Friday, March 29, 2013

He sets the captives free


In my earlier post this morning we looked at the crucifixion of Christ.
Now, this evening it is time to reflect on what scripture says regarding what happened next…

 Entombment of Christ


Entombment of Christ by Pieter Lastman

It is notable that, according to Mark, it is only Jesus' women followers who are now still with him:
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Evening is approaching and Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the sanhedrin, who was also waiting for the "Kingdom of God," goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus' body. The Scholars Version notes this as "unexpected .. Is Joseph in effect bringing Jesus into his family?" As the next day was the Sabbath Jesus would have to have been buried before sundown or then not until the next night. According to Mosaic law, if someone was hanged on a tree they were not to remain there at night. (Deuteronomy 21:22–23) Pilate is surprised Jesus had died so soon and asks for confirmation and then gives Jesus' body to Joseph.
Joseph wraps it in linen and puts it in a sepulchre, rolls a stone over the entrance, and leaves. According to John he was assisted by the Pharisee Nicodemus. The Marys see this and serve as Mark's witnesses to the events of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Bodies were normally anointed, but there seems to be no time here. John however says Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus' body with spices, which seems to be anointing. The tomb, one of many around Jerusalem, was a limestone cave and Jesus' body would have been laid on a pre-cut shelf, and then most bodies would have been left for a year.

If the story had ended here. There would be no point to Christianity. Being a Christian or (follower of Christ) would have no more significance than following Buddha or any other ‘dead’ prophet or god.


Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released… Luke 4:18


So, where did Jesus go and what did He do after His death?

Matthew 12:40
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Jesus was foretelling of His death)
Hebrews 2:14
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil
Revelation 1:18
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. *
(emphasis mine)

Ephesians 4:9
8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.


Jesus led the captives out of Hades and gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to men.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

*HADES {hah'-dace} (as negative particle) hell, grave
  1. name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
  2. Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
  3. later use of this word: the grave, death, hell
  4. In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits.
  5. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked, Lu. 16:23, Rev. 20:13,14; a very uncomfortable place.
(There are other definitions of hell. But since Jesus said Himself that He “holds the keys to death and Hades”, then Hades is where He descended to after His death on the cross.

So far Jesus has died on the cross, been buried, and descended into Hades with the keys to set the captive souls free on this first day of the 3 days that we are told he is in the bowels of the earth.
Remember when He said “It is finished”. That must indicate that as soon as He breathed His last He was handed the keys to death and Hades…I bet it was instantaneous too!
I would like to point out an observation I made when reading this scripture:

Matthew 27:50 – 52
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 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 rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.


Perhaps you have noticed something in these verses too?
As soon as Jesus dies the earth quakes and the rocks break apart.
The graves open…but…the bodies of the saints do not come out of their graves until AFTER Jesus’ resurrection, and then they go into the city and appear to many!
*According to Jewish custom in Israel at the time of Jesus, the dead had to be buried under ground. This was usually in a cave for the rich or just dropped into a hole in the ground, standing upright for the poor or average person.
So, upon Jesus death the earth cracks open (in preparation for the resurrection of the dead saints entombed beneath?) 
Jesus’ body lies in the grave until the third day (Sunday). In the meantime the Lord descends into Hades to unlock the graves where the souls of the saints are imprisoned. And after the Lord rises from the dead, the saints arise also.
I also noted where verse 53 states that the risen saints appear to many. I wondered why the whole city did not witness their resurrection?
Perhaps it was because there was such a huge earthquake (big enough to tear open rocks) and maybe most people were hiding in their homes? I know I would be!
The next time Christ comes back to earth there will be another event similar to this one…Just as Jesus set the captives free from their graves the first time He came to earth, the bodies of the dead in Christ will arise once more at His return.
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The above scriptures seem to explain how the corrupted bodies of the saints that are buried will be raised incorruptable, and that the saints who have died will be brought with Jesus upon His return (I believe this will be a pairing of our spirits with our glorified new bodies.)
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.( 1 Cor. 15:52)

 

Reflections on this Good Friday

I  know that many people around the world are thinking about bunny rabbits, brightly colored eggs, and baskets full of candy.
But at this time of year I always take some time to reflect on just what our Lord endured for us.  

