Jan. 29th– Final day of quarantine! Freedom lies before us…..It has always been within us.
Jan. 30th– Today was our first day out of quarantine.
I did the grocery shopping which was very exciting for me. I love grocery shopping. Then Amanda and I had a meeting with our lead Pastor. He has felt the leading of the Lord to a new church in Tennessee. He will be leaving on Feb. 14th.
Once again I must consider whether the time has come for me to let my name stand for the position of lead pastor of Cornerstone.
Jan. 31st.– Pastor Dan preached the final sermon of the 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer….Souls Saved and Lives Changed…..
Afterwards he resigned officially to the board in the presence of our Network Superintendent. I was asked to meet with Pastor Nick afterwards just to get to know him and to lay out a timeline for the move forward. This is a season of honoring the Lewiston family for their work among us and prayer to discover God’s plan for what is next.
I am sensing this is heading in a certain direction for me. The road before me is set by God who has ordained the path from the beginning. I will walk into His will.
Feb. 1st– Big storm coming in today.
Feb. 2nd– The phone calls and FB Messages have begun picking up with people asking me what my intentions are as to Cornerstone Church. I am trusting myself to the process.
Ray Parker came to help us clean out our driveways……BIG SNOW!
Feb. 3rd– Pastor Dan and I hosted The Wall Prayer Meeting tonight.
Jan. 22nd– The week has been really busy with housework: cooking, cleaning and laundry…. I am realizing that I am allowing the pace of life to steal away from me the important moments of life’s beauty and once again I am struggling with the pull between being a human BEING and a human DOING…..I get lost in the work and forget the beauty…it makes me mad.
So today I decided to be proactive about being by giving space to some art work.I took my phone out when I walked the dogs to find a few pictures and then I gave myself time in the evening to photoshop them.
These are the results of my work. Tomorrow I might try sketching one of these.
Jan. 23rd– Well I never did get to sketching yesterday’s photos. But I did get more laundry done and the dishes and three meals for everyone and almost five hours before the throne of God. This has been a wonderful season of prayer and fasting. The fasting isn’t going so well but the prayer has been amazing.
Jan. 25th– I finished a video Bible study called “Thriving In Babylon today.” It is a powerful word about how to live your faith out in a culture that is increasingly oppositional to it. Here are some thoughts from it.
Jan 26th- Today was my first staff meeting since before Christmas! It was nice to see everyone even if it was by Zoom. Soon and very soon we will have the vaccine and be able to be in the same room!
Jan. 27th– Today was day 18 of our 21 days of fasting and prayer. It was also our evening of prayer at the wall prayer meeting. Pastor Dan shared from Acts chapter 16…..I am two days away from being out of quarantine and am looking with some trepidation to being “back to normal”. I have enjoyed this time of seclusion to pray. I don’t know maybe this is what is normal for me.
Jan. 28th– Today has been a day of family conversations. I got to speak with Melanie and Joe and Kristine for some time today. It was wonderful. Joe and Kristine have just crossed their first anniversary and today they told me they have bought enough land for a house in the Philippines! I am so excited for them!
Melanie and James are still adjusting to having two little ones in the house and their near sleepless schedule.
Jan. 15th– Pastor Dan went on vacation last week leaving the church in the staff’s hands. Wendy, Carrie and Nancy handled the day to day. John handled the building.Amanda and I, well we managed to get worship, preaching and on line children’s services covered.
Everything is awesome! Everything is great when you’re part of a team.
Pandemic has made vacationing a more complicated animal than it once was. Quarantining is now required after traveling until Covid tests come back negative. With our State registering around 7,000 new cases a day the labs are experiencing a huge back log and what once took 3-5 days is now something more like 7-9.
Jan. 16th– My sister, Brenda, has had a stomach bug for the last few days and this morning some folks pointed out that this could be a syntom of Covid-19. Of course being in our position as pastors we want to be safe rather than sorry. So we have made the arrangements for testing (Brenda and Amanda first and then mom and I will wait and see how things develop). We have also entered into quarantine pending the results of the test. Sooo…. no worship leading or preaching for me. No Walmart work, church front end management for Amanda. Mom is going to have to go without papers and scratchies for a few days.
