Stephentown Federated Church

 

Devotions by Bonnie & Music by Bev


April 30



Good morning Everyone!
Just as a reminder this will be our last devotion for this week. Watch for the next one on Tuesday, May 5th. Rev Bob Lowenthal will be our minister on Sunday on our website www.stephentownfederatedchurch.org. We invite you to join us then. Today’s music is Love That Will Not Let Me Go. The words are after Bonnie’s devotion.
God bless
Bev



O Love That Will Not Let Me Go


 

April 29



Good morning Everyone,
It is hard to believe that Bonnie and I have been doing devotions and music since March 20th. We said we would continue until the end of April. Hard to believe but Thursday, tomorrow, is the end of April. The devotion for tomorrow will be the last one for this week. Things are changing in the world around us for better or worse I’m not sure, but folks are getting outside, walking, gardening etc So... beginning next week, we are going to do devotions for only two days, Tuesday and Thursday and then on Sunday on the website will be our service. We have appreciated all the feedback we received and we thank you for having us as a part of your daily lives. Believe it or not it helped us as well. It’s been a long time since I have done this much piano practicing and that has been good thing. I have enjoyed it and it kept my mind occupied as well in these difficult times. We miss all of you and at this point in time, we need to wait for the authorities to lift restrictions to all groups together again. General Committee will be in touch with you as soon as we know anything.
Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you as we continue on this new journey together. Today’s music is My Jesus I Love Thee.

God bless and stay safe
Bonnie and Bev



My Jesus I Love Thee2


 

April 28



Good morning,
Our music today is Sweet Hour of Prayer.
Enjoy this beautiful day!
Bev 



Sweet Hour of Prayer


 

April 27



Good morning,
The music today is a rendition of It Is Well With My Soul.
Enjoy and have a wonderful day.
Bev



It is Well With my Soul 2


 

April 26



Good morning,
We hope you enjoyed our service on the website. The music for today is called Precious Lord. This was a favorite of my grandmother who was a minister’s wife. I always think of her when I sing or play this. May your day be blessed.
Bev



Precious Lord


 

April 25



Good morning on this beautiful sunny day!
Today’s music is an all time favorite How Great Thou Art. Hard to believe another week has gone by. Tomorrow we are blessed to have Rev Betsye Mowry bring us our service for the week. It will be on this website
I hope you can join us there tomorrow sometime.
God bless
Bev



How Great Thou Art

 

April 24



Good morning everyone,
Today’s music and words are after the devotion. It is called Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service. Enjoy!
God bless
Bev



Lord, whose Love Through Humble Service

 

April 23



Good morning,
Today’s music is Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.
God bless
Bev



Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us


 

April 22



Good morning,
Today’s music is The Lily of the Valley.
God Bless,
Bev



The Lily of the Valley


 

April 21



As I was thinking about music that goes along with Bonnie’ devotion, the hymn One Bread One Body comes to mind. I know this is normally a communion hymn, but today I use it as great thankfulness for my daughter who goes to to do shopping in person for us, another daughter helps me learn a new way of shopping on line and they deliver, and another daughter who takes her friendship dough and exchanges it at the mailbox for some duck eggs. I think of all the people all over the world that are doing these kind of things for each other and I feel very thankful for One Bread one Body. (Words are by the music)
God bless
Bev



One Bread, One Body

 

April 20



Good morning,
Today we have words and music for What a Friend We Have in a Jesus.
Hope you enjoy the old time favorite.
God Bless
Bev



What a Friend We Have in Jesus

 

April 19



Good afternoon,
Today’s music includes Spirit of the Living God and All Creatures of our God and King. Hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. God bless. Bev



Spirit of the Living God, All Creatures of our God and King

 

April 18



Good morning Everyone,
Today to go along with Bonnie’s devotion I will be playing Blessed Assurance with words to the first two verses. A reminder to tune in to our website tomorrow morning for worship with guest speaker Rita Pickett.
Have a blessed day!
Bev



