Tag: Faithful Finish LInes

What I Am Giving Up For Lent

For those of you who have followed this blog for sometime, you know I am not in favor of giving up something for Lent. The suffering endured by giving up coffee or chocolate is nothing compared to what Jesus went through during his beating and hanging on the cross.

Instead I am in favor of taking up something for Lent. Do something to increase  your faith and/or help others.

Bye Bye

However, this year I am giving something up – Facebook.

It is going to be tough because I follow some great pages – The Devoted Barn (feral and medical rescue and rehoming for dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses),  Golden Retriever’s In Need and Buckeye’s Missions and Sanctuary. I am also a member of great groups – Problogger Podcast Listeners, Cheerleaders for Christ, and Faithful Finish Lines.

With all the chaos in the world and online, and with people purposely showing only the good side of life in their news feed, I’ve decided to call it quits for Lent. I will still be blogging both here and at OgleOhio.com.

What I Will Do

Besides still blogging both here and at OgleOhio, I will work on living life to make memories for the news feed in my head. The memories will include helping others (not sure how yet), reading various materials to help increase my faith and continuing to pray for the Holy Spirit to work mightily in my job search. I need a miracle as I file for my last unemployment check this Sunday.

What I Am Hoping

I am hoping this Facebook fast will last long after Easter has come and gone. There is so much more to life to experience and enjoy than living life for Facebook.

What did you give up or take up for Lent?

labellesignature

40 Days of Drawing Circles – A Lenten Challenge

I am a believer in taking up something for Lent, instead of giving something up. Giving up chocolate, candy, coffee or anything else is only going to make you tired and cranky. The rest of the world will be miserable because you are miserable.

That is not how you

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 12:31

(NIV)

Instead attend a Bible Study, go volunteer at a non-profit close to your heart, or start an fitness program. (The next round of Faithful Finish Lines starts 2/28.)

Another Option

Now if none of those appeal to you, I triple dog dare you to try Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle; The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  The book has 40 daily devotions that encourage you to pray big, bold, audacious prayers.

Some of Mark’s lessons are about:

  • our prayers not being bold enough
  • not talking to the mountains about God
  • not praying long enough (think what would have happened at Jericho if the Israelites had stopped circling the city on day 5 or day 6.)

The Challenge

I challenge everyone of my readers to purchase a copy of Mark’s book (non-affiliate link) and participate in the challenge with me starting on February 10th (Ash Wednesday) and ending on Easter. (Sunday’s in Lent do not count – but once you start this challenge you will not want to stop.)

Requirements

Besides the book you will need a pen, hiliter, and journal or notepad. You will want to write your prayers and circle them. It will be helpful if you have your Bible so you can look up specific verses and read the entire passage, if you so desire.

You will also need to set aside some time everyday to read the devotion and then pray about your requests. Do not be afraid to write down the verses that speak to you, claim them as promises, and circle them. Yes, writing in your Bible is also perfectly acceptable.

God’s Obligation To This Challenge

Oh and by the way – God is under no obligation to answer your prayer requests. However after you are done with this challenge, and quite possibly before, you will see God working in your life – somehow, someway if you just open your eyes.

My Why? 

Why did I pick this to do during lent? It’s simple. I am currently on Day 23 of the challenge and God is working on my bigger, bolder prayers.

You should have heard the lecture I gave my mountains (career, expenses) about God and how He will level them with just a blink of His eye.

I will update you on what is happening in my life during the challenge. This might not be until after 2/19 as I am involved in a project the first part of February that will be time consuming and keep me on my toes. Time to write might be very limited for a little while.

Are You Ready To Draw Circles? 

This challenge is open to all my readers no matter what religion. All you need is a willingness to boldly go where you have not gone before.

Please email me at Michele dot Kearns at JoyReturns dot com as I want to hear how God is working in your life this lenten season.

Today is 1/25 and Lent starts on 2/10 so you have a little over 2 weeks to get the book and your supplies.

