The Cross – Glory or Defeat

“I will glory in the cross In the cross Lest His suffering all be in vain I will weep no more for the cross that He bore I will glory in the cross” Gospel Song

Suffering is hard.  Even the image in your mind when you hear the word is painful.  A loved one with a serious illness, a sick child, war, family problems, and a host of other circumstances bring suffering.  Jesus suffered for us and we are to share in his suffering.  As the Holy Scripture tells us “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”  Romans 8:17   That is a hard truth to understand and follow.  You can have empathy or sympathy when someone else is hurting.   If it is a suffering that I’ve personally experienced, then I can have empathy.  But if not, then I can only have sympathy.  It is no good me telling a woman who just lost her beloved mate of 50 plus years that I understand.  There is no way that I can.  However, you can list some other suffering and empathy is possible because of my past.  The cross was bloody.  Suffering was visible.  Glory was also visible.  Even some who watched were changed forever.  A thief on the cross beside Jesus was promised “this day you will be with me in paradise”.  The one on the other side did not recognize Jesus suffering as divine and he had no such promise.  So we know the cross was glory.   Eternal glory laid up for all of us.  “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” Romans 8:18

May these words comfort you in your suffering this Christmas season.  People have worn the cross as a reminder of Jesus Suffering.  Most evangelicals wear the empty cross, representing that Jesus is risen.  Catholics us a crucifix to remind them that Jesus suffered on the cross for them.  Either way it is a powerful symbol of faith.

The Blue Law

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.  Exodus 2:8-11

When I was a child, there were no stores open on Sunday in our small town.  The movies were open in the afternoon for the matinee…hmm.  If you needed something, you bought it the day before.  Not everyone went to church; some camped or fished, but life slowed down.  People who went to church would not be seen working on Sunday.  No lawn mowing, clothes hanging or obvious work.  Women still cooked and washed dishes but that was not visible.  There was the attitude of keeping the sabbath( or as we now celebrate) Sunday, special.

When I was a younger married woman in Virginia, there was the “Blue Law”.  Stores could open but they could only sell “essential” items such as milk, bread, food, etc.  The rest of the store had a blue rope hung around the aisles and nothing could be purchased from them.  It was strange to walk around and see whole areas of the store darker with that blue cord wrapped around the merchandise.  You could look but not buy.

Now that I am an older woman, nothing is closed on Sunday.  In fact some stores are open 24 hours a day.  Sunday is just another day to many people.  However; as I read the Bible, Jesus said he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.  He said the greatest commandment is this “That you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself” So now we have to set our own blue law.  Honoring God and resting one day a week as He commanded.    It is health to our body and soul.   God’s commandments are always for our good.

So today, take some time to think about God and your neighbor.  Rest in the Sabbath.


Mary Did You Know

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them  in her heart.” — Luke  2:19 There was an exercise, on the part of this blessed woman, of  three powers of her being: her memory—she kept all these things; her  affections—she kept them in her heart; her intellect—she  pondered them; so that memory, affection, and understanding, were all exercised  about the things which she had heard.” Charles Spurgeon

“Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?  Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters….?” Kathy Mattea –  When the angel spoke to Mary, she did not understand or comprehend what role she would have in God’s plan.  But she did not say no.  She pondered in her heart.  She didn’t call her mother, friends, or relatives.  She was alone with God, thinking about what would happen to her.  In the book “Two for Galilee” by Marjorie Holmes, the author lets you see how the town gossiped about Mary and Joseph.  How Mary’s family had doubts about her character.  Sometimes things happen to us or our family.  We are just alone with God to ponder and wait to see what God will work out for us.  We stand on what the Holy Scriptures say “And we know that all things work together for good to them who love the Lord…”Romans 8:28.  Don’t give up on your situation.  Ponder and wait on God.

Mary has been the subject of much art work, jewelry, and statues.  In all of them, there is a peaceful, meek, submissive quality seen in her face.  She is the handmaiden of the Lord.  She can be a role model for us in her acceptance of God’s design for her life.  Even the post office uses her image from art on collectible stamps and pins.  

The link below is for the stamp image at the top of the page.

Cameo role

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”Luke 2:25-26

In movies there are small roles which are sometimes played by famous actors.  Alfred Hitchcock always played a cameo role in his movies.  He was in some scene or other as a bit part or cameo role.  Simeon had a cameo role in the life of Jesus.  When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to perform the ritual required by the law, Simeon was waiting.  He praised God for letting him see the messiah.  That is in the next few verses in Luke 2.  Another cameo part played at the same time was Anna.  She had been a widow since she was a young bride.  In the Holy Scriptures in Luke 2:36-38 “There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” After marriage at a very young age, she lived with her husband only 7 years.  Then she became a priestess till she was 84 years old, waiting and praying for the messiah.  As far as I know, these are the only appearances of these two saints.  They only had a cameo role but it was important enough to be included in the life of Jesus.  We are still marveling at their patience, faithfulness, and faith thousands of years later.

