You Took My Place

The Passion of the Christ

Image via Wikipedia The quiet moments. The times of reflection. The times of remembrance.

The quiet moments. The moments of thought and reflection.

Sacrifice. Pain. Tears.

“Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”  The crowds of so long ago, shouted. Their voices echo through time… I cannot blame them. They were imperfect sinners. Just like me. I was in that crowd.

My sin crucified my Lord. It wasn’t just “other people”. It was me. My sin, put Him there. His love for me, kept Him there.

Selfishness! The slam of the hammer, as the nails pierced His flesh.

Pride! His face twisted in agony.

Resentment! The burden on His shoulders.

Bitterness! The blood dripped down.

God, forgive me. Please forgive me.

***************

You Took My Place

The thorns on your head

blood, runs red.

You hung on a Roman cross

for sin not your own,

the pain unbearable

the sounds of your groan.

You could have called angels to deliver you, free

but you stayed there…you stayed there for me.

“Father forgive her

She doesn’t know!”

You saw me, you knew me

before time began,

you hung on that cross

the Savior of man.

You took the blame

You bore my shame.

Jesus my Lord, You took my place

knowing your sacrifice

your gift of grace…

Would deliver me from

death…and its dark face.

The stone rolled away

You are alive, no longer dead!

You stand victorious

Just like you said!

—Dawn Gibson 2011

Won’t you join us, as we walk with Him?

Row The Boat, Ashore….

Lakeville funnel cloud

Image by soozums via Flickr

It’s raining. A lot. Again.

This Spring has been wet and volatile.

At least there have been no funnel clouds in sight. Yet.

Even though I love to watch the tornado documentaries, I don’t want to be IN one.

Just sayin’.

I have to drive two of my kiddos to a town that is an hour away.

For some academic testing.

That happens each year, at this time.

The test proves how brilliant they are.

Really. I’m not lying.

They are.

Of course, they have wonderful teachers.

I love homeschooling:)

Well, I had better go.

Stuff to do before we leave

I hope this trip doesn’t call for an ark….or red ruby slippers and a trip to Kansas.

Just Another Thankful Monday…

the unmade bed

Image by suttonhoo via Flickr

Click on the Multitudes On Monday graphic on my right side bar to find out more about thankfulness, from those that are overflowing…

Ann Voskamp said in her book, One Thousand Gifts, that it is impossible to worry and give thanks at the same time.

I choose to give thanks. One thing at at time. It makes all the difference.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”   Psalms 107: 1  NIV

*Teenage boys that are taller than I am…who can reach the tall shelves for their mom.

*Deep, almost man voices.

*Hugs , that will never grow old.

*Children telling me, “I love you, Mom”

*Words that make me feel rich.

*Back scratches

*Cozy, warm rugs scattered on the floor

*Glass of orange juice

*Wet dog nose

*Morning quiet

*Sound of my husband’s voice on the phone

*Gray skies

*Rain on the way

*Weather news

*Old hand-made aprons hanging on the wall

*Lanterns

*A rumpled unmade bed

*Warm water to wash my face

*Minty toothpaste

*Warm socks

*Smell of cinnamon in the air

*Smooth, warm wood

*Soft glow of light

*Dog snuggled on his pillow

*Children diligent with school work

*Shelf filled with books

*Comfy couch with pillows

Home

The Day Death Died

Garden Tomb 02

Image by stevenconger@sbcglobal.net via Flickr

It did not end with Jesus in the grave. The tomb could not hold him. Death could not conquer him. On the third day he arose! Just like he said he would.
A favorite hymn of Easter….
LOW IN THE GRAVE HE LAY
  1. Low in the grave He lay,
    Jesus my Savior,
    Waiting the coming day,
    Jesus my Lord!

    • Refrain:
      Up from the grave He arose,
      With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
      He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
      And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
      He arose! He arose!
      Hallelujah! Christ arose!
  2. Vainly they watch His bed,
    Jesus my Savior;
    Vainly they seal the dead,
    Jesus my Lord!
  3. Death cannot keep its Prey,
    Jesus my Savior;
    He tore the bars away,
    Jesus my Lord!
1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (NIV)
Matthew 28:7   “Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
HE HAS RISEN!  HE HAS RISEN INDEED!

Cat Pee and Other Messy Stuff

Calico cat (Felis silvestris catus)

Image via Wikipedia

My intention was to finish my story from yesterday….but, that will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m too wound up to type something serious this morning.

