Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

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Spring Poetry

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It is always the simple things that change our lives. This is how God does things.” ~ Donald Miller 

Although warm weather has not yet arrived here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, http://bit.ly/O9KMI there was a renewal of spirit, on Saturday evening, inside the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  . The Yampa Valley Singers presented an event that was the very definition of poetry “an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.” 

The beautifully poetic production, Spring Awakening, was produced and directed by the talented, Marie Carmichael. It was an orchestration of all things fulfilling  –  a multi-media production of art through the compilation of inspiring photographic images, magnificent music and even a little dance between flames up and down the center aisle of the church. Although indoors, the lovers light and lively interplay was interpreted in my mind, to a dance in a garden-like setting between flowering blossoms of spring. 

The musical arrangement of Time to Say Goodbye brought a little tear to my eye but it was quickly forgotten as the Yampa Valley Singers launched into tunes from my favorite form of art – musical theatre. A lively Broadway Medley of some of the most well-known songs of stage productions, such as Oklahoma, the Sound of Music, Carousel, the King and I, State Fair and South Pacific brought a huge smile to my face.  I was delighted and charmed by two precious little children singing Do-Ri- Me,  too!

There are so many ways people can bring light into their own lives during this season of rebirth. The most celebrated writers in history have put their interpretation of this season into the literary form of poetry. To read a collection of 114 poems about spring from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Katherine Mansfield, Henry Van Dyke, Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickinson and more, please visit http://bit.ly/li8miV

Thank you, Marie Carmichael and the Yampa Valley Singers http://bit.ly/jph2do for ushering in spring. My spirit has been rejuvenated, in earnest, by your inspirational interpretation of art and culture. As for the warm weather, bring it on Lord, bring it on. We are ready and prepared for the arrival and we will be extremely grateful, too!

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Fabulous Forces

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One of our greatest gifts is our intuition. It is a sixth sense we all have – we just need to learn to tap into and trust it.”                             ~ Donna Karan 

On this blogsite, we often mention using and sharing all our God-given gifts and talents. Yesterday morning, Reverend Tim, of the Steamboat United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/c0d5H1   shared once again with those in the congregation, his deep understanding of the world around him. His ability to communicate directly, succinctly and briefly from the pulpit, is unlike any church leader I have ever been witness to before. Refreshing, bright and inspiring!

 We watched and listened as a very short segment of the  1970’s blockbuster film “Star Wars” was played. Reverend Tim related how the theme of the movie, applies to our lives, in his sermon “May the Force be With You.” 

Preceding the Doxology, was a beautiful composition that the choir sang called “I Can Do All Things.” In the bulletin, the only name given for the composer for the arrangement was Courtney. Later, I need to use the world wide web to find out the last name of the song writer.  

There is a lot more that could be said about Reverend Tim’s creative messages. Every Sunday morning, I regret not having pencil and paper in hand to record the most vital points of his sermons.  It would help me to accurately remember, and later ponder some of the things that interest me the most.

I have just broken a promise that I made on Saturday! I forgot to share the details of the  Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com gathering I attended on Saturday. Tomorrow and possibly the next day too, I will do as I vowed. 

Would you agree that  sometimes it is hard to decide what comes first in our lives?

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Sisters in Spirit

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“Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process begins.” ~ Jim Rohn 

Women all over the world are sisters in spirit. This weekend I attended a most fulfilling weekend with a group of United Methodist Women, sisters in spirit, right here in Steamboat Springs, CO. The gathering included a range of women in different decades and seasons in their lives, but we all shared something in common. We were all women who were on a quest to understand more about our place and purpose in this world, and how our spirits guide us in our daily living. 

Life Coach, Mary Nelson of www.reclaimyourselfandmore.com led the women in our weekend retreat in considering what areas of spirituality we are interested in exploring further. The possibilities are many, and a few of them included: 

  • Life Purpose
  • Intuition
  • Connecting with God
  • Angels
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Prayer
  • Wisdom
  • Affirmations
  • Laws of Attraction
  • Miracles
  • Reading Spiritual books
  • Faith 

Although we were asked to identify just one area, it was difficult to make a choice for some women, including myself. There is no right or wrong in how we as women chose to incorporate spirituality into our everyday lives. Our personal definition of spirituality is different and unique to each of us based on our own life experiences and beliefs. 

If given the choice, what area of spirituality would you like to explore the most? We would love to hear from you! Do you have a spiritual journey that you could share with others through independent publishing?

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The Beat Goes On

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“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~ William Faulkner

Being a blogger, I am always on the beat looking for inspiration around which to write the next story. Saturday night, I did not have to stray far! Just a quick drive to the United Methodist Church in downtown Steamboat Springs, CO. A beautiful example of cultural harmony through the Arts, was waiting to be found.

The Macedonian Mission for Humanity brought together two artists, one from an ancient civilization and one from a much newer world order, to provide a night of amazing musical entertainment. Keri Rusthoi, and soprano soloist living in Steamboat Springs, CO and award winning, international concert pianist from Macedonia, Kalina Mrmevska, could not have better displayed a great example of two countries working toward the good for the other through the Arts. The proceeds for this concert will go toward getting medical supplies to Macedonian Children’s Hospitals, where they are so badly needed.

If you missed this concert, the two artists will be repeating  the performance at the Colorado Community Church on Saturday, May 21st at 7pm. The church is located in Englewood, Colorado at 3651 So. Colorado Blvd.

As I sat and enjoyed this outstanding concert, I couldn’t help but think what it would be like to hear these two diverse artists perform in an ancient church, in an ancient city, in a place like Ohrid, Macedonia. The Macedonian Mission for Humanity (A Colorado based 501(3)C, non-profit organization) is so very grateful to the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, CO for making this concert possible, right in our own backyard. Don’t count me as ungrateful – the acoustics there were certainly more than good enough, for my untrained musical ear!

 

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