Good Friday

 

Today is Good Friday. Why is it called good? It was a terrible day.

It was the day Jesus, the son of God, was crucified.

cru·ci·fix·ion

NOUN
the execution of a person by nailing them to a cross. 

Bring out your Bible and read. But don’t read passively.

Hear the hushed murmurings of the priests and elders as they put Jesus on trial and condemned Him to die.

Hear their accusations against the only person in world who ever lived a perfect life.

Hear the crowds of people crying, “Crucify Him!”

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Hear Pilate’s verdict: “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”

Hear the crack of the whip; metal, bones, leather cutting into and ripping flesh. Feel the sharp thorns being twisted into a rude crown.

Feel the exhaustion, the faintness, the hard journey to Calvary.

Feel the rough hewn timber scraping a raw, bleeding back.

 

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See the nails, the spikes, being driven into open wrists.

Feel the sharp metal, hear the hammer ring,

As God’s only Son was pierced for you and me.

 

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Feel the pain, hear the cry,

Remember all of this as we ask ourselves why?

Why did Jesus have to die?

 

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Listen closely, read the pages carefully.

” For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jesus suffered and died for the world. For us, He was crucified. Jesus died because of love.

The Author of life laid His life down so that we could have life.

This is why we call it Good Friday: because Jesus died for us, for the sins of the whole world. But Jesus did not stay dead! Good Friday is good because Jesus rose from the dead.

 

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This Week: An Update

WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD. SCROLL AT OWN CAUTION.

This week has been good. Busy, but good. Hard things have come, but so have wonderful surprises, like having my sister home for March Break.

That being said, here, for your enjoyment is a recap of my week. Here goes!

Sunday was lunch after church at Swiss Chalet and resting.

 

Monday was waking up before the crack of dawn to set up breakfast, learning the circumference of a circle (pi, anyone?), and chopping vegetables.

Tuesday was more of the same, with some weariness, homework, and few knitting projects finished.

 

Wednesday was a huge boost from all the depressing things of Tuesday (namely, geometry). The day brought home my sister for a few days of rest, for which, I am really, really happy!

Thursday was walking through the woods, hitting the library, actually getting some homework done, planning for Easter Sunday, and free samples at Costco.

Friday: HOME FREE! Area of a circle, Grammar exam, chores, story-writing, long phone calls, and watching Ferdinand with family.

Saturday (today) saw me up early to whip up pancakes and the rest of us trekking to a maple sap farm for the maple festival!

 

Maple Festival is really just seeing how maple syrup is made, and tasting the maple syrup.  (It sounds so boring, the way I put it! Let’s see if these pictures can help me out.)

 

After taking in the view (correction: freezing while taking the view) we joined a group of people and a really friendly tour guide showing us how maple syrup is made. There was the primitive first way of boiling the maple sap in a hollowed log, then boiling the sap in buckets, then boiling the sap in  a pan, and then just using a machine.

Personally I like the boiling the sap in a hollowed log, but I guess that’d be pretty unsanitary.

 

The metal buckets are used to collect the sap, which I was tempted to sip but didn’t because, again, it’s unsanitary.

I said all Maple Festival was about was learning how maple syrup was made and then tasting, right? Well there’s actually more to do, it turns out. (Of course, most of the activities were adapted for little kids.)

 

Here are some contented cows munching on hay. Moving on. There was a  wagon ride, a pony ride (for $5), a taffy station, and a gift shop.

 

Quite delightful, ain’t it?

Anyhow, on the way home we sucked on maple sugar (which is delicious, by the way) and listened to the latest episode of Adventures In Odyssey, which was hilarious! Wooton and Eugene  play the main characters of The Count Of Monte Christo, but sandwich-themed. The effect was drop dead funny.

And that was the sum of my week, Saturday having the bulk of activities. 🙂 I hope you have had a delightful week as well.

Thanks for reading!

 

A Chapter Of A Work In Progress

Hello everybody! A most wonderful Monday is wished upon you!

Lately I’ve been trying to find what works best for my blog. I’ve been doing a few things; some work, and some don’t. One of the two main reasons I first started this blog was to be able to post my pictures. The other main reason was to publish my writing.

That being said, here’s a chapter of a story I’ve been working on. Please let me know what you think!

