Good Friday Verse

He Signed His Name

By Michael D. Blythe

He signed His name in granite
as the mountains tall were formed;
He signed His name in sunlight
and the cold earth slowly warmed.

He signed His name in water
as He filled the seven seas;
He signed His name in fertile soil
where He placed the mighty trees.

He signed His name in clay made flesh
as He created man;
He signed His name on the earth He made
according to His plan.

He signed His name in wrath
as He destroyed the world by flood,
but to save us from our wicked ways,
He signed His name in blood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is an old poem, I believe; I got a copy from Mom long ago.
However, I couldn’t find any trace of the verse or author in a Google search,
so if anyone knows more about it or him, please share the info in a comment below.

The Center Cross

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is BACKBONE

I can think of various examples, but I’ll go with this one:

The cross is the BACKBONE of the Christian faith.

For those who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have accepted his gospel, the cross represents his dying to pay the price for our sins – a price we cannot pay no matter how good we try to be.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The cross represents our “death” to the selfishness inherent in human nature. The selfishness that wants my own way no matter what it costs others, or how I would use them for my own ends.

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11

The cross is especially symbolic in that the central beam of the cross points us toward God, lifting us nearer to Him. The crossbeam points us toward our fellow man, encouraging us to reach out to others.

In all the years since Jesus died, the cross has stood and is as effective and liberating today. Those who have embraced it will tell you so.

Morning Bounty

Good morning everyone. The morning is sunny, but we’ve a chilly wind and a temp of -16C, so it’s a good day to stay inside and admire the sculptured snow banks.

I see we have a GENEROUS supply of writing prompts, a real BONANZA of words and scenes to choose from. The Crimson’s Creative Challenge has been posted, though I’m not sure where this will get us. Looks like a dead end street. 🙂 Rochelle has posted the Friday Fictioneers prompt and the stories are rolling in. (Pardon the pun. 😉 )

I don’t know if I’ll get any responses done, though; I’ve planned a “tidy and mend” day. I was going to announce our success when we finally completed our extremely difficult Flutterbies jigsaw puzzle. We actually finished it Sunday afternoon — didn’t take us until spring after all.

Now on to my next project. I’ve told you that I’ve gotten enthused about acrylic painting, so last week I bought some brushes and got a few tubes of good quality paint when we were in the city on Monday. Yesterday I dug out a canvas from my “someday bin.” Someday has arrived! My evening reading time will be replaced with my new “splotch and dab” hobby. (Impressionist pictures really appeal to me, and they are very splotch-and-dab.)

Last night via internet I watched a tutorial from Ian Harris in Australia showing how to paint a simple sea and sky scene, with “woives and “sproiy” in the water and “claouds” in the sky. (It was worth listening to just to hear his Aussie accent!) He says he has a foicebook poige where he sells his demo paintings, if anyone’s interested.

Anyway, attempting to follow his EXAMPLE on my own canvas last night, I discovered that painting decent-looking clouds and frothy waves is not as easy to execute as he makes it seem. 😦 He’s an encouraging instructor, though, reminding his listeners that we’re learning and won’t do it perfectly at first. So I’ll keep practicing my fleecy clouds. Actually, the finished product didn’t look bad at all from across the room.

After my painting efforts were done, I had to do a small load of wash, as I’d forgotten about an artist’s smock and painted a nice turquoise blue splotch on the front of my dress, and decorated the cuffs of my fleecy grey sweater. Lesson 1A. The tablecloth is plastic, so can be chucked once I get past the beginner stage. 🙂

Early this morning we had a wonderful “good news” text: our grandson, age 18, had a visit with our pastors and will be sharing his “new birth experience” — his conversion, or experience of accepting Jesus as Lord — with the congregation Sunday morning. Family members will be invited to hear it in person; the rest of the congregation via streaming.

A note of explanation:
Our church doesn’t accept as members everyone who pops in and wants to be one. There has to be evidence that they are truly walking in the way Jesus and the apostles taught. Anyone who wishes to join the church must share with the congregation how God called them and how they repented of their sins and committed themselves to his ways.

