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"When the well-known British Methodist preacher William Sangster learned that he had progressive muscular atrophy and could not get well, he made four resolutions and kept them to the end:
(1) I will never complain;
(2) I will keep the home bright;
(3) I will count my blessings;
(4) I will try to turn it to gain."
Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Satisfied. “Be” Commentary Series. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996.
The disciples received the news from Mary. The news affected them deeply. They were already in a turmoil about the death of Jesus and what would be the next step. Now, their upside down world began to tailspin. The news was simple. Jesus’ body was missing.
Peter and John make a pre-dawn run to the sepulcher. John’s run halted at the entrance and peering within. Peter’s boldness took him inside. Alas, both saw and confirmed that the grave clothes were there. The headpiece was separate from the other garments. Yet, the body was missing. They returned home.
Mary could not leave. She wept, stooped and looked. Inside she saw two angels seated where the body should have been. One Angel sat at the area of the head the other sat where the feet would go.
The questions of the angels came from the look on her face. They were there as messengers of rejoicing, she was there as a messenger filled with remorse and regret. They asked, “Why are you weeping?” The implication of their question was this was not a moment for regret and remorse. Nor was it a moment for disappointment and discouragement. This was a moment for rejoicing! Jesus is ALIVE.
Jesus approaches. Mary did not recognize Jesus. She presumed He was the Gardener. He stood near her; he spoke to her and she heard Him without knowing Him. He asked, why are you weeping and for whom are you seeking? She spoke to Him. She said tell me where He is and I will care for Him.
This moment was earth shattering for her. She heard His words but did not hear His voice. It was not until she heard her name spoken by Him that she knew Him. His voice speaking her name was all it took. She exclaimed, Rabboni - Master!
The citizens of Heaven saw things different from earth’s citizens. Earth’s residents saw the upheaval of emotions. Heaven’s perspective saw it as the conclusion of sin’s grasp on humanity. The visitors to the grave saw it as a place of negative remembrance. The right perspective makes all the difference.
Oh, to always see things from heaven’s view. Heaven’s perspective should not differ from ours. However, it often does. I look at this account and see our lives and realize there are two things we should keep in mind when our world undergoes an upheaval.
What are the two things we should keep in mind when in life’s upheaval? The two thoughts come from John 20:9,15.
“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” John 20:9, 15
Know His Word.
Know His Voice.
read this quote from Spurgeon:
"Brethren and sisters in Christ, if we are really to glorify Christ on the earth, we must be willing to lose our reputation, our good name, our comfort, and indeed everything that we have, for Christ’s sake. This is the only way truly to live. If, for your own sake, you begin to keep back anything from Christ, that is the way to die. You would then be like the grain of wheat that is laid by, and preserved, and which, therefore, can never grow or multiply. Surrender yourself; be willing to be nothing; be willing to die if only the truth may live. Care nothing about honor and glory for yourself; care only about the honor and glory of your Master. Learn the meaning of the Master’s paradox. As you bury yourself, you will multiply yourself. As you are put out of sight, like a grain of wheat that is sown in the ground, you have your only opportunity of growth and increase; heavily-laden ears of corn shall spring up from the grain which has been buried in the earth."
I was asked to share my recipe for meatballs and sauce, or more properly called gravy. (However, chefs and cooks alike should gasp at the mere thought that this would be called a recipe.)
Tomato Gravy (Tomato Sauce for non-Italians)
Two 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes or diced. (I use Muir Glenn brand see link below)
One 6 ounce can of tomato paste.
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
12 fresh basil leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar (Optional - I use three drops of liquid stevia) My wife doesn't' like this step.
Place all ingredients in a tall sided bowl. Use an immersion blender and thoroughly blend all the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste to see if it is right for your palate .
Place is a 6-8 quart pot. Simmer for as many hours as you have available. You can place the meatballs in the gravy (Tomato Sauce for non-Italians).
1.5 pounds of ground chuck
1 lb of ground veal
1 lb of ground sausage (Italian)
1.5 cups of ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons of Kosher Salt
3 tablespoons of parsley flakes
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of dried italian seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350º
Take the three meats and gently but thoroughly mix the meat with your hands in a large mixing bowl. You don't want to overwork the meat.
Add the ricotta mix in with a spoon.
Now add the dry ingredients and mix again, thoroughly. Don't overwork meat
Now take 3-4 ounces of meat and gently form into the balls. You want loosely formed balls. Arrange them on the cookie sheet as pictured. Bake for 40 minutes. They will render a lot of fat. Be careful removing the cookie sheet.
This posting is mainly for Jaimie Dillon (an Italian girl who asked an Irishman how to make sauce - somewhere a leprechaun is smiling and a pope is blushing.)
Give Us a Little Crumb.
"A missionary writing about an experience in South Africa tells the following: "I was traveling with a party of missionaries. All were anxious to get home as night was coming and we rushed on through one village without stopping. As we were about to canter away on our horses, an old woman came out of the village and shouted at us, 'You missionaries, why do you pass us by in this manner? Return and give us a little crumb of Jesus.’"" Matthew 15:27
Copied from: Foreign Missionary Workers' Manual - Pilgrim Publishing House
Martin Luther was a very cheerful man, as a rule; but he had terrible fits of depression. He was at one time so depressed that his friends recommended him to go away for a change of air, to see if he could get relief. He went away; but he came home as miserable as ever; and when he went into the sitting-room, his wise wife Kate, Catherine von Bora, was sitting there, dressed in black, and her children round about her, all in black. “Oh, oh!” said Luther, “who is dead?” “Why,” said she, “doctor, have not you heard that God is dead? My husband, Martin Luther, would never be in such a state of mind if he had a living God to trust to.” Then he burst into a hearty laugh, and said, “Kate, thou art a wise woman. I have been acting as if God were dead, and I will do so no more. Go and take off thy black.”
If God be alive, why are we discouraged? If we have a God to look to, why are we cast down? Let us rejoice and be glad together; for God will do all that he has promised, for this reason!