The Music Man – Honoring a Man of Inspiration!

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Happy Monday Everyone!

I was sitting in church yesterday being led in a resounding chorus of Alleluia and started thinking about the man leading us in song. His name is Bob Stasiuk and I can’t image what our church would be like without him. I think of him as “Mr. Happy.” He is always walking around the church with a smile and a welcome to everyone. I’m pretty sure he greets every person who walks in the door as he weaves in and out the pews. Mr. Stasiuk, as many a student remembers him, was the school music director. While he retired from teaching by no means did the music stop. First of all he graces Sandusky First United Methodist Church every Sunday, except during the winter when some lucky church out in Nevada gets him! Of course, when summer comes we do have to share him with another Methodist Church on the lake. But I would like to lay claim to him as our music man!!

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Bob was married to a wonderful woman named Char….it is talking about her when you will see a gentle smile and maybe a little tear. She was the most wonderful, genuinely, kind, compassionate woman I have ever known. She died a few years ago and she is greatly missed. Sometimes though when I look at the choir I swear I still see her sitting there. They made a wonderful kind couple, and she is greatly missed. I can’t really say enough good things. Bob is well known in the community for spreading music wherever he goes. He is always trying to teach us a fun new song, or get the whole church singing in rounds. Bob played at the weddings of 3 of my 4 children, and he didn’t do the 4th because she lives in Georgia. He is a strong part of my church family! You can’t help but smile when Bob is leading a song. He is also a very Godly man who likes to share his love for God through story and song. He encourages us to do daily devotions and get to know our bibles. When it’s highway clean up time it is Bob that is standing up there recruiting volunteers. We are a blessed church.

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I’ve realized that many a pastor has come and gone, but one things has stayed consistent – the joy that Bob Stasiuk brings with his music and smile. If you had Mr. Stasiuk as a teacher, or have a story to share, please feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!!

Peace,

Julie

Why Ashes?

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“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered why today is called Ash Wednesday?  Today is the first day of Lent, which  is the forty day period (excluding Sundays) of the church year that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. The Bible tells us that Jesus spent forty days alone with God in the wilderness in preparation for His public ministry.

On Ash Wednesday, ashes, which are traditionally from the burned palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service, are placed on one’s forehead in the sign of a cross.  The ashes symbolize mourning and repentance for sin.  In allowing a cross of  ashes to be placed on our forehead,  we acknowledge that we are in need of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness and that we have hope in the gift of his Son Jesus Christ.

Some people choose to give up or add something to their life during the Lenten Season as a way to limit distractions and turn their attention and focus more fully on God.  This year, I saw another friend post on Facebook that she was taking a break from it for the Lenten Season.  When I read it, I immediately knew this was what I needed to do this year too.  It has become a bit of a time waster for me and after Jules post on stepping away from technology, I thought it would be the perfect thing for me to give up for the Lenten Season.  It has only been one day, but it feels great to have a break from this distraction in my daily life.

How about you?  Are you giving up or adding anything to your life for this Lenten Season?

~Blessings,
Jen

 

God Will Provide

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

This week, I had to say good-by to a dear Aunt who passed away.  It is so hard to say good-by to someone you love.  She was such a special lady, who I will always remember fondly.  She was one of my Mom’s six sisters.  Over the past few years, my Mom has lost all but one of her dear sisters and a cousin who was like a sister.  This has been really hard on her as they all shared a very special bond.  They got along so well and truly enjoyed spending time together. One of their favorite things to do was to meet for lunch and they took the time to make this happen on a regular basis.  My two daughters and I were privileged to be included in these special “Sister Lunches” and  those special memories comfort all of us during this sad week of good-byes.

As I was thinking about my Mom this week and how hard it has been for her to cope with so much loss, I thought about how God has been there for us.  I think God knew how hard it would be for her to lose her sisters and each time one of them left this earth for their heavenly home, I was with my Mom when she heard about their passing.  I am so glad she was not alone when she heard the sad news and I’m thankful I could be there in person to comfort her.  I truly believe God helped my Mom through these difficult times, by making sure she was not alone in her grief.

