Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas!

The First Church

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"
Isaiah 9:6

On this Christmas morning, we remember the First Church, where a tiny baby who would change everything laid in a manger.  The shepherds came, the wise men came, and we come and welcome Him into our hearts on this special day.

Oh Come all ye faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!
Oh come let us adore Him,
Christ, The Lord.

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 21, 2020

The Painted Churches of Texas

St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church
Dubina, Texas

Each year I sketch a favorite church from our travels for our annual Christmas Card.  But, like most of you, travel plans this year were cancelled or postponed.  We were excited to go with 4 other couples on a Viking River Cruise in France to celebrate my husbands retirement.  But that didn't happen.
With time at home, I read more and sketched more, in particular I enjoyed (and still am) James Micheners book about Texas.  All 1400 pages!  Having not grown up in Texas, and really not traveled much in my home state, I was intrigued!   

This prompted a day-trip in late September, on a beautiful fall day, to Schulenburg and the surrounding areas to see the famous "Painted Churches of Texas."  There are about 20 of these churches scattered throughout Texas, with six found in this area.  Settled by Czech and German immigrants in the late 1800's, the church was the center of their communities.  They built beautiful tall steepled churches, like this one in Dubina, but the true beauty lies within.  The colorful murals and decor will surprise you and leave you in awe.  Each one beautiful, but unique in its own way.  Sometimes painted by local members of the church, others painted by itinerant artists, who just happened to be passing through the area.  

This has been quite a year... for me, a time for more reflection on the busy life I was living.  I have missed some things, but like these churches, I appreciate the simplicity of the outward appearances, and have learned to value the beauty within.  

"but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
1 Peter 3:4

Thursday, December 17, 2020


 St. Mark's Mission
Nenana, Alaska

Last year my husband I enjoyed a "bucket list" trip... an Alaskan Cruise with a land excursion to Denali National Park.  I read Michener's "Alaska" (all 1156 pages!) in preparation and loved knowing the history and background behind the areas we were going to visit.  

As with most trips, I had my eye out for THE church that will be sketched for the Christmas Card.   I did my homework and was prepared to choose the historical St. Michaels Cathedral in Sitka.  I took a zillion photo's from every angle.  Done!  Then, about a week later, while on the land excursion we literally made a "pit stop" in Nenana and across the little road from the rest area / gift shop I saw this log cabin church and it captured my heart.  

The moral of the story... our days and weeks can be planned and scheduled, but it's the unexpected joys that fill my heart and create the lasting memories.   With just a week left before Christmas... slow down and open your eyes to the unexpected joy surrounding you!

A little more about this church:
The St Marks Episcopal Church was established in 1907 serving the native population.  It was a mission, a schoolhouse, a hospital and church.  Due to river erosion and a new Railroad, it was moved to its present location in 1955. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

St. Peters Cathedral Square

St. Peters Cathedral Square

Salzburg, Austria 

Talk about a room with a view!!

This sketch is from the window in the catacombs built where a monastery thrived in the 7th Century.  We climbed the old stone stairway to the third floor where several rooms had been carved out of the mountain for the monks to live and worship.  Oh, if walls could talk!  

I try to imagine what it would have been like to live then, in the early days of Christianity.  Obviously, at that time, the view from this spot would have been the small village of Salzburg, life would have been much simpler and slower.  But for the monks that lived there, their faith was everything!  Their hope for the future and all that would life would bring.  The same remains true for us today.  

It's our commitment to our faith, that gives us hope for the future.   

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Mission San Jose del Cabo Catholic Church

Mission San Jose del Cabo Catholic Church

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico 

Cabo San Jose is a special place for my husband and me!  It's just 30 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, and much quieter and laid back.  We went there on our honeymoon in 2006 and have returned almost every year since.  Mostly we relax, read books and play a lot of backgammon!  A short walk from our hotel is the town square, always bustling with activity.

