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Holy Week: The Sabbath

March 31st, 2012 by stephanie

If you are just joining us today, be sure you read yesterday’s post in order to understand what we’ve been up to this weekend. For the rest of you, welcome back!

Today, Saturday, would have been the Sabbath for Jesus. It started sundown Friday evening and would go through sundown Saturday for the Jews. Have you ever seen Fiddler on the Roof? If so, there’s a scene in there that shows the families rushing home to prepare for Sabbath. That’s pretty much what Jesus did on Friday. He hurried to get to Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. And He needed to get there by sunset!

The next day was spent completely resting. And so, we don’t find much in the Scriptures that tell us about what He did that day.

With that, it’s interesting to note, this was the last day Jesus would have to really, really rest. But something tells me He spent the entire day teaching…and probably eating. 🙂

Thot for today: Jesus rested on the Sabbath…do you?

Join us tomorrow, as we follow in His steps…
Stephanie

Holy Week: The final days of Jesus.

March 30th, 2012 by stephanie

It might be new to you, but, Holy Week simply follows the last 7 days that Jesus walked on the earth. Holy Week is not “holy” in and of itself.
But church folk over the ages dedicated this time to follow the final week of Christ. Where He went. What He did. You get the idea. Join us here each day. If you had only 7 days left on earth, who would you spend them with? What would you do? Where would YOU go. Here’s what our Lord did…

DAY 1 FRIDAY: For Jesus and His disciples it was time to make the trek toward Jerusalem to celebrate Passover Feast week. Remember: Jesus and his disciples were Jewish. And, on this particular night (Fri.), he would celebrate one last Sabbath (Sabbath begins sundown Friday and goes through sunset Saturday for the Jews).

Trivia: Jewish law only allows folks to do a few things on the Sabbath. One of the rules is how far a person can walk! According to the Mitzvah, you can’t walk a straight line more than .598 miles (3161.74 ft.) in any direction outside your city limits. Even today, Orthodox Jews don’t drive on Sabbath. They walk to service!

Right before this point, Jesus had been spending His time about 20 miles outside Jerusalem and was now working His way toward that great city. Due to the Sabbath rules, He needed to get to where He was going by sunset–before Sabbath began. His destination for this night? Bethany.

With the average adult walking pace at about 3-4 mph, that day’s journey from Jericho to Bethany (about 12 miles) would realistically take about 5-6 hours. So basically, Jesus spent most of this Friday likely traveling not only to be with His friends but to keep his appointment with destiny.

Bethany was only about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem and was the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Yes, the very Lazarus He had just raised from the Dead earlier that same week (see John 11). Talk about a foreshadowing! The town was also dangerously close to Jerusalem and those that wanted him dead. But Jesus knew what he was doing.

Martha had a big dinner in His honor that Sabbath. Mary interrupted the evening, broke a bottle of precious ointment, showered Jesus with tears of affection and anointed His feet with her hair. This act, too, foreshadowed his coming burial. Why? Because back then you only anointed the feet of a corpse! You anointed the head of a live person. Pretty amazing stuff.

There’s lots more to come. C U tomorrow.

Stephanie
Read Today! John 12:1-11

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

March 26th, 2012 by stephanie

I love flowers. I love to see them on the roadside. I love when they pop up in my yard. I love receiving them! Nothing makes me smile like an assortment of fresh flowers on a table in my home.
Spring is here! But it has abnormally felt that way since January for those of us below the Mason Dixon line this year. Normally, spring comes and only lasts about two months for us – March through May. During that short time, it gives us Easter, Passover, May Day and Mother’s Day.

If you live in, or travel to, any of our southern states here in the U.S., you will be familiar with the beautiful Dogwoods. If you aren’t familiar with the bloom this tree produces, it’s quite fascinating. Have you heard of the Legend of the Dogwood? As the story goes, Jesus was crucified on a cross made of it’s wood. The flowers are a memorial to His death. If you have ever seen one of these blooms you’ll notice that they have four petals that are cross-shaped (representing the four corners of the cross). Each petal has a rusty red indentation that looks like the imprint of a nail. Not only that, the red stamens in the center of the flower represent Jesus’ crown of thorns and the clustered red fruit represents his blood.Now there’s something to ponder on this lovely spring day.
Next time you see a Dogwood in bloom take a moment to check it out!
Just my thoughts.
S.

New Moon, Full Moon…what’s the difference?

March 20th, 2012 by stephanie

I was looking at my calendar in preparation for the day’s schedule and noticed I had plugged in “New Moon”. I have cousins who are in the medical and fire fighting professions, so I had long heard stories about incidences that occur on a full moon. But the new moon threw me a bit. So, I guess I noted it in hopes of seeing if there was a similar lunar affect during that time. Not being a lunar expert, I did my usual research. Here’s what I learned:

The earth spins counterclockwise and rotates along with the other planets. The moon spins counterclockwise too and rotates as well. When the earth and moon hit certain parts of their cycle, you can see the difference. This is what we call “phases” of the Moon. Tip: the moon doesn’t give off light, it just reflects the light of the Sun.