The congregation considers the evidence — the changes they see and the person’s faithfulness so far — and ask whatever questions they may have about this person’s Christian life to date. Then every member is asked to vote: do they believe this person has made a genuine commitment to Christ? If the evidence is accepted, the person is baptized.

And that’s the news from our house today. I hope you’re all having a good day. One blogger calls Wednesday “Hump day” because it’s in the middle of the week. To the settlers here on the prairie winter seemed really long, but we find it incredible just how fast these days are flying by — isolated or not.

Book: The Girl With the Silver Star

The Girl with the Silver Star
by Rachel Zolotov

This book was just launched Nov 17th and I got to review an advanced reader copy (ARC). I found this story intriguing, at times suspenseful, at times heartbreaking! It’s basically the memoir of Raisa, a Russian Jewish mother, and her two daughters, going through the terrors and heartbreak of World War II. I enjoyed the various joyful “before the war” scenes and customs sandwiched between her day-to-day events as a refugee.

The story starts as Abraham and Raisa and their two daughters survive the initial bombing of Minsk. They attempt to escape by train from the approaching German army – along with thousands of others. As they wait hopefully for space on the next train, the Red Army shows up and conscripts Abraham. His presence in the story after this is mainly through letters he wrote to his family while serving in the army. But his love for “his girls” casts a warm glow through the whole story.

Raisa and her daughters were able to join her parents and sisters in another city and the group made their way, along other refugees, to a safer place. The book tells of the treacherous journey they undertook, crammed like sardines in freight cars, with trains being bombed and heartless thieves, as they passed through cities overflowing with refugees, finally finding a temporary home at Kokand, in Uzbekistan.

As I began to read, I soon realized that this story isn’t being related in contemporary English. Rather, in the writer’s choice of words and syntax, I “heard” the Eastern European accent Raisa would have used to tell her story. It took me a bit to set aside my editor’s pen, but then just I enjoyed listening to her “voice” as she shared her life in day-by-day scenes and memories of a better day – always holding on to the hope that there will be better days again.

Five silver stars. 🙂

An Interesting Tidbit

Ragtag Daily Prompt: TIDBIT
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day: OCTOTHORPE

Thanks to M-W, we have this tidbit of information today: the proper name for this critter #, aka a hashtag/ pound/ number sign, is OCTOTHORPE.

Another tidbit, while we’re at it: this / is a VIRGULE. Commonly known as a slash.
According to Lexico, virgule comes from the French word ‘comma’, and originally from the Latin virgula.

Today was a day of small things for me; I listened in on two church services and both pastors talked about small or simple things. In fact both of them stressed that Christian life doesn’t have to be complicated.

There’s a verse in Proverbs that one of the newer translations paraphrases as: “God made man simple. All of his complex problems are of his own devising.” The KJV text reads: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions.”

Earlier I read — more skimmed, but still — an online article on exercise. Christine Carter writes about how she did simple steps toward getting into shape. Read it here if you like. Her thought: don’t start with an ambition program, like a half-hour jog every morning, but then get weary after a couple of weeks and give up. She rather committed herself to jog for one minute every morning. After a week or so she felt like doing a few minutes more rather than giving up.

This is very much like the FlyLady telling you to start by shining your sink and taking other baby steps. “Don’t try to tackle so much that you crash.” Ms Carter takes the same approach. She repeats a wise thought from the Dalai Lama: “Our goal is not to be better than other people; it’s just to be better than our previous selves.”

And now, in honour of winter’s arrival this weekend, especially the raging blizzard that has descended on us today, I’m going to redo my Header with a wintry scene. One of the sermons we listened to this morning was a wedding here at our church — attendance restricted due to Covid. I hope the bride and groom haven’t spent their first hours together slithering on a snow-drifted highway, just trying to stay on the road!

Friday’s CTV News for Saskatoon has come to pass:
The City of Saskatoon is gearing up for what could be a record-breaking snowstorm over the weekend, which may force residents to ‘stay home for a few days’ and could cause power outages.

Imagine this scene whited out by snow blowing almost vertically and you’ll have an idea what our outdoors looks like today. 🙂