 For the message of the cross is foolishnessto those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

CAUTION: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

( Sorry, no fluffy bunnies here )


The Scourging of Jesus


Roman flagrum (reproduction) by Joel M. Donahoe

 
3rd CENTURY HISTORIAN - EUSABIOUS OF CEASARE, "their bodies were frightfully lacerated. Christian martyrs in Smyrna were so torn by the scourges that their veins were laid bare, and the inner muscles, sinews, even entrails, were exposed." (Westminster Dictionary of the Bible page 538) In other words, if the Roman lictors (two soldiers on either side who took turns) weren't careful they could cut major veins or disembowel the victim, causing prematurely death.
 "..... Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--" Isaiah 52:14
 
Crucifixion was an agonizing, torturous death, but Jesus endured a torture that was nearly as, or perhaps equally, excruciating before he ever got to the cross. This was the pain he suffered when he was scourged.

Scourging, called verberatio by the Romans, was possibly the worst kind of flogging administered by ancient courts. While the Jews administered whippings in the synagogues for certain offenses, these were mild in comparison to scourging. Scourging was not normally a form of execution, but it certainly was brutal enough to be fatal in many cases. A person certainly could be beaten to death by the scourge if that was desired. Its purpose was not only to cause great pain, but to humiliate as well. To scourge a man was to beat him worse than one would beat a stupid animal. It was belittling, debasing, and demeaning. It was considered such a degrading form of punishment that, according to the Porcian (248 B.C.) and Sempronian (123 B.C.) laws, Roman citizens were exempt from it. It was, therefore, the punishment appropriate only for slaves and non-Romans, those who were viewed as the lesser elements in Roman society. To make it as humiliating as possible, scourging was carried out in public.

The instrument used to deliver this form of punishment was called in Latin a flagellum or a flagrum. This was much different from the bull whip that is more common in our culture. It was instead more like the old British cat o’ nine tails, except that the flagellum was not designed merely to bruise or leave welts on the victim. The flagellum was a whip with several (at least three) thongs or strands, each perhaps as much as three feet long, and the strands were weighted with lead balls or pieces of bone. This instrument was designed to lacerate. The weighed thongs struck the skin so violently that it broke open. The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea recounts with vivid, horrible detail a scene of scourging. He says, “For they say that the bystanders were struck with amazement when they saw them lacerated with scourges even to the innermost veins and arteries, so that the hidden inward parts of the body, both their bowels and their members, were exposed to view” (Ecclesiastical History, Book 4, chap. 15).

The victim of a scourging was bound to a post or frame, stripped of his clothing, and beaten with the flagellum from the shoulders to the loins. The beating left the victim bloody and weak, in unimaginable pain, and near the point of death. It is no doubt that weakness from his scourging was largely the reason Jesus was unable to carry his cross all the way to Golgotha (Matt. 27:32 and parallels).

Like everything else about his death, Jesus knew that he would be scourged. He mentioned it when He predicted his sufferings for the third time (Matt. 20:19 and parallels). He knew that before he died of the torture of the cross he would have to endure a savage, brutal beating at the hands of the Romans who were more than ready to vent their hatred against Jews. He accepted those blows, and his body was ripped open at the post, for us. He was taking the punishment of the sins of the world so that we might not have to suffer the consequences of our transgressions. By his stripes we are healed.

David McClister
2210 71st St. W., Bradenton, Florida 34209
Truth Magazine Vol. XLIV: 1 p 11,12 January 2000
 
 
 
CRUCIFIXION- A CRUEL DEATH  (a physician's perspective)

ROMAN SOLDIERS MOCK AND BEAT JESUS


Matthew 27:28-30 (The soldiers) stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Jesus was then beaten by the Roman soldiers. In mockery, they dressed Him in what was probably the cloak of a Roman officer, which was colored dark purple or scarlet .(Amplified Bible) He also wore the crown of thorns. Unlike the traditional crown which is depicted by an open ring, the actual crown of thorns may have covered the entire scalp.(Lumpkin) The thorns may have been 1 to 2 inches long. The gospels state that the Roman soldiers continued to beat Jesus on the head. The blows would drive the thorns into the scalp (one of the most vascular areas of the body) and forehead, causing severe bleeding.