Cameos are carved in various hard surfaces and are a very old form of jewelry.  They last so well because of the materials they are made from.  The workmanship is treasured.  Today some cameos are a man-made resin.  They look great but if you check closely, they are like hard plastic and carved by a machine.  While, pretty, they are not authentic vintage cameo jewelry.  The green cameo shown below is glass and mother of pearl.  It is a 1940s design.  The one at the top is shell.

What part will you have in the life of Jesus?  It is all right to have a cameo role if it points others to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  This time of year, we are thinking of the birth of Christ.  Oh Come Oh come Emanuel, and ransome captive Israel.  Thanks be to God, He has included the gentiles in his salvation through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. 

This entry was posted on December 2, 2011. 4 Comments

I heard the Bells

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good will to men”  Henry Wordsworth Longfellow and Christmas Carol

Bells call us.  They can be mournful or joyful.  A wedding or a funeral.  One of the bells I remember is VJ Day September 2, 1945.  I was 5 1/2 years old and suddenly in our small town, bell starting ringing and ringing.  The noon whistle kept blowing and it wasn’t noon.  We all went out in the street to discover what was causing this commotion.  Japan had surrendered.  The war was over.  (No TV in our era)  We were joyful.  I was too young to really understand why everyone was so happy.  I only remember that we could once again get bubble gum in our small candy store. 

Advent has started.  We are looking forward to a great event.  The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  The bells are calling us to more than shopping and food.  They are calling us to peace on earth, good will to men.  Take time to reflect on that as you hear the bells from the Salvation Army kettle or see decorations.  We made necklaces for our Moms with cord and jingle bells.  The bells are calling – What do you hear?

The link below is a listing for a vintage silver bell – from my sister’s shop.

Link to eBay listing of Hummel Bell

This entry was posted on December 1, 2011. 2 Comments

Is it real?

“Tho He slay me, I will trust in Him…”Job 13:15

Job had a real faith. It wasn’t easy either.  He had his “friends”, his wife, and we don’t know who all else, telling him to just turn his back on God.  They were sure that God had turned His back on Job.  Circumstances can make you doubt your faith or even that God exists. The Holy Scriptures tell us in II Cor 1:21-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge”  So if we believe and God has given us His spirit (the Holy Spirit) in our hearts as a promise to never leave us or forsake us, that is a real faith.  Look up and see what God is doing in your life.  He is working it all out to your good if you are his child.

When someone gets a new ring and it looks like  a large diamond, the first thing someone will ask “Is that real”?  The jeweler that trained me said, “Betty, everything is real”.  So the better question would be “Is that a diamond”?  Of course, they should not ask that in the first place:)  For some of us the first thought would be “why do you need to know”?  The ring at the top of the page is set with a 2 carat white quartz, in solid 14K white gold.  It is real.  It is not a diamond but it is a real gemstone.  The ring is beautiful.  What is the difference.  Quartz is not as hard as a diamond.  The ring in the picture below is a traditional engagement ring from the 1940/50s.  That stone will around for generations.  It is a lasting gemstone.  Your faith either looks real or it is real.  

What kind of faith do you have?  Is it real?  If it is based on Jesus Christ and His redeeming love, it is real and will never fail.

Links to both rings below: 

Wonderfully Made

“I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are thy works and my soul knows it very well”  Psalm 139:14 NASB

Different is good!  There is only one you. (OK, maybe if you are an identical twin, your DNA will be the same).(Not sure of that because all I know, I learned on CSI).  But still, you are unique in people’s eyes and God’s eyes.  Celebrate your individuality.  Don’t be afraid to just be yourself.  Satan comes to tell us, “if people know the real you, they won’t like you, approve of you, etc”  We know satan is the father of all lies.  You are a God creation.  How can that be wrong?  Have faith in who you are.  Develop what is already there.  The more you accept yourself as God’s creation, the more others will accept that in you.  You are a beautiful person.  It is not conceit to value what God has created. 

Venetian glass is handblown and each piece is different, but beautiful   Part of the joy in owning a piece of venetian glass is the knowledge that your piece is unique and no one else has that piece.    Just looking into the design gives your soul joy in the artistry and craftsmanship of the artist.  The piece above looks totally different when viewed from the front and back.  See picture below for the difference.  That is how it is with us.  Some see our beauty one way and others may see the personality or sense of humor that God has given us.  Picture below is the same pendant from the back view.

Think of yourself as a fine piece of art glass that God has created.  The beauty is deep and changing.  “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continuously be in my mouth”  Psalm 34:1 KJV

The pendant above is in my Etsy store Click on this link to view the listing.