The Click Of The Lens

 

Chapter 1

4:30 AM in the middle of the night is just that- night. If it was summer, the sky would be slightly blue and the top of the hill wouldn’t be so freezing cold. But it wasn’t summer. It was winter, with snow on the ground and icicles on the rooftops. Not quite a comfortable time to stake out and take a few pictures of the sun. Why I thought it would be an excellent idea to pitch a tent in below zero weather and wait for the sun to come up so I could take a picture of it was now beyond me. Also beyond my mother.

“No. I have no idea what you are thinking Gale Durnham, but you are not going to freeze to death to take a bunch of pictures of the sunrise, not now, not ever!” said Mom.

“ But I’m not sleeping on Pine Hill overnight, I’m just gonna wake up in the morning and then wait. Besides, I was gonna do it anyway with Dad!”
At least I was until he got deployed. Dad was an avid nature photographer. But Corporal Joshua Durnham got deployed to Iran. Again.

Then I had to do this shoot by myself.

If I could convince my mother that it was a good idea.

 
“I’ll wear a parka and everything, Mom! You can’t freeze to death with a parka!” I said. Mom was not convinced.
“Ok, ok,” I muttered as I tried to think of a good reason, such as – “I’ll wash the dishes for a whole week!” I exclaimed.
Mom perked up at this.
“Really? Or are you just saying that so you can go?”
“Noo,” I said, crossing my fingers, ” I’ll really do them. Please?”
Mom sighed. “Ok, you win. “Yes!” I cried. ” But don’t blame me if you die from hypothermia .” Mom warned.
“Uh.. thank you?”

So that’s how I got up on Pine Hill. 5:00 AM. Still black. “Arrgh.” I groaned. I quickly scanned the sky. No moon, no stars. If they appeared I’d have taken a picture of them, but, they weren’t.
I took my camera off the tripod, went inside the tent, and set the alarm on my phone to 6:45. Grabbing the blanket I took with me, I somehow managed to comfortably fall asleep, waiting for the dawn to come.
If I didn’t get hypothermia and die, that is.

BEEP! BEEP! The alarm on my phone went off.
“Hm?” I said as I struggled to get up. It was light outside, not a bright shining light, but all blue.
Maybe I died of hypothermia after all and went to heaven. I subconsciously thought. Ding! My phone beeped again. Nope, I’m still alive. I checked my phone. It was Mom, ARE U STILL ALIVE?? she texted. I groaned. YES, I typed, and hit send. 7:00 AM, the clock read. I unzipped the tent flap and readjusted the tripod. And then, I waited.

You can hear birds chirping if you’re up early. If you have a camera on hand, you just might catch them in the act. I turned my camera on. A few birds were on the tree branches. A squirrel was scampering around. A snail was slowly inching along. There was plenty of material to cover.

Slowly, the blue sky had pink streaks in it. Then yellow. 7:45 AM.
The sun came, a bit reluctantly, its rays touching the trees and tickling the grass. Finally, finally, it was up.
I was quite busy finding that elusive perfect picture. Click, click, click, the lens went. And then-

“Is that an EAGLE???!” I gasped to nobody in particular.

I refused to believe that such a bird was flying around Pine Hill just when I happened to be there. But there it was, a golden eagle headed for the sun. And into my camera. Never was I so thankful for zoom. I got the perfect picture. Then, just like that, it faded from sight. Slowly, I cleared out and ran down the hill.

There was only one thing that could’ve made that dastardly cold photo shoot better, and that would have been having Dad there with me.

 

 

Pictures Of The Day: My Subject, The Sky

 

Now that I think about it, I don’t know for sure that the sky wanted to be my subject.. Oh well, I may as well publish these pictures.

 

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The clouds were dark and gray and sad this morning..

And then the afternoon came.

 

Those clouds! It looks straight out of a painting. You wouldn’t believe me, but it was snowing during that time. It’s so strange, because it looks just like summer.

Well, it lasted for about an hour or two and winter came roaring back.

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Yep, a regular March blizzard. I wish I knew how to photograph blizzards in the sky.

Thank you for putting up with boring pictures of the sky! I will stop torturing you now.

(Psst.. bonus points if you get the reference in the picture.)

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In Another World Much Like This One: What We Say And What We Do (Or Kids..)

 

Anna!” My mother called. I didn’t catch it, though. My headphones were on and I was working on exponents. “Anna!!” My mother’s voice broke through a lull on the radio, snapping me to attention.

 
“Yes, Mom?” I asked as she came in my room. “Mrs. Thomas said it was your turn for the Children’s Care this Sunday.” I took my headphones off. “It is?” I swiveled my chair to face her. Mom nodded. “Yes, and I think you should prepare your lesson early. I’ll be preparing dinner if you need me, ok?” Mom said as she headed out.

