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Dogwood trees tell the story of Christ’s Crucifixion

The dogwood tree is one of my favorite trees. It is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, it has a graceful form and delicate white or pink flowers, and it comes with its own legend.

Growing up in West Virginia the dogwood and the redbud trees were always the first trees to awaken and herald the advent of spring. It was a welcome site to see bright patches of pink and white splashed against the barren hills. It is said that the flower of the dogwood tells the story of the crucifixion with the nail holes visible on the ends of the petals stained with blood. The flower itself forms the shape of the cross and the crown of thorns wreath the center of the flower. One cannot look at the dogwood tree and not be reminded of the great sacrifice of our Lord.

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven. For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony.”

Have a Blessed Easter

A STAR FOR THE AGES

Rust Craft, circa 1950

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Friends:

Here is my Christmas card to you. Thank you for your support and comments. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

A STAR FOR THE AGES

 “Oh, little town of Bethlehem…

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by,

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light.”

A pretty story I’m told, or is it just another legend of old?

 

Phones are ringing, computers beeping, traffic whizzing by.

Are you running with me Jesus? I shout in a rage as I prepare to fly.

Twelve more shopping days till Christmas, appointments to keep in line;

Are you running with me Jesus? Please give me a sign.

 

Meetings to attend, broken promises to mend;

I think I’m doing fine.

Are you running with me Jesus? If so, where is my sign?

 

Driving home late, I stop to admire heaven’s starry gate.

The air is brisk; a shiver runs down my spine.

What is this I see glowing in the east?

It grows brighter with each passing second.

Could it be to me it beckons?

What’s this ringing in my ears?

Is it the singing of angels through the years?

 

The light—it’s so intense!

It touches my very soul and I sense—

Yes, it’s true!

He lives, he lives!

Here is my sign.

Are you running with me Jesus?

Yes, you are for I see it in the stars—

The star of Bethlehem.

 

As I pause at the front door before reentering life’s hectic pace,

I do it with a renewed faith and grace.

For I have seen the truth of the ages, once foretold by the sages.

A love much greater by far than any of us can know

For I have seen it in the stars—

The star of Bethlehem.

 

I pause and ask once again,

 “Are you running with me Jesus?”

And then I whisper,

Thank you Lord, I know you are,

For I saw it in the stars—

The star of Bethlehem.

By Sheila Moore Thornburg Dobbie

MY CALENDAR COLORING BOOK: December White

White Christmas, 1995 re-release CD album cover

Image via Wikipedia

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas is one of the most loved seasonal songs of all time. It is also the inspiration for this month’s coloring book. My granddaughter, Allison, suggested I color December white and I’m sure she was dreaming of several snow days off from school when she said it.

A white Christmas is dreamed of and hoped for by most children so Santa and his sleigh can come flying in for his annual Christmas deliveries. When I was a child I worried if December came with no snow until my mother reassured me that if it didn’t snow Santa would come in a helicopter.

Snow, snowmen, and Frosty the Snowman are all white, as is Santa’s beard. We know this because Clement Moore tells us so in his traditional tale Twas the Night Before Christmas. He describes Santa as a jolly elf and says, “…the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.”

But white is appropriate for this month for other reasons besides representing snow. White symbolizes purity which we see in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The angels who greeted the shepherds to tell them the good news of Jesus’ birth are always depicted in glowing white robes. The star that guided the wise men to the manger reflected a brilliant, intense white and is represented on the Christmas tree in a myriad of white twinkling lights.

As we settle in for “a long winter’s night” under a blanket of snow take time to enjoy the purity and innocence of the season reflected in the glow of young children’s eyes. I will let Irving Berlin describe a white Christmas—he does it much better than I can ever hope to. The words are as relevant today as they were in 1942 when he wrote it.

WHITE CHRISTMAS

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten, and children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow

 

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

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