So many feelings have run through us over the tragedy at Notre Dame. Watching it blaze, knowing what the building stood for over the centuries. The history that took place in that building. The love the people of Paris, France and around the world people had for this building. The art it contained. Such a loss, and yet, now as the dust is settling, we are amazed at what was not lost. The millions of people who visit this place daily were not there. The most sacred artifacts were saved. A lot of the artwork was saved. Some of the beautiful stained glass windows as in the beautiful rose window was saved. The fireman did an amazing job saving as much of the structure as they did from the over 200 foot high flames that rose about this structure with an intense heat that I could never imagine.
The unity of the people on the streets as they sang hymns in loving memory of what it used to be but I think the comment I heard says a lot about this tragedy and the fact it is Holy week. As Christ died this week, he arose to bring new life. This building will again rise to bring new life. My hope is that the love and passion felt in the streets as it seemed the building would die, would remain and go forward in the Godly love that is to come out of any building of worship of our Father. However, Acts 7:48 reminds us that ‘The Most high does not live in houses made by man.’ We must never worship the building or anything in the building. And we must also remember that we who follow Christ have Christ living in us and we together are the church. We go to worship in a specified building to honor him for what he did for us on the cross. This is Holy week and that must be our focus, whether we are a fine church or a tent meeting, needs to be Christ and what He did for us.
I am enclosing pictures of my church as it is nearly 200 years old and has many beautiful stained glass windows. It would be tragic for us if we lost it but we know we would continue onward. In 1955 a tornado took off the tall spire of this church and it was not replaced when repairs were done.
Below are the 3 large windows that I thought you might enjoy. All of the windows in the sanctuary and parlor are beautiful stain glass that reflect color all through the room when the sun is shining.
As we focus on the meaning of this week, Holy Week, let us remember to share the love God shared so richly with us. You never know what tragedy someone may be going through in their own life so always remember to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.
For Christians this is a very reflective week. Today is the remembered day of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem prior to the celebration of Passover. The city was busting at the seams with people. There were zealot groups with their own agenda; Roman soldiers on high alert to anything strange; Jewish leaders on the ready to be rid of Jesus who could disrupt their way of life and then others that were just trying to get through the city and the festival unscathed.
John 12:13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King of Israel!”
As Christians we believe Jesus is the son of God, part of the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. According to a recent conversation with someone of the Jewish faith, they are still looking for their Messiah to take care of just Israel, not Israel and the rest of world. They know they were originally the chosen people, the beginning people but are not quite ready to be part of the rest of the world. Interesting. From the studies I have done, the Jewish nation was looking for a political leader to rid them of the Roman oppression, a leader that they could see and touch…like the other nations had, a king. Although they knew God was real they could not get over the hurdle of having a leader they could not see.
Are we any different today? I don’t think so. Some find it hard to believe that Jesus was anything but a prophet. In today’s culture I am afraid we are too caught up in being “us” than believing in the true meaning concerning ‘good and evil’. My challenge for anyone interested in what this week is about, to really understand the significance of today, Thursday, Friday and then Sunday. It is a strong emotional roller coaster of love, caring, encouragement and acceptance.
John 15:13 says – “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus counts us all as his friends for those who accept him. He died on the cross for us friends to keep us safe from the second death. The second death is the final judgement death from God at the end of time. But to believe any of this you first need to accept the reality of Jesus as the Christ, the son of God.
I wish you all a blessed holy week. May you feel his presence in all that you do. And as you go about your week, remember as always to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love.
Spring is coming…maybe. It keeps hinting at it but I have a feeling we will miss spring and go straight to summer by mid May, that’s only a few weeks away. Regardless, after this harsh winter, some new something needs to happen. Oh, yea, the new refrigerator doesn’t count because that was not in the plan. Death of an appliance is NEVER in the plan.
Wallpaper removal is in the plan but down the list. Living room is first. And since living room is first, I am torn about the color. I am wanting to bring out the color of the rose that is in the tapestry hanging on the wall.
Linda Hill has made a wonderful offbeat A to Z challenge and it is time for J. Since I am not sure if this is one of her words I will check back and add to the post later if so. Otherwise I am just rebelling on a cool seldom used word.
