Life Happens - Update on Faith Break and Rev. Carol

 Yes, we are both alive and well even though you haven’t heard from us in months. I should be ashamed of myself for neglecting this webpage but I am not. My plate has been too full but  with Faith Break Radio and Facebook Fan Page ministries. I also have new responsibilities with The Order of Saint Luke which is a delight for me. More about that later.  

A friend of mine, Rev. Andy Morgan, preached a sermon two weeks ago that hit home with me. He talked about prayer and how we should be careful what we pray for and also to reminded us that, contrary to our own thoughts, not one of us is perfect. It reminded me of when I walked across the stage at Annual Conference on my first retirement, and Bishop Neil Irons put his arm around me and said, “God isn’t finished with you yet”. I thought he meant that God had more work for me to do but now I realize that what he really said was, “God isn’t finished dealing with you yet, you are a piece of work.”

So here I am, back again and more excited about Faith Break than ever. Since I last posted, I have celebrated 20 years of continuous broadcasting “Seeds of Hope” in Central PA and also celebrated my forth retirement from appointed pulpit supply with parties all around. What a blessing to be loved! Thank you everyone.

The Bible verse that I live by is from the Apostle Paul’s letter to young Timothy. “I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service.”      

It has been a very wet summer so far. Flower beds are chocking with weeds, but we are close to God in the garden, and grass is growing by the second. We are preparing to host my family reunion at our “Bellwood Estate” in September and days are too short!

That’s Life! 

God Bless You. God is always present in our daily living.

Your Sister in Christ,

Rev. Carol   

20180604_105811.jpg

Faith Break is 20 years old!

Faith Break marks 20 years Inspirational spots now expanded to internet!

By Linda T. Gracey For the Altoona Mirror

Encouraging words can go a long way to brighten someone’s day. Those words could come from a friend, family member or Faith Break.

Originally started as 60-second spots on three local radio stations 20 years ago, Faith Break has now expanded to the internet where additional messages of hope and inspiration can be found on Facebook.

The voice behind the messages is the Rev. Carol Gathagan, a United Methodist pastor who served eight churches in the State College and Altoona area from 1988 to 2004.

Although she retired from full-time preaching more than 10 years ago, Gathagan of Bellwood continues to go the studio each month to record inspiring words that can be heard on Mix 94 WBRX-FM in Cresson/Altoona, Classic Rock 94.3 WBXQ-FM in Patton/Altoona and 1370 WKMC-AM in Roaring Spring/Altoona.

Faith Break is broadcast on those stations weekdays between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and again between 3 and 3:30 p.m.

Radio listeners can also hear past spots on the Faith Break website: www.myfaithbreak.org.

Gathagan said her outreach started when she was pastor at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. She had learned about other pastors doing something similar and approached the church’s administrative council for approval. After the church gave the OK, the outreach eventually was approved by the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, and it is a ministry of the Altoona District in that conference.

Associating her work with the biblical principle of sowing seeds, Gathagan said she is broadcasting seeds of hope.

All her segments are original.

“I write and produce all of them myself,” she said.

“It’s amazing how she gets a thought across in such a short period of time,” said Altoona resident Jeanie McMinn.   Gathagan’s messages “hit home. They make your day better,” added McMinn, who was there at the beginning as a member of Wesley UMC.

Gathagan said ideas “just come to me. They come from everyday living, from people’s experiences. I am always listening. Sometimes people will say something that will trigger an idea.”

“Almost” daily devotions can also be found on Faith Break’s Facebook page. Gathagan said most of the time, the devotionals on Facebook are different from her 60-second radio spots. She said she usually gets between 400 and 500 hits a day on her Facebook page, but a recent devotional had 2,000 hits.

“It’s because people share them,” she said. “If you put a picture up, it grabs people,” she added.

Gathagan said being on the radio stations and Facebook is like having a huge congregation that she doesn’t even know. But, she often receives affirmations that they are listening.

“Everywhere I go, people say: ‘Your voice sounds so familiar. Do you do Faith Break?’ It’s just amazing. I can’t get over it,” she said.

Those encounters are the only compensation she receives.

“A lot of people think I get paid to do this, but I don’t,” she said.

As a matter of fact, Faith Break must pay to be on the radio stations. Gathagan said it is funded by donations, and there have always been enough funds to keep it going.

