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Resurrection Day.

We celebrate Valentine’s Day as the “Day of Love” but have you ever given any though to the greatest gift of love ever shown to man?

John 15:13 says – 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I don’t know about you but I honestly don’t have too many people in my life I’d die for. My boys and a few other family members and that’s truly about it.

Jesus laid down His life for us – people He didn’t know, strangers, so that we would have the chance for eternal life.

Not only did He give His life, He willingly walked into the worst torture ever known to man. In Bible times a typical punishment was to either be scourged (brutally beaten) or crucified but never both – Jesus went through both.

The week before (what we typically celebrate as Palm Sunday), Jesus rode a donkey into town to people praising Him and bowing at His feet with palm branches. He ended that week on a cross, buried in a tomb, fighting Satan so that we wouldn’t have to. He had the power to call down 12 legion angels to save Him (a legion = 1000) and yet, He didn’t. He knew what He was getting into.

He had already made His choice.

The following depiction is something I copied from this website and is very, very difficult to read.

The physical trauma of Christ begins in Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His suffering – the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by; they spat on Him and struck Him in the face.

Condemned to Crucifixion

In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Flogging first

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman Legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with fill force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.

At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.

Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.

Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from his back. This had already become adherent to the colts of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain – almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.

The walk to crucifixion

The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey, The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.

The nails of crucifixion

At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The Legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titular reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The pain of crucifixion

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.

Crucifixion – the medical effects

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”

Crucifixion – the last gasp

He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the Legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Out Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

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One Year.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of a very devastating time for our community.

One word – Meningitis.

Even now that wound is so very fresh. That thought of, “that could have been my child” is still forefront in each parents mind more often than not.

I can’t even begin to address the rumors my son was coming home from school with on a daily basis immediately following this tragedy. Things such as, “they cut Jeremiah’s legs off with a chainsaw” or “we’re all going to die” or even “if it’s not in a bottle I can’t drink it because it might make me sick”. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I remember that day very vividly.

I was at work, a new office job in Tulsa, with my best friend and sister-in-law when my phone rang. A good friend of mine, who never calls because all of our communication is via text, was on the other line so of course I answered it.

All I heard from that conversation was, “Two kids at the school have died. You might want to pick up your son”. I don’t know how I made it through that conversation. Tears streaming down my face, I walked into my best friends office and handed her the phone. I remember asking her to call my ex-husband to pick up E-man from school and to find out what was going on. I sat on the sofa in her office crying, wanting to hug my children but in no shape to drive, listening to her as she called the school and my ex-husband and I’m not sure who else trying to find out what was going on.

I left work early that day. As soon as I was able to drive that is.

We ended up in the ER with ZigZag that night, running a fever over 102 degrees. More than a little stressed considering the circumstances of the day. The ER doctor was great and checked ZigZag for meningitis just in case. It was Roseola.  It came out in conversation that he didn’t think it was meningitis but he’d already had one patient die from meningitis that day and he didn’t want to lose another. It was a rough day for him too.

The children who died still have siblings in our school. And you can hear little whisperings amongst the students from time to time. They remember. They know that their friends, Andrew and Shuache, should be here playing with them and planning birthday parties and slumber parties and Spring Break festivities. But they are not here.

Jeremiah improved so much faster and greater than the doctors expected, even at their highest hopes for him. He still has a long road but he’s proved himself to be a fighter.

I do know there has been some talk about whether to commemorate this anniversary with a tree planting or something of the sort but the general census is that it is still too fresh in the students minds to do so. However, I know the daily moment of silence done every morning in the Oologah-Talala Lower Elementary will carry special meaning tomorrow.

 


True to Me.

This is potentially going to sound selfish but I want to talk about me. Keep reading and hear me out. I promise I am not as self-centered as it sounds.

There are things I want to do with my life. Desires I truly believe god has placed in my heart. What I’ve discovered in recent months is that I’ve become discouraged over not being able to fulfill those desires. Herein lies the problem. It’s not my job to fulfill those desires. It’s God’s. I get to listen to Him and follow His plan and in return my heart is happy.

So, what are those desires?

  • To write.
  • To photograph life.
  • To travel.
  • Music.
  • To help orphans.
  • Leadership.
  • To be true to me – the person God created me to be.
  • To raise my children by the standards of the image I have in my head – too difficult to really put into words. Suffice it to say, so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not of this world.
  • To love deeply the life God has given me to live.
  • To trust.
  • To again be living the life I once knew – in the present and not the past.

There are other desires I will not mention here. And I can see how all of these, and others, will potentially intersect in the decently near future. I am excited! And a little bit scared.


Silent Saturday.

Some snow day fun for you.

From the back yard.

 

ZigZag.

 

E-man.

 

Walking on the drifts.


Hmm.

Romans 16:17 – 18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them.18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.

Do you know how many people I should cut out of my life after reading these verses?! Seriously. Most of them. Unfortunately, that’s not a joke.

I was raised to be around people who are encouraging and uplifting, who will help hold you accountable. In essence, those I could introduce my family to. Never-mind the fact that my parents don’t know the majority of people I consider friends. Neither do my children. Taking that into consideration, I need new friends! Or, I need to encourage the few friendships I have that are of like mind, people I actually want to be around.

Somewhere along the line, my definition of “friend” got skewed. Very skewed. I’m not sure when but at some point it became okay to be friends with people who don’t respect me, people who I don’t trust implicitly, people who only care when it’s pertinent to themselves.

And the friends I do have who are encouraging, uplifting, and good true friends who keep me accountable – yup, they’re all out of state. Well, nearly all of them that it.

Flipside.

What kind of friend have I been? Have I been trustworthy? Have I been encouraging and uplifting? Have I held anyone accountable for anything? Or have I caved and failed at being the friend I know I should be? Am I the kind of friend who other people are truly glad they know? The one everyone can bring home to meet their families without cringing?

I’m not perfect. Far from. And I can tell you that I have not been the best friend I can be. Or the best daughter. Or the best sister. Even the best mother. I’m not the best at anything except being me and as such, I still have a long way to go.


Relax.

Ah. Another way to celebrate turning 30.

Tonight we celebrated my birthday – just under a week early due to schedules. I think this was probably the most laid back, low key party I’ve done in a while. We had a few good friends over, ate dinner & cake, played games, and really just relaxed. It was fun!!

Dinner consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans (with bacon!), and rolls – all homemade – courtesy of a local restaurant.

Cake was red velvet with the cream cheese icing and an actual stuff teddy bear. Yum! All courtesy of Reasor’s.

Games – dominoes and various options on the Wii.

Overall, it was just a good and relaxing night. I’m ending it now by ordering my 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly!


Ten Day Challenge. Day 8.

So, way over on my facebook page a friend challenged me to a 10 day challenge. Normally I won’t do these things but this one piqued my interest. It’s a quite a bit different than your normal “challenges”. At least what’s considered normal for Facebook these day! :)

Here’s the rules:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)

Day Seven: Four turn offs.

Day Eight: Three turn ons.

Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.

Day Ten: One confession.

 

Here’s my Day 8 –

Three turn ons:

 

Rather – the 3 things I look at first 🙂

 

1. Hands. Hands are incredible. They can be used to build and to heal, but they can also be used to destroy. You can tell a lot about a person by their hands.

2. Smile. A smile that makes the eyes twinkle. A real one. Not that fake stuff or that “trying to be cool” smirk.

3. Eyes. Eyes are the window to the soul. That being said – no secrets. 🙂

 

 

*This list is NOT all inclusive!

 


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