This Is The Day The Lord Has Made


“This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24 

Start your day with God’s joy in your heart.

What exactly is God’s joy? 

God’s Joy is not the type of joy people would normally associate with the word, such as happiness, delight, enjoyment or cheerfulness. It is the inner joy that only comes from knowing God.  

{ Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin} 

Each day is a gift from God. Every morning when we wake up, we have a clean slate, a brand new day awaits us – a day that is filled with the presence of God. How exciting is that?  

God’s presence is all around us. We see God in the birds singing as the sun rises, the sound of children playing on a warm summer afternoon, in the smile of a friend, memories that warm our hearts and the colorful sunset on the horizon. All we need to do to experience God’s Joy is slow down, be still and watch in wonder as God reveals His presence to us.

So let us rejoice today and be glad as we experience the presence of God today and every day in our life.  




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Finding Hope In Cancer

Hope 115 years ago I heard the words none of us want to hear, “you have cancer”.

On July 9, 2000 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was 38 yrs old, a non smoker with no family history of breast cancer. I was more concerned with developing heart disease from both of my parents and never gave cancer a thought.

During my physical I casually mentioned a lump I found a few weeks earlier to my doctor and he suggested I get a second opinion since it looked suspicious. My doctor came out as the nurse confirmed with me the appointment in Oct with one of our local surgeons, he then quickly interrupted and told his secretary to get me in that week with someone else, he did not want me waiting that long. At that point I knew it was serious, and it was.

I not only had a cancerous lump, I had cluster cells and cancer cells close to my chest wall. Three different types of cancer in three separate areas in one breast. In 2 weeks time my life turned upside down from a healthy 38 yr old to being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The next 8 months I will go through a mastectomy, chemo treatments and radiation; fears and doubts. I will also discover a deepening of my faith and trust in God.

God through His Word in the book of Psalms gave me hope and through His Son, Jesus, I discovered the God of Abraham, Jacob and David and the God of our hearts today. During the next year I will experience a healing, not physically but spiritually. Although physical healing did come in time.

Through my turbulent childhood and rebellious youth and subsequent marriage to a godly man, God prepared me for this cancer journey. My childhood taught me to persevere and Tom taught me about God’s love and mercy.

It was also through this journey that Tom and I both developed a deeper relationship with God and each other that would see both of us through dealing with cancer and other life events.

The important thing to remember is God never gave up on me even when I choose to go my own way. I am thankful He did not give up instead kept calling me to Him. Troubles still came but I never had to go through them alone, all I needed to do was to turn toward God.

God did not cause the breast cancer, but He used breast cancer and many other circumstances to draw me to Him and for me to discover who He created me to be. Truthfully, I would have chosen for God to intervene and not have cancer enter my body choosing a different, easier path to draw me to Him. But cancer did come and what someone told me I found to be true, God never wastes an opportunity whether it be a trial or a joy. God will use it to bring us hope, develop our character, teach us perseverance and to accomplish His purpose that will bring Him Glory and that it will always be for the good of His people.

Difficult times come for many reasons but it never means God is punishing you or turning away from you. I feel that is through these times that often bring us nearer and dearer to God.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, remember God did not cause your situation but He will use it to call you to Him and to develop you into the person He designed you to be.

I understand when things get so bad it is all you can do to get up in the morning, but take a deep breath, get up, and find the hope you need to overcome your obstacle. Look for God’s presence in all the situations in your life. Sometimes the hope you need is right in front of you. It has been my experience that big things come in small packages, the biggest blessings God gives us are often the littlest every day things in our lives .

I found God’s hope in cancer and recently in grief.  God’s hope is knowing that we have a secure and certain future.  It is a hope that we know deep in our hearts that God is our anchor during the storms of life and knowing He is in our present and in our future.  

My prayer for you is to find God’s hope whatever you are going through; the hope that will give you strength to prepare you for whatever you are facing and the hope that will encourage you and bring you spiritual healing.

Psalm 25: 4-5 “Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”

Psalm 34:17-18 “the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 46: 1-2, 10 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, …..Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 119:74 “I have put my hope in Your word” 

These are but a few hopeful words from Psalms. I encourage you to read Psalms and about those who cried out to God in their need and to keep this truth in your heart; God answered them and He will answer you.

