Tag Archives: church

Shekinah Glory

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shekinah-glory

 

Hi! 

I have had this phrase running around in my head for about a week now…Shekinah Glory.  I’m not sure where I have heard it, or read it, or even when.  I just know that I have.  I’m not even sure why it’s in my head  now.   We’ve been studying John and that may have some bearing on it, not sure though.  So, I thought I would do a little research.  Here is what I found.   After reading this over, I am reminded that God’s presence is all around us.  His Shekinah Glory is within the believers of Christ’s church, and community.  God’s glory is written in their prayers, actions, deeds, thoughts, generosity, compassion and kindness towards ALL people.   We see God’s glory when our arms are open wide to reach and serve others in Christ’s overwhelming and all consuming love.  When we look at a sunrise or a sunset, we see God’s glory there.  When we see children laughing and smiling because they love Jesus, we see His glory there.  It is everywhere!  In the trees, in the birds as they sing on these beautiful days and in the quiet, crisp, white snow of winter.   It’s in the food pantry as all the churches in our community rally together to keep the shelves filled to help those in need.  It is in Out of the Box, as the youth collect the food to help fill the shelves of the food pantry.  It is in the open door of the church, the neighbor, the smiling usher, and at Out of the Box.  God’s glory is what makes these things a success. Not us.  We see God’s glory in others.  In the twinkle of an eye, the mischevious smile on a child in the pew on Sunday morning, the humble servant giving all that they can, the pumped up message of a youth pastor, the cancer patient, the enthusiasm of youth for Christ, the elderly, the pregnant mother, the tired father, the motorcycle riding pastor, the singing choir….and many, many more.   God is right here, in Hillsville! 

Please take the time to see Him and praise His holy name wherever YOU are! 

Many Blessings,

Donna

 

Below  is a simple definition from http://www.shekinahglory.net/home.aspx?igid=33553

 What does Shekinah mean?

Jewish Tradition

Shechinah

According to Jewish tradition the radiance of the Shechinah, with its untold blessings, “rests” upon all those who are pious and righteous. According to ancient Rabbis the Shekinah appears in the midst of at least a minyan of worshipers when they pray in congregation, and of two or more Jews when they engage in the study of Torah, or on a man when he recites the Shema. The Shekinah is said also to rest upon the chaste, the benevolent, and the hospitable, and upon husband and wife when they live in peace and harmony. The ancient Rabbis also said that the Shekinah appeared before Moses at the burning bush, rested upon the Tabernacle in the Wilderness on the day of its dedication, and in the holy of holies in the Temple at Jerusalem, and it has illuminated the bliss of the righteous (Heb. tzaddikim) in the world-to-come ever since.

The Talmudic Sages conceived of the Shekinah as a spiritual essence of indescribable beauty and exalting effect. It was generally spoken of as brilliant light or radiance and when it approached it was announced by a tinkling sound of like an ethereal bell. One interesting Jewish legend even described the dying Moses as being lovingly enfolded in the “wings” of the Shekinah.

It is said that, “Wherever the Jewish people go the Shechinah follows.”

 from:   http://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_Shekinah_Glory.htm

Shekinah means “the presence of God” and relates to the Holy Spirit. Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the divine presence of God.

Here is a piece of art that I found in regards to the scripture in Ezekiel.

 

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Shoebox Kids 2

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This is Adricia, she is 3 years old.  She sang at her church on Christmas Day and this is the dress she wore.  Isn’t she a beautiful child of God!!!!!  Marvelously and wonderfully made by God.  Bless your obedience Adricia, I love you! 

Mama Donna

Adricia Randrianasolo on Christmas Day 2008
Adricia Randrianasolo on Christmas Day 2008

 We received our letter in the Spring of 2008.  It was very exciting and brought many emotions to my heart.  I raced around showing everyone the letter.  I couldn’t believe that we really got one!  I wanted the world to know that GOD does answer prayers and he DOES work through these little Shoeboxes.  This was my first experience with them and I couldn’t contain myself.  I still can’t.  Well, when we got the letter, it explained that Fred lived in the city of Andranofasika, Madagascar, and he had access to e-mail there.  So I sent him an email.  It took awhile, but I did get one back in a few weeks.  Fred explained to me that he lived in the city, about 100 miles from his tiny village where his sisters and brothers live with his parents.  It is so tiny there is no mail service there.  So, whatever I sent to them would have to go to Fred and then he would take it to them the next time he went to the village.  We communicated via email through the year of 2008, sending photo’s and notes to the children. 

