May your hearts be filled with the truth of the risen Savior!
The resurrection is what sets true Christianity apart from all the religions devised by man. Christianity is the ONLY faith that offers a risen Savior! A Man Who accepted leaving heaven to appear in the form of a normal man; Who lived His life in the service of the Father and all the people with whom he cam in contact; Who willingly went to the cross and suffered for our sin; Who rose on the third day, just as He said He would; Who lives now in heaven with the Father, preparing a place for us for all eternity IF we accept Him as our personal Savior.
And let’s not forget to pray for the survivors of Islamic attacks in parts of the world where Easter Sunday is nearly over. and where nearly 150 have died for their faith.
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
I spent some time with an old friend today. Hadn’t seen her since January, when she went to spend three months in Florida. This is the first time she’s been there alone. Her husband, our dear friend, went to heaven about a year ago. As those of you who have walked this path will understand, this has been a year of firsts. for her.
Today we were together to help celebrate the birthday of one of my granddaughters. We didn’t spend a lot of time catching up, but we did have some time alone to just chat, as old friends do. And we talked about how the years have sped by so incredibly fast, from one perspective, but that when you start recounting memories you know you lived every single day of those years.
She had three sons; I had three sons and a daughter. She suffered a miscarriage not too long after my daughter was born, and that was so hard.
We have shared other life experiences, and it has been a good, solid friendship for 45 years. We learned how to quilt together. We share a love of knitting and crocheting. Even when we haven’t seen each other for a long time, it is easy to fall back into conversation. If you have friends like this, you know exactly what I mean.
She has a large extended family, and they all were there for her when her husband died. We were there as well, and I was so impressed with how she has handled this new phase of her life. Her husband was one of Terry’s very closest friends. We will always miss him.
But when we talked of the incredibly fast passage of time, we also remarked on how we treasure each memory as life passes and the minutes tick away into hours, days, months and years.
When you get to be our age, you realize how short life really is, and you understand the importance of holding each moment in your heart because those minutes do not give you a do-over.
On my other blog, I’ve begun to write the story of the beginning of my life with Terry. I’m calling it “Our Story: 50 Years.” I’ve done four short installments, and I need to hurry up and do another before my readers forget about me and lose interest 🙂 The writing has brought up so many memories that I hadn’t though about in years, and it has helped me realize again how incredibly blessed my life has been.
And something else I’m understanding better all the time is the importance of sharing those memories. If you don’t tell your grandkids your stories, they will not know you as you would want them to know you.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
“My son, keep My words, and lay up My commandments with thee.
2 Keep My commandments, and live; and My law as the apple of thine eye.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.”
Over and over, God tells us in His Word that it is to be treasured and held in our hearts. We are to obey it, and it is to be the “apple of our eye.”
I always wondered about that when I was a kid. Some time ago, in preparation for teaching a Bible study class, I researched the term. I won’t give you the entirety of what I learned, but the essence is this: The word “apple” in this usage means the pupil of the eye, or the exact center.
If you look someone right in the eye, and the light is right, you can actually see yourself reflected there.
The pupil is vitally important, and God designed it with plenty of protection. Moisture in the form of tears, to keep it from drying out: bony structure all around to protect it from injury: eyelashes to help keep dust and grit out of our eyes; and the eyelids, to close out light that is too bright, or flying debris.
Look closely at the picture above. Do you see the scroll in the middle of the eye? That’s exactly what God wants us to do–to keep His Word in the center of our vision, to protect and and care for it as something to be treasured.
Don’t you love the depth of meaning in such simple verses? That’s another reason God’s Word is such a treasure. You can study it for a lifetime and never plumb the depths of it. In fact, I believe we will be studying God’s Word for all eternity, and never be finished. It is deep, rich, and wonderful.
As usual, I’m writing this on Saturday night. We were treated to an absolutely wonderful day today, with temps up near 70. Puffy white clouds, soft blue sky, sunshine.
I have a little patch of narcissus blooming on the west side of our front yard.
There are daffodils spearing through the ground right behind our house. There are tight little buds on the trees, just beginning to form. It will be a little while before there are leaves or flowers. We don’t have forsythia in yard, but I’m thinking we’ll see some on our way to church tomorrow.
My daughter’s family was here to enjoy some homemade frozen custard, courtesy of Grandpa. He loves the stuff, and can never find it anywhere. So he went on ebay and found a Cuisineart ice cream maker, and went to quite a lot of effort yesterday to create his first batch of custard. I thought it was wonderful, but he said it wasn’t like what he remembered from his childhood.
Is anything, ever? I don’t know.
The kids got busy helping Grandpa pick up branches. They can all drive our lawn tractor now, and the wagon was hitched up and ready to go. They made a lot of progress, and it was clear they love being outdoors. They’re all growing up so fast. I wish I could blink and make them little again just for a moment.
But all good things do end, and it’s supposed to be colder and rainy tomorrow.
