A Tie Dyed T-Shirt


The cross, the manger, the wine (grape juice), the bread, the dove-all these things are important symbols in the church. These things are important to us here at Mooreland too. But I would add another symbol to this list. There’s nothing more that reminds me of the faith of the people here at Mooreland than a tie dyed T-shirt.

I know it sounds silly, but there’s a lot of truth to it. Whenever Mooreland has a big event like Vacation Bible School, a fundraiser, or Community Day-we’re in our tie dyed t-shirts more often than not. If we’re going to do a craft at VBS or have a craft sale-what do we have to do? We have to tie dye. It’s not the same without it.

Tie dying began years ago before my time here. I can’t tell you when it started, but I do know that it started with Vacation Bible School. It was a fun thing to do with the kids. And year after year, the kids want to tie dye. It’s not Vacation Bible School without tie dying. It’s a requirement now.

Last week we tie dyed shirts, onesies, and pillowcases. They will be on sale for our Haiti Craft Sale in November. Children and adults worked on their t-shirts. We used all different colors, we used different techniques, and there’s really no way to make a mistake. They all come out beautiful. It doesn’t matter how much dye is used. It doesn’t matter what colors are used. It’s doesn’t even matter if there’s a few spots that don’t match with the rest. The shirts are always beautiful.

The same is true with our congregation. All of us are different. Some of us are farmers. Some of us are schoolteachers. Some of us are medical personnel. We all have different stories and different backgrounds. And our differences make for a beautiful community of people. We are as unique as each tie dyed t-shirt.

Some churches have logos and branding. For me, our tie dye is our branding. It’s our logo.



A Lightbulb Went Off

Christmas Ornaments

The churches in North Garden have been supporting the Robert Ford Haitian Orphanage in Haiti for years. Dr. Ray Ford, a retired pediatrician, originally started the orphanage years ago after realizing there was a need for it. Dr. Ford regularly goes to Haiti to see the orphanage and host a medical clinic.

Every year there is a Haiti yard sale that makes tens of thousands of dollars. They sell clothes, furniture, household items, and even have a bake sale. It’s been a big money maker and an annual tradition in our community. But every year someone donates a hand made craft item for the yard sale and it only sells for a dollar or two. One of our church members is also cleaning out their craft supplies and wanted to donate them to the yard sale. But a lightbulb went off for us. What if instead of selling these hand made items at the yard sale, we have a craft sale? And what if we can get a table at the local apple festival in November? Hmm.

Well, it’s happened folks. A table at the apple festival in November has been secured. And folks at Mooreland have been hard at work making crafts for the sale. We have birdhouses. We have scarves and mittens. We have beautiful hand made cards. We have fall decorative items. We will have tie dyed t-shirts, socks and head bands. We will also be making wreaths.

It’s been pretty exciting. Every Sunday when I come to church a new batch of crafts arrives. You never know what’s going to show up. And lots of different folks are making things. It truly is a church wide effort. We have really come together for this craft sale. It’s a beautiful thing.

Here’s a couple of pictures of some of our items.


Fall Cards

Here are the pertinent details about the craft sale:

It will be on Saturday, November 3rd from 11-5 PM at the Albemarle Ciderworks south on Route 29. 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the orphanage. The website for the Haitian Orphanage is www.fordhaitianorphanage.org.

Check out Mooreland’s Facebook page for more craft pictures. We’re still making new things and will continue to post pictures. www.facebook.com/mbcnorthgarden

See you there! Come buy our crafts! We would love to sell them all and raise lots of money for the orphanage.

Getting Ready for Fall


This is an exciting time of the year. We are all coming back from vacations and getaways. We’re all getting back into our normal routines. School is about to begin. (I know that’s a good thing and a hard thing.) And we all know that the summer heat won’t last forever. Fall is coming.

Fall is coming! Isn’t it exciting? The leaves will change and the mountains will burst with color. The temperatures will cool off and we’ll get to toast marshmallows over a campfire. The fall holidays are coming and if you are like me-you’ll dress up your dog on Halloween. (Don’t tell Susie.*)

Fall is coming for us as a church too. We will get back to our normal schedule. We will see each other more often because we won’t be traveling so much. We’ll eat together once a month for Supper Church. We’re going to have a game night in September. A new Sunday School study about Celtic Christianity will begin after Labor Day. We are making craft items for the Haiti Craft Sale in November. So much excitement. So much to look forward to.

This time of year feels like a new beginning and a new start. It feels like anything is possible. It feels like we could try something new and it might actually work out. It’s exciting!

What new things will you do this fall? Where do you see God moving in your life? And remember, after fall-there’s Christmas! (Oh yes, Christmas is coming too!)



*Susie wears her hotdog Halloween costume every year like a good girl. She even lets us take pictures*

On the Mountaintop


Last week I went with our Midweek Meal folks to Carter Mountain for peach ice cream. We had just finished our lunch at Doodles Cafe and went to the mountain for dessert. It was a beautiful day and the sky was clear. We could see for miles on top of Carter’s Mountain. It wasn’t too hot. The weather was perfect.

And there we were on top of the mountain, eating ice cream, and having a grand time. The midweek meal group has become like a family. So, it’s like a little reunion when we get together every two weeks. And last week, we had a little reunion on Carter Mountain.

As Christians we talk about mountain top experiences. We get this from the Bible. Moses goes up the mountain to be with God. Moses receives the Ten Commandments from God on the mountain. Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives to pray to God. In our tradition, mountains are places where people go to be close to God. It’s a place where they feel God’s presence.

