I took a muddy drive up Two Top Mountain the other day to prepare for the season of Lent with the monks of New Skete in Cambridge, New York. I did this because I realized we often focus our Lenten journeys on preparing ourselves for Easter, but what if we spent a little bit of time preparing our hearts for the actual 40 days. So that is what I am going to do as I seek some quiet prayer time and ponder two questions we should ask ourselves before embarking on our Lenten adventure.
P.S. I also share with you my one Fat Tuesday indulgence that the nuns here are famous for!
While many are watching the groundhog’s prediction for either more winter or an early spring, here at the farm I am thinking about the original “Groundhog’s Day” — the celebration of Candlemas Day. Feb. 2 was the day to take down the Christmas decorations, have your candles blessed and observe the dedication of Jesus in the temple. There was also an old saying that judging by the way your candles burned one could tell if winter would linger or leave. Join me as I step into the past, making candles and embracing Candlemas.
My wintering continues and how better to pause and reflect than to dig into the readings of Saint Brigid. Her life touched so many people with love, charity and compassion. I wonder how will my life touch others?
And since Brigid’s feast day is Feb. 1, I thought how appropriate to try my hand at making cheese. She is, after all, the patron saint of dairy farmers and cheesemakers.
I hope you enjoy your time at the farm with me. It is a blessing to have you part of this growing community.
The beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace,” celebrates 250 years on Jan. 1. It was in 1773 that John Newton wrote the song to accompany his New Year’s Day sermon. I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2023 then remembering the power of grace in our lives and why we need to really say good-bye to the past and embrace the new day God has for us. So come and join me at my 18th-century Vermont home that I have lovingly named, Old Stone Well Farm. Let’s start this new year together, and with the courage to keep moving onward. Blessings!
Writing deadlines are tight and I know I need to take time to breathe, to be in the God moment. But since I can’t fully do that right now, I took a few minutes to take note of the gifts all around me. I called it my “summer sabbatical” and while it wasn’t very long, it was just what my soul needed.
I share with you this day the importance of finding a pace that restores you, not wears you out. So take time to give thanks for this very moment…for it is a moment filled with beauty. (Click the video below to begins!)
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Yes, only I would go foraging in Vermont for fiddleheads and ramps on one of the hottest days in May. But I have been feeling out of sorts lately and so what better place to lighten a heavy heart than in nature? Well, as wonderful as God is, I didn’t get fiddleheads and ramps. Rather, I got a basket full of God’s surprises, and a reminder how I need to “forage” for more of God when I am feeling low. What about you? What are you in need of this day? Let me know and let’s be prayer warriors for one another. Now, grab your basket and let’s forage!
On this third Sunday in the Easter season, I’ve been thinking a lot about new life and the resurrection of dreams. If God makes all things news, then why do we hesitate to embrace that newness?
A question for today: Are we grabbing our nets and returning to waters we know or are we going to listen to Jesus calling out to us to cast those nets into new waters.
So come, join me here in Vermont for a time that I pray will inspire, comfort and fill your heart with Easter faith!
And if you would like to join me for some traditional in-person worship, I will be in the pulpit of First Presbyterian Church in Broadalbin, NY, this morning at 10 a.m. Live stream on the church’s FB page@Broadalbinfirstpresbyterian.
Happy Easter to all from Old Stone Well Farm! It’s a special day, one where I find hope amid despair, life in the face of death, and remember that God is holding each one of us. I also invite you to join me on Sofie’s Hill on this Resurrection Day for a beautiful sendoff for Rev the cat. (More on the timing of his farewell in the video! Talk about a God moment!) It is a joy to have you with me on this day!!! I would love to hear about your Easter God moments. Email me at accidentalcountrypastor@gmail or watch the video on YouTube and leave a message.
It’s Twelfth Night here at Old Stone Well Farm. I invite you to join me as I prepare to say good-bye to Christmas and welcome in the season of Epiphany. Step away from the busyness of this day. Slow down. Recenter. Refocus. Connect with the divine. Blessings!