THE CROWN OF THORNS AND THE ROBE


Genesis 3:17-18: "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field."Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." The significance of the scarlet robe and crown of thorns is to emphasize Jesus' taking the sins of the world upon His body. The Bible describes sin by the color of scarlet (Is 1:18) and that thorns first appeared after the fall, as a sign of the curse. Thus, the articles that He wore are symbols to show that Jesus took on the sins (and the curse) of the world upon Himself. It is not clear that He wore the crown of thorns on the cross. Matthew describes that the Romans removed His clothes after the beating, and that they put His own clothes back on Him. (Matt 27:31)

THE SEVERITY OF THE BEATING

"I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." Isaiah 50:6


 "..... Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--" Isaiah 52:14

The severity of the beating is not detailed in the gospels. However, in the book of Isaiah, it suggests that the Romans pulled out His beard.(Isaiah 50:8) . It is also mentions that Jesus was beaten so severely that His form did not look like that of "a son of a man" i.e. that of a human being. The literal translation of the verse reads, "So marred from the form of man was His aspect, that His appearance was not as that of a son of a man." People were appalled to look at Him (Isaiah 52:13). His disfigurement may explain why He was not easily recognized in His post resurrection appearances.(Missler)
From the beating, Jesus walked on a path, now known as the Via Dolorosa or the "way of suffering", to be crucified at Golgotha. The total distance has been estimated at 650 yards. (Edwards). A narrow street of stone, it was probably surrounded by markets in Jesus' time. He was led through the crowded streets carrying the crossbar of the cross(called a patibulum) across His shoulders. The crossbar probably weighed between 80 to 110 pounds. He was surrounded by a guard of Roman soldiers, one of which carried a titulus, a sign which announced His crime of being "the King of the Jews" in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. On the way, He was unable to carry the cross.


SUFFERING ON THE CROSS

  Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me." Psalm 22:16-17



The crucifixion event is prophesied in several places throughout the Old Testament. One of the most striking is recorded in Isaiah 52:13 ,where it says that , "My servant will act wisely (or prosper) .He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted." In John 3, Jesus talks about His fulfillment of that prophecy when He says, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life."
"He made Him who knew no sin  to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 Jesus is led to the place of the skull (Latin Calvary, Aramaic :Golgotha) to be crucified. The actual location of Calvary is also in dispute. At the end of the Via Dolorosa, there is a "T intersection". If one turns left, we go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. If one turns to the right, one goes to Gordon's Calvary. The Church of the Holy sepulcher has long been believed to be the traditional site of the crucifixion.

Gordon's Calvary has a possible prophetic reason for being the actual site of the crucifixion .In Genesis 22, Abraham is tested by God to sacrifice Isaac on the top of a mountain. Realizing that he is acting out a prophecy, that "God Himself will provide a Lamb" , Abraham calls the place of the event "Jehovah Jireh", meaning "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." If we take this as a prophetic event of Jesus' death, then Jesus' died on the high ground of Jerusalem. Gordon's Calvary is the highest point of Jerusalem, 777 meters above sea level.(Missler: Map from Israel tour book) Today, at Gordon's Calvary, caves in the rock are situated which give the site the appearance of a skull.


The procedure of crucifixion may be summarized as follows. The patibulum was put on the ground and the victim laid upon it. Nails, about 7 inches long and with a diameter of 1 cm ( roughly 3/8 of an inch) were driven in the wrists . The points would go into the vicinity of the median nerve, causing shocks of pain to radiate through the arms. It was possible to place the nails between the bones so that no fractures (or broken bones) occurred. Studies have shown that nails were probably driven through the small bones of the wrist, since nails in the palms of the hand would not support the weight of a body. In ancient terminology, the wrist was considered to be part of the hand. (Davis) Standing at the crucifixion sites would be upright posts, called stipes, standing about 7 feet high.(Edwards) In the center of the stipes was a crude seat, called a sedile or sedulum, which served a support for the victim. The patibulum was then lifted on to the stipes. The feet were then nailed to the stipes. To allow for this, the knees had to be bent and rotated laterally, being left in a very uncomfortable position. The titulus was hung above the victim's head.