Some days are better than others. Just sayin’.

1. The indoor pets needed their flea treatments. The weather is getting warmer and fleas and ticks are already becoming an issue.

2. My husband was gone to a meeting in the evening. I was left to my own device.

3. My son helped with giving the dog a flea treatment. The dog behaved himself at the time….but, then proceeded to roll around in the grass afterward —during his evening walk. Sigh. I hope any nasty little blood sucking varmints that happened to be in said grass, were repelled. Sigh again.

4. I commissioned my daughter to help with the two indoor cats. I had been noticing a little scratching going on (with the cats, not her) and decided we needed to treat them now, while the getting is good.

5. The cats were okay during the treatment, that takes all of 60 seconds. Joe (the senior citizen cat) took it like a champ. No problemo. Nikki, my calico, stalker kitty….not so much.

6. She sulked in my closet all evening. I tried to get her to come out, but she just turned her head and continued to lay on my shoes. It was a major snub.

7. FINE! Lay in there and  I hope you don’t roll over and poke yourself with a high heel!!!! Hmmppfff.

8. Well, Nikki finally emerged, but if ever a cat was ticked off….it was her. Cross my heart and hope to die, if she could speak…she would have cursed me. I’m sure of it.

9. She skulked around.

10. Bedtime came. She usually lays at the foot of the bed…..after she gets pet and loved on.

11. Last night she decided to show her ire, by PEEING on the bed. Right up near me. As a matter of fact she peed all over my new Country Living magazine that I was just settling down to read….and a book….and on the quilt, which soaked through to the blanket underneath.

12. At the moment I did not see what was going on…..but, my husband did and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck. He carried her out to the laundry room–where she was banished for the rest of the night.

13. While that was going on, I had to strip the bed linens and wash them in hot, soapy water….at 11pm at night. I was not a happy camper. In my mind I was thinking up horrible sayings….things like….”There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  Yeah.

14. Nikki was crying in the laundry room and I was yelling back, “Suck it up sister. You pee you pay!” (along with maniacal, sleep deprived laughter)

15. She got out of detention this morning….none worse for the wear.

16. The bedroom is OFF limits to her today. She is NOT pleased.

17. Hey, that’s the price ya gotta pay, girlie. You do the crime, you do the time.

18. My bed is now fresh and clean.

19. I am in a much better mood.

20 And Nikki is sulking behind the file cabinet in the school room.

AND THAT IS MY LIFE…..end of story.

Redemption

The Cross

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, posed this question for today… Share something new you’re learning in your relationship with Jesus? Click on the Faith Barista graphic in my right side bar to find out what others are learning.

As I walk toward Easter, I am reminded of the price that was paid..for me. For you. For us all. May this story never grow old.

When others look at me, this is what they see.

I’m a 42, almost 43 year old, middle class, female.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is God‘s word to the world.

I’m college educated.

I am a former special education teacher, turned home school mom.

I shop at Walmart and Aldi‘s. I drive a mini van.

I crave organization and stability.

I love dogs. I’m learning to love cats.

I hate spiders and mice. Mice even more than spiders. That’s why it helps to have cats.

I grew up in the country. Then I lived in the city. Now I’m back in the country…and I love it. I shop at Tractor Supply.

I was married….then widowed…then married again. I informed my new husband he better not die on me….or at least live to 120.

I am a mom. Some days I am a good one…other days…um…not so much. I never stop trying.

I love Fall. October is my favorite month.

I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy talk radio. I love to decorate and create. I love sweaters and socks. They are sort of my “thing”.

I have a flair for the dramatic.

I’m nostalgic about “Americana”.

I have several pet peeves that really get on my nerves.

I’m a fairly decent cook. My favorite food is loaded nachos. My favorite drink is southern style sweet tea.

I am a writer. Blogger. Note taker. Chart keeper. Folder filer.

I love to tell stories……..

There is more to my story.

I struggle with selfishness.

Sometimes I say things that would be better left unsaid. Me and my big mouth.

I don’t forget things. I can hold a grudge. Bitterness creeps in.

I want do-overs, if I don’t like how things are turning out the first time around.

I like to have control of situations.

I tend towards perfectionism….which can be insidious.

Patience is not a virtue that I have mastered. Resentments are real.

Sometimes I yell.  Sometimes I get quiet.

