Tag Archive: church


Looking for a Sign

Every Sunday I find myself opening my eyes and looking up during prayer time.

Why do I do this?

Well, for years I have taken a look around when I am supposed to have my head bent and eyes shut.

Image by Eduardo

Image by Eduardo

Right after we share our joys and concerns and go into prayer, I am hoping for something that might be a glimpse of something glorified, something rare and beautiful.

I am hoping for a glimpse of God, Jesus or maybe just an angel.

We used to have a member at the church who drove me crazy. He prayed the loudest and always a half step in front of everyone when we did the Lord’s Prayer. The man was a sanctimonious ass, an uncompassionate Christian who made the other Christians look bad. And his goal was to never bring you into God’s love but to let you know he was a better Christian than anyone else.

That member bothered me because the Lord’s Prayer is one of the few times all members of the congregation are in lock step with each other, when they can take a minute to repeat a prayer and be in synch. We need to be able to do that, to know that there can be a moment when all are joined in worship of the same God.

But before we start that, when the pastor or lay speaker is giving up the joys and concerns, I open my eyes and look around. I want a glimpse, I want to see, I might still be looking for proof. I want to see what the glory looks like.

Image from Morguefile.com

Image from Morguefile.com

And I do not have to push anyone out of the way to make that effort.

Will I ever see God while I live here on Earth? Some days I think so when I see the beauty of hoarfrost or a blooming rose or kids just running around being kids. I see it in the beams of light that come through the clouds towards the end of a day.

When I try to explore the metaphysical world, I see a man who looks like Jesus in his European form. I once saw a picture of Jesus with more Mid-East features and thought that man looked beautiful as well. But I have not seen them at church or during a prayer time.

Still, at each prayer I take a moment to look and see if I can find him.

You never know, one of these days, I just might.

How do you try to find God?

Getting It Organized!

Wordless Wednesday

OK, so it is Thursday. I had some technical difficulties yesterday but here it is. A pictorial essay of a rummage sale coming together.

Day One

 

 

 

Day Two

 

 

Day Three

 

 

Day Four

 

Day Five

 

It was a busy week but worthwhile. How do you help out a favorite organization?

 

 

Picture by Mensatic

 

When summer hits, the one thing I can depend on is vacation bible school or VBS to the uninitiated.  

I may not be able to afford summer camp but my kids can go to one church for a week and have a boatload of fun. They make crafts, sing songs about Jesus, and have fun snacks.  

Some of my friends might think I am a little loony on this. After all, my kids will hit four VBS programs this summer. That can be a lot of schlepping around but it is totally worth it.  

They have been to programs with space themes, heroes, heroes and space, and, this week, a cowboy ranch. In years past VBS themes have hit the beach, gone camping and did a VBS in a neighbor’s backyard.  

Last week, the kids talked about how they had chicken nuggets at the church down the street from our house. There were cookies and other  

Picture by Xandert

 

goodies. Plus there were crafts and picture frames. One VBS made a door-hanger that had white board-like paper to leave notes.  

At our church, we put star sprinkles on small ice cream cups one night. Another night they had trail mix. There was a cheese stick combined with fruit. That was a mixed bag but for the most part, the kids loved it.  

Here is what I like. Many of these programs have a mission component. They are collecting money or canned goods or special items to give to people in our country or far away who need basic items we take for granted. Our church collects pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald Houses. It is important that my kids learn from me, and from others, that giving is the best thing that you can do.  

 Here is another thought. Who knew you could have fun at church? Many of us grew up being yelled for making noise or fidgeting or running in the church. But during VBS we encourage the kids to sing loudly, which they do and seldom on key. We encourage them to yell bible verses. Then they go outside to run, scream and yell a little more. Suddenly, being a Christian is not some solemn duty. You have real joy in your heart that is reflected in your actions.  

Furthermore, a church that has VBS tells me they are open to families. VBS may be a marketing ploy to get those families in the door. But you know if a church is right for you when you just listen and feel. That was one of the reasons we picked our church that we now attend. And it has nothing to do with other churches being bad because the other churches in our area have great pastors and good congregations. This one just struck our hearts in some way.  

Picture by Anita Patterson

 

One of those ways was welcoming our children who are rambunctious, to say the least. Many kids I know are that way. But by giving them the space to do that and teach them how to reflect of Jesus and their faith in him are two lessons churches should give. All of that can happen in VBS.  

So this week, as I send my kids to their fourth VBS program of the summer at the Baptist church, I know that they are having fun as well as learning lessons about faith.  

I wonder what crafts they will bring home this week…