A Man Of Sorrows Has Victory…

Picture1

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” ~ Luke 24:1

The Mary’s expected to go to the grave and grieve some more. They wanted to continue in honoring there recently deceased friend, but instead found themselves contemplating an impossible thought. Is He really alive?

The tomb was wide open, and in fear they rushed inside to make sure everything was okay. Except it wasn’t okay. The body of their beloved friend was missing in action. Two men in dazzling apparel confront them and invoke that impossible thought. “He is not here, but has risen.” And fear turns to joy.

And so it is for us also.

It is Sunday! It is the day we live in everyday as Christ-followers. We live in the defeat of death and Satan. All because of Him. The God-man Jesus and His sacrifice and victory over the darkness of this world. We say with the Apostle Paul, where O death if your sting!? It is the hope we live in.

And we have this hope because Christ rose. If all He did was die, we would have no reason for this hope. In fact, all of our religious actions would be useless. But it is the resurrection that our faith stands.

I sing these words today with gratitude! He is Risen…He is Risen indeed!

“Man Of Sorrows”

Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laidSilent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns

Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee

Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He’s risen from the grave

Posted in Christian Living, Video's | Leave a comment

A Week Of Good Friday…

thumb

“I heard it said, “God didn’t die for frogs. So he was responding to our value as humans.” This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential in their lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren’t bad enough. We are.” ~ John Piper (Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die)

Although it would seem nice in the moment to hear that God might think us worthy of grace, the reality is far greater.

Judas may have committed some of the most serious sins documented. But the deep dark betrayal of Judas is a reminder of our own darkness. Lest we think him the worst of all, let us not forget the depravity of our own heart. The ways we betray Him daily. Our perverted desires to be entertained above our need for Him. How we run from the truth of His Word when it convicts sin in us.

It is true that Christ didn’t endure the fullness of God’s mighty wrath in our place because of our worthiness, but because of His love. A love that makes no human sense.

Love that died for the sins of Judas. And even us.

For me this week has been a concerted effort to live in the Good Friday mood. That might sound depressing to most people. But for me it is necessary. In fact it’s really the least I can do.

I think on the monumental suffering. The blood spilled. The betrayal done. His focused and unfaltering love. My devotions are spent  solemnly reading the gospels tell a true-story of cosmic sacrifice. No matter how many times I read it, it all seems unreal to me.

But in allowing myself to feel the weight of His death, I can experience the relief and joyful gratitude on Sunday morning. The resurrection is all the sweeter.

In John 17:24 Jesus pray’s a prayer that seems to be the driving force of His going to the cross. He says Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

He saved us so that we would be with Him. Forever. He is driven by eternal love. And it is because of this that my heart sings these words from the hymn O Sacred Head Now Wounded. 

What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain; mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain. Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve thy place; look on me with they favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace. 

What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee. 

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Theology | Leave a comment

Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

letmedirect

Happy Birthday Jake: Reading this was very timely. It is a sweet post from father to son and it sure did resonate. “It has not been easy being your dad, but it has been great. Greatness never comes with ease. I am proud that you are my son.”

Moralism Is Not The Gospel: This is a good reminder as I parent and as we do ministry, especially children’s ministry.

Hashtags: #MyWorstCar – Jimmy Fallon: Just because its fun!

 

Posted in Adoption, Christian Living, Culture, Let Me Direct You Elsewhere, Parenting, Theology, Video's | Leave a comment

Lesson’s In Gifts Of Grace…

32f42782eedf3e441bedde4a51ee17a8Life is a constant journey in God’s grace. Every morning there are mercies as well as reminder’s of the way the effect of sin have changed the world.

I’m healthy – mercy.

My loved one is still dead – sin.

This week was just the same as others in many ways. Kid’s fought. Appointment’s made. Tea drank. Street hockey played. Food spilled. Laundry cleaned. Meals made. Running. Disciplining. Laughing. Worrying. Lot’s of mercy and lot’s of sin.

The usual in many ways.

Except by the end of last week anxieties were exasperated with an unexpected cost. Details aren’t necessary here. It was just another day wondering how will we do it? Which in reality isn’t far from what most weeks are like. Only this time these concern’s induced more weariness. This time the temptation to sin…a little heavier.

We have a home – mercy.

Maybe we shouldn’t tithe this month – sin.

But everyday is a lesson in God’s grace. And He made Himself very clear about that, after the decision to continue our tithe in faith brought the unloading of His love.

God’s people; our brother’s and sister’s were sensitive to the Spirit’s whisper and became the hands and feet of Christ. Knocking on our door with gifts of His mercy. Mercy after mercy after mercy. All to our surprise.

The body of Christ – mercy.

Not expecting God’s provision – sin.

