Angels are watching us…

Angels

On this beautiful tropical flower, the middle is shaped like and angel.  The vibrant fuchsia on the petals when pulled away, exposes the angel shaped pistil of yellow and white.  If you stop and take a deep breath for a moment, you just might find that more angels appear to be watching out for us.

 

Shared by Susan Ceely Phillips

Sometimes Heaven…

Basket

 

Sometimes, Heaven is right under your feet –

                  shoes off, velveteen blades

                  caressing your sole – soul.

Sometimes, Heaven hides behind your furrowed brow –

                  the right moment to crawl down your cheek

                  in a single tear into the light of day.

Sometimes, Heaven floats on the gentle currents above –

that shelter

the treachery of the undertow below.

Sometimes, Heaven hammers at the door of miscommunication –

clambering for and scrambling with truth.

Sometimes, Heaven soars.

Sometimes, Heaven screeches.

Sometimes, Heaven caresses your cheek.

Sometimes, Heaven slams you against the wall.

But, sometimes – sometimes –

Heaven is just that.

 

Shared by Susan Ceely Phillips

Lamb of God

Donkey and ElephantEvery time I pass Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church on East 22nd street in NYC, I stop to look at their signage board because I know there will be a challenging message. So, October 25, 2016, was no exception. It was just days before the presidential election and when I read it, I smiled. I read it again and knew I had to take a photo. The message of hope was not to be lost amid all that was leading to that day. I thought, regardless of the disappointment some may feel the day after the election, or on any given day due to life’s challenges, the “lamb” is always with us. God provided the lamb so that we might have life abundantly.

I’m reminder of that beautiful hymn by Twila Paris, “Lamb of God.” Below is one stanza and a beautiful rendition by Sarah Reeves.

“Your only son, no sin to hide, but You have sent Him from Your side to walk upon this guilty sod, and to become the Lamb of God. Oh Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God, I love the holy Lamb of God. Oh wash me in His precious blood. ‘til I am just a lamb of God.”

 Listen to Lamb of God by Sarah Reeves

May we experience hope, love and joy from the Lamb of God this Lenten Season.

Shared by Sandy Diaz

Let there be Peace on Earth

SandyDiaz2

My daughter and I were sight-seeing with friends when I came across this street in Mont-Saint-Vincent in France in the Spring of 2016. I was captivated by the stillness, beauty and simplicity of it, namely the colors of the sky, the trees, and flowers. After a lovely picnic across from it, we drove down the street. Every time I look at the picture (which is framed in my foyer), it takes me back to the moment and fills me with joy and peace. I hope I can feel that peace regardless of where I am, and I hope I can share it with others.

And speaking of peace, I’m reminded of a song we often sing at Marble… “Let There Be Peace on Earth”…

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God our Creator, children all are we,
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Watch and listen to “Let there be Peace on Earth”

Blessings,

Sandy Diaz

Almost Tulip Time…

As we edge closer to Spring, I wanted to share my favorite part of the season, tulips.  The flowers just make me happy and while their season is short, I know that as the flowers fade, the spring season is here to stay.

I have shared a couple of my favorite tulip pictures, some red, orange, pink and purple ones from the Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Rhode Island, where you can pick your own and bring them home. I have already purchased my tickets for this coming year, as they usually sell out.  But that will not be my only tulips this spring….

There are three major tulip festivals in this country, Skagit Valley, WA, Woodburn, OR, and Holland, MI.  I will be a tulip tourist this year, as I am headed to Skagit Valley in Washington in April, as I need to be in Washington for an event and can be an accidental tulip tourist.

Here are some background facts:

  • there are over 3,000 different varieties of tulips
  • the colors are magnificent and range the entire rainbow and even can be striped
  • The Netherlands made them famous, but they originated in Persia

Some tulips represent true love, purple ones for loyalty, and white tulips can say “I’m sorry.”   And the Alzheimers Association uses a purple tulip to ask us to pray and support those who are suffering and caregivers who take care of them.  So much to pray for… #gopurple

We are edging ever closer to spring and while I still see some snow flakes on the weather map this week, I say bring on the tulips, I am ready for Spring!

Shared by Marcie Doll

The Storm before the Calm

Sky Picture

I took this picture very early on Monday morning.  As I was parking my car on 128th Street in Harlem, I had a moment to catch this beautiful sky.  The wind was very strong and it was tossing these leafless branches back and forth.  Looking past the branches were dark clouds, but behind it there was a glimmer of sunlight even at this early hour.

As an educator at a big city school in Harlem, New York,  Mondays can sometimes seem daunting.   Overwhelming in fact, as I think about all that I need to accomplish to ensure the students in my school feel loved, cared for, and learn.

This picture reminded me of how we face our daily challenges or should face our challenges.  Just like the branches, we need to remain strong,  because we know that these challenges and giant to do lists shall pass. Light will take over our darkness.  All we need to have in our heart are patience and faith in God.

Sitting in my car, I witnessed this beautiful scene, on a regular Monday morning and it renewed my faith that I can tackle anything that comes my way.

Shared by Gloria Cheng

On Praise

On Praise

Psalm 34:1

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

This photo was taken at a former Portuguese fort in Casablanca.  The fort now houses a restaurant where we had dinner on my third night in the city.  The setting was so beautiful and unusual that I couldn’t put the camera down.  When I reviewed the photos, I found this gem.

I hear the lyrics of The Lord is Lifted Up as I look at this photo.

The Lord is Lifted Up

The Lord is lifted up
In majesty and praise
The earth beholds and bows before
The wonder of His grace

The Lord is lifted up
Above creation reigns
While earthly kingdoms rise and fall
His holiness remains
God’s holiness remains

The Lord is lifted up
All creation joins in praise
The Lord is lifted up
Every nation stand and praise Him
Praise Him
The Lord is high and lifted up
The Lord is lifted up

The Lord is lifted up
The heavens tell the earth
His excellence is evident
His works declare His worth
God’s works declare His worth

The Lord is lifted up
All creation joins in praiseThe Lord is lifted up
Every nation stand and praise Him
Praise Him
The Lord is high and lifted up
The Lord is lifted up

Prayer – Lord, may I continue to find you everywhere and in every circumstance. Amen

Songwriters: Billy Crockett / Kenny Wood

Shared by Annemarie Edwards

The Sweetest Memory of My Childhood

Desserts

I recently saw this  blackboard in El Barrio aka Spanish Harlem full of sweets that I grew up eating.  Oh, how it reminded me of all my sweet memories of Easter Sunday as a child.  New clothes, sweets and Sunday worship.   If you’ve had a slice of Tres Leches you know what I mean.

Do you have a sweet memory of your childhood?  Feel free to comment on the blog.

Shared by Carmen Mattias

Our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico are still suffering after the hurricanes that hit the island in 2017.  Our sister organization, Intersections International is focused on providing support for vital services and faith-based disaster relief for Puerto Rico.  Click here to learn more about this organization and how you might be able to help:  Intersections International

There is a beautiful poem on the site from Chuk Abasi, the resident artist at Intersections International.  Click here to read:  A poem called “Sun on the Village: A Poem for Puerto Rico”