Saturday, November 18, 2017

Armor of God

Armor of God

On a recent trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stopped in an old stone church in Lexington, Virginia.  The R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church was begun in 1840.  It's on the edge of the beautiful Washington & Lee campus.  I'm a sucker for stained glass (my husband frequently asks, "And why are you taking another picture of stained glass?"), and this church has some unique windows.  Let me share them with you -

I love the passage in Ephesians 6 about the Armor of God and this stained glass perfectly represents one of the items that is imperative to our desire to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."  I like this stained glass picture of the "helmet of salvation" listed in verse 17.  This helmet has a nice plume of feathers along the top and a bold golden Maltese cross on the front.  Certainly Salvation is the number one piece needed to make us strong in the Lord.

Next, we have the "sword of the Spirit," which is the Word of God, and also listed in verse 17.  The next verse continues the Spirit theme, adding "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."  And speaking of the Spirit, the glass below is meant to represent that gentle, holy person -

The pure, white dove that settled upon Jesus was our first glimpse of a representation of the Holy Spirit - "And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came
from heaven which said, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased" Luke 3:22.





Saturday, November 4, 2017

Robe of Righteousness

Robe of Righteousness

"I have clothed you in My righteousness and holiness. I see you attired in these radiant garments, which I bought for you with My blood....it is a pure gift."  from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

This picture of my granddaughter Marisa shows her happily admiring a beautiful white dress and cloak she is trying on at the store.  It reminds me of the beautiful, pure robe of righteousness that Jesus clothes us with when we are redeemed by His cleansing blood of salvation.

Imputed righteousness means that because of our faith in Jesus, God looks at Jesus' righteousness as if it were our righteousness.  God's Son Jesus is without sin and completely righteous.  We humans are born in sin and in our natural selves are completely without righteousness.  But, something wonderful and mysterious and miraculous happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  He frees us from the wages of sin AND He wraps (covers) us in His pure righteousness.  Thereafter, when God looks upon us He no longer sees our sin, but rather He sees His precious Son's righteousness which we have been given as a priceless gift.

Marisa twirled in delight when she tried on that elegant white garment.  May our hearts "twirl in delight" by God's promise that we, His children, are clothed in the elegant white garments of Christ's righteousness and have His perfection counted as ours by our Holy Father God.

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" 2 Corinthians 5:21



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Our Own Caboose

OUR OWN CABOOSE

   There's something special about that little red caboose at the end of a train.  We stayed at the Caboose Inn in Fancy Gap, Virginia, on our recent trip to the mountains.  It might  not be five-star lodging, but it was unique and fun. 

 
   Our little red caboose is the center of three cabooses on the top of a mountain.  There was a nice sunset and then a very dark night.  Unfortunately, it was very cloudy and we only saw a sprinkling of stars.  When we got there, it was quite warm.  When we left the next morning, it was quite cold.
 



    I could almost hear the Little Red Caboose saying, "I think I can! I think I can!"  Which reminds me of the Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.  That is one of my favorite verses and one to live by each and every day.  I'm so thankful for that promise.  The little red caboose made it in the end, and so can we with the help of our Lord and Savior!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Apples

APPLES

   We covered the lovely orange pumpkin, now we're moving on to the luscious Apple.  Fall and Apples just go together.  Of course, where there are apples, there are also worms - like the one lurking in the apple above.  Hmmm....that worm looks awfully familiar...



There is something so refreshing about biting into a crisp, sweet apple.  What is your favorite apple?  My favorites are Gala and Fuji.  Larry's favorite is Pink Lady.  Of course, you can't go wrong with Red and Yellow Delicious.  Here's a simple recipe for yummy, healthy, chunky applesauce:  peel and slice a couple dozen sweet apples; put several generous pats of butter in a pot and then add the apples.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon (to taste).  Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes - or until you have the chunky/mushy consistency you prefer.  If you have any pears, you might add a couple of those to the mix for a richer flavor.  Enjoy!

We enjoyed a visit to Carter's Mountain in Charlottesville, Virginia, for fresh apples and delicious fresh apple cider and donuts.  This popular farm is truly on top of a mountain with beautiful views.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" Proverbs 25:11

  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkins

PUMPKINS

We just returned from a nice, little jaunt into the mountains.  We popped in and out of the Blue Ridge Parkway and drove along the Alleghany Mountains a bit - from around Fancy Gap to Staunton.  In spite of very little color in the trees, it was still lovely up "in them thar hills."

