Sunday, December 22, 2013

Peace and sorrow..........Yesterday I had the honor and blessing to sit with a friend here in Marble. It was no ordinary time. My friend's husband went to be with his Maker in the early hours of the morning. I drove my jeep up the snowy road and parked at the top of her drive. As I walked down to her house the sun was shining weakly through the clouds. She had two trees with decorations on them along the drive. It was crisp and cold. There was no noise at all, only silence. My walk to her door was somber but extremely peaceful. It was as if all of God's peace blanketed the house. So I felt sorrow and experienced peace intertwined together becoming a part of my heart.

We sat together just us two. Her tall Christmas tree proclaimed the season and the Christmas music filled the background around us. There were snowflakes dancing outside her picture windows and a fire roaring in her fireplace. At times there were tears and at other times just shared memories. I felt so blessed to share the quiet with her. Yes even in the sorrow there was peace. There are simply no other words to express what I experienced sitting with my friend........Peace and sorrow.

"Therefore the Lord will give you a sign. The virgin will give birth to a son and he will be called Immanuel.....(God with us.) the prophet Isaiah

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bits and pieces.....It is often the bits and pieces of life that happen in the course of living that enrich and make life the gift that it is. Living in the middle of the mountains surrounded by wilderness those bits and pieces can be unique......

On our way to Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving driving out our County Road 3, we saw two of Marble's own walking. The temp outside was 13 degrees. Our Tacoma truck was packed with everything including our yellow lab, Starbuck. We stopped to offer them a ride even though Starbuck filled the back seat. They opted to accept the ride and climbed in the back with the dog who then proceeded to climb into the front seat sitting on me and stretching across the console to put her head on Jon. Thus we rode that way all the way to Carbondale. The kicker was that if we had passed them by, they would have known that it was the pastor because everyone in Marble knows our truck. We had a great ride to Carbondale. Bits and Pieces......

Shortly after returning to Marble we had our first "BIG" snowstorm. Of course Jon was in Grand Junction for an overnighter. It started snowing in the night. Now the key to keeping up with large snowstorms is keeping the snow shoveled. I already had my pajamas on. So I figured they were like long johns, so I through my snowpants over them and shoveled the decks twice for a total of nine inches in my pjs. The next morning I woke up to another foot on the deck. Out to shovel I went. However I had on something other than my pajamas. I shoveled a total of two feet of snow in 24 hours. Bits and the wilderness!

Yesterday Jon and I went to the local galleries, the school, and helped out at the church for the event called Christmas in Marble. We entered one gallery and it was magical! They had it decorated lovely and the Christmas music was playing and they had treats. Jon and I had a dance right in the gallery to the Christmas music. Good thing the owners were our parishioners and enjoyed our delight in the moment. Then we walked out. The snow was so beautiful and the white Aspen trees with their dark eyes along the trunk were singing their own silent Christmas carol. I breathed in the cold brisk air and thought, God how wonderful you are! Bits and pieces.......

Last night I looked out the window to see headlights from an unmoving vehicle. I told Jon that I thought someone was stuck. He went outside to see if he could be of help. Sure enough one of our own legendary "mountain men" had gotten stuck in a snow bank. The neighbor's wife and friend was shoveling snow from the wheels and the neighbor was trying to position his truck to pull our stuck friend out. As this was happening, our very own "mountain man" asked Jon if he could just call him Preacher. Jon said sure. The man then responded,"We have been talking about you and we have decided that we like you. We have decided that you are good, Preacher and we like having you here." These things are not said lightly in Marble! Bits and the town of Marble.

So bits and pieces of life are all around us to add that richness to our souls! It is my prayer that even when things are just a little tough in my personal life and there may be sorrow in my heart, that I will always be open to the bits and pieces that I am convinced are God's way of letting us know He is with us and within us. "Emanuel, God with us!"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Okay, maybe I do have a tendency to "wander" off........
So yesterday I took Starbuck for a walk and was just going to stop below Daniel's Hill. That was going to be my turnaround point. But I just had this urge to trek up Daniel's Hill. So off Starbuck and I "wandered" and began the uphill climb. I briefly considered that Jon did not know that we were going up there but I reasoned that Daniel's Hill was local and thus was just like walking by Beaver Lake. That was my reasoning at any rate. I suppose that was debatable.

