God’s Tools

My mother has always been handy around the house. When I was growing up, she kept her small appliances running smoothly long past their life expectancy. She didn’t always have the proper tools, but she was smart, and she used what ever she had on hand to get what ever was broken fixed and working again. I will never forget the day I watched her take our toaster apart, fix what was broken inside, and put it back together again with nothing but a butter knife! It is to her credit that my mom was able to do so well with things that were obviously not made for that purpose. Imagine what she could have done with a little training and a good set of tools! It would have made her work so much easier!

The Bible speaks of us, God’s people, as tools in God’s tool box. God created each of us with a special purpose in mind. But, even the best tools aren’t of much use when they aren’t in good condition. Whether from constant use or from sitting around collecting dust, a blade loses its edge, a drill bit gets rusty and bent, batteries run down. And, while God can do wonders with what ever he has at hand, like my mother and her butter knife, it makes his work so much easier when he finds us, his proper tools, sharp, and at the ready.

So, what kind of tool are you? Have you been working so hard for the Lord that you are all worn down and bent out of shape? Have you been sitting on the shelf so long that you are rusty and covered in dust? Or, have you been able to find that healthy balance between work and rest, so that you are ready to be used when God needs you?

Take good care of yourself! You are God’s tool – invaluable to him in fixing what is wrong in the world and keeping things running smoothly. He needs to find you alert, well rested, and trained for the purpose for which you were created. If you don’t know what that is, let us help you discern your spiritual gifts. If you need some good work to do, we have many service projects that you can take part in. If you are overworked, it is ok to say “No.” when asked to serve. Then, spend time resting in God and his Word. Gather strength, until you are recharged and ready to go again. God will fit you for his use again. But, no matter where you are in your life of service, it is my prayer for you that you may find joy just in being held in God’s hands.

Blessings on your labor and rest,

Pastor Barb <><

…for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Priscilla Kitchens Keen

Priscilla Kitchens Keen
(Died August 22, 2015)

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Guyton-Ms. Priscilla Kitchens Keen, 64, passed away on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Hospice Savannah. Priscilla was born in Washington, GA to the late Medford Kitchens & Katherine Kitchens Benson. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Charlotte Kitchens, and her step-father, Robert Benson. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, and employed at The Learning Treehouse. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. Survivors include three children, Dana Smith (Dana Lee), Karla Keen Vance (Ed), and Jessica Keen; grandchildren, Evan Smith, Jude Merchant, and Nicholas Vance; sister, Cindy Simons (Tony); brothers, Glen Kitchens (Paula), Billy Kitchens (Darlene), Tommy Kitchens, and Ricky Kitchens. The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at Zion Lutheran Church. Visitation will be after the service. Remembrances may be made to Hospice Savannah, P.O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31419, or to The Learning Treehouse, 250 Goshen Road, Rincon, GA 31326, or to Zion Lutheran Church, 121 Noel C. Conaway Road, Guyton, GA 31312. Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes – West Chatham Chapel (912) 748-2444

August moments

The month of August was named after the First Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, who first took power in 27 B.C. It was the decree from Caesar Augustus that all must return to their home town to be taxed that led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, fulfilling the Scriptures. The English word august is from the Latin for Augustus, which means to be of noble birth; majestic; or awe -inspiring. Hence, we speak of memorable or awesome moments in our lives as august moments. Below are some August moments – a few things that happened in the month of August that I found to be worthy of note:

Berlin, Olympische Spiele im Olympiastadion8-1 The first Olympic games opened in Berlin, Germany, 1936  The first article proposing Women’s Rights was written, 1775

8-2 “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker, 1876  Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home, 1962

8-5 The Statue of Liberty cornerstone was laid, 1884

8-6 The United States dropped an A Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, 1945

8-7 George Washington created the “Purple Heart” medal, 1782

8-9 Japan surrendered to the United States, ending WWII,1945

8-12 Isaac Merrit Singer got the patent for his sewing machine, 1851

8-16 Singer Elvis Presley died at his home, Graceland, 1977

8-19 Caesar Augustus died, A.D.14  Adolf Hitler became Fuhrer of Germany, 1934

8-20 The first licensed radio broadcast occurred, 1920

8-25 The National Park Service was established, 1916

8-30 A filibuster record was set by Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who held the floor arguing against civil rights legislation for 24 hours, 27 minutes, 1957.

8-31 The first professional football game was played, 1895.

Who would have thought, at the time, that that particular moment would go down in history, and be remembered hundreds of years later? How many of us actually consider the possible lasting effects of each of our words and deeds as we go about our days? How many of us live our lives that thoughtfully? And, if we did, how would it change the way we choose to do things?

August moments are happening every day! Every waking moment of our daily lives, we are making memories for someone. Take note! Write them down! Take a pic! Make a video! Whatever you do, don’t let your august moments pass unnoticed!

My prayer for you is that you enjoy the memories you are making now, and that they are good ones for the generations to come.

August Blessings,

Pastor Barb <><

Teach us to number our days…Psalm 90:12

Small Pleasures…

The blueberries hung in thick, warm clusters; indigo
gems, glistening in the sun. We stood on tiptoe and gleaned
from the high bushes. The sky was blue and the day was
hot. We worked in companionable silence, grateful for the
shade and the sweet taste of ripe fruit on our tongues. We couldn’t
help but taste a few as we worked. Sweat dripped in our eyes, and
mosquitoes did a little tasting of their own, but the thought of homemade
blueberry cobbler kept us going. The work and our just desserts:
one of life’s small pleasures.
There are so many little things that we take for granted every day in
this country, where small pleasures get swallowed up in the drive to
acquire more and bigger things. But stop and consider for a moment
what a real pleasure it is to turn on the tap in your kitchen, and have
fresh water at your fingertips. To get up when nature calls and have a
toilet available. To be able to flip a switch, and feel cool air against
your skin, or open the freezer door and have the satisfaction of seeing
bags of frozen blueberries waiting there till you are ready to eat them,
and they will be as fresh as the day you picked them.
I think of people in other countries who do not have the luxury of
these small pleasures. For too many, clean water, toilets, and refrigeration
are just a pipe dream, and air conditioning isn’t even on the radar.
I think of the homeless in our own country, washing in sinks in public
rest rooms, at the mercy of the weather, only able to buy food that can
be eaten the same day or it will spoil. And I am ashamed that I have not
gotten down on my knees and thanked God every day for providing me
with these small pleasures.
But, this morning, as I ate my sweet, blueberry pancakes, I thanked
God for every delicious bite, and vowed that I would never again take
these things for granted. I will try hard not to forget.
O God, forgive me for those times when I do forget to thank you for
pouring your blessings out on me. Forgive me when I take these things
for granted. Forgive me for those times when I hold on tightly to what
I have, instead of sharing your bounty with others.

Because if I did – if we all did – maybe everyone might get to enjoy life’s small pleasures, like you planned from the beginning. Thank you, Lord, for letting me get a glimpse of your vision for the world, in the indigo blue of a handful of blueberries. Amen. In celebration of life’s small pleasures,

Pastor Barb <><

It is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. Ecclesiastes 3:13