Saturday, December 24, 2016

This Year's Creche

Every year, I write a post about the creche Jordan puts together for our home. Since he was four years old, Jordan has set up the manger scene for us. We've had some interesting ones.

Jordan's Strange Creche
A Broken World ... Seeking Peace
Jordan's Creche for this Year 
Creche 2014 Edition
Jordan's Creche: 2015 Edition 

This year has another unusual narrative.


Mary and Joseph are in a small camp on one side of the room. They have lost the baby Jesus and are discussing how best to look for him.














Meanwhile, the manger is on the roof of the stable on the other side of the other side of the room. The donkey and the angels know where Jesus will be Christmas morning and are set to look after him, until his parents find him.









My son is definitely imaginative. This isn't the biblical Christmas narrative.


Then again, maybe what we should be doing this season is looking for the baby. Looking for Jesus.


A Very Merry Christmas 
to You and Yours!!



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Song for Sunday: Mary Did You Know?




A link for enjoyment on this Advent Sunday of Joy. 







Blessings!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Meme-ic Monday: Water Protectors and the DAPL.



I came across this meme, which is the wording of two tweets by a Sioux Tribal Leader. 

I am in sympathy with the Sioux and oppose the positioning of the pipeline where it threatens their water supply. My son wants to go the camp and protest with the Water Protectors. 

I rejoice that the latest court ruling halts the pipeline's construction and signals a new level of respect for indigenous communities. 

I also recognize this fight isn't over. New threats may pop up, especially since the DAPL is mostly finished.

However, I also have done some reading. The pipeline was rerouted away from Bismarck because the Army Corps of Engineers for several reasons, one of which was potential danger to Bismark's drinking water before those residents needed to protest -- or even heard about it in most cases. 

So this meme has it's heart in the right place, but is a bit off as to facts. 

Regardless, the camp was made by the government into a more or less militarized zone. Officials acted horribly, spraying water on the protestors, etc.

So hopefully all this will be sorted out, people will keep standing with Standing Rock and a safer way to transport fuel will be found. 


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Song for Sunday: I Wish You Peace

This second Sunday in Advent, according to my church’s liturgy for the advent wreath, is the Sunday of Peace.

In our world right now, peace is hard to find. There is war. There are people slinging names at each other across political divides, there are people doing violence to others because they are different. 

Part of the Christmas message, though, is peace. A peace granted by God to all of us because His favor rests on us. Simple as that. 

An ultimate peace will be found when Christ returns and His Kingdom is fully realized. May it be soon. 

In the meantime, let us wish each other peace. Not just in words, but in action. Not just to fellow Christians but to everyone. 

That’s why I Wish You Peace by  the Eagles  is today’s Song for Sunday,  Here;s a link for you to enjoy. 











May God’s peace be upon you!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Song for Sunday: For the Fruit of All Creation

Happy New Year!

Today, the first Sunday of Advent, is the first day of the Christian liturgical year. Baptists like me tend not to pay overmuch attention to such things, but I usually give  a nod to this new start.

And what better time than the beginning of a new year to begin again with my blog? I've neglected it for a while.

So, Song for Sunday.


At our Family Thanksgiving Service, we sang this hymn. The piece that stuck with me was the second half of the second verse:

"In our worldwide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God's will is done."
                   ~Fred Pratt Green

It makes me think, how am I caring for the hungry and despairing? How am I sharing my harvest? How am I offering my body as a living sacrifice?

I volunteer, participate in service projects, and go on the occasional short term mission trip, but my life is comfortable. Am I supposed to do more?

I need to pray....


In the meantime, may the words of this hymn challenge you as well.





What has challenged you recently?




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

(Belated) Song for Sunday: Sister Suffragettes


I almost forgot to write this blog post and I haven't written in so long I am not sure I have any readers left, but anyway, here goes.


We watched Mary Poppins as a family not too long ago and I was struck by this song. It hopefully sings out:

"Our daughter's daughters will adore us
as they sing in grateful chorus
'Well done, Sister Suffragettes'"

Alas, I think in general it's wrong. Not about women voting, about their granddaughters being thankful...or even remembering.

