Workers traveled through the woods of Jerusalem looking for wood to make crosses for the crucifiction of criminals. Today was a different day that any other day, word had traveled that the “King of the Jews” was to be crucified and they were told to find heaviest piece of wood as the King was to travel carrying the cross.
God spoke to the trees asking them to provide the wood for the cross, the trees did not want part of this, “We will be forever remembered as the tree that crucified our Lord,” they said. God asked the tallest, the strongest, the noblest of trees – the Dogwood. This tree was prized for its wood, being the preferred wood of construction at the time. The Dogwood a good tree, a devout servant of God and immediately replied, “Lord if you ask of me to do it, then I will do it. I will be forever tied to the death of our Lord and Savior.”
The tall Dogwood was cut and made into a large and heavy cross and taken to when Jesus was held. The tree once proud of his strength shuddered as he touched the gentle shoulder of his Lord. As Jesus carried his cross through the streets, the Dogwood felt the spit that touched him and his Lord as the people cried out at them waving their fists, he felt his Lord’s shoulders weaken under the weight of the wood that was him wishing he was lighter. The blood that flowed from our Lord with each touch of the whip touched the wood, searing this mighty tree and leaving it crying with pain each time our Lord fell.
The Dogwood felt all the anger and bloodlust of the crowd that surrounded, it felt the compassion of Simon as he was brought to help our Lord, he felt the resolve as the man he loved moved slowly to his death. The nails tore through the soft skin of Our Lord and into that tree, splitting the wood, the Dogwood felt all the weight of the worth as the cross was heaved up and for once the tree did not want to stand tall. This mighty tree was sick and tired when Jesus finally died and fell limp against the wood.
Upon the Resurrection, God felt pity on the poor tree, forever scarred from his journey as a cross. He said, “Thank you mighty tree, this is a task you will never do again. In gratitude for your loyalty and steadfastness of this journey and I will make sure you are the symbol of the Resurrection and not the death of my Son.”
He breathed on that might tree and all the pain the tree fell went away as those strong limbs softened and turned from tall and straight to gnarly. The wood once strong and prized for the construction of criminal crosses for crucifixion turned soft and unusable, the echoes of the cries of the people, the crying of our Lord turning whispering then silence as peace came taking away the horrors of that journey.
The once mighty tree, treasured for it’s strength became small and gnarly, as it sighed from a job completed. No one would ever make a cross of that wood again. Pain became joy as it’s blooms were stained with red representing the blood on the hands and feet of our Lord, the flower in the middle of the bloom represents the crown of thorns our Lord wore at the time of crucifixion. The Dogwood would only bloom around the time of the celebration of Easter, a reminder not of that night of darkness but the beautiful light of the resurrection that saved the world.
The dogwood softly felt the cleansing breeze on its soft gnarly limbs, its blossoms opened and worshiped our Lord it smiled at peace as workers passed the unusable tree for other pieces of wood. The Dogwood did God’s will and with the blessing of our Lord it did what it wanted to do – it rested.
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!
(Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz)
Not only is Valentine’s Day less than a week away, now I have learned that it is “Creative Romance MONTH!” Sorry, I know many of you feel great pressure or great expectation regarding Valentine’s Day, now it is an entire month?????
Historically speaking, there were several Christian martyrs who were named Valentine. They expressed the deepest love a human being can express, they were willing to die for the One (God) they loved. This kind of love certainly has nothing to do with hand-made or purchased cards, chocolates or flowers.
There seems to be many stories and beliefs about the origins of Valentine’s Day, but one thing for sure, modern people have put their own spin on things:
The original (maybe), “roses are red, violets are blue . . . “
Limited numbers of Valentine Cards were produced and a publisher issued “TheYoung Man’s Valentine Writer” which included suggested verses for young men unable to write their own. (Hmmm . . . the pressure begins!)
Paper Valentines assembled in factories (began in England)
The U.S. A. added gifts such as candy and flowers
The diamond industry began to promote the day as an occasion for giving jewelry
I will be honest, I expect to give and receive something on Valentine’s Day, because one of my major love languages is gifts. I enjoy giving gifts and receiving them. However, it does not have to be complicated, just something simple. I often cook for my husband because one of his primary love languages is acts of service.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? What is your idea of the perfect day? My perfect day doesn’t involve cards or diamonds, but it might include a little fine chocolate!