Ray Parker was nice enough to get us some of the staples we were missing so we don’t have to go out for the next few days.
Jan. 17th– Pastor Dan preached the sermon at Cornerstone entitled Passionate. I think my favorite thought of this day is that passion is about more than just emotion. Passion is about commitment.
Paul Hackett and Janice Huff helped us out with a few more necessities today. Paul blessed us with grinders and a chicken too!
Janice also brought us some of her famous chicken soup!
Jan. 18th– I took Brenda for her COVID test today. She is very ill. Just the short ride to the pharmacy was almost more than she could handle.
Amanda also had her test today.
Jan. 19th– Brenda has gotten so ill that today we had her taken by ambulance to hospital
She had xrays which showed a cloud in one of her lungs and she was severely dehydrated. They kept her a few hours for observation and long enough to confirm that she actually does have COVID. As she began to respond to the treatment they discharged her…the hospital is too full to keep patients who respond to the treatment.
So Brenda is back in a bed with clean sheets. She now has meds to help her mend and we are doing a deep cleaning of the Vicarage.
Jan. 20th– Innauguration Day…..eyes to the Kingdom! Eyes off the world!
Jan. 21st– Mom and I had our COVID tests today. She has been pretty manic since. She doesn’t know why but she feels a deep need to clean everything now. Amanda and I have been taking turns sitting with her to help her come to some sense of calm. She can’t say it, but she is very concerned about Brenda.
A mother’s love comes out even when it is being blocked by years of self-determined emotional blocking and the effects of dementia.
Before I close out for the week I also have to thank Debby Parker and Sandy Freeman who have kept Mom in papers and scratch tickets all week. Thank you ladies and thank you people of Cornerstone for all your well wishes and prayers! You are really a wonderful example of the body of Christ.
I have been spending a lot of time in prayer over this holiday weekend…even more than usual. It is not because I feel insecure about things in the world. I don’t. That is not to say that things in the world aren’t troubling. It is to say that I feel secure in the knowledge of Him who loves me. Things are going to turn out just as He has said they would.
I’ve been spending time in His presence because I love to spend time in His presence. It has been my birthday present to myself.
We watched a documentary on the Lennon Sisters this weekend and one of their songs really expressed how I feel about the prayer place….
The prayer space is where all the magic happens for me. It is where I discover Who He really is.I am pretty sure it is not that way for everyone. I am also pretty sure it’s not meant to be. I know not everyone is wired like I am. God has lots of purposes and only on of them is to go up to the mountain and listen for the Voice. But it is one purpose and I am glad it is mine!
Well another Thanksgiving and another birthday has come and gone at the Vicarage. This year my 53rd birthday fell on Thanksgiving day! With pandemic we observed it quietly…just the four of us and the 3 dogs and the cat.
I was up at four as usual and had some time to pray, read and work on the final edits of my book before launching into food prep for the day. I made stuffed french toast and bacon for breakfast. cream cheese and nectarine jam for the ladies and cream cheese and real mince meat for mine. YES REAL MINCE MEAT MADE WITH DEER MEAT!!! YUMMY!!! ( a parishioner made me some for my birthday)
Mom Amanda and Brenda watched the modified Macy’s Day parade while I got dinner ready. Since we were a smaller group this year I cooked a three pound turkey breast and made it into a turkey stew which we served with stuffing, cranberry sauce and baking powder biscuits. I made pumpkin pie and apple turnovers and mincemeat turnovers for dessert and another parishioner dropped off a pumpkin roll for my birthday as well. So there was plenty to eat.
Somewhere along the way on the day before I managed to pull some muscles in my stomach so after lunch I really needed the rest of the day to rest. Fortunately that is what Thanksgiving is really about. It is a day to sit back, rest, take stock and give thanks.
Be blessed as you look forward to the Christmas holiday just around the corner.
This weekend flew by and was so full I hardly had any time to stop and write. I had my first opportunity to take care of my grand daughter solo this weekend.
