Good morning It is Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
I was ready to talk about the Soap Plant this morning. At least that is what we called it as kids. in fact I have called this particular plant "Soap Plant" all of my adult life.
I can remember my mom teaching us about the plant; how Native Americans and early settlers used it as soap. She showed us how to pick the blossoms and get our hands wet and make a lather The odd thing is, when I searched Soap Plant this morning, I found many options, none of which were the plant I thought I had been identifying all these years.
The plant is blossoming right now in Southern Oregon. It is along the roadside, some large, some small. Some of the blossoms are white, some plants are pale lavender, some periwinkle blue. The blossoms are tiny clusters of flowers, coned shaped (somewhat) and the leaves are sparse. I even have a small plant on my fence line.
Can any of my Grants Pass friends help me out?
In the meantime, I will talk about that another day.
Today would have been my husband's 66th birthday. All these 'firsts' without him. It's hard.
We will have a family dinner tonight with his favorite meal: Haystacks and his favorite cake: Lemon, and then we will take his ashes to the cemetery to be next to other family members.
My daddy is there. My Grandpa Rod and Grandma Eva. My Cousin Terry is buried there. My cousin Laurie's baby boy. I have aunts and uncles and other extended family members buried there as well.
It's a 'rustic' old cemetery. It is in woods. No lush lawn and immaculately kept shrubs. And I like it that way.
I have a dear friend who has been working at the cemetery. Bill Z. is his name and he has been cleaning it up and adding birdfeeders and other things. He has done this out of the kindness of his heart.
I do not visit often. It is a place of heartache and heart break and I chose many years ago, for me, it just is not necessary. My hope is in the coming of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My hope is in the fact that I will someday see my loved ones again.
I have quoted it before, many times, but 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 are some of my favorite Bible passages. They are RICH with promise and imagery!
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep...For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord."
When Wendell was nearing the end of his life, he patted the side of his bed, indicating he wanted me to sit next to him. He said to me "I don't have much time left." I got a lump in my throat as I said "I know. But it's not goodbye, just 'see you later'" We hugged and hugged. I cried. It was so very sad. But I have hope. What would we do without that hope?!
I try not to talk specific beliefs here because I never want to offend anyone, but I believe what the Bible says about death.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first."
John 5:28-29 ESV "Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment."
Ecclesiastes 9:5 ESV "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten."
Daniel 12:2 ESV "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Revelation 22:12 ESV "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done."
1 Corinthians 15:52 ESV "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed."
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 ESV "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep...in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."
Acts 2:29, 34 ESV “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. For David did not ascend into the heavens..."
Matthew 27:52 ESV "The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,"
John 11:11-14 "...and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead."
I had a medical procedure a few years back. I had never been "put under" before. I remember it clearly.
The IV was inserted. I was wheeled into the next room. The doctor told the nurse to administer the Propofol into my IV. I said "Oh! my head is tingling." and she said "It's time to wake up Jeanette."
I was absolutely shocked! It happened that fast! My head was tingling and her response was telling me to wake up. I had been out for over 45 minutes and had zero recollection of what went on while I was out.
I believe that is what happens at death. We are totally unaware of what is going on or how much time has passed. We close our eyes, take our last breath and then in a split second Jesus says "It's time to wake up."
I have never taken issue with people that believe you go straight to heaven when you die. To me, either way, the next thing you know; the next thing you see, is Jesus! What a blessed hope!!!!
I pray you are ready to meet Him. I pray you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. I pray that you look forward to His audible and visible return. It is going to be a day like never before! A day I think about a lot!
May God richly bless you, guard and protect you. And if you would keep my family in your prayers today I would be grateful.