Monday, April 05, 2010
We here in southeast Louisiana understand how dangerous it is when we lose precious forests that buffer the population from hurricanes a bit. We've lost lots of wetlands due to the harvesting of cypress trees and the result has been tragic in many ways. A friend of mine from Lafayette, Louisiana, sent this to me today. What an eye-opener! I never even considered this aspect of the dangers of deforestation!!
Friday, April 02, 2010
Jesus Gave His Life for Us
On this most holy day of remembrance, Good Friday, my heart focuses upon the fact that Jesus laid down His life for us, for me.
He was not powerless over His enemies. Jesus walked toward His accusers, asking them who they sought. When they said Jesus of Nazareth, he responded with the very same title by which He was revealed to Moses: I am. With that revelation, they went backward and fell to the ground. Jesus could easily have escaped by quietly walking away as they were slain. Instead, He waited and allowed them to lead him (and was not driven by them, as sheep so often are). I wonder if Jesus held out a hand to help them up to their feet. I can only try to imagine the eye contact that occurred between Jesus and these men, especially Malchus, whose severed ear was healed by Jesus.
Jesus was not weak and defeated on the cross. He cried out with a loud voice (and then repeated them), my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus’ strength had not failed him. He was still master of Himself. Instead of being conquered by death, He was yielding Himself to it. As Psalm 89:19 points out, God had “laid help upon one that was mighty.”
Jesus said, I thirst, that the scripture might be fulfilled. Jesus was in full possession of His mental faculties and His mind unclouded. His terrible sufferings had neither deranged nor disturbed his thinking. As He hung on the cross, at the end of the six hours there, He reviewed the entire scope of prophecy and checked off one by one the predictions that had referred to His passion. He realized Psalm 69:21, “they gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,” had not been fulfilled. John 19:28 tells us, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished that the scripture might be fulfilled, sayeth, I thirst.” Even in the agonies of His death, He was mindful of the entire word of God.
John 19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, it is finished and he bowed His head and gave up the ghost.” If He bowed His head, that means His head had previously been erect, not hung there in a swoon. We are not told that His head fell but that He consciously, calmly, reverently BOWED His head. His majestic composure as He did this caused the centurion to cry out “Truly this was the Son of God (Matt. 27:54).
Finally, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46) This verse is in agreement with John 10:17-18 “I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” When Stephen was martyred he cried, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Jesus, instead, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Stephen’s spirit was being taken from him. None could take Jesus’ life. He gave up His spirit.
No vital organ was affected by crucifixion, and those crucified sometimes lasted two or three days. The two thieves were still alive when the hour grew so late that, in observance of the Sabbath, the servants of the high priest came to break the legs of them and Jesus. Jesus was already dead, in fulfillment of the prophecy that none of His bones would be broken and another expression of Jesus having laid down His life of Himself, that it was not taken from him.
And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks did rent, and the graves were opened (Matt 27:51-52). This was no ordinary death. The very hand of God reached down from heaven and tore asunder the curtain that shut out the temple worshiper from the earthly throne of God, signifying that the way into the Holiest was now made plain and that access to God Himself had been opened up through the broken body of His Son. There wasn’t an earthquake, not even a great earthquake, but the earth itself, the entire earth, was shaken to its very foundation and rocked on its axis as though to show it was horrified at the most awful deed that had ever been perpetrated on its surface. The very strength of nature gave way before the greater power of that holy death and they were rent. The graves were opened, showing that the power of Satan, which is death, was there shivered and shattered, all the outward attestations of the value of that atoning death.
In summary, the manifest yielding up of Himself into the hands of those who arrested Him;
The crying with a loud voice, denoting His retained vigor;
The fact that He was in full and unimpaired possession of His mentality, evidenced by the “knowing that all things were now accomplished;”
The bowing of the erect head;
The deliberate committing of His spirit into the hands of the Father;
The fact that He was dead already when the soldiers came to break His legs…
…all furnished proof that His life was not taken from Him but that He laid it down of Himself and this, together with the tearing of the temple veil, the quaking of the earth, the rending of the rocks, ad the opening of the graves, all bore unmistakable witness to the supernatural character of His death; in view of which we may well say with the wondering centurion, “Truly this was the Son of God. The death of Christ, then, was unique, miraculous, supernatural.
Adapted from “The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross,” by Arthur W. Pink.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A friend of mine sent this to me today and as I read it and looked at this unlikely pair of critters, I considered some of the special people in my life. Some friendships grow over time, people joined by common interests or needs, the bonds forming and reforming and strengthening over time. Some are adopted by virtue of existing friendships, kind of second generation friendships, and they can be very sweet, too. Then there are times when from the very first moment there is an instant bond, where the giving and taking comes so naturally, where the loving is just so easy, and you know the bond lifelong. Few things are more precious than friendship, no matter their origin or cement that keeps them together, whether they are for a season or forever. Oftentimes they are comprised of combinations we would never have scripted into the story of our lives, but they still work and in beautiful ways. Sometimes I feel like the mama in this story, nurturing, loving, fiercely protecting the one I love. Other times I feel like that tiny piglet, in need of nourishment, warmth, safety. What a remarkable gift friendship is and I thank God for the many precious friends in my life. Thank YOU for being my friend. You are cherished.
A giant farm dog and a tiny piglet cuddle up as if they were family after the baby runt was dismissed by its own mother. Surrogate mum Katjinga, an eight-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, took on motherly duties for grunter Paulinchen - a tiny pot-bellied pig - and seems to be taking the adoption in her stride. Lonely Paulinchen was luckily discovered moments from death and placed in the care of the dog who gladly accepted it as one of her own. Thankfully for the two-week old mini porker, Katjinga fell in love with him at first sight and saved his bacon.
And the unlikely relationship has made the wrinkly piggy a genuine sausage dog. In these adorable images Paulinchen can even be seen trying to suckle from his gigantic new mum. The two animals live together on a huge 20-acre farm in Hoerstel , Germany , where Katjinga's owners Roland Adam, 54, and his wife Edit, 44, a bank worker, keep a pair of breeding Vietnamese pigs.
Nose place like home: The baby piglet nuzzles up to its new mum. Property developer Roland found the weak and struggling piglet after he was abandoned by the rest of his family one evening after he was born. He said: "The pigs run wild on our land and the sow had given birth to a litter of five in our forest. "I found Paulinchen all alone and when I lifted him up he was really cold."
"I felt sure some local foxes would have taken the little pig that very night so I took it into my house and gave him to Katjinga. "She had just finished with a litter of her own, who are now 10 months, so I thought there was a chance she might take on the duties of looking after him. "Katjinga is the best mother you can imagine. She immediately fell in love with the piggy. Straight away she started to clean it like it was one of her own puppies. "Days later she started lactating again and giving milk for the piggy. She obviously regards it now as her own baby." Mum of the year? Quite possibly.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This is Heath from later today. We got him a little Lightning McQueen spinny toy for Easter that lights up when you press the little button. He did it on his own!! That his dexterity is precise enough to press that little button is a very good thing. I'm so happy about that. I just had to share them with you!!
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