Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter writings from Ruth Martin

The Preacher's Wife 

Comments and Poems
 By Ruth R. Martin

  I am well aware that to a Christian every day is Easter, every Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. Every minute should be a celebration of the miracle, Had there been no Resurrection of the Lord from the dead, no return of LIFE to His lifeless body, no emergence of His glorified body from the tomb, then the agony of Calvary would have been in vain But when Jesus came forth as our RISEN LORD He was God's living stamp of approval upon His sacrificial death for our sins . He had conquered the last enemy...Death. He had crushed the head of the the old serpent Satan. From Death, He brought ETERNAL LIFE. During this Easter season I wanted to pay special honor and homage and praise to my Risen Savior by running various writings and poems for your shared praise and joy.  Let us make this entire month one of joyous praise and celebration to the power and glory of the Resurrection in Christ Jesus. "Because He lives, we too shall live." . FOREVER!!. 
                           Please enjoy these writings in celebration of Easter. ---  Ruth Martin 2006

While reading again the new-old story of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, I found myself, as I often do when viewing That Day from this side of Calvary, trying to place myself at the scene in various situations and from different view-points. I have sometimes compared that history-turning , life-changing, event to a huge priceless jewel, cut with a multitude of facets, ever shining, constantly flashing brilliant points of light from directions overlooked before. We tend to see that awful, wonderful Day as a solitary event, and indeed it was and is and always will be, when the Sinless Savior gave Himself for sinful mankind, a once-for-all and for- all- time sacrifice of Divine Love and Atonement. But there were many smaller stories being lived that day. I believe every person present that day had to have felt his or her own inner reaction to what they saw taking place that day. Some felt horror, anger, revolt. His followers felt personal grief, loss, confusion, doubt, even fear. His mother felt her own heart break as she watched her Son's suffering. His enemies gloated, congratulated themselves, satisfied they had silenced the Carpenter and His teachings forever. But there were many pilgrims and visitors to the city who knew little or nothing of what was happening on a hill outside the city. I imagined myself a stranger in Jerusalem, knowing little of local customs, holy days and celebrations. Hearing loud voices raised from what sounded like a crowd of people I drifted toward the people rushing to and lining the narrow street. Curious, I looked toward what I gathered was a parade of some kind moving rapidly in my direction. I could see armed soldiers attempting to keep order as they moved down the street. In front of the on-coming crowd I saw a lone figure stumbling along beneath a heavy wooden cross-piece borne on His shoulders. Thinking this was probably a symbolic person dressed in what appeared to be bloodstained garments, I wondered what could this parade and this Man represent to these people. It seemed a cruel way to celebrate anything. And then, oh, horror, as the Man drew abreast of me, I saw that this was no celebration. I was witness to a real death-march , for a Man I did not know, for a reason I could not imagine. What terrible crime had He done to merit such agony, shame, and death? I saw His bleeding body, whip-lashes criss-crossing the weary, weak and broken form. My eye traveled upward to the twisted wreath of huge thorns pressing down into his scalp and forehead like a travesty of a crown. I saw the rivulets of blood streaming down His face into His eyes.....into His eyes... His eyes. He turned His head slightly and those magnetic eyes met my own and I could not look away . No hatred, no anger, nothing but Love... such Love I never knew existed, boundless Love that knew no limits, and as His eyes held mine it was as though He spoke to my heart, in tender, compassionate words of Infinite Love."I bear all this for you, because I love you ." The soldiers shoved Him and He fell forward to the pavement. Dazed, unable to move or break the spell I was under, I watched a man they called Simon, forcibly drawn from the mob, forced to lift the heavy cross piece to his own broad shoulders and carry it beside the cruelly treated One they called Jesus. ....Jesus... what a lovely Name for the Owner of those eyes that pierced my very soul. I, too, was now drawn into the mob that followed after Jesus. Where else could I go? To Whom else could I go? Who else could I follow? Nothing else mattered. I only knew that I must be with Him. I no longer had any personal dreams, or desires, or goals. Blinded by tears, I followed as the soldiers led Jesus outside the city limits, up a hill I heard someone call Golgotha, and numb with shock and grief I watched them drive spikes through His hands and feet, watched as rough hands raised Him on a cross, heard the cruel laughter and jests of the soldiers and some of the mob gathered around the cross. I crept to the foot of the rugged tree, kneeling in total love and surrender to the One who hung there, dying that I might live... forgiven, accepted in the Beloved, loved beyond measure. How could it be? Why should He love me so. As I knelt there, bent with contrition and sorrow, I felt something fall upon me, something wet and warm; falling, dripping, drop-by-precious drop , and with each scarlet drop I felt cleansing, healing, peace and joy flooding my grieving soul. And I gave Him myself was all I had to give. From that day, my heart, my life, my all- belongs to Jesus, the Crucified, Risen Lord . (How well I remember the time when 
"He turned and looked at me") 


