Looking Toward Easter

The Crosses on Good Friday

The Crosses on Good Friday (Photo credit: 50%ChanceofRain)

It’s not about the bunny, it’s about the Lamb.

Christmas is wonderful, but Easter is the real reason that Christ came.

The Son of God was the perfect, blameless lamb.

It was the cross that formed the bridge. It was His blood that cleansed.

It was His resurrection that brought life.

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

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Today I am thankful for:

* Springtime snow

* safe travel for my husband

* a phone call and husband’s voice

* sleeping in

* lots of leftovers in the fridge

* quiet stillness

* laughter

* kids getting along

* good grades

* taking a break

* orange juice that I don’t often get to have…

* Jesus, my Savior

* God’s perfect Lamb






Great Men and Women

You know how people are sometimes asked the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone– past, present, or future,

C. S. Lewis' house (The Kilns)

C. S. Lewis’ house (The Kilns) (Photo credit: MikeBlyth)

who would it be, and why?”

I already know.

Clive Staples Lewis.

I find his words and his works interesting, thought provoking, and insightful. I can just imagine sitting in his classroom when he was a professor at Oxford. I would have been the student raising her hand saying things like, “Yes sir, and what about this or that?”, while I scribbled furiously as I took notes.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” –C.S Lewis

I’m thankful for those whose words ring true.

Thankful for the great men and women that came before me and for those that are in my life right now.

Thankful for those who aren’t scared to stand, when it would be so much easier to take a seat. Those that have faith, even when others laugh, those that know, it is not the seen, but the unseen that is truly real.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

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Today I am thankful for:

* winter wind that takes the breath away

* steel gray sky filled with snowflakes

* dogs that walk by my side, I love all my pets

* cozy mittens with thermal lining

* funny stories that make me laugh out loud

* hugs and kisses

* chocolate icing on warm brownies

* a swept floor and a vacuumed rug

* warm blankets and fluffy socks

* strong opinions and good points

* wisdom and insight

* dog-earred books and highlighted passages

* fun catalogs and magazine to read

* a day off work

* people that love me

* people that I love

* the little things that seem like big things






Born To Die

photo

The chubby little hand of the baby reached up and wound his fingers tightly in his mother’s hair. She looked at him, and

smiled. He was beautiful, her son. Amazing. Incredible. Perfect in every way.

Holy. ..

The wonder of his birth, she still did not fully comprehend. She just knew that she loved him, with a deep and protective love. Her first born son. Her miracle from God. The One that had been promised. Her mind raced back to her encounter, months before, with the angel. The one that had told her that she was going to give birth to this baby boy. Jesus. He was both God and man. He would save his people.

So much to think about…

But, not now. Not this night.

On this night so many years ago, the night the angels sang, the shepherds bowed, this woman and her husband brought the Son of God into this world…in the most humble of surroundings. In a stable, the stench of animals strong in the air, the Savior was born.

Born to die…

From the moment He took His first breath, He was walking down a path that led to a place called Golgotha, the place of the skull. The place where the cross was positioned. The place where Jesus died.

The place where Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”.  Jesus, the Word, that had been prophesied about for centuries before His birth, was now hanging on a cross. That baby, in a manger, grew to be a man. The Redeemer. The Ransom from Heaven. The Only Begotten Son.

Jesus, Messiah.

That night, long ago, in a small town in the Middle East, a child was born. Destined to change the world. That was just the beginning of the story. One cannot fully understand His birth, if one does not also acknowledge the importance of His death, and subsequent resurrection….for that brought the greatest gift of all.

 

 

 

Jesus Messiah

The choir members voices rose, filling the sanctuary. I listened to the music, as it surrounded me with the reality of the words. They were singing one of my favorite songs. Every time I hear that song, I don’t know whether to jump out of my seat and raise my hands towards heaven, or fall to my knees in thankfulness.

The song is by Chris Tomlin, and is entitled, Jesus Messiah.

English: Chris Tomlin performing a concert in ...

The chorus goes like this:

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

As I get ready to begin my Christmas decorating, I am reminded that Jesus came to this earth as a baby. The Son of God humbled Himself to be Emmanuel, meaning “God with us“. He gave up his place in Heaven for the brokenness of humanity. For you and for me. I love this song because it reminds me that Jesus did not stay a baby. He grew up. He made a way for all of mankind. He is the bridge between God and us…and for that I am so very thankful.

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Today I am thankful for:

* the hard beating of geese wings

* frosty morning air

* Thanksgiving and thanksgiving

* making pumpkin rolls with my sister

* Christmas movies and tree decorating

* well wishes from friends

* good books

* Christmas music

* getting laundry done!

* not having to tutor until later in the day

* clean (or clean enough) house

* my husband

* singing along to Christmas songs…pretending I’m Mariah Carey (the girl has a set of lungs)

* Jesus, The Way, The Truth, and The Life

* My Redeemer

* The Baby in the manger, Jesus of Nazareth, and God in the Flesh






Practicing Real Life Hospitality

Dinner Fork

Image via Wikipedia

Today at Faith Barista we are discussing the gift of hospitality.

The dictionary tells us that hospitality is—

1.the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. 2.the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

I could go get my etiquette book by Emily Post and discuss with you the intricacies of how to show proper hospitality. (while being completely dignified and refined, of course) I also have a complete set of Southern Living books that show the most beautiful pictures of home decor and extravagant and mouth watering meals to prepare for ones guests.

Both of these books would do a fine job of showing me how to hold the correct dinner fork, have witty and interesting conversation with my guests, and how to decorate my house like it’s ready to be photographed for a magazine spread.

But, would I be showing real hospitality? Would my guests feel comfortable? Would they want to return to visit with me again?

The Bible tells us many things about hospitality
*Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2 NIV
*Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13 NIV
*Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:8-9 NIV
Jesus shows us a great lesson in hospitality, in putting others before oneself, in the book of John. He was having dinner with his disciples, and he knew that he did not have much time left before he would be arrested, tried and crucified. He literally had the weight of the world on his shoulders and yet he found time to humble himself and teach a valuable lesson to his fellow dinner guests…
…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.      John 13:4-5 NIV
The Son of God, holy, set apart….dropped to his knees, took the dusty, dirty, much traveled feet of his friends in his hands. The very hands that would soon be pierced for their iniquities, and ours.
If we are able to show hospitality to others, by loving them as Christ loves, I guarantee they will long to visit with you….and it wouldn’t matter if you had matching silver for your caviar or beans and weenies.
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