Blessed Assurance

 

April 17



Good morning,
God Will Take Care of You is our music for today.
God bless
Bev



God Will Take Care of You 2


 

April 16



Good morning all,
In spite of the fact we are looking for spring the fresh fallen snow was very pretty. The music today is He Touched Me. Enjoy the sunshine today.
God bless
Bev


He Touched Me


 

April 15



Good morning,
This morning was a timely reminder to me how important electricity is to us...our power was out so I was at a standstill for a bit. The two pieces Bonnie mentioned in her devotions were My Hope is Built and Nothing But the Blood. Those are the pieces I am playing today.
God bless
Bev


My Hope is Built, Nothing But the Blood


 

April 14



Good morning!
The music today is called Will You Come and Follow Me?
Enjoy your day today!
God bless
Bev




Will You Come and Follow Me-2


 

April 11



Good morning,
This morning’s music is called Blessings. I’m choosing today to focus on what I have and not what I don’t. For example my children are safe even though we will not be together this Easter. That is what our video conferencing is doing for us. Tomorrow there will be a service on the website - Rev Bob Lowenthal is our guest minister. Please join us.
God bless
Bev


Blessings


 

April 10



Today Is Good Friday!
The music I would like to share with you is Ah, Holy Jesus and Were You There? Have a blessed day today!
God bless
Bev


Ah, Holy Jesus. Were You there


 

April 9



Good morning on this rainy Maundy Thursday,
 The music I would like to share today is Just as I Am.
 God bless
 Bev


Just as I Am


 

April 8



Good morning,
This morning I have chosen two hymns to go along Bonnie’s devotion. The first one is On Eagle’s Wings and the second is God of the Sparrow. The words for On Eagle’s Wings are in the first paragraph. Have wonderful day everyone!
God bless
Bev


On Eagle’s Wings, God of the Sparrow


 

April 7



Good morning,
Music for today is I Surrender All.
God bless
Bev


I Surrender All 2


 

April 6



Good morning Everyone,
Hope you all can take a take deep breath of the spring air and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Today as we continue into Holy Week, I will play Take Time to be Holy, and I Need Thee Every Hour. Enjoy and stay safe!
God bless
Bev


Take Time to be Holy, I Need Thee Every Hour


 

April 5



Good morning on this Palm Sunday,
We hope you will join us for worship and communion led worship by Rev Bob Lowenthal on our website www.stephentownfederatedchurch.org. Since we put this service together earlier so our webmaster had time to put get it up there was a prayer request that came in that I would like to add here.


Don and Leigh have a prayer request for a friend that is in Albany medical Center in an induced coma on a ventilator. His name is Mike Bolnick and needs our prayers.


Since today is the beginning of Holy Week let us listen to two pieces of music that you would find in your hymnal, Go to Dark Gethsemane and Jesus Keep me Near the Cross.

May your day be holy and blessed in all you do.
Bev



Go to Dark Gethsemane, Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross


If you wish to receive the devotions by Bonnie please send your name and email to our church email and we will make sure you get it. Thank you.

 

April 4



Good morning,
Today’s music is Come Let Us Worship. To morrow we will have worship on line as well as a virtual communion with Rev Bob Lowenthal. Our webmaster will have it up on our website as it is too big to send through the email. We invite you to join us tomorrow to celebrate Palm Sunday.
God Bless
Bev



Come Let Us Worship


This week we are hearing and seeing so many stories of God using others to pour out their gifts, across the nation, across the world. They are heartwarming stories and lift our spirits, seeing that our God is always doing something new within and through us. He has filled us with treasures as well. So we too might pour out our unique gifts, given of the Holy Spirit within us.

“Clay Jars” (Every Morning New – Herbert and Corinne Chilstrom)

“First thing after we have move from one church to another, in order to feel at home, I would go to the lumberyard to buy an eight-inch wide oak board, stain, varnish and brackets. I’d prepare the board, and then with my husband’s help we’d mount the shelf, arm-length high on our new kitchen wall. And there my collection of pitches, like good friends, would find their home. When they were in place, I would feel at home in our new house.