There were several different types of crosses used during crucifixion. In Jesus' time, it was most likely that the cross used was a T shaped (or tau cross,), not the popular Latin, or t shaped cross which is accepted today.(Lumpkin)

PHYSICAL SUFFERING ON THE CROSS

  "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death." Psalm 22:14-15


Having suffered from the beatings and flogging, Jesus suffered from severe hypovolemia from the loss of blood. The verses above describe His dehydrated state and loss of His strength.

When the cross was erected upright, there was tremendous strain put on the wrists, arms and shoulders, resulting in a dislocation of the shoulder and elbow joints.(Metherall) The arms, being held up and outward, held the rib cage in a fixed end inspiratory position which made it extremely difficult to exhale, and impossible to take a full breath. The victim would only be able to take very shallow breaths.(This may explain why Jesus made very short statements while on the cross). As time passed, the muscles, from the loss of blood, last of oxygen and the fixed position of the body, would undergo severe cramps and spasmodic contractions

ABANDONED BY GOD -- SPIRITUAL DEATH


 "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?'--which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46

With the sin of the world upon Him, Jesus suffered spiritual death (separation from the Father ). Isaiah 59:2 says that sins cause a separation from God, and that He hides His face from you so that He does not hear. The Father must turn away from His Beloved Son on the cross. For the first time, Jesus does not address God as His Father.(Courson)

DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION : SLOW SUFFOCATION


  1. Shallowness of breathing causes small areas of lung collapse.
  2. Decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide causes acidic conditions in the tissues.
  3. Fluid builds up in the lungs. Makes situation in step 2 worse.
  4. Heart is stressed and eventually fails.

The slow process of suffering and resulting death during a crucifixion may be summarized as follows:

"...it appears likely that the mechanism of death in crucifixion was suffocation. The chain of events which ultimately led to suffocation are as follows: With the weight of the body being supported by the sedulum, the arms were pulled upward. This caused the intercostal and pectoral muscles to be stretched. Furthermore, movement of these muscles was opposed by the weight of the body. With the muscles of respiration thus stretched, the respiratory bellows became relatively fixed. As dyspnea developed and pain in the wrists and arms increased, the victim was forced to raise the body off the sedulum, thereby transferring the weight of the body to the feet. Respirations became easier, but with the weight of the body being exerted on the feet, pain in the feet and legs mounted. When the pain became unbearable, the victim again slumped down on the sedulum with the weight of the body pulling on the wrists and again stretching the intercostal muscles. Thus, the victim alternated between lifting his body off the sedulum in order to breathe and slumping down on the sedulum to relieve pain in the feet. Eventually , he became exhausted or lapsed into unconsciousness so that he could no longer lift his body off the sedulum. In this position, with the respiratory muscles essentially paralyzed, the victim suffocated and died. (DePasquale and Burch)



A LAST DRINK OF WINE VINEGAR


"A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips." When he had received the drink, Jesus said, `It is finished'. "With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:29-30

Having suffered severe blood losses from His numerous beatings and thus in a dehydrated state, Jesus, in one of His final statements, said "I thirst." He was offered 2 drinks on the cross. The first, which He refused, was a drugged wine (mixed with myrrh). He chose to face death without a clouded mind. Edersheim writes:

"It was a merciful Jewish practice to give to those led to execution a draught of strong wine mixed with myrrh so as to deaden consciousness" (Mass Sem 2.9; Bemid. R. 10). This charitable office was performed at the cost of, if not by, an association of women in Jerusalem (Sanh. 43a). The draught was offered to Jesus when He reached Golgotha. But having tasted it....He would not drink it. ....He would meet Death, even in his sternest and fiercest mood, and conquer by submitting to the full....(p.880).

