Celebrating the Weekend is Always Wonderful – But This One Includes Palm Sunday, Which is Extra Special

Apr 12th

I keep getting off track, getting tired, or just deciding not to bother posting lately. That isn’t fair to my readers – wherever you happen to be – but as sorry as I feel about it, there are nights I struggle to summon up the energy to bother.  I’m going to try to change things, maybe start doing Friday through Sunday on one post, and do the week in one big post on Monday. That will make for really lost posts, so I am not convinced, however for today’s purpose, I’ve done a long weekend post. That way I’m not distracted and decide to just skip it.  Now, let’s celebrate the weekend!

Verse of the Day

April 12, 2019

Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Amos 5:15

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

While we teach our children that we must not hate people, we also must teach them to loathe injustice, evil, prejudice, and the mistreatment of the weak. Amos reminded Israel that God demands justice be administered fairly for both rich and poor, resident and alien. Their repeated refusals of God’s will in these areas brought destruction upon their land despite their apparent affluence and power in Amos’ day.

 

April 13, 2019

 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

Psalm 144:4

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Time is so precious — time with our families, our children, our parents, our friends, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ. How do you invest your time? Where do you invest it? You know, it’s really more valuable than the money we invest. Once it’s gone, it can’t be reclaimed. So, as you begin each day, ask God that you will be able to “know the time,” to see it for what it is and to use it for its greatest good. Time passes quickly, and like the shadows of early evening, it’s not long before it is absorbed into the gathering darkness of night.

 

April 14, 2019

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

James 4:14-15

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

“If the Lord wills!” Do you do short term and long-range planning? I do. But my planning always has an invisible asterisk: “If Lord, this is your will and your timing.” I don’t know about you, but God has shown me time and again that if I will be open to him, his timing is always better than my planning. Does that mean I quit planning? Nope. I just plan with prayer, asking for wisdom and the Holy Spirit to help me find God’s timing to know and do his will (James 1:5-6 & Ephesians 5:15-18). Life is too short to not plan with prayer and walk led by the Spirit!

www.verseofthedaycom

 

Holy Humor Month

Funny Easter Bunny Story

A man was driving along the highway when saw the Easter rabbit hopping across the middle of the road.  He swerved to avoid hitting the rabbit, but unfortunately the Easter bunny jumped in front of the car and was struck by his car. 

The basket of eggs and candy, the rabbit was carrying, went flying all over the place. The driver, being a sensitive man, as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the rabbit carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful rabbit was dead. The driver felt so awful he began to cry.

A woman driving down the highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong. ‘I feel terrible’, he explained, ‘I accidentally hit the Easter rabbit and killed it. Children will be so disappointed. What should I do?’

The woman told the man not to worry. She knew what to do. She went to her car trunk and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the dead, limp rabbit, and sprayed the contents of the can onto the furry animal. Miraculously the Easter rabbit came to life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped down the road. 50 feet away the Easter rabbit stopped turned around, waved and hopped down the road. 50 feet further on, he turned again, waved and hopped another 50 feet, again he waved. 

The man was astonished. He couldn’t figure out what substance could be in the woman’s spray can. He ran over to the woman and asked, ‘What is in your spray can? What did you spray on the Easter rabbit?’

The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said: ‘Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave.’

 

 

 

Finding Peace in Simple Moments

Chores are a pain, right? Most of us do not find peace in vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, cleaning toilets, etc. Usually on Friday mornings I get hubby’s breakfast and lunch and when he is out the door, I grab my coffee and sit down to write, catch up on shows, etc. This morning though, I didn’t sit down right away.  As soon as I was done with his breakfast and lunch, I started cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming, sweeping and getting this end of the house straightened up. It’s not deep cleaned by any means, but it’s presentable.  I got started on the bathrooms and bedroom, but decided that the call of the coffee was becoming pretty insistent, so here I am. While I was working though, I felt a sense of calm and happiness fall over me. I was doing these things for us, for our home, for our comfort and doing them was calming and peaceful. Do all things as unto God – whether or not we like the chore, anything done for God will bring peace. As soon as this coffee is gone, I’m back on my feet and finishing up, then heading outside to work on the yard – it’s out of control and more rain is coming. Today is my window of opportunity so I’d better take it. Smile, even when the chore is drudgery, give it to God and feel the peace happen.