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The Song

Picture from pinterest

Picture from pinterest

The Song                                                                                                           {A short story by Patty Beggs 2015}

As Amanda was picking up the toys that were strewn all over the floor, a song came on the radio.  It was the song that would always transport her back to that summer.   

As the familiar song played in the background she remembered another time and another place where she heard that song.  Soon she was back to that summer of 1970, the summer she turned 16 and the boy who would steal her heart.   

School had been out for a few weeks as the summer routine stated to settle into summer time fun.  This was the summer at the lake where she would met Matthew. 

Matthew and his family had just moved into the military post where both of their fathers were stationed.  He looked a bit older than his 16 yrs, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she ever saw.   

As Matthew arrived to the beach area at the lake near the post where they lived, Amanda quickly invited him to join her and her friends.  As a special song played they all introduced themselves to him and eagerly offered to show him the ropes of the post. Joey would know all too soon what it would be like to be the new kid again, he just finished telling everyone his father was being transferred and this would be his last summer there. 

Summer continued on, Matthew and Amanda always showing up at the same places.  It seemed fate was throwing them together. It was inevitable that Amanda fell in love with Matthew. 

Joey had left soon after, followed by Ann whose father had been killed in Vietnam, her mother was moving her little family back home to Idaho. Reality set in to everyone there.  Especially to Amanda, along with her best friend Ellie and her two other friends Michael and Laura who just found out their fathers would also be leaving soon for a tour of duty in Vietnam.  A few days later Matthew found out his father also had orders.  It would become not only a long summer but a long year of uncertainty for Amanda and for those she care about.    

By the end of summer Amanda and Matthew were inseparable, bonded by knowledge that their fathers may not return. That special song soon became their song as they clung to each other for support in the months ahead.   

Matthew was with Amanda when she said good-bye to her father and she was with him when he said goodbye to his father. The next 11 months of watching the news and waiting for their father’s return would become unbearable.  During this time they found young love.  Their special song would be a reminder along with the ring Matthew gave to Amanda that summer for the promise of a young enduring love. 

Summer turned into autumn, then winter and soon spring.  Fathers were returning home and one day her own father came home.  The same day Matthew and his family got word that his father was killed in action. 

Soon after Matthew’s mother left the post and returned home to Pennsylvania and Amanda’s father was transferred to Washington state.  They wrote each other and spoke on the phone often.  Soon Matthew enlisted in the Army and Amanda went to nursing school. And at what always happens life got busy and soon they lost touch. 

Amanda never took off the ring Matthew gave her that summer, it was a constant reminder of a lost love and deep friendship. 

Matthew kept a picture of a girl next to him as he went from post to post a reminder of lost love and deep friendship.   

Every time a special song would play both Amanda and Matthew would think of how they found love in the summer of 1970. 

Years went by and Amanda got a new job at the Army Military Hospital where she once lived.  It would be there 10 years later that she will find love one summer afternoon at a lake. 

A young man, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she had not seen in over 10 years walked in, just as a special song began playing.   

As Amanda thought back to the summer day 45 years ago she felt the touch of the man who stole her heart in 1970, as he hugged her and sang along to the words. They had kept a promise of enduring love they made to each other all those years ago. 

Soon grandchildren came running in as the older couple continued dancing. In the midst of laughter and chatter from little children, they only saw the young lovers they were in 1970.

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Choosing Love


When something happens like in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston where people were gathered together in love – sharing that love by welcoming a newcomer into their church and then to have violence erupting, we ask why? The answer is painful, it happened because someone hated the color of their skin.

After all we think if we just love our neighbors, do what is right and accept each other than we will be loved in return, except it doesn’t work out that way. Wednesday night June 17 proved that. I read where the shooter said he almost did not go through with it because they were so nice, yet he did. He did not show their love in return because he had evil in his soul.

Countless number of men, women, children are being killed every day, around the world because of their faith in Christ or their ethnicity. Sadly it is not only in Charleston and it is not always black and white, it is everywhere.

Let us put aside our nationality, others accents (lets face it we all have accents) and put blinders on so we do not see color of skin or hair, or if someone is rich or poor. Instead let us focus on the person. Who are the people we see every day; the person standing in line with us at the store, the person who is sitting next to us at the lunch counter, the person walking down the street or the person who we pass to get where we are going?

How can you beyond what you see on the outside and instead see the heart that is beating inside of him or her?

