Marshallow peeps, creme candy eggs, and chocolate bunnies line store aisles. A sweet treat most children love (all that sugar!). But these worldly items offer no explanation or representation of the message of Easter.
The message of Easter is simple: Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, paid the price for humankind's sins so that we might have the freedom of new life through His death and resurrection on the cross.
Like newborns, we are made new through our faith in Him. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
The candy peeps and chocolate bunnies will never represent Easter. However, the "real" baby chicks, bunnies, birds, and other baby animals born in this spring season, along with the blooming of flowering plants and trees are a reminder that God brings new life to the earth. And He has brought us new life through Jesus Christ, who offers us Salvation from the darkness of the sin of the world.
May your Easter be a day of celebration as you indulge in this beautiful, sweet message of spiritual food for your soul: Jesus Christ is risen! He has risen indeed!
My prayer for you: May you rejoice in the rebirth of your spirit and be renewed in faith each day, and may the light, joy, and love of the Lord guide you in all you do.
I awoke with a fuzzy feeling—you know that feeling when you wake from a dream and try to make sense of it? More like a nightmare, I dreamed I had no shelter or roof over my head to call mine. As I opened my eyes, I was relieved to be safe and warm in my own bed, protected from the elements. I was home.
A thought came to mind of every place I’d ever lived. Hmmm. Did it matter? Yet, it’s one of the questions we often ask when meeting each other for the first time: “Where are you from?” or “Where have you lived?”
It should be a simple answer. But there was more to it when I counted the places I’d lived--eighteen to be exact. I’d forgotten about temporary housing: the foundling home where I resided until I was adopted and the dormitories and apartments I lived in while attending college.
After my husband and I married, we moved from an apartment to a mobile home. We started a family, bought a house, then later upgraded to a more spacious abode. More recently, we purchased a small house in a retirement community.
I thought of the eighteen places I’d lived. I’d never been without food, electricity, running water, plumbing, clothing in the closet, or transportation.
Life wasn’t always rosy. In early years, money ran out before the next paycheck came. I relied heavily on prayer. One afternoon I found a recipe that included some very odd ingredients in my pantry, providing a meal for dinner. On other occasions, I'd get excited when dollar bills showed up in pant pockets or old purses in the closet. And then, there were the coins I'd find beneath the couch cushions.
The nightmare wasn’t pleasant, but it was purposeful. It reminded me to be thankful for the roof over our heads and the provisions with which we'd been blessed.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d lived in one or two places—or eighteen. What did matter was knowing that God’s shelter for me—and my family—was there all along.
Where have you lived, and how has God sheltered you?
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5
“Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” – Luke 12:24
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
(Photo courtesy of Ricky Shore)
The subject of a popular Christian song by Matthew West, called “Do Something,” examines the age-old dilemma of pain and suffering in our world. The lyrics cry out, “God, why don’t you do something?” Then, the composer writes his rendition of God's answer, saying, "I did, yeah, I created you.”
As Christ-followers, we are called to be something other than self-serving beings. We are summoned to servanthood, like Jesus.
We gather in houses of worship to honor God as a community of believers, but there is more to Christian life than Sunday-morning worship. Symbolically, we are part of the body of Christ—His hands and feet. We are meant to follow in His footsteps to be messengers of His love and Salvation.
God is the ultimate source for all of our needs. Yet, we weren’t meant to do everything alone. A most important resource is you and me—and all of God’s people together.
The Lord gave us each other—to love, help, encourage—and carry each other’s burdens. And that is one good thing!
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Rom. 12:13
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
(Photo courtesy of "Gareth 1953 All Right Now")
When I was a little girl, my Sunday School teacher said, "Jesus lives in your heart." In childlike innocence, I imagined a miniature life-size version of Jesus residing there and wondered how he'd have room to live, sleep or eat in that little space. Others in my class probably wondered the same thing.
As we got older, we understood that it is Jesus' Spirit that dwells inside our hearts.
Years passed. As an adult, I began to question whether we entirely "took to heart" that the Lord resides within us. It was easy to imagine when things were going well. But when faced with difficulties, sometimes we forget He is still with us: in sadness, loss, or mourning; when overwhelmed or devastated; when suffering physically, mentally, or spiritually; when alone or isolated; in this present time of the pandemic, or in other instances that make us question our faith.
But there are no "if's or buts" regarding God's promises. Scripture provides us with the reassurance that He is with us at all times, such as the following verses:
"…I am with you always, even to the end of the age." – Matthew 28:20
"The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." – Deuteronomy 31:8
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
- 1 Corinthians 3:16
"But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." – 1 Corinthians 6:17
" By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."
– 1 John 4:13
I like to think this is the Lord's way of saying, "I Carry You In My Heart." His unconditional love covers us and surrounds us at all times—and He never lets go.
How's that for love?
Happy Valentine's Day!
“I’d repaint the interior doors white,” the realtor suggested. We took her advice. Once the faded wooden doors were painted, they looked much brighter and updated the house.
When we found our new home, I was thrilled to find white interior doors. The first night a hallway light burned out. As I searched for a bulb in the darkness, I could see where I was going because of the white doors.
According to our friend who is an interior designer, white is not considered a color. Yet, she said she had to take an entire course to learn about its hues and subtleties. Even if it’s not considered a color, I’ve always loved the brightness and “light” of white.
Light. We couldn’t survive without it. God created it so we can live and thrive—and not exist in darkness.
I’ve always loved how the light of day streams through the double white doors in our home. The streams of light remind me of the rays of light that are sometimes displayed in a grand array from the clouds. I like to think of it as a glimpse of what the heavenly realm--God's Kingdom--must look like.
We don’t know what the entrance to heaven will look like; however, Revelations 21:21 speaks of twelve gates made from pearl. Other examples of Scripture mentioning the gate are found in Matthew 7:13-14, Genesis 28:16-17, and Revelations 21:25.
Whatever the appearance, I am certain it will be ten-fold times more splendid than anything we could conceive of on this earthly plane. In heaven, we will be surrounded by indescribable beauty, where we will bask in God’s love—and light—for eternity.
And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” – Genesis 1:3
For descriptions of heaven, see John 14:2-3; Hebrews 12:22-23, and verses from Revelations: 7:9-10; 7:15-17; 11:9; 19:11-14; 21:9-11; 21:21; 22:2; and 22:4-5.
Through God's Word!"
Find inner peace through Positive Thought, through Faith in God and through God's Word.