Church Signs

 

funny church signs, Adam and Eve, the first people to not read the Apple terms and conditions, Karen May, Amazing Graces

Gotta love these!

https://www.littlethings.com/funny-church-signs/

What clever church signs have you seen?

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How much should we give?

It is when I give of yourself that you truly give, Kahlil Gibran, flowers, Karen May, Amayzing Graces, hydrangea, charity, devotional

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc. is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

– C.S. Lewis

I read this passage during Lent this year, and can’t stop thinking about it. It made me pause as I thought about my comfortable life. I really lack for nothing, so how can I say that I give more than I can spare? It’s not that we don’t give to charity. We do.

We give our time, we give money, and we help people who can’t give us a tax-deductible receipt. Is it enough?

But then, I look at what my comfortable life looks at and I realize that what we give is part of what makes our lives feel so full. I lack for nothing because I have friends, I have a loving family, I have a community filled with people who will help those in need. I have a church family that doesn’t give service out of pity, but gives dignity and support out of love.

I don’t drive the latest car, and I don’t have the fanciest clothes. I don’t need them, and the people I love don’t care if I have them. Maybe my giving is pinching or hampering me, but not in a way that makes my world smaller.

Somehow, miraculously, it has made it all the larger.

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Music Monday: In My Blood

I was a little hesitant to include this song in my Music Monday posts. My daughter recommended it excitedly, and after listening to it, I wasn’t sure what message was coming across. I like the strength in it and the spirit of never giving up, even when things are completely overwhelming, because it just isn’t “in my blood.” But how was this spiritual?

My daughter was a little incredulous as she explained it to me. “It isn’t in our blood, because we have the Blood of Christ in us.”

Oh, yeah.

We have been transformed, we are covered and we are redeemed. Things may be falling apart around us, but giving up isn’t an option. Not if we can immerse ourselves in the blood that has been given for us.

 

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O Good Jesus, hear me.

Within your wounds hide me.

Permit me not to be separated from you.

From the wicked foe, defend me.

At the hour of my death, call me

And bid me come to you

That with your saints I may praise you

For ever and ever. Amen

 

Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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Hope for the Hopeless

 

I am excited to share this video about Community First Village in Austin. Mobile Loaves and Fishes, the charity that developed the village, has a unique and beautiful understanding of homelessness and what is needed to help end it. The understanding of family and community that they bring to their ministry is one that helps not only the people who are living on the streets, but the people who serve them through MLF, and the community they live in.

I know the woman who speaks at the beginning of the video. She worked a corner near my home for a while, and I unexpectedly got to lead the blessing over her new home at her housewarming. It’s been incredible to see how her life has changed.

Check out the video, and support them if you can. It’s working.

www.mlf.org

 

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Receiving the Gift

Behold, I stand at the door and knock, Revelations, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in. (Revelations 3:20)

 

So that we might obtain this life of happiness, he who is true life itself taught us to pray, not in many words as though speaking longer could gain us a hearing. After all, we pray to one who, as the Lord himself tells us, knows what we need before we ask for it.

Why he should ask us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, may perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it), but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. His give is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it.

– St. Augustine, Letter to Proba

I love when I can pray this way. It’s so easy to fall into giving our list of needs and wants and neglecting the time to just talk for a while. It’s so easy to end our prayer quickly because we just don’t have the time. We’re busy, and God is there anyway, right?

That’s why I love this passage from St. Augustine’s letter. We aren’t praying because God needs to know what we want and need. He already knows. We need to pray so  we know what we’re asking for and can hear God’s response to it. We need to pray so we can discover what God has for us that we would never have thought to ask for.

As a spiritual director, one of my favorite times is when someone comes to me with a mess that they just can’t straighten out. They can’t hear or see God’s hand anywhere, and just need some help to find it. After spending time discovering the blessings hidden within, sometimes deep within, we finish in prayer and focus our desires. Every time a flood of God moments follows in the hours and days that follow. They are immediate and crystal clear.

God was there the whole time. All the other stuff was getting in the way. The situation may not have changed much, but the grace within it does. The door is opened, the barriers are down. Jesus can come in.

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Music Monday: Tightrope

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I love this song from the movie The Greatest Showman. It’s a poignant song about the adventure of love.

The more I listened to the words, though, the more I felt it reflected my life in Christ.

“High in the sky, we can see the whole world down below… Never sure, will you catch me if I should fall? Well, it’s all an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view.”

Life is such an adventure when you live deep in your faith. Even so, we can have our moments our doubt, wondering if God will really be there when times are tough.

I’m here to tell you that He is, and even in the tough times the view can be stunning. Nothing could keep me from it.

 

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Funniest church moments ever

For our first Fun Friday post, I’m going to share some hilarious church moments from a Jennifer Fulwiler Facebook post. These short, ten-word stories had my family laughing until they cried.

I’ve lived some of these, and seen a few more, and they’re always funnier when they’re happening to someone else, aren’t they?

My story (not my kids, but I think brothers should count):

Altar serving brother sleeping mouth open. Priest’s homily? Vocations. (9!)

or

Same brother, standing room, purse taking chair, perfectly-aimed vomit. (That one might be the best, not the worst)

What is your ten words or less moment?

 

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A Taste of Heaven

The kingdom of heaven is at hand, Gospel of Matthew, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

“About death I go through different moods, but the times when I can desire it are never, I think, those when this world seems harshest. On the contrary, it is just when there seems to be the most of Heaven already here that I come nearest to longing for a patria [homeland or native country]”

– CS Lewis, Letter to Dom Bede Griffiths

Have you ever experienced anything like this? How much do we long for heaven when we experience difficulties, suffering, or evil? I think in those situations, we mostly want relief. Heaven is a nice concept, but not something very accessible in those moments.

But when you have those glimpses of heaven – when everything is working together, when your soul is at peace and the beauty of creation is beyond what you can contain, when your spirit is soaring because of God’s touch in a moment of time – these are the times when the veil is so thin that you can almost see through it. These are the times when the pull is so strong that it is hard to imagine having to wait.

We can think that heaven and hell are only attainable after we die, but that isn’t what we’ve been told.

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) 

It starts here. It starts now. Yes, you can come late to the party, but you miss so much if you do. Build the kingdom today. Open your heart and let Jesus give you a taste of home. You’ll love it.

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Music Monday: Unpack Your Heart – Phillip Phillips

Bring your secrets, bring your scars,

Bring your glory, all that you are,

Bring your daylight, bring your dark,

Share your silence, and unpack your heart…

Into your darkness

I’ll shine a light

 

I love this joyful, energizing pop song. It’s not in the Christian music genre, but it definitely expresses something that God tells us continuously.

Bring it all. Good, bad, glorious, disastrous. It doesn’t matter. You are loved, no matter what you bring to the relationship. In fact, you are loved because of what you bring to the relationship.

Come.

Lay it all in front of the one who can bring light to everything you have.

You’ve never seen anything so bright.

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Summer Schedule

June 1st and summer has begun in our house. School’s out, the temperature is rising, and the pool is calling.

Every summer, I go into a little lighter mode and I plan on doing the same this year. I’ll keep up the Music Mondays, have some spiritual/Bible reflections on Wednesdays, and then some posts on Fridays where I will share some things I’ve found. I hope to hear from you about your summer and where you are finding God in it.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Not the one hundred degree part, but the slowing down and reconnecting part. After months of scheduled activities, it’s nice for our family to do whatever we feel like together each day. As the children get older, those days are fewer and fewer, so I plan on savoring each one.

What is your favorite part of summer?

 

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