Friday’s Fave Five

Some ministry and personal milestones happened this week which I also mentioned last week. We finished missions week and I had more birthday celebrations. I am looking for this week’s five favourite things because of a meme that Susanne from Living to Tell the Story does each week. Join us in sharing your week’s blessings.

Most adorable and tasty birthday dessert ever. The fruit on the Popsicle stick is 2 raspberries.

Most adorable and tasty birthday dessert ever.

ONE. GREAT BIRTHDAY FOOD. Again I had ice cream and waffles for breakfast although this time it was for MY birthday. And for MY birthday dinner we ate steak salad!

My niece made the most gorgeous dessert: dark chocolate covered fruit with a side of real whipped cream and more berries.  The fruit on the Popsicle stick is 2 raspberries.

 

There were 13 beautifully decorated tables. I sat at this table and our hostess, Rima, was a first timer and was awesome.

Rima used her grandma’s china. Gorgeous!

TWO. MISSIONS TEA. Oh, my, I could do an FFF just on the Tea! And I probably will.

Our speaker, Marcia, spoke on an oxymoron of God’s love: how we are protected by God and yet know we will suffer. Marcia is a senior citizen who has worked, mainly in Africa, for the past 36 years. She has seen PLENTY of protection and suffering and still loves, worships, and serves God.

My hostess, Rima, was one of 13 hostesses. She did an awesome job making us feel welcome & coordinating food for our table.

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Go Giants! The game went into overtime to break a tie score. And then it was suspended because it got too dark to finish.

THREE. BASEBALL GAME. I attended a game because one of the players (who attends my church) invited me. I was surprised at how small the ball looked.  I’ve never attended a Little League game before. My kiddos were into soccer and softball.

It was FUN watching and cheering.

And I found a job that I want to have. I want to be in charge of the lights on the scoreboard. It would be even cooler if I could also be in charge of the fireworks when there is a home run. Although they  don’t have fireworks at Little League games, they should.

 

John's theology of pain has helped me to go though my own dark times better. It was awesome to be able to meet one of my spiritual heroes.

John’s theology of pain has helped me to go though my own dark times better. It was awesome to be able to meet one of my spiritual heroes.

FOUR. JOHN STUMBO VISITED. John is the president of our denomination. This week about 30 pastors and C&MA workers gathered at my church to meet with him. John encouraged us from 2 Corinthians 4, asked us questions about our ministries, and then he and another pastor prayed and said a blessing over each of us.

I first heard about John in 2009 when he was a pastor at an Alliance church in Oregon. He went through a mysterious and severe illness, that looked terminal, which God eventually delivered him from. I wrote a post about it here: Peace and Hope While in the Depth of Pain – John Stumbo’s Story

My online group helps e to not dunk my head.

My online group helps me to not dunk my head. This cartoon was found on wakemedvoices.org.

FIVE. HEALTH SUPPORT. When I was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, I knew I needed support, lots of it. So I started a Facebook group called B.U.F.F.

We are B.U.F.F. stands for Brilliantly Utilizing Friends & Facts to combat diabetes. We use these two avenues to move ourselves towards a healthier lifestyle where diabetes doesn’t rule. We do!

At times I do really well at managing my health and other times not so well. When I am doing well, it is in part because of this support group. I am figuring out what works especially when allergies are hitting me so hard! This group encourages me to stay the course even though my numbers don’t always reflect my hard and diligent work.

FFF springPlease share your blessings by writing and linking your own FFF or share a blessing in the comments.

Happy FIRST day of spring especially to you folks where there is still some snow.

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF springI didn’t have to look far to find five blessings this week. After you read mine, why don’t you share some of yours?

ONE. Annual Church  Meeting. Fear not, this was no stuffy, boring time! We now have this government required meeting as a regular part of our church service instead of having an extra meeting time after church. While writing my reports, I found that 70% of the parents and grandparents who use our children’s ministry for their kiddos also volunteer in that same ministry. And I further discovered . . .

  • 22% are teens
  • 45% are adults (under 55 years old)
  • 33% are adults 55+ (in age).

TWO. Women’s Ministry meeting and (my birthday) dinner.  There are only 3 of us on the team, but we sure gel! We made some new plans. Our reveal will be in April. And I am looking forward to getting to know and minister more to the women of CNC.

We put together a short video about what  what our church means to us which was showed at our Annual Meeting.

THREE. Unexpected Meal and Visit. Marsha and I didn’t plan on meeting up for supper and a movie this week. But I wanted to borrow some kitchen tools for some goodies I am making for a Missions Tea on Saturday. Turns out she was in the middle of making this delicious beauty  (don’t let the eggplant scare you away) and invited me to stay. She added Katamari olives and oh, my, this meal is YUMMM. It has a comfort food appeal. It will be on my menu rotation for sure.