It's election day here in the US and many women are wearing white as a sign of thankfulness for women's right to vote and run for political office. We have, for the first time, a female candidate from a major political party running for president. (We have actually had women candidates for years and, by the way, this doesn't indicate how I voted. I am not going there here.)  But most of the time I think we forget that gaining the right to vote was the hard won struggle of women who worked for nearly century to gain suffrage. And it hasn't even been a century since they succeeded.

This is a fun song. It's also humorous, contrasting a wife's progressive views with her husband's staunchly traditional ones.







The women's suffrage movement had a bit of a checkered history, making alliances with racists and advocating violent action. I don't condone either of those tactics.

I am, however, grateful to be able to vote...and enjoy Mary Poppins.

Check out this link on the history of the Suffragette Movement in the US.
http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/the-fight-for-womens-suffrage
And in England:
http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/overview/startsuffragette-/



Did you vote?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Song for Sunday: Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace.

The beautiful prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.


It's a translation, so some versions are a bit different. 


On this fifteenth anniversary of a national tragedy -- an attack on the nation-- how can we promote peace? How can we be channels of God's love and mercy?


The prayer offers thoughts on this for big national situations, small personal ones, and all in between.
Let us make it our prayer.

Here's a version to help focus prayer.





Blessings on your remembrances and your prayers.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Song for Sunday: If We're Honest







I danced to this with my young cousin in church today. We choreographed it ourselves, and danced it as a worship offering --"special music."

It's today's Song for Sunday, because these lyrics caught my attention.

Bring your brokenness and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
and mercy's waiting on the other side,
If we're honest.....if we're honest. 

They seem apropos to a few situations I'm involved in just now.


Shall we pray for each other?



What song has held a message for you recently?






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Been a while. Glad to be back to blogging!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Song for Sunday: Details in the Fabric (In Memory of Tom Serewicz)

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I heard on the radio the other day that one third of all traffic accidents involve a driver under the influence of alcohol. One third.

And that’s only some of the preventable accidents. Other forms of impaired driving involve distractions like texting, cell phone use or playing games on devices. Inexperienced drivers are also often distracted by other passengers, by the radio, by food or by coffee and other soft drinks. Everyone who drives while impaired or distracted has made a choice to do so. In some cases, others on hand have allowed it.

Friends, our choices matter.

They mattered to Tom Serewicz and his family. Tom was just 24 when he and his best friend were on their way home from a night fishing trip. Their car was struck by the car of a drunk and drugged driver who was going the wrong way on the highway. All three were killed.  It was June 17, 2011.

Tom left behind a wife, two very young sons, a mother and two sisters. Their heartbreak continues five years later and will continue as long as they live. That woman’s choice ended her life, and two other lives, and had a horrible impact on two families.

One of Tom’s sisters is a dancer. She choreographed the song Details in the Fabric by Jason Mraz as a testament to how the family clung to each other after the accident and supported each other in their grief. It is a moving testimony to their love for Tom and each other.

A sample of the lyrics:

Hang on
Help is on the way
And stay strong
I'm doing everything


Details in the Fabric is today’s “Song for Sunday.”  Here’s a link to it.





 Live Kindly, Choose Responsibly



Learn more about Tom and how to end drunk driving here:

Drunk Driving
Ending Drunk Driving
Drunk Driving
Celebrating a Life
Drunk Driving: In Memory of Tom Serewicz


The Thomas J. Serewicz, Sr. Foundation for Kind &Responsible Living remembers Tom’s loving and generous spirit by supporting a variety of charities and hosting an annual memorial picnic, which I attended today.


I met Tom and his wife, Cherise, at the Christian YouthConference at Ocean Park (CYC), when they were teenagers. It was where they met and decided to marry. (I looked after Cherise’s engagement ring once while she was out on a service project doing physical labor.) CYC meets for two weeks every August in Maine and is open to all high schoolers. There are still slots available for the 2016 conference. Check it out!







Monday, July 11, 2016

Meme-ic Monday: Micah 6:8



So much violence. Gays are targeted, blacks are targeted, police officers are targeted. And that's just from what made the national news in one country over a short period of time.

If we think globally, it's even easier to be "daunted."

The devil wants to stir up chaos and division, to make the Church a target of hate and suspicion.