 

Friday – April 12

Big Wind Day – I would like everyone, for just a moment, to think of the strongest wind you have ever experienced. Now think of the strongest wind you have observed while watching storms on the news. Wind is pretty impressive and leaves us with a sense of the enormity of the power of nature. Nothing we have ever experienced comes close to what the staff at the Mount Washington Observatory experienced on April 12, 1934. On that day the fastest wind ever recorded on the surface of the Earth was recorded at 231 miles per hour. Though this record was topped in 1996 in Barrow Island Australia when an unmanned instrument station recorded a new record of 253 miles per hour during Typhoon Olivia, the record at Mount Washington is still the fastest wind speed observed by man. As I was reading the excerpts from observer Alex McKenzie’s book, “The Way It Was”, which tells of his experience of documenting and living through a 231-mph wind, I couldn’t help but think what a determined and brave group of people manned that observatory that day. I would be an hysterical puddle on the floor – I hate strong wind that much – but these men stuck it out, even going outside to remove ice from the anemometer that had accumulated. Amazing. Please click the link here to read the full story as written by the scientists themselves. It is humbling to see how dedicated to their research they were.

 

D.E.A.R. Day (aka Drop Everything and Read) – I couldn’t find what the inspiration was for this celebration, or who started it, but they sure must have loved to read.  Today is the day to just stop what you’re doing, curl up on the couch or big cozy chair, and get lost in a good book.  I prefer it when this happens on a weekend!  It’s a cloudy, rainy day so if you are fortunate enough to be off work today, it may be a good day to dig in and celebrate! If you haven’t gotten lost in a good book recently, take the chance to remember how wonderful it is to immerse yourself in a great story and let your imagination go – it is so important! Kids are losing the love of books as electronic devices take their place, audio books are more popular, and the tactile experience of holding that book, turning those pages in anticipation of what is on the next page . . . that’s magic.  Celebrate this one at least for a little while today.  It’s so worth it.

 

 

International Day of Human Space Flight – On April 12, 1961, aboard Vostok 1, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the 1st man in space.  This day was decreed by the USSR’s Supreme Council and marked the beginning of the space race.  While Russian (at that time the USSR) put the 1st man in space, the United States went on to be the first to put a man on the moon.  As I read about this guy, I tried to imagine the overwhelming feeling of knowing that he was the very first – think about that for a second – the VERY first person to go out into space.  It would have been wildly exciting, but how petrified must he have been?  They didn’t know if he would come home, they didn’t know what was out there. They just knew how important it was to reach new heights of scientific achievement and this guy was willing to be an instrument to that end.  Pretty amazing stuff when you really give it some thought.

 

National Teach Children to Save Day – This is an awesome one!  Teach Your Children to Save Day was set up by the American Bankers Association (ABA) as an educational program with the intention of encouraging kids to learn good banking habits as early as possible in their financial lives.  Special presentations are often given by volunteers to school kids to teach them about saving money, but also about other financial matters like spending, donating and investing.  For anyone who wants to set up one of these programs in your local schools you can get teaching materials through your local banks and the ABA.  It would be a great starting point for setting up a fun and educational talk!

 

Walk on Your Wild Side Day – If you’re an adventurous sort, then today is the day to walk on the wild side – way outside the usual box you probably usual take.  It’s the day to be unpredictable and do something a little crazy!  The craziest thing I’m planning on doing today is mow the lawn, and that’s only because it’s turning into a dandelion jungle. If I think of anything adventurous and crazy, I’ll let you know!

