in the blogosphere; So let me encourage you, when you are done here why don’t you skip over to Cee’s place too and read some of her other contributors and then take the plunge and answer her four questions for yourself.

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/08/11/share-your-world-2014-week-32

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Do you prefer ketchup or mustard?

I am not a ketchup or mustard fan. I prefer to mix them together with a little brown sugar and soy sauce to make BBQ

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

I think my life would make a great comedy/drama. I have had plenty of both but I like to focus on the laughter. We do tend to take ourselves a bit too seriously most days.

If you could be given any gift what would it be?

I would be a trip around the world because then I could travel with someone! ūüôā

For potlucks or parties do you cook it yourself, buy from a grocery store, or pay for catering?

Oh I wish I always had time to cook it myself but most times I am the guy buying potato salad from the deli on the way to church potlucks (I buy a lot of potato salad)

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

I am grateful my sister made it to my home from her home in the Netherlands. I am looking forward to getting her State-side cell hooked back up tomorrow with no problems (fingers crossed)!

 

 

 

Share Your World 2014 Week 29

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This post was created for Cee’s Share Your World Challenge. So when you finish here please take a hop, skip or jump over to her page and check out her answers and those of her contributors.

Share Your World ‚Äď 2014 Week 29

THE QUESTIONS!!!!

Have you ever been in a submarine?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

I have never been in a submarine. I might consider touring one if it was above water and if all hands promised that it would stay above water for the duration of my visit.

Are you a listener or talker?

I can be both depending on the situation. I do a lot of listening, though, and I have tried hard to train myself not to insinuate my two cents into a session where someone is pouring their heart out to me.

Do you prefer crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut butter?   Anything with your peanut butter? 

I like crunchy peanut butter and I really like spaghetti sauce with with my peanut butter. If the spaghetti has hamburg in it the peanut butter does not need to be crunchy. I see those looks.Don’t be a hater! ūüôā¬†

Have you ever been drunk?

I have never been drunk and for that I am very thankful.

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 for a great weekend with C.cada, our artists collaborative. Here are some photos of current projects we are working on.

I am really looking forward to bringing communion out to the people at the GVNA this week. These are such heart-warming services!

Share Your World 2014 Week 28

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This post is written in answer to Cee’s challenge at:

Share Your World ‚Äď 2014 Week 28

So when you have finished seeing things here kindly saunter on over to Cee’s and see what her other contributors have seen and said!

This week Cee asks:

Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?

I have been in many parades in my day. When I was little I always marched with my cub scout pack. Then later as a teen I marched in the band. I played the flute.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would totally go. I love opera.

Why did you start your blog?

I have always written but life’s big changes urged me to take the writing public.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

I love Thanksgiving dinner. I have found I actually really love cooking it. I also love when Christmas falls on a Sunday. There is nothing more Dickensian than a Christmas Sunday service.

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 that God gave me an opportunity to preach two services this last weekend. I am grateful that this week I have a lot of planning time set aside for fall ministry. Things are looking to get busy!! And awesome! Here is my fall line up:

Sept. 1-5 Special Touch NE Getaway (I am leading worship for this week of camp)

http://www.specialtouch.org/getaways100_3329

Sept. 13- One Desire Concert (this worship band launched out of C.cada)

https://www.facebook.com/1OneDesire

Sept. 27- Winchendon Fall Fest Hosted by the Winchendon Enhancement Collaborative (C.cada and WEC and the Winchendon School systems will be cooperating on this event)

https://www.facebook.com/WinchEnhCol

Oct. 3-14 I go to Ireland with my daughter Amanda!

Oct. 24-25 C.cada’s annual Fall art show

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Nov. 8th- My daughter Melanie Marries James Franklin

James Franklin graduate Northpoint Bible College and his future wife Melanie Lillie

James Franklin graduate Northpoint Bible College and his future wife Melanie Lillie

 

Nov. 10th- Cloverton Comes

 

Folks it really is almost Christmas!

Heaven Pt. 149: It Doesn’t Matter

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Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
    My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
    when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
    their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
¬†¬†¬†¬†they‚Äôre not plagued with problems like everyone else….

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
    Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
¬†¬†¬†¬†every morning brings me pain….

