Tag Archive | good

Retweeting Easter’s Message

If the church would put the same intensity, prayer, outreach & vision they do into Easter Sunday every week, what a force it would be.

~ Jon Tyson  Pastor, Trinity Grace Church, NY

Facebook, Twitter, and the internet was saturated with the Gospel message yesterday!!   God’s Word was being proclaimed across every conceivable pathway or route.  Shouts of

HE IS RISEN!

were rolling out non-stop, crossing boundaries and perhaps, firewalls, bringing the good news of the resurrection and redemption into dark nations and hearts.

Below reflects a two-hour window from “friends” and “followers”, covering everything from personal Easter greeetings and wishes, to Scriptures, hymns, and weighty quotes:

Tweets and Stats:

So thankful that He is Risen!

Easter Sunday the day that Jesus rose from the dead, looked Satan in the eyes and said, “Game over!”

Beyond the shadow of a doubt..

My king, has risen!

Happy Easter everyone! He is risen indeed!

“Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!” – St. Chrysostom

Death swallowed Christ and Christ destroyed it from the inside out.

There is NOTHING foolish about The Cross, or what happened on The Cross

Oh the depth of His love – that He would send His only Son to pay the penalty for the sins of you and me!

Lives again our glorious King, Where O death is now thy sting? Dying once He all doth save, Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Creator. Healer. Beginning and End. Prince of Peace. Living Water. Lamb of God. Wonderful. Counselor. Rock and Salvation. Redeemer. Friend. Holy One. Comforter. Defender. Word of Life. Faithful and True.

Jesus. He is Risen.

Empty Tomb! He is risen…happy Easter everyone.

Let no one caught in sin remain inside the lie of inward shame! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death! Come awake! Come awake! Come and rise up from the grave!

Forgiveness was provided because of the cross by a loving God who never had to compromise spiritually, go corrupt, blind, or lower His stand.

Easter is not the “happy ending” after Jesus’ death. It is the happy beginning of God’s new creation!

Christ the Lord is Risen — today and eternally. May Christ’s church resound with this message this Lord’s Day,

Christ is risen! “He’s alive and I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide. He’s alive!” – Don Francisco

Ok kids, brace yourself…There’s NO such thing as an Easter bunny (same thing goes for Santa)…I just thought you should know…:) – HAPPY EASTER ALL…HE IS RISEN…

He is Risen! Living he loves us, dying he saved us, rising he justified our salvation! Happy Easter! Give glory to GOD……..not the bunny! The bunny does nothing except poop in my yard!

Scriptures and Quotes:

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.” – G.K. Chesterton

But sometime before dawn on a Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. The breath of God came blowing into that cave, and a new creation flashed into reality…. Russel D. Moore, author.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:14-19 NKJV

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Romans 5:10 ESV

Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when He comes back. -1 Corinthians 15:23

They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. -Hebrews 11:35

Jesus was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness. Rom 1:4

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!” Mark 16:4-6

Tunes and Lyrics:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
… And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again
Woke up singing:
Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory

“Lord You know just how far the east is from the west
I don’t have to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other”

Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me

Living He loved me! Dying He saved me! Buried He carried my sins far away! Rising He justified freely forever! One day He’s coming! Oh Glorious Day! Oh Glorious Day!

~~And YouTube vids of Natalie Grant, Matt Maher, Hillsong, and Casting Crowns!

~~~

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

Matthew 5:16

~~~

Let your light shine Believers! Not just on Easter, but Everyday!  Keep your lamps lit, watch and pray,

and let your very

LIFE,

not just your internet status,

share the Light and Aroma of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

On gratefulness…

“Happiness is not getting what we want, but being grateful for what we have.” 

This quote from a random British TV show we were watching one evening really stuck with me.  We always seem to want more, without being grateful for what we already have.  Millions have been spent in research to find out what the “perfect” monthly wage is that would make everyone happy.  The answer across the board:

More.

So, happiness is elusive.  But gratitude is not.

In fact, gratitude is God’s will!  Are you fasting, praying, desperately searching to know God’s will for you life?  How about this:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.   I Thess. 5:16-18

Giving Thanks Together

The following poem from The Valley of Vision expresses a heart full of gratitude and one after God’s will:
~~~

O My Lord

You, fairest, greatest, first of all object,

My heart admires, adores, loves you,

For my little vessel is as full as it can be,

And I would pour out all that fullness before you in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with you

Ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,

Ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,

Ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart.

Crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless You for the soul you have created,

for adorning it, sanctifying it,

though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body you have given me,

for preserving its strength and vigour,

for providing senses to enjoy delights,

for the ease and freedom of my limbs,

for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for your royal bounty providing my daily support,

for a full table and overflowing cup

for appetite, taste, sweetness

for social joys of relatives and friends,

for ability to serve others,

for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,

for a mind to care for my fellow-men

for opportunities of spreading happiness around

for loved ones in the joys of heaven,

for my own expectation of seeing you clearly.

I love you above the powers of language to express, for what you are to your creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Even better…

Here’s a little Post Script to What’s Your ___ for 2012?

The Psalmist reminds us that no matter what our goals, longings, or desires are, there is something Better!

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”  Psalm 63:1-3

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10

 

~~~~

It’s All Grace

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting!  Psalm 118:1

If you’re not sure what to be thankful for today, pull up a chair and join me in today’s list of 10.  No matter what life is dishing out, what storms are assaulting you, the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord never changes!

Remaining Magnolia Blossoms

I can always be thankful that: 

41.  He became poor so I might become rich in Him!  2 Cor. 8:9

42.  He became sin so I could be the righteousness of God in Christ!   2 Cor. 5:21

43.  He cancelled out all my Sin!  Colossians 2:13, 14

44.  I am accepted in the Beloved!  Ephesians 1:6

45.  He cares for me!  I Peter 5:7

46.  He loved me First!!  I John 4:19

47.  He intercedes for me!  Hebrews 7:25

48. He has prepared a place for me!  John 14:2

49.  He comes to my aid when I am tempted!  Hebrews 2:18

50.  My name is written in the Lamb’s book of life!  Luke 10:20   More on that HERE.

~~~

Dear Father, You are altogether good!  Thank you for demonstrating your goodness, mercy, and faithfulness to us, by giving us your Son!  We’re unable to fathom the depth of your love, so you continually reveal it to us through your Word, your comforting Holy Spirit, the beauty of creation, and answered prayer.  Open our eyes and hearts to see the signs, big and small, of your love towards us!  It’s all grace!  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!!  In His beautiful name, Amen!

Life from Death--It's all Grace

Meditative Mondays

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever!  Psalm 107:1

I’m really excited today about joining the following friends, to give thanks to our wonderful Lord:

Carrie
Beth
Constance
A Holy Experience
incourage.me

…And to add my little thoughts to “The List that Never Ends“:

Since spring is on the verge of popping out around our little hollow in the hills, today’s list of 10 are forefront in my mind (and our yard):

1. Feather visitors

 2. Crocus and daffodils already spreading colour in a March-gray world

3.  Delicate magnolia buds, too many to count

4. Sunnier sunsets

5. Beautiful, deer neighbors

6. The blessing of Rain

7.  A cozy hearth when it feels damp to the bone

8. The company of the neighbors dogs, without the upkeep

9.   The gift of sight to take it all in!!  

10. And for my husband’s compulsion and gift in capturing God’s creation in photos!

What are you thankful for today? 

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thess. 5:18

Scandalous Grace

“…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 5:20,21

 

I just read an article at Stuff Christians Like on grace that speaks of the limitless, boundless grace God makes available to all of us.  The author, Jon Acuff, sought to answer the question, “Do you feel like some people take grace too far?”  Here’s an excerpt:

We establish a limit to grace and God’s love. We start to draw boundary lines on grace and it’s not the first time we’ve seen this kind of thing happen.

There was a guy in the Bible who was the worst. He was such a failure. He lied once and got an entire village murdered as a result. A priest and his family were killed because of his lies. He committed adultery. He cheated. He trusted in his own strength instead of the Lord’s. And when he did, when he failed, thousands and thousands of people died as a result. His family suffered from incest and murder and his hands were so covered with wrongfully shed blood that eventually God wouldn’t let him do something really important.

…So how is he referred to in the Bible?   Here is what God says about him:

         “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.”

…How can God say these things?

Because grace is scandalous.

I think God knew the risk that we’d misunderstand grace and try to take advantage of it. I think he knew we’d try to find the limits of it with our sinfulness. Which is why he made it limitless, which is why he made grace infinite and never ending.

Please check out the entire article HERE.  I think you’ll be blessed..and humbly thankful for the Lord’s infinite, scandalous Grace!

Anne of Bleak House

The vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country.
C H Spurgeon

 

If you plan on reading Before Green Gables, by Budge Wilson, don’t read this post!  It’s full of spoilers, such as, Anne takes a train to Prince Edward Island in the last chapter, to be adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. (Oops!) 

Or, if you don’t like reviews, skip past this one, for words of hope and grace from the Scriptures and Paul David Tripp.!  It’s really all related, somehow.

