Mixed Emotions, Ashes and Dust

This is a post of many mixed emotions and possibly a thought just for the black hole of the universe with each person having their own opinion with most of us have a leaning one way or the other. I took a walk the other day for quiet reflective thinking and left being sad and upset. Why was this not fixed? How can this remain this way? Does no one care?

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You can tell by the tree its been this way for a while

 

Life is a cycle, I think everyone agrees with that. Babies are born, become young children, grow into crazy teen, then young adults, and so on until we die. We as living beings don’t like talking about death as it seems a scary thing. But in reality, its just a part of life. We don’t know what to expect so we fear it, or we lean on our faith with hope and strength. My faith tells me that with my very last breath, I die. Only to take my next breath with Jesus. It is that fast.

Scripture tells us that when God made Adam, he was made from the dust of the earth. Gen 2:7, the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. Gen 3:19, tells us that from dust we came and into dust we will go.  In my opinion of  how I understand the scriptures, and my knowledge is small, I think people get concerned about not having a body to rise from the grave. Ezekiel 37, in  speaking about the valley of dry bones and how God will give them knew life to be with him. 37:12 says ‘I will open the graves and bring you up’.           I Thessalonians 16 tells us that at Jesus’ second coming, the dead will rise first from the grave and join Jesus in the air.   But I think what people forget is at that split moment in time, we will receive new bodies, the earthly body is no longer useful. So it doesn’t matter if its dust, ashes, from the ground, from the ocean, wherever the remains are lying, they will be raised to new life in Christ.

Now that the philosophical and Christian avenue has been spoken, lets go back to the original shock of mixed feelings for cemeteries. When you think of all cemeteries over the centuries that are no longer in existence, yet the graves are still in the ground, then the pictures I took may make it more understandable. It still makes me very sad of the apparent apathy as this is a final resting place. I, myself, am choosing cremation as my family is scattered and in 200 years, who will care. Some of these tombstones are  over 200 years old now and only because perpetual care of the grounds is done does it seem mostly cared for. You could tell they just mowed around fallen head pieces. So sad.

This is all the more reason I push in all of my post for the show of kindness to all living creatures while we are still on this side of the dirt. Once we are in heaven, we are in the middle of all the love of Christ but can not get it that kindness back down to earth where it is so badly needed. So remember to always be kind.

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Weeping Lilies

There is an old legend that many people don’t know about, I was one of those, but it says that for every drop of blood that fell from Jesus while he was on the cross, a lily grew. That’s a pretty remarkable legend. I was doing a research for a poem about Easter lilies and that’s how I came upon that legend.

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The lily in my living room

The whiteness of the lily represents the purity of Christ. The shape of the lily represents a trumpet as it blows to welcome in the king.

Tonight we had a church service to tell the story of Jesus last day on  earth. the horrifying cruelty in the way he was beaten, ridiculed and then crucified. The music was soft and mournful to help set the mood for this dark day. We left the sanctuary quietly to maintain the funeral like mood of death.

When I walked in the house, it was just getting good dark so I turned on the lamp by my sofa where my lily is sitting. Its fragrance has been beautiful filling my house with fresh gentleness for several days as three of four blooms have open to share their love; one new bloom beginning to open this evening. I reached over to smell the blooms and was amazed to see a water drop on the bloom and I wondered where it came from. Nothing on the ceiling, nothing close by that could have done that. So I looked at the other blooms. They all had small drops of moisture on each bloom. I am sure there is probably a scientific explanation but to me…it was weeping. Flowers weeping for Jesus’ death and Jesus’ weeping for us. We all know that creation is raging and wanting to be reconnected with Eden but can not be. So creation weeps.

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Same bloom as bloom above three days later.
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Bloom on opposite side

So understand what all of nature knows, that Jesus loves you and weeps for you and has compassion for wherever you are or whatever you are going through. Feel His love and share his love with kindness.

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Palm Sunday, First Day of Holy Week

Jesus on donkey

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,

“Hosanna!”

“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.

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Favorite This Far, JusJoJan-last

Linda is winding up Just Jot January with us sharing a favorite post from the last year or month. I have not been blogging but a few months(Aug 2018) so I will just go with a favorite of mine plus one that seems to get a lot of likes for it. It started first as a picture from Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine and I loved that photo so much I wrote a poem about it. Since it is a small poem, I will just repost it all here.