The thing about wandering up Daniel's Hill in the winter is that everything changes the higher you go. As you go up, you pick up more snow. The only human sounds are the ones you make. The sounds you do hear outside of yourself are nature's. There were birds chattering and the noise of the running creek. There was Starbuck frolicking and rolling in the snow. I felt the tensions of life roll away.

Daniel's Hill required cardio effort. So as we climbed I got into my zone as I call it. I was breathing deeply, my heart rate picked up to feed all the working muscles. My stride was that comfortable slow steady long pull. I was caught up in the rhythm of the effort required. I had songs in my head but could not sing them due to the effort of continuing the journey. I heard the old old carol "I wonder as I wander out under the sky..." I let it flow through my mind and echo in my heart. Again it became one of those transcending moments where eternity and the finite meet.

Once at the top, light snowflakes began to dance through the air. A large spruce whose branches were heavy with snow caught my attention. At its very top sat one lone bird. I lifted my face to the sky to feel the snow flurries and to breathe in the fresh air. Standing still my breathing and heart rate slowed to normal. I began to sing "O Come O Come Emanuel." There was only God to hear and He did not care if I was off-key. As I sang, the Holy Spirit began to sing through me and the song transcended the earthly moment to become a heavenly one. Starbuck sat quietly by. And in that moment I was glad that I had wandered off.......

"Rejoice, Rejoice, Emanuel. O come to thee O Israel."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

And then there was peace......Yesterday I was sitting in the recliner reading a book and listening to Christmas music (yes, Christmas music). Oh by the way, I was sitting in front of one of my Christmas trees as well. Yes I am one of those people. I digress......As the familiar song was playing Jon was in the kitchen and would occasionally quietly hum along with the song. We both sing a little off key and that would mean that we tend to hum off key as well. I stopped reading and just smiled. It was such a sweet thing, a spontaneous thing; the music and my husband humming here and there. I took in a deep breath of the sweetness. I was aware of the Holy Spirit's presence as the Holy Spirit lives within us both. And then there was peace.

Life is full of moments of peace. And I love it when it just sneaks up on me like that moment yesterday. I am convinced that those moments of awareness are moments where eternity meets us within our finite world reminding us of the "home" to come. I know that those moments come to sustain us and remind us of the "Peace Giver." It reminds us that we are not alone and that truly we are just passing through this world.

"My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jesus Christ

And then there was peace.......

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Forever Changed.....Carrie Underwood sings a song by this title. It is about the subtle slip of a person's mind as she ages. When I hear this song, I cry. Daddy.......things have changed within your mind but you are still Daddy. You talk of people who have long gone to be with God as if they were by your side. Perhaps in a spiritual sense they are. Things have changed but you are still Daddy. Sometimes you have a blankness in your eyes and then suddenly they awake with awareness. You get frustrated because you know things have changed for you. But you are still Daddy.

As you sift through memories, I have begun to do the same, remembering you from the perspective of the little girl I once was. We had fun, Daddy. You and Billy Matthews could come up with such outrageous things like making turtle soup and frying frog legs from frogs you caught. I remember the frogs because I accidentally kicked over the bucket with the rest of them within. It almost scarred me for life, not really, it is another precious memory. You took us on trips all over the country so that we could see things and experience life. We had fun, Daddy. Things are different now, but you are still Daddy.

You walked me down the isle as a young lady and you whispered, "You can drop the aspirin now. Susan Williams and Karen Wooten, you will know what he meant. You love Jon, my cowboy Air Force Chaplain now pastor husband as if he were your own son. Your mind goes other places now, but you are still Daddy.

I wrote last winter about "the kiss" as I call it. It only happens in winter and it lasts for just a couple of minutes. At the end of the day as the sun drops below the
mountains, it hits the snow covered peak of Treasure Mountain last. The peak turns colors that can only exist from God's pallet; pinks and mauves and almost burgundy. And then it is gone as if God brushes His lips across the earth to end the day.

