Peach here: I’m excited for our family’s Easter plans this year! It’s not an extravagant plan, but a fun, simple plan for getting together with our two sons and their families and celebrating the biggest event in history to date!
Since two members of the family work that day, (God bless them for the work they do!) we are getting together in the evening on Easter Sunday. Thanks to daylight savings time, it will be daylight and there can still be time for dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt!
In years past we’ve been blessed to get a whole bunch of family together on this special day. We hope to be able to do that again in the future. Can’t quite make it happen right now.
But, it got me thinking, will you be celebrating Easter this year? If so, how do you celebrate?
Just curious! I love hearing how others make special times…well, special!!!
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, FEAR NOT YE: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And GO QUICKLY, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.” — Matthew 28:1-7
Peace and love, Y’all! Peace and love and hope and joy!!
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” — Mark 11:23-26, KJV
Peach here: Reading these very familiar verses this morning got me to thinking. About forgiveness. Our mind is a funny thing. I have discovered that in my mind, (and I don’t think I’m alone) that I will tuck away, without even being conscious of it, little stacks of names that I need to forgive. I think I have forgiven them, but on occasion, when I inadvertently ‘bump into’ one of those names, I realize, there’s a stench, a lingering grudge, a savored offense, possibly, for some super special names, maybe even a touch of bitterness.
I quickly make the choice when this occurs, by faith, to purposefully forgive, and move on, to realize the grace I’ve freely received and also need to freely give. Not because the people who I need to forgive are worth it. That may or may not be the case. But, because Jesus and what HE has done for me, HE is worth it! And I’m worth that choice, too!
Forgiveness absolutely lightens our load. Unclogs the arteries of our hearts. It let’s His Sonshine into our hearts and minds.
It’s a choice. A decision. An act of faith. And when we choose it, it sets us free. sometimes, we have to choose, and decide, and choose again and again, (because it may come back to our remembrance every once in awhile).
But, it is always a choice worth making. A choice that we honor Jesus when we do so. Making this choice, this decision positions ourselves for freedom, for His light and peace, hope and joy to have room to move in our hearts.
It doesn’t matter the triviality or the bitter pain of the offense, when we grasp them, and hold onto them, they become poison to us.
We forgive because He forgave us. We forgive because keeping the hurt turns to bitterness, and causes unnecessary woundedness to take up space in our hearts, where creativity and hope are meant to reside.
Recently we’ve been working as a family to clear some space on a lot, knocking down the underbrush and taking out a few extra trees, to make some more open space.
Now there’s room to run and play, and see everything in all directions.
“Above every charge keep thy heart, For out of it [are] the outgoings of life” — Proverbs 4:23, YLT.
And that’s what our hearts need. Be gracious, because Jesus is, and we are His, and it results in a healthy heart and soul.
Today, I’ve been taking inventory, and letting the Holy Spirit guide me through my stacks, to make sure I throw them out, after CHOOSING to FORGIVE!
“So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, IF you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.
And you WILL KNOW the Truth, and the Truth WILL set you free.” — John 8:31-32, KJV.
Some thoughts. We lost my Dad on 1 January of this year. It hits me in sharp moments, out of the blue. Like a sneak attack. 💔
There’s been lots of joy this year as well. Batman’s first year of retirement! 🥰❤️🎉🎉👏🏻👏🏻 First full year of SEVEN grandchildren!! 😍🤗 And more good and more hard, and unexpected things besides.
You know, life is like that. It’s not all one thing, right? It’s not just one emotion. it’s processes and pain, and joy and excitement, hope and forgiveness.
I’ve seen in those I love, and experienced myself, grief like I never expected. I’ve seen and experienced wonderful moments of love, and joy, faith and hope right in the middle of it all. Thank God for the WONDER and the GOOD right in the middle of it all, even in the pain.