I think our midweek meal mountaintop experience was a way to be together. The fellowship we had reminds me of God. It reminds me that we are all a part of God’s family. I think our little family reunions we have every two weeks are a piece of the kingdom. The fact that we met up on the mountain just adds to the experience.

Feeling God’s presence on the mountain top is a pleasure. You know what is better? Being on the mountain with God and the people you love. As we approach the second half of summer, let us spend time with God and the people we love. Let us find time to have a Sabbath and family time.


Vacation Bible School 2018 Recap

Stage Decorations

It’s hard to believe that Vacation Bible School has come and gone. It’s always a fun week and one of my favorite weeks of the entire year. The people of Mooreland Baptist Church really come together as a team to make it all happen.

Two families volunteered to cook the meals. Lil Tyler, Brooke Tyler and Morgan Keyton led our crafts station. On Wednesday we tie dyed t-shirts like we do every year. It wouldn’t be VBS without tie dying t-shirts. Pam and Margie led our worship where we learned all about being shipwrecked and how Jesus rescues us. John Page, Luke Page and Gabe Page played countless games of kickball with the kids. Dietra and I taught Bible Study. Susi Page led our missions time. And there are other people who helped that I didn’t name. The list of volunteers is long.

Vacation Bible School has always been an outreach kind of program. It’s a good time to invite neighbors and friends to church. I also think that VBS is more than this. It’s a good time to really invest in our children who already attend church. They get an entire week of Bible Stories just for them. They have an entire week of worship services just for them. They have an entire week of adults who love on them, teach them, and spend time with them. VBS is important for all of these reasons. That’s why we keep doing it.

Thank you Mooreland for another wonderful VBS. Thank you for investing in our children and in the children of our neighborhood.



Queen Vashti-Not here for your entertainment

When we think of the book of Esther, we think of Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus, and the wicked Haman. If you grew up in church, Esther is one of the heroines you have heard about. Everyone loves Esther. I do too. But Queen Vashti, her predecessor deserves a mention. She is a strong woman and doesn’t put up with the king’s nonsense.

The book of Esther is written during the exile. The Jewish people are living under foreign rule. King Ahasuerus rules over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, the Bible says. He’s important. He’s powerful. He also loves to party, eat food, and get very drunk.

The king decides to throw a feast for one hundred and eighty days. There’s food and drinks for all the men. All of them can drink and eat as much as they want. Queen Vashti, for her part threw a party for the women in the palace also. Things are merry until the seventh day when he decides to ask Queen Vashti to come to the men’s party wearing her royal crown. He wants to show her off. He wants everyone to see how beautiful she is.

Queen Vashti isn’t having it. And when I was growing up, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to do this. She should do what she is ordered to do. The king is the king, after all. Doesn’t she want to please him? Doesn’t she know that she could die if she doesn’t obey?

Things change when you read these stories later in life. And when we begin to examine things, we realize why Queen Vashti doesn’t want to go to the party. It’s a party only for the men. There are no women present. They have been drinking alcohol for seven days straight. The king is merry with wine and probably drunk himself. The rest of the men are probably drunk too. The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a seven day long frat party. And Queen Vashti is asked to come and look pretty before all the drunken men. Who would want to do that? Who would want hundreds of drunken men gaping at you and making obscene comments?

No one. Not you. Not me. Not Queen Vashti. She has every reason to refuse. She shows great strength in her refusal. Go Queen Vashti.

As you might imagine, the king doesn’t take her refusal well. Not at all. He becomes paranoid that all women might stand up to their husbands and say no when they want to. And the king can’t risk that. So, Queen Vashti is deposed. She loses the royal title and the search for a new queen begins. Eventually, Esther becomes queen.

We don’t know what happens to Vashti after she loses her title. The Bible doesn’t say. But we do know that she shows strength, courage and self respect. She knows she doesn’t exist just to be pretty and entertain a bunch of drunken men. And for that, she deserves a mention.

When have you had to say no? Is there something you need to refuse to do, whether it’s because you don’t have time or it’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing? Queen Vashti said no to a powerful king. May we say no when we need to.


Jael-not someone to mess with

We have begun our summer sermon series: Matriarchs, Heroines and Outcasts. We are looking at the women of the Bible. I thought I would write a blog post or two about minor female characters that deserve a mention, but maybe not a sermon.

Usually when we think of women in the Bible we think of them as background characters or as innocent as Mary. But that is not always the case. Jael is a big exception to this stereotype. She is fierce and pretty scary. She’s not messing around.

Jael’s story is recorded in Judges 4. Barak and Deborah the judge lead the Israelites in battle against King Jabin’s army. Sisera is King Jabin’s commander. King Jabin has been oppressing the Israelites for twenty years. The people cry out to God and Barak and Deborah lead the Israelites into battle.

Sisera’s army loses the battle and he is the only one who escapes. He escapes only with his life. He flees on foot to Jael’s tent. She is the wife of Heber, a powerful man in the region. He sees Jael with a bowl and milk. She gives him some milk and allows him to rest in the tent. Sisera tells her that if anyone asks if someone’s in the tent, Jael is supposed to say no. Jael verbally agrees and Sisera thinks he’s safe for now.

Jael isn’t having any of this. When Sisera falls asleep she gently goes to him and drives a tent peg through his skull. Jael kills the great commander with her own bare hands. She wins the day. King Jabin is eventually destroyed by the Israelites over time. The Israelites are saved.

Jael is brave. Jael is fierce. She isn’t someone I would want to be friends with, because she sounds a bit scary. But she is definitely one of the women of the Bible who bucks the background character status. She shows strength and wins the battle. She is significant because of that. So, she’s worth a mention.

So there you have it, Jael-warrior, battle winner and maybe one of the scariest women in the Bible.