Chocolate & Bunnies & Chicks – Oh My!

As Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow and Tin Man made their way threw the scary forest in the Wizard of OZ, they were worried about encounters with “lions and tigers and bears – oh my!”.

At this time of year, little children are looking forward to encounters with chocolate bunnies and chicks and eggs. But as Christians, this time of year should be about so much more than sweet treats. Just as the real reason for Christmas has become over-shadowed by sparkling decorations, gaily wrapped presents and turkey dinners, so has the real meaning of Easter been overshadowed by gaily coloured baskets filled with sweet treats and images of cute bunnies and chicks.

I think that of the two celebrations, Christmas and Easter, the latter means the most to me. It means that a kind, loving and innocent man, Jesus, was betrayed, falsely charged, unjustly convicted, cruelly tortured, and put to death in an excruciating manner, to pay for the crime of sin that I committed. He willing did this so that, not only would I not have to pay the penalty and go through the punishment for my crime, but my record would be wiped clean – forever – and so that I would be able to have eternal life filled with blessing beyond my comprehension and live in the presence of my loving Heavenly Father. Jesus went through all the horrors so that I could become the glorious creation God meant me to be and have the glorious fellowship with Him that He has always wanted.

Easter is not about big family dinners and fun and games; it is about betrayal, rejection, false accusation, and injustice.

Easter is not about chocolate and candies; it is about beatings and scourging.

Easter is not about cute little bunnies and chicks; it is about a barbaric, slow, agonizing, bloody death on a wooden cross.

Easter is not about pastel pinks, blues, yellows and purples; it is about the red colour of blood, the purple of bruising, the blackness of the tomb.

While Easter is filled with these scenes of tragedy, sorrow, horror and death, it is also filled with the brightness of the glory of the resurrected Saviour, Jesus Christ. And the resurrection of Jesus fills us with the beautiful colours of joy, hope and everlasting peace. For not only did Jesus die for us so that our sins were forgiven, He also rose for us so that we also would have the hope of a resurrected life, a life eternal lived in glory with Jesus and God. OH MY!!

Isa 53:3 Men made sport of him, turning away from him; he was a man of sorrows, marked by disease; and like one from whom men’s faces are turned away, he was looked down on, and we put no value on him.
Isa 53:4 But it was our pain he took, and our diseases were put on him: while to us he seemed as one diseased, on whom God’s punishment had come.
Isa 53:5 But it was for our sins he was wounded, and for our evil doings he was crushed: he took the punishment by which we have peace, and by his wounds we are made well.
Isa 53:6 We all went wandering like sheep; going every one of us after his desire; and the Lord put on him the punishment of us all.
Isa 53:7 Men were cruel to him, but he was gentle and quiet; as a lamb taken to its death, and as a sheep before those who take her wool makes no sound, so he said not a word.
Isa 53:8 They took away from him help and right, and who gave a thought to his fate? for he was cut off from the land of the living: he came to his death for the sin of my people.
Isa 53:9 And they put his body into the earth with sinners, and his last resting-place was with the evil-doers, though he had done no wrong, and no deceit was in his mouth.

Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live.

Rom 6:5 For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection;

THANK YOU JESUS!

I have included a link to a great music video, I hope it is okay to use it. If not, I am sorry.          For The Cross

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Thank You

This March marks the third anniversary of my blog. I want to thank every person who has taken the time to read it and those who have taken the time send me your comments. Your words of encouragement and support have meant so much to me.

While I don’t personally respond to everyone who has stopped by, I always check out your profiles and one or two articles if you are a fellow blogger.

I hope that in some small way, my writing brings you to a better and deeper understanding of our Heavenly Father, His love for us, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

May God guide you and bless you on your own personal voyages of discovery.

Love in Christ, Shari

Sanctuary

Psa 9:9 Jehovah also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

 

When my hubby and I got married, we were both starting over again, basically from scratch. We slowly worked together to create a home of our own with the dream of eventually owning our own home once again. Our dream came true a year ago and we are now blessed to own a cute little house in cottage country.