Here is a photo of Fred’s parents.  They are rice farmers.  They have to pay for each child’s schooling and it is not an easy life.  A box of crayons in Africa costs $5!  So, for them to even be able to send us a letter was pretty amazing.  The cost of the stamp, the paper, etc.  Those are things that we take for granted.  Don’t we?   I am inspired to draw or paint Fred’s mother.  There is something about her that speaks to my heart.  The way she wears her shawl, how beautiful it is, despite the conditions they live in she is a proud woman.  She is a picture of Christ to me.  That is little Adricia behind her, just grinning, barely clothed.  What a difference from the dress in the picture before!  I think the dress and shoes are very, very, special and will be cherished for a very long time to come.  The material hanging in the doorway also intrigues me.  It looks like it has clouds and birds woven into it.  Interesting.   Dad looks thin and tired.   My prayers are with you…May God hold you near and dear to His heart. 

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Here are the children holding some of the things that were in their shoeboxes.  They are ALL holding the walnut cross that was made in my woodshop.  I love this picture because it shows me how we are all united by the cross that Jesus died on.  One thing I want to share is that I had a lot of help in making that cross.  One friend gave me the wood, and another friend gave me a really nice gift of a scrollsaw last year, so that I could cut the cross.  The cross was prayed over by our SS class, and it has many of our church members fingerprints on it.  Fingerprints of God.  When the kids found out that “we” had made the cross, they ALL wanted it.  So this year I was able to send them each a cross of their own.  They ALL send their thanks to our entire congregation!  They love you all very much and pray for you each day. 

But the most amazing thing about this story is how they got this year’s box!  God is so very good!  I wanted to send them another Shoebox for Christmas and I emailed Fred and asked him the best way to send it.  Well, he emailed me back ( God IS IN THE TECHNOLOGY!) and told me that Luke Dollar could bring it.  He sent me Luke’s address.  When I looked at it I was startled.  It was less than 2 hours from here.  He was home for Christmas and he lives in NC, near Charlotte!!!!       So, I was able to send this huge box of stuff to NC for Luke to take to Madagascar.  It would have cost me an arm and a leg to send it from here to Madagascar.  So I was very thankful that God had provided transportation for the box.  I just think it is amazing at how God works.  He is working all the time, all we have to do is WAKE UP to it!  So, the children got thier box and were VERY ELATED !  Fred sent me a note saying how much they loved it.  God is so good, so very good.  PRAISE GOD!

I would like to encourage my readers to get involved in the Shoebox Ministry.  It will change your heart forever.  The Shoeboxes reached 8 million children last year!  That’s 8 MILLION CHILDREN that have received the GOSPEL through a SHOEBOX in ONE YEAR!  Our work is NOT done, there are still many, many people who have not heard about Jesus.  Filling a Shoebox will help YOU be a missionary!  So, please check it out today! 

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.   http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/

May you be blessed and BE A BLESSING to someone else!

In Christ’s all consuming love,

Donna

GET UP!!!

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John 5
John 5

 

I drew this after hearing an awesome message on Sunday morning from Sue Ward!  She spoke about the lame man at the pool from the book of John.  She pointed out that he had been there for 38 years.  Yes, scripture says  38 years!  Can you imagine lying around for 38 years and never getting that extra “umpf” to get to the pool?  He was right next to it!  It’s sad.

But…the good news is that Jesus never gave up on that man.  All that man needed was some encouragement from Jesus.  ” GET UP!”  We all need that from time to time and that man waited for 38 years to hear those words. 

 

38 years!!!!!!!! 

Sue also talked about how important it is to be in fellowship with GOD as well as one another.  God places people in our lives for certain reasons.  Some for encouragement, some for prayer, some for teaching and some to tell us to “GET UP!”  The hard part of that is the telling and the listening.  Sometimes the truth can seem hard and harsh, but if we really examine ourselves and have friends that truly love us and want what God wants, then we will listen and it is only then that God can change us.  We have to have willing hearts. 

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When I am working on a drawing there are many changes made before I am happy with the final piece.  I go through erasers like crazy.  But I don’t quit.  I just keep making changes until I think it looks the way it should.  God is like this too.  He refines us, molds us, breaks us, remolds us, over and over again.  He never quits.  We are the ones who quit.  Not Him.  We get hard hearted, broken spirited, depressed, or whatever, when things don’t go the way we think they should.  But what we don’t realize is that maybe we need to grow more, learn more, love more.  Once we do that, then maybe what we wanted in the first place, will come to fruition.  We begin to see God more clearly in the refining process and we start to want what He wants.       I have the hardest time throwing my little scraps of sketches away because there’s an idea there that I may use one day.  I have tons of sketchbooks filled with ideas.  I refer to them often.  I think this is how God is too.  He refuses to throw any of His creation away because it’s ALL very good.  We are the ones who mess it up!  He never runs out of paint , or ink and his brushes never wear because He is the Almighty!   He continues to lay his brushstrokes gently against the canvas of our lives, adding here, removing there.        Creating His masterpieces out of Love!  Yes, we are all masterpieces, DaVinci’s, Leonard’s and Michelangelo’s.  They all worked with vigor and passion to reach excellence, just as God does with us.  No matter how many years it takes, even 38, He never puts down His paintbrush.  So, just as the lame man, rose to perfection, so will we!  Thank you Sue for the wonderful message! 

