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Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.20.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.20.19

On this eve of the summer equinox, I am having a thankful Thursday for summer. All that summer holds from warmth and laughter to backyard moments and flickering fireflies. It beckons us to slow our pace. Soak up the good. Enjoy the treasures of time we have with the people around us.

Truly these moments are gems waiting for us to notice. Look at the person beside you. The smiles you share cause these gems moments to shine. When strung together with your other shared moments, they become a stunning piece of jewelry gleaming with the jewels this relationship brings to your life.

Pause and enjoy the cup of coffee or tea with a friend. Revel in your shared memories. A laugh or two just may bubble up as you revisit those moments. Your heads may shake in awe and wonder at the times you shared together.

Take a moment for to see the jewels of your life: the relationships that bring you life and love. Thank God for these blessings! Make some time to add more jewel moments to your future.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 6.13.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.13.19

I’ve struggled in putting this week’s Thankful Thursday together. This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. From the joys of helping friends move into a new home for the latest chapter of their lives and celebrating the birth a long awaited little love to the scare of a car accident (thankful for no injuries) and heart wrench from the passing of a dearly loved one.

I’m choosing to be thankful for our communities. The greatest treasures in our lives are the people and the spirit they bring in our community. These experiences came from the different places where our family is connected. Folks from various walks of life at different points on their journey through life. Because of all of these communities and people our lives are more fully enriched.

I came across this quote this week:

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. ~ Mother Theresa

I’m thankful for each of the drops in our oceans of communities. We ebb and flow through the current of life. Sometimes crashing. Sometimes swelling high. Moving forward. Always together in spirit and love.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 6.6.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 6.6.19

Thankful Thursday 6.6.19We are currently in the process of talking with our son about his choices for his future. It is such a tricky balance of truly pausing to hear his interests and encouraging him to try activities outside his comfort zone. Speaking through the language of asking questions is helpful.

His responses help us to understand his mindset and some of the beliefs about himself. It is fascinating to hear his thoughts because where he believes he is does not always match our beliefs for him. Quite often his self beliefs are more limiting than our beliefs for him.

To help stretch his scope of the possibilities, we encourage him to have conversations with trusted adults. They share their story and hopefully broaden our son’s scope of the possibilities. One recent conversation, embedded this reality upon our son:

Just because you choose one focus does not mean you will be in it for the rest of your life.

The reality is many people start in one place, but grow into something more than they initially imagined. Sometimes that is blooming more fully in their original direction. Or doing a 180 to something that is the complete opposite, but so fulfilling for the heart.

We all will change throughout our lives. When we look to God to guide our direction, He can do with our lives as stated in Jeremiah 18:6: He said, “Can I not do with you Israel, as this potter does?”declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” 

I’m so grateful our son picked up on this thought to bring him peace of mind through this decision process. The knowledge that he can grow from where he is now and continue that through life is both peace-filling and life giving (for him and us)! May you be filled with peace as God guides and molds you day to day.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 5.30.19

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Thankful Thursday 5.30.19

Here we are almost six months into the year. Amazing. Different times of the year and different times of life can feel as though they are blazing by with tremendous speed. Conversely there are life moments that seem to creep slower than a snail crossing a highway. Regardless of the season you are in, it is vital for your soul to recognize the gifts you have, reflect on what you have been through, and celebrate the growth or learning you have gained.

These celebrations may be as small as pausing in your walk to inhale the aromatic fragrance of a vibrantly blooming flower, carving out 30 minutes of your schedule to dive into a good book under the shade of a tree, or taking a deep breath and putting on your game face as a celebration of the tools you have to do the hard thing in front of you. Or you may bring your community together in grand gatherings to celebrate a graduation, the union of two becoming one in marriage, or retirement from a dedicated life of work. Reflecting and recognizing actions and experiences gifts us a bit of 20/20 sight along with the fortitude to journey forward.

Joy bursts forth when you celebrate the good, the accomplishment, or the effort you see someone else giving. Shared celebrations include a thumbs up, a handwritten note, or a compliment to their boss, spouse, or children in front of them. Spread the love and joy. Share a celebration.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 5.23.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 5.23.19

In thinking today’s topic, relationships, I did a bit of inspiration work by listening to a podcast by John Maxwell (as I walked the dog- moving the body and the mind is good for the soul)! You can listen to it too by clicking the title. It is called Building Relationships: Working Together Means Winning Together (Part I).

adult study button - bibleThe first devotion shared John 8:7 “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” (You can read the Our Daily Bread devotion here.) It challenged me to extend grace and hope to those with whom I am in relation.