Each pitcher was unique with its own history and purpose. Keepsakes from ancestral places of origin – Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Gifts from friends and loved ones. Mementos from travels. Some are new and some antiques. Others are short, tall slender, or squatty. Each has its own graceful beauty and particular usefulness. Each is for pouring out that with which it has been filled. Each is a “clay jar.” And each is a treasure.

Similarly, you and I are each an “earthen vessel,” treasure by God. Unique in the way God has made us. Unique also in the purpose for which God made us. In God’s kingdom each of us is beautiful and useful, to pour out that with which we have been filled. Each of us is a treasure to God.

You and I have also been filled with a treasure. “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4: 6). It’s a gift beyond any other. That we have been enabled to know God is the gift put within us as clay jars. As such we are vulnerable, but have been given great responsibility in God’s Kingdom.

May God fill us up, we who are clay jars, beautiful and grace filled. And my God use us to pour out that with which we have been filled.”

Poem – Dann Faulds

Infused with you

“Beloved, may Your presence be so clear to me that I stop seeking. I want to worship You in everything I do – movement and stillness, speaking and listening, waking and sleeping all infused with You, so life itself becomes unceasing prayer.

May truth lead me from confusion, and faith fill the space inside my heart so fear can’t gain a foothold. When life doesn’t unfold as I hoped help me let go of my old ways of being so I can experience the full force of Your reality.

May I learn to love as You love, see as You see, breathe as You breathe, or at least not turn away from today’s difficulties.”

Today let us celebrate that our God has fashioned each of us as His own unique vessel. And more, has filled us with beautiful gifts of peace, grace, love; for us to pour out on others. And more, as soon as our vessels our empty, He refills us, so we might continue in unconditional love. Amen.

Blessings, bonnie

 

April 3



Good morning,
As I sat reading Bonnie’s devotion for today this song O Be Careful little Eyes what you see came to mind...I guess this is the children’s time. ..my granddaughter face timed me and I taught her the song. All her babies came and listened as well. This is a tough time for kids too. I am sending the music and words along in case you have kids or grand kids, I enjoyed the comment written at the beginning of the song where it says the principle of how to be a human being...the second piece today is Precious Lord Take my Hand. This is for any prayer requests from any one that needs a “Hand “ to get through today.
God Bless each of you.
Bev



O Be Careful Little Eyes What You See. Previous Lord
Take my Hand




In this season of Lent and as we approach Holy Week next week I will be trying to focus on devotions that remind us of the walk of Christ during this time before Easter. Today I’m reminded of my mother, she was a nursery nurse at BMC. She was a strong, dedicated nurse that often went off in the middle of the night to help a mother in New Lebanon with their nursing child. She, along with my grandmother modeled the actions of a child of God. Neither one of them were big talkers. Yet it was the “little words,” they spoke that most affected my life. Sometimes, not until long after they were planted in my heart. This is true of us now in this time; as mother’s, grandmother’s, fathers, and “pop-pops,” we have the opportunity to give words of encouragement to the children and young people in our lives. They too are afraid, confused, left wondering.

Those Little Words - (1 Timothy 4: 11-14)

“I was blessed with a good mother. She was a strong woman with seemingly endless energy to care for her family of eight children, to tend to a hug garden, and to help my father with his custodian duties at our church. Very often on a summer morning she would be up with the sun to enjoy her gardens before coming into the house to prepare breakfast for her family.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the mark she made on my young Christian life. In side the cover of my confirmation Bible she wrote: Be careful how you live; you may be the only Bible some people ever read.

At a time when I was making important choices about the future, this was sound advice. This was her way of impressing on my formative heart that the Christian life is more than words – it is actions as well.