What is your favorite Christmas ornament and why? The decision was easy for me, although I have many treasured ornaments, the Chrismons and the tiny, worn, red and gold balls are my favorite ornaments because they represent faith, love and family.
First, you will find four Chrismons on our tree each year. They were hand-made by my Aunt Jen a year or two before she died. If you are unfamiliar with Chrismons, they are generally hand-made ornaments that represent the Christian faith and the heart of Christmas. Their simplicity and beauty come forth on Christmas trees in ways that words fail to describe.
Second are the tiny, worn, red and gold balls my husband and I purchased the first year we were married. (1979) That first year our Christmas decorations consisted of a very cheap four-foot artificial tree and two boxes of red and gold balls. I called our Christmas tree a Charlie Brown tree! I have many beautiful ornaments on our tree now, but the little red and gold balls are among the most treasured ornaments because they represent hard work, sacrifice, love and commitment, they represent a deep strong current of love in our family that has survived and grown through the years.
What is your favorite ornament or ornaments and why? What does the tree in your home represent?
There’s a lot of great information in the February Issue of Forsyth Woman for Valentine’s Day. If you need some help or have a Valentine’s Day challenged sweetie-here’s a list from the magazine!
1. Even if Simply Sterling and Hip Chics Boutique sales have passed, there’s still great ideas in both stores and plenty of helpful salespeople to help create the perfect Valentine’s gift.
2. lia sophia is having a jewelry show at Cassanova’s Coffee this Friday Feb 12th from 11:30a to 3:30p, stop by for a great cup of coffee and buy some fudge and jewelry for your sweetie!
3. Our massage therapists are listed on page 35, telephone numbers and all-give your honey the gift of relaxation!
4. Minglewood Florists have a article on saying more than I Love You with flowers on page 42, call them to put together a bouquet that says what’s in your heart.
5. Restaurants listed on page 49 include Valentine’s Day Brunches and coupons for a percentage off to a special Valentine’s Day dessert!
6. Pages 52-53 offer a list of advertisers with all kinds of great Valentine’s ideas for those challenged!
7. If you’re a Last Minute Larry, don’t forget about Simply Sterling’s Valentine’s Sales Feb 11-12-13, stop by and get that Valentine’s Gift off of your mind.
Remember the most important part of Valentine’s Day is to say, “I love you” not just to your sweetie, but all those people in your life that you love!
I’m three weeks out to my half Ironman in Wilmington, NC. I’m a little scared even mentioning the race here because now I’ve got to do it! I have my full body wetsuit and am monitoring the ocean temperature, hovering at 65 degrees. All I have to do is get out of the water and I can do the rest of the race, heck, all I have to do is get in the water-that’s the hardest part, once you’re in then you have to swim! Sink or swim.
My friends tell me that I am crazy, why do I do this? I do it because it’s a passion of mine. I love working out (ok, so maybe I am crazy) and pushing my body to the limits, love it so much to squeeze myself into a sausage casing and look like a total dork, to popping blood blisters between my toes during a marathon.
I have a friend that goes away on scrapbooking retreats! SCRAPBOOKING RETREAT! They go to a monastary and scrapbook for the weekend. I hear this and go back to highschool inclinations – I’d be jumping out the windows of the convent in the middle of the night to get away! But that’s her passion, she may not understand my blood blisters, I don’t understand going away for a weekend with the girls and scrapbooking, I mean, especially when there are bars and spas within driving distance!
So, what’s your passion? Is there something that your friends will call “crazy?”
The news re-broadcasted a flashback of events from September 11th 8 years ago. I started to turn the channel to a happier place but something made me stop and watch.
As the years go on, we tend to not think about what happened that day as most of us would rather be in that happier place, what made me stop and watch also made me remember. I forgot about people jumping out of the top of the Trade Center given the choice to burn alive or as I like to call it a Leap of Faith.
Leap of Faith
Oh God, how hard it is to understand,
How this tragedy came to stand.
Watching in horror as people jumped from that place,
Praying that it was a leap of faith.
No choice, but to let it go,
Feel God’s love as it flowed.
Hoping as they fell they are caught,
Praying for the peace they sought.
Our faith tells us it’s peace they found,
As they leapt, God’s love surround.
Their leap was just a few seconds in time’s sands,
Their soul an eternity in God’s hands..
Remember today by showing those in your life how much you care about them because life is oh, so short.
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