…..it can be boring! What? Public holidays. Over Easter the weather can be warm and sunny but can also be wet, cold and windy. Where I live it was a mixture of all and at times wasn’t pleasant at all. Many folk take a trip somewhere but unless it is to a warmer country it hardly seems worth it unless the weather isn’t a consideration.
What does one do if the weather is poor? Well there are all sorts of things of course and for some being outdoors is great no matter what the weather is like. For those who wish to remain indoors there are still things they can partake in but it all depends on the individual. My Easter Day was spent indoors and as it was Sunday I did no work for Sundays I rest. However it is hard for me to spend all day doing nothing so I get bored. There aren’t many recreational activities which interest me these days except playing my guitar or watching documentaries on tv but even those things can’t satisfy all the time. Social events are fine but for me they would be boring if all I did was socialise every day. So I rested uneasy for most of the day with only the thought of being able to continue with my projects on Monday! Had the day been warm and sunny however everything would have been different, I would have been out in the garden and on the patio most of the time. I could have gone walking but I had done that only two days before and I wanted to rest anyway. I often wonder what other people get up to when the weather is poor and they remain indoors. To be honest I don’t really want to know!
Today as I write it is Good Friday. I am reminded as always each day that Jesus died and suffered on a cross for me. This day celebrates that event. It is both a sad and a happy day, sad because what Jesus did was necessary for us all, happy because if we believe we too will be raised up to everlasting life. However, that isn’t the subject of this post. Many folk will be taking a break from their usual routine either going on a short holiday or relaxing at home. Two of my neighbours have taken short breaks away from home but for E and myself staying at home is fine though if we did take a break away from home it would most likely be out of the country. Personally I can’t see why going to a different country just to relax is necessary unless it is for the benefit of guaranteed warm sunshine. I have to say that dull and cold weather can be depressing if it stays that way too long. At the moment we are experiencing a dip in temperature after a short spell of warm and sunny weather. That is the nature of this land, it can be unpredictable sometimes. This morning I took a walk northwards on the edge of town and then turned toward the seafront. I was glad I had taken gloves with me and in fact at this time of year they will remain in the bag I carry until I know they will not be needed. It was quite a cold morning though that was more due to the south-easterly wind than the temperature which hovered around seven degrees. I was happy to return to the comfort and warmth of home later. In the meantime I did enjoy the walk, I always do.
On August 7, 2007, baseball slugger Barry Bonds hit career home run number 756, the home run that broke Hank Aaron’s record. However, many questioned whether or not the new record should count because Bonds was alleged to have used steroids. Sports buffs said if his name is listed in the record book, it should be accompanied by an asterisk to indicate that the record is a sort-of record, a tainted record. In 2008 Mark Ecko, the man who bought the ball Bonds hit to set the record, branded the baseball with an asterisk and donated it to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s not unusual for Christians to imagine we have an asterisk by our name. We may be destined for that Hall of Fame called heaven, but aware that our lives our tainted, we’re left with a sour taste in our souls. We’re grateful to enjoy eternal life with God, but we wish there wasn’t that sense of being tainted. The gospel is hard to believe at just this point, but it is nonetheless the great truth. There is no longer a need for sin offerings. The forgiveness we are offered through Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t just make our sin null and void, it also erases the asterisk. God doesn’t see a fixed sinner, but someone righteous and pristine. We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. We are a new creation. The old has passed away—so much so that there is no need for an asterisk—and all things have become new.
Taken from NIV Understand the Faith Study Bible
That’s it! ‘The forgiveness we are offered through Christ’s sacrifice’ For all of us have sinned, we all fall short of God’s glory, we simply are not at all good. Yes we may live good lives and be upstanding citizens, give to the poor and do all sorts of ‘good’ things but unfortunately we are none of us perfect, we are all tainted in some way. Our own sense of righteousness doesn’t mean we are righteous, no, we cheat and lie, we do things we ought not do and don’t do the things we ought to do. It is just as well therefore that God loves us and He demonstrates that love through Jesus Christ. Jesus died on that cross for each and every one of us both now, in the past and in the future. For all those who believe on his name there is salvation, atonement with The Father and forgiveness for our sins. It is an amazing truth. It is such a shame that not everybody will accept it. They remain in their sins and they condemn themselves. My hope is that all will come to the truth which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. My hope is that you dear reader, if you have not already done so, is that you come to accept Jesus as your Saviour for that is who He is.
