Old Stone Well Farm

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Resurrecting Our Dreams

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.

Old Stone Well Farm

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Into the Woods

I have often found my energy — and faith — lagging midweek. So if you are having one of those weeks, or simply need a quick retreat into the Vermont woods with me (and Robert Frost!), then allow yourself a few minutes to step away from the news, from deadlines, from stress and worries. Renew your souls. Take a coffee break and escape to a quieter place and reflect on where God is leading you in this the first week in Lent.

Blessings,

Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Tea, Soup…And a Short Reflection

It’s been a week of sore throats and sniffles. As I heat up the soup and make another cup of ginger tea with honey, I invite you to the farm to think about how confident are you that God is doing a good work in your life. God is always working, and that good work comes with revisions. Do you trust God? Are you flexible when it comes to embracing change? I share a video that I recently made for the opening devotion of a meeting with my ministry colleagues in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. I hope you find it a blessing. And remember, take care of yourselves. Rest. Relax. Find those moments of quiet solitude, of grace. Being under the weather has reminded how important it is to slow down.

Old Stone Well Farm

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Nugget’s Tiny Contribution

Nugget, my miniature Easter Egger Bantam, lays the cutest little sage colored eggs. But I wondered what to do with such little eggs?

Then I remembered a wonderful 18th-century recipe I learned at my open-hearth cooking class. I could make Scotch Eggs! (Learn more about these delicious treats in the video.)

As I worked in the kitchen, Nugget’s tiny contribution to the farm made me smile. It also reminded me that we all have a gift to bless this world with.

We all have something wonderful that can bring a smile to others. With so much negativity in the world and so many people clamoring for attention and jockeying for position, I was reminded that everyone and everything has value.

Now if only we can live seeing the value in all things — even the smallest of eggs here at Old Stone Well Farm. I hope you find your time here in Vermont a blessing. Think of it as a mini-vacation, a step back in time and to a quieter place. As always, I love having you come to the farm with me.

Share the news of Old Stone Well Farm with friends and family.

Blessings! Donna

(P.S. There’s currently no water here in this old house due to the joy of rural living and well issues. And so, pardon my unwashed hair today!)

Old Stone Well Farm

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Bright Light, New Path

I’ve always embraced January as a month to challenge myself to step out from what I am comfortable with and dare to step onto a new path. And so, step with me!

Step out of the cold and the snow (if that is where you happen to be either physically or emotionally), and come share the warmth of my 18th-century home, Old Stone Well Farm, as we learn how to trust and be guided by the bright Epiphany light. Share with your friends. Watch with a cup a herbal tea. Take these minutes to watch the video. Think of it as my gift to you. A gift to enter into my 18th-century Vermont life.

Blessings! Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Twelfth Night

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!

Old Stone Well Farm

A Widow’s Trust

No, I am not in Scotland, but the location for this week’s Old Stone Well Farm is breathtaking. Join me as I walk among the ruins of French and British forts in Crown Point, New York…and reflect on the trust of a widow whose life was seemingly in ruins, but with a little faith — and a little oil and flour to make bread — she discovered God was indeed with her.

If you like this time of worship, please let me know. Like it on YouTube, share with others and if you haven’t subscribed to the YouTube channel, please do so. Click on the window below for the video to begin.

Blessings! Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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It Is Well

The wait is over. Today at the farm, I reveal the inspirational message carved into this year’s “Pumpkinfest for God” pumpkins — and it’s a message I believe we all need to hear.

But before we get to the pumpkins, I invite you in on one of my dreams that I have and share with you a wonderful farm my husband and I looked at in Pennsylvania. Yes, we took some days away the chickens in Vermont to catch our breaths.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this time until I was standing in the chilly wind, dreaming again and feeling God’s presence guiding me.

May this day you dream. May this day you feel excited about how God is leading you. May this day you know that with God all is well.

Blessings!

Donna

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Happy Dependence Day

Filming for this time together didn’t pan out as I had hoped. It has been cold and rainy all weekend. Still, I was on a mission and traveled to Mount Defiance in Ticonderoga, New York, where in July 1777, British troops positioned their cannons overlooking Lake Champlain, pointing directly at Fort Ticonderoga, where the Continental Army was housed. I did manage to show you around for a little bit, until the wind began whipping and the rain poured down, sending me back indoors at Old Stone Well Farm. But as I drove back home, I began thinking.

In light of the scripture lessons we have for today, I found the name “Mount Defiance” butting up against what God really wants of us. We hear from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10 who says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” And then I was reading Luke’s Gospel where Jesus sends out the 12 to heal and preach. He tells them take nothing for the journey. Travel lightly and rely on the hospitality of others. Then we have Mark’s Gospel, where those who knew Jesus growing up, question who does he think he is to talk with such wisdom and authority. Isn’t he just a carpenter? Joseph’s son?

Weakness, relying on others, being judged because of where you come from…these are things Americans have fought hard to overcome. Yet, in weakness, God’s strength is great. By reaching out to others, relying on their grace and mercy, we get to see the Divine. And being judged by others, well, it’s time we begin looking beyond our limited vision.

And so, I like to wish you a “Happy Dependence Day,” dependence on God that is.

Blessings!

Mark 6:1-13

6 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary[a] and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense[b] at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Worship at Old Stone Well Farm

Ascension Sunday: Forget Me Not

Today is one of my favorite days on the church calendar — the Ascension of the Lord! Yes, you read correctly! The ascension is so overlooked on our faith journeys, and yet there is so much that we can learn from it; there is so much that defines who we are to be. It is a reminder for us to prepare prayerfully for the coming of the Pentecost Spirit. It is also a reminder for us to never forget that we are called to be the Christ light to others. And so, join me here in Vermont as the season of Easter comes to close and a new season of incredible God moments begin. Blessings!

Luke 24:44-53 (The Message)

44 Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.”

45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.”

50-51 He then led them out of the city over to Bethany. Raising his hands he blessed them, and while blessing them, made his exit, being carried up to heaven.

52-53 And they were on their knees, worshiping him. They returned to Jerusalem bursting with joy. They spent all their time in the Temple praising God. Yes.