©Kerrie O'Hearn Marquart

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©Kerrie O'Hearn Marquart

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Palm Sunday and Easter Bonnets

PALM SUNDAY, April 1st, already!
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian feast that marks the beginning of Holy Week and commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry to the city of Jerusalem. In 2012, Palm Sunday will be celebrated on April 1, 2012.
To celebrate the occasion, many Christian churches -- both Catholic and Protestant as well as the Eastern churches -- distribute palm leaves to congregation members who then carry them in a procession either inside or outside of the church. Often the palm fronds are knotted or woven into small crosses that can be kept by individuals in their homes. The palm leaves are often returned to the church to be burned in the next year's Ash Wednesday rituals. In parts of the world where palm leaves are not easily available, these are substituted by leaves of native plants.
When I was a little girl, the neighbors always put their Easter palms that were handed out at church, behind a holy picture hanging in their homes either of Jesus or the Blessed Mother Mary.  I have always loved the tradition of all christian churches giving out palm leaves on this Sunday.
What did Matthew contribute to the Palm Sunday story? (Matthew 21:1-11)
  • Matthew's gospel is the only gospel that included children.
  • Matthew and John are the only two who mention the prophecy from Zechariah.
  • Matthew refers to two animals.
  • Matthew has the crowd singing "Hosanna!"
  • There is praise at the end of Matthew's story.
THE PARADE (Matthew 21:6-11)
The parade consisted of a very great multitude of several hundred pilgrims and residents. Many people were in Jerusalem for the Passover, the most memorable feast in the history of Jewish people. They sang:
"Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest."
THE PALMS (Matthew 21:6-8)
The people placed their cloaks and palms on the road for Jesus to ride on to honor Him. The branches of the palm trees symbolized Christ's victory over the devil and death.
THE PRAISE (Matthew 21:9-11)
When Jesus had come into Jerusalem, the entire city was moved. In other words, there was praise. 
Palm Sunday, the first Sunday in Holy Week commemorates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem shortly before his arrest and crucifixion. As he rode into the city on a donkey, people cheered his arrival and laid palm fronds on the ground to avoid having his donkey's feet touch the ground.

 Here is my original cartoon of my character, Pooky's Grandma wearing her finest Easter Bonnet

My Christian Heart to yours...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thinking like God....Giving and EASTER

 In Isaiah 55:9, He tells us, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."
  The more we learn about God's ways, the happier we are when we have to wait upon the Lord for things to happen, for blessings to come, for prayers to be answered.  As humans, we are always wanting things to happen in a hurry, especially in today's harried world!  But God has no time lines, no deadlines to meet.  Genesis tells us that He created the world in 7 days.  He did not say, I will create a world in seven days, he made the world one day at a time, each day seeing his work and contemplating what to add the next until he was satisfied and rested on the 7th day.

Many times we do not wait and contemplate the result of our actions or take the time to see if we are pleased with results before we move on.  Dr. Charles Stanley had a very interesting devotion on DEBT yesterday (www.intouch.org) And I was inspired to write about having patience and not acting out of impulse in all things but especially regarding debt.  The Lord's prayer says, "and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors".  Accumulating too much debt creates more and more problems so that in the end, you are a slave to what you owe.  All because you did not wait for God's timing for you to have things that you want NOW, instead of praying to God for his will and timing in these matters.

And do you really need the things that you desire and go in debt for?  Always sleep on it before purchasing a new item, especially if it is a big decision, such as a new car, new house, new appliance.  First, really think about the need.  Do you just feel like you want "new" or do you really need to replace the old item?  Are you trying to keep up with the friends and neighbors?  Do you justify random purchases with the thinking that you work hard and deserve it?  Sometimes you spend so much on material things but when giving back to God on Sundays, your gift is as little as you have left and want to part with and is by far much, much less than a tithe.  Give where you are nurtured and what you truly can afford.  Would you give God the dollars you would have spent on a new dress, a new golf club, a restaurant dinner?  Just compare what you spend on yourself to what you are willing to part with for the Lord.  

The Bible teaches us that what you give to the Lord will be rewarded ten-fold. Giving to the Lord is like an investment.  You make it possible for the Lord to work through churches, missionaries and all good works that the churches do for others.  Churches have mortgages, overhead, payrolls and taxes just like you do.  They rely on your generosity to keep going and spreading the Word of God.  And Yes, like I have told you before, God CAN hear you in your closet when you pray and talk with him if you are unable to go to church but we all need the fellowship and support of other believers when in church.  I liken it to the burning coals in a fireplace.  They will glow for hours and give off warmth TOGETHER.  But take a coal out of the fire and set it aside and soon it will cool and the glow will fade and go out without the support of all the others.

This is the best time of year to get back into church and giving.  EASTER, the Lord gave his only begotten Son for YOU, won't you give of your time, your support and your love back to Him?? May God bless each and every one of you with showers of blessings in this holy time of year.  I love you my friends!
My Christian heart to yours...