Worship at Old Stone Well Farm

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It was rainy week here at Old Stone Well Farm, and this country pastor got caught in a downpour while out running in the woods. But a beaver who scurried into its lodge got me thinking…when in a storm, where do I find save haven? That’s when I thought back to a childhood memento that used to remind me where my safety and hope were…in the Lord.

And so, enjoy a crisp fall autumn at the homestead as I light some candles to chase away the darkness and share with you how my Shepherd has always guided me.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

My True Valentine

I wake up to a cold wintery Valentine’s Day morning. The snow is more than a foot high and I am wondering whether or not to go for a walk on the rail trail. My snowshoes are broken. The strap snapped in half and so walking in this amount of snow without them will be a workout indeed. Hmmm…I could use such a workout. I have been tempted by one too many chocolate hearts lately.

For now, though, I’ve decided to do something radical. I’ve decided to stop the decision making process. I don’t need to figure out if I have time for one more cup of coffee or if I want oatmeal or eggs for breakfast or whether or not to walk in the snow.

I have decided instead to just to sit in the quiet of this sacred morning moment and be with the one who loves me the most–to be with the one who loves me completely.

God.

It’s Valentine’s Day. And while hearts and chocolate and sappy sentiments of love are nice, I know in my life I want the real love that comes from above. The love that heals. The love that strengthens. The love that lifts you when you are down. The love of one who seeks justice for you when life is unfair. The love of one who advocates for you when your voice is not heard. The love of who make a way forward when there seems to be nothing but roadblocks set by hardened hearts. I want the one who sees you at your worst and still whispers to your troubled soul, “I am here. I love you always.”

I want, no I need, to be in the presence of God.

The other day I found myself writing to a friend telling her how tired I was. I had been working extra hours freelance writing, leaving little time for prayer. Before I realized it, these words were coming to the screen of the computer: I just want to make myself a cup of hot cocoa and read the Bible. I have actually been craving God’s word lately.

God’s word. That is a good thing to crave. And when your soul starts hungering for it, you know something is lacking. And so…

May this Valentine’s Day, you take a sacred moment to be with the one who loves you completely and unconditionally. May you take time to acknowledge this love in your life. And may you whisper the sweetest words God can ever hear from us: “I love you too.”

May you crave God as much as God craves for you.

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A perfect box of chocolates for an accidental country pastor to give her husband.