Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Joy at Easter


Easter is a time of joy.

Of course it is! It’s the day of “Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” We sang at Sunrise service (even though it was a rainy day and we couldn’t see the sun), and we went to church and sang joyfully there.

religious embossed wall

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But in addition to its spiritual meaning, Easter has a social meaning, too. It is a family day. In my family, when I was growing up in central California, USA, it always was a day my sister and I got to wear pretty new dresses with shiny new shoes. We had an Easter egg hunt. We gathered with relatives for a sumptuous dinner of ham with pineapple and scalloped potatoes with cheese, lots of different vegetables, and a variety of home-made desserts. Aunt Angie’s Easter pie with a hard-boiled egg hidden in the enter of it was always part of the offerings. We played with our cousins. It was a day to look forward to and a day to remember.

silver spoon and forks beside vegetables

In my world today, the pretty new dresses are not a part of the celebration. Wool pants and a cozy sweatshirt was the way to block out the Montana cold. The shiny new shoes gave way to boots to keep my feet dry. No Easter egg hunt in pouring down rain!

red and gray rain boots near pink umbrella

But the part that hasn’t changed is the family gathering. It may not have been aunts and uncles and cousins. We didn’t have Aunt Angie’s Easter pie. But we had my granddaughter, Hope, and her husband Drew, and their almost two-year-old, my great-grandson, Xander. They joined us at church and stayed for the church ham dinner potluck afterward. What a joy! Look at how Xander is growing!

Hope Xander Drew

And we had our grandson, Chris, with us. If you have been following my blog, you met Chris earlier when he came from Switerland late last year and decided to go unshaven for awhile and be a “Montana Mountain Man.”

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Well, look at him now! He’s been at the Anaconda Job Corps since last February and is studying to be a heavy equipment mechanic. He’s taken off 30 pounds (with exercise and careful food intake) since he arrived in the USA last Thanksgiving. He’s feeling fit – and looking happy. What a wonderful Easter gift it was to have him with us this weekend!

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Easter IS a time of JOY. It looks different at different times of our lives, but with God and family as the focus, it always is a time to thank Jesus for His wonderful gift of love. It’s a time to shout “Hosannah! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!”

Happy Easter!
How did you spend your day?

 

Sing to the Lord


purple petaled flowers centerpiece

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Easter morning’s here

It is a great time to sing

Let your voices ring!

Happy Easter!

Wisdom Lives On


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Maya Angelou
Was our Poet Laureate
Her wisdom lives on

Today’s Good Friday
A day to remember Christ
Gave more than His best

He gave us His all
That we’d have Eternity
There’s no greater gift

Live in His wisdom
Accept His wonderful grace
Now we know better

Resurrection Doublet


girl holding white rabbit during daytime

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Doublet is
A couplet form created by Adelaide Crapsey
The title is incorporated into the poem, effectively creating a 3-line verse.
The title is not rhymed, nor does it need to be any particular length.
The couplet is written with 10 syllables per line or less.
Rhyme scheme: aa

 

Easter Resurrection is

Coming soon enough

Focus from rabbits and eggs is tough

 

My Parent’s Fault


I have many faults

But, they’re all my parents’ fault

They’re so visible

My mom was Irish

With some Scots and English, too

Opinions flourished

Dad was Italian

Cried at the drop of a hat

Sentimental Love

So on St. Pat’s Day

I can blame both my parents

For everything wrong

I seldom hold back

My feelings are no secret

Worn on my socks, too!

To Give or to Give Up?


Today is Ash Wednesday.
Many Christians around the world are wondering today,
“What should I give up for Lent?”

What to Give Up?

Once you decide, you ask yourself if this is like a New Year’s resolution. Will I be able to keep my commitment? Can I keep the spark alive for 40 days? Or will I give up?

monochrome photo of person holding sparkler

Photo by Sumit Rai on Pexels.com

 

Forty days is a long time! Can I give up coffee or carbs? Dessert or just donuts? How about carrots or cabbage, broccoli or brussels sprouts?

assorted vegetable lot

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

 

What do you obsess about?

A promise to give up something for Lent
needs to be a promise to rid ourselves
of something that we obsess about.

We need to cleanse our bodies and souls of something that distracts us
from focusing on the meaning of this season
in preparation for the sacrifice of the “Bread of Life”
who gave His body for our salvation.


If spiritual discipline is what fasting is supposed to be about,
does giving up something you can do without
really do the trick?

 

photography of pink doughnut

Photo by Jonathan Miksanek on Pexels.com

 

Looking at Lent through the eyes of Marjorie J. Thompson,
who wrote the book “Soul Feast,”
I began to understand
the concept of fasting a little better.
She wrote, “… the discipline of fasting…
has to do with the critical dynamic
of accepting those limits that are life-restoring.”
She went on to caution us,
“Do not underestimate what God can
accomplish in you through the consistent offering
of such a discipline.”

The discipline is that of “self-emptying.”

What is Self-Emptying?

Self-emptying is “giving up something”  –
but it doesn’t have to be food!
Fasting from a particular food we crave
is NOT the ONLY way to acknowledge the onset of Lent.

Let’s decide to “self-empty” of something.

The word Lent was derived from a Saxon word meaning “spring.” In the early church, Lent was viewed as a spritual spring, a time of light and joy in the renewal of the soul’s life. James Earl Massey wrote, “Fasting is not a renunciation of life; it is a means by which new life is released within us.”

What can we give up in order to release new life in us?

More Than Food!

Fasting is about more than food. It is about hungering for the things that matter most. It is about abstaining from those activities that pull us away from what we know we OUGHT to be doing.

  • What about fasting from constantly checking your cell phone?
  • What about fasting from daily absorption in the “breaking news” – the TV?
  • What about giving up the tendency to let our minds wander when in fact we want to be meditating and entering into prayful communion with God?
  • How about a fast from negativity or criticism?Those are some of the things we can “give up” without giving up the intent of Lent.


To Give or to Give Up?

But what about GIVING instead (or in addition to) giving up? What might I GIVE to honor God during this season of Lent?

A couple of years ago, I read in a Guideposts Magazine about a woman who had spent the 40 days of Lent in what I thought was a very unique way. She created a list of 40 people who made a difference in her life. These people who positively influenced her were from every walk of life – family, work, church, childhood friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. Once she generated her list, she wrote a letter a day. In her notes, she told each of them how important they were in her life, how much she appreciated them, how grateful she was for what they meant to her.

I read that and thought, “I can do that!
I can think of 40 people who deserve a thank you
from me for what they have done in my life.”

arts and crafts cardboard close up design

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My trouble was, however, limiting the list to just 40. When you stop and think about it, I bet you can easily name 40 or more who have touched your life in a meaningful way. I had to make some of the names “couples.” Then, I was able to begin my 40 days of letter writing. It was a wonderful act of “giving” – and filled the time I might have been eating that food I crave!

Yes, you can give – and give up – at the same time.

What will you do to honor this season,
to create a time of “interior spring cleaning” 
that leads to God in the core of your being
while making your life more nourishing for others?

Think about it…
and tell me what you come up with
in the comments below,
will you?

Happy Birthday Abe!


Nary a word

Did I hear

Of the President

I hold so dear

 

Next weekend will be

His birthday, I see

But today is the real

Day, don’t you see?

 

So Happy Birthday to Abe

To Lincoln take a bow

And honor his memory

Celebrate his life now!

 

In your home

Honor all, love dearly,

Let agape love reign

And share His message clearly.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.”

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