With the Fall season and our recent trip in mind, here is a bit about Pumpkins.  I think pumpkins are one of the prettiest decorations of the season.  So here are a few pictures, a couple facts - and a few quiz questions.

The name Pumpkin means "a large melon" which comes from the Greek word "Pepon."  Here are a few quiz questions for you:

--Are pumpkins a vegetable?
--Are pumpkins always orange?
--How many calories are in a 13 lb. pumpkin?
      (Answers at the end)

The picture above shows pumpkins still in the field in Fancy Gap, Virginia.  Below are pumpkins for sale on the top of Carter's Mountain in Charlottesville.


 
The pictures answer one of your questions.  Here are the three answers;
 
--Are pumpkins a vegetable?   No, they're a fruit
--Are pumpkins always orange?  No, they also come in red, yellow, green and white
--How many calories are in a 13 lb. pumpkin?  a mere 120 calories!

So there you have it -- a Pumpkin Post from start to finish (:  Go Orange!  Hope your Fall is going great -- God bless!


 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Wedding Ring

 
THE WEDDING RING



    This wedding ring belonged to my brother Clark.  His sweet wife Sally gave it to him on their wedding day with the inscription, "You are my sunshine."  I never knew about the inscription before, but when I discovered it a few weeks ago, my heart was warmed, remembering the loving and caring relationship they shared with one another.  They each provided "sunshine" into the life of the other.

     What a wonderful legacy to leave behind -- a legacy of a loving and caring heart, not only to one another, but to all they came in contact with.  Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of our loss of Clark and Sally.  Although it is a painful loss and we miss them so much, the memory of who they were during their sojourn on this earth is comforting and uplifting.

     Such thoughts make us wonder what sort of legacy are we leaving behind? 

     I'm reminded of the song by Steven Green, "Find Us Faithful."  The verse that talks about our children sifting through all we've left behind, "May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.  Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful."

     That is such a powerful song with such a rich message.  Clark's wedding ring, like the song, has a rich message for me.  To bring sunshine into the lives of others, that's a good and happy thing.  Clark and Sally brought sunshine into my life and rays of sunlight spread around them, touching everyone with whom they came into contact.  They were faithful.

     Today, they are basking in the perfect Sonlight of the Light of the World Himself.  Revelation 21:23 tells us that in heaven, "The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light."  I'm heartened to know, that as the song says, Clark and Sally are now among the "cloud of witnesses" in heaven, "Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary, their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace."

     As we carry on in this world, our challenge is to bring sunshine, not shadows, into the lives of those around us.  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" Matthew 5:16.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Stop Light

The Stop Light

        I really like this vintage traffic signal hanging in front of the Jolly Roger Restaurant in the Outer Banks.  The vine hanging down from one side gives it an elegant, yet rakish appearance that is quite appealing.  I also like how the faded green paint causes the lights to shimmer like jewels -- or maybe it's the sunlight glinting on their glass surfaces.  At any rate, I consider it a true work of art.
       When I was younger, we always called these traffic signals "stop lights."  One might say, "Watch out, there's a stop light up ahead." 
        Even though the green for "go" light and the amber for "slow and be prepared to stop" are important lights, the red for "stop" would have to be the most important of the three.  If we don't stop when the light is red, we run the danger of a deadly crash, with harm to ourselves and those around us.  I guess that's why we always called it the Stop Light when I was young.

        I'm reminded of a verse in Job where Elihu says to his friend, "Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders...God comes in awesome majesty.  The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power" 37: 14 & 23 NIV.
        Sometimes we need to stop and consider God's wonders.  Otherwise, we tend to zip through life without stopping to appreciate the beauty God has placed in the world around us.  Stopping to smell the roses is not just an indulgence, it makes like more beautiful and enjoyable.

       Then there are times we should stop what we're doing and reassess our lives.  Does God want us to continue on this road, or does He want us to go in another direction?  In the book of Jeremiah, God told His people to "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls" 6:16.

        There's a neat Child Evangelism song the kids love to sing.  Even though it's primarily a child's song, the truth of its message is as bright as that red light.  Here's how it goes:  "Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me.  Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me.  He forgave my sins and He saved my soul; He cleansed my heart and He made me whole.  Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me."
        Stopping can be a lifesaving action.