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Spring is coming soon and I am excited

Spring is coming soon and I am excited for warmer days and opportunities for planting flowers.
We bought our vegetable plants yesterday but we won’t plant them until the nights are warmer.
I am so looking forward to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peas in the pea pods.
We also purchased a blue hydrangea, pink and white one too. My favorite is blue.
We have been purposefully trying to watch our diet and finding time for a walk.
Even if it’s just a few miles it is better than none.
I have been increasing my water intake, they say if you weigh 150 you should drink half your body weight.
No wonder I can’t go far from the little room :o)
I also need to get back on the recumbent bike that sits in the garage.
It is so good for us to get our bodies moving and it’s good for our mental state too.
My heart has been heavy with prayer needs for a few friends.
One especially who thought her remission was solid, only to find out she has to do more radiation and chemotherapy.
Another friend has surgery coming up and treatment.
Another friend has leukemia and is stable but it’s always a concern for me.
It is always something and there are always needs around us.
Our neighbor just got home from the hospital with severe breathing issues.
We live in a senior community so there will be health concerns all the time.
I am trying to remain positive and helpful when I can.
God is still one who heals and I know for my friends, he is not going to give them more than they can deal with.
The key is to be a friend and a prayer warrior.
We all could use prayer.
Spring is coming soon and I am excited for warmer days.

Sunday comes and brings a new resurrection

Sunday comes and brings a new resurrection.
The disciples had all seen Jesus die, and taken away to be buried.
They felt the heaviness of the moments that they had just experienced.
He had told them he would return but how could they ever really believe that?
Mark 16:
Very early at sunrise the two Mary’s went to the tomb and they chatted on the way over there.
Who will move the stone for us when we get there. it is too heavy for us to move?
As they arrived closer to the tomb, they realized the stone was already moved and inside they found a young man clothed in white,
sitting on the right side. The angel told them, “don’t be afraid or alarmed, you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth and He is not here.
He has risen from the dead. See where his body had laid down? He is gone.
Go tell the disciples, especially Peter, that Jesus is going to Galilee. You will see him there.”
I would imagine he mentioned Peter specifically because he had denied Jesus three times.
It would be Peter who would be deep in grief and deep in repentance, should he see Jesus in person.
The angel mentioned him; so I think that is very significant for this part of the story.
The women fled, it said they were trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
When they found the disciples they told Peter and the others as the angel had told them to do.
After Jesus rose from the dead Mary Magdalene was the first to see him.
She didn’t know it was him until he spoke her name.
Can you imagine? Her love for him so deep and she thought he was gone, and now right before her,
he says her name in a way only he could say it.
Such love, such tenderness.
She told the disciples he was alive but they did not believe her.
Later it says he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together.
He rebuked them for their stubborn hearts and unbelief.
Thomas did not want to believe it unless he saw the nail marks in his hands and his wounds on his side.
He told him to come look, come see for yourself.
He then told them to do ministry in his name.
He stayed with them a short time, then returned to the Father in Heaven.
Sunday comes and brings a new resurrection.

The three day wait begins

The three day wait begins at the start of good Friday, leading into Sunday the resurrected Easter.
We are not told anything about Mary and how she responded, or even Joseph.
They knew the birth of Jesus was significant and miraculous and they also knew it was going to end.
No one is prepared for a death on a cross. No one is prepared for the death of a child loved.
Especially a parent who has watched their child grow and mature and do ministry that they understood, but maybe didn’t.
Mary knew he had abilities to perform miracles, she had seen it.
I cannot even begin to imagine the horror of seeing YOUR child however old he is, being killed in a chaotic crowd.
The disciples disappeared fearing for their own lives.
The intensity of the cross was all too common in the time and era, but Jesus was different.
They drug him through town, he was brutally beaten and then mocked.
The cross was horrific in every sense. Not one part of the body was ignored.
Pain and sorrow were hand in hand as the followers watched him hang there.
At noon the word tells us that Jesus called out with a loud cry, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”
It was all a part of the original plan, but the reality was so intense and so isolating for him.
When he finally died the temple curtain in the sanctuary was torn from top to bottom.
Witnesses observed and said, “This man truly was the sun of God!”
Darkness covered the entire area in a very surreal way.
Those who were there knew something was different.
Even the thieves on the two crosses beside Jesus, before he died, knew he was different.
It was a sorrowful day.
The man called Joseph of Arimathea was allowed to remove his body and prepare him for burial.
The two Mary’s watched and followed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus.
The leaders were unsure of Jesus power, so they placed a very LARGE stone in front of the entrance of the tomb.
The three day wait begins at the start of good Friday.