This church dominates the town square, where on Thursday nights in the summer you can stroll their "art walk" with the works of local artisians!   The Mission San Jose del Cabo Anuiti church was first established in 1730 and prospered as the anchor of the community for many years, but primarily due to "acts of God", hurricanes, and even a mosquito infestation it moved it's location four times, finally resting here on this spot across from the Plaza Mijares in 1932.  

I think our lives can be like that too!  The "acts of God" can detour our best laid plans, but somehow with His help and hearts of faith we land on our feet and we don't just survive, we can thrive and life often turns out better than what we ever imagined!  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Cologne Cathedral

 Cologne Cathedral

Cologne, Germany

In May of 2017 we enjoyed two amazing weeks on a Viking River Cruise traveling from Amsterdam to Budapest... a trip of a lifetime.  Seeing countless Cathedrals and Castles along the way, this was one of my favorites.  It was not until I got back home and did a little research that I really appreciated it's history.  Construction began in 1248, but was halted in 1560...   that's 312 years!  Take that in!  Work began again in the 1840's and completed a short 40 years later in 1880.  Oh, if walls could talk!

We have become so used to having instant gratification that it is hard for me to wrap my mind around 633 years from laying the first cornerstone until sitting in a pew to worship.   2020 has been a crazy year... it feels like forever since we've gathered with our loved ones and friends.  We have missed celebrating weddings together or mourning our loved ones at a funeral, or maybe it's just the opportunity to sit in our favorite pew at church.  But this too shall pass and with perspective we will be able to look back and see God's hand in our lives during this time.   
I hope and pray it will not take 633 years!


But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration
Grand Teton National Park
Moose, Wyoming

 I've been visiting Grand Teton National Park for 40 years and will always include a stop (and hopefully a service) at this charming log cabin church near the Moose entrance.  It was built in 1925, even before the park was founded.  Inside are log pews with a huge picture window and a breathtaking view of the Tetons, and in particular the group of three peaks known as the Cathedral Group.  

These things make life worthwhile to me;
A sunset sky, a maple tree,
A mountain standing grim and gray,
Against the sky line far away;
A baby's laugh, a summer breeze,
A roadway winding 'neath the trees;
A friend to trust, a book to read,
And work which meets some human need.
And through it all, a sense of God
Lifting my soul above the sod,
The hope and peace which He can give -
Theses make it worth my while to live.

A picture is worth a thousand words... no need for a sermon here!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Merry Christmas!

First Congregational Church
Lee, Massachusetts

 It feels so good to say Merry Christmas!!

Wow. it's been six months since my last blog post!   I'd like to say time flies when you're having fun, but like you, I've been doing my best to get through these crazy days.  I've always tried to use my blog to be inspiring and positive and frankly, I've not been feeling it too much.  For someone whose been called "PollyAnna" that's pretty hard for me to admit.

But it's now officially the Christmas Season and we can rejoice!  Advent, a season of Hope and Faith and a celebration of the birth of our Savior.  At the end of the day, or this memorable year of 2020.... that is really all that matters.

If you've followed me for awhile you know I love to sketch churches!  Since 2010, each year I search for THE perfect church to sketch for our annual Christmas Card.  Over the next few weeks I will share some of my favorites and a little bit of their stories.  Some you may have seen before, and some will be new.  What I love the most is that they're all unique, from simple log cabin churches to grand Cathedrals... yet share the common ground of being founded in the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

In the fall of 2010, my husband and I visited the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts.  As we traveled thru these quaint little towns, sometimes just a few miles apart, we noticed that each had a tall steepled church in the center of town.  The focal point and heart of their community.  This one, in Lee, was one of our favorites!   Its congregation began  meeting here in a small "meeting house" during the American Revolution in 1777.   Their first church was built in 1800 and tragically burned to the ground.  This church was built in 1857, and its steeple is thought to be the tallest in New England.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I could never have imagined what was in store for us when I posted the first of my Lenten Series on Ash Wednesday in late February....together we have gone through REST, RENEWAL and TRANSFORMATION leading up to Easter Sunday.   But the story continued...  CHALLENGES, INSPIRATION and PERSPECTIVE until Pentacost when we were reminded of the Holy Spirit as our fortress and shield for PROTECTION.   Seventeen posts over the past three months, our world has changed... and so have we.  

