Archive for March 2011

Kelly playing her Martin D28 12 String

Kelly singing some Arlo Guthrie

Kelly singing at Tilton

With hearts open to God, all the world becomes holy

Published Monday, March 21, 2011

Our church, when seen as a building, is beautiful. It matches the palmetto, pine and live oak forests of the area well. Great brown beams hold a beautiful light-filled glass and tan stucco structure together. Within, the pews are well maintained, the altar is highlighted by a beautifully done stained glass cross with Scripture and depictions of Christ adorning it. A few hundred people come each Sunday to experience the presence of God surrounded by a space that is holy to many. Certainly it was built with holy ground in mind, so for the worshipper who meets God there, the architect succeeds in his or her vision.

We all have moments of the sacred, and it happens to different people in different ways. God is always prodding our hearts wherever we are, so for some, the architect is God himself, as by a stream in the woods, one might see a deer and be reminded that God takes care of the world — those conscious of their existence like us, and those not like the deer. When we feel God, in that realization, whatever space it is, becomes sacred ground.

Many of us hold the burning bush of Moses to be a strong image of this kind of space. It is dramatic and is the kind of story that lasts over the generations. The bush was supernaturally on fire. God’s presence was obvious from a voice that spoke, commanding Moses to take off his sandals. It was there that Moses received God’s nod to lead, regardless of his ability to do so. God would be his strength as he led his people out of slavery. It would be hard, but God would be with him. God always had been with him, as God is with all of us. But the bush, burning on a mountaintop, woke him up from the dream that had become his life. Moses was awakened to who God had made him to be. Not just a shepherd in the desert, but a leader of men and women. Great things happened because of that sacred space.

All great relationships with God start with a realization that God is really working all around us. I remember a day when I committed to praying “unceasingly” as the Scripture calls us to. I literally remained in a state of prayer all day. It was hard and I can’t say I did it well. But that day I saw God at work all around me. I saw people moving and doing God’s will sometimes without even realizing it. My eyes were opened, and all the spaces I occupied that day in the little town of Derry, N.H., became sacred to me.

We all have a need for sacred moments. God built each of us to worship and glorify him with all of our being. We all have gifts that only reach our full potential with the spirit of God awakens them. How are you awakening? And will you accept God’s prodding when it comes?

Daniel Griswold is the director of youth at St. Andrew By-the-Sea United Methodist Church. Follow him on Twitter @dannonhill.

When the Rubber hits the Road!

It’s a cold wet morning for a day in March. The sun was supposed to come out, but God said wait. Wow, you go out to start your car and your engine is stalled. Feeling kind of unfulfilled? …Sad? In the twilight zone? and you don’t seem to know why things aren’t fitting together just the way you thought they would by now. Well this is a good time to take stock of things in your life in general where you’ve been putting all your nuts/bolts and where are you spending all of your time. Where have your thoughts been? Have you thought of how much Jesus loves You this morning? Wo! your engine just started. Your wheels are spinning, but somehow still, you feel like you’re going nowhere. You see through your windshield;but things seem cloudy. The picture outside seems monochromatic. You’re sputtering down the road; your engine is only half effective.  You know deep down inside you could be running on better octane, but you are using excuses for you’re own misfiring pistons and even blaming everyone else on the road!  Well, I know of a high performance additive you could put into that engine;  it’s called forgiveness.  Have you forgiven those that have hurt you?  Wo! your engine just freed up! The scenes along the road are coming into clear and more colorful focus!
Your engine is your heart and a healthy engine is what propels us forward.  Now you see when God sent his son to die for all of our sins that have polluted our engines; He said to “forgive as I have forgiven You”. go and sin no more.  You’re forgiven for everything you have ever done wrong, so move your freed up engine down the road.  Don’t be like those who will not forgive; they don’t know of this perfect love.  You can only be an example of this love.  Keep forgiving.  Be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pray for those who continually hurt you.  Do not clog your engine with the temptations of this world. Do not stop and rest here. God has a powerful plan for your life. Remember to fill up with His hi-test every morning. Expensive isn’t it? Well it’s worth it.
Having it all begins with God being your best friend. You can have everything you’ve ever desired, because God says this in His word “He gives you the desires of your heart”. So what is really in your heart? You don’t want to be unhappy. Be happy with what you’ve got. Make it clear to God what it is that you are hurt about and make sure you forgive. That is the only way you will be happy.  His engine is perfect. Put on His Engine.  Pray and live for “HIS PERFECT WILL”.  Mountains will move… in Gods time!  Jesus gave His all for us. It’s time for us to give our all to Him. He loves you and wants you to be happy. Once you really truly forgive with His power and trust Him for your life, everything begins to fall into place. That is, once God is steering  your machine and not yourself.  Then one day, you can really share this glorious life with someone else. His power and His strength will keep you in show room condition, every step of the way. With His power you must conquer and run over the wiles and the ways of this world.  There is a force that seeks to destroy all of your hopes and dreams and even your very being. The Lord is building you up right now to be able to motor in any weather and win any race. He is getting you ready for this happy and peace life that you desire. You are adding more horse power to your spiritual life and that is why you feel this pain. You will make it and you’re doing ok, but you’re just beginning to live for God with your steel trap mind. So keep talking to God everyday and His voice in your heart will get stronger. Take a part inventory, tune up and change the oil if you have to. Sell out: All for Christ. Give Him everything you want, and all you could achieve or receive. Let it all go to Him. Let him build your machine, this will make you happy. He’s with you at the beginning of your race. Let Him bring you to the finish line.  Wo! I think I here an engine purring!

“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”-2 Tim. 4:7       

“Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”-Matt. 6:33

“The treasure you seek is the Lord Jesus Christ. Where your treasure is that is where your heart is also.”-Matt. 6:21

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things” Rom 10:15

If you want to be the strongest, fastest, good looking car on the road, remember Christ is the driver and that the rubber has to hit the road first. Then you’ll be blazing down the road…like a beacon in the dark.

Love you friends,

In Christ,


Update for March 6th, 2011

We have added two new pages to the website.  They are Blogs and Prayer Request.  Add comments to the Blogs.  If you would like us to Pray for your needs, send a comment.  We will make sure to pray with you.  We will not post it on the website unless you want us to.  God loves to hear from all of us.

Lay Down Your Burdens

 1 Peter 5:7 “I will cast all my cares upon Him, and lay all my burdens down at His feet, and for the times I do not know what to do, I’ll just cast all my cares upon Him.”

Internet, cell phones, High definition television and ipods: All things that are supposed to make our lives easier and still we don’t have the time to slow down and admire the life God has chosen for us.

Life is hard sometimes…

So, place yourself in the Peace Jesus offers us all. Are you in need of a friend right now? Who’s the best friend you could ever have? Jesus Christ. His love is insurmountable and it will overflow into your life if you allow Him in.

He will shoulder all your burdens.

I was remembering this story my sister, Penny told me one time. It made a lot of sense to me. It was about this man who was walking down the road with two heavy bags strapped to his back. He walked for miles until someone stopped and offered him a ride in the back of his wagon. The man said thank you so much. I’m so tired and he climbed up into the wagon. The man that was driving him looked back and he noticed that the man was sitting in the wagon with him, but he was still carrying the two loads on his back, not knowing he could just set them down.

It’s interesting that people still carry the weight of the world upon their shoulders when Jesus wants to do it for them. Just reach out your hand and He’ll take all your burdens away. You can walk hand and hand with your Savior.