Hugs Allowed!

Our little Eastside family went to Phase Three for gathering and hugging on May 2nd, 2020. We had Dan, Jamie, Addy and Jaymison over for dinner on that Saturday. First things first…we got a good hug from Addy after she was out of her car seat and up the two steps to Gramps and Baba’s house.

Jaymison came in with his mommy and I wondered if he’d be willing to come to me after the many times we had seen him without responding to his little arms lifted up for me to pick him up. I was overjoyed (to tears) when he came right to me and then laid his sweet head against my shoulder and stayed there until it was time to sit down for dinner.

We had a nice dinner and then it was time to get re-acquainted with fun in the playroom. Jaymison is getting the “lay of the land” at our country bungalow.

Addy is a pro about all things here already.

Such a relief and joy to be together.

Thinking about this separation time and distancing time we are all having this morning and wondering about how special, amazing, glorious it will be when we finally see Jesus face to face? To behold His glory in person. Will we hug? Will we hold back and be in awe or will we run up and give Him a bear hug. Maybe both? The longer I live the more I’m looking forward to His appearing.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

Jesus Christ

We are on the letter J and Jesus Christ is the best choice for me to create a post on this Easter Weekend.

The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Refrain

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

Refrain

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

Refrain

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Thinking of all our friends and family who will be celebrating alone on this Easter 2020. May God draw you to a closer relationship with Him. Praying that God will wipe out this virus soon so we can meet together again.

Important Events ~ Good Friday

We are on the letter I and I’m choosing Important for my theme. This is an important weekend in the history of Christianity. Today we remember Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified on a cross and when he breathed His last was laid in a tomb.

Were the angels looking down from heaven to see all that would transpire?

Growing up there were Good Fridays when we would fast on that day until our church service in the evening with Communion breaking our fast and then having a meal together.

We will miss being able to attend Good Friday services this year but that will not stop us from our reading and contemplating the importance of this event in history and it’s importance today and in our future.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My Godmy God, why have you forsaken me?”
From Matthew 27:

The Death of Jesus

45 Now from the sixth hour[f] there was darkness over all the land[g] until the ninth hour.[h] 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[i] of God!”

55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus Is Buried

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard[j] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Tomorrow for the letter J my post will be about Jesus and His resurrection including photos from Easters past.

Easter Week

We are on the letter E for the A to Z Challenge and my choice for the letter E is Easter Week.

This Easter Week will go down in history as the Corona Virus Holy Week of 2020!

Our church will be celebrating Easter together in the flesh once the Stay at Home orders are lifted, sometime in the summer. We will have an online celebration this coming Sunday, on Easter.

Part of Easter Week (Holy Week) is Maundy Thursday, The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet.

The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet are both remarkable events.

While in Milan in March of 2013 I was able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper. The original mural is on a wall of the refectory (dining hall) in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. No photos allowed.

Dear and I were in England in 2014 and we saw two amazing paintings of the last supper, one in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Windsor and one in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford.

The Thames 104 - Copy - CopyFrom the Lectern, look down the centre aisle and observe in the West Gallery a painting of The Last Supper. This is a national treasure. The picture was originally presented to the Royal Chapel c. 1660 by Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester, Prelate of the Order of the Garter. It was “bought by him beyond the sea”. Another tradition ascribes it to Franz de Cleyn (1588-1658), Rostock, Mecklenburg, Court painter to James I. It was rolled up and buried “in the plumery” (plumbers workshop?) in the Great Rebellion. It hung over the altar at St George’s, Windsor in 1702, and can be seen there in Sandby’s drawing dated 1786.

The Thames 094

Oxford Day 6 141Above the stalls in the chapel hangs Giampetrino’s remarkable 15th copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, on permanent loan from the Royal Academy. In view of the bad condition of the original fresco in Milan, Magdalen’s copy on canvas is a piece of increasing historic and artistic significance.

Oxford Day 6 144This next sculpture of Jesus washing Peter’s feet is at the Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California.

GOTW-practice035

Excerpts from John chapter 13…

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Thinking of all my friends and family during this time of “Social Distancing”. Hoping you all are holding up under this time of unrest. It’s a good time to heed Jesus’ words and love one another and care for one another and wash one another’s feet.