She said every time the money gets flat, she and others pray.

“(Faith Break) has never been interrupted,” Gathagan said, since it started on   Oct. 27, 1997.

And at age 75, she intends to keep it going.

She said she tells people who think that she should slow down that she is like a determined football player.

“I’m playing in the last quarter,” she said she tells them. “It’s not over until it’s over. I could make a score at the last minute.”

“Rev. Carol is really an involved person,” McMinn said, noting Gathagan is very sincere. “She is an all around good person. There is no artificial faith in her. Everybody knows her and everybody loves her,” McMinn said.

For Gathagan, Faith Break is a calling from God, and she believes in carrying out His mission.

“My goal is to help people in their everyday lives — to give them reminders that God is with them. I want them to know they are not alone, whatever they are going through,” she said.

Praying Without Distraction

Why pray using the Rosary, Protestant Prayer Beads or Orthodox Prayer Rope?

“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

In a world full of distractions, it sure is easy to lose focus, especially when we are praying. Our minds skip from here to there at the slightest sound and we find our minds wandering all over the place as wetry to talk to God. That makes it even harder to listen to God and we wonder why we think we do not hear from God. Prayer Beads help us to meditate as we pray and finger each bead as we move around the circle of beads.  There are 33 beads, the number of years in Jesus’ life here on earth. We begin with the cross that reminds us of our salvation and God’s saving grace. Thereare 4 weeks, or prayer sections divided by a larger bead called a “cruciform” bead and 7 beads in each week. For some, each group of 7 reminds them of the 7 days of creation or the Christian number for spiritual perfection.
The circle of beads reminds us of completeness and wholeness in our creator God. Of course, there is more history and ways that we use beads while praying and it becomes a very personal spiritual experience as time goes by.    

If you are interested in learning more about making or using Prayer Beads as a form of meditation. This is the site where I purchased the book A BEAD AND A PRAYER that I am giving away along with a set of Prayer Beads that I am making at our monthly Creative Hands Meeting at Asbury United Methodist Church in Altoona, PA. 

Please send all prayer requests to contact at www.myfaithbreak.org. Persons sending prayer requests will be considered for the give away.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2)

God Bless You All,

Rev. Carol

            

Prayer Journal and Prayer Beads

The Value of a Friend

 

The Bible tells us that "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help." (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NRSV)  I was talking to my sister the other day and we were discussing the value of our friends we have that we can talk to face to face. Human contact and interaction is the best medicine ever! Yesterday I had lunch with two of that kind of friends and I think my blood pressure came down a point or two just because we were able to talk honestly and laugh loudly. We talked about religion and politics (which we do not agree about but oh well...)  without any sign of anger.  We said grace for our meal and prayed for our families and our country. We are different! We are alike too because we both love the Lord. We agree that God always wins and that is our hope for the future of our children and grandchildren. During this time of change in our nation and in our lives, hold fast to your friends. Keep all of them in your hearts and love them in spite of your differences. The Apostle Paulwrote to the Romans, "Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (12:9 NRSV) That is the true value of friendship!

Your Friend and Sister in Christ,

Rev. Carol       

                                                               Radio Station friends; they make me sound good!

                                                               Radio Station friends; they make me sound good!

The Long Walk Home

Jack was a good dog. He was a border collie and knew his job. Every morning and afternoon, he went out to the pasture and rounded up the cows and brought them up to the barn at milking time. He was also a beloved pet and member of our family. One day, a car arrived in our driveway and a man stepped out and asked my dad if he could buy Jack. Of course, Jack was not for sale.  A few days later, Jack came up missing. We all cried and I prayed that Jack was just lost and would come home. A few weeks later mom called out, “It’s Jack, I can see him coming over the hill!” Jack had found his way home. His feet were bloody from walking, his hair was matted and he was really hungry. He received a wonderful “welcome home” and all of us shed tears of joy. Jack was home!

Jack reminds me of the story of the Prodigal Son in the Bible (Luke 15:11-32 NRSV) A son leaves home and spends his inheritance on wild living and nearly starves to death. He is beaten down and can go no lower. In sheer desperation he returns home in shame, only to be met with tears of joy from his father at his return.  That’s how God is with us. No matter how far we go from home and how foolish we are, God is always ready to welcome us home. God misses us when we are away and if we are honest, we miss God too. Is God that “something” or “someone” missing in your life?  God is watching and waiting for your return!