Go. Set. Ready.

thinbutterfly

 

Tour de Parks Finish Line: Climbing Mount McKinley

Tour de Parks Finish Line: Climbing Mount McKinley

The Tour de Parks came to and end last week when I climbed Mount McKinley. I know, you are thinking Mt. McKinley does not exist anymore as it is now Denali.

Well Mount McKinley does exist in Canton, OH.

Mount_McKinley

Red Carnation

President McKinley was known as the red carnation president for always having one in his lapel. Then one day he gave his carnation to a young girl in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY. Moments later he was shot and passed away several days later.

The Ascent

Today we will be walking up 108 steps to the tomb of President McKinley, Mrs. McKinley and their 2 daughters, Ida and Katherine. You will see the park from each of the 4 plateaus.

Ready? Let’s begin at the base camp.

Looking_UP

The Starting Line At Base Camp

Starting_Line

The shadow is mine and will serve as my “selfie” for this post. I have a Moto X phone and unable to download photos to my computer because of the incompatibility with Windows 10.

The View From Plateau #1

Level 1

The View From Plateau #2

Level 2

Here is the McKinley Museum from Plateau #2

McKinley Museum_Level_2

Here is President McKinley’s statue on Level 2. I walked down several steps in order to get this shot.

McKinley_Level_2

This picture shows the words on the base of the statue.

statue_Base

Plateau #3

Level 3

We are on Plateau # 3 looking up at Plateau #4 and the monument.

Looking_up_Level_4

The View From Plateau 4

Level 4

Part of a sign at plateau #4

Sign

The skylight at top of inside the dome

Skylight2

Quote

Victories_of_Peace

Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war.

William McKinley

Victory_Eagle

Eagle below the words “victories of peace.”

E_Pluribus_Unium

The door to the monument. Yes, that is my reflection.

Back At Base Camp

Well here we are back at base camp.

Fountain

The header of the monument shot from base camp.

Monument Header

The End

Well this is the end of my Faithful Finish Lines Tour de Parks program. I am still in the Faithful Finish Lines program and highly recommend it. In fact, I am working on my next goal which will focus on healthy eating for this 7 week period.

Grieving – Get A Buddy

The first year of widowhood is very, very tough and I wish I had this group with me in 2008 and maybe I would have been more active.

If you are grieving, find and exercise buddy and get moving. Hopefully, reading my Tour de Parks posts has inspired you to find different places to walk. I’ve enjoyed doing these walks and bringing pictures of God’s handy work here in Northeast Ohio.

Canton, OH

I leave you with a view of the building tops in downtown Canton, OH taken from the 4th plateau.

Canton_Ohio

10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© Award-Winner of JoyReturns.com. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of her photography at OgleOhio.com.

Tour de Parks: Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary

Tour de Parks: Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary

Last week, I got in my new used car and headed south to visit Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary and Wolf Creek Environmental Center. I have been itching to walk this as part of the Tour de Parks but life just kept interrupting.

It was a beautiful late summer day and the scenery was gorgeous, even though the heat has taken a toll and fall is setting in. I walked the 1/2 mile wetland trail but plan on being back once fall color takes hold, and walk the woodland trail.

Ready, let’s head down the path by the green and red trees.

Entrance

What is that tree with red on it? I do not know but boy did I have a fun shooting pictures of it. I love the color combination of red, green against the blue sky.

Cherry_Saturated Cherry_Saturated_1 Cherry_Saturated_2 Cherry_Saturated_3 Cherry_Saturated_4

See, I told you I had fun taking pictures of the trees.           😉

Now on down the path we go to the environmental center. I left the center with plenty of pamphlets so I can start planning the 2016 Tour de Parks.

Center

center_sign

North_Star

This is on the other side of the environmental center. It is here that I leave you to explore this serene place. That is the shadow of my head and it will have to suffice as my selfie for this walk.

Enjoy the slideshow and be still and know that He is God. 

Peace.

