Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Beauty

Today was the first Easter in about 20 years in which we did not attend church. It was strange. But I have to say it was one of the most peaceful and special Easters. We did something different this year and I believe our family will remember it for many years to come. First I put ham and macaroni and cheese in crock pots. I made green beans as well and set them on warm. Lunch was ready! We dressed the children in casual clothes. John grabbed the Message Bible and we headed out to the desert park. It was a coolish 70 degrees with blue skies and a light breeze.
My son Tommy took these beautiful photos of cacti blooms. The colors are unbelievably vibrant. It is amazing how such beauty can spring out of such "thorny" surroundings! Reminds me of Jesus and His sacrifice for us. Our sins are the thorns. His life is the beauty that blossoms out of our sin as He lives in our hearts.! The Easter message awaited us for sure this morning!
After catching a few shots of the gorgeous blooms, we all sat in the morning sun and listened to John read out of the bible. He read from John 20.

"Mary Magdelene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. She ran to John and Peter breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they have taken Him. They all ran to the tomb and found that Mary's report was correct. But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. How hopeless she was. She knelt as she wept to look within the tomb and noticed two angels sitting there dressed in white. They said to the woman, "Why do you weep?" "They took my Master'" She said, "and I do not know where they have taken him."
After she said this, she turned away. She saw Jesus but she did not reconize Him. (Isn't it amazing that we can be in such grief or disappointment that we often do not recongnize that He is standing right with us? Hopelessness will do this to us at times.)

Jesus asked, "Woman why do you weep? Who are you looking for?" She thinking He was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where so I may care for him."

Jesus said, "Mary."
Turning to Him she said, "Teacher!"

Jesus said, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.Go to my brothers and tell them, "I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."

Mary Magdelene went, telling the news to the disciples."I saw the Master!" And she told them everything He had said to her."
John shared with us that we need to believe God more than ever in our lives. He also exhorted us that the enemy is very busy trying to keep us from believing God everyday.

There are seasons we go through when we may feel there is nothing to look forward to. We can fall into hopelessness because we all want to have the anticipation of good things happening. We look forward to visits from friends and family. We look forward to fun activities and favorite TV shows. We all are created to carry hope. So when we go through times when we feel we do not have much to look forward to , we need to remember this is a fleeting emotion. The Hope of Glory resides within all those who know Him. And we can rest assured that we are never without hope even if our emotions are telling us otherwise. Listen to Hope and believe in Him.
After we arrived home from the service in the desert, we had a warm, hearty lunch awaiting. We topped it off with Peanut Butter Passion pie for dessert. We gave the children their bags of Easter Candy and bottles of bubbles. Here are some photos of them playing in the back yard after lunch.

The children had a blast running off all that sugar.

I had to post this picture of Kerry. He is going to be 15 soon and this is the shortest I have seen his hair in a long time! Doesn't he look handsome?
To close, I wanted to post these close up shots of the youngest children. Look at Timmy's eyelashes!
I love this pretty profile shot of Heather Rose!
And Joshua is always smiling and such a joyful child!

We have had a wonderful blessed day in the Lord! I cannot thank Him enough!!!

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