Earlier this week, Jules posted about the birth of her twin grand babies.  My Mom, Little One and I were able to fly to visit them last weekend.  What a blessing those two little ones are!  Traveling with my Mom and Little One was a little challenging.  We had luggage and a car seat to juggle and my Mom needed assistance.  Once again, God provided just what we needed in the form of what I call “earthly angels”.  At the airport we received exactly the help we needed, at just the right time, from some very kind people! I realized that you never know when you might be the person that is an answer to someone’s prayer!

These are just two recent examples of how God provided for my needs.  How about you?  Do you have any stories to share about how God provided just what you needed at just the right time?  We would love to hear your stories!

Below is a picture of one of our “Sister Lunches”:

100_1440~Blessings,

Jen

Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you are able to celebrate today with all of the sweeties in your life!  Last week, the Mister and I celebrated early by attending a show called Shen Yun, a Chinese classical dance performance.  The show had great reviews and the advertisement displayed graceful dancers in colorful costumes.  When I brought up the idea to my Mister, he was not all that thrilled about going.  Then, one night, I found him on-line ordering tickets.  Now that folks, is love!  My Mister would much rather be watching sports or pretty much doing anything else other than watching classical dance, but he is the type of person that puts the needs of others before his own and that is one of the reasons I love him so much.  So as I was wondering what to write today, this self-sacrificing love came to mind.

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 Here we are at the show.

I really enjoyed the show and even learned some new things about Chinese history and culture.  When the show was finished, I asked the Mister what he thought.  He said, “I have to be honest…” and I thought maybe he was going to say that he actually liked the show or had a revelation about Chinese dance…ummm no!  He proceeded to tell me that the show made him really hungry for Chinese food!  I had to laugh at that comment and he was over the top excited when I agreed to stop for Chinese food on the way home!  I have to admit, the Chinese food was extra good that night!

I am so blessed to have such a loving husband and I thank God for him every day!  In thinking of self-sacrificial love, I am also reminded of the greatest gift of love ever given to all of us, which is expressed in this verse:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Whether you have a  loved one to share this Valentine’s Day with or not, we can all find immense comfort and hope in these words.  You are loved!

Wishing you much love and hopefully some chocolate this Valentine’s Day!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

 

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I struggle with my thoughts sometimes.  I tend to worry or have a hard time thinking positively about certain things or situations.  I once read a book that suggested you can battle these  types of thoughts by replacing them with scripture.  I have tried doing this  and it really makes a difference in my day to day life!  Suddenly, the worry and negativity  disappear and are replaced with the peace and comfort of God’s word.

I came across this picture when I was searching for some inspirational sayings for motivation.  I won’t be doing any one-handed handstands any time soon (or ever), but I loved the message and am inspired to continue to work on changing my thoughts!

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Jules recently told me, change your thoughts and your actions will follow or change your actions and your thoughts will follow-you just need to change one of of them!  What a wise sister I have!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

You Are Loved!

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“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:39 (NIV)

Happy New Year!  I love the New Year with crisp, fresh calendars and planners and  a whole  year stretched before me with new, exciting possibilities!  I also like to write resolutions or goals,  I find they help me focus my attention and do things that might never get done if I don’t put pen to paper.  I usually don’t accomplish all of my goals, but I have high hopes each year and little by little I see improvements in my life.  (Like starting this blog with my sister! )

I came across this verse during a devotional reading this week, it is a favorite of mine and I wanted to share it with you. As you look ahead to this year, take these words to heart and know that you are loved.  God formed you and He loves you as His special and unique creation!  So as you go through this year, working toward your goals or resolutions, through the ups and downs (hopefully more ups than downs), hold these words close and feel the comfort they give.

I wish you many blessings in 2014!

Jen