The answer to that is to follow Micah 6:8, as described in this meme, and to pray. Always to pray.


Go to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. That is what is required of us.



Be a blessing! And have a blessed day.





Micah 6:8 in context



I have learned much about doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God in my years with the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park. It's a fabulous experience for high school teens. Two weeks in August, in southern Maine. Still slots available for 2016!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Getting Organized -- Playroom, Final Update




 We started here:






 And now we're here!






 I'm happy. 

Understand me, the room is by no means "done."  But my goal was to have a usable room that was lived in, as opposed to a total disaster by July1. I think I got that far. In fact, my husband is doing a project up there as I write. 

My son now has a surface for lego-building and he and his friends can play games or have sleep-overs in there. 

It was thoroughly dusted and vacuumed for the first time in a while as well. 

Next goal? Make it a public room, with the rest of the boxes cleared out and it being consistently tidy. That way we can take adults up there for board games or hold club meetings up there. An we need to make that sustainability plan I mentioned before. 


 But I'd say I made my goal.

 I remember that I attended a homeschool support group meeting on getting organized once. There was a quote: "Unmade decisions are one of the greatest sappers of energy." I am glad over this past month to have made many decisions regarding things. Some are now displayed. Others have been put away, returned to their owner, given away, donated, recycled or trashed. I think the quote is true. 

I also think that being publicly accountable by posting here helped greatly. Thanks to those who have been part of this!

So, how are your projects coming along? 



Getting Organized -- Playroom Update 1 Update 2
Update 3 




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On of the places I learned to stick to commitments was CYC. It's a great place for teens to learn about God and leadership while making friends and having fun. Two weeks every August in Maine. Check out our website!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Memories and ABCs -- Camp!

Each year at the youth conference, the classes of young women make gifts for each other, their counselors, and the women faculty. . Back in 1999, one class handed out a scroll title the "ABC's of NEBYC." It's a list of things they found wonderful about the conference and wanted to remember. I came across my copy today. Reading it,  I realized how much of the list would be echoed by campers now... or campers back in 1920. Back in 1920, we were called the "School of Methods"; now we are CYC. But name changes notwithstanding, the important stuff has remained constant. Here's that list:


The ABC's of NEBYC

A  Alone with God: Answers: Amazing
B  Beauty: Banquet: Boys: Believing is Becoming: Bell Tower: Block Party: Big Sisters
C  Communion: Commitment: Chapel: Class: Campfire: Care Cards: Canoeing: Curfew: Camp Meetings
D  Dining Hall: Dancing: Desire: Devotions
E  Enthusiasm: Energy (or lack of): Evening program: Everlasting Bond
F  Faith: Fun: Friends:: Fellowship: Fort Williams: Free Time
G  God: Graduation
H  Hasseltine: Hope: Hugs: Holy Spirit
I  Indescribable: Ideas: Individual: Inspiration
J  Jesus: Judson: Joking: Joy
K  Knowledge: Kindred Spirits
L  Love: Listening: Laughter: Life: Little Sisters
M  Meaning: Miracles: Moonlight
N  Nature
O  Ocean Park: Ocean: Openness
P Peaceful: Party: Pines: Possibilities
Q Questions: Quiet Time
R  Railroad Tracks: Raiding (there is no...): Reveille: Raspberry Lime Rickey
S   Singing: Serenade: Silence: Sherwood: Sunrise: Sunset: Searching: Swimming: Soda Fountain: Soulful:
     Smiles: Spirit: Sunshine
T  Temple: Thankful: Tears & Tissues: Trust: Talent Show
U  Unconditional Acceptance: unity: Unique
V  Ventures: Vacation: Volleyball: Vespers
W  Worthy: Wacky: Wonderful: Water: Welcome
X  Xcellent: Xtraordinary
Y  You (the one and only): Yummy
Z  Zany: Zeal


Camps and conferences for teens offer so much. Try it and see. 





CYC, or the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park, offers two weeks of Christian community, discipleship training, fun and friendship every August on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. Check us out!
 







Sunday, June 26, 2016

Song for Sunday: I Sing the Mighty Power of God


So early last week, especially during the full moon, a line kept coming to my mind: "The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey." I knew it was from a hymn, but didn't recall which one or any other of the lyrics. 

