His Death and Resurrection Promises Life

March 30, 2011

As a little girl I remember being told the story of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day. I can vividly remember the picture depicted to portray this miraculous event. A tomb, with a huge boulder that had been rolled away showing it empty! I picture Jesus standing outside the tomb clothed in a white robe, a smile across his face and his arms stretched out wide to either side. He is surrounded by light, glowing in God’s glory!

At the time, this was just a story read to me at Sunday school when my family used to go. And sadly, that is all it was, just another children’s story that didn’t become anything more to me. At a young age I accepted Jesus into my heart because my mom told us that is what we should do. I don’t remember going to church on a regular basis. I didn’t know Jesus, really didn’t know anything about Him, especially who I was in Him, who He was in me and not even how much He loved me. I had no clue how much I needed Him.

Approximately 32 years later, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, asked him into my heart again, confessed my sins and asked for His forgiveness. This time it was different because this time I knew I needed Jesus. This time I knew I am a sinner and this time I knew I wanted a deep relationship with Him. I wanted to know more about Him, and fully understand who I AM in Him and who He is in me, to feel His perfect and abundant love!

I felt new. I felt like a baby learning things for the first time, so hungry and thirsty for God. I felt at peace and loved and joyful! I wanted to shout out to the world! About eight months later it was Easter. I was so excited because Easter had a whole new meaning for me! I read about the Passover in the Bible. I read again about Jesus’ ministry and his crucifixion. I really began to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus. How much pain He endured emotionally (rejected and accused of something he was not) and physically (the beatings, a crown of thorns forced onto His head, nails through each hand and feet) and as He bared the weight of all our sins feeling His separation from God.
This week when I read The Death, Burial and Resurrection is the topic for Faithful Bloggers group writing project I wasn’t sure I would participate because I didn’t think I was qualified to write on this topic. I feel like I’m still learning and then realized, wait a minute? Isn’t that part of the journey? To continually learn and grow in God’s word, in our faith, in His love and grace and … I could go on and on. I love it when I read a scripture I have read many times before and all of a sudden it seems to speak directly to my heart as if I am reading it for the first time. This is because God’s Word is alive and He is NOT dead! Jesus is the resurrection and the life!

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

Without Jesus we are dead in our sins.When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, ask for His forgiveness and believe He died on the cross for us, we become made new, washed clean by His blood. As believers we are alive in Him. We become resurrected, our life is raised from sin’s death. But that is not all! When our time on earth is over, we will enter eternal life with the lover of our souls!

Over and Over and Over

March 22, 2011

So, this post is a little different from what I normally write about, but couldn't help myself.

I was thinking the other day how I seem to do the same things over and over again during the course of one day! I'm not complaining (really) repitition can be a good thing. For example, how many times a day do I pick up a toy before I trip over it (or trip over it then pick it up!), put laundry in the washer, then into the dryer then into the laundry basket to carry it upstairs to take it out of the basket, fold it, put it back into the basket to carry it up another flight of stairs. Here it will sit for days before I get annoyed digging into the basket to look for the kids socks, etc...then finally put it all away. Just to continue on with the cycle again.

Now I don't mind cleaning house I find it very theraputic (although you can't tell if you ever been to my house) and I don't mind doing laundry. Something satisfies me with getting rid of the dirt and sorting and matching socks is like a big puzzle (I love puzzles!) Grocery shopping on the other hand is one thing I could easily pass on to someone else. I don't know why, it has the same repitition as doing laundry!

Put

Take items out of cart

Place on check out belt

Put items in bags

Put bags in cart

Take bags out of cart

Put bags in car

Take bags out of car

Bring into house

Take items out of bags and put away.

Don’t look at receipt because nausea hits hard for paying way too much.
Actually, as I write this I am beginning to appreciate more the repititive things in life. These things offer stability, the same thing over and over again and it feels good. Wait? Did I just say that? I realize it feels good because I can control it. I am in control of the laundry, the groceries, the house cleaning. If I want to change it up, I can do that and if I want to do it the same way every time. Well, I can do that too!

