Staff Blogger: The Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach

Read Philippians 4:4-9

It is hard to keep a positive attitude in these stressful times. With all that we have had to give up, reschedule and do without, the negative looms large.

The Apostle Paul has a word for us. His letter to the church at Philippi is a letter filled with joy, even though the fledgling church is experiencing uncertain and anxious times. Paul begins this passage by exhorting the people to rejoice, reminding them who they are and whose they are.  Then he says, “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.” (v. 4)

How often I need reminded these days to be gentle with those who are sharing bad news, negative attitudes, those who are experiencing fear and anxiety! While some folks’ concerns seem irrational and unrealistic, it is more helpful to listen to them than to challenge them.

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Staff Blogger: Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach

Read Psalm 91

These are trying times. Two months ago, “social distancing,” “sheltering in place” and wearing masks were novel phrases and ideas. Now they are part of our daily lives. Fear abounds, and many are having trouble navigating this new environment.

When the burdens of the day are extremely stressful, I find myself almost instinctively turning to the Psalms, written over 3,000 years ago, where generations of faithful people have found help and hope.

During this pandemic, the words of Psalm 91 seem especially relevant. The Psalmist talks about “the deadly pestilence.” The word “pestilence” means “fatal epidemic disease.” As we hear the rising death toll of victims of the Coronavirus, we can relate! Read More

Staff Blogger: Loretta Wilken, Lakeside Chautauqua Master Gardener/Groundskeeper

If you’ve recently strolled along the west end of Second Street in Lakeside, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the explosion of yellow blooms against a shiny dark green carpet. You may have also noticed that they have traveled across the road and are even popping up outside of the fence. These plants are Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. They’re a visual feast for the eyes, but this buttercup family member comes with a definite word of caution.

Lesser celandine is a spring ephemeral that produces short lived blooms early in the year and can completely disappear in late spring, early summer. It is a non-native plant introduced to North America in the mid 1800s. It is considered an invasive plant by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and cannot be sold or distributed in Ohio.

The plants have somewhat heart shaped, dark green leaves with yellow blossoms about 1” wide with 7-12 petals. Underground tubers store the energy produced by the leaves in spring for the following year’s growth. You will see at the base of the foliage small football shaped bulbils. These grow new plants and are easily transported by foot traffic. The plants form a tight mat of foliage 4” to 5” tall that chokes out native spring ephemerals such as trillium, mayapples, Dutchman’s breeches and Virginia spring beauties.

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Staff blogger: Rev. Dr. Charles Yoost, Director of Religious Life & Church Outreach

Read Psalm 30

We have often heard it said, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” Mother Theresa is reported to have said, “I know God will not give me more than I can handle. I just wish God didn’t trust me so much!”

We who have been coping with quarantines, ‘Stay at Home’ orders and all that these directives imply can relate to Mother Theresa’s statement. Add to that the constant concern we have about those on the front lines, family members and friends diagnosed with the virus, mounting statistics on deaths worldwide, and the fact that decisions in so many areas of our lives are seemingly beyond our control. Frustration, irritation, discouragement and depression are very real for most of us these days.

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Staff Blogger: Loretta Wilken, Lakeside Chautauqua Master Gardener/Groundskeeper

Pockets of blooming hyacinths lovingly tucked into gardens, stretches of daffodils, whimsically decorated beds of early spring color – these are all delightful signs of spring. They’re a calming source of visual delight and sometimes small surprises.  

Homeowners share their Lakeside Love through these sometimes small, sometimes abundant treasures throughout their community. They’re often the most photographed areas simply because they mirror the heart and soul of Lakeside.

As a Lakeside Gardener/Groundskeeper, I especially appreciate all of the time, resources, sweat and love that goes into planning, financing and maintaining all of these beautiful private residence gardens. Each season brings different delights. Each day that goes by I find some new beauty that catches my eye.

Thank you, Lakeside, for bringing your “A” game and accidently making my job a treasure hunt.