Sunday, March 29, 2015

An Easter Playlist

For so many reasons I love the Easter season...                     

  • The foretelling of Easter in the Old Testament  is fulfilled in the New Testament
  • The drama that is Christmas reaches its climax in the triumph that is Easter
  • The promise of victory over death is sealed with Christ's resurrection and return to the right hand of His Father

The Old Testament said:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

The New Testament said:
Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him…  John 19: 16-18

The Old Testament said:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, 
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
  Psalm 16:9-11

The New Testament said:
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
 'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' Luke 24: 6-7

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.  Mark 16:19

An Easter Playlist
I invite you to an awe-inspiring Easter playlist. When finished, I hope your heart will agree that…

He is alive and He is King!  It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming   (Dr. SM Lockridge)  End of the Beginning  (David Phelps)  Sunday’s on the Way   (Carman)   Rise Again  (Dallas Holm)     He is Alive  (Third Day)     He’s Alive  (Dolly Parton)  That’s My King  (Dr. SM Lockridge)

Detail from Found Picture
Found Picture from Granny's Attic
of Gethsemane

“Death Meets His Master,” from Come, Walk with Me: Poems,
Devotionals, and Short Walks Among Pleasant People and Places
McQuaid, Elwood, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Time to Play

“Play” [the verb]   “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”
“Play” [the noun]  “activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children”      
A smile says it all

Do you remember the days when all you really cared about was playing in the most generic and juvenile sense of the word? With children, play seems to be built in…an automatic response to be engaged in when given any possible opportunity, appropriate or not.  A rock, a stick, a pan, a toy…doesn’t matter… all are instruments of play. Playing is as natural to a child as breathing. Have you ever watched a child purposefully look around for a toy(s) to take along on a car trip or for a nap. A small tractor clasped in a tiny hand must trigger endorphins to soothe the soul of a child, although I haven’t seen a study on that.

Once I had an adult graduate student in a class I was teaching tell me of her childhood in which she, as she happily put it, “Just played and played.”
I tried to remember that principle with my own children. They needed time and opportunity and space just to “play and play.”
I remember giving a friend a handful of change to attend their little yard sale and “buy” something. I kept the notes they made as members of their investigation club--the “Blue Jay Detectives.”  I still have the bucketful of “found glass” they dug up from the ancient buried dump in the field because they knew I liked old things.

It didn’t take much. A little imagination and some free time. It still doesn’t for the children of my children.

There is a large red dirt mound way out in our back yard pushed up years ago from some project or other. It has covered itself with pines and cloaked itself with scrub trees and weeds. The perfect spot for play. They named it Pudding Hill (with apologies to Little Bear). Many a wolf howl has echoed from the top of Pudding Hill, humanly speaking.

Most recently, Pudding Hill has become the site of Fort Carolina. 

The redoubts of Ft. Carolina
A few 4 X 4’s… an old flag…a magic marker…and some...boogie boards?? Yep.   

Fort Carolina is a versatile site that serves both as a defense position from a dubious enemy and a slalom course minus the snow. It is, after all, play…so anything is possible...if you have the correct foot wear. 
In one afternoon the Fort can be defended against an unknown but nevertheless threatening hoard of marauders. 


The face of war?
Or it can be the site of extreme boarding on a pine straw course.

A  boy ... his board...
A brown diamond rated hill...  

And the nerve of Joie Chitwood's Thrill Show


His sister is not quite the daredevil...somebody has to be around to call Granny or 911.

And do you remember when the "playing" of childhood stopped?  Do you remember the very last time you played the play of a child? We grow up and things change.  

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."  I Corinthians 13:11
Our childhood play might end, but we must hold on to some vestiges of those days...
1. Our childlike dependence on a loving Father and His Son for eternal life
"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mark 10:15

2. Our childlike joy in His presence
[Jesus said] "
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11

                          There's a lesson in that.