The second drink, which He accepts moments before His death, is described as a wine vinegar. Two points are important to note. The drink was given on the "stalk of a hyssop plant". Remember that these events occurred at the Feast of the Passover. During this feast, (Exod 12:22) hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the wooden doorposts of the Jews. It is interesting the end of this hyssop stalk pointed to the blood of the Perfect Lamb which was applied to the wooden cross for the salvation of all mankind. (Barclay) In addition, the wine vinegar is a product of fermentation, which is made from grape juice and yeast. The word literally means "that which is soured" and is related to the Hebrew term for "that which is leavened". (Holmans) Yeast or leaven, is a Biblical symbol of sin. When Jesus took this drink, (i.e. a drink which was "leavened") it is thus symbolic of His taking the sins of the world into His body.

CELEBRATION OF THE OPPOSITION
SPIRITUAL WARFARE


 "Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me." Psalm 22:12-13

While He was on the cross, darkness covered the land (noon to three p.m.). Jesus, in Luke 22:53, associates those who arrested Him with the power of darkness. Where were the evil forces while Jesus was on the cross? The verses above from Psalm 22 seem out of place when first read. There seems to be no mention of "bulls" and "lions" around the cross. The verses, however, have a deeper meaning.(Courson) Bashan was an area to the east of the Jordan River which was famous for its fertility. Cattle were raised there which grew to enormous sizes. The people there worshipped demon spirits (associated with Baal) within the cattle. In 1 Pet 5:8, Satan is described as "a roaring lion...seeking those who he may devour" These verses are thus suggestive of the spiritual activity of Satan and his demons, celebrating as Jesus was suffering on the cross.

JESUS LAID DOWN HIS LIFE


"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."John 10:17-18

"Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit'." When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46


DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION:


HASTENED by the breaking of the legs, so that the victim could not push up to take a good breath.

John 19:32-33: The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

CONFIRMED by a spear thrust into the right side of the heart.

John 19:34: Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.Death in crucifixion was hastened by the breaking of the legs of the victim. This procedure, called crurifracture, prevented the ability of the victim to take in a good breath. Death would quickly occur from suffocation. In Jesus' case, He died quickly and did not have His legs broken. Jesus fulfills one of the prophetic requirements of the Passover Lamb, that not a bone shall be broken.(Exodus 12:46, John 19:36)

To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. When pierced, a sudden flow of blood and water came Jesus' body . The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured (Bergsma) which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross. (Ball) Another theory states that Jesus' heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which constricted the heart and caused death.(Davis) The physical stresses of crucifixion may have produced a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. (Johnson)

The stated order of "blood and water" may not necessarily indicate the order of appearance, but rather the relative prominence of each fluid. In this case, a spear through the right side of the heart would allow the pleural fluid (fluid built up in the lungs) to escape first, followed by a flow of blood from the wall of the right ventricle.(Edwards) The important fact is that the medical evidence supports that Jesus did die a physical death.

The story, of course, does not end here. The greatest event that separates Jesus from all others is the fact that He rose again and lives today. He intercedes for those who follow Him at the right hand of the Father.(Heb 7:25)


Compiled by David Terasaka, M.D. ©1996. All Rights Reserved, David Terasaka, M.D. However, permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute free of charge for non-commercial purposes only.


~God bless, and remember...
We are...
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

 *Note: I have heavily edited this essay...For the entire article go here: http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=3&contentID=3129&commInfo=8&topic=Crucifixion


 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Perfect Love



Perfect love...

Our three granddaughters last year
'Perfect Love'

                                      ...Casts out...

Our three granddaughters last Easter
Why do we put our kids through this? LOL!


                                         ...All fear!

Our oldest granddaughter (next to the bear)
Her classmate maybe has a future in acting?
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

It's been two whole years! I would have posted yesterday, but was gone for the day. This is a month for anniversaries...yesterday was the two year anniversary of this blog, and Saturday will be my husband and my 30th wedding anniversary!
Here is a link to my very first post on "My Heart's Home":
http://www.theheartandhome.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html

I will never forget the thrill of recieving my very first comment! From Ron: AKA/ "The old geezer".
I could not believe that anyone would have been interested in anything I had to say!
I am still thrilled to recieve comments, and I still cannot believe anyone really reads my posts, LOL!

The Lord has really blessed me with the opportunity to meet so many sweet and interesting people through blogging. One of my favorite passtimes is to visit your blogs, and to keep meeting new bloggers. Lately, I find myself doing that more than writing my own posts. I just can't seem to get enough of it...I am learning so much about life and Christianity from all over the globe. I am so thankful for you all.

