Place – Finding Your Place – Discover Challenge

A cottage in Pitman Grove
A cottage in Pitman Grove

I enjoy taking part in many of the WordPress Challenges.

This week, tell us about a place that has helped shape who you are.

Pitman Methodist Campground, also known as Pitman Grove,  is a favorite place for me to walk throughout the year. I walk down and around the twelve paths leading to the center meeting place, the tabernacle, in every season. During the summer, local churches each take a turn conducting Sunday night services in the tabernacle. I usually attend a few each year.

The town of Pitman grew up around the camp. Residents still hold dear the true meaning of Christmas. A few years ago there was quite an uproar in regards to a sign in the center of town. ‘Keep Christ in Christmas,’ was deemed controversial. The townspeople responded by placing miniature replicas of the sign on their lawns…yours truly included.

I still use this sign every year!
I still use this sign every year!

Yesterday I walked along the campground paths, taking a few photographs for what I intended to be a ‘Wordless Wednesday’ post. Hmmm….a lot of words written here for what was intended to be wordless. Smile.


The Hagerty Family, residents who live in one of the original houses, set up a sensational Christmas display of lights every year to celebrate the season. The display attracts people from all over the area. I appreciate the banner they have across their property. Frank Hagerty knows best what spreads holiday cheer.

“It’s about sending his personal message of Christian faith to parents who walk through rows of displays including mangers depicting baby Jesus and the first Christmas.” Frank Hagerty quoted in the South Jersey Times

Photographs – Challenges/Vibrant Top Ten Historical Sites on Tuesday

I love the challenges that WordPress, and fellow bloggers, extend to the blogging community. I enjoy the mental stretching and growth the challenges prompt in me. In today’s post I’ve fulfilled five challenges. Read or skim through the content of the post and see if you think I was able to incorporate all five as a coherent whole, and at the same time, stay true to my commitment to keep the word count in my posts low.

“This week, share a photo of Something Vibrant. Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.” ~ Jen H./Wordpress Photo Challenge

These RAINBOW cottages stand in the Pitman Methodist Campground, now commonly called ‘The Grove,’ in Pitman, New Jersey. I couldn’t find a solid purple house, but did find some pretty lavender gingerbread to stand in its stead.

1. The Pitman Grove is number one in my Top Ten Tuesday Historical Sites, not because it is the best, only that it is the closest in distance.

Rainbow Cottage - Red

Rainbow Cottages - Orange
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola. – Eggplant (Foundation Color of Cottage)

Rainbow Cottage - yellow

Rainbow Cottage - green

Rainbow Cottage - Blue

Rainbow Cottage purple

Below you will find the rest of my top ten historical sites for Top Ten Tuesday by Broke and Bookish Blog. I’ve kept this list exclusive to the U.S., but hope to someday compile a list of Top Ten Historical Sites Worldwide.

2. Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey – Site of Glassboro Summit Conference talks between Lyndon B. Johnson and Alexei Kosygin. I was in the crowd, but did not see Johnson or Kosygin, I was still in grade school. In the same crowd was a young man I would marry years later, he was able to shake the hand of Lyndon Johnson.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love. There are so many historical sites in Philadelphia I have visited and loved. The Art Museum, The Zoological Society, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, The U.S. Mint, Reading Market…the list could go on.

4. The Jersey Shore The Jersey Shore from Atlantic City to Cape May. The ocean beaches, the bays…I love all the Jersey Shore.

5. Red Bank Battlefield, Revolutionary War Site. – This is a lovely place to go and watch air and river travel.

6. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Thousands of Americans from both the North and the South died here. There is still a sense of sadness in the atmosphere. It is hard to explain unless you have experienced it. Everywhere you walk and gaze, men died, giving their lives for the cause they believed in. A must-see if you are interested in American History.

7. Arlington National Cemetery – A place to honor those who gave their lives for our country. Also visit the grave of the 35th president of the USA, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

8.Mount Vernon – Mount Vernon – Home of the first president of the U.S. – George Washington.

9. Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia – One of my all-time favorite areas to visit. My grandparents lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and in many ways it still feels like a second home to me.

10. Washington, D.C. – U.S. Capitol

A few more favorite historical areas on the East Coast: New Hope, PA, Brandywine Valley, PA, Batsto Village NJ, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC, Block Island, RI, and Jim Thorpe, PA, the Chesapeake Bay, Easton, MD, Tilghman’s Island, MD, and others!

I love visiting these amazing historical areas, and hope to continue doing so in the future. Like so many of us, to accomplish all these goals and dreams I definitely need “Twenty-five hours in a day, seven days a week.” I hope all the dips and turns and strange nuances in this post of challenges has not been confusing. 😀

Search out a few challenges to take part in here on WordPress . If you aren’t a blogger consider starting one. I enjoy the challenges and meeting people from all over the world. Thanks for reading!

Purpose – Finding/Creating Sanctuary

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In previous posts I’ve stated that during my childhood I lived for two years in one of the cottages/homes built around the Pitman Methodist Camp in Pitman, New Jersey. Today I live in the town next door to Pitman, and on sunny days you can often find me riding my bike the mile or two to the center of the grove to walk within the shadow of the tabernacle.

The blue cottage above is one of the homes encircling the tabernacle. The cottages form a wheel, with twelve paths, as spokes, leading to the sanctuary. These walkways, according to the camp history, signify the twelve apostles.

I find walking on these paths conducive to inner peace and an attitude of prayer.  My spirit is uplifted as I dwell upon the fact that many souls were saved and lives committed to God upon these grounds.

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Here is another view of the home in the first photograph. You might wonder why I am posting a photo of the back of the cottage. I ask you to take notice of the white door. Behind this door is a set of stairs that lead to the basement of the home. When I was in third grade, a precious elderly lady started a club called the JOY (Jesus & Others & You) club. Children from the nearby elementary school would gather within that small space, sit on the stairs as if they were the finest pews, and sing songs of praise. Within that stairwell, this wonderful woman of God created a sanctuary of hope and joy for a handful of grade school children. I often think of her, and thank God that she did what she could, and used what she had, to bring to us a sense of our Father in Heaven.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf…” Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

Perspective – Saying Good-bye to Winter

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The cold winds of winter are still blowing, but there is a brightness in the air. Birds are singing their courting songs. The calendar cannot be denied. Winter is ending…tomorrow Spring arrives.

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The trees are beginning to flush out in buds of red. Good-bye Winter…

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“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Photographs taken in the Pitman Grove Camp.

For more information on the Pitman Grove: Pitman Grove Camp Meeting

Place and Person – Pitman Grove and Camp Meeting and C. Austin Miles

The first meeting in the tabernacle in Pitman, New Jersey, was held in 1871. A history of the town and the camp meeting can be found here: History of Pitman, New Jersey. The tabernacle is at the center of twelve paths, or spokes, reminiscent of the twelve apostles.

C. Austin Miles, a prolific songwriter, wrote the hymn, “In the Garden,” while staying in the grove area. He said of himself, “It is as a writ­er of gos­pel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Mas­ter, whom I serve will­ing­ly al­though not as ef­fi­cient­ly as is my de­sire.”

Here are a few pictures I took Sunday at about 10:00 in the morning.

These small cottages are just a sampling of the dozens and dozens that surround the tabernacle.

Many years ago when I first moved to the area with my parents, I called this cottage on the fringes of the tabernacle wheel my home. What I remember most about it was the amazing attic it had. When I lived there it had a long front porch which has since been enclosed.