God Bless You!

Rev. Carol     

 

              Jack Comes Home

              Jack Comes Home

Waking the Sleeping Giant

It is finally beginning to look like spring in Central Pennsylvania. We have been waiting impatiently for spring to wake up after a cold winter and we are anxious to get out and get some sunshine. At last, spring has arrived! We have learned to be patient throughout the seasons of the year just as we need to be patient during the seasons of our lifetime. There are times when we feel like we are suffering through dark winters of darkness in our souls. There are seasons of illnesses, disappointment and grief and we long for the season to end and a new season to begin. We grow impatient. We want to wake up the sleeping giant of joy once more in our lives forgetting that joy is not a sleeping giant; joy is a gift from God.  It is everywhere around us and we only have to remember it is there to wake it up in our hearts and souls.

Paul wrote to the Romans, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"  (15:13 NRSV)

May the sleeping giant of joy awaken your spirit today and everyday!

God Bless You!

Rev. Carol    

Sudden Bursts of Enthusiasm

There is a plaque on my desk that reads, “I Am Subject To Bursts Of Enthusiasm” given to me by my sister Mary Ellen. We were a lot alike in that manner. It didn’t take much to get us excited but all too often our enthusiasm died down. These sudden outbursts were normal for us but we had some things in common that never died down; like our enthusiasm for Jesus Christ. Get us talking about Jesus and what he had done for us during in our lifetime only made us more enthusiastic. I am talking in the past tense because Mary Ellen had her miracle of healing when she entered into everlasting life on April 23, 2012.

Are you able to name the things in life that you are enthusiastic about? If so, where is Jesus Christ on your list? Is he in the top 10? Is he number 1? Is he on your list?

Jesus doesn’t want to be a sudden burst of enthusiasm in your life; he wants to be a “steady as she goes” enthusiasm. Remember 1 John:4:19. “We love, because he first loved us.” Jesus is still enthusiastic about us!

This Faith Break was written by a happy Irish pastor during the month of March. I have to give you an Irish blessing in honor of St. Patrick!

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Dea-Slán and God Bless You!

Rev. Carol

           

 

Sorting Potatoes and Making Decisions

Sorting Potatoes and Making Decisions

When my dad was 8 years old, he was sent to work for a farmer named Mr. Johnson. His first job was to sort potatoes by putting seed potatoes into a separate pile.  Mr. Johnson told him what to do and left him on his own. When he returned and checked on dad, he found he had only one small pile of seed potatoes.   

He said, “Well Ivan, I see you haven’t got much done today” … dad replied, “I’m having too much trouble making all these decisions.  Dad needed help deciding which potato went where.

Do you need help making a decision?  The Bible tells us “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”  (James 1:5)

What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind

It was a blizzard!  I looked out my study window and couldn’t see anything but a curtain of snow.  In a way it was nice because we were not to leave the house unless it was an emergency so we had a snow day to read a good book, watch old movies or nap.  It didn’t work out quite that way because some of us decided that since we were trapped in the house we could get at some of those chores we have been putting off.  I cleaned and polished my kitchen cabinet doors until I could see myself in them.  While I was busy doing that, there was activity going on outside that I couldn’t see.  The next morning, after it stopped snowing, I was amazed to see deer tracks all over my yard. A crow was strutting around looking for his morning treat of bread crust that my husband tosses out and there were cat tracks right up to our doorstep.  All these were evidence that we had had visiters during the storm. 

Sometimes our lives seem like blizzards. There is so much happening at one time that we can hardly focus on what is happening at the moment.  Work, family, school and shoveling snow are just a few examples.  When all is said and done, I’m wondering what evidence we will leave behind for future generations.  Will our faith shine through like footprints in the snow that will show that we were able to weather the storms of life? Will future generations remember how God guided us through tough times in the 21st century and how God rejoiced with us during the amazing times when we witnessed miracles happening all around us? 

Look around today and see the wonders of the world and rejoice.  Go out and leave some footprints in life so that people who come after us will see that “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NRSV).

God Bless You!

