Friday, April 18, 2014

Atonement - Michael W. Smith

please continue here, silence blog music lower left and listen to this beautiful music," Atonement "
while contemplating  Isaiah 53, The Suffering Servant on this Good Friday Evening

   Who has believed what he has heard from us?
   And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
   For he grew up before  like a young plant,
      and like a root out of dry ground;
    he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
        and no beauty that we should desire him.
   He was despised and rejected by men;
        a man of sorrows, and acquainted  with grief;
        and as one from whom men hide their faces
          he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
  yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned- everyone - to his own way;
   and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;
   like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
     so he opened not his mouth.
  By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered
    that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death,
   although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;
   when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
    the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the  righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
 because he poured out his soul to death
         and was numbered with the transgressors;
                 yet he bore the sin of many,
                       and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mid Holy Week Reflections

Holy Week- later on calendar this year-still snow.
So very cold outside, today, 27 degrees, sometimes cold goes deep to our hearts.
The world around us is spinning cold; families fractured, governments following own agendas,
killings, shootings, stabbing words, stabbing knives in school, rampant violence, earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, flooding, a lost plane deep in ocean depth, overturned S. Korean ferry,300 mostly youths missing.

            Heavy, heavy heartache.  Is there any hope?

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded, through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness  of your faith- 
more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your
faith, the salvation of your souls."   1 Peter 1:3-9

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  words of Jesus in John 14:27

Heavenly Father, we are so in need of Your mercy and grace; we need You during the hard of everyday. We need Your comfort and care over the deep hurts, sorrows and losses flooding our world,our hearts this moment. You are a God of comfort; be with us now. You sent Your Son into this world to free us from our sins, to pay the penalty that we could not do, and by His wounds we are healed.(Isaiah 53:5).
In praise of Your awesome name, and in Jesus we pray. Amen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Must You Hang Around!!

Be Gone Already!  Such a sight, and we had hoped it was gone for another few months. even though we know snow is a frequent visitor in April, and this white blanket was predicted days ago,..
still we had hoped.

My poor pansies now blanketed in white!

And wasn't it just this past week-end when 70 degree, sun-filled days teased us?
I spent Saturday pulling, cutting, yanking out, running rampant English Ivy that is devouring our landscaping, feeling good about it, even a bit warm, casting off jacket,(it has to be 85 before I feel life).
My Heavenly Father planted me in the wrong latitude!

 Hey, that's for my birds!
Determined little guy!

Ready and anxiously awaiting my hummingbirds to return!

This year a young, woodpecker couple
has taken up residence. All week-end they pecked away inside their new home-probably setting-up  the nursery!


Sold to the first occupant!
                             And still hoping!!! Soon !

Monday, April 14, 2014

God's Not Dead | Official Full Movie Trailer

Fantastic movie! We just had a wonderful evening at the theater!
Message is clear- God's Not Dead!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Puzzle Cookies

Hurry, hurry, today is the last day to buy puzzle cookies at Panera Bread to support Cleveland Clinic's
Center for Autism.  100% of proceeds go to the Clinic!  Absolutely delicious!
Let's support this cause to help with research for "pieces of hope."  thank you!

Friday, April 4, 2014

On a Dark, Dreary Day

In the early hours, as I donned boots to slosh-walk my daily steps with my slow-moving, Keisha,
the words to a song, "How Can I Keep From Singing", came to mind; and so in light, dripping drizzle,
we pressed on and on ... singing.

 There is an endless song
    Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on 
   to the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
  How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting     
     Your name
I know I am loved by the King
and it makes my heart want to sing

     I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
         Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
          And fall  down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
          Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
          When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
           Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

lyrics and music by Chris Tomlin

First pussy willow bloom bursting forth!

What to do on dark, dreary days?

Shhh...I have been scrap-booking an
album for our daughter, which I started 18 years ago before the birth of her daughter, and will finish now to give to her on her late April birthday.
Shh.. it's a surprise!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Twenty-fifth Day Wednesday

Mark 15:15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

"People lose individuality in a crowd. At a certain flash-point they fuse into one simple bellowing brute, passionate and huge... But even the swollen-throated  bellowers  in the crowd are people to Jesus, whom He regards one by one by one, whom He does not fear, but whom He is serving right now- right now!-
by giving His life to ransom them from the very brutishness they are displaying...But He had to die first..
                                                             I saw you, Jesus, seeing me. Across the heads of all the people,
                                  I saw your eyes on me.    I cannot speak."
             from  Reliving the Passion, by Walter Wangerin  p.104-105

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1 The Fool

The fool has said in his heart,
              there is no God.   Psalm 14:1

This is what I read, this is what I contemplated, this morning, and throughout this day .
I found myself remembering the words I had read in my Billy Graham, Unto the Hills, Daily Devotional,
as I enjoyed the warmth of the sun while doing yard work, thinking about the implication of his words.