FOUR. Missions Week. Every year at church we have a Missions Celebration. Ours is this week. So far I have been to a Missions Breakfast (for those 55 years and older) and a Missions Dessert (both yesterday on my birthday). WOW – both times were so awesome. We got a great overview of the work being done in Africa and heard snippets of their 36 years of ministry. These events were inspiring and showcased God’s power and personal care for people.

FIVE. Birthday Love. My birthday capped off a marvelous week. Days like that (filled with great stories, people, love and food) are so awesome, they are probably illegal!  And I keep listening to these Happy Birthday Greetings from my grand-daughter.

Take some time now to think about what has made your week special. I’d love to hear!

 

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Friday’s Fave Five

It is time to recount five blessings from last week. I had FFF springforgotten
what a great week it was until I looked at the calendar and my photos. Do you ever do that, forget what a great week you’ve had because of looking so intently at the details of today or even tomorrow?

 

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Debbie’s use of glass and shapes is so pretty. The next class isn’t until after Easter.  ;(

ONE. CRAFTING. A friend (Debbie) and I attended a mosaic-making class at a church up the hill from us. This was the first class for both of us. Some people (namely Debbie) are better at this first time craft than others (namely me). I doubt I will be showing ya’ll a photo of my project.

But it was a fun time even though we didn’t speak much. I enjoyed breaking the glass and fitting it into my pattern (a cross). My brain felt very rested after the class.

 

 

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I am on the left. Myrna is on the right.

TWO. CRAB-FEED. This is the first crab feed I have ever attended. I had a wonderful time with the other 3 ladies (Sydney, Myrna, and Wilma) in our group. We chatted about this-and-that. And of course we ATE. I especially liked the shrimp. ;)

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This mother-daughter duo, Wilma & Sydney, formed the rest of our crab-feed party.

THREE. ANOTHER WAFFLE & ICE CREAM BREAKFAST. Yep, another birthday was celebrated last week, my sister’s 50th. I love that my sister’s family has such a unique way of celebrating birthdays.

Happy Birthday, to my favourite sister, Jenny. She cultivates a thoughtful, generous, fun, resourceful, and godly-thinking life. Many are blessed by her (including me).

On a side note: Do you know how this tradition started? Years ago Jenny, Mark and their girls went back East to visit some of Mark’s family. They were there for the 4th of July. The Back East family has a tradition of having waffles and ice cream for breakfast. That idea was transported West and expanded to include birthdays.

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I made LOTS of “play doughs” snakes for Fia to cut up.

FOUR. GRAND DAUGHTER TIME. I took a day off, mid-week, and spent it with some of my Bay Area family. Now of course I LOVE all my Bay Area family. But nothing beats playing with my 2-year-old grand-daughter. Know what I mean?

We played with play dough, bubbles, and at the park. A new sand table, some búho (owl) stickers, and reading took up our time as well.

FIVE. STAFF DAY-LONG RETREAT. I always enjoy these. The concentrated time to plan for the next quarter is so helpful especially in seeing how the various ministries fit in with each other.

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These Dollar Store bubbles were quite the hit. I am amazed at her dexterity.

On a side note: We start all our meetings by answering this question: What is some good news you have to share (from your life or ministry)? This is a great way to start with a positive mind-set. It reminds us that there is GREAT stuff happening and that God is INVOLVED in a powerful, consistent, and loving way.

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Oh, my! Here Fia is on the big swing. I didn’t even know that she graduated from the bucket swing.

BONUS: SOUP, SALAD, & A MOVIE. Another end-of-week meet-up with a dear friend (Marcia). She made an awesome pork and bean soup and gluten-free bread just for the occasion. I even have some leftovers to enjoy over the weekend. And of course I had some kitty snuggles as well. This evening was a GREAT way to end my work week.

We are now caught up with Agent Carter and The Good Witch. The Good Witch is a new series on Hallmark. It will be worth getting attached to.

So, take some time to look over your past week and share some of your blessings. Are you surprised by any of them? Check out other Friday’s Fave Five posts or share your own at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

READ THIS FOR A SMILE While I was pushing my 2-year-old Fia on the swing, a 3-year-old boy came up and pointed to the bucket swing.

“This swing is for babies.”

He then pointed to the swing Fia was in and said, “This swing is for big boys. And I am a big boy.”

Fia was happy to trade, but as soon as he left, she went right back to swinging on the “big boy swing.”

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Friday’s Fave Five

This week has come to a close and so it is time to share five blessings. To read other lists or to link up your own list go to Friday’s Fave Five at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

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This photo made the cutest stamp.

