Monday, March 17, 2008

Who will roll the stone away?

Easter is fast approaching. It's funny what comes to mind when we think of Easter. There's nothing wrong with bunnies, baby chicks, eggs and (especially) chocolate. I'm all for having a fun time with the kids at Easter. Some of my favorite memories from childhood are of hunting easter eggs with my cousins in my grandmother's yard. But my childhood idea of Easter can't compare to the joy I have now in knowing that my eternity is secure because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I love Easter now because I love my Lord. I know the extravagant kind of love it took for Jesus to willingly surrender to death on a cross in order to pay for my sins. He did that for me! WOW!

The gospel of Mark, chapter 16 verse 3, recounts how two women were going to the tomb where their beloved Jesus had been buried after his crucifixion. Their love and devotion for Jesus motivated them to take spices and perfumes to annoint his body. Verse 3 captures their dialogue:

Mark 16:3 - and they asked each other, Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

That leaves a mark in my spirit. A mark that looks like a word picture of faith and intense love. My bible footnotes tell me that rolling the stone into place was not that difficult, but that taking it away from the grooved bedrock into which it had become lodged was no small feat; especially for two women (physically) alone in their endeavor to take away the barrier that separated them from their Saviour. Think about that for a second. What faith it must have taken to set out on such a mission, knowing that the tomb was sealed; not letting it deter their determination to honor their Lord. They may have appeared to be alone, but God was with them. Just as He is always with us who have put our trust in Jesus as our Saviour.

Mark 16:4 goes on to say, But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.

I want to have that kind of faith. To love Jesus with such intensity that I don't let anything come between Him and me, to know that He can roll the stones away and to know that no stone can ever separate me from His love. I'm all for that!

Happy Easter!

Oh - note this interesting bit I just discovered about why Easter is so early this year. Call me a nerd, but I just like information. I may not remember it all, but I get a kick out of "stuff" that enlightens me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SPRING is in sight!

I finally got a job this week. God is good! He has been trying to teach me patience these past four months, as I have had many doors shut to finding employment here in Rockford. The job is only part-time, but I am thankful for the opportunity and I have great peace that God has put me in a great new place to work. I didn't think I would lose my salary and great benefits when we moved here, so the adjustment has been a bit painful for me at times. But I know my Father's pension plan is much greater than the earthly one I have been so concerned about. Even though I am confident that where God guides He provides, my human nature kept getting in the way of my peace with that. Did I tell you that my spiritual gift is faith?! I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm afraid I let my fruit be exposed to the cold snowy winter and I've had a severe case of spiritual frostbite. I'm ready for the thaw-out and it seems like SPRING may finally be right around the corner. The temperature is in the 40's here today; it feels like the tropics.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Today, especially, I will be glad and rejoice in it!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Red light - Green light!

What are your favorite colors? Mine are reds and greens. It's funny how those colors are so symbolic of things like "stop" and "go". As a matter of fact, sometimes I can lose myself in thought and begin to feel like life is one big traffic light. Sometimes I stop; sometimes I go. But I don't like slowing down for yellow! You want to go, but you're not sure where. You try to stop, but it feels like you're in a rut, so you want to go again. Yellow is sort of an in-between place to be. It feels like limbo. But just like limbo, if you're not careful, you can bend over backwards and land flat on your behind (and go pretty low getting there!). Like I said before....symbolic!

Do you remember that old game many of us played as kids, red light - green light? Since I was raised in Kentucky, I realize this could have been a regional thing and not entirely universal, so I will explain. One person was the leader; in "control". He was on one side of the yard and all the other players were on the other side of the yard. The goal was to see who could advance to reach the postion of control first. The leader would yell "green light" and everyone would rush forward. He would yell "red light" and everyone would stop in their tracks.

It's funny how we all still race for control isn't it? Sometimes it feels like we're all in the yard again and we're in one big game of red light - green light. As much as I'd like to be in control, I'm afraid it would be a short stint and I might just fall on my behind. Oh yeah, already been there and done that! I'm not anxious to go again. I think I'll just enjoy being in the game and let the Leader stay in control. It seems to work better that way.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

God's faithfulness

My daughter will not like one bit that she is my subject in this blog, but I will beg for forgiveness later. By all reasonable accounts she should have major issues. Yet, by the grace of God, she is pretty normal (except for a warped sense of humor and an uncanny gift of sarcasm!). Let me rephrase that. She is very pretty and she is anything but normal. She's extraordinarily awesome!
We butted heads often in her teenage years. It could be that we're both rather stubborn and we both have a tendancy to think we're right about most things. Yet the similarities end there. Thinking of myself at her age, I will readily admit that I could not hold a candle to the character and wit she displays. I'm very proud of who she has become, but I can't pat myself on the back or take any credit for that. It would be more appropriate to give God the glory for who she is. She will turn 21 in about a month. While the world considers that an adult, she will always be my baby!
I am blessed to have read Stormie Omartian's "Power of a Praying Parent" when Kristen was young and actually listened to the audio of the book repeatedly in my car. It helped me begin praying proactively for God's protection and blessings for her life; that at every important juncture in her life God will give her wisdom and discernment to make the right decisions or place the right people in her path to help her. One of my prayers for her is that God will always teach her gently. I know there will be times when she will have to grow through adversity, as we all do, but I am ever grateful for her love for the Lord and her bent towards obedience. My hope is that those two admirable qualities are always prominent in her heart and mind. When she finds herself in a desert, my prayer is that the Living Water will spring forth from her heart to sustain her. Yes Lord, please teach her gently and shape her into your image. But if she ever has to endure a desert, let it be like Desert Mountain; where beauty and blessings abound and you find yourself thanking God for it.
Is my daughter perfect? Of course not. But is she a wonderful blessing and a reminder to me of God's faithfulness? Absolutely! I thank God for you Kristen and I love you to infinity!