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Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

I sat in the church pew and watched my husband, our son, his wife and baby, our other son, wife and their sweet daughter and and a couple additional close friends gather together at the baptismal font. I listened as my husband asked our son and daughter-in-law the questions regarding specific responsibilities they have for helping their child grow in the Christian faith and life. I listened as they answered “With God’s help, we do.” I listened as he addressed the questions to our other son, daughter-in-law and 2 close friends the questions about specific responsibilities they as sponsors have. Again, I listened as they answered “With God’s help we will”. I then watched as my husband took his new granddaughter in his arms and they all laid hands on her to pray over this beautiful new child that has come into our lives. Later in the service my husband and I watched as our daughter-in-law took the baby in her arms, placing her head over the font, watched as our son, using a special shell from Marco Island, poured the baptismal water, from a special lake in Minnesota and listened as our son said “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. We watched as our son lit the baptismal candle with the words “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. We watched as he anointed her forehead with oil with the words “You are marked with the cross of Christ forever”.

Then we celebrated! It was an emotion filled, button popping, beautiful day for our families!

35 Grilled Cheese

35 Grilled Cheese

Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.” But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.’ All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said. Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.  Matthew 14: 15-21

Did you ever wonder how you were ever going to make something work?  Did you ever wonder “Will I have enough?”

gourmet-grilled-cheese-2One day last month lunchtime in Haiti was grilled cheese.  I asked Dan what I could do to help.  He looked at me and replied “Well we need to make 35 grilled cheese sandwiches.  If you can do it with 1/2 stick of butter that would be awesome.”  I discovered how the disciples must have felt!  What-you want us to feed all these people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread?  What you want me to make 35 grilled cheese sandwiches for 20 high school students with 1/2 stick of butter? Panic set in, deep breath, think about how mom used to make them and pray that the butter would stretch.  A half hour later we set out 2 full trays of 35 grilled cheese sandwiches to fill 24 hungry missionaries.  I know a miracle didn’t happen that day.  It was only ingenuity and probably luck.  But….

Did you ever wonder how you were ever going to make something work? Did you ever wonder “Will I have enough?”

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Phillippians 4: 19

 

Grace & Humility!

Grace & Humility!

This morning while in the shower I was thinking about the blessings and thanks we’ve all been posting on Twitter and Facebook. Not that I don’t reflect upon my blessings each and every day, but this being Thanksgiving I was reflecting upon my blessings. We all tend to focus on the positive event and people in our lives and then it struck me that I am also thankful for the not so positive events and people in my life. Then I sat down to read my devotions. As I read Daniel 9: 15-19 and James 4 it was right there in front of me. Yes, the positive events and people in my life are most definitely a bless, but so are the not so positive events and people. The tough times, rough roads, lousy days (or in some cases weeks), extra grace required people have all been there for a reason. They’ve brought me closer to my husband and children. They’ve shaped me and made me who I am today. But more importantly, they’ve brought me to my knees and totally dependent to the most gracious God that I serve. They’ve taught me humility and grace (and believe me I’m still learning). They’ve brought me closer to God and into a relationship that I probably not have had if everything had always been rosey.

So on this Thanksgiving I give thanks for all the blessings in my life, good and bad, positive and challenging and I thank God for giving me the whole enchilada!

Rain

Rain

Grace (1)
It's been rainy here these last few days. Some of it has been hard rain with thunder, lightening and hail. Other times it's been a soft rain- what Jon and I call an Irish Day. In all the rain though there have been times of the sun peeking out warming us from the outside in.  I normally am not crazy about rainy days – you see I'm one that really needs the sun constantly shining and making life bright!  Last night as we were driving home in one of those soft rains I started thinking about the spring rains and how much we really need this rain.  It comes and washes away the dirt and grit left behind after a long, hard winter.  It comes and washes away the dirty piles of snow that have accumulated during a long, hard winter.  It comes and brings everything back to life after a long hard winter.  And in there are the periodic bursts of sunshine warming us from the inside out!

And isn't that just how God works in our lives.  We all go through long, hard winters in our lives.  Sometimes the sun doesn't shine for days or weeks or months warming us, making our life bright.  Sometimes there are little periodic bursts of it that keep us going.  But then I think about God's grace that is bestowed upon us.  The rains comes, some hard, some soft.  But, our dirty grit that has accumulated is washed away.  The piles of "snow" that have accumulated are washed away leaving hope, joy, peace, blessings, and a "greeness" to our lives!  The Son shines in our lives and that warms us from the inside out. 

Spring rains-New Life!  

Il Divo ” Amazing Grace “

Il Divo ” Amazing Grace “

We've been watching clips from "The Passion of the Christ" during Lent, each one just as heart wrenching as the next.  So I thought that it might be a little hard to find something that might hit my heart like those have been, but this video clip was sent to me by a friend.  "Amazing Grace" sung by Il Divo in the Colesium in Rome-the same place where Christians were martyred for their faith in God's amazing grace..  A wonderful turn of events!