Tour de Parks: An Encounter With A Bumble

My walk in a local park last weekend did not happen. It was not postponed because of weather or a cold but because of a bumble bee. The bumble bee that I stepped on when I opened the door to let Rommie in through the garage.

Bumble bees do not have barbs on their stingers so unlike honey bees, they can sting you over and over again. I only got stung once, but it was a doozy. Benedryl prevented the site from swelling and itching but since it makes me sleep all day, I could not take it Sunday night otherwise I would fall asleep at work on Monday.

It is Wednesday night and my foot is much better. Cortaid has taken care of the itching and I can make it through the day at work without wondering if there is a hack saw in the warehouse.

Tour de Parks will pick up this weekend – weather permitting.

Blog Colors

The color scheme for JoyReturns is now the same as the Cleveland Cavaliers who are in the NBA Finals starting tonight, 6/4 at 9:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. They are playing the Golden State Warriors in California so they are 3 hours behind Cleveland, which means I will probably be watching the inside of my eyelids when the game starts.

Once the Cavaliers are basketball champions this site will return to normal – whatever that is.       😉

 

Tour de Parks: The Other Side of Brunswick Lake

Tour de Parks: The Other Side of Brunswick Lake

Last week I went into the woods at the Susan Hambly Nature Center on the west side of Brunswick Lake.

This week I decided to walk the east side. Well, that did not go so well. I guess it was because I mowed the yard on Saturday that walking the east side was too much.

I pulled into the parking lot only to find that it was full. So I parked at the next logical place – the bar. It is in a strip mall across the street from the nature center. It added a few more steps to my walk.

The starting point for this walk was the ending point for the last one – the boardwalk.

blog_1

Come on along as we journey across the boardwalk and see the sights on the other side of Brunswick Lake – at least the part I could walk.

I encourage you to get out and walk parks that are in your area. You never know what sights and sounds you will see and hear. Plus, it makes exercise fun.       😀

Tour de Parks: End of Lock 39 Journey

After visiting Lock 39, I walked further south to a bridge at Stoney Road. I told myself it was not that far. Besides, I was feeling very energetic. Then I got to Stoney Road and I realized I walked too far. So I sat on a rock facing north with a small bag of dog doo-doo resting on the rock’s south side. .

Here are pictures from the Stoney Road Bridge (which was closed off for repairs).

Lock39_blog36
Stoney Road Bridge

 

 

Lock39_blog37
The Canal Flows Southward
Lock39_blog41
Facing North Back Towards Lock 39

Then I started the long journey back to the Lock 39 Trailhead. I kept reciting Philippians 4:39

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The other verse I said was 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Do not quench the spirit.

Periodically I would ask God to refresh my spirit so that it would not be quenched.  It was in the upper 80’s on Saturday. But periodically God sent breezes to keep me cool and comfortable.

I arrived at Lock 39 and decided to sit by the mile 11 sign marker and enjoy being in the moment and taking in a piece of history.

Lock39_blog44
Mile 11 Sign Next To Lock 39

I looked north along the towpath trail…

img_1683

and looked south along the towpath trail.

img_1680

I thought about all the people who walked the trail guiding the mules that pulled the boats up and down the canal.

I decided to get up and head north when my eye caught sight of something. It was then my spirit got a big dose of refreshment, because suddenly I was not alone.

img_1711

Mr. Heron was back. I stayed about 15 more minutes photographing him. The best shot is showcased over at OgleOhio, my photography blog. It was so quiet I am sure he heard me shooting pictures. He was very cooperative.

Mr. Heron was there all along, I just did not see him. God is the same way – there all along and then suddenly something happens and we see Him.

I left Mr.Heron to his fishing expedition and headed back to the Trailhead. No one was sitting on the bench so I sat down and took off my sandals to get the pebbles out of them. I felt tired but energetic, happy to have seized the opportunity to walk the canal but sad to leave the peace and quiet of a by-gone era behind.

Our journey has come to an end. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed walking the Ohio & Erie Canal through pictures. 

Lock39_blog52