It is late on Saturday afternoon as I write this having completed almost three full days working at home on the small front lounge. A few days ago I had decided to completely renovate the room which although having had a change of furniture and a carpet since we moved into the house in 1988 has never been redecorated since 1989! Anyway that aside I decided on a total change, decor, furniture, everything. I was going to employ someone to do the decorating but changed my mind to do it myself. Over the last three days I have concentrated on the ceiling and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I painted it twice. I thought it might need three coats and indeed when I looked at it this morning it still looked a little patchy in places. That meant a drive to the supplier to purchase another 5 ltr can. First job for the day though was to dig out a few bluebells which had thought I’d given up on them but no, I have been digging them out as they appear. Thankfully there are not as many now after all my hard work earlier in the year. That took a half-hour and then I phoned ahead to make sure the supplier was open. Many businesses close from Good Friday to Easter Monday so I had to make sure. They were open until 2 o’clock but I went immediately as I wanted to continue with the work. As it happened I did have enough paint to complete the second coat on the ceiling and frieze but would still need the extra can to paint parts of the ceiling which still looked patchy. I wasn’t going to do that until Monday at least but I had the extra paint ready now to hand. Finishing off the second coat and painting again the frieze and ceiling cornice for the third time on the window wall took me to lunchtime for after lunch I had decided to start painting over the dark blue stripes with the new red colour.
Incidentally, the dark-stained woodwork you can see in the pictures will eventually be painted white as the work progresses. Try as I might I couldn’t avoid spilling over the new colour on to the white parts of the ceiling. I used a piece of thin board like hard board to shield the parts of the ceiling I didn’t want the paint to touch but it was never going to be perfect. It will be easy enough to touch-up with white paint where necessary later. I stopped work at that point and wouldn’t be returning to it until Monday. Sunday was my rest day.
The modern controversy over the name Easter, when used in association with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is interesting, to say the least.
The modern controversy over the name Easter, when used in association with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is interesting, to say the least. The controversy seems to have blossomed at the beginning of the twentieth century and has caused many disturbances through the years. Examining this question is important to many Christians who do not wish to mix the worship of false gods with their worship of the only true God………….but read on…https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/easter/is-the-name-easter-of-pagan-origin/
It appears therefore that unbelievers are being led up the garden path (well we know they are) by the misconception that we Christians are basing our beliefs upon pagan history. ‘Easter’ has nothing to do with any pagan rites, rituals or celebrations. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who demonstrated that same destiny awaits all those who believe in God and have put their faith in what Jesus has done for them. Let the wicked forsake their own way, let the dead bury their dead and let all those who place their hope in a world with hollow promises just like the chocolate eggs of their secular celebrations, perish with them. All we as Christians can do is pray for them……
I could never figure out why Good Friday is so-called until I became a Christian. It is good in the sense that we as sinners in the sight of God can be forgiven and reconciled because of what Jesus did. His death and subsequent resurrection made it possible for us to follow and be resurrected to eternal life too. Without Christ Jesus therefore we would perish. Good Friday precedes Easter Day naturally but it is really Easter Day which is the more important for without Jesus rising from the dead none of this would be possible.
After he had risen he was seen by many people to be alive before he ascended to heaven. The secular world’s take on Easter is that it is a holiday and a time for people to take a break from their routine in whichever way the feel. Many give not a second thought to Easter’s real meaning, oh yes, isn’t it about Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? They refuse to believe. My own Good Friday was spent applying the finishing touches to the paint work in the bedroom and after lunch spending a little time out on the patio whilst the sun still shone. It was whilst I was out there and with E who had just joined me that we heard the sound of voices seemingly from our neighbour’s garden but there was nobody there. We walked across the lawn to the far garage and there above us was a guy up on the scaffolding. In fact three guys had turned up to finish off the work on the roof. The original fault we had discovered was a leak behind the front chimney stack but since then a leak had developed on the opposite side of the roof. We had asked E’s nephew the builder to undertake repairs and during this past week we have seen the entire roof’s ridge tiles removed and refitted. There was only one more job to do and that was this original fault, a small leak behind the stack. The problem was the weather and Good Friday was the only dry day we could expect for a few days. The scaffolding was on hire and in a day or two was scheduled for disassembly unless I paid more money to keep it there. The work they did behind the stack only took around thirty minutes to complete. They had laid a new sheet of lead beneath the damaged area as that was all that was required. Hopefully I can now say that the roof repairs have been finished and that finally I can have the scaffolding removed. I know when that happens I will have to get on top of the garages to sweep up the debris that has fallen on them. I also have to check with E’s nephew that the gutters are free from debris too. Easter is a time to relax with family and friends and perhaps, on Good Friday at least, getting a little work done but let us not forget that Easter is about salvation, about the reconciliation we can have with our Creator through what Jesus did on that cross.
