Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Hats ... Not a New Fashion Statement.. *lol*

So, of course, I had to watch some of the royal wedding today, and of course the hats of the people in attendance were a fashion statement that drew many comments.

Some of the hats were pretty whacky... unusual ... and some may have thought they were making a NEW kind of fashion statement with them... but I found some visible, though not used in the same way, similarities to those smaller ones that some of the women wore on their foreheads to tefillins, aka phylacteries, which are small cubic leather boxes painted black, containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, that some religious Jewish people wear at times.
"And you shall bind them as a sign on your arm, and they shall be as frontlets on your head between your eyes." (Deuteronomy 6:8)

The commandment to wear tefillin is binding on Jewish males 13 years of age or older. Women are exempt from the obligation, as are slaves. Early Jewish law codes allowed women to take on the obligation of wearing tefillin, but this custom was generally discouraged. Over time the discouragement changed into active exclusion, especially amongst Ashkenazi Jews.

Modern Orthodox Judaism holds that it is permissible for women to wear tefillin, but generally discourage it. Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism allow women to wear tefillin. Many in Conservative Judaism encourage this practice.

I've only seen photos of men wearing tefillins, but the small hats of some of the royal wedding guests did look a bit like them. And then some of them had to really embellish them, as in these totally goofy looking ones.. *lol*

Anyway ... it was fun to see some of the outlandish fashions, and some of the really beautiful ones too ... gives me ideas for hats for the upcoming Kentucky Derby Parties too.. *L*

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scripture for Difficult Situations ...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, friends, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

(Philippians 4:6-8)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fun Nite - a Time to Relax after Easter...

It's been a looooong week... lots to do to get ready for Holy Week and Easter.

Following it all...despite the fact that I had to help get rid of the stuff at the temp site and try to start the May newsletter (that should have been started looooong ago)... I decided I needed a break... and since our younger son was still home for Easter, and my daughter was also available...we decided to have a night of relaxing and good food (that I didn't have to fix) at Tubby's Two. Fun times ... so thankful for all my kids ...even those who couldn't be there... xoxox

Looking forward to slower times for work (at least for me) this next week...PTL!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Family Gatherings for Easter

Sunday afternoon was a great time to relax with family following all the busyness of this previous week.

It was nice to be at my Dad and Mom's with a lot of our family - missed seeing many who had other family commitments, but we still had a nice time with the traditional annual Easter candy pelting of the kids..*lol*

Some of the older kids even were lucky enough to find the eggs that had cold hard cash inside them too!!

And after the Gifford family, we headed over to Roherty's for the Karstetter party.

Delicious dinner!! Pat supervised Kim carefully as she carved the ham... *L*

Thank you Lord for all our blessings, especially the ones found in Jesus!!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen Indeed!!

Happy Easter to all!

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday Service at Church this morning, which involved a bagpiper and a liturgical dance to "Lord of the Dance" hymn. And the altar looked so beautiful with all the Easter Flower Memorials given to honor loved ones and to the glory of God. A faithfilled worship service shared with family and friends... Thank You LORD!

Here are some photos taken by Kasey K Photo (our daughter)..thanks Kasey for the wonderful photos!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil

Yesterday, after the Good Friday Community Wide Church Service, held at Sugar Creek Lutheran Church this year, we came back to our church and moved the flowers from the Chapel into the Church, to decorate the altar for tonite's Easter Vigil, and tomorrow's Easter Sunday Celebration ... and it looks BEEEEAAAUUUTIFUL!!

In just a little while I'll be heading out to attend our Easter Vigil...

"This is the night..", words from the Exsultet, that is sung at the beginning of the Vigil (after the lighting of the "new fire").

This is the night, when you brought our fathers, the children of Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, and led them through the Red Sea on dry land.

This is the night, when all who believe in Christ are delivered from the gloom of sin, and are restored to grace and holiness of life.

This is the night, when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell, and rose victorious from the grave.

How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, that to redeem a slave, you gave a Son.

How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight, and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred, and brings peace and concord.

How blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and man is reconciled to God.

Consider joining your fellow Christians in the Tomb on Saturday night, where you can experience the Resurrection firsthand.
Color ... sound ... light ... water ... oil ... bread ... wine ... Jesus...

The Easter Vigil Service at Christ Episcopal, Delavan starts at 7 p.m. and will include:
FIRE: We light the new Paschal flame.
STORY: By candlelight, we hear the ancient tales of God’s works of salvation.
REFRESHMENT: We come to the water ourselves to reaffirm our own baptismal vows.
FEAST: We proclaim Easter! And then we are all invited to the table, old and young, dead and living, to share in the eternal meal of the Risen Christ.