It is a smaller, older building which started out as an even smaller cottage. We don’t have a lot of money to do upgrades and renovations but we are trying to put our own personal stamp on the place, one room at a time. Currently, I am painting the boring kitchen cupboards a dark red and will accent the centers of each panel with textured wallpaper that I have painted to look like vintage pressed tin. It will definitely NOT be a “trendy cookie cutter” style kitchen, but it will reflect my personality (fun and a bit quirky).

My favourite room in the house is our bedroom. We made a master bedroom out of the addition that had originally been added on as a sunken den. We have a gas fireplace and patio doors leading out to the back yard which has a bird feeder where we can enjoy watching nature. There is also a skylight through which we can see the stars and the moon. I have even placed glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling in the shape of the constellations that we can see from our back yard.

When the day’s stresses are over and we need a rest break from life’s daily grind, we often retire to our bedroom, put on some sounds of nature music, turn up the fireplace, turn off the lights, and snuggle into polar fleece sheets – and rest.

Our home, especially our bedroom, has become a special sanctuary, refuge and hiding-place for my hubby and me.

Although the word “sanctuary” was originally used to define a holy or sacred place it can also be used to defined a place of refuge and protection. Aside from my home and my bedroom, being in my husband’s loving arms also leaves me feeling like I am in a sanctuary. In his arms, I feel safe, protected and loved.

God, our Heavenly Father, wants to be our sanctuary and our refuge. He wants to be the one we turn to when we need shelter, safety and protection.

David, who was pursued, hunted, and often in peril of his life, wrote a number of times that he felt and believed that God was his “strong tower” – a sanctuary and refuge when he was in trouble or danger.

Psa 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my strong tower and hiding-place in the day of my trouble.

Psa 62:5 My soul, be silent only to God; for my hope is from Him.
Psa 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be shaken.
Psa 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength; my hiding-place is in God.

2Sa_22:3 The God who is my Rock, in Him will I trust. He is my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower, and my Refuge, my Savior. 

Pro_18:10 The name of Jehovah is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Deu_33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Psa 36:7 How precious is Your loving-kindness, O God! And the sons of men take refuge under the shadow of Your wing.

Psa 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

When you are weary and need rest, when you need shelter from life’s storms, when you need protection from the attacks of the enemy, when you need peace in your heart and mind, and when you need to feel loving arms wrapped around you – turn to God – your Heavenly Father, who loves you.

My prayer for you is that you will be able to say that Jehovah is your refuge and your fortress; your God; in Him will you trust. (Ps. 91:2)

Blessings

Taking a Walk

I am going through a bit of a rough patch in life. Challenges with health, finances and family concerns can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

The other day I was aching, tired, frustrated, anxious and a little depressed. I couldn’t concentrate on anything so I decided to go for a walk – well, it was more of a slow stroll actually.

As I strolled, the thoughts were spinning around in my head and no answers were becoming apparent. I realized that I wasn’t accomplishing anything on my own, except for increasing my anxiety level, so I decided to walk and talk with my Heavenly Father instead. I poured out my concerns and frustrations. He already knew what they were, but He waits for us to come to Him with our cares. In fact, God, through His son Jesus Christ, invites us to do just that.

Mat 11:28 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Luk 11:9 And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.

Heb 4:15,16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

As I walked and talked with God, pouring out my heart to Him, I also began to thank Him for the many blessings that He has given me.

Php 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

By the end of my walk, I did not feel like I had received any answers to my concerns, but my headache was gone and I felt relaxed and much more at peace.

Php 4:7 And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed by life’s difficulties, try taking a walk and talking with God.

“And He walks with me

And He talks with me.

And He tells me I am His own.

And the joy we share,

As we tarry there,

None other, has ever know”

C Austin Miles

Blessings