TO THE TOP for THE BOTTOM

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is the amazing photographers, professional and non-professional that share their photographs for all to enjoy. A lot of the photographs that are shared are due to various challenges as the one I will be sharing with you today,  well technically it’s night (2:30 am)but I couldn’t sleep so I am writing.

Irene from Heaven’s Sunshine was following the challenge for stairs from Pic And A Word  by Patrick Jennings. Her picture was so inspiring to me, I told her I was going to write about it, so I did. I hope you enjoy it and do stop by Irene’s blog for some wonderful pictures.

Steps to the Cross
Bailly Cemetery – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

   THE CLIMB

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember it’s relief, Why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring so much relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my dire fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I am smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

                       – Anita Tillman Neal –

 

Always remember there is a burden carrier and it isn’t you. Scripture tells us repeatedly that He is there to carry our burdens for us, we just have to be willing to give them to Him.

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And as always, I remind everyone the much loaded value of kindness. Carry it with you where ever you go and share it as much as possible.

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Kindness As A Goal

In all of my post I ask all readers to remember kindness to others. It is the easiest and most difficult thing you could do. The book of Galatians reminds us the effects of not being kind in Galatians 5:15 – “If you bite and devour each other, beware as you will destroy each other.” But then in vs 22 the list of good attributes of following the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. And again in Colossians 3:12 -“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience.”

All of these commands come straight from the heart – God’s heart. And it is passed down to us for us to share with others in reflecting God’s precious love.

I ran across this posting the other day, not knowing who wrote it but I wanted to share it with you to remind you  no matter how small an act of kindness you share, it makes a very large mark on life.

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Your kindness always matters

So I ask you to leave fingerprints of kindness where ever you go and help the world to smile.

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Master of …, #JusJojan

It’s a word than dons power or specialty as in “master of my house” or “jack of all trades and master of none”; then in golf there is the Masters Tournament each spring in Augusta Ga. or in biblical times and even up to current times there is the master/slave relationships of people. For today’s Jot in January we are following Linda and Sadje’s prompt of master and since it is also a Sunday my mind went only in one direction – The Master.

It is my belief that all people follow. Even those that lead, follow. They follow what they believe to be the truth according to their own priorities and these priorities are gain by things they have lived through and assessed to be the truth in their hearts and mind. And  that truth is their master.

Look at all the good and bad leaders of this world we have seen thus far. They lead from their hearts and were able to convince others that his/her priorities were correct and true until someone else came along with a better idea of what they believe to be true. I think in each person’s heart, whether it be for mastering his own life or mastering the hearts of a nation, it starts with being true to what he believes as the truth and that therein is the root of the problem.

In  John 18:37, Jesus explains to Pontius Pilate that he is the witness of the truth where Pilate retorted “What is truth”. Philippians 4:8 reminds us that “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things.”

In my opinion when you take life and boil it down to the stickiness left in the bottom of the pan there are only two defining truths and therefore two defining masters – the Masters of Good and Evil and who those Masters are. You can walk in the gray matter between the two for a while but there will be a day where a choice will need to be made. The first choice you have to make and that choice will decide your direction of choices is do you even believe there really is a Good Master and Evil Master.

My beliefs are there is definitely a Good Master and an Evil being that wants to be a master but has already lost. He is just going to take as many as he can away from the Good Master through his trickery and lying by deceiving those into believing the Good Master is not the truth. The choice is intimately up to each individual as he searches for his own truth and that which makes him happy.

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The choice

 

Everything we do in life is a choice and my hope is that more of us choose the Good Master as he will bring to us the love, tenderness and kindness we are all so hungry for.

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Hope, Joy and Love

The fear and wonder the shepherds must have felt to see the heavens open with bright light and creatures they had only heard stories of but have never really seen. They knew from the prophets that He would come as a child from the lowly town of Bethlehem.

I wish you all the joy, wonder and love this season can bring us. A reminder of what did come and a foreshadowing of what is still to come. May you feel His love, peace and comfort and carry it with you to share with others as you go.

   Have a very Merry Christmas.

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