Our lives are like those moments. In light of eternity, our lives are but the length of that final "kiss" of brilliant color at the end of a winter day. So Daddy, this journey that you are now on will in light of eternity be brief. But no matter where your mind retreats to, you will still be Daddy. To God you will always be his child, his beloved.

"Teach us to number our days aright that we might gain a heart of wisdom.....Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:12 and 14

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The light is different now..... The earth has tilted for Fall and is on its way to tilt for winter. The sun pops up over the mountains later in the morning and drops down earlier in the evening. The peaks have donned their winter white clothing and the sky is acquiring that particular clear indescribable blue that it turns here at 8000 ft in winter. This world moves me and keeps me pondering the mysteries of God.

The light is different now.....A loved one's mind slips into a world that is difficult to reach. I remember a mind that was sharp. I see that mind withdraw to a place that is hard to comprehend. This change moves me and I feel things very deep within that I have never before experienced. This place too, keeps me pondering the mysteries of God.

The light is different now.....the holidays are close at hand. But this year there will be an empty seat at the family table. This sorrow is so deep that words are difficult to find. Yet there is a bittersweet feeling as I recall a loud laugh and almost nonstop talking. You were like a light, a meteor of sorts that flew across our hearts and lives and was all too soon gone. Megan........This loss moves me and also draws me to ponder the mysteries of God.

The light is different now.... The earth has tilted for Fall and is on its way to tilt for winter. The sun pops up over the mountains later in the morning and drops down earlier in the evening. The peaks have donned their winter white clothing and the sky is acquiring that particular clear indescribable blue that it turns here at 8000 ft in winter. This world moves me and keeps me pondering the mysteries of God.........and within the pondering I hear the Still Small Voice say I AM here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

And there was the bear......I had deliberated on which trail to take my yellow lab, Starbuck yesterday. I wanted to hike to Lost Creek and have a picnic but it was a little off the beaten track. My other option was a road that we call Ski Lodge Road because someone tried to build a ski resort off that road in the 70s. It never made it into a resort. Jon was not at home and so no one would miss us if we did not return. So I chose the more traveled Ski Lodge Road. It should be the safest trek.

I had been taking photos of bear prints up there for about three weeks but was not concerned because the road should not be the typical place to see a bear during that time of day, right? After all I had not seen the bear since seeing the prints. Well, this was my sound reasoning.

So Starbuck and I were on the way back home and had made it down to the curves and the aspen grove. Starbuck had been sniffing the air and acting as if she smelled something different. However she is always alert on that road because of all the deer and elk. But then I saw it and stopped dead in my tracks. Just below us standing up on its hind feet was a black bear right in the open, right in front of an aspen. It was between me and my way home. Suddenly Starbuck spotted it. She began barking like a wild thing. I was clinging to her leash (thankfully on a short lead) to keep her from getting away from me or dragging me toward the bear. Her barking got the bear's attention and it dropped on all fours and ran into the trees. Because it was running away from us I was able to appreciate its beauty. Only one little problem. The bear ran in the trees in the direction we had to go to get to the Bob Marley jeep (my jeep).

Well, since I am writing this you know we made it safely back. However I made the rest of our journey looking to the right and to the left and up because bears can climb trees! In last year's tradition of naming the bears I saw, I named this bear as well. I called it JB (Joy's Bear) because my friend, Joy lives on Ski Lodge Road. It is my hope that JB escapes the hunters who are out en masse! Praise God for watching over us as we walked on the "safer" trail!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nomad......It occurred to me over the last few weeks that I am a nomad. Since I was 18 and left for college I have been a wanderer. God has taken me from place to place through Jon's ministry in the Air Force and now his pastorate in Marble, Colorado; the village at the end of the road.....Wow! We have moved every 2-3 years. I am like one of those Bedouin tribes who still roam from place to place. I am like the shepherds who wander from green pasture to green pasture. I am like the Native Americans who followed the buffalo and found winter camps sheltered from high plains wind. The wonders that I have seen and the people that I have met are a precious gift from my Maker. Yet God has over and over called me through Jon's ministry to leave those gifts behind to go to another place.

It is difficult to be a nomad when family is scattered all over and when those we love suffer. We nomads cry tears in silent places and pray prayers in sheltered places. We walk out our front doors to be with the people God has called us to love and we love them. Yet our hearts are full for those far away who cry because of the journey that life is taking them on.

