Woman, Why Do You Weep?

By Lynn Mosher

In the chilly dampness of the early morning hours, a woman gropes her way through the dark city streets of Jerusalem. Carrying only a small oil lamp to light her way, Mary Magdalene is joined by Joanna, Salome, and Mary, the mother of James. Leaving the city, they wend their way to the dew-moistened garden where Jesus had been buried.

Dressed in their mourning apparel and blurry-eyed from their tears of grief, they enter the garden of the tomb, carrying the spices to anoint Jesus’ body.
The first glints of sunlight peek over the horizon as they approach the tomb. Suddenly, the ground shakes violently as an angel appears and rolls back the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance.
The angel says, “Do not be afraid; Jesus is not here. He is risen! Go and tell the others.”
Terrified, Mary Magdalene rushes to get Peter and John and returns with them to the tomb. With their hearts pounding in fear and lungs struggling for air, the men enter the tomb and frantically survey the surroundings until their eyes turn to the stone slab, where only the death cloths lay.
Seeing that the body of Jesus is not there, the disciples rush back to tell the others.

While the other women wait outside the tomb, Mary Magdalene stoops down to look inside. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she turns to leave and encounters a man, who asks, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

Assuming him to be the gardener, “‘Sir,’ she asks, ‘if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will go and get Him.’” (John 20:15 NLT)
“Mary,” He whispers compassionately.
Recognizing a familiar voice, she gasps, “Rabboni!” and falls at His feet in worship.
I have been a Mary Magdalene. . .a follower of the Lord yet not being able to find Him. I wandered around for relentless hours, with stinging tears spilling down my cheeks, weeping in pain, sorrow, and loss. I searched the tomb of the world and found it emptied of dreams, hopes, and purposes.
My restoration came when I realized my Savior stood beside me all along, compassionately whispering my name. When I heard His loving voice, I fell at His feet in worship.
Have you ever been a Mary Magdalene? Do you weep over loss of dreams, hopes, or purposes? Pain, sorrow, or circumstance? Do you stand at the tomb, wearing the grave clothes of mourning, wondering where Jesus is?
Just as Mary Magdalene met Christ in an unexpected way, so your Easter experience comes to you in your hour of despair. Jesus will be there beside you to comfort you, compassionately whispering your name and asking, “Why do you weep? Whom do you seek?”
Jesus always brings you hope of resurrection as on that first Easter morn. He comes to lift you up, to wipe away your tears, to release you from your pain, to remove your grave clothes of fear and depression.
Jesus says to you, “Do not wear the grave-clothes stained with the tears of grief. Come into My garden of beauty and I will give you the robe of Easter’s resurrection gladness. Take My Hand and let Me lead you along the path to life everlasting. I gave My life that you might live eternally with Me.”
He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)
Do you believe this? Then, weep no more! Fall at His feet and worship Him!
May you know the power of Christ’s Resurrection Life in a deeper way this Easter season.

March Madness in the Bluegrass

As soon as the sun warms the earth in the spring, I open my windows and it’s time to clean house. This year, I’m clearing out stuff. You know that stuff you keep hoarding because someone might need it? Well, it’s four years later, and no one needed it, so it’s headed for another life somewhere else.

What does that have to do with March Madness? Think about it. Madness. Spring cleaning. Definitely related. And while I’m marathon cleaning, hubby is marathon potato-ing. You see, basketball is practically a religion in Kentucky.