The week of Easter for Jesus

The week of Easter for Jesus had to be one of intense loss and anticipation.
He had built a relationship with the disciples and soon that would be ending.
He knew his time was coming to a close just as it was meant to be.
The last supper in the upper room was in a way his closure.
Mark 14:17
[In the evening Jesus arrived with the twelve disciples. They were at the table eating, Jesus said,
“I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.”
Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?”]
Then he went on to a teaching about the wine and the bread and the significance of it’s meaning.
He had established a betrayal, He had spent time teaching them, He had a hymn to share with them.
It was all a part of the final story and the final night.
Soon he would go into the garden and pray to the Father for another way.
“Father let this cup pass from me, take this cup of suffering from me.”
A different way was not possible.
He told them, [“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. stay here and keep watch with me.”]
He prayed to the Father three times in the garden.
Intense prayers, blood spilling prayers.
He knew his betrayal from everyone was coming and also the intensity of the crowds.
I am not sure anyone could be prepared for that kind of chaos.
Emotions ran high on that night, as Jesus was taken away.
The disciples ran away and hid, fearing for their own lives because of their association with him.
They deserted him.
Then Peter was close enough for them to ask him.
[“You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.”]
Peter denied it. Not once, but three times.
Then Peter broke down and wept.
Jesus had told him that before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.
It was a prophecy fulfilled, just as many others would be as this story unfolds.
The week of Easter for Jesus had to be the hardest for him.

The week of Easter had deep meaning for Jesus

The week of Easter had deep meaning for Jesus.
I would imagine HE knew this was his last few days to do ministry.
He spent time with the disciples. He tried to teach them what was going to happen.
In the home of Simon a man who was healed by Jesus, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume.
She broke it and poured it all over Jesus head. The disciples were upset with her and scolded her harshly.
Mark 14:6
But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me.
You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.
She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time.
I tell you the truth, wherever the good news is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
He was aware and KNEW his death was coming and the meaning of the oils and perfume was a prophecy of what was to come for him.
Around the same time as this Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priest to arrange to betray Jesus to them.
He began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus because the leaders promised him money.
Can you imagine? I am sure HE did not understand or know what was to take place in just a few days.
What would cause someone to betray someone, who you had been following for a while?
He had seen the miracles. He had full views of the many things Jesus had said and done.
The sad part of this story is Jesus knew too.
He knew someone would have to get the leaders angry and HE knew it had to happen soon.
Betrayal is such an evil thing.
The week of Easter had deep meaning for Jesus and the story of the cross.

Palm Sunday the week of Easter

Palm Sunday the week of Easter.
The final entrance of the story that Jesus had been preparing.
Christmas was the story of his birth. Mary and Joseph used a donkey to get to Bethlehem so he could be born to fulfill prophecy.
Palm Sunday also used a donkey to bring him to a place of ministry and purpose.
I remember the days before quarantine and covid the churches would sing songs of his triumphal entry.
“Praise Him blessed is HE who cometh in the name of the Lord.”
I always find it interesting, that the same people who cheered him on and who welcomed him with palm branches; turned on him not barely a week later.
Mark 11:
As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethpage and Bethany on the mount of Olives.
Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden.
Untie it and bring it here, If anyone asks, “what are you doing? Just say. “The Lord needs it and will return it soon.”
The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.
Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields.
Jesus was in the center of the procession and the the people were shouting, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
I remember in church little kids would have large branches, and they would spread them down the aisle, while other children would sing and walk over them.
The final entrance of the story of Jesus. The reason He came and the reason He had prepared for.
Palm Sunday the week of Easter.
The welcoming triumphant entry of  Jesus.