The second devotion offered this piercing thought: Much of our unhappiness in life is caused by people not being what we want them to be or doing what we want them to do. Far too often we impose our understanding of life on others instead of pausing to listen and appreciate how God created this other person before you. Listen to their thoughts and perspectives. You may not agree with their view on life, but you and I are called to love that person -not their view- in Christian love.

Flip Side

When I am the challenging individual, God has a plan for my life. He does not force His plan on me. God listens and appreciates who I am right now. He loves me too much to leave me where I am. Do your thoughts and actions always line up with God’s will for your life? We are human. That answer is nope!

Through the gift of free will, I choose to hear from God. Scripture speaks challenges to me to mold and shape my heart toward the fruits of the spirit. We each have the choice to move closer to God, listen to His word, and grow in goodness. Guess what? Regardless of the choice we make: He LOVES us anyway!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 5.16.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 5.16.19

With the nearly full moon, I awoke early one morning and was blessed with an hour of quiet before the rest of the house began to stir. That time allowed me to spend time in my devotions hearing from God and to reflect on 5 things in my life for which I’m grateful. I also dreamed. At the end of my reflection time, I zeroed in on one thing I wanted to make happen that day to bring me closer to realizing one of my dreams.

adult study button - bibleThis intentional time with God has been a grounding force throughout my life. The more consistent this time occurs, the more I enjoy each breath I take and the present moments surrounding me. It doesn’t always occur super early in the morning, but it always retrains my focus on Jesus.

My thoughts and focus can so easily drift to others. They beckon me to slip into comparison and woe is me because I don’t have what I see others possessing. The less-than and lacking thoughts running through my head physically impact my posture. My shoulders slump forward. My chin drops towards my chest. God has not called me or you to live our lives in such a state. He challenges us to live with child-like wonder.

“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and eartht, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” Luke 10:21

Appreciate the early morning quiet awaiting the day with a silent smile. Marvel at the shadows dancing across the ground as the breeze rustles the leaves of the trees. Pause to watch artistry in motion at the end of the day when the sky blazes with a multitude of colors. As the sun fades away drawing the blanket of evening, we are encouraged to rest in the knowledge we are under our Creator’s care. God’s got this!

So thankful God provides so many opportunities to see beauty, be awed by His wonders, and blessed by His bountiful creation. Exercise your gratitude muscle this week by seeing the world with child-like wonder.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 5.9.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 5.9.19

As rain drops fell from the sky, I ducked my head to hustle from the car to the building avoiding as many rain drops as possible! Once inside, I glanced towards the sky in hopes of seeing an end to the rain and a chance to see the sun. I treasure the warmth the sun brings as it shines its golden rays.

adult study button - bibleAs good as those rays of sunshine feel, they can not compare to the goodness brought to my life by my relationship with the Son, Christ Jesus. Forgiven for my repented mistakes. Challenged to grow beyond my current “status quo.” Blessing others through the actions of my growth and talent sharing.

Look to THE Son. Christ models humanity perfectly. He demonstrates a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father. And Jesus shows us how to interact with others. The Bible shares all of these aspects and more.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

Take time to read the Bible (or listen through an audio app as you walk/run.) Reflect on the blessings given to you. Notice the piece of life missing for yourself and/or others that you can affect. What can you do to improve or more fully appreciate life?

The Son has a way of bringing some tough stuff into the light. A God-based support system is key to healing. As you focus on the difficult issue and bring it to Him, you will hurt facing it. But He is there to help you through the healing process. Support networks cover you in prayer, interceding for you when you may not have the strength. God, in His provenience, makes a way for the healing even when we can not see one.

Tough times are not easy to face. We all go through them. Look to Christ when you don’t know what to do. Connect with God and ask for insight into His will for your life.  And at all times, tough or easy, seek to be the hands and feet of Christ.

He is with you. Bless others with your actions in Christian love. You may be the warmth God uses to shine light into another person’s life.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Thankful Thursday 5.2.19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 5.2.19

I recently read “If you are not growing, you are dying.” When you take a look out the window at nature, the plants prove this point visually especially right now. The plants sucking up the plentiful rain waters and soaking in the sunshine vibrantly display richly colored leaves and petals for all to see. Conversely, the plants lacking rich soil, hidden from the life giving rain, or attacked by pests or disease, droop dry and brittle.