I had my most recent epidural steroid shot in my lower back almost four weeks ago. Still pretty much pain free. I’m learning to treasure each day in which I can move freely and NOT take pain meds! I know this isn’t permanent, but I certainly can rejoice in each pain-free day. I’ve even started working out a little bit. Carefully, slowly. Trying to be smart 🙂
My Bible study blog post this morning was a great encouragement to me. Isaiah 65: 22-23 describes the prosperity of Israel during the Millennial Reign. God’s people will be as old as the long-lived trees. They will build houses not for the gain of other people, but for their own use. All the financial constraints of mortgage loans, interest and so on will be a thing of the past. And that’s just during the Millennial reign; it’s not even heaven yet!
It’s just been a day full of blessings, and I’m thankful.
It started out okay. The weather was moderate for this time of year, and I had a good appointment with my dentist on Monday. I’m doing Invisalign, creating a better bite so my front teeth, top and bottom, aren’t grinding each other to pieces. I have about five weeks left, if all goes well, and then I’ll have a retainer. We’re also closing the gap between my two front teeth, which Terry tells me is just a shame 🙂
Tuesday and Wednesday were normal work days, except it kept getting colder and more windy. I’m already seeing a decrease in my client load, am seeing only 8-10 people for the last three weeks. That’s a change from my normal 15-17. But I’m dealing with some very difficult issues, and I’m thankful the load is reduced.
Wednesday around 3 a.m. my digestive system went completely bonkers. By the time I usually get up, I’d already been up for nearly an hour. So sick. Chills, aches, and a close relationship with the bathroom. I called out sick, turned my wonderful mattress pad heater up full blast, and crawled back into my haven. By this time my skin had turned green and I really didn’t care if I lived or died.
All day Thursday, most of Friday with a little improvement, and by Saturday I was back to normal. Almost. Still some reminders of how quickly and easily things can go south again.
BUT! The good news? Saturday was clear and bright, although still windy and a bit chilly, but there is hope that spring is coming. AND all during that horrible whatever-I-had, my back was fine. No pain. I’ve been nearly two weeks pain-free, and I know it’s not permanent, but you learn to appreciate each day you don’t hurt.
PLUS! I actually went down to the basement, under Terry’s disapproving supervision, and did a few minutes on our multi-station cable gym. My muscles are like jelly from so many months of inactivity, and I HAVE to start building it back up or I’ll look like Jabba the Hut. Seriously. Jelly spreads to accommodate its space 🙂
AND! I actually did some much-needed dusting in the bedroom. I have a corner cupboard with glass shelves that displays some of my teapots, and I just couldn’t look at it any more. Of course, once you start doing that kind of cleaning, you see fifty-eleven other jobs that need doing.
Finally, I think I’m going to make it to church! Two weeks in a row! WooHOO!! It’s been a long, painful, difficult winter, but even my sinus issues seem to be improving, and I’m going for that two-weeks-in-a-row milestone.
So, the bad with the good, the victories with the defeats, and keep soldiering forward. A friend of mine says, “Grace for today.”
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
This week, I was privileged to spend some quality time with two women, on two different days, who have been my friends for about 25 years.
The first is just a couple of years younger than I, and we have many similar experiences. Our primary bond was that we both love the Lord and have served together in adult Sunday school. Besides that, we just plain like each other. We can share our deepest hurts and greatest joys, and we do. She is so special to me. And she has the unique quality of being able to have many close friends who all value her the same way I do.
The second friend is in the hospital, and I stopped in to see her yesterday after I had my hair trimmed. We spent nearly two hours visiting together. Our primary bond? I was privileged to lead her to the Lord after she visited our Sunday school class. She has some potentially serious things going on, and I was so pleased to be able to spend time with her. Amazingly, because she has lots of people in her life, we got the whole time together without any interruptions. Our conversations ranged all over the place, and included many references to the Lord and shared Bible verses as well as some good laughter.
It is wonderful to have such friends. I have some Facebook contacts that go back to high school and college, and to the years we lived in another state. I know Facebook can be abused, but that almost never happens on my page. That’s probably because most of my friends there are also believers. I get prayer requests, encouragement, concern and humor on my page.
I have a friend in a southern state that I think of almost daily. I miss her all the time. We enjoy a rather wry sense of humor, and we love grammatical goof-ups. And we love the Lord. Another friend in the midwest has been such a blessing to me, although we haven’t seen each other in many, many years. Still, our friendship is as warm and encouraging as if we’d just had coffee together.
The best part of all is that all these friends are going to be in heaven, and we’ll be praising God, making heavenly music, and enjoying fellowship for all eternity.
I am blessed beyond measure that my husband is also my friend, as well as my four children and their children.
How many times has someone asked you that question, and you replied, “Fine, thanks, how are you?” And you didn’t mean it. You felt lousy, but you didn’t want to whine and complain. No one wants to hear an organ recital 🙂
So I’m just going to say this: It’s been a long winter, and I’m ready for spring.
Please pray for me. I think your prayers would be the best medicine ever.