Silly Easter Poem

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Hoppy Easter to my lovies
Colored eggs and Easter bunnies
Creepy pictures on a rabbit’s lap
Cadbury Eggs…what the heck is in the middle of that?

Putting on your Sunday best
Time for one of the two days to go to church
The heck with the rest?
The Passion play and recommitments
Hoping that this time, we’ll keep them.

Plastic grass tangled in the vacuum
Too many deviled eggs…
Guess who’s living in the bathroom

What happens when the kids get older
No messy tables from dying eggs
No egg hunts and baskets
The house seems colder

Till later when the grandkids arrive
Easter will once again come alive

Crown of Thorns

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We have all heard the story of The Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.

We know he was unjustly sentenced for proclaiming who He is and all the works and miracles that he performed. We know that even though the government found no wrong in Christ, they allowed the citizens to choose who to set free, and the citizens choose a murderer named Barabbas.

We know that he was taunted by the religious folks of the time, called names, spat upon, whipped forty minus one time by a cat of nine tails.

Forty less one stripe-Jewish law stated that the maximum amount of lashes a person may receive is 40. The reason for them giving 39 is room for error in the counting, so as not to exceed the punishment.

Cat-o-nine-tails- an instrument  of torture comprised of a short cluster of whips approximately 3 feet in length. Each strand made of leather has a sharp piece of bone or metal attached to the end. When it strikes the body, it tears off the upper layer of skin in a stripe several inches wide, causing pain and profuse bleeding.

They then made him carry his Cross down the Via Dolorosa (Way of suffering) to the hill called Galgotha (place of the skull)  outside of the city where he would be nailed to the cross and the cross was erected for all the world to see. He eventually suffocated to death. I highly recommend that you read the actual science behind the crucifixion. This is a very stripped down overview.

All the while this ordeal was taking place, he never said a word. He never fought. He never defended himself. He knew what the end result would be, and this death had nothing on the glory that was to come for both himself and the rest of the world for those who accept this most amazing gift.

I highly recommend reading the entire chapter of Isaiah 53, but here is a short clip from the chapter:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The one thing that I want to focus on is the Crown of Thorns.

When Christ was being crucified, they fashioned a crown of thorns to mock the King. Thorns. They placed this crown upon His head and beat it into his skull.  Take a minute to let that sink in.

We know that by His stripes we are healed. Healing is available to everyone who accepts and believes because of the stripe. It’s been paid for. It’s up to us to accept it and walk by faith in the healing.  The one thing that we overlook is that crown and its symbolism.

Part of the curse in Genesis 3 is that the land would produce thorns. If a crop bears thorns and thistles, that crop is worthless.

So here’s my question for you:

Have you ever been called worthless? Have you ever thought of yourself as worthless?

Have you ever been made fun of? Have you ever felt degraded? Let me go a step further…Have you ever had voices in your head that told you all these things?

You are a nobody

You are worthless

You’ll never amount to anything

You’ll never be good enough

What if …happens?

What if there’s not enough money?

What if I screw it all up?

I’ve made too many mistakes.

Nobody could ever love me

Are you recognizing these voices? These are voices that those suffering from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses hear.

There is not a single thing that Christ went through that was void of meaning. Jesus wore the crown of thorns…the thorns that went deep into his skull, so you can be free of mental illness and mental oppression. Just as he received 39 stripes so you can be healed. Just as he died on the cross and literally went to hell and defeated Satan, so that you don’t have to.

And the most amazing thing is that 3 days after He died on the cross, He rose from the dead. He walked this earth for 40 days before ascending into heaven. Nine days later, what is now known as the day of Pentecost, He sent His Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit that lives inside of those who have received Christ as their savior. This is very important because it is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that has the ability to override those voices in your head.

The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Therefore, we have the mind of Christ.

It would be heartless of me to tell you all this without telling how to deal with it.

The bible says in Philippians 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy-think on these things.

Think on things that are positive. Stop the “what-ifs”. Find out who you are in Christ. You are worthy. Look up your identity in Christ. Search the scripture. Anytime you see the words, “In Christ”, “In Him”, and “In whom”…that’s talking about YOU. That’s who you are.

The apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh, yet he was who had this revelation. A Thorn. Sound familiar?

Another reference is scripture to read is about the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-17. In this scripture, it speaks of the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

In order to defeat mental illness or mental oppression, it is important that EVERY DAY when you wake up, that you get dressed in the Armor. The helmet protects the head…the mind. The sword of the spirit is the words you speak. A sword is double edged, so be careful with it. You can speak life or death. You can protect yourself, and with the same sword, you can kill people with your words. That’s another story for another time, but right now, we want to put the focus on protecting ourselves. This is where the thinking on these things comes into play. Every action starts with a thought then it manifests through the mouth. That is the action. Stop speaking and thinking negatively. When a negative thought comes into your mind, take it captive and change it to something positive.