So I took the snap shot of the tapestry and off the the paint store I go. I came up with one I thought would be perfect and then on purpose chose a lighter one for comparison. Those didn’t work. The one I thought would be perfect is too dark and the lighter one has too much pink. So back to the store we go. At lease I have these two samples to compare with, so back at the store I placed all possible candidates in a juxtaposition on the counter to compare with my phone. But florescent lighting is horrible to judge by, so we chose two more samples and to home we go to compare with house lighting.
The paint expert promised that were different but I couldn’t tell. Maybe it will look better outside. But its raining. So under the cover of the front door and thundering over head, we check again. Still not difference except color seems to be washed totally out.
Okay, so lets go over to the tapestry and see how it compares there so we juxtaposition samples and tapestry and I think we finally can see a difference.
Even though the camera does not show justice to the colors, on the tapestry the contrast shows what I needed. Never in a thousand years would I have even thought to paint my living room pink. But here we are. Pink blending into a very white green for the dining room which will then go into a soft yellow for the sun room. Hopefully by summer I will have these three rooms done. I can stand at the front door and take a picture showing all three rooms. We will see how it goes.
As you plan you spring cleaning and renovating tasks, remember to be kind to those you come in contact with. I found a new kindness drawing that I really like so I will be sharing it for a bit. Kind of says it all, be kind, be beautiful. Lets all be beautiful.
What an odd title for Norm’sThursdays Door prompt. But for me it is a beginning as I have been recuperating from foot surgery since last August, first one foot then the other. Now after 6 weeks of therapy, I am no longer walking like a penguin and can walk further than from the couch to the bed. With the winter being what is was in the midwest, only to be followed by the horrific flooding, there are only two shots but I thought they were really interesting. I will get out this weekend to see what beauties I can find. There are a few quite old structures for the area so it is promising. In the mean time, enjoy the door of times gone by or time anew and share you doors with us.
And as always I remind everyone to think about being kind. It is not a hard task but one we often forget in the business of our lives. Kindness reflect your inner beauty so I encourage you always to be kind.
Man has been forever curious about angels. Are they real or just some made up hope of some much needed help and Godly intervention during fearful times. I think if I were to see one face to face, I would behave much the same way as the earlier peoples of the bible who saw them and fell flat on their face in fear. But I do very much believe in angels and while I have probably been assisted on more than one occasion by angels not realizing it, there is the one specific time where I have no doubt of them coming to my aid. But that is not what this post is about. I am in research mode. In doing the research for book 2 of my Home of Love series, I am delving into the angels described during the visions of John and Ezekiel, as in the living creatures. And of course as with any extensive research, you get taken on many rabbit hole chases of similar information but not necessarily what you are needing. I do love the story of Elisha in II Kings where God opens the eyes of the servants to ease their fear of the army on the hill that was coming after them. And as God open their eyes to see God’s army of angels surrounding them he also blinded the eyes of army on the hill so that they could not attack. It ties in with a picture on the bulletin board at church to encourage people that they are never left alone.
The is the usual mental picture of angels when we think of them as in human type form with wings assisting children or people to safety or the glorious views of angles we see depicted during the Christmas holidays.
The angels, ie living creatures, spoken about in Revelation and Ezekiel are more on the scary side because we do not understand the imagery depicted. So lets back up a bit and try to get some understand that may help us wrap our heads around these creatures. Sometimes when we think of angels, our mind also goes to the cute little cherub like being at Valentines day, naked baby floating around, all cute and cuddly. But cherubim are actual creatures in scripture. Cherub (single) or cherubim (plural) are mentioned in Genesis and Ezekiel. In Genesis they are somewhat fearful creatures with flaming swords banishing Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden because of sin; far from the Valentine Day or greeting card image. Cherubim were also placed on top of the Ark guarding it and statues of cherubim were placed in the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is the most sacred high holy place in the Jewish temple. Inheaven, cherubim guard God’s Holy domain and presence from any sin or corruption. They are also known as throne angels. Another creature listed along these lines are the seraphim. Cherubim are different than Seraphim as seraphim seem to be the ones constantly flying above the throne calling “Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty, who was and is and is to come” while Cherubim are guards.
