Monday, April 21, 2014

Drive through Illinois - vacation day 1

It has been so long since the hubby and I have gotten out of town, out of state, on a real vacation. Holy cow, I thought it just felt like a long time, but I just looked it up and it has been six and a half months. And you know what was on the ground almost that entire time? Snow.

And guess what was falling from the sky as we packed up the car on April 4? Snow. I know, what a surprise.

The snow and slushy roads cleared up about an hour into the trip. But the temperature didn’t get much above 40 and a cold wind continued to blow. This is our first view of the Mississippi River at Savanna, Illinois. Yes, I did get the hubby to drive through Illinois this time.

 Saw a few sites on our drive through the hubby’s favorite state. This is a random windmill someone built outside of the town of Industry.

 This is the Pittsfield Courthouse. I sure wished they still made buildings like this instead of tearing them down.

 Instead they put up modern buildings like this. I didn’t care that day though, because this is where we stayed for the next six days and nights.

And it was wonderful!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Where are the dead?

 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

 Luke 24:1-5
New International Version

When my husband and I were on vacation earlier this month, I made him stop at every old cemetery we passed. And we passed a lot of them. I wish I could admit that I don’t know why I find old cemeteries so fascinating, but I do know why I can’t pass up a single one. The old headstones are beautiful, and the really old ones which are broken or crumbling break my heart. Even more heart breaking are the stories each grave holds.

 These are just a few.

And as I read each headstone and imagine the life that led to this burial place, I hope and pray that buried there is only the person’s earthly body. My wish is that every one of them has been saved and now rests in the eternal arms of their Savior. I pray that within all of these cemeteries I visit that there are no dead. That they are alive in heaven.  

Lord Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You made on Good Friday. Thank You for Your resurrection. Without it, we could only fear death; now we can know the joy of eternal life. Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Vigil

 A man named Joseph was there from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a good man, who lived the way God wanted. He was waiting for God’s kingdom to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council. But he did not agree when the other Jewish leaders decided to kill Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that was dug in a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. It was late on Preparation day. When the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin.

 The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph. They saw the tomb. Inside they saw where he put Jesus’ body.  Then they left to prepare some sweet-smelling spices to put on the body.

On the Sabbath day they rested, as commanded in the Law of Moses.

Luke 23:50-56

Easy to Read Version

What will these women find come Sunday morning? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

It was about noon, but it turned dark throughout the land until three o’clock in the afternoon, because the sun stopped shining. The curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. Jesus shouted, “Father, I put my life in your hands!” After Jesus said this, he died.

 The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this man was a good man!”

 Many people had come out of the city to see all this. When they saw it, they felt very sorry and left.  The people who were close friends of Jesus were there. Also, there were some women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched these things.

Luke 23:44-49

Easy to Read Version

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

15 Jesus said to them, “I wanted very much to eat this Passover meal with you before I die. 16 I will never eat another Passover meal until it is given its full meaning in God’s kingdom.”
17 Then Jesus took a cup of wine. He gave thanks to God for it and said, “Take this cup and give it to everyone here. 18 I will never drink wine again until God’s kingdom comes.”
19 Then he took some bread and thanked God for it. He broke off some pieces, gave them to the apostles and said, “This bread is my body that I am giving for you. Eat this to remember me.” 20 In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup of wine and said, “This wine represents the new agreement from God to his people. It will begin when my blood is poured out for you.”

Luke 22:15-20

Easy-to-Read Version 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Luke 19:30-38

New International Version 

(Today's pictures from the St Louis Zoo.
Sorry that I don't have more to say this post, but I am still behind from our vacation all week in Missouri.)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Get Up Close - a photo challenge

This month's photo challenge was to get close up to our subject. For the first time ever I actually took all new pictures for this challenge. Good thing I took them when I did because - praise God - our snow is finally melting.

I took all of these pictures in my backyard the end of March using my Nikon Coolpix. Some of the pictures were taken with the close-up setting on and some were not. I have played with this setting before and have yet to see much of a difference. 

Isn't it amazing how simple snow - something we see from a distance as white and two-dimensional - takes on a life of its own up close.