But don’t dare mention Kentucky and basketball in the same sentence if you’re in the vicinity of a red-clad Louisville native. Rivalry is alive and well in the state of Kentucky. It’s between the Red and the Blue. And this year, you have to admit the Blue is awesome. But families have been literally torn apart by this rivalry.
Me? I don’t have a choice. I live with a rabid Kentucky fan. But here’s a secret–I’m proud whether the winner is wearing red or blue–I’ve got friends and family on both sides. Shhh! Don’t tell on me.
Do I watch the game? When I have to. Truth is, I get so nervous, I have to leave the room and guess what I’m doing? Cleaning. But I’m peeking at the TV every few minutes, just to check the score.
So now you know the connection between March Madness and spring cleaning–for me, anyway.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back next week, when I welcome a very special guest. Many of you may already know Lynn Mosher. Who better to write an Easter/Resurrection post? If you’ve never read her awesome devotionals, you can check out her website here. It is most excellent.
First March winner of my book, Amelia’s Legacy is Jessica Weibel.
If you would like a chance to win a print copy of Amelia’s Legacy, let me know either by commenting on this post, or send me a message on Facebook. You can also use the “Email me” tab at the top of this page. Just mention the name of the book and you’ll be entered to win.
Coming in April: My next Authorview guest (3rd Tuesday of the month) is Cara Putnam. If you have ever attended an ACFW conference, you are familiar with that name. I hope you’ll pop back in around that time. Watch my Facebookauthor page for more information.

Siri Mitchell – Authorview

Siri Mitchell
Siri Mitchell, novelist, Christy Award finalist, and today, it is my pleasure to welcome her to Authorview. I suppose I am also hosting Iris Anthony, so that makes this a two-for-one! I hope you enjoy her (their) interview. Please feel free to leave comments and ask additional questions!
Author/Artist Name: Siri Mitchell
Pen name (if different from above): Iris Anthony
I am a…thinker
You would like me when I’m…writing the first drafts of my novels
You wouldn’t like me when I’m…writing the second drafts of my novels. Or the third or fourth or fifth.
What qualities I like to see in others: Kindness
Favorite way to spend an evening:  Watching a movie
Who I love to spend an evening with: My husband
Am reading (or want to read): The Natural History of the Flirt
If I had a hammer… I would tap in the loose nails on my deck. Wait. I have a hammer!
My favorite genre is: Historical
My work-in-progress: Is a historical set at West Point Military Academy in the 1850s.
My favorite food is: Anything with caramel
I’m a collector of: Very odd characters begging to be put into a story
My favorite happily-ever-after: The movie While You Were Sleeping
Betty – Great answers, Siri! I’m especially interested in the book you’re reading (or want to read)–The Natural History of the Flirt–what fun! And that would be considered research, right?

About Siri Mitchell:

Siri Mitchell has written over a dozen novels, three of which were named Christy Award finalists. A graduate of the University of Washington, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She also writes European historicals under the pseudonym Iris Anthony. Learn more at www.sirimitchell.com and www.irisanthony.com

Like a Flower in Bloom

It’s all her uncle’s fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she’s reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte’s future–the only proper future for a woman–is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.
Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he’ll soon change his mind…and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society–a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.
Things aren’t perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She’ll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she’s most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

Connect with Siri Mitchell:
Siri Mitchell on Twitter            Iris Anthony on Twitter

March Winds and the Mad Hatter

March is and always has been, my favorite month. It’s transitional. The weather (in the middle of the country where I am) tends toward unruly weirdness. One day it’s frozen solid–the next–it’s summertime! And the winds tend to be wild, but on schedule–every other day–Mad Hatter weather.

Bulbs send up shoots only to be stalled by frost, ice, and snow. Right now, we’re still reeling from a double-punch snowstorm that totally shut down two major interstates that transect our state.

Oh, and before you get too judgmental about those shutdowns, oh honored Northerners, be aware that this was a major storm with high winds and heavy precipitation concentrated in a short few hours, beginning with rain then ice and ending with a major dump of around 18″ of wet stuff. Jack-knifed semis caused most of the problems, by blocking the lanes so salt trucks and plows could not get through.

So back to March, my favorite month. Another reason it’s on my fav list–it’s my birthday month. This year, I received some really nice and very thoughtful gifts.

In my research on my work-in-progress, I learned that in some foreign countries, the birthday girl gives the gifts. Isn’t that a funny tradition? But a nice one, at times, especially if you have something to give. I do.

If you would like a copy of  Amelia’s Legacy, a 1920s era novel, please leave a comment on this post. Please follow the directions (or your comment may be disqualified).

Answer ONE of these three questions in the comments section below:

  1. What is the best birthday present you ever received?
  2. What is your favorite birthday cake (flavor)?
  3. What famous actress sang happy birthday to a president (JFK)?

