Run the Earth and Watch the Sky

The ministers of the Vicarage have definitely been running the Earth this Memorial Day weekend. I cannot speak for Brenda and Amanda, but I think I shirked my responsibility to watch the sky these last few days. That is never a good thing.

Friday began with grocery shopping and then a day of admin work at the church. I got a bit carried away with accomplishing tasks. It felt good to be making headway on paperwork (one of the banes of my existence). I was doing so well I kept putting prayer off until it was too late.

Brenda and I had a 4 P.M. engagement with friends from church to go see Shakespeare.

It was a great night out in Worcester! Thanks Ken and Betty, Brenda and I had such a good time!

By the time we pulled into the Vicarage I was ready to just collapse into bed. I did and then proceeded to sleep through my alarm which was set to give me time to pray before Amanda and I had to hit the softball fields in Baldwinville MA for Cornerstone’s annual softball tourney.

My job at the tournament was to call “Play Ball!” For each game, to keep time and then call end of game. Then I had to collect all the score sheets and fill out the master round-robin double-elimination chart so everyone could see where they stood in the ranks.

Amanda’s job was to stamp the hands of everyone as they got their free ice cream from the concession truck.

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She got a pretty good sun burn during her two hours of duty, even though she was reapplying sun block every 30 minutes.

While we were having a blast at the softball tournament Brenda was driving to Onset MA for the first of three services and a picnic she was attending with The Bridge Onset and The Bridge Carver.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Barry Hanson and Brenda J. Lillie, people smiling
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Image may contain: 3 people, including Brenda J. Lillie, people smiling, people sitting, drink and outdoor

By the time Amanda and I got home from the softball tournament it was time to walk the dogs and answer all mom’s questions about the family’s coming and going. She was pretty confused about where everyone was and why they had gone.

After supper and walking the dogs for their final time, I was so tired I again just plopped in bed. I awoke at 3:30 A.M. and realized I was not just physically tired. I was spiritually depleted and in deep need of spiritual refreshment. I jumped into 2 and 1/2 hours of prayer which I needed just to get my head on straight before church. Running the Earth can be fun for a time but when it is not coupled with watching the sky it can cause some real internal issues which take time to work through (at least for me by Sunday morning my attitude was pretty bad).

After a few hours of preparatory prayer I was ready to lead worship at Cornerstone. After service Amanda and I paid a visit to one of our parishioners in the hospital. Then we went home so Amanda could finish packing for her trip to South Carolina.

I dropped her at Logan airport this morning at 2 A.M.. She is off on the next adventure!


The Vicarage Accepts the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Worship

The world watched in horror yesterday as Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames. “Dutch Goes the Photo” has issued a challenge as a tribute to the spirit of the famed church and the people of France.

The theme of the challenge is WORSHIP. Our instructions are as follows:
“Regardless of religion, faith or belief system, we can all worship; whether it’s a universal being, nature or the love of our life… Please take this challenge into the direction of Worship that speaks most to you and share it creatively! “

The Vicarage is sending up prayers today for the Parisian community of faith at this Easter season!

You can check out how others have honored Notre Dame by CLICKING HERE.

Here are our tribute photos.

These are mine:

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Immaculate Heart Winchendon MA

“Do not say, ‘But it is hypocritical to thank God with my tongue when I don’t feel thankful in my heart.’ There is such a thing as hypocritical thanksgiving. Its aim is to conceal ingratitude and get the praise of men. That is not your aim. Your aim in loosing your tongue with words of gratitude is that God would be merciful and fill your words with the emotion of true gratitude. You are not seeking the praise of men; you are seeing the mercy of God. You are not hiding the hardness of ingratitude, but hoping for the in-breaking of the Spirit. 
John Piper
No photo description available.

Olde Center Church Winchendon MA

“When we lift our hands in praise and worship, we break spiritual jars of perfume over Jesus. The fragrance of our praise fills the whole earth and touches the heart of God.” 
― dennis ignatius
Nieuwe Kerk Delft

This next section was sent by my sister Brenda from her travels as a missionary

“Mere talent does not give glory to God but a humble heart.”
― Mac Canoza

“Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. 
Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this 
attend strictly to 
the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered 
to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and
reward you when 
he cometh in the clouds of heaven.” 
― John Wesley

And finally these photos are sent by son’s fiance Kristine from South Korea. These are all churches in the Philippines where Kristine grew up.

“Praise and worship is not about how talented you are or what a wonderful and beautiful voice you have. It’s all about denying yourself, let God to be God in your life and praise Him with all your heart and soul.” 
― Euginia Herlihy

“The place where music and worship meet is like a divine mystery of sorts.” 
― Temi Peters, 
Instruments of Praise & Acts of Worship

GOD will never disregard or turn away sincere prayers from those who diligently seek Him and humbly call upon His Name.” 
― Errol Anthony Smythe

So let us not become weary in the battle. Let us continue to praise and worship the God of Heaven whom our houses of worship were made to honor.