Hmmmn… Musings

Happy Easter, my friends! I hope that you and yours celebrated the resurrection of the King with joy and laughter! The Mitton crew ate well, laughed much, and worshiped together as a family. It was a busy, but enjoyable, few days. An interesting side note: This is the first weekend in a long time where the holy month of Ramadan, Jewish Passover and Christian Easter all fell on the same weekend. I don’t know why that matters, but it’s an interesting little tidbit of information.

And that’s where my musings have taken me this weekend… little tidbits of information that I noticed. Gleanings, some would say. And so, instead of a full-on post this week, I thought I’d throw out a few of those tidbits for you to ponder. Perhaps you’ve noticed them too. Perhaps you are seeing them for the first time. Perhaps you are celebrating Easter itself for the first time as a follower of Christ and eating up all the fine details. Maybe you need to see a familiar story in a fresh light. Maybe, like me, you just like to imagine. Remember back in the day? The phrase “things that make you go ‘hmmm'”. Was it late-night television? Anyway, doesn’t matter.

Here is my list of ponderings for your week! Enjoy!

  • Why did Peter have a dagger in his pocket? Was this common practice? (see this post for the answer to this one!)
  • Did Jesus’ arrest in the garden cause a fight among all the men? or did He just walk away with them? Wouldn’t you have loved to be up in a tree watching it all?
  • Where were the high priests who secretly believed in Jesus’ teachings during his questioning? Wouldn’t Nicodemus and the like stood up for Him if they could? Perhaps they were not invited to the secret meeting called at night?
  • Isn’t it interesting that Pilate’s wife warned him against getting involved with Jesus’ fate? Listen to your wives, you guys (we know stuff)!!
  • Did Barabbas go on another killing spree when he was released? Or did the piercing stare of Jesus convict him of his wrongdoings once he was released?
  • How brave was Mary to witness the torture and death of her special son…she was one tough cookie! I don’t know that my momma bear heart could handle it …
  • Did you know that Jesus’ body was buried with about 25 pounds of sugar and spice to keep Him smelling sweet? How come they didn’t mention all that stuff strewn on the ground when they discovered the empty tomb? What was it like to pack a body in those days?
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have media accounts of the weather that day? Or the strange after effects? All these dead people walking back home to greet long, lost relatives? Crazy. Facebook and Twitter would have crashed!
  • There is power in a name. “Mary” was all Jesus had to say. Choose wisely, parents.
  • Jesus made the disciples fish for breakfast. I wonder if He ate. I also wonder if He was a good cook.

If you’d like to go back and review this Holy week and wonder and muse about what it would have been really like, may I suggest you read through John 18 through 21 and try and pick out some “new-to-you” details of a familiar story. Discuss it with others and see what you find out anew! Then come back and visit me again next week, where we will muse again!!

Sheltering Mercy

Short but sweet this week! I figured ya’ll are like me and up to your eyeballs in Easter Preparations, so another thought from me is just adding to your list… but I did want to share a little something that I have been dying to get my hands on since it arrived in my mailbox. Besides, it’s been a while since my last book review and I figured it was about time.

Let’s dive in. “Sheltering Mercy” by Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt is described as “prayers inspired by the Psalms”… and it is exactly that! A little purse-sized hardcover containing a collection of poems or writings based on the first 75 Psalms. The writings are not exactly scripture, nor paraphrases, but, as the writers put it, “free-verse prayer renderings”. For me, they are perfect for quiet meditation, and I have been dying to do some journalling, artistic illustrations to go along with each collection! (If only there were more time in the day, right?). I think this little book would be perfect for that type of meditation as the paper is heavy and the margins spacious. There are a few black and white illustrations scattered through the book, but a splash of coloured pencils would be perfect!

If you’ve been reading mittonmusings for any length of time, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with David and the psalms, not to mention my own practical versus artsy personality. I’m just not sure where I fit in. This little collection hits home when I need to foster the creative side of my devotions. In case you didn’t pick it up, Ryan Whitaker Smith is the son of worship singer-songwriter Michael W. Smith. That collaboration is a lesson in itself for worship, reflection and artistry in the contemporary Christian world. Why wouldn’t these potential song lyrics be just right?

So, if you are itching for some traditional written prayer meditation for your Easter Season, or maybe you are looking to branch out with your artistic side, give “Sheltering Mercy” a gander. Published by Brazos Press and lovingly donated to mittonmusings by Nuts About Books, I’m looking forward to marking it all up over the holiday weekend!

Happy Easter, my beloveds, until next time!

Spring Cleaning

My goodness! Where has the time gone? This week marks the end of March and the beginning of another spring season! We started a little spring clean-up in our yard this past weekend… and then, in true Canadian fashion, it snowed this morning! My poor little urban garden’s seedlings are feeling the pinch of the dip in temperature, too, as they sit on my windowsill. Still, Time has a way of ticking on, and spring weather will soon arrive. I’m looking forward to it. How about you, my friend? Do you do the traditional “spring clean”?

Do you participate in the big spring clean?

It’s what I’ve been musing about this week… spring cleaning. Not that it is a task I enjoy immensely, but I do love the result of a little elbow grease after a tired winter season. I need more time to really get in all the cracks and crevises of this ol’ house, but, well, every little bit counts, right? We’ve chatted about it before. I’ll leave some previous posts down below if you want to follow up. You can even check out the pictures from our decluttered furnace room… or the fish tank clean-up! Ever wondered where the idea of “spring cleaning” originated?

So, I did some digging. Turns out there are a few “thoughts” about where the idea of a spring clean up came from. In 19th century America, March was considered the best time to dust because the windows to the home could be opened without the fear of flying insects invading your space! The coal furnaces would have stopped running and all the soot leftover could be swept out and the house aired. Nowadays, I suppose, we could open the windows to let all the ammonia smells out from our chemical cleaners! (Anyone else love a good bleach?)

Some sources say the deep clean is associated with a new year. In Japan and Scotland, the “spring clean” is in December. Persian new year, “Nowruz”, is the first day of spring and involves a truly deep clean of the whole house. Many traditions evolved around Lent’s “purging” in time for Easter. This is also true of the Biblical Jewish tradition of house “cleansing” during the time of Passover and the remembrance of the Jewish exodus in haste from Egypt. Jews even clean out the pantry. I wonder if they get to eat all the snacks? I like that kind of clean up!

Whatever way you think about your physical clean-up, whether it be in preparation for a new year, or new season, or just an excuse to get all spick and span, it is important to remember that a clean “outside” cannot compare to a clean inside. Jesus reminded the Pharisees that a carefully cleaned outside that hides a heart of deceit and greed is futile (Matthew 23). And how grateful am I that God promises my sins to be completely cleansed? As clean as the new-fallen snow ! (Isaiah 1:18). Even if it is spring snow in the middle of our yard clean up!

So, if scrubbing the baseboards or dusting, or open window airing out is on your agenda this week, I hope it reminds you that your inside should be just as glowing! May your efforts be blessed!

Here are a few more muses about all things tidy!