Daniella usually comes to our house one a month for an overnight visit. We are getting her and us ready for the day when Mommy (my daughter Melanie) goes into labor.
Generally the lion’s share of the work falls on my daughter Amanda’s shoulders, but as Amanda had to be about some other things this weekend Oz (that is what Daniella calls me) got to do the baby sitting.
We had so much fun! We played piano ( which she loves to do). We read stories. We went to pick up the take out and then we watched Disney movies until it was time for bed time stories and prayers.
I told Daniella the story of , The Giant Thunderbones, which is a story I told my own kids when they were little.
Well there is so much more I could tell, but suffice it to say it was a wonderful and busy weekend…..so today is all about getting back into the routine.
Staff meeting was cancelled today. One of our deacons lost his father last week. The funeral is today and so Pastor Dan went to be with the family at the grave side.
I have spent the day in much prayer allowing the peace of God which passes all understanding to possess my heart and mind. In keeping with the mandate from Scripture this requires a thankful heart….And there is much to be thankful for. Honestly the love of God is an ocean and I am surrounded by His grace.
I am thankful that we had a wonderful week of Indian summer last week. It allowed me time to get the summer things into the cellar.
I am thankful for the birds coming to my feeder on a daily basis.
I am thankful for friends who took Amanda and I to dinner the other night.
I am thankful for the supernatural provision God brought in to pay my bills this month.
I am thankful for every day with Mom.
I am thankful God is providing the next step for Brenda’s mission.
I am thankful that the church is triumphant.
I am thankful that God is establishing His Kingdom in our midst.
I suppose the world is also full of problems. I could focus on them I suppose, but I will not!
I think I crossed some kind of invisible threshold last night. I am suddenly desirous to celebrate the holidays. Yesterday….nothing. Today I have this desire to decorate for Christmas and bake fruit cake (no kidding I really love fruit cake).
Today Brenda and I went out to do some Christmas shopping. Mind you I am not someone who can bear shopping for a long time even when I am in a celebratory mood, but I did pick up a few things that were Christmassy in the hour given me by the shopping muse.
Brenda and I were talking about the way God seems to be working in our lives right now. He is using a wait…reveal…step…complete…wait…reveal… process this year. It is a new level of faith He is building. The waiting phase is a lot like the season running up to the holidays. It is full of anticipation and preparation. The reveal phase is like opening a present on Christmas morning. The step phase is like the process of assembling those gifts on Christmas day, and the completion phase is the process of actually learning to use the contraptions you have built from the directions ….which were mostly in Chinese.
While God’s methods can be a bit frustrating they are always worthwhile in the end. The harvest of the process is always better than I could have hoped, at least if I walk it all the way through to completion.
Are you going through a similar process right now? If not How is God working in your life?
4 A.M. comes early even after you turn the clocks back. This has been my normal time of rising for the last several months. I usually start my morning with what I call basking prayer. I sit with the Lord and just listen and I let the Spirit within lead me to truth and to petition.
This morning I keep hearing that God is moving to extinguish pride, luxury, and extravagance in me and in US and in the U.S. Maybe it has something to do with the Bible reading I am doing this week (The Book of Revelation today I started with chapter 17-19). Maybe it has more to do with the fact I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with worldliness I see around me. Something in me longs for a simpler way of life.
I’m not talking about a return to the good old days. I am talking about moving into something new, a place that enhances Kingdom advantage but despises gaudy entitlement. That last line probably needs more development, but it will have to wait for another day.
This morning I have to go to one of our elder’s homes and help him take out his air conditioner. After that I will probably be rewarded with coffee and a donut and some conversation around the Bible.
When I get home I have to shovel some dirt into the foundation to cover up some holes chipmunks are now using to access burrows along the Vicarage foundation. The dirt also needs to be moved because it is blocking the end of the drive and we may need to pull our cars in so people can park behind us.
The Lord has told me to prepare for visitors. He has not yet told me who the visitors are.
Well, on that note I had best get a move on. There are more blogs to write.