In Ezekiel there seems to be an additional type of angel or living creature, that is in the form of man with four face and four wings, and there are four of them. Through my study, it seems that the living creatures have some of the features in common with cherubim and seraphim. The four faces represents all of creation with one face being of a man, one face being of a lion, one face being an ox and one face being an eagle. The man face represents the intelligence of man and Christ as the perfect man. The lion represents the creation of all wild beasts and shows the strength of Christ as the Lion of Judah. The ox represents all domesticated animals and there service, also depicting Christ as the servant. The eagle represents all flying creatures of creation and represents divinity as Christ is the divine son of God.
These creatures are also depicted through the four gospels of the new testament. Matthew(Lion) presents Christ as the lion of Judah, Mark(Ox) presents Christ as the servant, Luke(Man)Presents Christ as the perfect human, and John(Eagle) represents Christ as the divine son of God.
But in Revelation the living creatures look a little different in that again there seems to be four of them but each being has only one face. They still represent that same meaning as those in Ezekiel, Man, Lion, Ox and Eagle. Another difference in John’s, if taken on the surface, can be like something Hollywood would create, as the creatures are covered in eyes. But if you dig into that meaning you understand is the eyes represent “seeing” as in understanding the past, present and future, not so much as visual. While this is not really a place for humor but this reminds me of the idea of mom’s having eyes in the back of their heads. We generally had a pretty good idea of what our knot-head kids were doing. Another difference between Ezekiel’s vision and John’s vision is the wings. Ezekiel saw 4 wings where John saw 6. John did describe what the wings did which I thought were interesting. Two covered the face as the beings are constantly in the presence of God and His brilliance and God is always refereed to as bright lights; even Moses came back from Sinai with a brilliance to his face from the reflection of God’s light. Another set of wings covered the feet as the feet were always considered unclean. Remember the importance of Jesus cleaning the disciples feet. And the 2 wings were used to fly.
As a whole, angels, cherubim, seraphim, living creatures are all created to serve in some fashion. They serve God and do His request for the good of creation, all of creation. Hebrews 1:14 tells us “Are they not all ministering sprints sent out to serve…”
While I have given you a lot of information that I have read, understand I am no pastor or biblical scholar. This is just what I have gleaned from my research. If you disagree with me, then I challenge you to research this as well and come to your own understandings and conclusions. I would love earnest discussion on this subject.
And remember my motto for everything you do. Even on you worse day you can still be kind. So I ask you to remember others are hurting just as much as you so spread kindness as you go and I promise it will make you both feel better.
The river is still rising. Currently at 20.4 feet expected to crest at well over 21 feet. Depending on where you are along this section of the Mississippi, it leaves it banks anywhere from 16′ to 18′. Therein lies the problem when you are over 20′ of flood stage.
The biggest concern now is tomorrow – rain storm possible with flash flooding – really. There is no where for the flash flood to go, it will just add to the flood already in progress. Lets put this into scientific facts for you. The Mississippi’s current water flow on an average(no flood) day is 2 million cubic feet per second…per second! Okay, lets try to bring that better into perspective. There are 7.489 gallons per cubic foot which weigh 62.4 lbs. A 48′ long semi truck trailer holds 3,600 cubic feet. To boil it all down – its a lot of water. Some of the smaller communities along the river in this area that rely on their wells for water can not longer use their wells due to the flooding. So they basically have no water. I am reminded of a phrase – Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
I am still amazed that currently, the trains are still running but I hear that is going to change soon if the water keeps rising. And it looks like it probably will.
I went onto the walkway of the bridge to get these shots. Yes – I walked, yea me. For those who are new to my postings, I am recovering from foot surgery.
Below is the one shot I really wanted to get. I just have my phone camera so I can’t do long distances but that concrete building beyond the ball field is the back of a bandstand and there are outdoor chairs bolted down to a concrete pad to watch the band with a dance pad between the chairs and the band stand. The chairs are totally under water.
So always be aware of what water can do. Even the tiniest leak can be a real headache. But I learned when young and living in Florida that water can be a beast to reckon with. Please keep these communities along this river in your prayers. This is a LONG river and the further south it goes the wider it gets. They are telling us this amount of flood stage will be with us for awhile.
And I close with good thoughts of sharing kindness, even when life gets tough. There is always room for sharing God’s light in kindness. It may be the one spark of love that person may see that day.
My devotional reading this morning was about thankfulness. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you inner mind becomes dark and disgruntled. When you approach God with thanksgiving, the light of His presence surrounds you. Lets have some examples from my life –
The harshness of this past winter only to be reminded of the ever resilient fabulous bulbs of spring.