This song is one that our Russian Community sings at funerals but it is a song with words that are relevant in this time of being apart. I am looking forward to that time “till we meet again”.

Jesus is All the World to Me ~ Hymn

Jesus is All the World to Me

Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad,
He’s my friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
My friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and
He gives them over and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
He’s my friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to Him I’ll be;
O how could I this friend deny,
When He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right,
He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night,
He’s my friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when
Life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my friend.

Words: Will L. Thompson, 1904.

This is Palm Sunday and it’s hard to not be in services with other believers. So thankful for being able to meet online and enjoy time together in another way…

The Time is Right

When I learned last August that one of my neighbors was given 3 short months to live I felt the urgency to share and knew this wasn’t a time for sugar coating. I feel the same about this time we are all finding ourselves in globally over the danger of COVID-19. Here’s what I wrote to her:

Dear ****,

Greg and I (Ellen) were so sorry to hear that you were given such a short time to live on this earth. We have prayed for you, especially that you can die in peace knowing you will spend eternity in heaven.

We believe in the one true God who made heaven and earth and all of us. We believe the Bible is the true Word of God. The Bible tells us about what Jesus did for us-

“Jesus Christ came into this world and did the greatest thing that will ever be done. As the perfect Son of God, He died in our place, absorbed the wrath of God, paid the penalty for sin, provided the righteousness of the law, and rose invincible from the dead–all in a vapor’s life of thirty three years.”

Jesus Christ wants a personal relationship with you. He wants to be your Savior. In order for Him to be your Savior you need to admit you are a sinner (need a Savior). Our sins separate us from God. God provided the way for us to be forgiven through Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross, paying for our sins. We cannot save ourselves. We need to come to Jesus personally and cry to Him to have mercy on us. When we ask He will forgive our sins.

God is in charge. “This then, is the gospel our Lord sends us forth to proclaim: That Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate, humbled himself to die on our behalf. Thus He became the the sinless sacrifice to pay the penalty of our guilt. He rose from the dead to declare with power that He is Lord over all, and He offers eternal life freely to sinners who will surrender to Him in humble, repentant faith. This gospel promises nothing to the haughty rebel, but for broken, penitent sinners, it graciously offers everything that pertains to life and godliness.”

We pray that God will have mercy on you and draw you to Himself through forgiveness so that you can be born again.  It’s too late to sugar coat this message. Ask God to show you right now the truth of His Gospel and the way to eternal life.

With concern and hope for your eternity,

Ellen and Greg

Our neighbor left this earth in October of 2019.

We will all spend eternity somewhere. I’m grateful to be able to say I will spend it with my Savior. Do you know where you will spend eternity?

John 14: 1-4, 6 ~ “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going…Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Eye Has Not Seen…

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

It’s time for me to forewarn that ellen b. will be away from the computer and all reading material for a time. On Monday I am scheduled for Vitrectomy Surgery in Spokane. My right eye has enough floaters to form my own galaxy. They affect my vision in my right eye. The surgery will involve removing the vitreous (the clear jelly like substance that fills the middle of the eye). They will replace it with saline (a saltwater solution). I’ll be under Dear’s care who will have to instill 3 different eye drop medications in my eye at different intervals for days. I don’t really know how long it will be before I feel like typing or reading so when you don’t see anything on my blog you will know why. I hope some of you will pray for me when God reminds you by His Spirit. Thank you in advance!

This is the latest devotional book that I am reading along with my daily Bible passages.

It’s proving to be a book I copy quotes from into my journal. Piper shares this quote from C.S. Lewis and then I’ll share a subsequent paragraph from Piper.

In the middle of the last century the British writer C.S. Lewis got it shockingly right:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His fee and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)

Then Piper goes on to say:

In other words, Jesus will not be domesticated. But people still try. There seems to be something about this man for everybody. So we pick and choose in a way that shows he is on our side. All over the world, having Jesus on your side is a good thing. But not the original, undomesticated, unadjusted Jesus. Just the revised Jesus who fits our religion or political platform or lifestyle.

These quotes are just from the preface. I’ll be jotting down many more thoughts to ponder as I continue to slowly read through this one.

Happy Monday to you all. Hope to have Dear add an update on this post on Wednesday to let you know how things are going.