 As iron sharpens iron,So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.      
 proverbs 27:17



Thank you for making my little corner of the world a lot more brighter!

 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Dog Blogs too!


CIMG0569
OK, so you’ve all seen my dogs on my bed, or in a small chair in the bedroom, and even on the bench in the foyer, right?
But what you will never see is the dogs on the living room furniture, it is simply forbidden territory for them. I thought that they understood that for the last year…
But…
Yesterday while I was sitting in my husband’s recliner blogging, I watched as Buddy very non-chalantly took his long legs and climbed right into my recliner.
He settled right in, and then gave me a good old fashioned STARE DOWN!
When my husband came home I told him about Bud’s misbehavior and he just laughed and told me that’s funny because he just caught Bud messing with my computer (on the table next to my chair) earlier that morning.

Now it all makes sense to me…
Buddy misses blogging!

*So here’s an update from his blog*
THE WHOOF PACK
http://anotherdoganotherblog.blogspot.com/

Hope you enjoy! ~God Bless~

*If the above link doesn’t work, just click on the ‘Whoof  Pack  page at the top of this blog.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Higher Ground


12-21-2011_013 - Copy

I was feeling quite low the past couple of days. The usual things that I know to do in order to pull myself from the darkness of depression just simply were not working. I hiked; I stayed active and productive. I blogged, and commented on other people’s blogs.

I got to the point where I felt nothing. I even questioned my faith. It seemed as though the words I was writing, though they sounded good enough, were empty. I tried to read scripture, and my eyes would skim over it as if reading some obscure technical manual…above my head.

I continued to pray, but I felt nothing still. My logical brain told my emotional brain that this will soon pass. After attempting (once again) to write everything out last night…I finally put some words down.

Then I gave myself permission to really sleep in this morning. Again, it was the logical side of my brain speaking. So I did, I slept in quite late.

As soon as I awoke, I prayed that the Lord would guide me through this day, and that He would somehow help me to make the most of it.

My husband and I live a reclusive lifestyle here in the forest
We are not looking for an escape from people, yet I sometimes deal with feelings of guilt about not being more social. Since both my husband and I are very introverted this lifestyle appeals to us, and we find it very difficult to function any other way…it feels unnatural to do so. So I have learned to allow the guilt to be replaced with acceptance instead, but every once in awhile the guilt resurfaces.

I am called to serve where I am and with what I have, in such a way as God created me for.

So here I am in a cottage in the forest where I have undressed all the windows in order to see God’s awesome creation. Throwing open a window, I can hear the birds as they eat from the feeders, and much like *St. Francis of Assisi would do, I can tell them of a Creator who loves His Creation, especially those whom He made in His own image. Then I will write this out for you to read, as I am hoping you will find encouragement somewhere in this message…
I have been delivered out of the darkness of depression once again. The Lord has lovingly taken me by the hand and pulled me up. I am no longer feeling guilty about who I am, but accepting the uniqueness of how He created me.

I am rejoicing in the fact that I have a message to carry; a message of hope and joy and peace to all who have a heart that seeks to know the One who made them, the Creator of us all, the Creator of everything good.

 (Genesis 1: 27, 28,31)
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”…
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

It is the mission of the devil to deceive you into thinking you are something bad (sin is bad, but you are not your sin, if you confess your sins and accept that Jesus died in order for you to be cleansed from your sins, then you become His righteousness, and sin has no more hold on you!) You were made to praise your Creator and in doing so, He gives you joy, and you are a joy to Him as well…the apple of His eye!

 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye..Deuteronomy 32:10
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, Psalm 17:8

So in conclusion,
I know that I will occasionally fall back into that dark hole of depression from time to time, but I also know that the Lord will always deliver me from it and lead me to higher ground. And from there I will preach the gospel of a Savior who loves us enough to not leave us in the dark, and a Heavenly Father who thinks we are pretty awesome!

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He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.  Psalm 18:33

*For more on St. Francis of Assisi:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2013/01/14/130114crbo_books_acocella

~God bless~

And remember, we are…

~NEVER FORSAKEN~

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