Author Archives: faithpondering

About faithpondering

Janine Sprowls Miller is an experienced choral teacher. She holds a Master's degree in music education and has taught elementary/high school students for 7 1/2 years. She has been married for 6 years and has an adorable dog named Molly. She and her husband, Brian, recently relocated from Columbia, SC to York, PA. Janine holds her undergraduate degree from Geneva College and master's degree from University of South Carolina. She loves to shop and find a good bargain! Holly Sprowls Smith is an adventurer, spending time touring Ireland and Switzerland and working on a guest ranch in the Wyoming Tetons. She holds a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from Indiana University of PA. She married Brandon on Dec. 22, 2017. Nancy Sprowls is mom to Janine and Holly and Christopher and married 38 years to her wonderful husband Rob. She has worked for Stonecroft Ministries for the twelve years first as a field director and most recently as an Outreach Specialist and Database Administrator. She founded a scholarship fund that provides for families to choose Christian education for their children. She loves Bible study, reading and watching her grandbabies.

Solution For the Troubled Heart

Wisdom from a Country Preacher series                                                                 

(Because of the high interest in my dad’s sermon notes, I decided the first Faith Friday post should be from his messages.)

Today we are talking about a troubled heart. I’m not talking about our heart that beats 70 times per minute, not the one you can have a leaking valve in or weak muscle. We’ve got surgeries and pills for that, in fact, we have medicines today for most everything — headache, pain, colds. There’s no pill for the troubled heart. The heart that is troubled is really our mind and emotions, our thoughts.

Notice John 14:1. Jesus tells his disciples, Let not your heart be troubled. Hmmm, Let not. So there is something we can do when troubles come and our minds run off with us. Verse 2, Believe in God.

The news, magazines, and talk shows try to tell us nowadays that our trouble comes from where we are raised, our parents, our affluence. Blame someone else. Jesus says we are responsible for our troubled heart. He says, don’t be troubled, believe in God.

What God? The God that created this universe, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Him we see God.

Jesus says in verse 2 to also believe Him. Believe in God, believe also in me. Follow him. Jesus taught us to believe in God as He did as He let them nail Him to the cross. Verses23-27 says,                                                                                                        23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When we believe in Him, He gives peace — even in troubles, even when we have a troubled heart. There’s no feeling as that of loneliness, being alone, unloved, forsaken. It’s the heart of an unbeliever. Jesus lives in us as Christians. We are never alone. He is our best friend. He says, I will come to you and be with you always.

We don’t have to endure troubles alone. Jesus is closer than a friend. He is there to assure us, comfort us, give us guidance, strength and hope.

Let not your heart be troubled — Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

 

 

 

Better with a cup of tea

Better Over a Cup of Tea

Mom’s Mama came from New Brunswick, I can’t quite remember the name of the town, but it was along the Miramichi River. Mama came to care for mom and her brother and sister when their mom died in child birth (giving birth to my mom) later marrying grandpa.

Along with Mama came her brown teapot and the time-honored tradition of drinking afternoon tea. So even though tea may not run through our veins, we were adopted into a love for tea. My mom spent many an afternoon drinking tea with her Mama, so naturally she began the treasured tradition with my sister and me. I can’t speak for my sister, she is eight years older and was out of high school before I have a recollection of arriving home from school, but many a day I’d walk in the house after school and find mom putting on the tea water.

Those times of tea and chatting helped keep me grounded and on the high road. It brought joy and comfort. I always had a place to go to share my not so good days and my great days. I had someone who would cheer me on. No matter what the day brought, it all seemed better over a cup of tea.

Faith Fridays

Thanks for stopping by to see what Fridays have to offer. After announcing Tuesdays would be all about tea, I am pretty sure you may have guessed that Fridays will be all about faith. After all, it is the name of the blog.

Yep, my goal will be to every Friday bring something that will help you look to God, see a little more of Him, and know Him more as your Abba. Speaking of father, one of the posts I’ll offer on Faith Fridays is something I hold very dear. I’ll be dusting off some pretty special notes – hand written sermons of my dad’s – to share thoughts from them.

Dad Chamberlin

Dad was a country preacher in Western PA, pastoring small churches but delivering powerful messages (written by an unbiased daughter – do those two words even go together?). I’ve had those notes neatly packed away for years, promising that someday I’d figure a way to share them. And here we are, it’s coming to be.