 
“Ok, thanks Mom.” I said as I watched her go. When the door closed, I got up to grab the Bible storybook off my shelf. So I must face the barrage of questions this time, I thought as I began to flip through the book.

 
My church is small, but rich in its own way. I loved the worship, the sermons, and the Children’s ministry, even when I was asked to help. The children’s questions and thoughts are just.. wasn’t there a show about the funny things kids say?

 
The last time I helped, however, was.. interesting.

 
“Oh, boy, I just can’t get their attention.” Mrs. Scott mourned. It was her first time teaching the kids, and their attention span was miniscule. “I know. Let me see what I can do, ok?” I comforted.

 
“Hey!” I shouted, turning my attention to the kids. I was a kid once and I knew a little how impatient six and seven year olds can be. They didn’t hear. One little girl under the table did, however. “Yes, Anna?” She asked as she trotted over. That kid is so cute.

 
“Nelly, no one’s listening. Can you call them so we can start coloring? I asked her. “Ok! EVEYBOODDDDYY!!!!!!!!!” Nelly’s voice pierced the air, stunning, me, Mrs. Scott, and the kids, who finally got the point and lifted their heads.

 
I took advantage of the aftershock and made my case. “Now that you have so graciously listened, it is now time for Mrs. Scott to read the story of the Flood.” For some reason, all the kids groaned. “Do we have to, Anna?” It’s boring.” “I just wanna play!” “I’ve heard this before!” The complaints came. Except from Nelly and Della, who were the youngest, the cutest, and happily coloring under the table.

 
I grabbled a sheet of paper and a pack of crayons. “Who wants to color?” I said as I waved them in the air. The roar, stomping, and running was deafening. I almost was trampled on by a bunch of eager pre-schoolers. “MEEE!!” The kids cried. Mrs. Scott looked at me dazed.

 
“Alright, you can color.” I held out the paper and crayons for the kids to take. “If,” I said as I pulled my hands back, “if you listen to Mrs. Scott.” My deal was out. “Aw… ok.” they agreed and sat around the table.

 
Mrs. Scott beamed at me as I gave the kids paper. “Alright boys and girls. Today we are going to learn about a man named No-”

“Anna?” Ryan interrupted. He ignored my glare and smoothly stated, “I love God!” “Me too.” The other kids said. “I would do anything He asked me to do!” Ryan continued. “Me too.” The other kids agreed.

 
“That’s, really good, Ryan. Not everyone loves God.” I conceded. Ryan smiled. “But if you love God, won’t you listen to His word?” I asked. He stopped smiling. “Wellll, I don’t have to!” he said a little flustered-like. “Really? But I thought you would do anything God asked you to do!” I replied, feeling a bit pleased I had caught him with his thinking.

 
Sure enough, I did, but I missed one aspect of childhood reasoning. “Yeah, but God didn’t ask me to listen to Him. You did!” he stated. I wondered if Ryan would ever know how ridiculous he sounded as I mentally banged my head against a really hard rock.

 
The rest of the hour was wonderful.

 
Jumping to the present, as I got some tape to throw in the supply bag, I thought a little about Ryan’s statement. He wasn’t the first one to think like that, for sure.

 
It seems kinda sad that we say we love God but won’t listen or do what He says, I thought.

It seems wrong that we think nothing of it when a swear word slips out.

How will we know what God wants us to do when we don’t listen to His word?
I knew then what I would teach this Sunday. But I would be sure to bring my Bible as well as the storybook.

 

 

A much more subdued Pictures Of The Day

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The flag proudly waves.
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The road yet to be taken.
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A gate to.. where ever it goes.
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A blue sky against some shaky trees.
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Some more sky.
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A plane takes off.
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Another flag proudly waves.
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Clouds take over the sky.
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The sun in the clouds.
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The sun playing Where’s Waldo?
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The steering wheel in the car goes left and right, left and right..
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Canada’s form of cheer and goodwill.

Pictures Of the Day: Wherein The Writer Attempts A Delightful Story (Ch. 3)

 

Forgive me, readers, for the lack of continuous blog posts! At the time I was occupied with different errands. Thankfully, I am free to continue this pathetic, un-humorous story about a bunch of flowers.  I hope you all are doing well to bear being bored to death!

So, here goes!

Ak-hem.

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The poor dead rose. Not even a month from Valentines’, and already dead.