Parents (Grandparents, great-grandparents) may be incline to think that they have very little influence on their children, grandchildren, great-grand children., especially during their teenage years. We think our words are falling on deaf ears. School, their friends, television, cell phones, computer – we think that everything else except us must surely be having a more lasting impact on them.

But one never knows. A simple word of encouragement, ;a note left on their desk, a word written in their Bible, a phone call at a critical time – who knows what it may mean to them. A single sentence may last for a lifetime.

Paul had a number of companions. None, however, was a close to his heart as young Timothy. In his first letter to his inexperienced friend, Paul gave this good word of counsel. “Set the believers an example in speech and conduct in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4: 12).

Who knows what a simple word from you may mean to a younger pilgrim on the way of faith?”

This mornings Poem – Together (Faulds)

We call gown grace, and gaze without wavering into the fires of creation.

We find the place where love embraces fear, and tears taste like faith.

We let our radiance be revealed in laughter and in longing.

We hold the whole of life, sweet grapes and bitter, healing herbs -

We hold until we overflow and offer back the gifts that we’ve received.

The vessel never empties, the growing love between us keeps it filled.

Gracious God may we be instruments of Your grace. May your Holy Spirit within us, give us “little words,” that serve as encouragement, hope, calm to the children, young people, and one another in this day and carry far into the future. Amen

Blessings, bonnie

 

April 2



Good morning,
Today I will play When Jesus the Healer Passed Through Galilee, and There is a Balm in Gilead, to go along with Bonnie’s devotions. Last chance to send any prayer requests for this Sunday’s service. God bless
Bev




When a Jesus the Healer Passed Through Galilee
There is a Balm in Gilead



We are seeing and experiencing ordinary folks we know and don’t know, stepping up to carry us through this time. People in our own church that we know, and people on the lines of this virus in hospitals, in businesses, in the government, driving trucks, on ships, and the list goes on. This mornings devotion is about Andrew and how his story is reflected in the lives and faithfulness of ordinary people in our world today.

The Number One Disciple Exodus 4:: 10-46

“Peter, James and John are usually thought of as the “inner circle” disciples. They accompanied Jesus to the transfiguration. More is said about them than any of the other disciples.

Andrew was the first to follow Jesus. And no sooner did he make that decision than he did his most significant work. He introduced his brother Peter to Jesus. Peter not only became a disciple, but was the one who, along with Paul, brought the gospel to the Gentile world. There are many more churches and cities named after Peter than Andrew.

Everything else about Andrew is shrouded in legend. He is said to have preached in Palestine and areas as far north as the Black Sea. The church in Scotland has always had a special affinity for Andrew. For us the important thing is what is certain – that he was the first to leave everything to follow Jesus.

Andrew reminds us of Aaron in the Old Testament. Always in the shadow of his famous brother Moses, Aaron played an important secondary role in the history of God’s people.

We’ve known many folks over the years who never made big waves. Their names never appeared in headlines. They never wrote autobiographies. They never left a hug mark when they departed this world. Yet by their eagerness to be the first to raise their hand, the first to do a task that others may later have done a bit better, the first to stir others by their encouragement – in all these ways very ordinary folks have made an enormous contribution to the good of the church and the world.

That’s why Andrew is the number one disciple. Thank God today for all the “Andrews” in our world.”

Poem by Dana Faulds

Healing

There is healing in the laying on of hands; in the letting go of fear, in asking for help, in silence, ,prayer. There is healing in speaking the truth and in keeping still, in seeking sunlight and not shunning struggle. Laughter and the affirmation of wholeness hold their own healing. When the soul dances, when the day begins in delight, when love grows and cannot be contained, when life flows from moment to moment, healing happens in the space between thoughts, and the breath before the first sung not. Healing is a birthright and a grace. When we dare to be open to the unknown, when we extend ourselves in caring, when we welcome in the vast expanse of life, healing comes from the heart, and blossoms from the inside out.

