In the Bleak Midwinter

For so many, the darkest days of the year that lead up to December 21st, the first day of winter are bleak.  Last night, I watched coverage about a massive snow storm in Romania and the rainy weekend the Northeast endured where many are wondering when the rain will end.

My Sunday was spent in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area shopping with a friend, laughing all the way and attending a wonderful children’s Christmas Concert at a local church.   The children sang their hearts out!  And then there were the angels.  Oh! How they lit up the stage in their wings and waved to the audience of family and friends.  Exactly what our angels are supposed to do in our lives, make us feel like we are valuable and protected.

On our drive back to my hotel, I kind of forgot the bleakness I oftentimes see this week of darkness.  It was strangely a spectacularly beautiful day here in the Twin Cities with a balmy temperature of 48 degrees.  And the sunset had some of the most fabulous colors I have seen in the week leading up to the shortest day of the year.  Hoping that you have one of those days soon!

So, if you have one of those bleak midwinter days, listen to this.  Susan Boyle’s voice somehow makes the day better.

Listen to Susan Boyle singing “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

1. In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

2. Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

3. Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

4. Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the Beloved
With a kiss.

5. What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

Shared by Marcie Doll

Tomorrow, Advent Begins

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent, marking the journey we will make together towards December 25th, 2018.  This Advent Blog, sponsored and written by Marble Collegiate Church’s Women’s Ministry and dear friends of our group will focus on the traditional themes of Advent: hope, joy, peace and love.

Our annual theme this year is “Faith:  Transformed by Grace.”

Please check out our menu right above the blog posts each day.  We have added some new features to help you find opportunities to volunteer, give meaningful gifts, and also be there for some that we know the holidays will be a difficult time.

How do I participate?

  1. While you are sleeping, a daily blog post will appear.   Read the post and share it with your friends.  At the bottom of the blog there are buttons to share the post via email, Print, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even Like the post.
  2. There is a WordPress App that you can download from the iTunes, Android, Blackberry and Windows stores. Turn on notifications and you will receive a little buzz on your Smartphone or Tablet.
  3. We welcome you to actively participate! If you see something you like or a post that inspires you, click the heart and better yet, add a comment to make the blog more interactive.
  4. Send the link for your Friends and Family around the globe to join.  Here is the direct website:  https://marblewomen.com

We hope that our Advent Blog will help you to rediscover the sacred Advent season one day at a time.

Sending you blessings this Advent…

Marcie Doll

Curator of the Marble Advent Blog

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100.  For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

And here are a few songs that will help you to celebrate:

Thankful by Josh Groban

We Gather Together (Ricky Lee James)
In this version, folk singer Ricky Lee James is seen on his guitar.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Sarah Noelle

While not a traditional Thanksgiving Hymn, I somehow feel this is a song that helps me to honor my family members who have moved on and no longer grace our Thanksgiving table.
Amazing Grace, sung by Camellia Johnson

We are thankful for your participation each year on our blog.  And look forward to the start of the Advent Season in a few days.

The Marble Women’s Ministry Team

A Back to School Message

Hi Everyone!

No, it is not Advent yet!  Advent is a mere 88 days away and I thought I should say hello. We added a few things to the podcast to help you have a spirit-filled fall.  Above this blog post, we have several tabs for you to click to find some places for inspiration, learning opportunities, volunteer events, and also ways to connect virtually with others.

Here are some things to look forward to with our blog:

Our theme this year will focus on Faith:  Transformed by Grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

Are you looking for inspiration this fall?  Join us in person or virtually.

All are Welcome!

You can livestream our Sunday Morning Service at 11am ET and  our Wednesday Night Worship Services (WeWo) at 6:15pm ET.

Go to the link  Livestream Worship Services to join in.

For the next few weeks, our new Senior Minister, Dr. Michael Bos will be focusing his Sunday sermon series on “Life’s Greatest Challenges.”   How do we deal with those greatest challenges in our lives and grow in our faith?

If you are local to New York City, you can join us in person at Marble Collegiate Church, located at 5th Avenue and 29th Street.  Check out our schedule and events at Marble Collegiate Church.

Well, I am not ready to give up on summer yet, so I thought I should share some pictures of an evening on the water with my Mom.  What are your favorite moments of your summer?  Please feel free to reach out and comment on our blog and we are looking forward to spending time with you soon!

Marcie Doll

 

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Make me a Channel of your Peace

Thank you for joining us this Lenten Season with the Marble Women’s Ministry from New York City.  Here are some thoughts for taking the Lenten journey into your daily life.

Make me a Channel of your Peace

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy
Oh, master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of your peace
It isn’t pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men let we receive
And in dying that we’re born to turn around
Oh, master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness ever joy
Songwriters: Jon Cohen
We invite all who are local to our upcoming interfaith event.
If you are not local to NYC, remember you can join Marble Collegiate Church each Sunday via our Live Streaming of Bible Study starting at 10am and our Church Service at 11am.  Marble Collegiate Church Live Streaming
Have a blessed year!
Marcie Doll and the Marble Women’s Ministry

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter!  We are all blessed today!

May the joy of the risen Jesus Christ be with you, to bring joy into your very soul. The good God has given Himself to us. During His life here on earth, Jesus wanted to share His joy with His apostles, ” That my joy may be in you. ” Joy was the password of the first Christians. ” Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say to you, rejoice. ”  Mother Teresa

Easter Medley

In Christ Alone

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”

In Christ Alone…

Holy Tuesday: Dance like Nobody’s Watching…

Several of the blog posts from Advent and Lent have focused on releasing our fears, being more grateful, and going forth with boldness.  So today, I want you to gain the courage to just dance.

Come from the Heart

Lyrics by Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh

My daddy told me when I was a young girl
A lesson he learned, it was a long time ago
If you want to have someone to hold onto
You’re gonna have to learn to let go

You got to sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart
If you want it to work

Now here is the one thing I keep forgettin’
When everything is falling apart
In life as in love, you know I need to remember
There’s such a thing as trying too hard

You got to sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ll never get hurt
You got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart
If you want it to work

Many have been credited with the quote, “dance like nobody’s watching,” but this old style country song really helped the quote reach the masses.
So to give you a bit of a laugh, one of the best recent examples of this sentiment came out of New Orleans on Super Sunday, 2018.

A dance video where the man just dances…

Find a way to dance like nobody is watching and release your fear…

Marcie Doll

 

Holy Monday: Being a Good Friend

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Proverbs 27:6

In the age of Facebook and Instagram, you may have collected thousands of friends on these sites from all stages of your life.  I so enjoy keeping in touch with people who have made a difference in my life.  And then there is that kind of friend, where you can just pick -up where you left off…

Yesterday, I spent time with one of those friends that I do not get to see as regularly as I used to when we worked together, but it was just like we hung out last week.  I know she will tell me the truth and do so kindly, that I will not even flinch.  She will laugh with me and let me cry on the phone, when I do not get the job I was hoping for or a door closed I did not expect to.  And she will encourage you to be your best self, even when you are not up to it.  And we can sloppy laugh at something that we should not….

In a week, where many of Jesus’s friends denied and one betrayed him, I like to think of the people who always stood by him.  Mary and Martha, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, etc..,

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends…. This I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:12-13, 17

So this Holy Week, I will focus on being the best friend that I can be, one that is kind, connected, a cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on, one to laugh with, and all of the other things that a friend needs to be…

Here is a list of articles that may help you if you need to reboot some of your friendships….

NY Times on True Friendship