If you were to be asked to indulge in something which went against your principles or your beliefs do you think you would do so anyway? If it were to partake in some ritual perhaps or something in which you thought stupid and pointless would you still resist? How about joining a witches coven? A devil worshiping group? Perhaps these things might be of interest to some but I’ll wager not the majority of people. Suppose you were asked to think about becoming a Muslim or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu if you don’t have any religious convictions, would you refuse? Well of course you would, each of us have our beliefs and when confronted with something totally against our desires and wills we resist. We may be persuaded or not depending upon our openness to such things. For instance those who are not Hindus probably wouldn’t observe Hindu festivals, those who are Muslims not Christian festivals and so on. There are those however who would celebrate festivals of faiths not their own, you have only to see what happens on and around 25 December! Christmas is celebrated by those who don’t believe in Christ and have even gone so far as to demand that Christ is left out of the celebrations. They misunderstand what Christmas is all about and have turned it into something completely different. In the western world this has become the standard, the way people behave, yet it doesn’t stop there. Not satisfied with corrupting Christmas their thoughts now turn to Easter and in a few years I can see that festival going the same way. It all starts supposedly innocently with the introduction of the Easter egg, then the Easter bunny and chicks. I wonder what next they will think of in the name of commercialism and it is all fueled by commercialism. Look at the advertisements on television on the approach to Easter. Special foodstuffs are now being promoted just as they do at Christmas. In fact every known gift is being advertised, things such as perfumes and aftershave lotions. What these have to do with Easter can only be imagined. These sacred festivals become something they are not meant to be and their message is lost to those who might otherwise hear and believe. How many children will be stuffing their faces with chocolate this Easter and not hearing the message about Jesus dying for them? How many parents couldn’t care less? They say secularism and Christianity should be kept poles apart. Try telling that to those in commerce. Where there is money to be made they will never be satisfied. As for me I believe that Jesus died for me, took my punishment for all my sins upon himself thereby setting me free. He didn’t come with a chocolate egg!
By the time you read this we will probably have fitted the plastic skirt around the shower tray platform, the architrave around the entrance to the main part of the room, the inspection cover for the shower tray, completed the remaining filling in here and there, the painting, the blanking plate to the visible side of the toilet to hide the pipes and hopefully will have returned the bath to the room and perhaps fitted it though I am not sure the water pipes will have been done but they shouldn’t take long. All these little jobs seem to take longer than the larger ones but we have had a few spare days in which to make the desired progress. One day soon we may be able to have a soak in the tub! Not that we haven’t a bath elsewhere, we have but it is in an en-suite to a bedroom. Neither of us do anything over Easter, that is we don’t go anywhere, preferring to remain at home during the holiday period. The Spring term for schools ended last week and children will be at home and that means they will be everywhere else with their parents too. On Tuesday afternoon E and I wanted to visit a new eatery for a change, one we haven’t previously visited. However, the place we actually drove to was somewhere we had been to before but many years ago. It is a lovely little pub out in the countryside which like many around these parts, sits alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The weather was beautiful on Tuesday and many people were out enjoying it. When we pulled into the car park we found it to be filled to capacity and there were a few people making their way into the establishment. I thought to myself, small pub, crowded car park, parents with children some of whom we saw making their way inside, not much space and loads of noise. We chose to give the place a miss this time and drove off somewhere else. We chose a place some five miles further afield, a place we go to once in a while and to our delight found it with far fewer clientele and plenty of space though when we had nearly finished our meal a large party of people arrived for their special occasion, whatever that was. They had a large table set out in readiness for their arrival, close to where we were sitting. It is usually mid-afternoon when E and I dine out so we don’t expect the places we visit to be too full of people, which is the way we like it. Once or twice we have had our afternoon at the restaurant somewhat spoiled by someone’s unruly child so we prefer to avoid places that we know will be full of children running about and making a nuisance of themselves. We’ve nothing against children of course but expect them to be on their best behaviour in a restaurant. Most of them are. I was out working for a couple of hours the following morning but returned home to continue doing some of those little jobs in the bathroom.