Rev. Carol

Jesus, God and Love

Jesus God and Love

My dad was a United Methodist pastor.  As preacher’s kids, my five brothers and sisters and I were expected to set perfect examples of how kids should behave.  Well, we set examples alright, examples of how most kids behave.  However, one of the tests that we were put through was that we had to explain to dad, in one sentence, what he had preached about in his sermon that Sunday morning.  We would line up and each take our turn of giving our report.  I was next to the oldest and dad always saved me for last.  I always had my pet answer ready while my brothers and sisters fumbled for something, anything, to say. Surprisingly, they never stole it from me!  I don’t know if it was fear or respect but everyone waited for me to tell dad one more time that his sermon was about “Jesus, God and Love!”  Worked every time and every time it was true. Dad would throw his head back and roar with laughter… Of course, it was the answer he was looking for!  That is the answer about life that we are all looking for.

That is what Faith Breaks are all about.  Together, we are telling people that life is all about “Jesus, God and Love.”  Faith Break is not all about me but I still feel like that “Big Sister” who is reminding you to remind others of our mission to tell it like it is.  Jesus, God and Love are the basic truths that sustain us on this life journey.  Thank you for being a Faith Break Fan, for listening to Faith Break on the radio and the web page and for financially supporting YOUR ministry. 

Wow, I just love being your Big Sister in Christ!  Remember, it’s always about Jesus, God and Love!

Rev. Carol        

 

Hello from the Kernel

The Kernel welcomes you to 2016 and Faith Break.  It has been a busy time in Rev. Carol’s study since the web page first appeared in August 2015.  The Faith Break fan page on Facebook appeared at the same time and RC (Rev. Carol) has spent more time on the fan page than the web site.  Shame on her.  The good news is that she is back and the promises to post at least once a month on the web site.  Let’s see how she does. 

FaithBreak is in its nineteenth year and owes its success to you as you have become part of the team that spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ.  You are faithful listeners, prayer partners and voices for Faith Break.  Without you, this ministry of telling folks about Jesus would have failed long ago.  Let’s take time to explore the web page this month.  Listen to the radio spots and check out who are partners.  You just might be surprised!  I have to update the partners page, but I’m on it this weekend.  You can contact me with your ideas for spots, tell me how Faith Break has helped you spiritually and you can donate to the Faith Break radio ministry and join me in producing and airing the devotional spots.  I am truly excited that you are working with me and that Faith Break is meaningful to you as you travel through this life.   I continue to learn as I read and also as I visit the pages of my friends on Facebook.   

 

The Woman at the Well and Desert Pete

John 4:1-42

I love to share the good news of Jesus Christ in new and different ways.  One of my favorites is the way the Kingston Trio sang the story about Desert Pete in 1963. It seems that a lone traveler in the desert was dying of thirst when he came across an old well just in time to be saved.  It had a pump with a handle that had to be primed because the gasket was dried out.  All it would do was suck air.  He looked around and spied a can with a note attached giving directions to a bottle of water with the following instructions;  “Don’t drink this water… there is plenty of water at the bottom of the well, use this water to prime the pump.  Don’t pour all of the water in at once, but little by little so the gasket can get soaked…  You got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe, you got to give of yourself before you can receive… drink all the water you can hold, wash your hands and clean your feet… but leave a bottle full of water , Thank you kindly Desert Pete..

Do your ever feel like you are living in a spiritual desert and are thirst for the living water of Jesus Christ?  Jesus says there is plenty of living water to go around for everyone.  We just need to know how to prime the pump.  Once we know how,  we will have all the spiritual water we will ever need and we will be able to  share that water with others.  Christians traveling world before us left jars of living water so that we are able to prime the pump of living water (salvation through Jesus Christ ) for ourselves. Those jars are filled with scripture and testimonies of real life experiences that have led people just like you and me to the living and saving water of Jesus Christ.  Jesus told the Samaritan woman that “Everyone who drinks of this water (from the ordinary well) will be thirsty again , but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.  The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”  (John 4:13)

The pump has been primed, there is plenty of water for everyone.  Remember to leave your testimony and witness of Jesus’ love and forgiveness to the generations of friends and loved ones who will be pass by this place in the future. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with the Kernel.

Rev. Carol

 

What's up with Faith Break?

