WORSHIP – what does it mean to You?

Today my Five Minute Free Writes prompt is: WORSHIP

Today is traditionally the day of Worship. The day we get dressed up, clean up, pack our families in the car (hopefully with not too much yelling done on the ride to church) and file in a semi-organized manner into a place of worship—or church/synagogue/mosque. You may hear various genres of music featured by a choir, orchestra, or praise band. Maybe there will be no instruments.           

At the front of the gathering, a man of the “cloth” may stand in front of you. He/she may be dressed in a suit and tie, casual attire, or a robe and lapels with varied designs. However you choose and wherever you choose to get together on a Sunday morning or Saturday night, Scripture should be the main attraction. It shouldn’t be about the latest style of dress or how old the stained-glass windows are or where they came from, or who donated what within the four walls.

Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near (Hebrews 10:25).

Some may say Worship can be done in the great outdoors among trees, flowers, or by the water’s edge. I’m not here to discuss where or who leads what, but there is one key element that cannot be ignored wherever Worship is exercised. The God of the Universe must take preeminence in the discussion. His teachings, parables, commands from the Bible need to be the focus. People groups, community awareness, or human agenda shouldn’t be the main directive.

More importantly, how can I push to a deeper relationship with my God—the one who sacrificially died, rose again for me and you, and now sits on the throne. Consider asking yourself these questions.

  • How are you preaching/living out the life-saving Gospel to your family and neighbor? Does your talk match your walk?
  • Name a few ways that you are loving your neighbor.

I’d love to dialog with you about your thoughts.

*****

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Grip of Despair

When despair wraps its
Ugly tentacles around my shoulders.
Squeezes, squeezes, then
Squeezes some more.      

Intense pressure weighs upon my heart.
Impending doom draws nigh.
Hope dashed—shroud of darkness envelopes.
Guard my heart. But, how?
Decisions made—I have no control.

Acknowledge crushed dreams.
Reject despair.
Yet despair returns full force;
Multiplied with mighty power.
No resolve in sight.

Then I hear a faint whisper,
Tell it to Jesus.
Tell it to Jesus.
There’s no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

*****

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Day #301 – Life Aboard a Boat – Part 2

These skills will prove helpful:

  • Counselor (when the boat hits something in the water and it’s not your fault)
  • Party Planner (for the numerous potlucks, docktails, locktails (gathering together at or near the lock/canal waterways), spontaneous get together which Loopers are well known.)
  • Improvisor with little advance notice
  • Travel Agent (booking the next evening’s destination with a harbor master if you plan to dock at a marina)
  • A praying person (most helpful!) + having a network of praying people supporting you while you are out there.

If you can handle the above (see Life on a Boat, Part 1), you are definitely in for the thrill of a lifetime. You will encounter many firsts on this trip with brand new sights, sounds, smells and people along the way. Walking through Arlington Cemetery and witnessing the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Washington DC with the White House, US Capitol building and Library of Congress, Times Square, being on The Today’s Show in downtown New York City … amazing, each one in their own way! What will be your next adventure?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover, Mark Twain.

xxxxx

 

 

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Day #300 – Life Aboard a Boat, Part 1

This is a momentous occasion—300 days on the trail, the waterway trail that is! I find this hard to believe unless I look at my journal or calendar and see verification for myself. 300 days, 4848 miles, 16 states + Canada, and too many waterways to mention. What a whirlwind experience (wild ride) we have had throughout the entire 300 days! Still seems impossible to believe that we are ¾ done with the trip. In some ways, it feels as though we have just begun, and in other ways, it feels like we’ve lived aboard Sanctuary for much longer.        

I am working on a job description for First Mate. Requirements needed for this position is quite extensive so it may be awhile before the list is complete. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Strong physical endurance most helpful. Ability to withstand sweltering heat and humidity, pelting rain, storms and cool temperatures. May occur within the same day. A strong internal constitution when encounter foreign water and foods. Ability to walk a lot, coordination in riding a bicycle, climbing in and out of a dinghy, and stepping many steps, tying knots, lassoing cleats/posts/rings in anticipation of docking
  • Excellent balance and no fear of the water or motion sickness prone—a definite plus!
  • Ability to tolerate long periods without family or friends you left behind. The flip side: you will meet many wonderful people along the way who share your trip with you off and on during  the 6000+ miles.
  • Days of isolation in tight quarters; other days you’ll be overwhelmed by people everywhere with no where to retreat.
  • Every day is different for approximately the next 365 days. No two days are the same even if you remain in the same anchorage, marina, or mooring ball.