You don’t have to repeat the question below, just type your answer to the question.
Yes, I threw in #3 for fun.

Click here for info about the book. 

Now, just in case you have trouble leaving a comment, you can also use the tab at the top of the blog and send me an email–it says “Email Me.”

Don’t forget Authorview–one week from today, Siri Mitchell will be here to answer my questions and tell us about her latest book.

Thanks for stopping by! I love having company.

You can also find me at my author page on Facebook and on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Recently, I had a guest post on Southern Writers Magazine’s Suite T: Visually Crafting a Story.

Whitewashed . . . by Amy C. Blake

Today it is my great privilege to welcome a guest to my blog. Amy C. Blake has the honor of being my very first critique partner in the writing craft–or rather–I am the one who is honored by that! We commiserated over Genesis entries and submissions to agents and publishers. We cried and ranted and sometimes came “that close” to giving up on this writing thing. But we hung in there and today, several years and many rejections later, we’re not only still here, but we’re both published writers.
Amy and I are no longer “official” critique partners, but we still help each other out occasionally, with a read-thru or a word of advice when needed. And, we help each other with marketing, because a writer can never have too much help with that.–Betty O.

Amy C. Blake–
To me, Easter is all about the intersection of truth and mercy. The truth is, as sinners, we deserve punishment for our sin, including eternity in Hell. The mercy is, as the only sinless Son of God, Jesus took the punishment for Christians and gave us His righteousness instead.
Truth: God is holy and punishes sin. Mercy: Jesus made a way for us to spend eternity with that holy God instead of getting the eternity we deserve.
In my new adult suspense novel, Whitewashed, Patience is a stickler for truth, so much so that when her childhood friend Devon started down the path of drug abuse, she screamed truth in his face and pushed him away. As a student at Verity College, Patience encounters Lily Rose–a young woman with a bad attitude and an abusive boyfriend–and Patience again spews cold, hard truth without considering how her words might do more harm than good.
Yet when Patience endures her darkest moments, trapped by a psychotic killer and on the verge of death, she begins to comprehend the verse her old friend Mabel, a woman caught in the throes of Alzheimer’s, repeated to her the night before: “In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6, NKJV).
Patience begins to understand that truth and mercy go together to make the way for repentance. As Mabel’s elderly husband Moses says, “The truth shows you the sin you need to root out, while mercy helps you do the rooting.” Patience realizes speaking the truth to Devon and Lily Rose could never be enough without mercy to help them comprehend the truth.
Just as God is a God of truth who showed great mercy to His children through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so we ought to be people of truth who show mercy to those around us.  

Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Mississippi College. She contributed to Barbour’s Heavenly XOXO’s for Women, Book Lover’s Devotional, and Every Good and Perfect Gift. Amy wrote short stories and articles for Focus on the Family,Mature Years, Significant Living, Vista, Encounter, and other publications. She won awards at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference and West Branch Christian Writers Conference. The Trojan Horse Traitor quarterfinaled in the 2011 ABNA contest. Her juvenile fantasy novel The Trojan Horse Traitor, releases in November, 2015, and her new adult suspense novel, Whitewashed, released February 15.


  by Amy Blake

Eighteen-year-old Patience McDonough has a plan. Despite her parents’ objections, she will attend Verity College in Hades, Mississippi, and live with her grandparents. She’ll complete her degree in record time and go on to become a doctor. But things at the college are strangely neglected, her class work is unexpectedly hard, Grand gets called out-of-town, and Poppa starts acting weird—so weird she suspects he has Alzheimer’s. On top of that, she has to work extra hours at her student job inputting financial data for the college—boring! But soon her job gets more interesting than she’d like: she finds that millions of dollars are unaccounted for and that something creepy is going on in the Big House basement. She discovers secrets tying her family into the dark beginnings of Verity, founded on a slave plantation, and she is forced to question the characters of people she has always trusted. Finally, confronted with a psychotic killer, Patience has to face facts—her plans are not necessarily God’s plans. Will the truth set her free?
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