Who is this man?

I can tell you his name and how I knew him, but what did he believe in or not believe in. What were his world views? What did he hope his children would become? Was he looking forward to walking his three daughters down the aisle when they married. Did he want to be present when they graduated from high school and then college? Was he looking forward to being a grandfather some day? What were his dreams beyond those he had already realized? Sadly I’ll never know the answers to those kinds of questions. What I do know is that he never saw but one of his three daughters graduate from high school. He met only one of their future husbands. He never got to walk even one of them down the aisle on their wedding days. He wasn’t present at the birth of any of his grandchildren. In short his life came to an abrupt halt when he was but 51 years of age. And yet I know enough to cry such sorrowful tears as I write this some 56 Father’s Days after he died, for you see I am Norman’s eldest daughter who cherished him and has not yet nor will ever forget what little she did know of him. Damn I love that twinkle in his eyes in the photo on the right! It was and is so Norman.

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Hope you can see some resemblance in me and my Norman. Missing you so much again Daddy!!!

1387. In the early Celtic churches, earth, sea, and sky were, rather than enclosed sanctuaries, the temple of God. The high-standing crosses were gathering places. ~J. Philip Newell

The world is holy.
We are holy. All life is holy.
Daily prayers are delivered on the lips
of breaking waves, the whisperings
of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.
-Terry Tempest Williams

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The church is not a building, but a body of believers with a specific nature and purpose. These biblical roles or ministries of the church are foundational to it. Worship is God-centered and Christ-centered. It is not about entertaining Christians with flashy displays or presentations, but about expressing our love by worshiping our Creator. We are to praise and glorify God in worship. As such, every Christian needs to be part of regular fellowship and worship. Edification is also a role of the church. It involves edifying believers, but also nurturing, building up or helping believers to mature in Christ.

Evangelism is also a key role of the church. This means reaching out to a lost world with the Good News about Jesus. Since people often have questions or doubts about Christ and Christianity, knowing the truth and being able to defend it is also part of the role of the church. But beyond evangelism in the sense of reaching out with the gospel, the church must also express compassion and mercy tangibly by helping others. In following Christ’s example to love others, the church, too, must seek to make a real difference in the world while not neglecting to share the message of Christ. If a church fails to fulfill any of these key roles – worship, edification, evangelism – then the church is not functioning as God intends. Granted, there are times when churches face challenges and struggles to one degree or another, but a healthy church seeks to overcome such challenges in a way that honors God and His intentions for His church. (This paragraph and the one above it are excerpted from an article by Paul Velarde_)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19-20  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie