All posts in Investing in Easter

Stories of Our Lives

Authors talk a lot about stories. Your story–someone else’s story.

Part of my story includes being left by my parents. Twice.

The first time, I was about two years old. My parents were the Salvation Army officers in South Bend, Indiana. After church one Sunday morning, they forgot me. I remember standing at the door of the corps, (church) looking out and bawling.

The second instance occurred at Christmas. We went to lunch and when we finished, I went to the bathroom. When I looked for my mom and dad, they’d left. Again. I ventured outside and found the nearest bell ringer. My sheepish daddy picked me up a few minutes later.

Yes, my parents loved me. No, they weren’t trying to get rid of me. In both cases, each of them thought the other had me.

That’s what happened to Jesus in Luke 1. Everybody ventured to Jerusalem–Christ’s relatives, neighbors, friends. Mary and Joseph assumed Jesus was with the big caravan, but He wasn’t. Three days later, they found Him in the temple sitting with the teachers, listening and asking them questions.

All who heard Him were amazed.

They should’ve been.

They were conversing with God.

At Easter, we see and hear many stories about Jesus. Some are Biblically based, some not.

But there’s a melody playing all through His life. One of redemption. Forgiveness.

We sang a song that reminded me of my story this morning.

  1. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

Gratitude and praise erupted from my mouth as I sang about my Savior.

Christ is my story. Christ is my song.

One day, I’ll see His face, hear and understand His story better. I’ll understand my story better.

What will your story be? One of redemption or one of judgment?

Choose life. Abundantly.

I hope you enjoy today’s praise song.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtbN5N8I8Hk[/youtube]

Giving Praise at Lent

Tom read the words to me from Luke 2 yesterday morning. The story is supernatural. Divine.

We ended the reading in song with these words:

“Immanuel. Immanuel. His name is called Immanuel.

God with us. Revealed in us. His name is called Immanuel.”

Today we moved on. The idea of a young couple bringing their infant son who happens to be the Son of God into the temple to be blessed by a priest is astounding.

Simeon was waiting for Messiah. Looking. Praying. His prayer was answered.

A woman from the tribe of Asher who spent the last several years of her life praying and fasting and watching for Messiah at the temple, received the privilege of seeing him.

Single-minded devotion to the King.

Am I willing to sacrifice my time, money, even my appetite to see the Lord? To know Him better?

This praise blog is one of the feeble ways I’m trying.  Today, Tom and I sang 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. I just listened to this YouTube video and it brought me to the feet of my King again.

Blessings, friend.

Keep praising.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM[/youtube]

 

The Day After Ash Wednesday

I didn’t grow up catholic. I did grow up in a Christian home. My parents served as Salvation Army Officers. I’m glad of that.

We celebrated Christmas by ringing bells at the kettle, conducting a slue of programs, and reading the Christmas story on December 25th. I had a happy childhood.

But I loved Easter. It was usually sunny, we ate chocolate, had breakfast at church, and my personal favorite–the Easter Egg Hunt.

In fact, I loved it so much, I carried on the tradition with my children when they were college age. Of course, the eggs had real cash money in them and my daughter almost lost her finger when she and my son fought over a $10 bill hidden in a plastic egg on our grill.

I LOVE egg hunts.

I egg hunt twice a day now. The eggs are even colored. Some are super-large. I eat them even though they aren’t filled with chocolate.

But somehow in the celebration of Easter as a kid and the traditions we’ve carried on as a family, I sometimes forget the profound effect Christ’s death and resurrection had in our world and has in my life and in the life of every true follower of Him.

Easter is the single most important event in history.

And it sneaks up on me.

Not this year.

Some people give up stuff for lent. I’m going to give stuff.

Praise.

I’m going to sing my way through the season.

I began today.

This is what I sang while on my knees this morning.

“Praise the name of Jesus, praise the name of Jesus. He’s my rock. He’s my fortress, He’s my deliverer in Him will I trust. Praise the name of Jesus.”

“I bless Your name. I bless Your name. I give you Honor, give you praise. You are the light, the truth, the way. I bless Your name. I bless Your name.”

“How great is our God, sing with me how great is our God, and all will see how great, how great is our God. Name above all names, worthy of our praise. My heart will sing how great is our God.”

What better way to start the day. Not with a fresh glass of OJ, but with a heaping portion of praise!

I’m gonna praise Jesus in song everyday.

Join me, will you?

Here’s the amazing Selah song I sang this morning:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HQ5q0BwPjk[/youtube]

Investing in Easter, The Crucifixion of the King

For some, Easter snuck up on you. It tends to do that to me.

At Christmas, we begin to hear the music and see the decorations in October. It’s almost too long.

But Easter, that’s a different story.

As I contemplated the death and resurrection of my Lord today, I wondered if a generation from now, anyone would know what Easter meant.

I don’t think so.

Easter is the most important event in all of human history.

God became man at Christmas. God died for man on Good Friday. God saved man on the  Easter.

Tomorrow, we’re going to have breakfast with the King, but for today, we’re going to meditate on the cross.

I could talk about prophecies fulfilled, or the forgiveness of Christ, or how His disciples abandoned Jesus that day.

But I think I’d like to stick to just the cross of Christ.

At the beginning of the year, I spent a day by myself in prayer and Bible study. Loud and clear I received the message. “Lift High the Cross.”

The cross of Christ wasn’t just wood and nails and suffering. It was a transaction between God and man. Christ atoned for mans’ rebellion.

I’m not rebellious, you might say.

Yes you are. The Bible says so in Romans 3:23; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

No matter what we do or don’t do, we aren’t good enough for God.

It’s hard for us to grasp the idea of ultimate authority leading to absolute accountability, especially in America.

In North Korea there’s no problem. In China, everyone understands submission to authority.

But in America, where we have rights, we tend to think we deserve them.

Jesus–God incarnate gave up His rights to redeem us. The cross is about giving up our rights in submission to Christ.

Faith.

Take a look at this passage:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”             Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)

That’s humility. That’s love. That’s Jesus.

Come to the cross this Easter. Kneel at the feet of the one who washed His disciples feet. Marvel at His love. Meditate on His grace.

Enjoy one of my favorite Selah songs and we’ll see you for breakfast tomorrow.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTW2Dw3P6N4[/youtube]

 

Investing in Easter, The Words of the King, Part 2

I sold my house. We close in a few weeks. So many memories. So little time. I’m grieving for the loss yet looking forward to the future.

In the last hours with His disciples, Jesus served them, taught them, and prayed for them. Today we’re going to look at a verse of what is known as “high-priestly” prayer.

“I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. John 17:11 (NASB)

Jesus knew the cross lay ahead of Him. He knew the men He’d invested time and energy and three years of His life were weak. He knew they’d abandon Him. He knew even His Father would turn His face away.

Yet, Christ prays for protection and unity for them.

In verses 20-21 of that same chapter, Jesus goes on to say, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe in Me through their words; that they all be one; even as You, Father, are in mMe and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

There are a plethora of pronouns in those verses. Basically, Jesus is praying for His disciples for their protection, their boldness, and their unity. He prays for believers in the future–that’s you and me, friend–when He talks about those who believe through the words of the disciples.

Right before the cross, we were on His mind.

That’s divine.

Take time today to meditate on His Words.

See you tomorrow.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkJOtPA_mzQ[/youtube]