How similar is our personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? When we take our eyes and heart off Him, we shift our focus to the world. We become the droopy, dry, brittle plants because we have removed ourselves from the true life-giving source! Focusing on Jesus Christ fills us emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Intentionally choosing to make time to be in prayer, study God’s word, and pray some more takes effort (especially if it is a new habit you are looking to create!) Here is the other piece to this relationship: Jesus has already chosen you! He is waiting for you with open arms.

Like the vibrant plants, soaking in your relationship with Jesus Christ fuels you with the Fruits of the Spirit. It emboldens you to share your gifts and talents as a blessing for all to see. That is allowing the glory of God to shine through you!

Soak in your relationship with Jesus to be fueled to go out and share with the world the blessings you possess – a gift, a talent, your time, a smile. I’m so thankful each of us has unique blessing we bring to the world to make it as vibrant as it is. I’ll keep my eyes open for the vibrant blessings each of you share as I share mine!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Impact Palmyra is Today, May 2nd through Saturday, May 4th. Interested in getting involved? Click here to learn more.

Thankful Thursday 4/25/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/25/19

Many people have “Marie Kondo-ed” their homes creating space and sharing their physical items with others. This newly found space brings a sense of freedom. Gratefully, enjoying that freedom can boost the wheels of our imaginations into motion.

Our imagination uses what we have available and pieces it together in new and creative ways – sometimes in unusual ways too! This includes our abilities, our interests, and the remaining physical items that have not been gifted to a new home. Where the good fun comes in: when your brain is able to create a plan to bless someone in a way that they have not asked for.

We are relational beings. Connection is key. Recognizing, affirming, and lifting one another up strengthens relationships. A small note, direct eye-contact, a nod of the head, or a smile are all actions you can take to positively relate to someone else.

We are on the brink of the gift-giving season. This week, I challenge to exercise your positive relational skills. Each day find one person to positively impact. (Who knows – if done earlier in the day, you may find it fun to bless more than one person!)

As we reach out and bless those around us with kindness, our world becomes a little brighter. Our hearts become a little lighter – filling with joy! And you may just find blessings surrounding and coming back to you too!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Impact Palmyra begins Wednesday, May 1st. Interested in getting involved? Click here to learn more.

Thankful Thursday 4/18/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/18/19

This Thankful Thursday is Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday has always been an odd word to me. It makes me wonder, “what does Maundy really mean?” So I googled it and found an answer on Wikipedia that boils down to this: Maundy comes from a Latin word, mandatum, that means command. During the time that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he was living the action and new commandment: to live a life based in love.  

This action of service at the Last Supper was followed by Good Friday, the day of ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love by Christ Jesus. Each of humans deserve to be the one hanging on that cross. We in our human state, make mistakes, unwise choices, and unhealthy actions. Despite all of this and more (and maybe because of all of this and more), God calls to us through Christ Jesus. Accepting us where we are. Loving us too much to allow us to stay there. Challenging us to grow into a life greater that we could ever imagine.

For some, the unknown of a life greater than we can imagine paralyzes them. It keeps them from breaking out of the routine of a life they know. Living in that space of comfort and known impact reduces the opportunities to experience multitudes of joy. A baby step of change can have a ripple effect on your awareness of your abilities, the love in your life, and your joy!

Increasing your gratitude is one way to make a baby step change. I know some very grateful people, but even they would say there are more places in their lives they can express gratitude. I challenge you to express gratitude to someone each day this week. “Thank you” goes a long way.

And may I suggest your gratitude for today be lifted to God in thanks for the gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, who took our place on the cross so that we may have eternal life with our Heavenly Father. So grateful – thank you Father!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Our Maundy Thursday Lenten Worship is tonight at 7 PM in the Sanctuary. Message is from the Cross Purposes series: Crosshairs. (April 18)

 

Easter Celebrations:

Easter6 AM Sunrise Worship in Gravel Hill Cemetery (if bad weather, held in Sanctuary)

8, 9:15, & 10:30 AM Special music from Kidz Choir, combined Musical Choirs, and Bobby Gernert

9:10 AM Christian Education