ONE. I sent out Valentine’s Day cards. And to make them extra special, I mailed them with stamps I ordered from Stamps.com. At this site you design stamps with a photo of your choice. I made stamps with my precious granddaughter’s photo.

This darling even made a card for me using a heart-shaped potato stamp and red paint.

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Kadie enjoys rugby, knitting, eating sushi, and making snapchat videos.

 

TWO. Valentine’s Day is always extra special because we also celebrate the birthday of one of my nieces, Kadie. She came home from college for the festive weekend. This sweetheart is caring, funny, talented, godly, and a joy to be around.

THREE. Besides having our traditional birthday breakfast of waffles and ice cream, we also had a birthday dinner. Family and friends gathered for good food, lots of visiting, and even some rowdy singing. We sang pop and Christian music with guitar and ukulele accompaniment.

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“Repent and be faithful to the Gospel.”

FOUR. Lent started this week. Even though I didn’t grow up in or currently attend a liturgical church, I enjoy observing Lent. I wrote this post of ideas to help me (us) observe Lent. On Wednesday night I attended a Lent service with some Catholic friends, Joe and Geri. It was a moving and meaningful service. Afterwards we ate fish tacos. Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday service here.

FIVE. Last night I gathered with the gals (Reggie and Bip) from the Women’s Ministry Team (from church). We assembled the magnets for our annual women’s missionary tea. I think this is our 10th  tea and every year we give out a magnet. This year’s magnets are soooooo cute. And to top it off, they only cost about $0.45 each. I will post a photo of them after our tea. Until then they design is top-secret!

Have a happy and warm week and be sure to look for items for your next Friday’s Fave Five.

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Lenten Ideas to Help Us Focus on and Become More Like Jesus

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan. And I wrote about the following: When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held.)

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan.  . . . .  And I wrote about the following: . . . . . When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held Evans.)

I dabble in Lent. For the past 8 years I’ve done various things: given something up (social media, unnecessary spending), added something (usually a spiritual discipline), donated (money and items) to a good cause, and prayed more. I’m not of a liturgical bent, so I don’t really know what I am doing.

I never did well at fasting. I never spent extra time in confession. And come to think of it, many of my other attempts were also lame.

But I did these things to prepare myself for Easter. And while they were done imperfectly and probably incorrectly, I did achieve my goal. By the time Easter came around, I was a little more focused on the Redeemer of my soul, Jesus. My thoughts & actions were a little more like His.

Here is a cool video about Lent. It is only 1 minute 15 seconds. “Lent is not a list of Catholic Resolutions nor is it a Catholic Endurance Test. . . . It is a campaign for holiness. Instead of giving up chocolate, how about giving up sin.” OUCH!

This year I am keeping it simple. The idea generator in me wants to add a bunch of things to this list. But I typically over-estimate my available time, energy, and resources. So there are only 3 things on my list.

(1) I am giving up negativity in all forms: pessimism . . . uncalled for anger . . .  criticism . . . complaining . . . worry . . . gossip . . . impatience . . . swearing . . . mean talk . . . pride . . . discouragement . . . hyper independence . . .  and victim- and scarcity-thinking. . . . I want to be purposeful about my thoughts and about what comes out of my mouth.

I don’t normally have a problem with negativity, but I think these next 40 days will show how well I do or don’t do in this area.

(2) I am adding in Gratitude. I will write down one thing I am grateful for every day. And I want to be more purposeful abut looking for God’s presence in my life and in the world. I am sure this will give me many things to write on my gratitude list.

(3) I will read only about Jesus. I want my thoughts to be more focused on Him. Right now I have the following books in mind.

Here are some other Lent ideas. As I get the time and energy, I will pop into the following links and try one or two of their ideas.

40 Days of Prayer Doodling.  This is a visual, concrete,and different way to pray.

40 Days of Signs & Symbols.  Each day a different sign or symbol from Christian history or art and its meaning will be posted. Your challenge is to consider its meaning for you today OR post a picture of something you saw today with a similar meaning OR share a thought as you reflect on this symbol.

40 Ideas for Lent Rachel Held Evans has compiled a list of 40 ideas to help us in this season of reflection, penitence, and preparation. I especially like how she starts off the list with 5 questions. If nothing else, do the 5 questions.

A Lent Where #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Ideas for Black History Month and the White Church. Use the Lenten season to truly immerse yourself in Black history and the current reality of people of color… if a white congregation has truly observed Black History month, then it will have naturally found itself wading, likely deeper than ever before, into the themes of Lent, that season of self-examination and repentance.

Declutter 40 Bags. Focus on getting the unnecessary stuff out in one spot per day. Don’t go nuts and tackle five spots because you want to prove something. Don’t get all bummed out because you missed a day (or ten). Just focus on one. spot. per. day.