Great art is something that when you experience it,

it lifts you out of yourself,

puts you in another dimension,

and places you back down

T R A N S F O R M E D!

Sister Wendy Beckett

Have a Blessed Day Being HIS! 

Donna

 

The Woman at the Well

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Hi!
Yesterday we heard a message from Pastor Ty about the Woman at the Well.  He brought out some interesting points that I had never thought about.  We will never know her name, but God does.  She was an incredible witness for God and her testimony lives on today. WOW!  I’ll bet she never thought God would use her, (at that time she was considered a lowly Samaritan woman) , in such a way.  This shows us that God can, will, and DOES use anyone for His purpose, regardless of who we are, what we’ve done, where we’ve been, or even what we believe.   
As Pastor Ty said, God loves us all REGARDLESS of our stature. 
 
John 4:39-42 (NLT)
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus
 because the woman had said,
“He told me everything I ever did!”
40 When they came out to see him,
they begged him to stay in their village.
So he stayed for two days,
41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves.
Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 
In this picture we see Jesus at the well, sort of lounging, and pointing.          
  I imagine he is telling her who he is,  ” I AM the MESSIAH.”   
Can you feel her shock and excitement at having met Jesus at Jacob’s well? 
She would soon run and tell the entire town of Sychar! 
 In doing so MANY BELIEVED!   
He is pointing the way and talking to her and she is listening intently. 
 
Are we? 
 
If we are, He will fill us to overflowing!
 
Lift your cup today!
Donna
Samaritan Woman
by Gustave Dore

by Gustave Dore

Crayons

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crayolas

Good Morning!  Last night I read ( grinning like a cheshire cat ) the following excerpt from “Saying Yes” by Cindy West.  For all of you creative types, I know you will appreciate this! 

” As far back as I can remember, nothing gave me greater joy as a kid than when a new box of crayons made their way into my hands.  My favorite was the box that held sixty-four spectacular colors featuring the famous Built-In Sharpener on the back.  Opening the lid, I would close my eyes and inhale the wonderful, waxy aroma. I truly believed each crayon had been handpicked and placed in this particular box just for me.  Still do actually”        lots-of-crayolas

That takes me back a few years!  I still love the smell of crayons, their colors, the names of the colors, the paper around them, the way they feel, and especially the way they smell.  My 8 year old daughter recently told me that  someone in her class had a box of 96 and I wanted to run out and buy her the box of 120!  Just so she could have the biggest box in the class.  Of course I didn’t, but I sure wanted to.  haha!  I just love crayons and colored pencils and paper, coloring books, ink, erasers, pencils, pens.  I go GA-GA over the paper aisle, especially in Michael’s or MishMish ( an art supply store.)  I’m not the only one! 

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This brings me to another thought…how many times have I taken in the smell of Creation and Our Creator?  The smell of the air, the color of the blue sky, not just blue, but Carolina blue, with the bright white clouds overlaying the blue sky. m_e0e7c2fc52fcb7e0e31b631b0b4f91c5

 The smell of pine trees, the forest, leaves, a woodstove burning, or the smell of spring when the flowers bloom and the grass pushes through the dew softened winter ground. 

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I pray that I can always inhale Our Creator the way I inhale those Crayolas!  I imagine the colors I will see when I get to heaven, just like the Crayola colors…Atomic Tangerine, Blue Violet, Brick Red, Jazzberry Jam, Atomic Blue and the list goes on.  There will be colors I have never seen before.  I can only imagine….

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Just as Cindy said in her book, ” I truly believed each crayon had been handpicked and placed in this particular box just for me.  Still do actually”                                                                                                                 I believe, with all my heart ,that each one of us has been designed, sculpted, and engineered for one purpose and that is to glorify God in all that we do.  He created us for HIS pleasure!  He has instilled certain gifts into each one of us so we can all work together to praise His Holy Name and to share Him with everyone we meet.  Just like the Crayolas are all different colors, each named accordingly, so are we.  We were designed by the Master Artist, Creator of All, Father God in Heaven, where the hues are bright and brilliant! 

Have a blessed day!

Donna