God is SO faithful, and I do not say that lightly. He really, truly is. The good thing about being in your 50s and having been walking with Jesus for almost 29 years is you learn a lot, hopefully! (though I had a L-O-N-G way to go, and STILL do have a long way to go! 😂😂). But, you do, you learn that nothing but Jesus is permanent. Everything else is learning and moving and loving and living and dying and beginning, and ending and enduring and outlasting, and forgiving and making new ways, it’s a LOT of moving pieces. And the Lord is with us through it all. Making us able. Helping us do the right thing. To have His heart. To believe in and hope for the best, once more again. To be flexible. To give, because it’s right. To surrender. To take that first step or maybe make that first move. To get up and go again. To savor the good today, and shake off the dust from the bad yesterday. And if today is bad, you can shake it off, too, and tomorrow, walk in the new. Jesus has already gone ahead of You, and He has provision for you there! And He’s right here with you in the now, to help you in the going.
We don’t wait to be happy, (and yes, I agree, happiness and joy are different, but that’s for another post!) we choose the happy on the way and in the process, or else we will never be happy. Sometimes we forget this, and that’s ok, as long as we stick with Jesus and have a few Godly, Jesus loving people around us, to just remind us by how they live, that we get to choose. Happy is possible. On the way.
And all of that is to say today I thought about Nehemiah 8:10 “…the Joy of the Lord is your Strength”, and Y’all it’s no joke. I wanted to boil it down for you, but of course I couldn’t quite get there. (It’s SO BIG, Y’all!! 🤗) Trust me, this IS the short version! 😂 But, the full verse 10 is this —> “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: NEITHER BE YE SORRY; for the JOY of the Lord IS YOUR STRENGTH.”
Really you need verses 9-11 to really appreciate it…but His joy, is our STRENGTH…joy is that everlasting, enduring quality we are able to have through our confidence in Him, His character, His presence, His love for us, in spite of temporary conditions, (and everything on this side of Heaven is temporary).
He makes us able to choose joy, and that will give us great strength, like a fortress for us, that makes us untouchable, where it really counts, in our spirit.
To ‘be not sorry’, was the priests urging the people not to grieve so much that they wore grooves into their face, they had grieved, and that was good and necessary, but don’t stay there. Choose to celebrate, to eat the best, drink the sweet, send good things to those who weren’t established and therefore didn’t have the same wherewithal, because ‘this day is holy to the Lord.’
And so the people did. Because they understood they were God’s people and He loved them, and He had a Good way for them to live. And now that they knew this, (they had just learned how badly they had broken God’s laws their entire lives) they would now be learning how to live a NEW way, (well, new to them), walking with Him. And that was something to celebrate! Not grieve for the wrong they had done, so much so that they couldn’t enjoy the newness of life WITH Him.
We sometimes have to grieve, then we let it go. Then we celebrate. The life that’s still here. That’s new every day. All the time. A gift. And share. Share with those that aren’t established in this good news. The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH.
I think I’d like us to talk about the difference between happiness and joy in a future exploration! Percolating!
We really appreciate y’all coming by to visit! We always hope to have something entertaining, thought provoking, or uplifting for you here!
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” — Matthew 24:6-8 KJV
I recently wrote that nowadays the world seems on fire and I just can’t watch it burn. I believe in being informed. But, it’s also important not to be misinformed and it’s also important not to fall in the trap of getting emotionally worked up and either angry, fixated or hopeless. I mean that’s what the donkey and the elephant want. It’s what the ‘news’ media and social media want. But, it’s not what I want. It’s not what Jesus wants for us either.
I was raised to pay close attention to society, religion and politics. For many good reasons. however, that was long before the 24/7 instant news-tainment was a thing, much less a hand held device to keep it coming constantly, right?! I have to turn my phone face down at night or the flashing ‘urgent’ notifications wake us up at night! Lol.
I started pulling back from the news November 2018. But, at the turn of this year I felt the Lord encourage me to keep my eyes on Him, so that I don’t get distracted from what’s most important. For me, too much news crowds out what, for me, is most important to my assignment. (I believe we all have assignments, more on this another day!)