I realized that my heart was bitter,
    and I was all torn up inside.
22¬†I was so foolish and ignorant‚ÄĒ
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
    but God remains the strength of my heart;
    he is mine forever. Psam 73:1-5, 13,14,21-26

I remember a time in my life when things were not going according to plan (at least not mine). Ministry had dried up. I was looking at being out of work. I was spiritually tired and it seemed everything I had worked so hard for was surely nothing more than a pipe dream. Every step I took seemed to be met with another closed-door.

I remember shaking my fist at Heaven one day and crying out, “You call this a plan? I can do better than this.”

For a number of weeks I tried. I stopped praying. I went my own way. I laid my own plans and doors seemed to open at least a little; But as I considered each I recognized that while these doors might be open they led nowhere. I came to the conclusion David came to thousands of years before me:

¬†“I was so foolish and ignorant‚ÄĒ
    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
¬†¬†¬†¬†I desire you more than anything on earth.”

I discovered ¬†without God nothing else matters, because¬† without Him everything is ¬†empty and void. Not all the treasure in the world can satisfy or fill that emptiness. BUT…

With God nothing else matters, because my heart is filled and as long as I have Him I can be content.

It comes to this, ¬†in life nothing else matters but God. My circumstances are going to change good to bad..bad to good. That is true whether I have God in My life or not. It doesn’t matter. But it doesn’t matter for different reasons. Without God all the good in the world doesn’t matter because it cannot make or keep me truly happy. With God all the bad in the world doesn’t matter because as long as I am focused on Him I am¬†made and kept truly happy.

Isaiah 26:3 says, You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

What matters is our focus. If we focus on what’s going on around us rather than God our feet are going to slip. If we focus in on God we will stand firm as though we were wearing the best set of cleats the world or Heaven have to offer. Our health may fail. Our fortunes may wither away. Our friends may become enemies but if we can somehow keep our eyes on the Great I Am He will be our strength. We will stand firm!

Heaven Pt. 147: In the Lion’s Den

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I cry out to God Most High
    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
3 He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. 
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

4 I am surrounded by fierce lions
¬†¬†¬†¬†who greedily devour human prey‚ÄĒ
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
    and whose tongues cut like swords. Psm 57:2-4

¬† ¬† Let’s just face it. This world is a lion’s den. Oh not everyone out there is a lion but there are enough to go around, ¬†sho’ nuff. If you make it through to your full seventy years chances are you are going to run into at least one ravening lion. I’m not talking about a skunk or a badger or even a nasty dog of a person. The lions are those who not only annoy your steps but who threaten your very existence. They have the power to steal your dreams and reduce your hopes to rubble. They are the people who stand like shadows on the edge of your nightmares waiting to pounce and take everything that seems good and gracious in life. ¬†In the Bible they are the Serpents, the Cains, the Pharaohs, the Sauls and the Judas’.

¬† ¬†So what’s a person to do when facing a lion? Do what the psalmist did. Do what Daniel did. Cry out to God and let Him be the one to shut the mouth of the lion. We serve a God who doesn’t expect us to fight our own battles. He expects us to give the battle over to Him. If He needs our help He will be sure to tell us. More often than not He will probably tell us…

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’ 2 Chron. 20:17

The Great Convergence OR Share Your World With Cee 2014 Week 14

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This week ¬†“SYWWC” is all about the traffic patterns. At least for me. It has been a week of “You never know who you are going to run into.”

To bump into some other fine bloggers here in the blogosphere take a hop on over to Cee’s page and read some of her other subscriber’s answers to this week’s questions.

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/04/07/share-your-world-2014-week-14/

BUT FIRST:

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

If my life were a traffic sign today it might read “LANES MERGE UP AHEAD” or maybe it would just say this.

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It feels like so many things are coming together right now in some sort of great convergence: home and family life, ministry, artwork. It’s a little disconcerting to see myself hurtling¬†from¬†what appears to be six lanes of life traffic down to two. I am on heightened alert and I see the potentials for trouble and yet I see the great adventure that lies before me as well. I am speeding on!

Is your hair short (total neck and ear showing), medium (covering ears and neck), long (below shoulders), extra long (at least halfway down your back) or bald?

My hair is short and thinning near the top. Wrinkles is not just going grey (and there is a lot more grey than there used to be). He is going bald-ish.

