Friday, March 24, 2017

silent sermon


I’ve done a lot of research on the topic of ‘silent sermons’.  I’ve come across some thought provoking ideas:
We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

The Lord is my Shepherd ----- that's a Relationship!

I shall not want ----- that's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ----that's Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters -----that's Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul -- that's Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness -- that's Guidance!

For His name's sake ----- that's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death --that's Testing!

I will fear no evil ----- that's Protection!

For Thou art with me ----- that's Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me -----that's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies ---that's Hope!

Thou annointest my head with oil -----that's Consecration!

My cup runneth over ----- that's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ---that's Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord ----- that's Security!

Forever ----- that's Eternity!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

a silent sermon


A Silent Sermon
By J. Michael Shannon

Communion services usually are very quiet gatherings.
The music is usually soft, and people do not talk and laugh among themselves. This is almost universally true regardless of the church tradition of those partaking. While there is an appropriate sense of joy in the celebration of what Jesus has done for us, there is also a silent awe that comes over us because of the magnitude of the sacrifice.

Our quietness is almost instinctive.

And so it was for a monk, as the old story goes, who was assigned to do the homily for the brothers in his monastery. He had never preached before, and he announced he would be preaching on the love of Christ. The brothers wondered what he could say on that topic that would be original.

When it came time for the message, the lights went out. Silently the monk came to the front of the chapel and proceeded to light a candle. He held the lit candle up to the crucifix on the wall, and let the light linger on the wounded feet of Jesus. He then moved the candle slightly so the congregation could see the wounded hands of Jesus. He paused for them to see the wounded side of Jesus. Finally, the candle highlighted the wounded brow of Jesus.

Saying nothing, he blew out the candle and dismissed the crowd.
Was it really a sermon? The brothers thought so, and so do I. He had led the worshippers to meditate on the wounds of Christ.

Something similar happens when we look at and eat the bread, which represents Christ’s body, and when we look at and drink the cup that represents his blood. Silently, we look at the bread, and it speaks to us. Silently, we look at the cup, and it speaks to us. We could talk long and wax eloquent about the sacrifice of Christ, but it needs no rhetorical flourishes from us.

The suffering of Christ speaks to us in the quietness of the moment. That is a sermon worth listening to.

(J. Michael Shannon serves as a professor at Johnson University, Knoxville, Tennessee.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

cute and cuddly

What feeling is so nice as a child's hand in yours? So small, so soft and warm, like a kitten huddling in the shelter of your clasp. ~Marjorie Holmes
Kittens are wide-eyed, soft and sweet. With needles in their jaws and feet. ~Pam Brown


 
Once upon a time there were three kittens, and their names were Mitten, Tom Kitten, and Moppet. They had dear little fur coats of their own; and they tumbled about the doorstep and played in the dust. ~Beatrix Potter

It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens that whatever you say to them, they always purr. 
~Lewis Carroll 
 
A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.  ~Robert Sowthey 

The only thing a cat worries about is what's happening right now. As we tell the kittens, you can only wash one paw at a time.
~Lloyd Alexander


I love cats and kittens.  I sadly see the overpopulation of kittens around my own neighborhood.  The adults are feral, and the kittens will be feral. Over the past three years, a neighbor and I were able to trap a great number.  I shed tears for each and every one, hoping desperately the kittens would be adopted.  Last year, we didn't see any feral cats.  I hope this spring will be the same.

The truth is: Take one female cat over a seven-year period. If all the kittens survived and bred, she would be responsible for 21,000 cats - they are such prolific breeders: you can see how important it is to neuter.  ~Celia Hammond

Sunday, March 19, 2017

it was a long time ago

Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play. Carl Orff











Friday, March 17, 2017

chocolate for starters

Studies Shows That Eating Chocolate

Cake For Breakfast Is Good For The 

Brain And The Waistline

There is nothing quite like a nice piece of chocolate cake, and most of us have likely been tempted by that piece of cake in the refrigerator first thing in the morning. To be honest, many of us have not only been tempted by the cake but we actually have indulged ourselves.

As it turns out, science is now showing that, not only does chocolate cake have benefits, you have no reason for guilt. The study took place at the Syracuse University in New York. Some 968 people between the ages of 23 and 98 participated. The study followed the dietary habits of the people, and those habits were not changed in order to take part in the study.

According to what they learned, chocolate has a positive effect on cognitive performance and if you eat it regularly, it can improve your memory and abstract thinking. At the Tel Aviv University, another study revealed something rather interesting. When they ate chocolate cake every morning, it helps them to work. They also found that eating cake regularly might just help a person to lose weight. Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz found that the brain needs energy when you wake up immediately.

Your body converts food and energy more efficiently in the morning, so that piece of cake is less likely to end up on the waistline. When you eat chocolate cake later in the day, the body is more likely to save it as fat reserves.

According to the study, it was important to eat chocolate before 9 o’clock in the morning. People who eat protein, carbohydrates and a 600 cal dessert tend to lose more weight than those who ate a 300 cal breakfast at a later time.

Why is chocolate so beneficial to the health? One of the reasons is because it contains flavonoids that are found in plant-based foods. They are available in high quantities in the cocoa beans. Incidentally, you will also find flavonoids in red wine. Coincidence? I think not!

When you get right down to it, there may be no reason to avoid that chocolate cake for breakfast. Life is too short to stress over those small things anyway.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

a silent sermon...

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services
regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.
It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting
before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him
to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made
himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated
the dance of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a
brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.
Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet
contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished,
there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.

Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word had been spoken since the initial
greeting. The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave,
he slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the
middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light
and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running
down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the
fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."

~Author Unknown~

Thursday, March 2, 2017

name that bird

Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.

Coleman Cox




Wednesday, March 1, 2017