So, over and over and over I go!

How about you? Do you enjoy the daily repetitive things in life?

Japan - Can All We Do Is Imagine?

March 15, 2011

Japan is all over the news, facebook, and bloggers are even blogging about it. This isn’t the first tragedy or the last and it seems like more and more natural disasters are happening.
Although the news of this devastation has reached all over our country, I wonder… has it? Has it really reached into the depths of our souls? Squeezed our hearts? Some people don’t want to hear about it and others think it’s not happening here so there is no need to be concerned. Sadly, I used to be one of those people. And as I write this if I’m brutally honest maybe I still am, just a little bit.
As I watched video footage of the water rushing through the streets, taking everything in its way, even the cars and buildings I thought I could not even imagine. I can’t because I am not there and I can’t because it didn’t happen to me. I can't even imagine.
As the days go on I hear more news and continue to read facebook status updates, “I just can’t imagine.” and I discover something is beginning to change inside of me.
Instead of thinking I can't even imagine I begin to try and imagine. Imagine and what if’s fill my mind, pierce my heart, and consume my soul. Just for a moment let yourself go there with me. Imagine…
Imagine I was lucky enough to grab my family and evacuate to safer ground. Imagine everything I own destroyed, gone forever. I think that wouldn’t be the worst case since I believe in eternal life in heaven and I can’t take those material things with me anyway. Then I begin to imagine even more. Imagine what would be the worst? Imagine my kids missing, caught in the water’s current and ripped from my grasp. Imagine finding loved ones buried in the rubble that used to be our home. Imagine the fear, the sorrow, and the loneliness. Tonight I give my kids little ice cream cones for dessert. I imagine what did the children in Japan eat for dinner, when did they even eat last? Imagine the radiation and the affects it even has in the USA.
In times like this I don’t even try to understand why. I believe we are in the end times and He is coming soon! I also know God is in control and can’t help but to wonder is this His message to the people? I also know I can’t prevent these disasters from happening, but I can pray. I hope the ones who perished knew Jesus as their savior and have gone home to be with Him. I pray for the ones who don’t believe that they realize they need Jesus and give their lives to Him. I pray for the ones who already do believe that they press into Him more than ever and their faith grows stronger during this time.  

In fact, I will continue to pray not only for those afffected in Japan, but all lost souls.
From the world’s perspective my life hasn’t changed, but my soul has and I won’t only just imagine.
What about you?

Facing The Intimidator

March 02, 2011

God recently revealed to me something quite interesting about the decisions I was making in regards to a certain situation. I was making them to make me feel better. I was focused on me instead of the real issue at hand. Not only did He reveal I was focusing on myself, but I was making these decisions because I was fearing man, I was fearing conflict. I was intimidated. I was facing The Intimidator. The truth is if we fear man instead of God, we obey man and not God. I realized I was not trusting God even though I would pray for His guidance and direction. I felt the need to take matters into my own hands. When I finally realized this, let me tell you how hard it was for me to not do what I wanted! On the other hand, it was comforting to understand what I was doing so I could begin to redirect my focus on God. I concentrated on writings and scriptures reminding me how much God loves me, to trust in Him and renew my strength in Him. He will not leave me nor forsake me!

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
Hebrews 13:6

These reminders were so encouraging and gave me so much strength! God replaced the fear and anxiety I was having with peace, love, boldness and authority.

It also empowered me to write the following as if I was speaking to whomever tries to steal my focus!

You will NOT deter me from my beliefs.
You will NOT make me doubt myself.
You will NOT make me fear.
You will NOT guilt me into thinking I have done or I am doing something wrong.
You will NOT make me fall.
You will NOT undo everything I have worked so hard to become.
You will NOT confuse me.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25

Fully trusting God with our entire life is something I think many of us struggle with. We must remember to keep our eyes on the cross and God’s promise of eternal life in heaven with Him!

Please feel free to share your stories. I would love to hear from you!

Be blessed!
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