In the past week, as our country has come under attack and I realize more than ever the importance of the Holy Spirit in my life as my fortress and shield.  I pray that our country will heal and with the lessons of Jesus Christ learn to love one another as He loved us.  

Personally, the past three months have taught me some very valuable lessons, and I think the "re-boot" of my life will be a good thing for me and I am thankful that through all of this my loved ones have remained safe and healthy.  I am grateful for the opportunity and honor I have had to share my thoughts, fears and hopes for our future with you.  I so appreciate all the comments you've sent my way during this time.  Sometimes is was those kind words that helped get me through the day.
It is when we give, we thank you!!  
I am truly blessed!

As I've said before, National Parks will always be an inspiration to me and hopefully in late August or early September I will visit this one.  My daughter lives in Seattle and is surrounded by three National Parks!  We plan to spend a few days at Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic NP, one of her favorite places!  This is a sketch I did for her birthday in April.

I'll be taking some time off from the blog until then... but will see you back here in the Fall.  In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram @bjmcgregor_art. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


"But I will sing of your strength in the morning, 
I will sing of your love;
For you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16
A National Park that doesn't get too many visitors each year is one of my favorites.  Dry Tortuga National Park is located on one of the last islands in the Florida Keys.  You can only get there by boat or plane from Key West.  

Located on the island is Fort Jefferson, it was built during the years 1846-1875 but never finished.   Standing guard at the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the Atlantic it was "the most sophisticated and undeniable symbol that the US wanted to be left alone. Though never attacked, the fort fulfilled it's intended role.  It helped to protect the peace and prosperity of a young nation."

This coming Sunday, May 31st is Pentacost
It celebrates the day that the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and believers in Christ to guide and protect them until the 2nd coming.
This day is said to mark the beginning of "the church."

The Holy Spirit is our fortress and guide.  

In the last three months we have experienced life as we could never have imagined. We have lived with uncertainty and fear of the unknown...but as Christians we are blessed to know that in ALL things, we are in God's loving and capable hands.  So now, we go forward in a new way.  Knowing we are protected and guided by the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and to the glory of God.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4

"You can only gain perspective from a distance"

 Not too far from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, near Asheville NC is a short hike to Craggy Pinnacle.  From here you have a 360 degree view of the Smokey Mountains ...and like life, sometimes it's easier to see the "Big Picture" when you're not smack dab in the middle of it.

So here we are.... communities are opening up again, people are getting out and about while practicing a new way of life.   There's still so much we don't know about our future and what it will be like.  What will school be like for our kids next year, church services, work environments...  What will our vacations look like, our weddings, our funerals?

I feel like God has pushed the re-set button on humanity.  When my computer acts up, I just turn it off and reboot... kind of like what we've been doing these past few months...and now it's time to reboot.  Power on!!  

 In my lifetime I've watched us step farther away from the values we grew up with... families, patriotism, selflessness, prayer, giving back to our community, even talking with each other seems to have been replaced by texts.  Our focused has turned more inward and impersonal.  I don't think that's a good thing, and not what God intended.  We need family, need community, we need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. 

There's so much going forward that we don't know... but there's so much we DO know.  All things will work for good, to the Glory of God.  

This Thursday is the Day of Ascension.  Jesus spent 40 days on earth after his resurrection teaching his disciples, knowing it was up to them to spread the Good News.  The way of life for centuries had been turned upside down with the resurrection of Christ.   I hope and pray we're learning the lesson.  To value family, friends and our freedom.  We can each do our part, share this Good News and with each other make this "new normal" of our lives a credit to Him.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Genesis 1:1, 1:31


It was very, very good!!