So as a nomad, a wanderer, God has brought me to this place high in the mountains that lies at the end of the road. Its beauty and peacefulness has thrilled my soul in ways that I cannot express in words! It offers many silent places to cry and many shelterd places to pray. It offers peaks in which I have automatically shouted out Halleluia or simply sang the doxology,"Praise God from whom all blessings flow....." Yet I asked God as a nomad, do I have a "place"? The Still Small Voice spoke and said "your place is in Me." My place is Jesus. My home is Jesus. I have a place.

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country---a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11: 13-16

Friday, September 27, 2013

LOST!!!!!! and undone.......Well I suppose it would be better said, we were all lost and I became undone! Jon and I planned a hike through Dark Canyon with another couple who were our friends. I am not sure after yesterday that they will still be our friends. Did I mention that I was lost AND undone?

The Canyon was very beautiful but the trail was a little muddy. The plan was to just hike in 4 miles and hike back out 4 miles. But during our picnic the "men" got out the trail map. Now I do not know if the fact that we would have to return straddling and jumping around mud had anything to do with their decision or if it was a male bonding thing. Whatever the case they decided to take a different trail back. So off we go...

From the very beginning finding the trail was difficult and was climbing up to a ridge line. (the name of said trail was Lightning Ridge Trail, should have been our first clue.) About 40 minutes in we all finally admitted that we were lost! This was the beginning of my "undoneness".  Jon has always stressed the potential danger of getting off trail in the mountains and especially in the wilderness areas. I was once lost as a young girl with my friend, Susan Williams in woods back of her house. It was not fun then and I didn't like the feeling returning in adulthood. So my first reaction was anger; I was mad that we had not returned the way we had planned. I was mad at the decision maker. I was mad! 
Our alternative became what is known as bushwacking. So after consulting the map we started through ferns knee deep and scrubby oaks in the direction the map consulters decided we should go. I kept tripping over logs that were under the brush and falling almost on my face. Jon was stung by yellow jackets every time we stopped. I moved from mad to extremely frustrated! I didn't hold in my feelings. I read somewhere that it was not good to hold in feelings due to the fact that it could lead to a stressful life. Did I mention that I am the pastor's wife and that we were hiking with parishioners? Did I mention that they may no longer want to be MY friends?

Our bushwacking was climbing because after all the trail was suppose to be following the ridge of a mountain. We ran out of water and had to refill at a stream (I have a filtering system for water). I think it was while refilling the water bottle that my camera got lost all on its own. I am sad to say that it didn't make it out. At this time it was around 3:30 and it is now Fall, meaning that the sun drops below the mountains early and it gets cold earlier than in summer. I moved from extremely frustrated to scared! I thought about my friend who was on a rescue team out of the Vail area. Could she find us in all the thick bush we were in? Then I remembered that no one knew that we had taken another trail. Bad rule to break! I also knew a front was coming in with cooler weather and rain. So spending the night on the mountain was not probably going to lead to a good outcome. I did mention fear didn't I?

Well finally once we reached the top of a ridge line and literally beat the bushes to find a trail, my "female" friend found a small trail and I saw a pink ribbon tied to a bush by the trail. I was told it was a hunter's mark for his trail. So off we went. We saw horse skat, YEAH, and footprints even better! The trail was going in the right direction, west and down! And the rest is history because I am now writing this!
I usually end these posts with something "spiritual." My friends or use to be friends had all sorts of beautiful spiritual offerings of the experience. All I can leave with you is PRAISE GOD FOR TAKING CARE OF US AND HELPING US OUT OF THERE! Also I might have figured out the stages of being lost: first anger, second extreme frustration and finally fear. Maybe I could write a book on the stages of lostness. What do you think?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

So we did the Maroon Pass Trail Hike.........When I go on hikes I try and apply the hike to life and spiritual matters thereby internalizing the hike into my inner life. Jon and I along with another couple who are our friends took on the West Maroon Pass trail. It does not take long in mountain living to realize that when a mountain pass is mentioned that it means climbing or driving up to a particular mountain point and then dropping down to another side. The West Maroon Pass trail leads from Aspen over and down to Schofield Park that gives you access to Crested Butte.

