Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almost a Perfect Weekend!

Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.

Did you ever wonder...How could a weekend be more perfect? Last Saturday and Sunday was one of those weekends...blue sky, warm mornings, afternoons in the 80's, birds singing, fruit trees blooming, and bees buzzing.  We put on our garden gloves and hurried out the door!

This is just a snippet of our lovely, and busy weekend: Jeffery (Papa) tilled our garden space...we're so ready for fresh veges; we planted Jenna's curly willow that had been in a pot for 3 years (leftover from Jen & Chris' wedding decor); we planted a small shade tree for Barley; we bought trees in memory of Abbie and Pepper (our loyal doggies that have passed); Charlie, our resident squirrel, tried stealing birdseed from the bird feeder while hanging upside down; Jaymi & Jeff brought over a plate of cinnamon and raisin cookies,  Ky and Papa had "alone-time" building a small wooden airplane; and our generous neighbor dropped off two dozen eggs from his range fed chickens.

Kyle's Plane

Perfect...all except for one minor incident.  Jeff and I decided to burn the branches that had piled up after pruning our fruit trees. The branches were dry, and so the fire took off hot & fast. At first the air was still...no wind...and then out of nowhere several huge gusts of wind fueled the flames. Have you seen pictures of solar flares arching and jumping off the surface of the sun? Well, that's what it looked like! Big pieces of flames started jumping out of the burning branches, and over to a weeping willow that had just recently sent out new spring leaves. The willow is a few years old, and so it was just the right size to catch those "fireballs." Needless to say, half of the tree was singed...brown...no green leaves remained on those weeping branches. My daughter, Jaymi, said, "It doesn't look that bad. It'll grow back."  Yes, I know, but the way those flames were jumping, we are thankful that the whole tree, and more didn't get torched!  We will move the burn pile.

It was an almost perfect weekend!

                        Always Blessings,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thorns & Roses

Thorns...sin...invasive weeds...natural disasters...strange weather...shaky economy...families breaking apart...sadness, loneliness and pain...effects of sin...cause of man's struggles... Roses...beautiful...confession... forgiveness...Perfection.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all  unrighteousness."     1 John 1:9

For centuries, stories have been written about the ongoing battle between "good & evil," from fairy tales to classic literature.  In most fairy tales, the reader will quickly become familiar with the antagonist and the protagonist.  Stories will often begin with "once upon a time" and end with "they all lived happily ever after." The story of Sleeping Beauty, a well known fairy tale, is filled with metaphors that closely describe our world, and what happened after man sinned in the Garden of Eden.  One of the main characters in the fairy tale, Princess Aurora (also named Brier Rose,) fell into a deep sleep because of an evil spell.  Soon after she was put under the spell, darkness enveloped the King's castle and his Kingdom. Thorn covered vines grew wildly across the land, hiding the beauty that was once loved by all.  Prince Phillip, Brier Rose's first love, was the only one that could save the Princess and the Kingdom from the evil that had taken over. The story has a happy ending. The brave Prince risked his life and saved the Princess and the Kingdom.

Although there are stories with similar parallels to books in the Bible, The Greatest Story Ever Told is not a fairy tale. The Bible is the written word of God. The Old Testament describes the Savior that will come to save His people, and The New Testament describes the Savior's short life on this earth, and His Second Coming. Jesus is described as unique: He is God's Son and He is the son of man. 

It all begins in the Garden...

Adam and Eve were tempted, and ultimately disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.  After "man" sinned, it is written in Genesis 3:23, that they were removed from the Garden. Life would not be easy outside of the garden; thorns grew throughout the land.  And although sin and death entered into the picture at that time, God continues to demonstrate His love and concern for His special creations every day.  Earth was designed for man; it is still our beautiful home...thorns and all!
God knew that thousands of years into the future, His Son and our Savior, would be born in Bethlehem, and be raised by His mother Mary and earthly father, Joseph.  After Jesus completed His ministry on earth, He willingly died on the cross over 2000 years ago because He loves us.  Jesus arose three days after His death and spoke to many of his followers. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made it possible to remove the thorns and return life & light to the land, and to the people. Before Jesus left this earth, He promised to return to His beloved family, and restore our once perfect Earth.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Among the "thorns" we can still see "roses"...the love and beauty that still abounds on our home...Earth. Yes, there will continue to be suffering and evil that can't always be explained until "all" is restored as it was.  While we wait upon the Lord, God still cares for His family and continues to pour out blessings on this little planet:  the sun rises and sets everyday;  our seasons arrive every year bringing the promise of life each spring; babies are born; children bless our lives with their innocence and laughter; families live together and create bonds of love; and the blessed land gives up grasses, flowers, and trees for the needs of man and the animal kingdom. If the Garden of Eden was perfect for man, and more beautiful than a lovely spring morning or the smile on a child's face, then we cannot even begin to comprehend what God created for us in the beginning...And what still awaits us when we return to Him. Roses will replace the thorns, and we will only know His love and light.

We should all be looking for that day when Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!                                                              
Click on this link, and you will be blessed:

(c) Lin Silveira-Hess 4/15/12