Sunday Stills: Lifted #Spirits

Sunday Stills Lifted Spirits

Last Tuesday, as I mused over what images I could use to depict this week’s theme “Lifted Spirits,” something wonderful happened which lifted mine.

April is usually the month we move our travel trailer to our windsurf campground for the summer. Of course, this is on hold since the campground is closed until further notice due to the California Stay-at Home order. I had driven to our local storage center to pay for another month on the trailer.

Feeling a little sad for the delay, as I turned the corner to my house, I saw a car parked in front and saw that it was our Pastor and his wife. They had just dropped off the Easter lily many of us had pre-ordered for today’s Easter Services.

Easter Lilies

Our Pastor creates a podcast of his message each week which is the smart thing to do in these times, so we haven’t seen each other in the last three weeks. Every Sunday, our pastor walks through the sanctuary and stops at each pew and prays for us…he knows where we all sit since we tend to be creatures of habit. He e-mails the link to the podcast each week with scriptures and words of encouragement

We sat in our cars and chatted for a moment and I thanked him for his efforts.

As they drove off to deliver more lilies, I felt so blessed to receive them this week, as the spring sunshine enveloped us after a weekend of rain. My spirits were lifted indeed!

For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope, and life—the spiritual essence of Easter.

Easter Lily Close-Up

The media has been buzzing over churches that are insisting on holding services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did our pastor remind us to “Love Our Neighbor” by staying home from church services, another clergyman, Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church echoed this important message about social distancing:

“This is one time when I believe that, frankly, we are doing God’s will by not going to church,” Curry told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.” “In this pandemic, we are being called to show mercy and compassion, to love our neighbor.”

Rev. Michael Curry, via Good Morning America

My husband and I sat in the comfort of our home in our Easter pajamas listening to our church’s Easter service. Knowing that members of our congregation were doing the same thing today, also lifted my spirits.

Here are some other images that lift my spirits. Some of these are at the “TOP” of my list for inspiration this week!

I said earlier that we usually move into our Sacramento Delta campground in mid-April. This was last year’s April sunset.

Molten Delta Sunset

Does the Word of God lift your spirits?

Bible

Notice the words in the bottom left corner? Weird how the random page I chose for the photo has a warning against gathering…

Perhaps you are more literal with the word “spirits.” I’m told sales of alcohol are up while we are all staying home!

Bottom shelf of the alcohol cabinet. I see things I like!

It lifts my spirits to walk the trails in the Sierra Nevada foothills with my “top dog” Aero.

Walking in the Sierras

The Easter lilies are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day. Other images are shared for Becky B’s April Squares Challenge: Top.

What is something that lifts your spirits during these uncertain times? Show us in an image, poem, song, story or other creative ideas!

I pray that you find spiritual renewal during these trying times. Enjoy your Sunday and beyond. Happy Easter from my family.

Weekend Coffee Share: Waiting for Peace during Advent Season

advent candles for Christmas season

advent candles for Christmas season

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to sit with me for a moment and chat about our difficulties in waiting. How do you like your coffee or tea?

Do you like to wait? I don’t. To me it is time wasted. I usually multi-task while waiting, by reading, doodling, deleting stuff from my phone…you know. I am very impatient. Definitely a character flaw.

If we were having coffee, I would remind you that a host of bloggers have posted about the recent, tragic events in the form of mass shootings and terrorism all over the world. As our hearts go out to the victims and families who have suffered injury and death, we simply long for peace.

Unfortunately we all know the world will go the way it will go, not as you or I would have it. So we must wait.

Along the continuum of religious belief, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist, or somewhere in between, you and I will wait for peace. We may wait our entire lives. Our children will likely wait their entire lives.

I have no answers for you. Only you can decide how you can find peace.

My beliefs help me cope with the lack of peace in our world, which brings me to this question…

…If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you celebrate Advent? If you do not, take a moment to read the rest of this post.

The advent season is also about waiting. During advent, we’re reminded of all those centuries when God’s people awaited the fulfillment of God’s promises, the years of uncertainty, the time of doubt.

“The time before Christmas is Advent, a season of preparation for Christmas. Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.”

From the blog of Patheos by Mark D Roberts.

On this second Sunday of Advent, as Christians light the second candle, we celebrate and pray for peace. Now more than ever we need peace in light of recent events. Regardless of your spiritual orientation, as humans, we long for peace on this planet.

“We can bring peace to these dark days. We can be a light for others to see by.”

Janet Sunderland. Community of the Incarnation

If you would like to know more about the celebration of Advent, read Fascinating Mystery for more information.

May we all find the peace we crave during this time of reflection, regardless of the wait.


 

WintercoffeeshareJoin Part-Time Monster’s event Weekend Coffee Share and let’s have some coffee (or tea).