The rose was dead. It went unnoticed for a while because of good camouflage. (Also because I never got around to tossing it.) Everyone in the house realized the state of their new favorite plant when the mother screamed, “What happened to my rose??”

The household was alarmed. (And I kept my mouth shut.) After five minutes of examination, the family decided that it was, in fact, dead because of climate change (from the greenhouse to their house).  But for the sake of its former beauty, they kept the rose (also because I never got around to tossing it.)

Yet it was such an eyesore in the home, that everyone despaired. How could such a thing of splendidness turn into.. well.. that?

The drab wall became even more drab, the wooden dresser subjected to glances of boredom because there was nothing lovely to look at. And the clock was stared at with abandon.

Time went by and the rose was completely dried up. But one day, on a snowy and dreary and sad and no internet day, there appeared a lovely vision.

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Another purply flower

A purple orchid plant had come! A wave of relief washed over the household. Its winsome, youthful, fresh from the greenhouse aura delighted the eye and heart of everyone who glanced at it.

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The tale of two flowers.

The rose, however, was so jealous it drooped even more, and wished to be tossed away. The blue vase which held it was devastated, because it knew their time on the dresser was over.

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Thus, the orchid took the place of reigning queen. And thus, our silly little story  is over.

The End.

 

 

Pictures Of the Day: Wherein The Writer Attempts A Delightful Story (Ch. 2)

Ok, I admit it; this story is pathetic.

But it is funny, so, I don’t know, does the fact redeem the pathetic-ness? It probably wasn’t funny, but hey! I tried.

So, that being said, could I interest you in Chapter 2? Here goes!

Ak-hem.

The poor vase was left alone and sad with even sadder stagnant water.

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It went like that for 2 weeks, until the day came when the lonely vase could take it no longer and sobbed its heart out, spilling its water and forcing me to clean it up.

It was so miserable that the owners decided to ignore it altogether and use a bigger vase for a big bouquet of yellowy flowers.

 

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It was beautiful,

It was bright,

But for some odd reason it could not take the place of the previous purply flowers.

Unfortunately, the bouquet also died and was then tossed out, much to the delight of the blue vase.

Still it was so lonely, until the day came when it was greeted by-

The most beautiful red rose!

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This most beautiful red rose, it seemed to the vase was the answer to his wish that he not be alone for Valentine’s day.

It took over the spot for most- admired- when- bored- and need-something-to-stare-at-except-the-clock.

Until,

Sadly it slowly decayed without anything noticing.

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So the once lovely, beautiful rose, turned into a monstrosity of death and decay, much to the anguish of the poor vase.

The End.

Until the Story is continued…

 

 

Pictures Of the Day: Wherein The Writer Attempts A Delightful Story (Ch. I)

Greetings and Salutations, the few readers of this blog! I wish you from the bottom of my heart a most delightful Thursday, and the best March Break, fellow students! Whoo-hoo!!

Any how let’s get down to business.. but since the Huns have been long defeated, let’s just look at some pictures.

Ak-hem.

Once one a lovely day there stood on the wooden dresser, in front of a drab wall, a beautiful purply flower.

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Enter the beautiful purply flower.

 

For 6 glorious, wonderful months, it stood, being admired by all. It basked in its delightful perfume, you know, the kind everybody sniffs for but doesn’t smell.

It had been kissed by the sunset,

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Gazed from the window by clouds,

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And always the topic of discussion. Such as “When are we gonna throw away that moldy flower?”

So it was, the queen of its vase, until-

The head broke.

And died.

And the vase was unfortunately empty. (except for the poor water left to stand.)

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And so the home grew morose and bleak and the drab wall became even more drab.

The End.

Until the story is continued.

 

 

The Song I Heard

I heard the chirp, chirp, chirp ring throughout the street

I wondered what marvel could make music that much sweet

As I stopped to take it in

My eye caught you warble the song you sing

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I spotted the vocalist.

 

 

And the song I heard

Was too delightful for words

It talked of spring and life and new starts

That does good to one’s heart

 

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The happy vocalist’s close-up as he chirped.

 

I could put words to music

But not music to words

I wished to somehow capture

The song I heard

 

For the song I heard

Was sunlight in a cloudy day

Brought a smile to one’s face

And cheer in the gray

 

You flitted to the rail

And ushered in your symphony

To prepare for the finale

 

For though you sang of spring

The snow was coming

At length you flew off the rail

And left me with the song I heard

 

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The poor lonely rail after the vocalist left it.