I remember many years ago when my daughters were young taking them to the Butterfly Exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science in Houston.  We went down corridors and through several doors until we found ourselves in the midst of a tropical paradise... supposedly filled with butterflies, but where were they?  The harder we looked, the less we saw... but when we relaxed and became one with our environment, the forest seemed to open up and we saw thousands, everywhere!  

I kind of feel like that's how I've been the past few months.  At first I was glued to the TV, reading every article and obsessed with the rapidly spreading Coronavirus. Tunnel vision.  Then I relaxed a bit, and decided to focus on the here and now, and by staying at home and social distancing I feel like I have been renewed to the world around me, my world... in my backyard, or along the walks in the woods with my pup.   My mind used to be so busy, I don't think I really absorbed where I was and now that I've relaxed and settled into the rhythm of the day, the flowers are blooming bigger and brighter, I feel the breeze blow through my (getting longer by the day!) hair and the sounds of birds in the morning seems like they're singing a symphony of the Hallelujah Chorus! 

Earlier in March, during Lent I posted of Renewal.  And here we are in the thick of it, in every aspect of our daily life.  As our communities start to open up what an opportunity we have to see and do things differently than "before."  What was working and what wasn't?  Cities around the world are boasting of blue skies instead of smog... tiny fish, scuttling crabs and multicolored plant life can be seen in the canals of Venice, even the people I pass along the way seem friendlier, if even from a distance.... our world is going through a renewal process as well. 

I can already see a shift... in an awareness of what's around us and with that I want to go forward with this as my mantra...

Be kind and respectful to myself,
Be kind and respectful to others,
Be kind and respectful to our planet.

Peg P, from Hendersonville, TN is inspired by music, in particular the old hymns we loved to sing as children... I bet you know this one!

"For the Beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over an around us lies:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise."

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


"He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
 Matthew 4:6b

When I asked what inspires you, the overwhelming common denominator on most of your responses was about The People... our everyday Hero's! 

The people on the front line of health care and those on the front line caring for our safety, in the police and fire department, they are putting their lives at risk every day for our well being (in good times and bad!)  We are inspired by families taking care of young children or their elderly seniors.  The people that have been furloughed from their jobs and spend their time distributing meals to those in need.  I could go on and on....   We have always stepped up to the plate in times of need!  This is America!  It's what we do! 

These are not the only Angels among us.... our neighborhood kids are contributing by painting rocks to inspire us along the bike path, or making face masks to distribute to nursing homes... Our churches are distributing encouraging notes written by their congregation to seniors living facilities, the skies the limit on the possibilities!  So often we think it's the big things that change the world, but it's also the small things that collectively change the dialog of our day.

These "Everyday Hero's," are the angels among us. And you can be too... Look around for the opportunities, big or small, of ways you can be an angel to someone else and make their day a little bit better.

Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.

Watch and listen to 
"There Are Angels Among Us"  
by Alabama

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


"I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13

We face challenges from the day we are born until the day we die.  From learning to tie our shoelaces, to getting back on our feet after a divorce, to getting the news of a difficult health diagnosis... we are not defined by the easy, carefree days, but it's in our challenging times and how we deal with them that makes us who we are.  

For Lisa, she was inspired when thinking of her difficult times and overcoming the challenges that she has had to face in her life, knowing that she and God worked together to accomplish the unimaginable outcomes.  Resulting in gaining a peace that can only come from God.  For her, even a game of tennis that is challenging and competitive, helps drive her to be the best she can be!

I see photo's of El Capitan at Yosemite NP and wonder how in the world someone could climb the face of that granite monolith.   It seems insurmountable.  Life can be like that too...  problems arise that seem to be impossible... we say "how will we ever get through this, over this, around this?"  But with God by our side, we can!  
Sometimes the way is straight forward, climb up the face of your "challenging situation."  Sometimes we take the meandering trail and eventually get to the other side.   Sometimes we just fall apart, and Christ will carry us the whole way.   Each challenge will bring its own direction, but it makes no difference, the result is the same, and we can rest assured that Christ will give us the strength to get through whatever comes our way.