The poor commitment of the “handy man” that showed up to get the old curtains down but has yet to show up to put up the new rods. But yet the light shining through the windows has been beautiful and helped my violet to burst forth in fabulous white and purple blooms.
The most inconvenient idea of being without a refrigerator for 10 days, yet I can still enjoy a fabulous cup of hot tea. And last but not least…
The ability of being able to enjoy fabulous fruits all year long from those warm climate zones and the trucking industry getting them to the stores for us to enjoy.
The inconvenient challenges of life can drag us down or we can give thanks to God that we have an ability to view those challenges through His eyes and find that silver lining – there is always one however small it may be.
So all the more reason to understand you inconvenience and be thankful of the light they can shed on us and bringing forth kindness to others who are also experiencing inconveniences themselves. Remember to always be kind.
Linda G Hill’s challenge today for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” And I think if we really look around we can find more fab than non-fab. You just need to correct frame of mind. So I challenge you to review and give thanks for all the fabulous things you have in life. You could probably amaze yourself in seeing your gifts.
Note to self…If you are going to participate in providing a word for Linda G Hill’s Not so Legitimate A-Z Challenge, make sure it is a calm word…not a catastrophic word. Yes I am a day late in posting my “C” word, one that I donated to the challenge but that is because my day was a day of mild catastrophe. A mild catastrophe is a situation that is more inconvenient than it is disastrous.
I was awakened at 4:00 a.m. to an odd sound. What is that? Mimi is sound asleep and for once not snoring so its not her. I cleared the cobb webs from my brain and listen closer. There it was again…drat. The field mice are back. I get up to bang on the wall hoping to scare them away, albeit it only temporarily, but maybe I could pick up a few more Zs. It worked so I got back to sleep only to be rudely awaken by the alarm clock. Drat, therapy before going to work…last week…last week.
I trudge to the bathroom and flip on the light and in a matter of a split second, all hell broke loose. The mouse had made it inside, in my bathroom, the light and seeing me scared him into a screaming frenzy, that set off Mimi who was not in full bark chase mode, I am standing in the doorway and fully in the way of the chase and run, ready to scream myself. I am sure if you were a fly on the wall you would have found it a most humorous situation. The mouse scampered behind the cabinet before Mimi caught it and somehow in the catastrophe the glass(plastic, thank goodness) holding my toothbrush and tooth paste had hit the floor and got stepped on with a long squirt of toothpaste shot across the bathroom floor. Beat a cup of coffee any day in waking me up.
Exterminator was called and he came today and found three separate entrance holes beside the house and put out bait. Sorry folks but my rule is you live outside you stay outside or else…The only time mice are cute are in fairy tales and cartoon and I question that logic even then.
And yes as much as I ask us all to be kind, sorry, with vermin(or snakes), it hard for me to be there. So, I ask you to try to be kind in all circumstances and if the mice(and snakes) stay out, then I will be kind in leaving them be. But with people and dogs, I push for kindness. May you have a blessed day.
The monthly prompt from Linda on coloring gives those of us who enjoy the adult coloring books, calender’s, desk blobs, etc. to show off how much fun we had. Its not about the beauty and perfection of your drawing, however some are quite strikingly as Linda’s dragon, but its about the fun. I do my doodling/coloring at night when I have trouble sleeping because my brain is still going 900 miles an hour…and I am retired…semi-retired. Compared to what I used to do, answering the phones 3 days a week at the church is a major cake walk. However, being ADD, well…y’all know how that can be.
I too can be a bit of a rebel for reason that fit only my purposes. So I come along side illegally as well to play when I can. You may to have good use of dictionary I fear as this goes on, at least for some of us. Sometimes it drives me bonkers as I can’t think of anything to say, yet I still want to play. You know there are many forms of bonkers other than how things are recently driving me. There is the TV series…
Then there is candy…., don’t know that I have ever seen it.
And don’t let us forget the famous scientist….
But for me, bonkers is just out of control crazy with too many things happening at one time and I get in bonker overload.
But even if you find yourself in overloaded bonkers, there is always time to stop for a second and be kind. That slow down may be the very thing to get you out of bonker overload. So, always have kindness at the front of anything you may do. It could change your entire perspective.