When you are with your friends, do your interactions include much touching‚ÄĒfor example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs? Would you like to have more of this? (Note: the answers may vary depending on where you live on this wonderful planet.)

The word is New England. Not an extraordinarily touchy group of people are we. We love deeply but usually from a distance. ūüôā

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $100? 

I love to go out to dinner with friends and then maybe a movie as long as it involves superheroes! The movie that is, I have never had dinner with a superhero. Though, how cool would that be?

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

I am grateful that the good Lord helped me to keep up my exercise regimen everyday last week! I am looking forward to finishing at least 5,000 more words of my new novel.

In the Land Of Cee!

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Hidey-Ho fellow bloggers and readers! We have come once again to the land of Cee. ¬†I come to the land of Cee (which is also known as Portland Oregon by those who don’t know better) once a week to mine for great questions with which I can build strong blogs. This week I found five.

Cee asks:

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

My favorite smell is pine in the spring. I once took a trip to Texas and was gone from my home state of Massachusetts for nearly a month. When I drove back across the border from New York the first thing I smelled was the fresh pine scent of the Berkshires.

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How do you write: computer, longhand or other?

I used to write exclusively longhand but over the years computer has become my favorite mode of writing.

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

Oh boy I have to choose just one? I guess this one sticks out in my memory as my most recent favorite.

http://wp.me/p39vIx-Xt

What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?

Again! I have to choose just one? I guess I would say my favorite book was a child’s anthology and my favorite story in it was “The Giant Thunderbones”

I
This is Giant
Thunder Bones.

II
This is the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

III
This is the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

IV
This is the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

V
This is the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VI
This is the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VII
This is the Witch with Broomstick and Cat
Who sputtered and snarled and shook her tall hat
When she missed the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

VIII
And last comes the Kobold who slept while ’twas light
And did all the housework in the dead of the night
To worry the Witch with Broomstick and Cat
Who sputtered and snarled and shook her tall hat
When she missed the Goblin with fingers so frail
Who hopped with ease over mountain and dale
As he chased the Prince so brave and so grand
Who sailed over sea and rode over land
Till he found the Princess of Wandeltreg
Who, while playing a game of Mumblepeg,
Was caught by the Gnome with beard so gray
Who digged for gems all night and day
To please the Dwarf with anxious looks
Who guarded the castle and kept the books
For Giant Thunder Bones.

Stella Doughty.

 

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

I am grateful for a wonderful group of people gathering with me on Thursday nights to pursue the knowledge of Jesus. I am looking forward to getting together with them this Thursday night for another session of “Turbo-Follow.”

Many other people travel to the land of Cee to mine their own questions and answers. You can find their discoveries by going to

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/03/24/share-your-world-2014-week-12/

Spring Ahead

We lost an hour this weekend. Did you notice? I did!

Me facing the effects of spring ahead.

Me facing the effects of spring ahead.

I started the weekend¬†by meeting with one of my graduated interns (I have taken on at least one intern a year for the last seven years). He visited on Friday after his girlfriend(my current intern) ratted me out by telling him I haven’t been taking my days off. Truth be told who has time to take a day off when daylight savings time is almost over.

Evidently his visit effected me more deeply than I realized because on Saturday morning I woke up at 4 A.M.  It made me feel like this.

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But I did have to finish my sermon before choir practice. So I walked the dogs and then chopped at the keyboard until the sermon was finished.

By 8 I was at the church warming up. I’ve noticed that warm up has become more and more important as I age.

After  three hours of singing I was off to the Special Touch Bowl-A -Thon.

Bowlers at Special Touch

Bowlers at Special Touch

 

We raised $4400.00 for people with disabilities to go to summer camp. We have another Bowl-a-thon scheduled next week and our hope is to clear $10,000.00.

After that I visited some friends for a fellowship gathering. The sunset was lovely.

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At this point¬†I was pretty tired. I was just sure I would sleep well. Four A.M. came and I was up (which was really three because we sprung ahead remember) once again. Sunday was two services…excellent services I might add but springing ahead has left me a bit unhinged.

So today I am taking my intern’s advice. It is almost¬†eleven and I am still in my pajamas. I think I will watch TV and eat cookies. After all spring is here!