Our hike began at an iconic scene in Colorado called the Maroon Bells which is a view of two famous peaks that are pyramid shaped that are a little more than 14,000 ft in elevation. From the lake at the bottom of these peaks which lies a little above 9000 ft the hiker must hike up to the 12,500 ft pass. Doing the math the trail went up! We began..... We went over rocks and slippery mud and crossed several running streams helping one another by holding out hiking sticks to keep from slipping in and getting completely wet. By the third crossing I ceased to care about wet shoes and wet feet; the goal just became about getting across.

Then we started the above 11,000 ft part. The air is much thinner and breathing became more of an effort. My lungs always tell me when I am at 11,000 ft. We marched on concentrating on one small goal to the next. As we got to 12,000 ft we had 500 more to go to reach the pass. Then it was just a matter of breath step, breath step, sip water, do not look down off the foot path, breath step; you get the idea. Finally we made the pass. Once up there we began cheering on all those we had met on the journey to make the final steps to the top! We took a photo to prove we made it, we ate the second half of our sandwhich, hydrated with fluids and then looked down the other side and thought we have to go all the way down there!!! Oh well that was the only way to the refuge of the car!

We made it down and awaiting us was the car, YEAAAAA!!! and a storybook cabin whose owner had a freshly baked peach pie with homemade whipped cream! I had never tasted a better pie!
So what did I learn? When I think of the hike the word endurance comes to mind. Our spiritual reward goes to those who endure to the end. Along the way God shows us views we never expected to see in our lives. He sends people to cheer us on and gives us the opportunity to cheer others on. And sometimes the way is muddy and sometimes there are streams to cross. Yet those same streams offer a place to refill your water bottle. And sometimes there is the best peach pie you've ever tasted at the end of the trail!

So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised......Hebrew 10:35-36

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The call of the mountains........Today I just simply felt the call of the mountains, the call of the trail, the pull to grab my hiking gear and go. So my yellow lab and I took off on the trail to the Crystal Mill! So we jumped into the Bob Marley jeep (not actually named for the singer but the fact that we bought it from a doc named Bob whose wife is named Marly).  Due to that fact they placed a sticker with a picture of the singer Bob Marley inside the back door. Thus the name of my jeep.

So Starbuck and I drove up Daniels Hill and parked and began our hike. The trail goes along the side of the Crystal River and today the river ran clear and brilliant. The sound of it soothed my soul. The energy required for the hike allowed the worries to slip away with each breath, with each drop of sweat and with each "rocky" step. Starbuck and I shared yogurt and peanuts by the Crystal Mill. I breathed the fall-tinged air and my spirit was lifted.

So perhaps the call of the mountains was actually the call of God......."Take my yoke upon you for my burden is gentle and light." "Do not worry about tomorrow for sufficient is the evil of today." Allow Me to be your "refuge and strength." "Trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make straight your paths." ........Yes I think the call of the mountains was actually the call of God!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sorrow comes in many snapshots and in many voices. There is the ring of a phone in the middle of the night. There is a distraught voice crying out with disillusionment in some occurrence in their life. There are the shaky hands trying to accomplish a task that was once second nature. There is the lonely voice that asks "when can I go home?" And the sad answer, "not for four weeks at least." There is the sleeping of one you love that on the surface seems peaceful but disguises the confusion that lies just beneath. The many pictures of sorrow and the many expressions it takes, are probably innumerable dependent on the number of individuals that the earth holds. But this one thing I know, this one thing I cling to is that God holds every tear and every prayer and every groaning uttered by a broken heart close to His Being. And in response He sends the Holy Spirit to be our comfort and guide to take the next step on that most difficult of journeys; the journey we call sorrow.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mormon Lake Trail.......So we took a hike in an entirely different area. Our Mormon Lake Trail was in the Holy Cross Wilderness area. So here was the thing; the trail was only 3.2 miles to the final lake, Mormon Lake. The first lake was Lyle Lake. However at the very beginning the air seemed pretty thin. That was when one of our hiking buddies said, "We are starting at 11,000 feet." Well that was a relief, at least I had not developed some rare lung disease just that morning.

