It’s Palm Sunday

I love the hymns of the church, and I don’t apologize for saying it.  Call me old-fashioned, but I miss hearing some of the more traditional music in the church.  The truth is, if we’re praising King Jesus with our whole hearts, the style of music is really pretty petty, Amen?  It’s bad enough the U.S. government is acting immature – the church needs to rise above and grow up.  There’s room for the new styles alongside the old.  Just praise King Jesus!  It isn’t about you – it’s about HIM.

With all my heart, I will praise the LORD.  Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad.  Psalm 34:2

All who are helpless…  the more we learn about our Lord, the more we realize that we are helpless.  Listen means stop talking.  Hear His Word and let it pierce your heart and mind.  Ponder what His Word is saying to you.  Pondering does not require conversation.  Ponder means to think – just leave it in your brain and let it wander around a bit.  Ponder.  Some people would call it over thinking.  I say nope – I’m pondering.  If pondering was good enough for Mary (the mother of Christ), it’s sure good enough for me.

To be glad means we should accept the joy that God wants to give us.  Remember, joy is not dependent on circumstances like happiness is.  I can be happy that the snow has melted, but if there is snow on the ground, I can have the joy of the Lord and rejoice in Him all day long.

One of the best parts of being a Sunday School teacher is helping kids get ready for a play.  There’s nothing more cute in the world than watching little ones in a Christmas or Palm Sunday / Easter play!  So sweet!

If you’re a new follower to this blog…  last Palm Sunday, Lucinda Berry Hill and I wrote a story about Daisy’s colt.  Check it out: https://hearthungerblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/daisys-colt/

In my experience, I have learned one thing…  when you line the kids up, you only give palm branches to the kids in the FIRST row – for obvious reasons.  Yes, you guessed it…  the kids in the second row will start bopping the kids in the first row with the branches.  Take that one to the bank.  It’s gonna happen!  LOL!  Why, yes, I did learn that the hard way – and it’s so much easier to give them the palm branches than to ask to have them back.  Tears and screaming…  sigh.  No – not them… – ME!

Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song: Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; Show forth his salvation from day-to-day. Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him: Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength. Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come into his courts.  Oh worship Jehovah in holy array: Tremble before him, all the earth.  – Psalm 96:1-9

Grab a palm branch and try to resist the temptation to bop your neighbor with it.  It’s not a Christmas gift wrap tube, ya know.  That’s what I used to tell the kids – lol.  One time, I even brought some leftover Christmas gift wrap tubes in to the church so the kids could just get it out of their systems before I gave them the branches – that’s actually a better solution – and I even had fun!  We had a bee-bopping good time in the fellowship center.

I have a special surprise for you!  My friend, Geri Ehrlich, wrote the sweetest children’s story and I want to share it with you today.

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The Broken Wing – by Geri Ehrlich, March 2018

One day, a small boy found a baby bird caught between the branches of a tree.  He quickly freed the trapped creature, but could see that her wing had been broken.

Over the next few weeks, the boy tended the bird and soon her wing was healed and she broke out in joyful flight, fluttering her wings as she encircled her new friend, bringing great delight to the boy.

For many days, the boy and the bird laughed and played under the tree that had trapped her a short time ago.

One day, the boy grew tired and fell asleep.  The bird also grew tired – of watching him sleep, and flew off to new adventures.

Soon, far away from the one who rescued her, she became trapped again.  But, this time, it was a net – not a branch that hindered her freedom.  Suddenly, a big, rough hand tightened around her delicate body.  She was torn from the net, placed in an iron cage, and taken even farther away from her boy.

When the boy awoke, he frantically searched for his friend, but she was nowhere to be found.

After many years, the boy grew to become a man.  As he grew, his heart grew sick for want of the little bird.

Then, one day, a pigeon happened by and took pity on the man.  She listened as the man told her of his long-lost friend.

So, the pigeon, determined to find the bird, took flight in search of her.