How could we really not expect that God would take care of us? After all this time, after everything He’s done. We still sit and wonder. I still allow the anxiety to take root. I begin to panic. And it’s just then that there is a knock on the door. Beautiful, smiling, generous and faithful faces stand on the other side. Ones that even in the middle of my untrusting worry were being consulted by a loving God to come fill a need. And obedient they were.

Grateful is hardly a word that can encompass how we feel.

It’s far too little of a word.

But we give glory to God and pray that further blessing will be relentlessly bestowed upon those cheerful giver’s in our life.

And it is in these times I understand in the deepest part of me, this simple but amazing truth, that Jesus loves me…this I know…for the Bible tell’s me so.

Christ’s enduring love – mercy.

Posted in Christian Living, Devotional, Life | Leave a comment

Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

letmedirect

 7 Tips For A Happy Marriage: I would never turn down marriage advice from someone who has been married for 67 years.

Training Our Children With Tenderness, Love And Patience: I don’t think tenderness comes naturally for me. But I desire it so much in the raising of my kids. I like this short and simple exportation from Luma Simms.

Salvation In A Dementia Ward: Reading this gave such hope. You really should read it. “The next moments stunned me. Despite past experiences of being near and ministering to people high on drugs, involved in the occult, or living in mental asylums, never had I witnessed anything like this. Without hyperbole, I can only describe it as demonic.”

8 Causes Of Spiritual Depression: It can come without warning, but we should be prepared. Maybe you are already there, so here are some causes of it.

Beck – Blue Moon: It’s not the blue moon you are thinking of. I’m glad he’s back, I’ve enjoyed him since Loser. Those were the days…but this is much better! I enjoy all the guitars in this one.

 

A Funny Face Off – Jimmy Fallon: I showed this to my kids and they loved it. They immediately tried to imitate the faces being made. Man I love this show.

Posted in Culture, Let Me Direct You Elsewhere, Marriage, Motherhood, Music, Parenting, Video's | Leave a comment

Picture Of The Week…

Well they are just too cute for words. Believe it or not, I caught them hugging like this all on their own and quickly took a pic. Not bad hey? What is Lucy going to do with herself when her best friend/big brother goes off to school in the Fall?! Sheesh!

edit

 

Posted in Life, Picture Of The Week | Leave a comment

Elementary School & Loving The Lowly…

Kindergarten-Header-2

My son is starting kindergarten this September! Yikes! And because of this, I find a lot of my conversations with family, friends, neighbors and strangers tend to surround around this one question, “what school will he be going to”? Oddly enough this seems to be a hot button question. There really are only two school considered acceptable in the eyes of many parents in my community, so I know that when I answer that dreaded question it will be met with high brows and slow head shakes. They do not approve.

Really? It’s not like I’m living in the Bronx!

The school my son will be a part of will have a large percentage of low-income families. And you know what that means? ... they must all be drug addicts. I’m joking of course, because I don’t believe that. But sadly this is how many speak about such folk. And it grieves me greatly.

Last week I had a conversation with a Christian woman who has her child in my boy’s soon-to-be school. She went on to tell me how uncomfortable she was having her son go off to one of those families houses in a “basement suite” while “who knows what” is happening there. She told me that her and her husband live in an affluent area of town and have worked hard for what they have. It just didn’t seem fair to her that her child would have to rub shoulders with dysfunctional people.

I was stunned.

I can’t think of anything more dysfunctional than this “Christian” ladies view of herself and others. Having little money does not equal laziness, and living in a basement suite does not make anyone troubled.

Trust me when I say that I am well aware that there are some sketchy activities happening in some of these kids homes. And the thought and reality of that makes my heart hurt. I hate that some of these kids are coming to school with empty bellies and then going back to broken homes. I know it is happening. And I hope that I will be involved enough in my childs educational experience to notice if truly bad influences are becoming serious. And if things like severe bullying or harm comes my sons way, you better believe I will find a new school for him. But I can’t hide my kids from the sinful realities of this world forever. They will learn that every one of us, rich or poor, is depraved and in need of purifying grace.

However there is a greater problem happening here. We as Christians have a spiritual obligation to the lowly. No matter how uncomfortable that makes us. The second we start turning our noses up at low-income families, or even families with dysfunction due to drugs, divorce or whatever else, we start aligning ourselves with the pharisee’s.

Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them. ~ Luke 15:1-2

Jesus loved to shatter the status quo.

Yesterday a friend had a fantastic insight for me on this topic. Her kids go to one of the “good” schools in town and she let me know how many problems run in that school. Kids usually have two working parents and have been raised by child care aids for years. Many of them spend loads of time with media and most have entitlement issues. Bullying is present and so is broken homes.

Truth is, there are problems everywhere. And all I can do is watch closely no matter what school my kids are in. But regardless my kids will mess up and they will sin. And so will yours.

And as their mother I will be relentless in prayer that the Lord will break my kids and then save them.

Posted in Christian Living, Life, Parenting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment