Friday, April 29, 2011

Victory in Jesus

Thank You, Jesus, that there is power in your name; that You are a God -- the One True God -- who can change death and despair into life anew.  You give us all a story to tell.  And though our stories may all begin differently, if You are at the center, they end in victory!  Praise You!  Amen

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"And You Profess to be a Christian?!"

I love those words.  I've heard them all my life, even from my own mother.  Except, that back then I wasn't too happy to hear them.  I wasn't living like a Christian, I wasn't thinking, or dressing, or talking like a Christian.  I deserved those words; they struck true and hard.  Today those words no longer frighten me; today they challenge me, open a door for me.  I answer them with a strong voice, a clear understanding, and a gratefulness for God's hand in my life.  And this is how that goes...

"I am a Christian.  Being a Christian doesn't make me perfect, nor have I ever claimed that it does.  Being a Christian means I surrender - daily - all I am to the One Who is trying to work His perfection in me.  Being a Christian means I fail myself but Christ never fails me.  Therefore I seek Him day by day, sometimes moment by moment.  Being a Christian means that though I sometimes resist Jesus' will, I humbly claim His forgiveness, and lean on Him for righteousness from that point on.  I know I am a Christian because I sin.  Were I not a Christian, it would not be sin, but 'a mistake,' or 'bad judgement,' or even 'a learning experience.'  It is my belief in Christ, and my desire to abide in Him and regard His standards that tell me I have sinned.  Christ lives in me, and as a Christian I lean on Him to live in Him."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Blessings

We have been blessed this week to have the girls with us.  It's been crazy and chaotic, quiet and comfortable.  They have been stuck to me like glue, under my feet like wet grass, and at other times been content to disappear, sharing secrets with each other and testing their independence two floors away.  Weekends are far too brief; just about the time we settle in to a routine, it's time to bid them "goodbye" for another seemingly endless stretch.  But during these weeks they get to experience the real deal -- periods of "down time," chores, parents who work hard and play hard, family dinners night after night, and an erroneous, imperfect, sometimes difficult life of love and happiness.  They are a blessing to us; I hope they feel the same.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 365

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I was a little girl, young girl, I remember watching "The Ten Commandments" every year at Easter.  I suppose when the girls get old enough, they will be watching "The Passion of the Christ;" they're still a little young yet for all that authenticity.  I think many will remember seeing it for the first time, being shocked and moved by its realism and drama.  No doubt, those who were present for the very first viewing almost 2000 years ago were as equally taken aback. 

Funny, talk about becoming engrossed in a movie, the first time I saw "The Passion," I remember hoping for a different outcome; Scott actually exclaimed, "You mean that's where he ended it!!" when the screen went black as Jesus exited the tomb.  The truth is, I wouldn't have had the outcome any other way!  It was Christ's scourging for me that provided the blood, The Perfect Lamb's death that provided the ultimate sacrifice, and His resurrection that gives me victory over death and sin.  Christ willingly, lovingly gave of Himself that I might know perfection in every sense of the word.

As for Scott's temporary "disappointment," as I watched it again the other day I realized, it is from the point of Christ's resurrection that it becomes my story to tell.  From that day it became all about the church, God's people and how we live, and preach, and testify, and minister, and witness to others.  It is for me to take the reins, to continue the selfless acts of Jesus, to tell of His glorious and gracious gift with actions as well as words.

"I pray today, that my Easter is not just about remembering what was, Who reigns in Heaven today, Who is coming back again, but what He expects me to do in the meantime.  I pray for Easter to become an activity in my life.  That despite the number on a calendar, I don't lose sight of the story that was entrusted to me to share every day."