At last, the pigeon found the bird – locked in a cage, high in a tower.  When the little bird learned of her sick friend, she pushed, shoved, and pried at the bars.  They would not move.  The pigeon tried to free the bird by pecking at the lock.  And even though the lock had begun to rust due to the bird’s many tears, the lock would not budge.

Sadly, they both knew that the little bird could not be freed.  So, the pigeon flew back to the sick-hearted man and told him what she had seen.

Meanwhile, the little bird was left to cry alone in her cage.

The man was sad to hear that his little friend was locked away.  He longed to go to her, but his weak body kept him from even getting out of bed.

For many days and nights, the pigeon carried messages between them.  Each time, the lock was tried.  And each time, it would not budge, leaving the little bird to cry alone.

But, after a while, and with much crying, the lock rusted through.  The little bird struggled to twist off the latch and she was free!

Now, she flew as fast as she could back to her boy.  Overjoyed when she reached him, she fluttered all around him, brushing his heart with the wing he had tended so long ago.

And… then something magical happened.  The man’s sick heart began to heal.  Soon, his strength returned and he was able to stand and walk again.

This made the little bird so happy that she broke into beautiful song; fluttered about even more, fanned out her tail feathers for all to see.  Just watching her made the man’s heart burst with gladness and he, too, began to sing and dance around.

Many years have come and gone.  But, if you listen… you can still hear the melody of the man and the little bird floating amongst the tree tops.  And, if you look closely, you can still see them dancing and fluttering among the swirling leaves.

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Isn’t that sweet???  I really like it.  I hope Geri will put illustrations with it soon!  🙂

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This is a great verse for Palm Sunday, isn’t it?  We all need to be reminded how this journey called Christianity is supposed to work.

We are to love one another – because Christ loves all of us.  Does that mean we always see eye to eye on everything?  No, it doesn’t.  It does mean that we show respect for one another, whether we are shown respect in return or not.  We’re responsible for our own behavior – not anyone else’s.  If each of us would do our very best to show the love of Christ, wouldn’t this world be a better place?  I think it would.  What if we were all a place of REST for each other? 

I love this poem in particular because this is exactly what God’s children need to be for one another.  Sadly, it often becomes a case of using instead of nurturing.  Sometimes we just need a friend in Christ to talk with about everyday things.  It may seem unproductive to some, but you have no idea how much it means to the one who needs to be heard and helped.  It’s sometimes a matter of letting a friend know that you are praying for them.  If we can listen more than speak and pray more than fret…  we’ll be a good representative for our Savior.

Here’s what we’re not – PERFECT.  God is perfect and only with His help can we love perfectly.  People – yes, even Christian people…  can be frustrating sometimes – yes, I can frustrate others too.  Here’s the deal – if we can just understand that our brothers and sisters in the Lord are imperfect human beings just like us – and if we can just be quick to forgive one another – which, again…  I’m not great at doing…  but I’m working on it – that is when we will love perfectly with Christ-likeness.  I hope others have forgiven me for mistakes I’ve made against them.  I try to forgive them as the Lord wants me to.  That’s how Christianity works, and it only works with Christ in the center.

Before I go, I’d like to remind you to look at my post on 4/5.  The story DAISY’S COLT, written by Lucinda Berry Hill and myself, with beautiful illustrations by Marian Poppy Ballestero is there.  If you have a little one in your life, it would be great to read this story to them.  Have a nice Palm Sunday!  🙂

 

DAISY’S COLT

Today’s post is a special Children’s story for Palm Sunday, written by Lucinda Berry Hill & Linda Palmer, with beautiful illustrations by Marian Poppy Ballestero.   We are so excited to share with you our story…

DAISY’S COLT

Daisy Lou the donkey

Was tied up to a post

Waiting for her master

Right near her little Hope.

Two men had come beside them

And announced, “Daisy Lou,

You need to come with us –

There’s a job for you to do.”

 

“A job for me?  What could it be?”

Daisy thought and thought.