What can you do to change your heart to truly see people instead of their differences, again lets face it we are all different.

What can we learn from this young mans life? What happened to him to make him so full of hatred? How can we heal from this horrific act especially those who were affected in Charleston, in the Middle East, in Africa and our own cities who face this every day?

There has to be an answer. Money is spent on programs, ministries and awareness yet nothing seems to be working. Each day the hatred in someone’s heart grows and does the unthinkable.

No matter what we do we cannot force people to “love” each other. We can do our part, show God’s love in practical ways, be a light of hope in this troubled world, but ultimately we all have free will to choose who to follow; God or satan. God = Love; satan = hatred

I have always liked this verse to me it represents the image of God.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV). God’s love is not fickle like our earthly love, here one moment and gone the next. God’s love is blind to the outward appearance but sees the heart of a person and goes into the depths of our souls.

Just like what Paul was telling the Corinthians and us today, Gods love goes far beyond what we think love is. God’s love is the image of God.

Loving someone who walked into their church doors, almost worked. The image of God was in the hearts of those people. But a young person choose hate. He turned his back on God and choose instead to kill.

Gods love spoke on Friday and again on Sunday. God’s image shone brightly through the families, the pastors and the citizens of Charleston. The families showed us Gods love by forgiving that young man and asked God to have mercy on him. In that act they presented to the world the image of God – His love that went beyond their grief and suffering.

Should we stop trying to “love one another”, putting money into programs, volunteering in ministries or being advocates by making people aware of the problem. No, because maybe the next time someone will choose Love.

What about you which do you choose? How will you love your neighbor?

God’s Love can break down the barriers of hatred but we all must live it not just say it. Start by looking beyond the race, religion or accent – look into the heart and see God’s love beating there – it is the same love that is beating in your own heart. It is the image of God

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Becoming A Writer

After a wonderfully busy 8 months leading a bible study group, I find now is the perfect opportunity to sit down to fulfill my goal of becoming a writer, as my life returns to some semblance of normalcy.

I even purchased a nice new desk, sitting in what was once the breakfast nook, it is nestled in houseplants overlooking my yard. Unfortunately it also overlooks my kitchen and  dirty dishes (ok who am I fooling, I will admit, I no longer cook –so I may have a dirty dish or two, but to me it looks like the picture!). Then there is the kitchen table that is now a “catch all” for everything that comes into the house.

I am ok in knowing my house will never be spotless. But when I sit down to write it seems everything in my being is drawn to the endless distractions from a cluttered kitchen table, bills ready to be paid and the to do list that has no ending.

The birds are singing – a light breeze comes in through in the window and my mind settles down from the long to do list in my mind, focused once again on the magic of words.

Then the dogs need out and as I finally get the creative juices flowing once again they want back in. Ok, deep breath give them their treats, a puppy hug and another cup of tea for me and I am ready once again.  Soon I am transformed back in time as my characters start to come to life.

As I look out my window there is a squirrel in the dogwood tree, so I watch him eat the buds until either he or I get bored. The cardinals fly from fence to tree branch and back again distracting me with their vibrant red colors.. Then there are the bunnies brave now that the dogs  inside, as they make themselves comfortable in the yard.  The doxies, Harrison and Silver are curled on the sofa and Snoopy sleeping by the front door dreaming puppy dog dreams. The house nice and quiet once again.

I turn back to my writing when what do I see – a dozen of my plants looking wilted and dry. Back from watering the houseplants, I stop to pick up a few things before heading back to my desk.

Fingers on key pad – I actually have a paragraph done!

Oh my gosh! I forgot about the laundry that needs to be put in the dryer and the clothes in the basket from the last laundry day need to be put away. So I fold a few things and hang up a few shirts so they do not wrinkle and throw the rest in my already overflowing laundry basket.

As I head back to my oasis I notice a few more things that need done,then get another cup of tea and a few good German cookies and sit back down to write.

But now all sense of writing has left so I reorganize my plots for my book, jot down my blog ideas and make up a writing schedule I will keep, try to keep, have no hope in keeping!

Phew becoming a writer is exhausting!


Note:  All clip art (other than Snoopy) is from unknown sources.
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Two Headed Giraffes~

I hope you all enjoy these photos taken from one of my favorite sties ~ I can always count on Cindy to have some great photos.