The trail was beautiful full of God's surprises like WILDFLOWERS and the new discovery of mushrooms. Even had one of those mushrooms for dinner tonight. Pretty tasty!

So we made it to the first lake, Lyle Lake. We stopped for lunch and could see the trail we had to take across the lake making a steep uphill climb. I kept looking at that and thinking, wow I will need some lungs for that. I was right. Each little stretch took a lot of oxygen (very deep breathing!). That was when the same hiking buddy with his GPS that he is just learning to use announced that we were at around 12,000 feet. But the good news was once at the top of that mountain we started to descend. The bad news was that on the way back we would have to climb up again. Oh well that's life!

Once we got to a certain point and had still not reached Mormon Lake we began to guess where we thought it was. There was another peak just ahead. I thought and we all agreed that the lake was probably on the other side of that peak. When I first thought about it I wasn't sure I wanted to climb another peak. It was 2pm and a firm rule on a hike is you have to get back to where you started if you want to go home.

But being destination minded and with the agreement of those with me we decided to go on. The wonderful surprise was that the trail took a very gentle route over the peak. The lake and being at the top of the world was well worth the trip.

On the way down I thought how much like life the trail was. Often when you look at what is apparently before you, you are not sure if it is something you can tackle. But if you just begin taking the steps necessary one step at a time with the grace of God surrounding you, the trail will often surprise you. God gives you a gentler path than it appeared and rewards you with rest "beside the still waters."

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6: 34

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Sound of Music Trail......A friend and I went on a hike today on a trail that I have renamed "The Sound of Music" trail. The reason I have renamed it is obvious. You reach this certain point where you just tap into your own Julie Andrews and just start singing "The hills are alive with the Sound of Music." Now I have to confess that I have been on many trails in which I have broken into song and twirled just like Julie Andrews. But on this trail it has become a sacred ritual to do so at this one particular point.

The trail that leads you to this point is mostly uphill. So as we sat and had lunch today my friend made the comment that our picnic spot (which has also become a ritual) was lovely but the problem was just getting there. I immediately responded that would be a good sermon title; the problem is just getting there.

My Daddy is still struggling with his health and is still in the hospital. The struggle to get well is often a problem. The end result of wellness may be the point where one breaks forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving. However the journey there is often a problem, a struggle, a heartbreaking journey.

I am truly grateful that for the Christian, wellness is never completely obtained until we reach that "City not made by hands...."! That view will be one in which all of us will take to our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! We will truly break forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving. Yes, sometimes the journey may be difficult. But if these mountains have taught me anything, it is that along the way there are precious creations to see and treasures hidden all around. Each small blessing along the trail gives you strength to take the next step so that you can continue with anticipation to see what God has in store for you next!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mudslides and our church....

Mudslides and our church.........Thank God we have been getting what Colorado calls monsoon rains. It keeps our fire danger down and provides the moisture we always seem to need. However, living between two mountain wilderness areas has provided some interesting outcomes from the moisture.

We have had two mudslides in the same area with two different rains. These mudslides have come down from what is called Gallo Mountain covering the road by way of Slate Creek. As many of you know we have one way in and one way out of Marble. So once the mudslides occur you are either trapped in Marble or trapped out of Marble.

The last mudslide happened while a group of 16-18 Senior Citizens were here on a day trip. You guessed it, they were trapped in Marble. There are a few places to overnight in Marble but everything was full due to the Marble carving seminars that were going on. So Jon opened the church to this group along with 3-4 firemen who were trapped here as well. Hey we have padded pews, he told the people trying to find a place to lodge them. So our little Marble Community Church opened its doors and its small set of 20 padded pews for the Senior Citzens' group. Many of the town folks supplied blankets and pillows. At 10:30 pm I premade the coffee so that all they had to do in the morning was to plug it in. Being a coffee snob myself, I knew what a cup of morning Joe could do to start their day.

So our church literally became a sanctuary for the pilgrims traveling through. May God bless our little church and may it be known as a sanctuary for the tired, the homeless, the people of God and all His creation whether they know Him personally or not. This is my prayer.