 He Turned and Looked At Me 

I followed Him to Cal'vry 
Along a rugged road, 
I joined the crowd that thronged Him 
As He bore His heavy load. 
I saw His wounded, bleeding form 
Nailed to a cruel tree. 
I wondered why He suffered so, 
And what His crime could be. 

And then, He turned and looked at me 
With eyes that pierced my soul, 
So tender and forgiving, 
As near His Cross I stole. 
That gaze of Love and Sorrow said, 
"I bear all this for thee." 
Such love my heart had never known; 
To think He'd die for me. 

I knelt that day at Cal'vry, 
Beneath that rugged Tree. 
I felt the cleansing blood-drops 
Bringing Peace and Joy to me. 
I thought my grieving heart would break; 
To think for me He'd die. 
That hour I knew my life belonged 
To Christ, The Crucified. 

And then, He turned and looked at me 
With eyes that pierced my soul, 
So tender and forgiving 
As near His Cross I stole. 
That gaze of Love and Sorrow said, 
I bear all this for thee." 
Such love my heart had never known, 
To think, "He'd die for me."

~~Ruth Martin~~

For more beautiful Easter writings from Ruth Martin go to:

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Story of Easter

We have heard the story about the adorable little rabbit hopping down the bunny trail delivering baskets full of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps and colored eggs.  That's a wonderful story too, but the one I am talking about is "THE" STORY OF EASTER.
I grew up with a wonderful memory of Easter with all the trimmings for children. Dying the eggs was always a ton of fun! How we all loved dipping all those eggs into all those colors making them brighter and brighter with each dip! I loved the smell of the vinegar and color tablets!

  Awaking to a huge basket of goodies was so exciting. We even found bunny prints on the front porch and on our cheeks where the bunny must have stopped to give us a bunny kiss before he hopped to the next house! Easter egg hunts at my Granny's house underneath the big oak tree, among the wild violets ,was probably the most memorable. 
We always dressed in our best cloths for Easter church service.  Many times Granny would make our dresses and some times we'd have store bought.  But we always looked our best.  White gloves, white hats, black patent shoes with lacy socks ...the whole package.

Allen Easter egg hunting 1984
I passed the same traditions on to my son and they enjoyed the same egg hunts under the oak tree and bunny visits and Easter baskets.  I always made sure the Easter Bunny gave Allen a rabbit of some kind .  I still have MANY of those bunny's at home! 

I remember one Easter morning and we were getting ready to go to church.  Mother had gotten Allen brand new black shiny shoes to wear.  I helped him slide them on his feet and he jumped to the floor to try them out 

Allen in his JESUS shoes 1985
"Look mommy!  These are Jesus shoes!"  same day during the service,the music was softly playing and he leaned over to me and said" Shhh...I hear Jesus!" Such wonderful memories!

Even though we enjoyed the kid side of Easter tremendously, we were always taught what the true meaning of Easter was. In fact me and my sister Lisa were both baptized on Easter 
Sunday when I was 9 years old. 
( that would be 39 years ago, wow, where has the time gone?)