DSC06441 (1)
Giraffes know that two heads are better than one.

You can look in two different directions at the same time!

And one head can be used to prod the other along.

Three heads are even better than two,
but more prone to go in different directions.
Eventually they all reach accord.
But four heads?
That’s just too confusing!
Cheers to you from the elegant, intelligent giraffes~

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Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day 2015Over the years Memorial Day went from being a day to honor our men and women who were killed in combat to honoring all of our loved ones who have died to a three-day weekend of picnic and family gatherings, signaling in the arrival of summer fun.

I have loved ones that have died, both my parents, my brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and most recently my husband. But today is not about their memory, today is about honoring the memory of those who served their God and country and gave the ultimate sacrifice to form this nation, secure the Union, and to protect our shores from tyrants and dictators.

Memorial Day also known as Decoration Day is about our military members who never made it back home. Some are buried in graves their names never to be forgotten while others are laid to rest in unmarked graves – names long ago forgotten.

These men and women have protected our nation and our way of life for over 235 yrs. Today they are not only called upon to protect our country but to help those who are oppressed around the world also bringing relief of supplies and food to those in disaster areas. Most recently are the 6 Marines aboard the helicopter that crashed in Nepal bringing food and supplies to the earthquake victims.

Please take a moment today and remember those who lost their lives for this country and to uphold the peace around the world. Today I lay aside my memories of those that are close to my heart to remember the fallen.

To those who never grew old so we could –
May you rest in the peace of God
May your deaths never be in vain
May you never be forgotten
May you always be honored

In honor and remembrance to the fallen we salute:

Staff SGT Ryan Ostrom (my sons friend whom he served with at the armory and in Bosnia)
August 9, 2005. Habbaniya Iraq
PA National Guard Co B, 109th Infantry assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team
SGT Raymond Paul Kurtik (my husbands friend who he grew up with)
DOB 7-3-1949. KIA 7-7-1969,
7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, USARV in Vietnam.

SP4 Leonard T. Bish. “Butch” to his friends. (my brother-in-law RJB friend)
DOB 11-18-46. KIA -5-16-67. Quang Ngai Province, Repbulic of Vietnam.
2nd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. “The Screaming Eagles.”


Let us never forget – {add the name of someone you know who never made it home in the comment section}

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.
Several later lyrical adaptations have been created. One, written by Horace Lorenzo Trim, is shown below:
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.
Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.
The other popular version, penned and harmonized by famed composer Josef Pasternack, is:
Love, sweet dreams!
Lo, the beams of the light Fairy moon kissed the streams,
Love, Goodnight!
Ah so soon!
Peaceful dreams!
Another set of lyrics, used in a recording made by John Wayne about the song, is:
Fading light
Falling night
Trumpet call, as the sun, sinks in flight
Sleep in peace, comrades dear,
God is near.

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Day of Pentecost

1 Day of PentecostToday in the Christian church we celebrate the Day of Pentecost. 

Pentecost is the day that the church was born. Christ was crucified, rose again, spent forty days with his disciples, then ascended to heaven. Pentecost immediately followed.  As our Pastor told the children, today is the Church’s Birthday.

From the books of Acts, the Church came into being on the day of Pentecost. “120 worshipers, including the Disciples, were fasting and praying in an upper room in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in a violent rushing wind that was heard throughout the city. Small flames of fire rested upon their heads, and they began to speak in other languages. As crowds came to investigate the commotion, the Apostle Peter spoke to them about Jesus and urged them to repent. From the crowd of Jews and converts, 3,000 realized the truth of his words and became followers of Jesus.”

Today for many Pentecost is time of renewal. During our time of prayer we ask for empowerment from the Holy Spirit and a deeper intimacy with God. Pentecost is a celebration that strengthens our faith and makes us aware of a purpose much greater than our own.  

Today over 2,000 years ago the Spirit of God came to dwell in the hearts of all believers. 

The song “Spirit of Gentleness” tells of the transformation of our lives by the power of God’s Holy Spirit and fills us with the flaming desire to be His people through Jesus Christ His Son and our Savior.

The information about Pentecost is from

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Happy Mothers Day Mom!

momThe past few months have been busy ones for me, but as I like to say, it has been a good busy.

So I am happy for my first day back writing to be about my mom.

