Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Celebration

 This Sunday, after an amazing service with my church family celebrating our risen Savior, my sister, her friend, and I had our own Easter dinner together in my apartment.

 The color scheme happened to be purple. I used my bamboo plant and the African Violet my sister gave me for a center piece, and my sister brought purple mason jars for pretty glasses and Dove dark chocolate that happened to match.

 The menu consisted of our traditional family Easter dinner:

 Scalloped Potatoes
 Freshly Steamed Broccoli
 Crescent Rolls with Raspberry Jam
 Raspberry Jello (A tradition in Gracie's friend's family)

 Though we would have preferred to have been at home with our parents, it was also good to make our own meal and begin our own traditions.

   Saturday night I was reading the account of Jesus' death and ressurection in John, and was happily surprised when John 20 was also the passage used for Easter morning's sermon. In my personal reading, I stopped after I read these verses:

 "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary'. She turned and said to him in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means teacher). Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:15-17, ESV)

 I wondered why Jesus told Mary not to cling to Him. If I was in her situation, that is what I would do, too. My Lord and Savior is not dead but standing alive in front of me! How could I not cling to Him? But Jesus says not to cling to Him. What a hard command. And I thought of my own life, how there are things in my life that God has said no to. That also seems harsh and hard.

 But Sunday morning my pastor shared that Jesus told Mary not to cling to Him because His time on earth was limited. He would soon be ascending to heaven, as He continues to say after he tells her not to cling to Him. He was preparing Mary for that seperation, as well as all of His followers. 

 For some reason I often doubt that the God who died on the cruel cross for me has my best interest. It is days like Sunday where I am reminded how wrong I am. Sometimes they are hard commands. Often, I want to do the very opposite of what I am supposed to do or want the exact opposite situation than the one I am currently in. But God has an ultimate purpose.

Happy Easter! What are some of your special Easter traditions or things God has taught you this holiday?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Journey to Love Blog Release Tour (Plus Giveaway)

 I am excited to do something different for this blog post and introduce you to a wonderful new book written by Amanda Tero. So get comfy with a blanket and a cup of tea or coffee as I share this book with you and don't forget to enter the drawing below for your chance to win a free copy of Journey to Love

About the Book

   Now orphaned, Marie is swept miles away from the only life she knew to be sheltered by unknown gaurdians. Caught in the challenges     of a new life, she cannot prevent changes from happening, but she can keep the Bowles and their friends at arm's length. Or can she?                   While things appear to transition smoothly on the outside, Marie struggles against the turmoil she faces on the inside. She sees something in the Bowles and her new friends that she had never experienced before, but should she trust what the preacher is teaching when it goes against everything she had accepted as truth? Is God really a God of love? If He is, then is Marie willing to accept it?

  Follow Marie as she begins the journey to love.

About Amanda

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again- starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper realtionship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

 Connect with Amanda

 Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com

 You can enter to win a copy of Journey to Love here

 Blog Tour Schedule