 

 

Saturday – April 13

Baby Massage Day – Babies benefit greatly from being massaged from the day they are born.   There are so many benefits though to massaging infants.  Not only is it nice and cozy, it helps the bonding process; helps with communication between the baby and parents; can prevent or mitigate colic, wind and constipation; help the baby relax and sleep better and improve his/her body awareness.  I know that most parents, when holding their baby over their shoulders, rub on their little backs.  That’s a great start.  There are books and videos teaching how to do it properly, so baby doesn’t come to any harm.  I wish I had done this with my kids when they were tiny, though we did take them in for chiropractic from the time they were 2 weeks old.  I feel they got a great start to their spinal health because of it.  Our babies deserve the very best we can give them, and massages should be included in that!

 

Make Lunch Count Day – This one is a pretty awesome celebration that makes a great deal of sense.  Many American workers eat lunch at their desks one or more times per week, not allowing themselves time away to breathe and get away from their work.  The truth is that getting up and walking away can increase productivity and efficiency.  Give your brain a break, OK? Get up an walk away, make your lunch count by getting away from work for a little while. Now I just have to take my own advice. I eat lunch at my desk every day. Maybe I need to start getting up and at least taking a short walk during lunch.

 

 

Scrabble Day – When I was growing up my parents taught my brother and I how to count, do simple math, and read by playing games with us.  Dominoes helped teach quick addition and strategy – Dad and I would play over and over again.   A deck of cards turned into hours and hours of educational fun.  Monopoly taught money skills and making change.  And Scrabble with my Mom helped with my vocabulary.  Now, Mom is the QUEEN of high points words at Scrabble, and it’s quite honestly very difficult to beat her.  Even when she draws ridiculously difficult combinations of letters, she still wins!   Today celebrates this amazing board game that brings up so many happy memories for me.  Do you know the history behind the creation of Scrabble?  Until today I didn’t!  So here we go!  Scrabble was created in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts (born April 13, 1899).  In 1931, Mr. Butts lost his job at an architecture firm.   He had to do something with his time, so he combined his creativity with his love for games, particularly crossword puzzles, and came up with the first version of the game that eventually came to be known as Scrabble.  At that time the game was known as Lexiko and the players used 9, instead of 7, tiles per turn.  The 2nd version was called Criss-Cross Words, with the tile count dropping to 7.  At this time Mr. Butts went back to working as an architect and a man by the name of James Brunot bought the rights to the game.  Butts received royalties.  The games rules changed, the board got new colors, and the name was changed to Scrabble.  Macy’s helped to make the game popular in 1953.  How should you celebrate this day?  Well, take out the Scrabble game, dust it off, and sit down for some fun!

 

Thomas Jefferson Day – One of the greatest men in the history of our country was born on April 13, 1743.  Thomas Jefferson was our third U.S. President.  He was also the 2nd Vice President, and the author of the Declaration of Independence.   To list all of the amazing contributions that he made to the formation of our system of government and the freedoms set in place by our forefathers would take far longer than I suspect you will take the time to read.  You can see endless lists of amazing quotes by merely doing a quick BING search, and see that he was absolutely spot on for TODAY’S issues, just as he was for his own.   His opposition to tyrannical government and fighting for our rights as free citizens should ring out to us, in this day, in this time, with this administration.  We are living in a time when all that Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers of our nation worked so hard to achieve is being systematically torn apart and trampled by those who wish to be controlling forces in our lives. This quote says it all . . . look around, be honest about what is happening.   Listen to the wisdom of our forefathers.

