Monday, July 26, 2010

Teach Your Children Well

Our family has gone to a lakeside home in the mountains. We usually go to the beach, but decided to make it the mountains when we were uncertain whether the oil spill was going to affect the place we had rented. And going to the beach with water loving dogs would not have made for happy puppies, so we opted for the mountain area of Georgia to rest and refresh.

We were hoping for cooler weather - and, of course, it has turned out to be a heat wave along the eastern United States, with our northeast Georgia mountain area no exception. But, we are enjoying the view of the lake and the beautiful trees. And finding that straight roads with no curves do not exist here. Makes for interesting driving.

The children (including adult children) left early to hike at a gorge and to travel down a sliding rock which lands into a nice pool. Fortunately, they were able to hike. Unfortunately, they were unable to slide the rock into the water because of heavy rains.

I have trained my children well that while on vacation, we have quiet time after lunch. They did not disappoint.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Hymn - Abide with Me and Schubert's Sanctus

Nice Sunday Hymn and Schubert's Sanctus - 2 beautiful selections. So very peaceful.

What brings peace to you?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Hymn

I share this beautiful hymn with you - the tune will be familiar to many of you, but I don't believe it is a tune in our hymnal. It speaks of peace, hope, freedom, and dreams. Follow the words as they are singing and enjoy the beauty of their voices. (Please note: stop the video at the end of the song before the long applause)

This is my song, Oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

Words: Lloyd Stone, Georgia Harkness
Music: Finlandia - J. Sibelius

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Five - What I Want in a church

I haven't done the Revgals Friday Five for awhile, but this is a great way to get back into it. Thanks Sally!

Her inspiration is this address from the Eunice Attwood, Vice President of the British Methodist Church.

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled -
A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible,
A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch,
A church that can live well with difference and diversity.

I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence -
A church that knows how to party and celebrate life,
A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection,
A church that doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes -
A church that welcomes those who seek asylum,
A church that longs and yearns for justice,
A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation -
A church where all who are lost can be found,
A church where people can discover friendship,
A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God -
A church that engages faith in its communities,
A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.
I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity, transforming love and engaging faith.
This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.

Here are my five:
  1. I want a church that practices hospitality well. One which the congregation knows how to make a seeker who walks in the door feel like they have come home. That means we have to know how to do that for different people in different ways.
  2. I want a church whose members try to look at the bigger picture of why we have certain activities and understand that community building is important, and sometimes we attend things even if we don't want to go. If we don't go, what are we saying and what example are we to others?
  3.  I want a church who is willing to go out of their comfort zone for the good of the community, both the community of the church itself and the community in which we live.
  4. I want a church with diversity - age diversity, color, socio economic status, people with special needs, the unlovable, the wounded, and diversity in family makeup.
  5. I want a church community who not only believes in Jesus on Sundays, but lives it throughout the week.
When I say this, I include me in these - I am guilty of not living up to the standards of what I THINK we should be doing.
More importantly, I am curious as to what You want in a church.