Sunday Morning Coffee: Spring

I think it’s really here. It’s been peeking around the corner, withdrawing, peeking again. But now the flowering trees are doing their thing, lifting bouquets of glorious beauty up to the Creator. Daffodils are loaning us their delightful, happy yellow.

And soon, there will be tulips. I love tulips. The colors are so vibrant. They just make me smile.

Isn’t that just gorgeous! How I would love to be there during blooming season in Holland.

I really don’t have much else to say this morning. Sometimes the heart is just too full for words. But never for music!





Sunday Morning Coffee: Bits and Pieces

I gave myself a two-day break from blogging–did no posts on Friday or Saturday. Felt good, but it also feels good to resume my routine. Nothing serious today, though. Just a few glimpses into what has become normal.

I had a dr. appointment on Thursday. I’d been told ahead of time that I would not be allowed into the office without a mask, scarf, or maybe a brown paper bag over my head. I thought someone may be offended by the bag, which I was sorely tempted to do anyway, but I chose a black scarf instead. I’m thinking I’ll switch to red or yellow next time. I got startled, cautious looks from just about everyone. It never occurred to me that black would be perceived as threatening.

Which reminded me when, in my teaching days, we were told that red pens were no longer to be used for correcting papers. Too intimidating. Red was associated with “wrong, bad, stupid” or some such thing. We were to switch to green, a kinder, gentler color. I wonder how long it will be before green will get the same bad rap as red, and teachers will be told to use yellow or pink so their students’ psyches won’t be damaged.

Anyway, next stop was a quick one at the Walmart. Again, my black scarf got some startled attention. Also, I was using one of those electric carts. People gave me a wide berth. So funny. I’m old, very short, and somewhat infirm. Scary!

It was in the parking lot that I got a scare. I had just backed out of my spot and was hardly gathering speed when someone came toward my passenger side at a very high speed. I stopped, she slammed on her brakes and squealed to a stop. She made an unpleasant gesture, and her passenger got out, shaking a fist, and came stalking toward me. Huh. I was in the proper lane, just barely moving. She was shooting across all lanes, making no effort to do so at a reasonable speed. I was SO tempted to have my (ungodly) say, but my mother didn’t raise any stupid children. I left the scene, hoping they wouldn’t decide to follow me. Honestly. Why do the ones who are breaking all the rules get so MAD at the rest of us? How DARE we be in their way!

Changing the subject. I got a phone call from a Phoenix, AZ area code, so I answered it. My sister lives there, and my husband’s sister recently died after living there for over 40 years. The person on the other end asked to speak to my deceased sister-in-law. I asked politely for his name. He hung up.

?????

Why do people think it’s okay for them to refuse to identify themselves over the phone? I never give any information to anyone I don’t know, or who refuses to say who they are. If you call me, please tell me who you are and why you’re calling. It’s the polite thing to do.

This “shelter in place” thing has not been a hardship for Terry or me. We’re busy enough, and we both do a shopping run when the need arises. We have a nice yard, in an older development in which the houses are spaced widely apart. We can be outdoors if we want to, My dogwood trees have tight little buds, getting ready to open up if it ever gets warm and stays warm. April has been blustery and cold this year. A particular delight to me is the weeping willow down at the end of the back yard. Terry planted it about three years ago, and it’s thriving. I’ve always loved weeping willows, but Terry’s not a fan. He says the roots are drawn to water, and can really mess up your septic or plumbing. This one, though, is planted far enough away that thirsty roots are not a problem. I love the gentle sweep of the branches, and the green right now is that tender spring green that is cool and gentle. We were afraid that the night-marauding deer would get to it before it could become established, but it survived its childhood and seems to be well-established now.

My tree isn’t as mature and full as this one. Maybe in a year or two. Isn’t it pretty?

Young Willow Tree | 3D model | Green trees, Willow tree, Plants

Okay, we’re going to tune in to our online church service in a few minutes. Our pastors and several members are doing a great job of staying in touch with all of us during the social distancing epidemic. It’s not as good as being there, but it’s the next-best thing. A blessed Lord’s Day to all of you, and I’ll be resuming my study in the Gospel of John tomorrow, starting Chapter 7.

Sunday Morning Coffee: March

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So many things happen in March. Spring begins. Daylight saving time starts. My dad was born in March. Flowers begin to grace the landscape. Grass begins to hold on to the hope of renewal. Sometimes, Easter comes in March.