“When the government fears the people, there is liberty.  When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”  Thomas Jefferson

                                               

 

Sunday – April 14

Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse – Sexual assault and child abuse happens at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.  No matter who you are, what you look like, what you wear, what sexual orientation you are, where you live, how much money you make – you can fall victim to sexual assault or child abuse.  In the United States, 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, and 80% are less than 30 years of age.  54% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.  About 2.78 million men in America have been sexually assaulted.  In 8 out of every 10 rape cases, the victims knows the attacker.  Every 2 minutes there is someone in the United States that is being sexually assaulted.  Child abuse is reported every 10 seconds.  More than 5 children die every day in the United States because of child abuse.  About 80% of children who die from child abuse are under 4 years old, and about 30% of abused children will grow up to abuse their own children.   About 80% of 21-year-olds that have been abused as children meet criteria for at least one psychological disorder.  More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their abuser in some way.  Sexual assault and child abuse are traumatic events that have effects for a lifetime after the actions are done.  It is shown that sexual assault and child abuse can lead to higher risks of anxiety and depression.  It is an increasing epidemic that is so unnecessary!  Taking a stand, speaking out, and no longer keeping silent, can help end the violence! 

It defies my imagination how anyone could perpetuate these sorts of crimes against humanity – most especially against children.  I am a strong proponent of the death penalty, and justice for the people who suffer from such crimes.  There is no punishment harsh enough for these vile monsters who do these evil things to the innocent, and no words strong enough to describe what it is they deserve.  This obviously isn’t a celebration, but an awareness raising day.  May God touch the lives of the children (well, everyone actually!) hurt by these crimes.

 

International Moment of Laughter – The entire purpose of this celebration is to get people to laugh, and to do it more often.   Since “they” (the infamous “they” we always hear about) say that “laughter is the best medicine”, it is important that you bring about as much laughter and happiness to those you come into contact with today as you can.  Tell jokes, or do funny things, to make people laugh.  Laughter is contagious, and successful participation in this day is wholehearted laughter.   

 

  

Look Up at the Sky Day – In our hurry scurry lives we tend to go from place to place without looking left or right . . . or up!  Yes, up!  How many days do you live through without noticing the sky, how blue it is, how pretty the clouds are that float by, or maybe a flock of birds flying over.  (have to be careful with that one, you may need to take cover).  Take a few minutes to look up at the sky, appreciate the canvas of beauty God painted for you to see and appreciate.  Don’t limit it to today though, take a look up every day.

 

National Dolphin Day –  Dolphins are both beautiful and cute at the same time, their grace, intelligence and power intrigue us, and make us love them.  I’ve even heard people call them the puppies of the ocean.  They are mammals that are related to whales and porpoises ranging in size from 4 feet up to 30 feet long!  That’s quite a difference!  They are found worldwide, but they do have a preference of the shallower seas of the continental shelves.  Dolphins are carnivorous animals, with their diet consisting mostly of fish and squid.  A male dolphin is a bull, a female a cow, a young one is a calf – so all bovine names, which surprised me when I read that a group of them is a school or a pod – a term used for whales also.  Probably not so odd to call them by those names, but it did surprise me a little bit.  Dolphins have amazing eyesight whether they are in or out of the water, and a very well developed sense of touch.  Their hearing is incredible too, able to hear frequencies ten times or more above the upper limit of what adult humans can hear.  They are capable of making a broad range of sounds using their nasal air sacs located just below the blowhole.  Pods of dolphins can get up to in excess of 1,000 – which is called a super-pod.  Can you imagine? I knew they were social animals but that’s amazing!  I thought it was so touching and beautiful to read that dolphins will stay with injured or sick pod members – even helping them to breathe by bringing to the surface of the water I they need the help.  Often people will see dolphins leaping above the water and wonder why they leap.  It is for a variety of reasons – when traveling the jumping saves energy because there is less friction in the air – this is called porpoising.  They also leap to orient themselves, as a social display, when they are fighting, for non-verbal communication, entertainment and to try to dislodge parasites.  Did you know that dolphins, like people, can develop a natural form of type 2 diabetes?  It is hoped that this may lead to a better understanding of the disease and new treatments for both people and dolphins.  Does anyone remember the TV show Flipper?  I remember watching that every weekend, wishing I had a dolphin for a friend.  I’m sure if I were to watch it today I would think it is a silly show, but at the time I completely loved it.