Let’s pause for a moment.

  • Is God showing you a new door to open in your life today? Maybe an adventure in the making.
  • What do you suppose He is preparing you to encounter or withstand in the near future? Be brave and ask Him.

In Part 2, we will consider useful skills to carry along for the trip ahead.

xxxxx

 

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Turbulent forecast ahead?

Dark, ominous sky overhead         
Warns of rain and inclement weather.
Tempest clouds
Speak of turbulent forecast.
Yet, we are docked safe and secure
Naught to worry or fear.

Even though outside the
Weather is frightful, I know
He has this whole world in His hands.
Deep within my soul
I can truly say,
It is well with my soul.      

 

 

 

 

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit, John 3:8.

*****

 

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Breathing in His Grace

Swan Creek anchorage by Rock Hall, Maryland

All is calm.
All is still.                                             Fish jump occasionally.
Blue Heron glides overhead.
Subtle creek ripples
Gently past our vessel
Sanctuary – tucked away snugly
Within a protected cove.

Take a few deep breaths
Breathe in His grace and 
Breathe out His praise  *
Breeze cooling as sun sets
Slowly behind pine tree line.
Another day draws to a close
Opportunity to thank the One
Who made all things possible.

Picture taken at Swan Creek at anchor, Rock Hall Maryland

  • Matt Redman – Your Grace Finds Me! 
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Sacrifice for You and for Me

Thoughts while sitting on the Amphitheater steps of the Unknown Soldier Tomb:

Oh, the tears, the blood shed
Represented here in this place.      
Row after Row after Row
White tombstones
Representing sons, fathers, uncles.
Real live people.
Real live losses.

Days gone by.
Ancestors, family, friends.
What sacrifices!
All to secure my freedom and yours.
Words cannot describe
The debt we owe
To the many who’ve gone on before.

I am humbled, speechless
Driven to my knees.
My only response
Is Thank You.
And then the tears flow.

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Come to Me

Come To Me                     

Are you weary?
Burdened beyond words?
Rest is found in Him.
In Him alone.
Freely, generously without question.

I can learn from Him.
He is my Teacher; I am the student;
ever learning,
ever failing,
then ever learning some more.

He is gentle,
humble in heart.
Sweet, blessed, essential
Rest is found in Him.
He can satisfy my longing soul
and fill an empty heart.

thoughts taken from Matthew 11:28-29

*****

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There’s No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home                                                                                                                  

Spring sprung while we were away.                       Red Dogwood at Home
Jonquils pop tiny yellow & white heads.
Trillium burst forth in uniform whites.
Purplish buds appear from Red Bud tree.
Pink-red colored Dogwood blossoms
Surge out alive and well.

To think I would have missed
This grand display
Had I not traveled this way!
Iris whites shoot forth.
Leafy rose leaves waking up.
Assorted green tree buds say hello.
Grass blades stand tall & proud.

I’m so thankful for this chance     Trillum at Home
To re-acquaint myself with
My blessings I oft
Forget amidst day-to-day routine.

All shout Happy Spring
Glad you are here now!

Daffodils at Home

Iris at home

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Water Therapy

beach at Wrightsville Beach Atlantic

Atlantic Ocean – Wrightsville Beach

Ocean waves thunder & roll
Crashing unrepentant against the shore
Greenish-blue water with froth on top
Wind blasts sand on my skin
Children chase seagulls
Birds hover overhead
Carried along with the breeze
People play … enjoying life
Others rest after a hectic week
Some immersed in their favorite read
Carefree feeling
Place to unwind
Absorb sun’s rays
To just be!

I stoop low
Spying a smooth peculiar shell
Purple hued edges
Catch my eye
I gather grains of polished sand
As they trickle past my fingertips

Praying
May the wind smooth and polish
My rough and jagged edges
May I be beautiful and useful
In Your sight
For Your glory!

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