by: Steven Robinson
Here are some responses we received when we asked:
“How did you and your family celebrate Easter 2020?”
Frost, Jeremy, Stacey, & Gabrielle
We started off the weekend by watching the Passion of the Christ on Friday evening. We watched our church service online Sunday morning which was a wonderful service. I read to my family from the book of John certain passages from the washing of the feet through Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. My wife, my daughter, and I took a 5 mile hike in the afternoon along the river with our Husky Luca in which the weather was perfect. We came home and had an early dinner of the traditional ham, baked mac and cheese, and green beans but before we ate, we had communion to remember what Jesus did for us on the cross over 2000 years ago. Overall a great weekend in observance of how God provided a way through Jesus to forgive our sins and how we must never take it for granted.
One quote I ran into over the weekend that I truly thought was inspiring and fitting for such a time as now from Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Good Friday and Easter free us to think about other things far beyond our own personal fate about the ultimate meaning of all life, suffering, and events; and we lay hold of a great hope.”
Please pray for our son Christian and his wife, Rose, as they had a miscarriage this past week. Their faith is strong, and they know God has a plan and they are resting in that.He has risen! He has risen indeed!
Miles, Pat & Brett
With the Coronavirus and not being able to see family and friends in person, it has been nice with our move last year to Paragould, AR, and sharing a house with Lin and Dave, that allows us to see each other and share meals. Easter Sunday was such an occasion for us. The forecast for Easter called for rain most all day and gusty winds, and the weather did not disappoint. Anticipating that, Brett smoked a turkey on the Weber grill Saturday afternoon, and Lin and I packaged it up for our meal on Sunday. Sunday morning, we participated in our live streaming service from our church facility with our pastor and band via YouTube. (Thank goodness for technology!) Anyone who knows Brett knows that he is always hungry, but he had to wait until 2 PM for our meal together. Later that afternoon, our church life group met via Zoom for our Bible study. Following that was our special treat for Easter……homemade Milky Way ice cream! It was yummy and a reminder of the many, many times homemade ice cream was shared around the tables with our Bethel family as well as on a regular basis at home with Mom and Dad.
Over the weeks, I am appreciative of the sources available to us that continue to remind us that we will get through this, and that God’s got this! One such reading was Max Lucado’s daily devotion titled “A Lesson in Trust.” It follows:
In one of Henri Nouwen’s books, he tells about the lesson of trust he learned from a great trapeze artist. The acrobat said, “The flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. I have simply to reach out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron. The flyer must trust with outstretched arms that his catcher will be there for him.”
In the great trapeze act of salvation, God is the catcher, and we are the flyers. We trust. Period. We rely solely upon God’s ability to catch us. And as we trust Him, a wonderful thing happens – we fly! Your Father has never dropped anyone. He will not drop you. His grip is sturdy, and his hands are open. Place yourself entirely in His care. As you do, you will find it is possible, yes possible, to be anxious for nothing!
We had a family Easter dinner with Caitlyn, read the resurrection story from the book of Mark, and talked to KayCee and my Brother Dan on the phone. Steve and I also took a walk.
I was on a walk a few days before Easter feeling a little down because of not getting to go to church. Some neighbors were also out walking and asked me what was wrong. I explained, and she responded, “We are Christians. We celebrate the resurrection everyday by the love we show our neighbors.” She is right. “Love the Work and Work the Love.” Celebrate the resurrection by extending a helping hand during this time of separation and isolation. I have been sending cards, and I thank those of you that have remembered us with a delightful card. Let us reach out in new and creative ways.
Work the Love.
Miss everyone and hope to be together soon.
Moore, Bill & Betty
The bone in my arm has healed pretty well, but I’m still working on the muscles. I had to quit Physical Therapy because of the virus, but I am continuing to do the exercises I was doing to help stretch the muscles to work properly. I will try to go back to PT once the distancing is lessened. So I’m not completely back to normal, but I can do most things on my own.
We spent Easter at our home. We watched Davis Memorial’s live feed as well as listened to some awesome music that was shared on Facebook. I have also watched live feeds from United Methodist Church. So thankful for these live feeds. We did a Zoom meeting with my son and his family along with my good friend, Nancy Jones. That was very nice to help feel connected. I miss seeing and hugging my granddaughters.
For now, I have gotten my sewing machine downstairs so I am making masks for when we go out into the public. I’m also hoping to make a couple of dress-up dresses for my granddaughters. It feels good to get back to doing the things I love.
I find myself spending more time reading the Bible and in prayer, so I guess this quarantine thing isn’t so bad. I also feel people are coming closer together and trying to connect more even though further apart. I am enjoying your newsletters.
Wishing everyone well and sending prayers.
Sheldon, Stan & Marilyn
We are doing well at this time. We are staying home but we get outside for yard work and walks as much as possible. We are blessed to have the Pattons who check on us by phone to see if we need anything. Another family, Tod Fischer from Sharpsburg, checks in with us, also. I ride around the farm on our golf cart with my little dog, Snickers, every day. He actually expects it! We check with our children and grandkids every day.
Bethel Family: I really miss services and human interaction at Bethel! For the past few weeks, it has been interesting exploring online services. On Easter, I watched a traditional service of Rick Warren on Saddleback.com, then a high-octane modern service at elevationchurch.org. There are many worship styles but only one Jesus! The message was the same in each service: the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us hope because our past is forgiven, we have a purpose for living to serve Him, and we have a place reserved in heaven. Coronavirus just makes us understand that we are not as in control of the world as we sometimes like to think, and all the mighty military and powerful economy can be stopped (at least for a while) by something as simple as a bat virus! Let’s love the work (serving as representatives of God on earth) and work the love (of God in and through us to others.) Hope to see you at our little country church soon!
Tammy Patton has shared this:
Grandpa’s Hands by Melinda Clements
Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands.
When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK. He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” he said in a clear strong voice. “I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands, and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to him. “Have you ever looked at your hands,” he asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?” I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making. Grandpa smiled and related this story:
and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well
throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak, have
been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child, my Mother taught me to fold them in prayer.
They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war.
They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.
Decorated with my wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.
They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my Parents and Spouse and walked my Daughter down the aisle.
Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend’s foot.
They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.
And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of my life. But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch His face.” I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandpa’s hands and led him home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife, I think of Grandpa. I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
Stop telling God how big your problems are...
Start telling your problems how big your God is!