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April 7, 2004 - Easter Messages
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Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;Death is strong, but Life is stronger;Stronger that the dark, the light;Stronger than the wrong, the right;Faith and Hope triumphant say Christ will rise on Easter Day." -- Phillips Brooks



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I've done something I haven't done in a very long time! Today I'm happy to share TWO terrific and also short stories with beautiful Easter messages.

"The Magic of Three Days"
by Patt Barnes

It was a beautiful spring day, and a sense of peace stayed with me as I left the cathedral on Easter Monday morning. I paused for a moment on top of the steps leading to the avenue, now crowded with people rushing to their jobs. Sitting in her usual place inside a small archway was the old flower lady. At her feet corsages and boutonnieres were parading on top of a spread-open newspaper.

The flower lady was smiling, her wrinkled old face alive with some inner joy. I started down the stairs?then, on an impulse, turned and picked out a flower.

As I put it in my lapel, I said, "You look happy this morning."

"Why not? Everything is good."

She was dressed so shabbily and seemed so very old that her reply startled me.

"You've been sitting here for many years now, haven't you? And always smiling. You wear your troubles well."

"You can't reach my age and not have troubles," she replied. "Only it's like Jesus and Good Friday . . . " She paused for a moment.

"Yes?" I prompted.

"Well, when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, that was the worst day for the whole world. And when I get troubles I remember that, and then I think of what happened only three days later?Easter and our Lord arising. So when I get troubles, I've learned to wait three days . . . somehow everything gets all right again."

And she smiled good-bye. Her words still follow me whenever I think I have troubles. Give God a chance to help . . . wait three days.


by Maggie Rea

Our church youth group had a unique Easter fund-raiser. For five dollars they planted a plastic pink flamingo in another church member's yard. For fifteen dollars you could insure that no hot-pink birds littered your yard. "Those birds are tacky," laughed my husband, Bob, so we bought the "insurance."

Soon after making our donation, Bob was diagnosed with liver cancer. He didn't have long to live. I tried to be strong for him, but deep inside, already, I felt lonely.
One morning I looked out the window and found our front yard full of pink flamingos! I ran to get Bob. When he saw the "tacky" display, tears filled his eyes.

A note on the door said, "Due to an unprecedented demand, because we want to show our love, you have been hit by the Pink Flamingo Patrol!" Eighty-seven people had signed their names.

The time came for the flamingos to move on. Not long before Bob went on to his eternal home, I bought a pair of flamingos to reside permanently in our yard. As Bob would have agreed, love may be many things, but it's never tacky.

Maggie Rea copyright 2002

Maggie lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and writes for Guideposts magazine.


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The Letter Box:

Dear Ronnie,
Your story pierced my very soul and as I read it, I thought of the times I have suffered pain in my lifetime: childbirth, a car accident, and the emotional pain of divorce... each memory of pain drove home to me, as did your story, how great the pain of every kind imaginable that Christ suffered for us. I want to thank you so very much for "The Nail" - it is a story to treasure.

God bless you, Virginia N., Washington state

"The Nail" by Ronnie Bray reminded me of a poem I wrote last year, and thought I would share it with you.

It Was Love

It was love that placed Him on the cross,

Our sins He chose to bear. To redeem us from hell's dark grave,

It was love that kept Him there.

He walked the lonely road called life,

Ridiculed and hated by man.

Yet love worked its perfect work,

It was love that caused Him to stand.

It was love that gave Him eyes to see,

What beauty the future would hold.

In a soul redeemed by His glorious grace,

So He stayed there His gift to bestow.

It was love, that raised Him from the grave,

Interceding for those left behind.

The same love now will deliver from sin,

Heal the sick, and give sight to the blind.

It was love, precious love, of the Father and Son,

What more could they possibly give?

Shed blood on the Cross at Calvary,

Sacrificed that we might live.

2004 Marie Williams

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