Today at worship we sang Isaac Watts hymn. "I Sing the Mighty Power of God" and the line was there. So that hymn became today's Song for Sunday. It is a wonderful hymn, reminding us of God's sovereignty. 

Here's a link to an acapella version.









Have a blessed day!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Getting Organized -- Playroom, Update 3


 With a week to go, we're getting there. We've donated stuff, put stuff away, sorted stuff, trashed stuff, hung stuff.

We are on track with the minimalist game and are feeling like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Still not a usable room, but it feels like it might get to be one.


 Just need to keep the energy up and not get distracted. That's happened before. Then we'll need a sustainability plan for the organization of the room so it doesn't go back to the way it was. That's probably going to be a real challenge. Ideas welcome!!





                             






What organization projects have you been working on?



Previous posts on this:


Getting Organized -- Playroom
Update 1
Update 2






Monday, June 20, 2016

Meme-ic Monday: The Library



It has been said -- I found it quoted in several places -- that the public library is the poor man's university. Perhaps it should be poor person's university. 

You can learn about literally anything at a good public library, and most libraries can borrow from other libraries, even university libraries, if they don't have information on what you are looking for themselves. 

Many libraries provide free internet access as well, opening a plethora of online courses and resources about just about anything. 

Libraries even offer classes themselves. J and I have learned how to write resumes and do well on job interviews, we've supplemented our geography and history knowledge at engaging lectures, met interesting people at reenactments, and tasted new foods at cooking demonstrations. J has also learned how to program 3D printables in tinkercad, how to solder, and how to code computer games. On top of learning how to find books and do basic research. All for free. All at local public libraries. 

And that's just a sample. 


Libraries aren't free of course. Our taxes pay for them. Which makes it all the better to use them well to support lifelong learning. 

They aren't quite free, but they are a blessing and a help. I thank God for them. 

So I encourage you to get to the library, support your library, enjoy your library.  It's yours, after all.


I mean, that's Albert Einstein up there in that meme. He was a smart dude. And he went to the library. 




I dedicate this post to the memory of my sister Pam, a dedicated library director, who passed away a few months ago. Her town was better for her educational leadership. We were all better for knowing her. Love you, Pam!





Sunday, June 19, 2016

Song For Sunday: Father's Eyes


I had a hard time with deciding what song to use for today's post.

It's been a week since the horrible attack at Pulse in Orlando and I haven't written a thing about that here. Not that it hasn't been in my prayers and on my mind! It has. It's just... what do you say? There are really are no words that would give comfort. And repeating what's been said after each incident begins to sound hollow.

It's Father's Day. My father has been in Heaven since 1995 and I would like to make a fitting tribute to him. He was a man of compassion who was always willing to lend a hand.  A nod, too, to my husband, who loves our son dearly.

Then a young friend from CYC posted this on Facebook:
Happy Father's Day to the only ONE who will never leave me or forsake me!A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” Psalms 68:5-6  

A reminder that God is Father.

Putting it altogether and mulling it over, I found myself recalling this old song. I first encountered at a high school revue, when a friend sang it.  It was a real favorite, and a prayer of mine, for a few years.


Now, I share it with you. Praying that God will let us "find the good in things, when no good can be found" and will "find the source of help when no help is around." It seems like that good and helo are far away when there is --yet another -- mass shooting.

Also, that I will have my father's eyes. And my Father's eyes. Thankfully, they aren't too much different.




Blessings, friends!





Friday, June 17, 2016

Getting Organized --Playroom, Update 2


Well, getting there. This second weekly update brings visible progress. Some, anyway.

Still need encouragement and prayers though. I've still got the target date of July 1.

For those following along. here's photos:


Beginning:










Current:






The fact that this is visible progress is testimony to how bad it was when I started. *sigh*

Well, on we go.....


Thanks to my biggest encouragers-- and competitors in "The Minimalist Game" -- who are fellow members of the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park (CYC) community. Three of us were students together. The other started attending a few years later. Not all of us are active in CYC anymore and there is some geographic distance, but CYC cements friendships. Encouragement is part of that.

If you know a teenager who would like to make lifelong friends while enjoying two weeks of God, learning and fun a quarter mile from the beach this August, check out this link.