We're all in uncharted territory right now, and we can't even imagine the challenges that will come our way in the near future or what those "unimaginable outcomes" might be.  We are definitely well out of our comfort zone and it can be overwhelming, but if we break it down, day by day or even minute by minute, we will come out on the other side stronger, more resilient with a new perspective for life going forward.  


If you're looking for something inspiring (scary and crazy insane) to watch during your time at home, check out 
"Free Solo" about Alex Honnold, the first to climb El Capitan  without a net... talk about uncharted territory!

this is the link to the trailer....the documentary is available on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, 
for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."

Psalm 143.8


Last week I invited you to share with me what inspires you....  Thank you all for sharing... I am inspired to share your words of wisdom here.

Inspiration is such a big word... but sometimes it's the things that happen everyday, that we often take for granted, that are the most significant.  

Cassandra shared this:
"I am grateful that no matter what is going on, every morning the sun rises, giving me a chance to make something of the day."

Like a new day, soon we will witness a dawn of a new era, post pandemic, and it's up to us to make the most of it.  And a good place to start in defining our "new normal."  Everyday we have a choice....  24 hours to spend, or rather invest, in how we want to fill our time.  It's amazing to me how quickly the hours add up to weeks, and then months and pretty soon, years have gone by while we're waiting for things to change... instead, we must be the change.

What will be my new normal?  What adds to my quality of life and what detracts? In the past few months we've been  forced to clear our plates of my activities, so going forward, it's up to us to choose how to spend our time.   For me, I have felt like the busy-ness of life has left me precious little time for the important things in my life... so I'll be exploring how to go about that.

What about you??

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


"You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the houses.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 5:14

He has Risen, Risen indeed!
but wait... the story continues.

I've been thinking that from the beginning of this global pandemic, what an interesting coincidence it is that this occurred during our Lenten Series.  And how each post I pre-planned seemed divinely chosen for that day.  I'm not sure how much I believe in coincidence, but I am very sure that God will always use our present circumstances for His good.   
So.... the story continues.

Put yourselves in the shoes of the Pharisee's on that Sunday morning.... what did they feel?  A sense of relief that his man who had become a threat to their normal mode of operation and to their authority, had died on the cross and finally it was over?  And so what if his followers had stolen his body from the tomb....  at last their lives could finally "get back to normal."   

How many times have you heard that phrase in the past month??  I've even said it myself.  But a week or so ago, my friend Peg, shared a post on Facebook that opened my eyes to the opportunities ahead of us.

"Nothing should go back to normal.
Normal wasn't working.
If we go back to the way things were, we will have lost the lesson.
May we rise up and do better."

The Pharisee's thought it would go back to the way it was "before" but no, not even close....things had changed for them... and for us... forever.

Life has changed for everyone of us with COVID-19.  For some, they may have lost their jobs, or even their homes, or worse yet, a loved one or friend.  At the very least we've all missed spending time with our friends and family and perhaps taken a beating with the economy at a standstill. And we've all gained a fresh perspective on many things we took for granted.

I pray that our country will unite, and come together to rebuild... and we, as Christians are called to lead the way. 

After Jesus rose from the dead, he spent the next 40 days on earth, teaching, instructing his followers on how and where they can be "the hands and feet of God" before His final ascension into heaven.  As we reach the peak of this pandemic, see then curve flatten and then watch as it comes back down, I am certain God will be showing us the way forward.  Let's watch and grow together, support and share, show the love of Christ in all that we do.

During this time, rather than get back to posting the art I've been working for clients, I'll continue on our Lent theme with a sketch and a message that will hopefully bring you inspiration and hope.   

So what inspires you?  
For me, it's nature, and I particularly love the National Parks.  If a National Park has a lighthouse, even better!  This one is the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Acadia National Park. 
The first lighthouse was built by the Pharos in Alexandria in 280 BC.   Since then, lighthouses have been showing sea captains the way to safety.  I see God in this way.... directing our path.  We sometimes choose to go off course, but He keeps that light shining, waiting for us to come back into His loving arms.  Likewise, we are that Lighthouse to others.  During this unique time in our history, your friends, family, grandchildren will watch and learn from you.