This year, March is coming in like a lion in my corner of PA. There’s a 5-7″ snowfall predicted to begin in the later afternoon today and stop early Monday morning. Maybe it will be that heavy, maybe not. Forecasts have not hit the mark very well this past couple of weeks.

High winds, winter mix precipitation. The temps are fairly mild, but I hate that winter mix stuff. Sleet, rain, snow, even hail sometimes. Roads are slippery and traffic slows to a crawl except for the occasional speed demon who just has to fly past everyone else, spraying mud, salt, and sand on every car he passes. Most of the time those folks reach the red lights pretty much at the same time as I do ūüôā

For the sports fans, there is March Madness. Basketball takes over for a while, and if you have a favorite team or two you probably already have you schedule of which team plays which, and when.

But let’s go back to Easter. Easter Sunday is determined by being the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. There are good explanations for how this works if you care to google about it. This year, Easter is April 21.

There are some who dislike celebrating Easter because it derives its name from Ishtar, or Ashtoreth, the goddess of fertility. The secular world marks the date with rabbits delivering eggs that chickens laid, and everyone likes to dress up in new spring clothing if the weather isn’t too cold. Chocolate candy abounds, along with marshmallowy little chicks and other symbols of the new life that comes with spring.

I understand the concern about this day being connected with things that have nothing at all to do with the glory of the risen Savior and His victory over sin and death. We call it Resurrection Sunday at our church. And no, we don’t know the exact date of His resurrection any more than we know the exact date of His birth. Yes, we can celebrate these events all day every day of the year.

But I think it is important that, as a community of believers, we take the time to consider what Jesus did; how He suffered, how He never opened His mouth to defend Himself; how He forgave the thief who was crucified with Him when that suffering man confessed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. And He even prayed that the Father would forgive those who persecuted Him, because they had no clue what was really happening that day.

One of the greatest battles of all time was fought when Jesus was on the cross. Satan was there, gloating in the suffering of the Savior. In the middle of the afternoon, there was an earthquake and there was darkness. Jesus did not die at the hands of the Roman soldiers or the Jewish leaders who hated Him. He chose to die. He gave up the Ghost, breathing His last breath as the God-Man Who had come to provide eternal life to any who would believe on Him.

His victory over sin and death became clear on that Sunday morning when the women went to His tomb, and He was gone! The angels who spoke to the women told them, “He is not here, for He is risen!”

And that is why we honor His resurrection. Not because we celebrate all the other trappings that go with the season, but because we are rejoicing in His victory that gives us the victory, too.

In my church, we will begin the service with “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” Can you imagine the thrill of the disciples and others who loved and followed Him, as they began to realize that Jesus was indeed alive!

His birth, ministry, death and resurrection changed the course of the history of this world. Today, He is still changing the hearts and lives of all who believe in Him. That is cause for celebration.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Resurrection Sunday

You should know I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon. WordPress has a neat little option to schedule when you want a post published, and I use it when I know time will be short in the morning.

I love Easter. The weather has the definite feel of spring. Flowering trees are doing their thing. Several people in the neighborhood are mowing their grass right now. ¬†Birds are¬†thrilled. ¬†You can tell by the trill ūüôā ¬†Our raspberry canes are greening, and the air is soft. ¬†It could stay this way all year, except I would miss the fall. Could we just do spring and autumn, please?

Well, anyway. ¬†There is no better season in which to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. ¬†Without the resurrection, the crucifixion would ¬†be meaningless. ¬†Just another dead Jewish man killed by the Romans. ¬†But Jesus wasn’t just another man. He made life meaningful, made eternal life possible, gave everlasting life to ¬†those who could not provide it for themselves.

Last year, we planned to have Easter dinner here. My wacky back had another idea, though, and my daughter–an exceptional cook–made dinner at her house and brought it over here. This year, I’m going to be able to do it. ¬†The house is clean. ¬†Floors swept and mopped, bathrooms cleaned, furniture dust-free. ¬†After supper tonight I’ll peel the potatoes for tomorrow and put them in cold water in the fridge. The ham will go in the oven before we leave for church in the morning. ¬† Others are bringing dessert and veggies. Some old friends will join us, and it will be a good day. The weather is going to be perfect.

We will relax, probably play a game or two, eat and visit. ¬†The kids will doubtless spend some time outdoors, and Andy the puppy, who is now a year old, will be all over the place. ¬†He loves people, loves to be petted and played with and sometimes just held. I’m sure he will be very interested in any tidbits that may (accidentally) fall to the floor.

Aren’t we a blessed people? ¬†Please take some time tomorrow to just be thankful.