FULL MOON
This is when the earth, moon, and sun are lined up in a row. The Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. So, the moon is on the opposite side of us. The only part of the moon that we see then is the part that is facing us. It’s the part receiving light from the sun and reflecting it back to us.

NEW MOON
This is when the moon is between the earth and sun. The three are lined up again. This time, the Sun is shining from behind the moon as we look at it.

Then, I had an idea. I found it interesting that I couldn’t find the words “full moon” in the Bible. It also surprised me that the word “moon” doesn’t even show up until you hit the New Testament. Hmmmmm. You will however, find “new moon”. But, it’s only mentioned once and it’s in the book of Colossians.
Col. 2:16 ¶ Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day.
That little passage led me to even more research, but we don’t have time for that today. If anything, I hope you feel a bit smarter on the subject as we enter into a New Moon this week.

Just my thoughts. AND…Happy 1st Day of Spring!
S.

St. Patrick was Not a Leprechaun? Who Knew!

March 12th, 2012 by stephanie

Contrary to popular belief…Saint Patrick was not a Leprechaun who danced in clover. He was an actual son of wealthy British parents that lived over 1600 years ago. Here’s the scoop.

When Patrick was only 16, some Irish raiders who attacked his family’s estate took him prisoner. The bandits drug the lad to the Island of Ireland where he spent his captivity working as a shepherd. It was during this frightening time of isolation that he apparently discovered Christ and developed a strong faith. Legend has it that he began to have dreams of winning the Irish to Christianity.

After more than six years being held captive, Patrick made a run for it – and escaped! Believe it or not, there are actual writings of his that survived and exist to this day. He wrote of a voice, that he believed was God’s. It spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. And so he high tailed it out of there.

Patrick traveled nearly 200 miles on foot from County Mayo to the Irish coast. Once he arrived back in Britain, he recorded a second vision. This time an angel appeared to him in a dream. This immortal being told him to return to Ireland from where he had just escaped, and to go there this time as a missionary! Hard to imagine it, but he did just. Yet not right away.

Patrick first threw himself into studying his new faith. Fifteen years later, he became an ordained priest and was shipped off to Ireland. His mission? To encourage and serve Christians already living there and to convert the Irish.

And there you have it. When you hit that board meeting, coffee break, or water cooler today, hopefully you’ll have something new to share. Perhaps your listeners will be “green” with envy. Who knows. 🙂

Just my thoughts,

S.

Esther’s Holiday. Know what it is?

March 5th, 2012 by stephanie

Are you familiar with the story about Queen Esther? It goes like this: There was this king in ancient Iran who was angry with his Queen. Apparently, she didn’t show up in front of the drunken party he was throwing when he called her to the banquet hall. So, the royal advisors suggested he throw her off the throne for her disobedience. Which he did. She’d had the nerve to tell the king “no”, and, hey, other women might hear about it and follow suit with the men in their lives. Right? It had indeed been a humiliating event for the King to say the least. So, off she went.

In time, the King grew very sad, and his personal staff grew worried. It was time to find a new lady for the lonely monarch. So, they came up with a plan. It was decided that a nationwide beauty pageant-type-search would be put underway. And it was so. In a short amount of time, all of the lovely virgins from regions around were brought to the harem and prepared for their “audition”. Which translates as: you get one night with the king. Get the picture?

When it was all said and done, it was one exceptional creature that finally won the King’s heart. Her name was Esther. But there was a secret situation. Unfortunately for our new heroine, she was Jewish. Now, that’s not a problem in itself, except that a particularly powerful person, who had the King’s ear at that time, hated members of the Jewish race and he wanted to spread that hate. It wasn’t looking good for Esther or her people. It wasn’t long before this evil man, Haman, figured out a way to get rid of “those Jews”. But the plot was foiled, and the Hebrew people were, in the end, saved. And they all lived happily ever after. Hooray! In the end, it was the bravery of our lovely new Queen Esther who put her life on the line when it came down to the wire.

In case you didn’t know, this very story is remembered and celebrated as a holiday to this day by the Jewish people. It’s called Purim and it happens this week!

There will be food and festivities for two days. And well, as you may know, if it has anything to do with food…I am so there.

Just my thoughts.

Stephanie

PS: They did a great movie on this story. It’s called One Night with the King.

Check it out!

Lent: Howz that workin’ for ya?

March 1st, 2012 by stephanie

Ok. We’re a week into it. How ya’ doin’? I’ve heard folks who’ve been giving up sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, and more. So what did you give up for Lent? I learned of one particular gal who is taking a very “outside the box” approach on the matter. Here’s the scoop…

Apparently one woman out there is rethinking Lent, and I have to tell you, I love her take on the topic. The email read: “I just decided for Lent I was going to write a hand written note to people in my life for the next 40 days. I prayed that God would show me who needed their spirits lifted and then I got your email [about that person who needed encouragement]. How wonderful! I will write him today. Please let me know if you know anyone else that needs lifting up.”

Wow. I have to tell you, that was new to me. Had never heard or seen anything like it. And, I will most likely put it on my to-do list, or I should say, my “to give up” list for next year.

Just my thoughts. Yours?
S.

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