At times, I like to be by myself. In my own space.

People can overwhelm.

I want to be left alone.

I am a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.

Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23a  “…The wages of sin is death…”

Romans 6:23b  “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The thorns gouging into the skin…

The beard plucked…

Being spit on and mocked…

Nailed to a rough wooden cross…the pain too horrid to imagine.

Thirsty. Can’t breathe. Even the smallest movement excruciating.

He was innocent. He could have called an army of angels to save Him from this.

But He didn’t.

Because He knew. He knew that my sin required a sacrifice. Blood. His blood. For me. Redemption.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NIV

Romans 5:8,  “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”

Standing at the foot of the cross on that dark day….

***Join me tomorrow as I finish the story.***

As Easter Approaches

The Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Ten...

Image via Wikipedia

Even though I was born and raised as a Maryland girl, as an adult, I lived in east Tennessee for twenty-three years. Knoxville was my home, only forty-five minutes from Dolly Parton‘s family “stompin’ grounds”. I had family passes to her amusement and water parks. I loved Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

East Tennessee is a beautiful part of the country….in the foothills of the  Great Smoky Mountains.

Dolly Parton has held a “soft spot” in my heart for many years.

Now, you might be thinking what in the world does any of that have to do with Easter? Well…..nothing really…except that one of my favorite songs, sung by Dolly, is about Easter. She sings about the risen Savior. He is alive!

Every time I listen to this song, I get goosebumps.

He’s Alive! Sung by Dolly at the 1989 CMA awards.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Matthew 28: 6-10 KJV

He is risen; he is not here.”
Mark 16:6

 

***As we walk toward Easter, won’t you join us? Click on the Walk With Him Wednesday graphic on my right side bar.***

Say What?

A leader teach is able to help this student wi...

Image via Wikipedia

Last evening I was looking through some of my blog archives. I came across one that made me laugh out loud. Such a window into my life.

Oh, the memories! Being an elementary school teacher in the South… Teaching was fun and the day to day escapades were good fodder for my blog.

Ya gotta love it!

Click on over for a good laugh:)

Hard Thanks…

~Did She Cry ~

Image by ViaMoi via Flickr

All the reasons to be thankful….Click on the Multitudes On Mondays graphic on my right sidebar to read more.

Dear Reader,

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not feeling very thankful today.

Mondays are never my best day of the week, and today seems especially “not very thankful”. I feel guilty. I struggle.

Right now I’m seeing all “the holes” in the canvas of my life.  When concentrating on the holes, the rips, the tears… I find it difficult to see the beauty. I know that is a poor attitude, you don’t have to remind me. Believe me, I know.

All the things I wish were….and aren’t.

All the things I want…and can’t.

All the trying to measure up….and falling short.

All the dreams…dashed.

All the little things….that become BIG things.

All the words thought….but never said.

All the wishing….not coming true.

All the obstacles….not overcome.

All the life beautiful…is really broken.

We live in an imperfect world.

 

Life IS broken. Isn’t that true for us all?

Aren’t there days when we each wonder, the why?

When our vision is full of gray, and the colors seem dulled?

When we want so much more, but get so much less?

 

God knew we’d have days like this. Hard days. Painful days. Days of longing for something else. Something that is seemingly just out of reach. The frustration. The grieving. The seemingly unfairness of it all. He knew. He always knew.

Giving thanks through the difficult times. The broken times.  Ann Voskamp calls it the “hard eucharisteo”. The giving of thanks when we are searching through the darkness. The saying “yes” to God, when we don’t understand. The trusting that this hard place we are in, is not the final destination.

Ann goes on to say, “Grace + Thanks = Joy”.  She’s right, you know

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything. Not about life plans. Not the wondering. Not the worrying. But in everything That is a big, all encompassing word. By prayer and petition God hears us!  With thanksgiving Always thanksgiving…even when it is the hard eucharisteo. present your requests to God. He wants us to talk with Him. In the good times and the not so good times. He is there.

And on a day when it seems dark, not just because of the storm clouds, I can say thank you. I can give the thanksgiving to the One who hears me even when the words aren’t spoken aloud. I am thankful.

 

Smelling The Flowers

Today is a beautiful Spring day. The sun is shining.  The wind is blowing.

Sometimes I just need to slow down…

and stop to smell the flowers.

 

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.  —Song of Solomon 2: 11-12  NIV