"April first is April Fools' Day. God is not like the personal joker, He tells the truth and He never lies...
God calls a person who refuses to believe in Him a fool.... a person is described as foolish who refuses
to acknowledge God's ample evidence for existing, for His love for us, for His desire that we might come to know Him through Jesus Christ and for His provisions for us throughout our lives.
   When one believes the lie of an April Fool's joke, he is momentarily embarrassed, but soon gets over it.
When one refuses to believe what God has told him, he will soon enough find out how foolish he has been. Unfortunately, it will be too late, and he will find himself in hell in the company of other fools.
    We receive only one life during which we have many chances to come to know God. We are the biggest fools of all if we make the eternal mistake of rejecting the truth that God has communicated to us."
                                                      from Unto the Hills, by Billy Graham  p. 114

                                      " He is no fool
                                             who gives
                                                  what he cannot keep
                                                          to gain
                                                   what he cannot lose. "     Jim Elliott, journal entry Oct. 28th, 1949
                                                                                            Missionary to Auca Indians, killed Jan. 6, 1956
                                                                                             Ecuador, South America

                                                                                   God's morning gift to us !
"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 
For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power  and divine nature, have been 
clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in  the things that have been made. 
So they are without excuse."   Romans 1:19-20

Monday, March 31, 2014

Marching in Like a Lion, Leaving Like a Lamb

Remember the bitter cold, slippery roads, predicted snow storm that greeted us March 2nd?
I do, it was slow going as we made our way to church that Sunday.
 And many storms marched in during the long days that followed.
Now as we end this month of snow and bitter cold, and greet this 10th full day of spring, maybe, just maybe it's here to stay.

 Signs popping up all over and under!

Daffodils and  favorite irises soon to grace my gardens

Vibrant magenta rhododendron
tightly wrapped with overlapping scales, protecting the flower within during cold winter days

Holding promise of deep purple lilacs

Soon to bloom soft pussy willow boughs

First flowers of spring!

Some things just keep lingering on...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gift of Granddaughter

 Spring break afforded time to share together,
my granddaughter and I.

Talking about the wonder of new life, from a tiny seed, to repotting tender roots, to thoughts of
delicious summer cherry tomatoes,
 my granddaughter and I.
 Making bracelets to share the Gospel message
of Jesus around the world with Joni and Friends- to touch another child's life in love,
my granddaughter and I.

Watching Anne of Green Gables for first time
together, my granddaughter and I.

Eating lunch together, while listening to country music, Bunny, my granddaughter and I.

Baking homemade granola and stirring spicy apple butter,
my granddaughter and I.

Sharing our Wednesday in love, making memories,
with thankful hearts,
 my granddaughter and I.

Back So Soon?

Oh, Yes, you never left!!

 It began late yesterday, slowly, then a flurry of white, covering and calmly resting on everything it touched.
 By morning it was a soft
blanket, gleaming bright,from the shining sun,
protecting bulb life ready to burst forth,

 While Yet We Wait for Spring

While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackened east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish'd sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels interarch
Their tassell'd twigs, fair beds of primrose lie.
Beneath the crisp and wintery carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of spring.
 Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930) was a British poet


Hang in there, Woody, soon, soon!

Maybe I should take a lesson from Sassie and catch every warm ray I can and dream of days to come, soon.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

When Life Feels Like A Storm,

"A Long, Dark Winter
From Disappointment to Hope"
Three friends, followers of  Jesus, and seeking more of Him, meet faithfully every Saturday to draw closer to the One who has made us whole by His Cross.

In our own daily, silent devotion during Lent, we are using  Reliving the Passion, by Walter Wangerin, and memorizing Scripture passages. On Saturdays we have been reading and studying Shelia Walsh's newest book, The Storm Inside. Today, our reading took us to chapter 2, "A Long, Dark Winter, From Disappointment to Hope." Sheila writes about disappointment as a harsh word. "It speaks of failure, of not measuring up, of frustration." She asks us to identify areas in our life where we have faced or are facing disappointment.
"Do we honestly think we will shock God if we tell Him how we really feel?
 Do we imagine that we do our souls any good by pretending?"

"Have you ever told Him about the things you have pushed deep in the cellar of your soul, hoping you would never have to look at them again? Have you ever named out loud the disappointments of your life?"

Here, right here, three friends, together, voiced their hurts, disappointments before the Lord, and with pen and paper scrolled cellar deep hurts, disappointments in tears. Then, releasing them to the One who cares intimately for His daughters, we cast them into the blue flames of hearth fire, "trading our disappointment for the sure and certain hope we have in Christ."
                                                                     quotes used from the Storm Inside.
Need a friend, need a Bible study, need a prayer partner? Come join us Saturday mornings.
Just comment to post or email, and I'll get back with you,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seeking Signs!

 of spring...
  The day was perfect to spend outside
and hours did I
sweeping deck of spent bird seeds,
arranging large flower pots and chairs,
donning cushions on porch furniture,
 filling one huge container after another with broken,
 fallen branches, raking Fall's forgotten leaves,
preparing iris beds, cutting dried lavender branches,
lastly, raking mountains of gravel stones out of brown grass
where it landed after being dumped from plowed snow

And hours of spring preparation remain, but for now, there was time for seeking signs of season preparing to burst forth
in bud!
Oh, glorious spring!

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of His name;
give to Him glorious praise!
Say to God, "How awesome
are your deeds!"
Psalm 66:1-3

 My morning readings took me to the Gospel of Mark, chapter 8:11-13, where the Pharisees were also seeking a sign.
   " The Pharisees came and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven to test Him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit and said, 'Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.' And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side."

Lord Jesus, You were in their midst,the God of the universe, yet, they did not see You for whom You were.
Please forgive me when I, too, don't see You as You truly are.

             "He was despised and rejected by men;
              a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
              and as one from whom men hide their faces
              He was despised and we esteemed Him not."
                    Isaiah 53:3