I stay informed. But, I keep it short. And I move on. The verse He put on my heart, I come back to over and over, it’s a commonly quoted verse on social media, because it’s bulletproof! — “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3. Says it all for me. And it’s so true!
I particularly like in the Matthew 24 verse above, that He tells us ‘See that ye be not troubled’. It means we have a choice in whether we get upset or not. By His grace we can relearn how to respond to the news. I have to try to not be shoved, mentally, into the quick reaction the media is hoping for, (and the political parties as well). I’m learning response is measured and I control it. Reaction is volatile and it controls me. That’s not going to work. It’s not what we are made for. Self control is my favorite fruit of the spirit. Now, I’ve come a long way in this regard, but of course, I still have far to go! It’s ok though! I’m learning and the Holy Spirit is a great teacher.
Here’s another fool proof verse for keeping our focus so that we are most effective at being salt and light wherever we are and whatever we do! — “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things.” — Philippians 4:8
For me, my goal is to not dull my shine, not waste my salt. Train my mind to respond, mentally to what I learn, pray and move on, not react and get emotionally worked up, which leads to (in my case) unhelpful attitudes, and words. It’s tricky. Because I do believe there’s a lot of evil in this world. And evil can cause a reaction for obvious reasons. But, in the darkness light shines the brightest! We have His light if He lives in our hearts, so I’m going to respond. In faith. And move on.
I’m learning. Like Robert Frost said ‘And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.’
This might be the start (or might not, we will see!) of a Tuesdays are for Thinking series!
I hope your day is filled with His peace and thoughts of virtuous, lovely and ‘good report’ things!
Batman and I decompress with music, I mean we just do!!
We decided ‘round here there will be Music Mondays!
As our introduction, we give you The Allman Brothers and ‘Soulshine’. 😍🥰😍
To me it speaks of letting the best in us, (which for me is Jesus! His LIGHT and His LOVE sparkling through us).
We have to fill our tanks up on the good days, right? Because we don’t always know when the darkness will hit, and we don’t want to be without the ability for our ‘soulshine’ to be able to help see the way to a brighter day!
Gonna share the lyrics here:
“Soulshine When you cant find the light That guides you through a cloudy day When the stars aint shinin bright And you feel like you’ve lost your way When the candle lights of home Burn so very far away Well you got to let your soul shine Just like my daddy used to say He used to say soul shine Its better than sunshine Its better than moonshine Damn sure better than rain Hey now people don’t mind We all get this way sometimes Got to let your soul shine Shine till the break of day I grew up thinkin that I had it made Gonna make it on my own But life can take the strongest man And make him feel so alone Now and then I feel a cold wind Blowin through my achin bones I think back to what my daddy said He said Boy, in the darkness before the dawn Let your soul shine Its better than sunshine Its better than moonshne Damn sure better than rain Yeah now people don’t mind We all get this way sometimes Got to let your soul shine Shine till the break of day Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this And when your world seems cold You got to let your spirit take control Let your soul shine Its better than sunshine Its better than moonshne Damn sure better than rain Lord, now people don’t mind We all get this way sometimes Got to let your soul shine Shine till the break of day Oh, its better than sunshine Its better than moonshne Damn sure better than rain Yeah now people dont mind We all get this way sometimes Got to let your soul shine Shine till the break of day”
Hope this post finds you doing fine! Not exactly sure how this will turn out! Just some thoughts that have been brewing. We shall see how it goes!
“4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” — Psalm37:4, KJV
Recently-ish, as I was driving to work, the thought came to me that the word ‘SURRENDER’ has a bad rap. We misunderstand it in the context of the need for it in our relationship with the Lord.
It is thought of in a negative sense, from a worldly point of view. Like losing, giving up, missing out, not being seen or heard.
But, The Holy Spirit was in the middle of teaching me a lesson. That Surrender in the Kingdom of God, leads to all kinds of GOOD things.