We're also on Facebook.

Previous posts:

Getting Organized -- Playroom
Getting Organized -- Playroom, Update 1


Blessings on your housework this week!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day.

A couple of photos by Jordan to honor the day!






Forever in peace may she wave!!


Lord, bless our flag. May it ever be a symbol of freedom and hope.
 Bless our nation that we might have peace and do what is just and right. 
In Jesus name, Amen

Monday, June 13, 2016

Flag Retirement and the Environment


I have seen a flag retirement ceremony for US Flags that are no longer a fitting emblem.

It involved saluting the flag and placing it in a fire. It was done with care and respect by young boys and teens. It was touching and fitting.

An American Legion ceremony script. reminds us:

“A Flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for and lived for, and died for a free Nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy."

The flag is the symbol of our nation and worthy of respect.

Our environment is also worthy of respect. So, here's the thing. Flags are not always made of natural gauze or silk anymore. Many are made from polyester, nylon, or arcrylic. These materials are toxic when burned. During combustion, nylon releases polybrominated diphenyl ethers, hydrogen chloride, hydrochloric acid, and hydrogen cyanide among other pollutants.

The US Flag Code, part of our national law code since 1923, says:

"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

Preferably by burning. As long as the ceremony is dignified and due respect is shone, other options are acceptable.

Recycling nylon flags is one option. This not only eliminates the production of toxins by burning but reduces the amount of petroleum -based products used.

Perhaps we could revise the code to allow for proper burial in a special coffin,

Really any method of destruction can be made dignified and respectful with the proper ceremony.

Of course, we can continue to retire flags made of natural fibers by burning.


I love our flag. Our love the natural world. I hope to see both consistently treated with appropriate respect.



JMHO and some thoughts to consider.


Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Song for Sunday: Escape

I am planning an escape room for my youth group tonight.

Also, my family is planning to watch "The Great Escape"

So, I thought a song with an escape theme would be good for Today's Song for Sunday.


This Enrique Iglesias song has lyrics that remind me that we can't escape God's love, no matter what we do or how we try to hide. I don't know if Mr. Iglesias meant it that way, in fact I am thinking not, but that's where I am at.


Hope you enjoy this link!!


 










Want to escape your routine this summer? Teens come to the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park this August.  It's two weeks of God, friends and fun -- on the beach. What's not to love?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Getting Organized -- Playroom. Update 1



Last week's post about my disorganized playroom is the most popular of my recent posts. Go figure.

I said, in Getting Organized--Playroom that I would post weekly updates on this project, to keep myself on track. So here goes.

Here are some photos from last week.








Now this week's photos:






There has been some progress. A week's worth? Maybe not, but in my defenses I was away a few days. 

Several bags that had been near the door have been removed and sorted through with stuff being thrown out or put away. Several books have been donated. Paper has been filed or recycled. Things have been stored.  I am not quite where I want to be, but I am on my way.  

As part of this process a friend suggested that we play the minimalist game. Start on the first of the month and get rid of one thing (donate, return, recycle, or trash as appropriate). On the second day get rid of two things, on the third, three and so on. If I count every piece of paper, I am way ahead. Going by stacks and handfuls, I have kept up.  

Keep up the prayers and encouragement!  

God bless you and many thanks!!




Sunday, June 5, 2016

Song for Sunday: Prelude from Bach's Prelude for Cello Suite #1


My most interesting uncle --actually a grand uncle -- passed away this morning at the age of 93 after a long full life 

What made him so interesting? His stories. Often humorous, they dealt with his life working, often overseas, for the phone company, his other travels, and his stint as a chauffeur and household assistant. 

That was for a famous cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich. Here the Maestro, as Uncle Clay called him, plays Bach's Prelude for Cello Suite #1. Uncle Clay wasn't particularly a classical music enthusiast, but I post this in his honor, a nod to his varied and interesting life. He'd probably  laugh. 




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Getting Organized --Playroom

Every once in a while I've posted "Getting Organized" articles. They've been my "success stories:"
Something Accomplished (Garage)
Getting Organized -- Kitchen!
Getting Organized -- Kitchen, Part 2



  Today I am writing about one of my trouble spots. Our "play room".(HELP!!)