Dad’s notes won’t be the only postings, there’ll be insights from my own study of the Word, book reviews, community care ideas and a few guest posts here and there.

Come on by on Fridays to get a fresh dose of faith. If you don’t want to miss any posts, be sure to sign up to receive an email each time there’s a post or ‘like’ on Facebook.

One more thing, God certainly does consider dates. It just happens to be thirteen years to the day that Dad went home to see Abba.

Sunflower tea set

Tea Tuesdays

Blogging is work! I have a new found respect for bloggers who daily or even weekly consistently post. It takes dedication, inspiration and time to provide fresh content that has value and informs.

The secret, it seems, is a passion for the topic, a plan and a schedule. Imagine that, a schedule!

I’m wading in again, sticking my toes in the water. It took some pondering, but I realized that my passions are already in my blog title- tea and faith.

And I’ve made a plan! Tuesdays will bring you all kinds of content about my favorite comfort drink, tea. A beverage that my mom gave me a love for years ago. We’ll talk about tea rooms, tea stories, tea history, and of course recipes.

And faith? Well, you’ll need to check in again on Friday to find out how faith will show in the blog.

It feels great to have a plan and a schedule! Not only that, but I’m counting on it to keep me on track to post wht will benefit you.

Here’s to Tea Tuesdays and stay tuned for Friday!

Wear the Cross for the 21 Martyrs

It’s nearly unbelievable to think what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ is the Middle East. I am calling all brothers and sisters to stand in solidarity with our martyred brothers and sisters in Egypt.
We are the nation of the cross. Wear your cross as a sign of unity of faith. Wear and share. Blessings.

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Humility in Prayer

We often think of humility being a trait of a Christian, but we don’t always think of it as it relates to prayer. How do we come to prayer with humility, but yet boldly.

I recently read this article on humility in prayer and thought it was a great description.

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/the-fragrance-of-humility-in-prayer.html

January Tweaks

I read this great article today and thought it worth passing on.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3040340/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/17-small-and-totally-doable-tweaks-that-will-change-your-y

All 17 of the tweaks make a lot of sense. I’m off right now to set my clock and make a morning list.

Here’s to a productive year!

Faithpondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy…

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Seasons

autumn
Beautiful, crisp Fall mornings. Daylight peaking it’s head up later and leaving sooner each evening. Trees changing color. All are evidence that the season is changing.

I think I love living in the North so much because I can so visually see change through the seasons. It causes gladness and sometimes a sense of loss as the trees take on their brilliant hues. On one hand they are the most beautiful, but on the other I know what lies ahead– change. The beauty falling and the foundation remaining preparing for elements that will require a stripped down model, but thenthe hope of something new come Spring.

I think God loves visuals, and that He gave us this visual to help us see what He put in motion that most evidently translates through His creation. Not only physical creation, as our bodies go through seasons of life, but organizational bodies, relationships, and activities. A wise king, King Solomon, observed this. He said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Eccl. 3:1. It’s a well-quoted verse, but today in nature’s season of change I’m finding it especially meaningful.

There’s a season for every activity- maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s who I work for, maybe it’s a position held in a group or church, maybe it’s a leisure activity, maybe it’s a relationship or a combination of several. There are seasons to everything.

It gives me comfort to know that God created everything for change, so the uneasiness felt in any area of life, or in an organization could possibly be a sign of a seasonal change. Something good and right and needed for this season of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a reply above.

Rolling stones

Rolling stones is a really interesting thought. Stones in and of themselves normally stay put , are used for bases for roads, foundations for homes, fireplaces and so much more. But when a stone starts rolling it takes on a life of it’s own.  Did you ever kick a stone down the road? I like to walk and take turns kicking a stone just to see which path it takes, each time it hits the ground it bounces in a different direction, sometimes straight, sometimes really a skewed. It depends on the angle it’s kicked, what it hits when it landed, what side of it hit the ground, and other variables.  

We can choose a life of a foundation stone, laid where it’s not going to be moved, strong and sturdy whether in a job, in a hometown, or relationship. Or we can be a rolling stone allowing ourselves to go where the wind or circumstances take us.

Sometimes it’s not by choice, storms come and wash us down stream to a different spot than we normally would be.  Or our personality or life circumstances pry us from sedentary ways or cause us to stay put.

It’s good to ponder what kind of stone we are, it helps us understand ourselves, how God made us and maybe even how we got where we are.