Crucifixion of Christ, Divine Surprises, Good Friday, Resurrection

GO TELL PETER

I didn’t go to church on Good Friday.

But I read the Biblical account.

And all day long, I thought about the agony of Jesus and how his followers–especially Peter–must have felt as they watched him suffer and die.

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The Denial of Peter by Caravaggio, 1610

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15216569Good Friday

But Then

I read the account of the resurrection when the angel instructed the women who had come to the tomb,

“Go tell the disciples and Peter, He goes before you into Galilee; you will see him there, just as He told you.” -Mk. 16:7

All day the phrase looped through my mind.

Go Tell Peter.

The editor within, wanting to be correct, reminded me that Mark records it, Go tell the disciples and Peter . . .

Even so

Go Tell Peter echoed through me

As I arranged flowers

Set the table

Iced the cake

Tidied up in preparation for Easter dinner.

Easter table

Go Tell Peter 

Bounced off the tiles as I showered and dressed.

Go Tell Peter.

As I settled into my chair to read.

GO TELL PETER

So I stopped.

And I finally asked,

“Tell him what, Lord?”

What I heard.

Go tell him that I’m a personal God.

One who calls him by name.

Not to condemn

But to forgive.

Not to punish

But to lift him out of the pain and depression brought on by his failures.

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Go tell Peter

Dry those bitter tears.

Strengthen those wobbly knees.

I am alive.

I go before you to Galilee.

To the place we first walked together.

I will meet you there.

I will tell you what to do next.

And I will imbue you with power to obey.

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REJOICE! The Cross & Tomb Are Empty!

Go Tell that Woman, Go Tell that Man.

I am alive.

I am opening the way for a new beginning.

Go back to where you first met me.

I will meet you there.

Or come to me for the first time.

I will show you what to do.

I will give you the ability and the will to follow me.

Go tell Peter.

Go tell.

Go.

Tell.

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So I ask you.

What are we waiting for?

Go and tell the Good News.

Christ the Savior is risen.

He is risen indeed.

 

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. -Matt. 28:6

Bird Nests, Birds, Creation, Life Lessons, Spring

QUESTIONS FOR THE AGES

 

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The valley below is greening. A kaleidoscope of spring hues soften winter’s drab silhouette. Birds serenade their sweethearts then zip across the yard with sprigs of straw and bits of trash destined for their woven nurseries.

I watch as they pause on the deck for refreshment then rush off again, intent on the age-old ritual of bringing forth another generation. Unlike man, they neither question nor resist their roles in God’s glorious creation.

Nestlings

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matt. 6:28

My Questions

Why do we insist on writing our own script when His plan is perfect?

Some think it’s for wimps.

Others may say, “Bor-ing.”

Or maybe, “I don’t do that religious stuff.”

My Thoughts

If you could ask the men and women who have dared take God at His Word through the centuries, I doubt even one would describe the journey as wimpy, boring or religious stuff. Sometimes

Challenging

Hang-Onto-Your-Hat Exciting

Frightening

Downright Hard

But never ever

Boring

Wimpy

Religious Stuff.

What Ifs?

What would we say if just once we caught so much as a glimpse of all the wonders God has stored up for those who love and seek Him?

What would our world be like then?

A Reminder From Dorothy

WinterCasualty

Then I notice the winter casualties in my flowerpots, the brambles infringing on our lawn and the weeds invading my flowerbeds and recall a line from the Wizard of Oz.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

There’s my answer. Like the Pop Culture says, This ain’t Kansas, Toto.

And this ain’t the Garden.

 

Our Creator knew we needed a Savior.

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What is man and woman that you bother with them; why take a second look their way? You made them not quite as high as angels, bright with Eden’s dawn light; Then you put them in charge of your entire handcrafted world.

Hebrews 2:6-7 MSG

Bluebirds, Hope, Life Lessons, Perseverance

SOMETIMES YOU CAN

 

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Debbie Hoffman

 

The continuing saga of my fascination with bluebirds. For the whole story, check out WHEN BLUEBIRDS DON’T COME.

COMING TO TERMS

I had come to terms with it.

Mostly.

If the bluebirds didn’t build a nest in our little birdhouse, I’d be happy with their daily visits to our deck.

Maybe like Paul, I needed to learn to be content in whatsoever state I found myself.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12b-13 

Although I hadn’t quite given up, I was working hard at being content.

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I admit I was reduced to bribery.

As sometimes happens, a song came to mind–an old Rolling Stones tune that was probably about drugs and 1960s politics, both light years removed from my application. Still the chorus ran through my head over and over.

Maybe you’ve heard it.

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You’ll find
You get what you need

ALMOST GETTING THE MESSAGE

OK. Maybe I was too obsessed with those bluebirds. Maybe I needed contentment more than bluebirds nesting in my yard.

I’d work on that right after I tried one more thing.

Perhaps if we moved the house down a little way from the big azalea bush, they’d reconsider this year. After all, that Daddy Blue really looked it over last year. I know he liked our house.

Birdhouse MoveSo  Terry moved that cute little birdhouse down a few feet. While he dug a new post hole, I checked its interior and found a huge wasp nest hidden out of sight of the casual observer. Could that have kept the birds away last year?

I cleaned the house out, and Terry planted it firmly in its new spot.

Then I watched and waited, but in truth without much hope. I reminded myself that I needed to be content with those daily visits.

And I was.

Almost content.

Still, I watched and waited until one morning about a week later, I noticed Daddy Blue sitting on the deck. Then he flew down to the little house.

BluebirdVisitor

HE WENT INSIDE.

I took up my post at the window.

Was that Mama Blue going in?

YES!

I tell you, I did a little dance and confess to shedding a couple of tears of joy when she landed on the deck rail with a sprig of grass in her beak before heading down to her new home. (I swear she did that for my benefit.)

They were moving in!

BLUEBIRDS HAVE MOVED INTO OUR BLUEBIRD HOUSE!

 

Bluebirdad
I haven’t been able to get a good shot of the couple going in and out. But this is their new home.

PRESSING ON

Isn’t that how it is sometimes? We long for something that may seem inconsequential, even silly, to others. Yet, the longing won’t go away, so we press on.

I’m sure glad I did because from now on bluebirds will remind me that when we think we can’t have what we want,

Sometimes it turns out we can.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Still, I remind myself of a Dr. Seuss quote:

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.”  —Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

May bluebirds always remind me to press on with my dreams.

To Reach higher.

bluebird in oak

 

Yet if those dreams are delayed or don’t come to fruition, I hope I will remember that I get to decide how I’ll respond.

I hope I will always seek to be content whatever comes my way.

 

I hope you will press on with your dreams, too.

And if they don’t materialize as quickly as you would like, I hope you will find contentment while you wait.

 

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Viktor Frankl