Gracious God we give thanks for the ordinary people in our lives and world, that pour out Your gracious love and help in humble, quiet and healing ways. Bless these people in the shadows who are bringing the light of Christ into others lives. Amen.

Blessings, bonnie

 

April 1



Good morning all,
This morning I will be playing Lord we have come to the Lakeshore. Bob Lowenthal and are working on Sunday’s service. He was wondering if anyone had special prayers or thanksgivings you would like included. If you would send them to me at morg104 @aol.com I would pass them on to him. We are trying to do video again and being this is communion Sunday he is planning on doing a virtual communion with us. It will be on the website as it is too big a file for me to send. Thank you and prayers to each of you this day.
God bless
Bev


Lord, You Have Come to the Seashore



Each day I try to match our devotions to the previous days events. I think of our visual table at church where we started to place objects that relate to Lent. Our first Sunday was a melding of the cross and the crown of thorns Jesus wore. This devotion speaks of loss, and yet leads us to the cross of Jesus and the comfort His life, death and resurrection bring us as to the hope of the cross.

God Of All Comfort

2 Corinthians 1: 3-11


“New in the parish, I began making regular visits in the well-appointed home of an elderly couple, Mary and Sam, who had recently lost their only daughter. In the course of events,; Sam became ill and died. Mary’s grief compounded as she became more and more bitter. Believing that God had targeted her, for these disasters. All the while, her bitterness blocked Jesus waiting at her hearts’ door with his gifts of comfort.

When broken by grief, we can easily become cynical and bitter. It’s one of the worst things that could ever happen to us. But there is hope at the cross of Jesus. For he who is the “man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity” (Isaiah 53: 3) understands and welcomes us. We must go to him, speaking out our feelings and losses. Asking him to carry each loss too heavy for us to beard. And there at his cross, he will lift them one by one and free us again to wholeness and health. Then we can live again and find joy deeper than any we could ever have known without this sorrow. God comforts us so it will flow through us to others.

Grief, not only over the loss of a love one, comes in various packages. Losing car keys or credit cars. An accident. Burglary. Loss form fire. Financial insecurity. A failing business. Moving away from friends or family. Losing a pet. A failed relationship or expectation. Loss of health or fertility. Loss of a limb or a body function. Loss of hearing or so much sight you have to stop driving. Each is a loss that must be grieved or we risk growing bitter.

The apostle Paul was crushed with affliction, almost despairing of life itself. But it made him rely on God “who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). If we go to the cross, Jesus will take away bitterness and raise us also.

Blessed be the God…of all consolation (v 3).

A long Poem this morning yet one I love and hope blesses all of us.

On Peter’s watch by Dana Faulds

(Copying it out as a paragraph)

“I know my world of rowboat, sail and fish nets. The wave and breakers speak to me and I can read the mood of unpredictable lake breezes more easily than people. This wind is different. It is the fourth watch of the night when a gust tugs at my cloak as if it would rip my soul from where I hold it close. There is no light yet in the eastern sky but I think I see Him extending a hand toward me. I believe the Master walks on the sea, bids me come, asks me to do something I know is impossible-to walk as He does, not looking down to see if my feet remain above the surface of the waves. I gather all ;my faith to do His bidding, but then I waiver. Who am I that he should offer miracles to me? Past mistakes and miseries pull me down like ankle weights and I begin to drown in an ocean of doubt. I cry out, gasping and desperate with fear. “Lord, save me!” I shout. In that instant I am caught, lifted to safety where I lay panting in the bottom of the boat while the wind dies down and the eyes of my friends move between my face and the Master’s. It is true that my faith failed me out there, attempting a feat at which no man could possibly succeed, but I also remember the swell of the waves as they bare me up. I remember the wonder of those few steps when everything I knew came into question. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the strong hand reaching out and grasping mine the moment I cried.”

May we find ourselves at the cross, being lifted each day as Paul was lifted by our Master. Amen

Blessings, bonnie