Tag Archives: friends

Sunday, God’s Day of Worship, Rest and Fun #travel #friends #Calgary Zoo #God’s Presence

October 4

Wild Rose United Church Welcomes You

Meditation area
Meditation area
Wild Rose Meditation area from another angle.
Wild Rose Meditation area from another angle.

 

What a fabulous day. We started with the four of us attending worship at Wild Rose United church, another of our United Churches that is flying on God’s Spirit. Filled with friendly people, adults, teens and children who greeted us warmly. The service itself was informal and lively. One member told us her faith story. The teens provided opening music, lit the Christ candle, and music during the offering. The theme was Broken yet Blessed. The service was followed by lunch. A great introduction for the four of us to Wild Rose UC. Outside is a beautiful meditation area (see picture) but this morning it was too chilly at 1 degree Celsius to enjoy using it.

This afternoon, I connected with my friend and colleague Rev. Jennifer Ferguson. We had a delightful time catching up on each other’s lives. Friendship is precious. Although we see each other once every 2 or 3 years, we always just pick up where we left off as if the time between didn’t exist.

Tonight Will and Claudia took us to “Illuminasia”, a Chinese lantern and garden festival at the Calgary Zoo. Tonight the entertainment and displays featured the Japanese culture. The lanterns, some of which took three artists, three days to produce were amazing. They featured wild animals, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, and more. The Japanese displays and activities were interesting and fun. We had a grand evening.

 

Entrance Lanterns greeted us.
Entrance Lanterns greeted us.
Wire forms covered with rayon type material and lights inside.
Wire forms covered with rayon type material and lights inside.

Every day I look for God’s presence. Although I realize that God is with me every step of the way, the special time today took place at “Illuminasia”. I was enjoying the display of fans and umbrellas, I complimented a young girl (approx.. age 5) on her beautiful kimono and asked to take a picture. Her mother offered to take one of me with her. Another little girl came running over to join the picture. Afterward, I asked if I could post the picture on Face book. The one mother said a tentative no, and then added but of course many people would post it anyway. I shook my head and said, “No, if you don’t want it posted, I won’t post it.” At that point she smiled, took my hand and said, “thank you, so much.” The second mother piped up with, “but you can post my picture.” So you have a picture of me with the two beautiful Mom’s in their Japanese kimonos. I’m not sure why this felt like God’s presence had touched us, but I certainly felt the Spirit there with me, smiling and saying, “Thank you, Janet, thank you so much for caring for my children.”

Two Mom's and a Grandma
Two Mom’s and a Grandma

God comes to us through the people we meet. #Travel with God

Day 3

Today our goal was to visit churches with my books. I did my homework and got the phone numbers and addresses for some of the churches in Sudbury. My first surprise was the number of churches in the Sudbury region. The world keeps telling us that religion is dying. In Sudbury the people don’t know that yet.

Our second surprise was that church offices here tend to be open in the mornings only, especially in the summer time. Our lovely lazy morning with Sharon meant that we found open, only St. Andrews United and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany.

Our third and fourth surprises came as we visited those two downtown area churches. The St. Andrews Church office is on the third floor of its senior’s apartment complex. My aversion to elevators meant that I had a long climb. It was worth it. The office administrator welcomed us. She listened to my description of Fireweed and bought one. She emailed the minister, Bill Steadman and he appeared from another part of the building. She couldn’t have been more helpful, a wonderful front-line ambassador for St. Andrews. Rev. Bill had spent time in Bay of Quinte Conference, so already had a copy of Dipping Your Toes. He purchased Fireweed, as a possibility for a study group.

Feeling buoyed up by this reception, we walked next door to the Anglican, Church of the Epiphany. I was grateful this office was on the main floor. I pushed through the double doors and met the office administrator. Once again I received a smile of welcome as I introduced myself and Tom and told her why I was there. You’ll want to speak with Rev. Tim, she said and brought me to his office. It’s wonderful to enter a church and receive such a lovely welcome. Rev. Tim, like his colleague next door, was warm and welcoming. He invited us to sit and listened carefully as I talked about my books. When I was finished he said, “I’d like to buy both Fireweed and Dipping Your Toes. I’ll have some of my people read them, to consider buying more. My problem is we don’t keep any money here.”

I responded, “I have a ‘square’ to process your credit card on my cell phone. The transaction completed, we got up to leave. I mentioned that I’d be glad to come and speak to both small groups and on Sunday morning.”

“I was thinking about that,” he replied.

“To come so far I would need some travel expenses.”

“Of course,” he said.

I fairly danced out of that church. We decided we’d done enough for one day. Between sales and new contacts we’d had a good afternoon. It was time to return to Sharon to prepare for our dinner out with Sharon’s friends Cliff and Fern.

Tonight we planned the next leg of the journey to Sault Ste. Marie.

Where had we met God today? Well God had been with us all day, especially at the churches. For me the church is always God’s sacred place. Writing books is fun. Selling books is exhausting. Today four people made the job easy. Through them I heard God’s affirmation for my writing ministry. I am truly grateful.

Dinner at Cliff's - Delicious!
Dinner at Cliff’s – Delicious!

 

Hospitality

In our land of abundance, “No one will ever leave our home hungry,” is often a family tradition. In many places, hospitality can mean the difference between life and death, physically or emotionally. Visitors to the poorest nations are amazed by the generous sharing of food that often leaves the host family hungry. Regularly, foreign guests are offered lodging in dwellings already overcrowded.
The Bible speaks about the importance of hospitality. Like the word hospital, hospitality comes from the Latin word for healing. Much of the time, as hosts, we are unaware of the healing that our guests need. We welcome friends and family, sometimes feeling like Martha, overworked, hurried, glad to see our guests and already wondering exactly when they will leave.
Today, I offer you another way. From the moment you know they are coming, whether months before, or as you hear the knock on the door, wrap your guests in prayer.
• Ask God, not only for a safe journey to and from your home, but also for joy along the way. Pray that their eyes, ears and hearts will be open to glimpses of God’s Kingdom.
• Prepare their room with prayer for restful sleep. Fill the room with loving thoughts.
• Focus on your good memories with them, and good experiences you hope to have as you prepare the food you will share.
• Give God thanks for the gift of their visit each morning as you wake and each night as go to sleep.
• As they leave, ask for God’s blessing upon their lives not just for the return journey, but always.
Wrapping your guests in prayer will ensure that you offer them an experience of healing. That is true Biblical hospitality.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1Peter 4:9-10)