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This wood sculpture is on display in my church until Good Friday. Once he found the right tree, it took David Marks 30 hours to complete it.  He told me he couldn’t take the credit. It was as if God’s hand guided him. The body is carved from a single cedar tree.

My camera doesn’t  do it justice. I’m amazed. A truly inspired work of art.

The artist is a founding church planter of The Bikers Church.  Click here to learn more about the group: http://www.thebikerschurchoxfordnc.com/About_Us.html

Thank you, Mr. Marks, for sharing your gift.

John 19 (New International Version)

1Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.

4Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

7The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

8When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read:|sc JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

I’m the only one in my household that likes watching TV with the closed-captioning turned on.  What can I say, I love to read. The words are very important to me.

I’m glad I had the subtitles turned on when I watched the movie, Bright Star,  because it is all about words–the words of poet, John Keats.

One line in the movie had me sighing: “There is a holiness to the heart’s affections.”

Another such quote I must add to demonstrate the mind and heart of a writer. The words are spoken by Mr. Brown, “If Mr. Keats and myself are strolling in a meadow or lounging on a sofa or staring into a wall, do not presume we are not working. Doing nothing is the musing of a poet.”  and might I add the musing of a fiction writer, as well.

I should make Fanny Brawne my spokesperson for Put A Ruffle On It since, as a designer and seamstress of clothing, she made the most beautiful of ruffles (at least on screen).

If you’d like to read about John Keats,  go to the google books link: http://books.google.com/books?id=YrY8AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+keats&lr=&cd=25#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Yesterday I wrote about Liz Curtis Higgs’ new book. I found this interview on youtube and wanted to share it.

It’s almost fitting that Mrs. Higgs’ new book, Here Burns My Candle, comes out  after Tiger Woods’ indiscretions were made public–making what happens in the book all the more plausible while at the same time, heartbreaking.

What you’ll find in Here Burns My Candle:

A Biblical Story parallel set in 1745 Scotland

Two Sons

A Loving Mother

Two Daughters-in Law

An indifferent Mother-in-law

Until…

the unthinkable happens

The author is masterful at taking stories from the Bible(The book of Ruth in this case) and weaving them into page-turning novels set in Scotland. Loved the book!

For more information about this book, visit  WaterBrook Multnomah.

This  book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

I wish I could be this smart. Watch to the end.

Jesus said to come as little children, so it was with crayon in my hand that I began reading The Gospel According to Moses –What my Jewish Friends Taught me About Jesus by award-winning novelist Athol Dickson.

You see, my son rarely used his crayons when he was little so I have quite a few of them in my house and I thought I’d put them to good use. They are very handy as highlighters. Maybe not as professional looking, but they still highlight the text I think is important. And let me say, there were many such texts in this book.

Mr. Dickson was invited to attend Chever Torah (Bible study) at the Reform Jewish temple and accepted, after all, novelist Tom Clancy said, “One hallmark of intellectual honesty is the solicitation of opposing points of view.” In his studies he learned that God loves an honest question and his first question was if he may ask. And the answer was, “Asking is not doubting. It is trusting.”

And he says his intent was not to proselytize but  he also didn’t want to leave the reader untouched. And he certainly didn’t leave me untouched. For reasons I can’t explain, somewhere in chapter eleven I began to weep. Not silent tears, but deep sobs. And I couldn’t stop. I read the remainder of the book through a veil of tears.

The funny thing is, the author said early on how a painting made him weep, and I thought, that has never happened to me, and yet by the end of the book I was crying.

When I finished reading, I had to rush to get a shower because I had a hair appointment at 9:15(Saturday morning). I cried while I took the shower and cried while I dressed. I was trying to think of ways to stop the flow of tears, but couldn’t. I didn’t want to bawl as my hairdresser did her thing. Fortunately, I was able to pull it together, but those early morning tears wiped me out for the rest of the day. But I don’t regret them one bit.

I don’t cry often or that easily. It had been months–many months since my last cry. My friend said that tears are God’s pressure release valve. I needed those tears yesterday. And again, I felt I came to Jesus as a little child bawling her eyes out.

This is probably the most meaningful and profound book I’ve read in a long time. (I look forward to reading some of the author’s novels–I’ll definitely report back on them later.)

Matthew 18:2-4 (New International Version)

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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