To surrender to God, means to yield to Him. To make ourselves available for Him, a vessel fit for His for use. Like a large, old time sailing ship, with the sails unfurled and ready to be filled with the wind to propel the ship towards its destination.
In April 2015 I was diagnosed was Diabetes. It was a tremendous shock. Early on, a verse that has been important to me as I navigate this was “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” —2 Corinthians 12:9.
It was never a verse I got excited about. Just being honest. But, over these years since, I have pondered and turned and thought about it in various applications, and am continuing to learn from it. One of the best parts is the fact that He is not looking for our strengths, or what we can do for Him, or what we can bring Him. In fact, our strengths, while a blessing and definitely a gift, can also be a place we tend to forget about Him. Because much like a child, ‘I do it my own self’ sort of mentality creeps in on us. We don’t even realize it.
But, when we know our weak spots, we are more likely to make room for Him, His Holy Spirit, His strength, His way of doing things!
Surrender isn’t giving up. It’s the humility of being yielded. Fully available for our Lord’s use. In other words, it’s a power move! It’s us making ourselves available for the strength and power of God to work in and through us, — “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” — Isaiah 40:29.
One of my (many) all time favorites, has blessed me over and over and over again, is listed above, Psalm 37:4, — “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”, and it’s a great illustration of this principle of surrender, of yieldedness — at work in our relationship with our Lord. To ‘delight’ in Him, as used there, means to be soft to Him, pliable to Him, and as we do this, we are then in a position to be entrusted with the most precious, and secret desires of our hearts, the too sensitive, too precious to even speak to another, because they are so unlikely in their exquisite goodness, thosedesiresofourhearts! It’s because in that instance, our hearts have begun to beat with His. And we are in agreement for His Ephesians 3:20 goodness in our lives!!
This Hawaiian Hibiscus pictured above is tender, fragile, and not strong at all. It is also brilliant! Gorgeous! And so pleasing to the eye!
If it was strong and sturdy and rigid…it would not be much of a flower! But, as it is, I can’t look at it without smiling and feeling joy! That is what it is here for! It is fulfilling its purpose!
If that sail boat above, wanted stronger, more sturdy and inflexible ‘sails’, it would not be effective at letting the wind fills its sails, and then going where the wind blows! It’s better to have yielded sails, able to be FILLED with the sea breeze!
Let the weak say “I am strong!”
Lord, here I am! Use me! I want to be yielded to You! Gladly will I boast in m weakness, as Paul said, for then You can be strong in me!
It’s good and Spring now! It took awhile but it’s really here now!
We picked up a couple of blueberry bushes and some more hibiscus (the yellow, some of them above).
Jerry got them planted this week and mulched. He is quite the gardener! Have I mentioned that I’m totally nuts about him? 😍
I don’t know if it’s the mood I’m in this year, or the age I’m getting to, but I LOVE flowers!! Flowers, flowers, flowers!
Spring is a season of transition, of hope, of promise of things to come, signs of life, renewal, newness of life, out with old, in with the new, cleaning up, clearing out.
It can be a lot. But, there’s also, a lot that it can be!
I love the holidays AND winter so much. It’s often hard for me to let go of winter and embrace the change and newness of Spring
But, I’m determined to not be that person stuck in the past. To value, appreciate and enjoy the past while fully rooted in the now, and reaching forward to the promise of the future!
Nature teaches us to embrace the cycle of life. It’s our example from the Lord for our good!
Like the flower above, the full goodness of what’s in store ahead does not yet appear, but we can trust our Good Father for the Ephesians 3:20 — “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” of life! If it’s not good yet, hold on, trust Him and SEE what He does!
We had a grand ole time on Easter Sunday with all the kids! The Dads hid the eggs and the Moms stuffed the eggs! Then we let loose the hordes and the kids found the eggs!!