After a rather busy week I planned to have a good lie in bed on Saturday morning then get up say around 9.30 to exercise on my treadmill. During the week I had been watching the trilogy Lord of the Rings (yet again, I love the story) broadcast on three consecutive evenings, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9pm. I don’t know how I managed to keep my eyes open on Friday as the film finished at almost 1 o’clock in the morning but as it was Saturday the following day I knew I could rest that extra time in bed. I slept solidly until 6am when I had to visit the toilet and still tired, went back to bed. I was awakened rather abruptly at 8am by my mobile phone. A lady I have worked for a couple of times wanted to know if I could repair her smoke alarm units some time in the coming week! Her brother had died on Wednesday and she didn’t have the time of his funeral so couldn’t say which day she would be at home. She explained that one of the smoke alarm units was ‘hanging from the ceiling ‘. Evidently she had pulled it off its fixings whilst removing the battery. I must explain something here for those who are not familiar with smoke alarms. Some of them are stand-alone, battery-operated (as the one shown above) but some also have a mains electricity supply and are often linked together to other units in the building. She has that latter type installed. She hadn’t pulled out the mains wiring so the unit was quite safe for the time being. She seemed more interested in the aesthetics, not wanting to see the thing hanging from the ceiling!. When I answered the call she said she hoped she hadn’t disturbed me or woke me up! It was 8 o’clock in the morning on a weekend and especially in this case, an Easter weekend! What did she think I would be doing so early in the morning? I told her that she had woke me up, which is perfectly true. The job wasn’t urgent so she should have phoned at a more respectable hour. I asked her to call me on Monday evening or Tuesday by which time she hopefully could tell me when it would be convenient to call, if at all. Incidentally she lives about eight miles away from me. The cheek of some people! I returned to my sleep-in and actually didn’t wake again until 11.30! I will be checking her smoke alarms today (Wednesday). I seemed to recall a faint tap-tap-tap on my bedroom door sometime before I finally woke and E told me that it must have been our youngest son. When I finally got up I dressed for the promised exercise and went downstairs. I asked if she knew what he had wanted but she said she didn’t know. I got on with my exercise and just as I had finished my mobile phone rang. It was my son. It appears that his car had a problem and he had limped home to his apartment. He had arranged to have it repaired and E collected him from the garage and took him back home, visiting our house along the way. He said he didn’t know what to do, meaning he didn’t have the cash to get it repaired. Evidently it was going to cost in the region of £500 to £600, not the sort of money he has available. I mentioned in earlier posts about his financial predicament and how he is at present struggling a bit. Later in the year things will improve for him but in the meantime he has to rely on my help from time to time. I assured him that I would foot the bill. Hopefully his car will be ready to drive again on Thursday. He will either have to hire a car for a couple of days in the meantime else make other arrangements at work. Over the years I have always put cash away for a rainy day, a habit some people struggle with but even small amounts soon build up to a substantial amount with time. Lately though, money I have been able to save seems to slip through my fingers instead of getting deposited in the bank. Oh well, that’s life isn’t it?
Since writing this post a few days ago my son tells me that he has made other arrangements with a friend of his who is a vehicle mechanic. His friend has offered to fix the problem for a much cheaper price, in fact probably £50. I am relieved at hearing that, I could do without throwing money away. It just goes to prove that garages will gladly take your money if you are daft enough to let them.
I have not seen a chocolate egg all weekend! Easter, the pagan festival that was incorporated into Christianity, isn’t celebrated by me so there are no eggs to eat. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is celebrated in my heart every day but I don’t wish to celebrate Easter with its chocolate eggs, chicks and bunny rabbits, none of which have anything to do with Christ‘s sacrifice. In a way the early Catholic Church probably thought it was a good idea to incorporate the festival of Ishtar into the Christian faith in order to bring pagans into the Church. Over the centuries the event which took on the pagan name of Easter (Ishtar) has been modified so much that it is far removed from its original intentions. People are so blind and stubborn and will insist that there is nothing wrong with all the paraphernalia of eggs and such. It might be ok for the secular world but it is out-of-place for Christians to celebrate this way. Would Christ Himself celebrate Easter? Of course He wouldn’t. Does God approve of the festival, or any of our man-made festivals? Actually no! He says as much in His word. There is nothing wrong with chocolate eggs by the way, I love them but I reserve the right not to associate them with Christ’s death. They should be made available throughout the year, stripped of their ‘Easter’ decorations and put into plain wrapping.