Monday, September 29, 2008


Barb Harwood, photos, taken September 25, 2008

"And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease..."
John Keats, "To Autumn"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lycra, Church and the Holy Spirit

It was the summer of 1989, and I was on a cross-country bicycle trip with about 100 other cyclists. One morning, somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, I was tooling along down the road by myself when I heard singing in the distance. I came around a bend and saw a quaint country church, the kind you see on postcards. Bikes belonging to some of my fellow riders were parked outside, so I, too, stopped and entered the church. What I saw is something I had never encountered before or since: the all-black congregation was on their feet, wiping their brows on this very hot morning and singing as one big gospel choir.

I stood in the back with the other cyclists because nary a vacant pew was to be found. There we stood: four white bikers wearing Lycra, bike gloves and very sweaty T-shirts in a black Baptist church. Not a questioning head turned. Not a look was given. A few nods and gentle smiles greeted me as I entered. But mostly, nobody seemed to notice we were there. Out of rudeness? No! Out of sheer occupation with worship!

It was a foursquare church with a few polished wooden pews, a simple pulpit and windows that opened to the flaxen fields beyond. The hardwood floor creaked under the passionate swaying of the congregation. The entrance door, held open with a door stop, didn't distract the kids at all; they clapped and praised God along with parents and Grandparents. Every now and then an inspired soul declared "Yes Lord" and "Amen" as if their life depended on it.

Why was it that, at age 26 and a church dropout, I felt comfortable for the first time in church; in this church? I, a complete alien in Lycra, in a church unlike anything I'd ever witnessed, among a people I had no experience with, didn't want to leave. I wanted what these people had. Now, almost 20 years later, I believe it was the working of the Holy Spirit through these people and through me that made me feel more than just comfortable. You could say that God was definitely in the building and for the first time, I heard His voice.

Today, there's a group of about 50 God-praising, God-fearing, sin-acknowledging, God-loving, God-worshipping, God’s Word-reading and God-saved people, probably still singing in the hills of Pennsylvania, who will never know how their faith one day back in 1989 was a witness to a lost soul. And it all took place in a tiny sparse church, large with life and lit with the sun of a summer Sunday morning.

Paul said:
"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

"For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:4

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Welcome to my new location. When I first arrived here, I named the blog Revelation215 after the verse Revelation 21:5 which says:

"And he who sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.'"

But then somehow I lost the domain name, and had to give this space yet another new name! (I'm updating this on Nov. 18, 2008). Anyway, this is a new location for a blog which began on the Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers Wismoms website, a site targeted to the interests of moms. There I wrote about parenting, marriage and faith from a Christian perspective. Wismoms changed to MomsLikeMe and dropped the bloggers. Now that I'm on my own, I'm not sure what direction this blog will take, but it will not be specifically geared to moms. It will be about faith in the Triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and I'm going to let God lead me where He will. Therein lies the fun, learning and adventure!

My prayer is that "Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's son, in truth and love." 2 John 1:3