The TRUE story of Easter is far more important than that silly old rabbit.
Jesus died on the cross for you and I. So that we can live an eternal life!
 This is where the REAL story begins!



Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 

Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them,
 “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the
 linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
 (John 20:1-29, NKJV)

"Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 
(Acts 1: 9-11)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

She wasn't just a cat...

On a hot summer afternoon in 1993, we decided to take a short family camping trip to Joe Wheeler State park, a state park not far from our home.  Along the drive into the campground of the park, we pulled over into a small opening that gave access to the lake.  A stray dog strolled back and forth along the shoreline.  It wasn't long until I heard a small cry.  I turned and saw a black shadow underneath a cedar tree.  I walked closer and heard a soft "meow".  A pretty black kitty was relaxing underneath the coolness of the shade.  Being a huge cat fan for the entirity of my life, I knelt down and reached out my hand...
it was then that Lacy reached out to our hearts .
 Someone had obviously dropped her, the dog and another grey kitty off to be left to their own defenses. I scooped her up and we took her to join us at the campground. I guess I never really thought she would stay their with us.  I figured she would stick around long enough to eat something then disappear.  But she chose to stay and Allen and Chris gave her a thorough going over with a flashlight, discovering that when they pulled back her hair she was actually brown, lol!

We had decided if she stuck around we would bring  her home with us.
She chose to stay and that's how our beloved Lacy came to our family.

How Lacy got her name, John and I still argue to this day who named her. 
But , "I" know who really did, {wink}!  She eased her self right into our lives.  Slowly, she won 
John's heart.  He had never been a huge cat fan, so it took a little more of her flashing those beautiful, golden eyes up at him to win him over.  But she did. 

From there she became a kitten making machine for a couple of years.  Poor thing had several litters 
of adorable kittens. Some where in the woods of  Lewisburg Tennessee, 
Chris says one of her babys Tack Cat, still roams! We finally did have her spayed.

Over the years she became a fixture in our household.  All the kids in the family grew up with Lacy.On holidays, everyone looked for her first.  She has been picked up, pulled by the tail, snuggled and cuddled with...  She has curled up beside us ,in our lap or even on top of us.

Lacy was always there when we had projects to do, Christmas trees to put up or flowers to plant. It didn't matter as long as she could be there with us.

She especially loved her time outside with John.  John is always busy in the yard cutting grass, raking leaves, washing cars or burning in his firepit .  That's where Lacy wanted to be. Perched on the tail gate of his truck, on the railing of the porch or on the ground at his feet, she'd monitor his every move.  

Her favorite project of all was the pond that John and I built, of course with Lacy's loving supervision.  From the moment we dug the first shovel full of dirt, until the last drop of water filled our pond, she was right there. We may find her curled up underneath the grass fronds surrounding the pond, sunning on a warm rock, watching a frog on the edge of the water or lapping up the cool water. As long as she was by her pond, Lacy was content.  This was her little piece of heaven! I've always called it Lacy's Spring.

Who would have ever thought, that the small, skinny black cat that someone had abandoned in a park, would have become such an important part of our lives? This wonderful little creature had become my comforter through hard times.  Always there to curl up in your lap when you needed a hug. A willing ear to listen when I needed to cry, and most of all a heart of love always there to waiting to give a quick pick me up or 
just be a friend.  Surely, God sent her to us... 

She wasn't just a cat. She changed and added so much to our every day . We will always see her resting next to her pond, always feel her little paws as she walks across our pillows to rest atop Johns head and always hear her soft purr as she curls up in our lap .  I can't even imagine what my life would have been like, if she hadn't chosen to be in it.  As we reflect on all our wonderful memories, we see that we have been blessed and highly favored for the past 18 years. 
 We will always love you baby girl! Your footprints will always be on our heart

In Loving Memory of