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Saturday, April 17, 2010

John 5:28-29

spinnery Anne, originally uploaded by 2QTsInHeaven.

Many might wonder about the title of this blog: Stone Angels & Iron Gates: accoutrement in waiting for His Return. So I thought I'd share a bit as to how I came to rely on the notion of "accoutrement" in waiting for His Return.

This is a recent photo of my sweetie Anne's grave. Anne is my second baby to be buried in this small children's cememtery near our home. I always love it when my camera catches the wind in her spinners cuz it so reminds me of of a sermon I heard once by Billy Graham. He was speaking on John chapter 3 and how we can't see the wind, & yet we know it's there. He spoke about how that's also true with the Holy Spirit, who Jesus says is like the wind going where ever He wants, and how it's the forceful yet invisible power of the Holy Spirit that rebirths our hearts so that we're able to know the True & Living God.

When I think of the word accoutrement I think of accessorizing. You know: fashion extras, trimmings. and decorations that make things look nice. One might also think of tools, gear or equipment that can make things endure or last better.

Well as we wait for His Return, many (if not most) of us will spend much of that time laying in wait under the sod. And thus, it is often customary to use various accessories (accoutrement) to make the graveside look better and last longer while we wait. Even the women, the morning after Jesus had been crucified & entombed, went with flowers & such to embellish his grave. We're even told that Jesus' friend Mary bumped into a guy at Jesus' tomb whom she thought was the gardener, and cemeteries to this day hire grounds keepers to maintain the flowers, trees & shrubs that are often planted as memorial endearments.

The Scriptures tell us that the "dead in Christ will raise first" so it would seem to me that the cemeteries need to be a place where we stay alert & watchful. In fact, it behooves us as Believers to make better investments in burial grounds that have all but been forgotten as the pagan practice of cremation take hold in our culture.

I personally believe that it's critically important that we plan & prepare, not just for they who may still be alive so as to be "caught up in the air", but especially for they who are already asleep in Christ, for it is THEY who are asleep in Christ who will respond first to the Archangel's Trumpet Call.

I know many who don't think any of the post mortem stuff matters. I've been given several lectures as to why I would bother wasting my time tending to the cemetery when my girls are in heaven. And it is true that their spirits are at rest in the arms of Jesus. But what many well-intended Believers forget is that their DNA is here, under the sod, waiting for His Return just like the rest of us wait.

We're told in Scripture that when The Trumpet Call of His Return sounds the graves will give forth their dead, and they who were asleep in Christ will be given their Resurrected bodies & be reunited with their spirits. Those "new" bodies are Resurrected & transformed from the DNA that rests beneath the sod. So yes, for Believers especially, it is important to tend the cemetery and they who lay in wait there.

And thus you see that stone angels and iron gates are merely a few of the more common accoutrement that humanity uses to make the graveyard prettier & better able to withstand the weather of time--

while we wait for His Return...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

100 Angels

The Christmas Box Angel of Hope - 100 Angels from Lisa Johnson on Vimeo.

As of December 6, 2009 there are 100 angels in the United States and Canada where parents, friends and family members are drawn to connect with each other, to remember & reflect on the absent presense of their beloved children who left this earth too soon. This is what we want to bring to New Mexico. We appreciate all your prayers, support, and financial donations.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Blessed Redeemer Lives

Now Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to Him,
"I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the Last Day."
Jesus said to her,
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
She said to Him, "
Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."
Jesus wept. Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
"Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!"
Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it--as it is written:
"Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt."
But Jesus answered them, saying,
"The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."
Then Jesus said to them,
"A little while longer the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake you. He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become Sons of Light."
These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
"I have come as a Light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Jesus said,
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."
And Jesus said to him,
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

exerpts from John's gospel, chapters 11 thru 14 NKJV