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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

Cross

Before our last presidential election, President Obama stated that “Al Qaeda is on the run.”  And just recently, Al Qaeda staged a public demonstration in the country of Yemen—telling the world that Islamic terrorism is stronger than ever before.  Al Qaeda spokesmen declared that they will defeat THE CROSS, and that THE CROSS is represented by America; therefore America is their prime target.  These words, ominous as they may be in their tragic potential, did not terrorize me one bit—because I know in my heart and mind THE CROSS of Jesus Christ will never be defeated.  THE CROSS is victorious!

We are living in “perilous times”, as predicted in II Timothy 3:1.  Ever since a certain couple was ousted from a garden, there have been perilous times.  Yet a study of prophecy in light of world events indicates that peril on all fronts is ramping up to what may be a prelude to Christ’s return.  He has defeated sin and death, through His death on THE CROSS and His bodily RESURRECTION—which we Christians will celebrate this coming Sunday, just as we celebrate THE RESURRECTION every day of our lives.

This week I’ve been musing over events leading to THE RESURRECTION of our Lord Jesus Christ:  the perfidy of the crowds in Jerusalem, the travesty of evil religious leaders, the rotten political scene as exhibited in the illegal and phony trials which our Lord endured, the cruel oppression of Rome, and of course the unspeakable horrors of Jesus’ death on Calvary.

As I consider the downfall of our nation and the recent scandals which our government has largely ignored I recall how Jesus was born, lived, and died—yes, and ROSE—in the midst of a perilous, sin-ridden world characterized by evil.  Yet none of that evil could defeat Him.  Instead, His Word spread—and has flourished in many places over some two thousand years.

THE CROSS, always a symbol of victory, prevails.  It will never be defeated or obliterated.  Down through history, right up to (and including) my own lifetime, many have tried:  Hitler, Stalin, myriads of angry atheists around the globe, and now Al Qaeda.  Nations will crumble and fall, as portrayed in Isaiah 40: 15:  “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.”  But THE CROSS will prevail!

Our Lord is victorious.  He is a personal God who desires the salvation of every single person.  A personal photo—just taken this very afternoon on the maternity floor of a local hospital—expresses what THE CROSS, and RESURRECTION are all about!

New Joy 2

“The thief cometh not but to steal, and kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTION ARE ALL ABOUT LIFE!  He is Risen!  He is Alive!  He is LIFE!

Margaret L. Been, April 2014

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HE IS RISEN!

“The angel said to the woman, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.  Come and see the place where He lay.  Then go quickly and tell His disciples:  He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see Him . . . .’   So the woman hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples . . . .”  Matthew 28:6-8

Come!  Rush out

where roaring rivers glorify the One

who broke their winter bondage with His sun.

Hurry!  Waste no time

to greet the wind unleashed upon the land;

and see the fields grow boldly green at His command!

Come!  Praise our Maker.

He has granted one more spring of song and seed.

Sing Hosanna for the Life that sprang out from the Cross

where we were freed.

Come! 

Run to see the empty tomb

the Victory!

——————————————————————————————————-

MLB

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Joe, Dylan, and I just returned from an early morning hike around our park.  Mourning doves “wooo–oooo-ed”, robins chortled, and cardinels “cheer-cheer-cheered” us along the path.  A huge flock of snow geese (flying in a wavy line as opposed to the Canadas’ V formation) rejoiced overhead—focused northwest, in the direction of our northern home.  He is risen!

The world darkens around us.  Our nation has fallen from Grace due to a departure from God’s truth, as manifested in legalized baby murder and rampant immorality.  But God’s creation testifies to His unchanging truth.  Great is His faithfulness!  Christ will return, perhaps very soon, bringing righteousness, peace, and justice to earth!  He is risen!

I have a personal Easter story to share, from the pages of my 2009 journal.  A year ago, we were living in our Northern Wisconsin home—settled there, loving life, and believing we’d be there “forever”.  Yet there was an underlying sadness, as many of our family members—including a number of our great-grandchildren, all of whom had been born since we’d moved north—were 285 miles away in Southern Wisconsin.

At Easter last year, our daughter Debbie phoned and told us how she’d bought colorful little plastic wheelbarrows for each of the children and they were planning an Easter egg hunt in her yard.  Something in me ached over hearing about this event which we were missing.  Joe and I went south 3 times a year or so, but simply couldn’t be there for every occasion.  Now it was Easter, and we were missing a special gathering of a whole new generation—our great-grandchildren.

In my April 14, 2009 journal page I wrote this prayer:  “Easter was good, but I missed being with family.  Lord, you know my desire to return home to the family.  I love this place here, the woods and water.  Joe and I have grown infinitely closer to each other from living in this quiet, remote spot.  But since coming here, great blessings have occurred around our former home in Southern Wisconsin—great-grandchildren!  Lord, I want to go home with my Joe—to Waukesha County!”

Weeks passed, and spring came to our northern land.  Life was pleasant and good, and I enjoyed each day—having spelled out my Easter petition to the Lord.  There is perfect peace in knowing He is in control.

God really does work in mysterious ways!  On June 13, 2009 it became apparent that Joe would need to go to St. Luke’s in Milwaukee, for a heart procedure.  In the next 2 weeks, he was hospitalized twice at St. Luke’s.  Stents were inserted into clogged arteries.  His cardiologist said, “If only you people lived around here, it would be good!”

The days around the 2009 summer solstice melted into a blur.  Our daughter Debbie found a sweet condo on a Monday; the next day Joe and I looked at the condo and bought it.  We returned to Northern Wisconsin at the end of June, geared to packing and moving.  All of that history is recorded on the summer and fall entries, in this blog as well as on “Grace with Salt”. 

Here we are, looking forward to Resurrection Day 2010.  Debbie has planned another Easter egg hunt.  Since the life-changing events of last June, 2 more little people have joined our roll call of great-grandchildren—2 baby boys who are crawling all over the place, grabbing on to each other, grinning, and giggling.

Christ is risen!

Margaret L. Been—All Rights Reserved

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Quagmired in stagnant bogs,

Eons old

And motionless, the cattails stand

Where no wind blows . . .

When, meadow-born, a redwing lights

On solitary reed

Proclaiming joyously the news,

“I have been FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!”

 

Margaret Longenecker Been—All Rights Reserved

The Evangelist” was published in POETRY OUT OF WISCONSIN V, Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Publishers, and in MORNING IN MY EYES by Margaret Longenecker Been.

The painting was featured on the cover of a recent issue of WestWard Quarterly.

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