DSC09853.JPG

October was a busy month.  Writing and recording spots for the radio plus keeping up with the facebook page!  It has been wonderful to be in contact with so many people from so many places.  John Wesley, father of Methodism, once said that the world was his parish.  Think what he could have accomplished with social media.  In his day, he rode a horse around the circuit preaching wherever he could, outdoors or indoors, it made no difference.  He was unafraid to spread the good news wherever he was even while he was being taunted and heckled.  We have it good these days when we can spread the Word from the comfort of our own homes, or do we?  The question is, are we too comfortable where we are and are we ready to meet the challenge of going beyond the walls and out into the world to meet people where they are face to face?  Then again, think of all the people we meet face to face on the fan page.  We cover parts of the east and the west and the north and the south every day.  That is amazing!  I wonder what John Wesley would think of that?

Jesus commissioned the disciples and us to spread the Good News of the Gospel with these words; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:18-20)       

Jesus has blessed us with the tools to tell others about him and the promise to be with us even when the going gets tough.  What more do we need? 

God bless you!

 

 

A Positive twist on "What goes around, comes around" !

A Modern Day Parable 

Hi everybody, it's story time!  Hope you enjoy this!

A rich man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?  Jesus replied, “Sell all you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven, then come follow me.”  The rich man walked away. 

Then the disciples asked Jesus,    “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals, it is impossible, but not for God, all things are possible.”  (Mark 10:27 NRSV)

I know a true story about a 20th century rich  man and a poor farmer.  One day, the farmer heard the terrified screaming of a young boy's voice  coming from the bog on his farm.  He ran and found the boy waist deep and sinking in the black muck.  The farmer grabbed the boy’s hand and pulled him out; saving him from certain death. 

The father of the boy was a rich nobleman who wanted to repay the farmer but the farmer refused to accept money.  The rich man offered to pay the same for the farmer’s son education as he would pay  for his own  son’s. The farmer accepted that offer!  The farmer’s boy went to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London and he later became known the world around as Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years later, the rich man’s son, who had been saved from the sinking mud, got pneumonia and his life was saved by penicillin.  The rich man’s son’s name was Sir Winston Churchill.

Jesus taught us to store up treasures in heaven and the rich man in today’s story surely added to his treasure in heaven. Think of the countless lives that have been saved with penicillin over the years because he paid for a poor farmer’s son to go to medical school..

Jesus liked to teach using stories with spiritual meaning..   I think there is a spiritual meaning or moral to this story.  It is this…  Jesus saves us from our sins… He is our salvation and saves us when we cannot save ourselves from the bog of sin  . Jesus also  saves us to fulfill our purpose in life.  You may not feel like you are fulfilling your purpose in life but you do not know the future.  If we are faithful and look to God and around us  for help,  then  God will help see us through.  God does not see as we see; God knows the rest of the story.    Sometimes we forget that “…For God, all things are possible” “(Mark 10:27)

Tell me what you think.  Please leave a comment! 

Your Sister In Christ,

Rev. Carol

 

Hope is Never Silent

Hope is Never Silent.

God speaks to us about hope in all of his creation and calls us by name.  God searches for us when we stray or become lost and counts the planets and stars before He goes to bed at night.  Okay, I made that last part up. I got the idea from Isaiah who wrote,

“As a shepherd leads his sheep, calling each by its pet name, and counts them to see that none are lost or strayed, so God does with stars and planets!” (40:26 TLB)  I like that image of our Creator who created the earth and said on the sixth day, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good!” (Genesis 1:31 NRSV)

 My Friend John Dromazos wrote that “HOPE is where we are to look for the good and expect the good.”    Yes John, hope surrounds us in everything God created, all we have to do is look for it but often we spend time expecting bad things to happen or the worst in people. I have heard people say that they have lost hope in their lives. Losing hope is like saying we have lost Jesus when in fact we are the ones who have lost our focus and have let difficulties clouds our vision and hides Jesus from our sight.    

Let’s think about this.  How can we arm ourselves in the face of troubled times and hold on to hope for better times? Pope Francis, on his recent visit to the US, was a beacon of hope for countless American people as he ate with the homeless, blessed children and kissed people who suffer from maladies of body, mind and spirit.  Joy beamed from faces in the crowd and I could not help but feel like the light of Christ was shining through the faces of thousands of people as they crowded the streets.  The Pope passed by in his Pope Mobile but hope rested on the people and they rejoiced!