 

National Ex-Spouse Day – My ex did only two good things in his entire life – donate the DNA to create my two amazing kids.  Other than that, he has nothing to recommend him as a human being and to be honest, I can’t think of a single person who has actually benefited from knowing him.  He is mean, selfish, narcissistic, and the list goes on.  The person who set up this day to honor ex’s apparently didn’t have one that is as awful as mine.  For the people who actually DO have a decent friendship with their ex-spouse – more power to you.  I can say one good thing about my ex.  He did me the favor of leaving me, and in so doing, gave me the opportunity to find the man I am married to – the love of my life.  I would have stuck it out til death us did part, so him leaving actually assisted me in becoming the happiest I’ve ever been, and it can only get better from here.

 

Palm Sunday – Palm Sunday is traditionally the Sunday before Easter, and begins the Christian commemoration of Holy Week.  We celebrate Palm Sunday to remember the day that Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers.  Many churches hand out palm leaves, which represent the branches that were spread on the road as Jesus approached.  This is also the last Sunday of Lent, also called Passion Sunday.  The Biblical accounts of the last days of Christ’s life all agree that as he returned to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his followers, the crowds who were eager to proclaim Him the Messiah.”

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem surrounded by a crowd of followers. The palms disbursed by many churches signify the branches that were spread in on the road as Jesus approached.  “Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13)

Palm Sunday traditions vary from denomination to denomination, and country to country.  Christian churches traditionally hold services on Palm Sunday, and leaves of palm are often shaped into crosses to symbolize Jesus’ last hours on the cross are given to the congregation.  These palm fronds are also used to be woven into symbols of the palm to hang in the Christian home during the year.

The churches that observe Ash Wednesday by giving ashes to their members burn the palms to use for the ashes in this symbolic ceremony.  Eastern Orthodox churches give out bay or laurel leaves to be used for cooking throughout the year.

In many areas there are processions with palm fronds to commemorate the journey of Christ.  In Spain, processions and other public celebrations continue until the Monday after Easter.  In some Catholic parishes in the Philippines a priest rides a horse and is surrounded by the congregation, bearing palms to reenact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

Many of us have traditional Easter meals that we look forward to having every year. In my family it has usually been ham, scalloped potatoes, salads and some sort of dessert.  I don’t know why, that’s just always been the traditional meal.  We never planned a special meal for Palm Sunday, though I think that it would be a wonderful tradition to start.

In Great Britain, traditional foods served on Palm Sunday include fig pudding, because Jesus is said to have eaten figs on his entry into the city of Jerusalem.  In Spain, the day is known as “Sul y Blodau” or Flowering Sunday because of the association with the flowering of the fig tree.  Making split pea soup is another tradition still observed in Northern England and Scotland, which comes from the ancient practice of wearing a hard pea in the shoe as penance during Lent.  In other areas of the UK, pax cakes are given out to congregations after Palm Sunday services – along with best wishes for peace and brotherhood – in a custom that dates back to 1570.  In Greek tradition the Lenten fast is broken with a fish dinner on Palm Sunday featuring salt cod.  Some parts of Italy have homemade fettuccine pasta topped with tomato sauce, bread crumbs and chopped nuts as a customary Palm Sunday Dish.  More modern interpretations of appropriate foods to be eaten on Palm Sunday include hearts of palm in salads or side dishes to observe the day.

No matter how this special day is honored in your family or church, the significance it holds for all of us is deep and true, and leads us up to the miracle of Easter.

 

 

Reach as High as You Can Day – We all have dreams, things we have wanted to accomplish, and something just holds us back.  Much of the time what holds us back is us! We are afraid to take a risk and and reach for what it is we want.  Today there are no limits.  Put a plan together in your head for what you want and reach for the sky!  Big or small, take a chance, you’ll never know unless you try.   I know what my dreams are, but I’d have to win the lottery to actually put them into action.  I guess it would work better if I actually bought a ticket. Maybe I’ll put that on my to-do list for this week.