So, what inspires you? 
A sunrise, a rainbow, a particular bible verse or poem, maybe it's someone you know?  I'd love to hear from you and incorporate these into my upcoming posts.  I hope you'll e-mail me at and share your thoughts!

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

REJOICE - Easter Sunday

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.

Matthew 28:6

Today we pause to remember and rejoice 
in your sacrificial love;
That shone light into darkness
That bore life from such emptiness
That revealed hope out of devastation
That spoke truth through incrimination
That released freedom in spite of imprisonment
And brought us forgiveness instead of punishment.

 Thank you that we can walk in the light of your life, 
Hope, truth, freedom and forgiveness,
This and everyday.

He is Risen, indeed!!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

FORGIVE - Good Friday

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head.  They put a staff in his right hand, then they knelt in front of him and mocked him, "Hail, king of the Jews!"  They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.  

Matthew 27: 29-30

In just one week, Jesus was welcomed by the crowds with cheers and praise, he shared a last meal with his disciples, knowing that one would turn on and betray him.  Finally he was tortured, beaten, and mocked before dying a gruesome death on the cross.  
Yet, before He took his last breath he said 
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they're doing."

What are you holding on to that is blocking your relationship with Jesus?

It's time to let it go.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

REMEMBER - Maundy Thursday

While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying  "Take and eat, this is my body."  Then he took the cup and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Matthew 26:26-28
"do this in remembrance of me"

Saturday, April 4, 2020

BLESSED - Palm Sunday

Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting:

"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!"

Matthew 21: 8 - 9

"Triumphant Entry" can't even begin to explain the energy and excitement in the crowd that day... the Savior they had waited for... for hundreds, if not thousands of years had finally come!  Just imagine how you'd feel if you happened upon this scene, an hour after Jesus had gone through.. you just missed it!  That pit in your stomach... you'd feel like you had just missed a once in a lifetime opportunity.

But that's not the way it is.  The "Good News" is you haven't missed it.  Over two thousand years later, you can still choose to follow Jesus and experience "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding."  

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


"For where two or three are gathered in my name, 
there I am among them."

Matthew 18:20

Once again, little did I know when I wrote the original text (below) where we would be on April 1st, 2020.  I have been hoping we'd wake up to the news today "April Fool"
 and life would have returned to normal.  

Not in our wildest imagination, could we have seen our churches (and everything else!) closed...especially during Easter.  But somehow, in our true American spirit, we are finding new ways to gather in the midst of this pandemic storm.  

"Gather" takes on new meaning in these days.  We may not be able to physically connect in the ways we are used to, but we can emotionally.  FaceTime and Zoom are our new best friends.  We can participate (yes, participate, not just watch in real time) our worship services via YouTube and Facebook.  We can pick up the phone that's always in our pocket and chat with a friend that is "sheltering in place" in Australia or right next door.  

We live in an age of limitless possibilities for connecting.  And we are connecting in a deeper and more personal way that has long been taken for granted.  Cherish these opportunities to reach out and check on a loved one, or a neighbor.  

And while life is moving at this slower pace, we'd better rest up, my friends, because when this is over, more than ever we need to be the hands and feet of Christ.  


I have always been intrigued by "Blue Zones."  
If you're not familiar, these are areas around the world where people typically live full, healthy lives to 100 years old and beyond, and what are the common denominators amongst them.   The obvious are genetics, diet and exercise, but equally important to their longevity are faith and community.  A heartfelt belief in God and quality time with friends and family.  

We are so blessed to live in a country and a community that cherish both of these, but it takes intention on our part.  Church and family can extend beyond the walls of the sanctuary or our immediate family.  Gather with those that fill your heart and build you up both socially as well as taking part in the many activities offered in our community and church.
And in the process, we can be the hands of feet of Christ across the world, through mission trips, volunteering at a local hospital or sharing a cup of coffee with your elderly neighbor.