ALL ARE WELCOME! If you are in the area, I invite you to join us tonite!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Clean Sweep Jesus - Good Friday Clean Up

"All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away."
Isaiah 64:6
Do I let Christ enter my life or do I try to fix it on my own? Do I let Jesus enter my heart and make a clean sweep? Do I let God to use his resurrection power in my life? Do I let Jesus to carry my burdens? Do I let Jesus to be my Messiah?

Thankful on this Good Friday for the "Clean Sweep" that Jesus accomplished in me and not just for me, but for the WHOLE world.

Good Friday ....

Do we join the throngs who cry, "CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!!"?

"Then Pilate asked the crowd again, "So what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?" They shouted, "Crucify him!"
Pilate asked, "Why? What wrong has he done?" But they shouted even louder, "Crucify him!"

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he freed Barabbas for them. After having Jesus beaten with whips, he handed Jesus over to the soldiers to be crucified."
(Mark 15:12-15)

Vigil at the Altar of Repose...

"...would you not watch with me for one hour..." (Matthew 26:40).

The Chapel is beautiful, we have nature songs with some music playing, the scent of flowers is wonderful, candlight, the labyrinth walk, meditation, prayers and sitting in the Presence of God, with God ... for me, it's a special time to be still and know that God IS.

Here are some photos from my time at the Vigil late last night (11 p.m. - approx. 12:45 a.m.) And a short video of the Chapel and Altar of Repose.

*Note: Stop my playlist music from playing if you are listening to the video.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday - Squeaky Clean Feet

It's been a busy week .... but, finally we finished all the bulletins, inserts, preparations, sign changing, decorating, candle and bell locating (still some things in boxes around here and difficult to locate!)...and can concentrate on the coming worship times this Holy Week! PTL!

Our small emergency food pantry cupboard is also back too... Here's my Mom stocking the shelves of the new space at Church dedicated to that ministry ... looking good Mom!!

Tonite is our Maundy-Thursday Service and Mandatum (foot washing), followed by the Prayer Vigil.

Some scholars say Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus found in John 13:34, where Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

Soooo ... time for a short nap before a long, worshipful night....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prayer Vigil - Altar of Repose Set Up

One of the things we do at our Church is decorate our Chapel with the Easter Flowers for an All Night Prayer Vigil at the Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday evening until Good Friday morning. So this afternoon 5 of us set up the Chapel. We now have a labyrinth in our newly renovated Chapel, so we set up the altar so the labyrinth path was clear and able to be used during the Vigil.

Also in the Christ the King room, Fr. Bill set up some beautiful books, showing pictures and text from the St. John Bible project, for people to look at and meditate on before going into the Chapel.

The flowers are beautiful, and after the Good Friday service we'll move them to the Church altar and decorate that for the Easter Vigil and Easter Day services.

More photos of the Prayer Chapel in another post later....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Labyrinth Experience

One of the cool new areas at our newly renovated Church is in the Chapel there. A labyrinth has been painted on the floor.

Labyrinths are great tools for a prayer and/or a meditation time.
Labyrinths have been around for over 4000 years and are found in just about every major religious tradition in the world; such as Native American, Greek, Celtic and Mayan.
A labyrinth is not a maze or puzzle, a labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out, and represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.

The design for the one at our Church is based on the design of the labyrinth that is embedded in the stone pavement of Chartres Cathedral near Paris. The Middle Ages was a time of pilgrimages. Since most people could not make the grand pilgrimage to Jerusalem, considered by Christians to be the center of the world, and symbolizing the Kingdom of Heaven, they would make pilgrimages to important cathedrals such as Canterbury or Chartres and others. Once there, they would end their pilgrimage by walking the labyrinth to the center, and then slowly retracing their steps to regain the 'outside world' and return to their homes.

The Chartres labyrinth was sometimes walked, in place of, the actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem and considered a holy experience. People believed that if you walked the labyrinth with the full dedication of a pilgrim, you would be transformed, the old you will be grounded at the threshold stone a purified you emerging, ready to tackle new directions in your life's journey.

Tonight, during the Wed. Night Lenten Series, we had a friend, Tony Walter, come to tell us more about labyrinths, and various ways to use ours for a unique prayer experience.

We walked the labyrinth, but sometimes "walking" it involves stopping at various points to reflect or say a prayer, or just rest and listen. It was pretty cool!

We have all sorts of ideas for using it during our upcoming all night Prayer Vigil at the Altar of Repose on April 21st. It will be a visual and sensory experience since we also have all the flowers for Easter Sunday set up in the Chapel then too with candles and meditation music and more... can't wait to help decorate for that next week, and then experience it too!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy 80th Birthday Dad!! xoxoxox

Hard to believe that Dad is 80 years old!! I think the fact that he has always been active and is STILL working, close to full time, keeps him young too!

I have been blessed with a wonderful, loving, Godly, funny, honest, kind and generous father, and I thank God everyday for him (and mom too)!!

I LOVE YOU DAD!!! x0x0x