Faith is awesome, but it’s dead when there is no action behind it. It’s wonderful to think that Christ took our physical and emotional pain on the cross, but if you don’t put into action what He provided, you will remain in the same predicament that you are in.

Allow me to speak from experience. I come from a long line of worriers. Anxiety is a very strong curse in my family. My grandmother had it, my mother has it, I have been known to suffer from it, and my daughter has it. It’s bad. It can make you sick and paralyze you. Several years ago  I went to a conference called an “Encounter with Christ”. It was a great weekend service where we learned all of the symbolism of the cross, just as I have touched on above. The part that really got me was the revelation of the crown of thorns. Through my battle with worry or anxiety for many years, I finally learned how to put into action the things that I have talked about above. My quality of life drastically changed. I became someone I didn’t even know, and I liked her.

At some point, circumstances in life happened and I started losing ground. The reason I lost ground is because I stopped clothing myself daily with the armor of God and I stopped thinking and meditating on positive things. Now I am basically back to square one. I have determined to find that person again who was free of anxiety. I don’t have it all together, but I do know what I have to do. I just have to do it. Earlier this year, I decided to find her. I do good mentally when I practice this, but I have not yet made it a habit.

I want to encourage everyone who is interested in getting free from anxiety, depression and other mental oppression, to join the journey with me.  Not just for a day or 2, but until it becomes a habit.

Valentine’s Musings

Happy Valentines Day! Today seems to be the perfect time to reflect on love, much like Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on being thankful, and Independence Day is the perfect time to reflect on what it means to be free.

Have you seen that stupid commercial with the larger than life teddy bear? I mean, it’ s sweet and all and I love the thought of having something so comfy to cuddle up to on the couch or bed, but seriously….who has room for something like that??? Of course, they really market it well. They explain why flowers suck and her throwing them in the trash, then her eating a couple of pieces of candy out of the traditional heart shaped box, then she throws it over her shoulder because it’s a bad idea and you’re gonna have to listen to her complain about how fat she is. Yep, she’d much rather have that teddy bear that takes up half the house that she can cuddle with. Makes me wonder if someone who gives her that bear is actually giving his own version of a Dear Jane letter. Seems like the perfect replacement.

So what exactly is Valentines Day and when did it start and why is it such a big deal?

In my search for the origins of Valentines Day, one of the many stories include the martyrdom of a Saint in Rome who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. His last big gig was healing the daughter of his jailer and sending her a card signed, “your Valentine”.

There seem to be many claims to the origin of the day of Love. Everything from girls drawing names from a jar to see who they would marry, to famous people getting married on the day. Basically, if you can imagine it, it probably happened at some point in history.

At some point poetry became famous. Even the ever popular “Roses are Red” poem evolved over time.

Here’s my favorite from Edmund Spenser’s epic The Faerie Queene (1590)

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,

And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

Fast forward to modern times and Valentines Day has become one of the most commercial holidays of the year, following Christmas and Halloween. In the United States, about 190 million cards are sent each year. We’re talking the hallmark style cards, not the little box of 25 cards that the school children pass out. In 2013, the average person spent $131.

Regardless of the origin, the modern day celebration consists of lavishing gifts on the beloved. The usual gifts include chocolate, flowers, jewelry, teddy bears and mass produced cards and let us not forget the fancy dinner. Although all those things are nice, I think that gifts from the heart are the best. The best thing about gifts from the heart is that they don’t cost much if anything.

When was the last time you wrote a poem? Do you even know how to write a poem? If not, I have some great news for you, we have modern day technology in the form of the internet and google. Simply google “how to write a poem”, pick your style then put your own words to it and use a thesaurus if you must in order to find words that fit. After you have written your poem get you out some colored paper and crayons and make your own Valentines Day card.

When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? Here’s an idea. Send the kids to grandma’s and make your sweetheart’s favorite meal. Set the table with the best place settings and elegant decorations. And whatever you do, don’t forget the candles, low lighting and love songs playing in the background. Get dressed in something sexy and surprise him/her.

If chocolates are your Valentine’s thing, consider doing away with the heart shaped box, and make your own sweets. Truffles are easy to make as are heart shaped cookies.

There’s any number of ideas to make the day special. Google and Pinterest will be your best friends when coming up with ideas. Stop on the side of the road and pick her a bouquet of flowers, dance to the car radio under the stars, turn you bedroom and bathroom into a spa, complete with candles and rose petals. If you plan ahead, you could also get with your favorite photographer and make some sexy picture to give to him or her. This would also be a great day for breakfast in bed.

However, you celebrate, spend time with the one you love.
Happy Valentines Day!

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