I want to honor my mom for the remarkable woman she will always be.

My mom was a stay at home mom. She did have an outside job once when dad was unemployed and worked at a family run business, an Italian Bakery. They lovingly called her the token German since she was the only one not related to the owners.

For the most part like many women of her generation she stayed home to raise us children and to give her credit she never ran out of the house screaming! That alone makes her mother of the year.

When dad retired from the Army the recession of the 70’s hit and jobs were scarce so we lived off of his retirement often. But mom could stretch a meal and we always had plenty to eat. She kept house, kept us fed and clothed and kept the family together.

mom 1964 (2)She was a strong woman, stronger than I have had ever imagined. She was also a survivor. Although I was 22 when she died, she taught me how to persevere when all you want to do is give up. She gave to me the best gift I would ever need to get me through my own hurdles – her strength.

Life was not kind to mom, but she did not let it get her down. She kept a stiff upper lip and forged on ahead. I often wonder how she was in private, because if front of us kids she kept a brave front.

Mom was loving, kind and compassionate. She was often serious especially when life was difficult which was often, but she also knew how to laugh and sing. She had a lovely voice and when I hear her favorite songs I can still hear singing along.

Through the ups and downs of my parents marriage, mom taught me the value of being a supportive wife and a loving mother without me knowing it. I was going to be a career woman, marriage and children was not my plan. I am thankful God had other plans for me!

One memory of mom is from when we were living in New Jersey and I would go shopping with her. We would walk to the neighborhood Italian market (when you walked in the smell of all those Italian cheese’s would hit you with an a wonderful aroma!), then the butcher and maybe a few other errands before making a trip to the Jewish Bakery for either Kaiser Rolls or Bagels, eating them on the way home.

When  my son was just born I will never forget seeing my mom visit me at the hospital to see her second grandson. She never thought she would live long enough to see any grandchildren and my sister and I both gave her grandsons she adored. My biggest regret was that my children never had a chance to know her love.

I miss so many things about my mom, her German accent for one; although she swore she did not have one! When Tom passed away I missed her advice and her encouragement.

Mom like dad died way to early – she had heart disease and her big loving heart gave out when her kidneys failed at the age of 57. She once told me she injured her kidney in an accident when she was young and when I would ask her she never elaborated. When I think of the horrors she most likely went through at the hands of the Russians my imagination gets the best of me.  She would often tell me about her younger days, but very seldom talking about her life during the war.

On this Mother’s Day I want to celebrate a woman who lived, who loved, who raised a family and who survived many battles and trials and much heartache.

Happy Mothers Day Mom – I thank God you were my mom if even for a short time.

these lilacs are for you!


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Praise For Our Creator

Flower arrangement in honor of Revs Ken and Christine Woods Henderson

“Praise God from all creatures here below…”
Creator of everything and everyone
There is no beginning of time only You

You filled the Heavens with Your Glory

You Created the Universe displaying Your Power and Greatness

You Created the Angels to reflect Your Beauty

You Created the Earth, the splendor of Your Majesty

You Created the Animals, each one with a purpose You ordained

You Created man and woman in Your image –
An image of Love

You sent Your Son to Light our way back to You –
Restoring the natural order of Your plan

You are present each day and are already in our future
You breathe life into our souls – giving life eternal to those who love You.
You alone we honor and worship
Creator of heaven and earth

Since before time began
We Praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit

My time spent in Spiritual Direction with my mentor, Christine is coming to close as we both begin a new chapter in our lives. Christine and her husband have retired and will start a new life in a different state. For me, I say good-bye to a friend and take what she has taught me to new heights as I continue to discover God’s plan for me.  Two endings and two beginnings.

I wrote this during my worship time with our Lord – a quiet part of my day that allows me to express my devotion to God through writing, music, stillness, and art. Writing has become my favorite form of spiritual discipline, expressing my praise to God in words.

I dedicate this praise for our Creator to Christine who through the years guided me to finding my true spiritual self, discovering my potential as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, Gods own Son and leading me to a fulfilled personal relationship with God – our Father. Christine has become more than a spiritual mentor she has become my friend, my sister in Christ.

Roses in the sanctuary celebrating the service of Revs. Ken and Christine Woods-Henderson

Rev. Dr. Christine Woods-Henderson

Rev. Dr. Christine Woods-Henderson

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