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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Here's a New Twist!

Thanks to Farmer and friend Frank Goodsir for this one: Happy Challah Days - and Hanukkah!

Tunes for Advent

Wanna hear a few Advent and Christmas tunes by Ana Hernandez? Check out: ..... and enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Inspiration by Example

This montage was passed on to me by Debbie, Ms. Hodgepodge herself. The story came from one of her avid readers. Sorry, but we couldn't find this boys name. Thank you for sharing this Deb.

This is not Tiny Tim, a fictitious boy with a handicap. This is a real live boy who has - and will always have - physical disabilities. Funny, but it doesn't seem to stop him at all. Each of us face obstacles; that's life. A truth that we must be reminded of seems to be one that this boy has a firm grasp of:

"Your attitude towards life defines not only who you are, but the quality of life you have." Christ came so that we might have abundant life. Full, enriching, spilling over. By Gods grace, may our attitude reflect, with gratitude, the abundant love and life God has freely given us!

p.s. Thanks to Geranium Farmer Susan for this: she found out more information on this boy. His name is Cody McCasland and he and his family live in Texas. Funny that - this article is from a newspaper in the UK! Go to: Thanks, Susan!

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Wish list ... from Jesus

Sent to the Geranium Farmhands by Debbie, I've been encouraged to post it. Carol (Ways of the World) hunted its origins down on Google: it's been floating around the internet for 3 years now. I'd never seen it before and perhaps you haven't either. Have a read and a think.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset because some folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. However, I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that, let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was my father, God, who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish; I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing to the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here..
Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence.
Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am the son of God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short.I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court.

And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember ...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What's the Point of Advent?

"It's Advent again. And if anyone cares about Advent, Americans should. Advent may have more to do with American life than any other season of the year. Yet, Advent remains the period of spiritual preparation that is too often least appreciated, little understood and commonly ignored.

One of the problems with Advent is that it gets swallowed up by Christmas. The truth is, of course, that Advent signals the coming of Christmas. But the kind of Christmas the liturgical period of Advent is meant to signal is not the Christmas we celebrate in the United States. Civil Christmas is about the storing up of things. The Christmas to which Advent points is about being emptied out so we can become full.

Advent is about the spirituality of emptiness, of enough-ness, of stripped-down fullness of soul. Advent points to the essentials of life; commercial Christmas points to its superfluities.The two great liturgical seasons of the church year, Advent and Lent, are about very different things. Advent is not "a little Lent." Advent is not a penitential period. Advent comes to trigger consciousness, not to provoke our consciences.

The Talmud teaches that every person should wear a jacket with two pockets. In the one pocket, the rabbis say, there should be a note that reads, "I am a worm and not completely human." And in the second pocket, the rabbis say, the note must read, "For me the universe was made."The story is clear: The function of Lent is to remind us who we are--and who we are not. The function of Advent, on the other hand, is to remind us who God is and who we are meant to be, as well. Advent is about the riches of emptiness."

Joan Chittister from an article in The National Catholic Reporter, 12/12/03

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