It's been in this state for years. Since we moved in, except for an occasional brief period of usability. 
Five years is too long. It's time to stop this "yo-yo diet" style 
of organization and get down to business. 


I think that might take some public accountability. Hence, this post. I'd love it if you'd keep after me. My goal?  A lived in but functional room in one month. July 1. If it's not ready by then, I might have to higher a professional organizer. (Which isn't in my budget.)

But, honestly, this can't go on. 

 
Of course I still have my regular housekeeping and spring cleaning as well, so say a prayer for me. 

I'll post weekly updates, to keep myself on track.


What's your biggest organizing challenge?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Meme-ic Monday: Memorial Day


I don’t know much about my Grand-Uncle Russell. He died in WWII long before I was born.

I do know that he was adopted, meaning that he joined my great-grandparents’ family. There were no formal or legal proceedings, because that wasn’t the way things were done then. Not all the time, anyway.

I know what he looked like as I have a picture of his army unit, each head shot displayed separately and labeled with a name.

I know that after he died he was laid out in my great-grandparent’s living room. Decades later I would play and visit in that room. I know that his birth parents attended his wake and funeral.

I know that it was in his honor that the Gold Star hung in the house.

I don’t know much about my Grand-Uncle Russell, but I do know that he died in war and so we honor him on Memorial Day. I also know the truth of this meme:




and this one:



On Memorial Day and always, let us honor the Fallen.



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On Mondays, I will be posting and responding to memes, one each week. They will be ones that grab my attention, perhaps either resonate with me or annoy me. If you see a meme you would like me to react to, let me know.





Sunday, May 29, 2016

Song for Sunday: America the Beautiful

A classic hymn, imbedded with prayers for the US, this song is perfect for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. In fact, we sang it in church today. 

Most schoolchildren in the US can sing the first verse, but it was the other verses that struck me today. I especially noted the first two lines of verse three: "Oh, beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!" A fitting reminder of the servicemen and women who paid the supreme sacrifice. I also love that this song acknowledges that America isn't perfect, and reminds us we are under a higher power. 




  1. 1. Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the fruited plain!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee,
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea.
  2. 2. Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet,
    Whose stern, impassioned stress
    A thoroughfare of freedom beat
    Across the wilderness!
    America! America!
    God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self-control,
    Thy liberty in law.
  3. 3. Oh, beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife,
    Who more than self their country loved,
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine,
    Till all success be nobleness,
    And ev'ry gain divine.
  4. 4. Oh, beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam,
    Undimmed by human tears!
    America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee,
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea.
  5. Text: Katherine Lee Bates, 1859-1929
    Music: Samuel A. Ward, 1848-1903
  6. Public Domain.
  7. Here's a link to a version by the Hillsdale College Choir.


  8. On this Memorial Day, however you celebrate it, honor the fallen.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Meme-ic Monday: Creator and Creation



My first response to the images here: they break my heart. Such beautiful animals, the victims of human thoughtlessness and slobbery.

My first response to the words: How dare they accuse me of not caring for the environment?

Hold it!  Deep breath. Let’s not be defensive. After all, while you can search my blog and find ways I care about the ecological issues, I don’t have a perfect record. And when it comes right down to it, I do care more about the One who made the earth than about the earth itself. A creator is greater than a creation. From my perspective, there wouldn’t be an earth without the Creator.

But then there is this – which is more important for the Christian, arguing about who created the earth or taking care of the gift the Creator has given? Or is that even the question to ask?

We are all commanded to witness to God – his existence, his love, his sovereignty.

We are all also reminded that the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s and we are to care for it.

So maybe there is a question of call. While we are called to witness, not all of us are called to be apologists, preachers, or evangelists.

We are all called to care for the earth God has gifted us with, but not all of us are called to be environmental activists or advocates.

Then again some of us are called to each of those things, and the priority will be based on call.

Be that as it may, no Christian should be forgetting that God is creator and no Christian should be trashing the earth.


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On Monday's I react to memes. If you see one you want me to react to, send it to me. 

At CYC, we cultivate an active enjoyment and stewardship of God’s creation and a respect for the beauty of God’s world. Send your high schoolers to live and learn with us this August!  For more information, click here.