17 April 2015

Many Thanks and an Update

Courtesy of Microsoft
Dear Ladies,

I want to thank everyone who prayed, especially those who took a few minutes out of what I know are busy lives to leave a comment or to send an e-mail.   Please continue to pray as we are not out of the woods yet and we likely will not be for some weeks or even months.  

I am being forced to make involuntary changes to my life in order to protect our safety.  I am in fear of our lives at this point; we are no longer leaving our apartment except to walk to the vehicle and to take out the trash.  I kept being told that the problem was being rectified, but it seems that what I was told was inaccurate.  

God bless you all.

Agape always,

13 April 2015

Immediate Prayer Needed

Courtesy of Microsoft

Dear Ladies,

I know that many of you pray for us on a regular basis, and for this, I am truly grateful.  I am asking for additional prayer over the next few days as our situation has gone from bad to worse.  Due to the nature of the problem, I dare not write about it publicly because I believe that the people involved may be reading here; however, I can say that our safety and well-being is at risk.  Even if you don't believe in God, would you please send positive thoughts our way?  Thank you.

Agape always,

04 April 2015

Quadragesima Cleaning and Reading: Day Forty - Holy Saturday

Free clip art from Two Hearts Design

Dear Ladies,

My journey through my home--praying and blessing and cleaning--ends today, a day that most Christians call Holy Saturday.  

Today's tasks are cleaning and revamping the porch and foyer to make my home look as hospitable as possible and preparing for Pascha--better known as Resurrection Sunday or Easter--tomorrow.  

We don't do the egg hunt activity until the day after Pascha; I've nothing against hiding and finding eggs per se, but I don't want the youngsters to perceive (as I did when I was growing up) that the bunnies and eggs were more interesting than the Resurrection.  I also prepare what I can of our feast for tomorrow.  I want to be able to concentrate on Christ and my family.

Today's reading finishes the book of Revelation and, thus, the New Testament.  According to all my sources, the events described in this section are in the future.  The future may seem dark and foreboding; in the end, all will be bright.  None of us knows exactly what tomorrow will bring, but the life of a Christian, I feel, is the life of loving service to God and man, which gives us all plenty to do each day.  May God heap blessings on you and your families now and forever. 

Agape always,

03 April 2015

Good Friday Prophesied by Isaiah

El Greco - Christ Carrying the Cross

From Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12

See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.

Just as there were many who were astonished at him
--so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortals--

so he shall startle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;

for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;

and as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;

yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,

and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?

For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich,

although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;

through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall see light;

he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;

because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Quadragesima Cleaning and Reading: Day Thirty-Nine

Courtesy of Wikicommons

Dear Ladies,

The gardeners won't return until after Resurrection Sunday, so it's safe to clean and to fix up the patio.  I will sweep the walls, the eaves, and the cement; wipe down the furniture; and spruce things up a bit.  We received almost no rain this winter, so the chairs and table went uncovered; thus, I will look at the metal bits to see if a spritz of paint might be in order.  I feel so blessed to have a little place to sit outside.

We are nearing the end of our journey through the New Testament with today's reading of Revelation Chapters Thirteen through Nineteen. This reading was marked as "Disputed" on the original schedule.  As with the preceding reading, some scholars believe that these happenings and prophecies are yet to occur, while others believe that the events occurred in the past.  One example of this is the number 666.  Many scholars believe that number refers to Nero, who was in the last few months of his life or who had recently died when John received the prophecies in Revelation.  Other scholars believe that Nero was a precursor of an even more evil person who, even now, has yet to appear.  I don't know what to believe: I do believe that  "The Lord has established His throne in heaven; His kingdom extends over everything" (Psalm 103:19).

Agape always,

02 April 2015

Quadragesima Cleaning and Reading: Day Thirty-Eight

The Last Supper - Leonardo da Vinci

Dear Ladies,

Today is called "Holy Thursday" or "Maundy Thursday" by most Christians to commemorate Christ's washing of His apostles' feet and His institution of the Eucharist.  

Today I will finish the kitchen by polishing the woodwork, wiping down the walls, laundering the kitchen rug, and steam mopping the floor. These sound like big jobs, but I will only spend about ninety minutes. 

My reading journey through the New Testament is almost at an end as I return to the book of Revelation to read chapters five through twelve.  According to my sources, scholars dispute whether the events in these chapters have come to pass already: hence the "Disputed" note on the reading schedule.  

Agape always,

01 April 2015

Quadragesima Cleaning and Reading Day Thirty-Seven

Courtesy of Wikicommons

Now I am on to all the small appliances.  Some may think I am nutty for not using the microwave, but I have never liked them.  The technology (I am guessing) is better now, but when I was a younger lady, the microwave ovens produced unevenly cooked food that tasted inferior to food produced in a conventional oven, slow cooker, sauce pan, or Dutch.  However, I am not prejudiced against all small appliances: I would be lost without my blender, slow cooker, and stand mixer, and today, I am giving those mechanical helpers an extra-special cleaning.  I consult my booklets to make sure that I am cleaning the small appliances correctly, and cleaning takes about ten minutes or so for each appliance.  I also take time to check the cords for fraying and the plugs for any bending.

We're on to Second and Third John today.  I am enjoying John's writerly voice change as he matures as a servant of God.

Agape always,
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