But soon the momma realized

The job was for her colt.

 

A journey to Jerusalem

Was what the job would be;

A ride was needed to the town

For Jesus Christ the King.

Before Daisy let the men

Lead little Hope away,

She had a few instructions

She felt she had to say:

 

“Take firm and steady steps

And always look ahead;

With your ears always up,

Listen closely to what is said.

 

Follow His directions,

Even if they don’t seem right.

Listen and obey…

You’re gonna do alright.

 

I’m proud that you’ve been chosen

For this purpose by the Lord.”

And with that, she waved goodbye

To little Hope moving forward.

 

They reached their destination

And little Hope was quite surprised;

For standing there beside her

Was the blessed Jesus Christ!

 

The man put clothes upon her back

Where Jesus took a seat;

Then they began a journey –

Little Hope and Christ the King.

 

They traveled to Jerusalem,

Where they were met with praise.

Hope was feeling honored

To be chosen for this day.

 

“Imagine such a thing!”

As she walked, the young Hope beamed.

“Instead of a majestic horse,

The King has chosen me!”

People laid out branches

In the streets that lie before them.

“Blessed is the King!”, they yelled –

They loved and they adored Him.

 

When her mission was complete,

Hope ran back to Daisy.

“I did just what you taught me,

I listened, wasn’t lazy.

To Jerusalem I carried

Our great and mighty King.

Thank you for the lessons, momma,

That you’re always teaching me.

 

Listening paid off –

The King really is quite smart.

He never once lead me astray;

Now I trust Him with my heart.

 

Jesus loves me… little me.

He used me on His special day.”

Little Hope leaped through the fields

With a giggle and a bray.

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Please do us a favor.  If you decide to print this story and share it with little ones, would you take a moment to leave us a comment below?  We love knowing that our stories are being shared!  Thank you so much.

It’s our hope and prayer that you will print this and share it with the little ones in your life.  Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord has a purpose for everything and everyone – He even had a job for a little colt named Hope.  Peace be with you today.

Oh…  I’ve made a slideshow on YouTube also!  I hope you will watch and read the story and then give it a thumbs-up and leave some love for us in the comments.  Have a blessed day and thanks in advance.  🙂

Thank you Lucinda and Marian – and I know you join me in praising God above for helping us put this together as only HE can!  With me in Kansas, Lucinda in Pennsylvania, and Marian in the U.K. – clear yonder across the pond…  you KNOW this is a real GOD THING!  We love and praise You always, our Lord and Savior, for what only YOU can bring together!  ❤

PALM SUNDAY

TL PALM SUNDAYBEYOND THAT MOMENTFOR PALM SUNDAYHIS LAST WEEK ON EARTHWHO IS HE

HIS LAST SUPPER

Praise Him, Praise Him, all ye little children.  God is LOVE…  God is LOVE.  🙂

PALM SUNDAY

TL PALM SUNDAY

When I think of Palm Sunday, I’m reminded of years past when I taught children’s Sunday School.  There is usually a children’s program scheduled on this day that consists of kids of all ages waving palm branches and singing songs of praise to Jesus.

You may think that we teachers just stand up there coaxing the children to sing louder because we have nothing better to do.  Sorry to disappoint you, but as teachers, we hope and pray that the seemingly ritualistic Palm Sunday children’s program stays with the kids and that they will remember the meaning behind it.

We also hope that something in the presentation will soften the hearts of the parents and help them to come back to a solid relationship with the Lord.  As teachers, we hope and we pray that our efforts will be blessed by God and produce results.  Palm Sunday children’s programs are a seed-planting mission of sorts.  That’s why we practice those songs over and over (and over…)  sigh.

We teach the children simple songs like “Jesus Loves Me” because we want them to remember throughout their lives that no matter what happens, they have a Savior who loves them and wants them to lean completely on Him every day – to keep them safe and help them make good decisions.