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” — Genesis 8:22.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” — Isaiah 53:3
He’s still despised today. We still hide from Him. We turn our backs. We try to approach life intellectually, so as to show we are more sophisticated than the theology of Christ needing to die for us, to be pierced and crucified, to be buried and rise again, that we may have fellowship with Him and The Father forever through the Holy Spirit.
Paul said “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and the Greeks foolishness.’ — 1 Corinthians 1:23
I always look for Easter to speak to me, I seek for different angles to think about it and meditate on it, let it saturate me and become more real to me. I don’t ever want it to be stale to me.
This year it’s been without question Isaiah 53, and Mathew’s account in the Gospels.
I’d like us to think a little more about Judas this Easter. Because it’s important in these days when no one escapes unscathed by betrayal, and we grow in danger of ‘the love of many’ growing cold because of offense. Jesus was not immune to this. Every disciple fled. Every. John did come back. But in the Garden, they fled. They slept when He needed them to pray. They ran when He was taken. Cut and run. And He still loved them. He totally forgave them.
And Judas. Smh. Selling Him out. Really? Kissing Him as the sign that He was the One they should take. So bitterly ugly. So painful. Jesus knew it was coming. And that it was coming through His friend, and that His friend had really chosen not to be His friend.
When I was reading Matthew 26 tonight, I realized Judas was disgusted and JEALOUS. How sad. Tragic really. He had a front row seat to the greatest show on earth, and Judas’ response is ‘Who does he think he is?’ And Judas makes the decision right then and there, ‘What will you give me if I give him to you?’. It seems to me to be completely ego and pride fueled jealousy. I always thought of Judas as a thief and motivated by greed, but tonight it hit me differently.
Because we all get hurt by jealousy. It’s sad really. No one is immune. And Jesus feels that pain with us.
I’m going to put the part that hit me here for you to pick up on it, see if it speaks to you like it did me.
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 THERE CAME TO UNTO HIM A WOMAN HAVING AN ALABASTER BOX OF VERY PRECIOUS OINTMENT, AND POURED IT ON HIS HEAD, as he sat at meat.
8 BUT WHEN HIS DISCIPLES SAW IT, THEY HAD INDIGNATION, SAYING, TO WHAT PURPOSE IS THIS WASTE?
9 FOR THIS OINTMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR MUCH, AND GIVEN TO THE POOR.
10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, WHY TROUBLE YE THE WOMAN? FOR SHE HATH WROUGHT A GOOD WORK UPON ME.
11 FOR YE HAVE THE POOR ALWAYS WITH YOU; BUT ME YE HAVE NOT ALWAYS.
12 FOR in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, SHE DID IT FOR MY BURIAL.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
14 THEN ONE OF THE TWELVE, CALLED JUDAS ISCARIOT, WENT UNTO THE CHIEF PRIESTS,
15 AND SAID UNTO THEM, ‘WHAT WILL YE GIVE ME, AND I WILL DELIVER HIM UNTO YOU? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” — Matthew 26:7-15
See how through the bountiful, luxurious worship by that woman, of Jesus, her spirit responds to to the Holy Spirit’s prompting? Holy Spirit inspired worship bypasses our mind and what we know, and goes straight to our spirit, where we know something, and we might not can explain it, but WE KNOW IT. And when we act on it, it’s beautiful, and powerful and pleasing to the Lord, and along with that may appear senseless to others, but do it anyway!
There will likely be a Judas around to be jealous and hate it blindly, not even understanding what’s motivating them. Shake it off. Bring Him your alabaster box!
We have two examples in Matthew 26, we can worship the Lord, with abandon, without reserve, in a very insensible fashion, we can choose to PARTICIPATE in the worthy worship of The King of our heart!
Or we can be the observer, cynical, unfulfilled, empty, and because we are empty, we are jealous and disgusted and we refuse to participate. It will make us destructive. Destroying what other people build. Judas. It’s the difference between participating and observing.
In the Church today, in the Body of Christ, choose to be the Woman with the Alabaster Box!
May His GIFT that sets us free be more real to you than ever before this Resurrection Weekend.
62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.