 

Food Celebrations of the Day –

Friday – April 12

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day – There are many happy childhood memories wrapped up in Grilled Cheese – the toasted, crispy bread, the ooey, gooey cheese and the YUM that goes along with it.  I had no idea that this celebration was today, but I sent one with Hubby to work for lunch! How serendipitous, right? Here is a tip for browning your bread perfectly: Slather the outside of each slice with mayonnaise, not butter.

 

 

 

Saturday – April 13

National Peach Cobbler Day – This one makes me really wish I had looked ahead on the calendar so I could have gotten some peaches at the store!  Pie dates back to the Middle Ages, but cobblers were invented by early settlers in the American colonies, who cooked them in pots over open fires.  A peach cobbler sounds really delicious right about now!

Peach Cobbler

Oatmeal-Cookie-Topped Peach Cobbler

Grilled Peach Cobbler a la Mode

Old-Fashioned Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Peach Cobbler With Almond Crumble Topping

Mini Peach-Berry Cobblers

 

National Licorice Day – People all over the world enjoy licorice . . . I don’t happen to be one of them.  It has a distinctive flavor that I know plenty of people like, and I was honestly surprised by how many different licorice candies that there are!  Some years ago, I decided to get my boss a variety of licorices for her birthday, since she likes it a lot. I was stunned by how many different kinds there are, it was actually a little boggling.  She ended up with a nice assortment, though there were just too many different ones to get her all of them.  Licorice is extracted from the licorice plant and can be used for candy, to flavor a drink (licorice tea is a popular example) and has medicinal purposes.  Be aware though, if you have high blood pressure, licorice is NOT recommended! 

 

 

Sunday – April 14

National Pecan Day – Mmmmm Pecans. Today is a day to celebrate and enjoy popular, tasty pecans. Apparently, someone thought that it was such a great nut, that they created two days to celebrate Pecans. One in March, and the other in April. A little nutty perhaps, but true.  The only nut tree that is indigenous to the Americas, pecans take their name from an Algonquin word that means “nut that requires a stone to crack.”  I typically use pecans in most recipes that require nuts.  They are soft enough to chop easily, they are less expensive than other nut choices (and budget of course is always something to be aware of), and they are delicious! 

Here’s a quick recipe that most of you probably know about, but that any of you who don’t, may appreciate.  Have you ever heard of Rolo Cookies? They were quite popular this past Christmas season – which is the first time I’d heard of them.  You couldn’t find a more simple, quick and delicious little treat for those give-away boxes for the office.  You need:  A bag of small pretzel twists, a bag of Rolo Candy, unwrapped, and a bag of pecan halves.  The amounts you use are up to you.  Heat your oven to 250.  Lay parchment paper out on cookie sheets.  Put out as many pretzel twists in a single layer as you can fit, leaving about 1/4 inch in between.  Put a Rolo in the center of each one.  Pop that pan into the oven for 4-5 minutes (no longer!).  Take the pan out of the oven and squish a pecan half into the center of the Rolo, let cool, and there you go! You have a delicious candy/cookie treat!  Salty, sweet . . . They disappear fast, so you may want to stock up on those ingredients.

Here’s a few other recipes, courtesy of food.com for you to enjoy . . . This reminds me, I need to add pecans to my Costco shopping list . . .

 

 

 

Well, here are all of the celebrations through the weekend.  I figured while I was sitting here, I’d do them all, so I didn’t forget them in the busy-ness of the weekend. God bless you and I’ll see you on Monday!

 

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Some of my posts will contain links to products that I am an affiliate for. When you make a purchase through that link, I will receive a commission for the sale. I make this known to you so that you are aware of these links.

Celebration list sources:

www.verseoftheday.com   www.brownielocks.com   www.holidayinsights.com   www.thenibble.com   www.foodimentary.com

 

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