Do Lent Generously. 55,000+ people are doing 40 days of giving back, doing good and living generously.

An infographic list of 20 odd ideas for teens (or anyone really).

Lenten Wilderness Meditation Practice. Every day for 40 days, we invite you to spend 10-20 minutes OUTSIDE in prayer/meditation/just being (rain or shine)!

Photography. InstaLent Photo Challenge or this photo-a-day project.

Write 40 Encouraging Notes. 

Your Turn . . .

  • If you’re participating in Lent this year, what will it look like?
  • Have you tried any of the above ideas?
  • What would you add to the list?

Related Posts . . . Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday here.

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Benefits of Tea Drinking Seep Into Annual Missions Tea

I like cookies with tea. Both the cookies and the tea are Earl Grey based. I love the cookies layered with orange frosting. What is your favourite item to pair with tea?

I like cookies with tea. Both the cookies and the tea are Earl Grey based. I love the cookies layered with orange frosting. What is your favourite item to pair with tea?

There is no disputing that teas provide wonderful, even miraculous, health benefits. What are  some of the health benefits, you ask?

The white, green and herbal teas are said to help with the following . . .  Aging . . .  Nervous tension and stress . . .  Skin irritations like acne, eczema, and wrinkles, and . . .  Weight loss.

You certainly can drink tea all on your own and reap the above benefits. But, how much more fun to drink with a table full of friends (or soon to become friends).

On Saturday, March 14th, 11am-1pm, Cordova Neighborhood Church will have 12 tables full of ladies and tea for our annual missions tea. We will start with the worship portion of the tea. This includes music, prayer, and time with our speaker, Marcia Braum.

Then we will move into Rudat Hall and have tea and appetizers (provided by each guest for their own table).

At the end of our TEA we won’t be . . . 

  • looking younger
  • have nicer skin
  • skinnier

But I bet we can say we feel . . .

  • more connected to one another
  • excited about what God is doing in Missions
  • this was a satisfying and fun way to spend the afternoon

YOUR TURN . . . Sign up TODAY by leaving a comment below or call the church office: 635-5992. . . . Which one is your favourite health benefit?

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Friday’s Fave Five

HEART FFF graphicTime to share this week’s favourite blessings.

One. Celebrating new life. On Sunday we had 7 baptisms. Kids, tweens, teens, and adults took the plunge. The sermon (how to handle financial worry) and music rocked! I was grateful for the celebration and being able to be part of it.

Two. Take a meal, hold a baby. No, I don’t cook much anymore. When I cook it apparently means means someone died.

However I am good at getting food to go. Like this week I took 2 pizzas (one of them was heart-shaped and pepperoni) to a family with a new baby. I was BLESSED because I got to hold the precious little guy. Mama, baby and family are adjusting well.

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Most of the evening Fluffy sat on my lap enjoying the attention I gave her. And I was grateful for her attention to me.

Three. Cat love. Wednesday night I was at Marsha’s again for soup, salad, and a movie. One of Marsha’s cats has taken a shine to me. Where ever I was, that is where Fluffy was. And she didn’t even bite me this time.

Four. Motivational tool. Have you heard of Give it 100? Go to this website and sign up to work on a project for 100 (or more) days. Every day you post a 10 second video about your progress.

I am on Day 43 of blogging. My goal was to declutter or finish 40 of my draft posts. I started with 276 – I LOVE to start. I am down to 97. I have missed 2 days and still managed to BEAT my goal. I am thankful this tool is motivating me beyond my imagination.

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I can’t believe how BIG Lennon is getting. And I am grateful I get to be part of this family’s life.

Five. Home made meal and a movie. Nope, I didn’t cook, but my godson’s mom did and had me over.

Before dinner I helped Lennon with his Valentine’s Day cards. He wrote his name and I wrote “you.” Evidently the kiddos weren’t supposed to write each other’s names in the “To” field.

We had Crockpot Paleo Thai Stew with riced cauliflower. YUMMMMM. We all ate everything on our plates.

After dinner we watched my godson’s favourite movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman. This is a movie I would watch again. I loved all the cultural references.

Your Turn . . . Now that you’ve read my fave five from this week, don’t you want to write and post your own list? If yes, go to Living to Tell the Story to link up.

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57 Thing To Do During my 57th Year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2016
10 months to go.

57 Things I’ve Done by March 2016

1. Bought Personalized 2015 Photo Calendar
2. Bought Personalized Stamps
3. Wrote 2 Blackout Poems
4. Movie Marathon: The Good Witch Films (7 of them)
5. Family Special Time (Lennon, Kadie)

57 Books I’ve Read by March 2016

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
4. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
5. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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