HIS LAST WEEK ON EARTH

What are the benefits of becoming a Christian?  Let’s review…  the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is a perfect example of how God provides for His own.  We never have to worry about being left alone or lonely.  Our needs – all of them – are supplied every day.  We see the hand of God all the time.

We give, but we will never out-give our Father in heaven.  His limitless resources are ours if we will just ask.  He has provided His Holy Spirit to protect and guide us.  He has promised us a home in heaven where streets are pure gold and gates are made of pearl.  Down here we see gold as so precious, but God uses it to make the streets!  I mean, if that doesn’t give you some perspective…

He promises us a mansion – again, something that people spend years saving and sacrificing to buy on this earth – is just given to those who call Christ Lord once this life is over.  I’ve got it on good authority that we won’t even have to mow or trim the lawn either – no maintenance with this mansion.  No property taxes…  that alone – well – it’s a good thing.  You might say…  it’s HEAVEN.

Angels singing and no more night because we won’t have to sleep – we will have new bodies that won’t get tired.  They won’t have chronic illness or joints that wear out.  There will be no Alzheimer’s, no Diabetes, no Parkinson’s or any other affliction in heaven – it will all be behind us and we can just be with the LORD forever.

You can’t see me (and I can’t prove it), but I’m waving my palm branch today for KING JESUS.  I’m thanking Him for all the promises that He has made, has kept, and will keep in the future.  He is worthy of our praise.  Hail King Jesus!  ❤

 

 

PALM SUNDAY

TL PALM SUNDAY

BEYOND THAT MOMENT

ALL GLORY, LAUD AND HONOR

Refrain:
All glory, laud, and honor,
to thee, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.

1. Thou art the King of Israel,
thou David’s royal Son,
who in the Lord’s name comest,
the King and Blessed One.
(Refrain)

2. The company of angels
are praising thee on high,
and we with all creation
in chorus make reply.
(Refrain)

3. The people of the Hebrews
with psalms before thee went;
our prayer and praise and anthems
before thee we present.
(Refrain)

4. To thee, before thy passion,
they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted,
our melody we raise.
(Refrain)

5. Thou didst accept their praises;
accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest,
thou good and gracious King.
(Refrain)

Today is Palm Sunday, when Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before His death and resurrection. According to the Gospel of John the crowds in Jerusalem came out to greet Jesus carrying palm branches, which they either waved or strewed in His path. It’s a somewhat stressful day for most children’s Sunday School teachers. There is usually a children’s choir presentation, abbreviated church service and potluck lunch afterward. I taught children’s Sunday School for many years so I know these things. 🙂

Do you think any of those folks waving palm branches and shouting HOSANNA to Jesus would have guessed that in less than a week they would be witnessing His crucifixion? I keep wondering how that would feel to one who was there. The fickle behavior of man has always amazed me (not in a good way). On Sunday they were at the triumphal entry and by Friday they were crucifying Him. Wow. But the thing is, Jesus rode in on a Donkey. He maintained humility because HE knew what would happen. He knew HE was the sacrificial lamb of God. Was He surprised by it? Not at all. Now, I’m not saying Jesus had no choice – He definitely had a choice. He could have said – Nope, not gonna do this for man. He didn’t call the angels to take Him back to heaven and leave us all to perish. He died for us – willingly GAVE His life – for us – so we might be saved.

We can go to the most uplifting church service on Palm Sunday and hear the most charismatic sermon, sing songs of praise that make us think we will be floating on clouds for months – then later in the week something can come our way and that mountaintop experience can just flat-line suddenly. I’ve been there and I’m pretty sure you have too.

Have we lost our salvation? Well of course we haven’t lost it! Life is not all about mountaintops. There are some serious valley experiences that come along. I’m so thankful to God that my salvation does not depend on emotions, but on faith. Some days it is a quiet faith that just hangs on – but it is there! I know whether I’m waving palm branches or witnessing something completely unbelievable taking place, God is in control of everything and whatever is happening is part of HIS big plan – HIS big picture! I have to trust that it’s going to be ok. ❤