The Pope has returned home but he did not take hope with him…  Hope remains in the hearts and minds of Christians around the world.  When Paul was writing to the Colossians he said this about the mystery of Christ, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  (Colossians 1:27 NRSV) Hope is found in everyday people everyday!  Hope is never silent, hope is never lost.  Listen and keep watch.

 

God Bless You

Rev. Carol

 

 

 

Memories and Carrying Stones

Memories

 

 Ivon and Helen’s children are having their first family reunion this weekend!   There will be lots of storytelling and good food.  Memories of happy and sad times will flood back as each sibling remembers how it was growing up in a Downing household.   Two stories of the same event will not be the same but the one constant in the story telling  will be the lessons learned  of God’s love for us and our love for each other.

God taught us how important memories are in the Old Testament book of Joshua where the story of how God caused the Jordan River to stop flowing and allowed the Israelites to cross the dry river bed out of the wilderness into the Promised Land(Joshua 4).  12 tribes of Israelites, each with a priest that God had appointed and the ark (box) that contained the Covenant that God had given the people, crossed over on that day.  God instructed each of the twelve priests to stop in the middle of the riverbed and pick up a stone to represent each tribe and carry them over into the promised land.  They set up the stones in a monument so that “When your children ask their parents in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ (Joshua 4:20 NRSV)  they will know that the hand of the Lord is mighty” Joshua 4:24)

In the picture you see some of my precious memories.  The tea in a china cup reminds me of my grandmother and our times together as she told the stories of growing up in London and coming to America on a steam ship during World War Two.   She told stories about her new life as a city girl turned farmer’s wife and raising her children in upstate New York.  The jar contains my mother’s recipe for “Green Tomato Mincemeat” that  I canned last week.  That day contained more memories than I can relate here… (the pie crust covered with cinnamon and sugar was a special memory treat).

The mincemeat tarts topped with hearts represent the memories I am making for my children, grandchildren and great granddaughte .  Sweet memories covered with love.  They may not enjoy the mincemeat but they will never forget the love it represents in the making.

The Bible reminds me of both my fathers, Heavenly and Earthly!  Both loving without measure, no matter what! God wrote the story and Dad lived and retold it.   

God’s Son, Jesus Christ, served  a special dinner on the night he was betrayed.  He took bread, gave thanks, blessed it and said, ”Take eat, this is my body given for you….  Do this in remembrance of me”…Then He a cup of wine  said , “This is the blood of the new covenant, drink this in remembrance of me….”  (Luke 22:14)

The key word in all of this is “remember”.  How we remember times and events, people and places may not always be the same… but the love we share for God and for each other will remain.  Like the stones carried up out of the Jordan River bed,  the story of God’s love and what He has done, is doing  and will do for each of us needs to be told so that “The when the children in the future ask, “what does all of this mean?”, we will remember, retell the story so that they will pass it on! 

God Bless You as you make memories for the children in your life!

Rev. Carol;                     

Don't be in such a hurry!

It happens so quickly. You drive down the highway toward your destination and you miss seeing something of beauty because you are in a hurry.  Riding through Sinking Valley, PA near Tyrone you pass by Arch Spring.  People drive past it every day and don’t notice it.  It’s always been there and it doesn’t seem special…. Pretty but not special…. Or is it? 

There used to be a village here called Arch Spring.  It got its name because the arch reminded folks of the famous Natural Bridge in Virginia.  Arch Spring is the eighth largest spring in Pennsylvania.  If you hike the trail upstream you come to the source, the actual spring, and the opening to Tytoona Cave which is one of the most significant caves in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Its rooms are submerged in water.  Who knew?

Why am I telling you all of this about a spring and a cave?  It has occurred to me that we pass by many treasures in our everyday lives and give them no notice.  Wonderful people and places here and there! 

The Source of Tytoona Cave is a spring called Arch.  The source of our lives is called God who gave us His Son Jesus Christ for our salvation.   The power behind all the good we do is called Holy Spirit.  Sometimes we are too busy to acknowledge the source that makes us who we are…  and that is too bad because God is never too busy to remember who we are.

Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit “…Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.  As the scripture has said, Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”   John 7:37-38NRSV

Out of our hearts flow the rivers of love and compassion so others will come to know Jesus in their lives.

Do I hear an Amen?