~~~~Review~~~~

Before Green Gables, by Budge Wilson was on my must-read list that I posted HERE.  This book was given to me by an extremely devoted fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who has read every single one of her books–none other than my son-in-law, Andrew.  He hasn’t read this book yet,  so I hope he doesn’t read my review. 

For fans of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Avonlea, Windy Poplar, this self-proclaimed, “Prequel to Anne of Green Gables” may be received with mixed emotions.  You can probably detect my sentiments by the title of this post. 

The book starts off much like any other “Anne” read, and one falls immediately in love with her endearing parents, Walter and Bertha Shirley.  But we know, before ever opening the book,  Anne could never have boarded that train to Prince Edward Island if things went well for the sweet Shirleys.  They die…and the bleakness begins.

Anne’s life goes from bad to worse, as she’s taken in by an angry, over-worked mother of five, with an alcoholic husband.  Fast-forward eight or nine years, and she’s placed with another family with three sets of twins under four years old, then finally, on to a Dickensesque orphanage.  LMM alluded (in her books) that trials were the very making of young Anne, so I was prepared for some hardships.  However, I couldn’t help but yearn for more light and happiness for our “Anne girl.”   As one reviewer on amazon. com wrote, “the only thing that bothered me about the book was that it was DEPRESSING.”

However, I could get past the bleak backdrop of her daily life, knowing that Green Gables lay in wait for Anne in a mere 11 years… But, the most disturbing aspect of the story was the uber-wise, hyper-intellectual Anne of 4 years old!  True, she’s a unique, gifted, insightful, opinionated and verbose young lady when we and Matthew Cuthbert first meet her, but as a toddler (?)–her thoughts, emotions, and conversations depart from reality too much for this reader.   

Well then, do I recommend the book?  Actually, yes!  Surprise!!  The bleakness of Anne’s childhood contrasts so significantly with Green Gables and Avonlea, that the reader gains a greater appreciation for all that lies ahead for our kindred friend, making the real Anne series shine brighter, happier, and thankfully, full of promise and hope.

~~~~End of Review~~~~

 

Our lives are much like Before Green Gables, filled with pages, or maybe chapters, of struggles and difficulties, highlighted with some joys and a lot of grace.  We don’t know what a turn of the page will bring, but we do know how the story ends! 

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24

The riches of such an ending, or beginning, is beyond our understanding: 

 “As it is written, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'”  I Cor. 2:9 

 

Paul David Tripp, puts it like this:

“The world is still a terribly broken place, not yet restored to what it was created to be. [But] we live with celebration and anticipation.  We celebrate amazing gifts of grace what we’ve already been given, while we anticipate the end of the struggles that will face us until the final chapter of the great story of redemption comes.

We do live in the in between. We do live in the hardships of a world that teeters between the beginning and the end.  But we dont need to be discouraged and we don’t need to fear, because the end of all those struggles has already been written, and so we’re guaranteed that the things that are not yet, will someday be!”  [1]

 [1]  Paul David Tripp, Whiter than Snow: Mediations on Sin and Mercy, Crossway Books, 2008. Wheaton, IL.  pg 92.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want some other perspectives of the reviewed book?  Try here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/apr/05/featuresreviews.guardianreview28

http://www.amazon.com/Before-Green-Gables-Budge-Wilson/dp/039915468X

Sifting

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”
Amos 9:9

This verse seemed so applicable to all that is going on right now. So many things are being sifted, shaken, or stirred–political security, Israel, economic stability, weather, my family, my life..   Maybe yours too.

Spurgeon addresses this and draws out some encouraging points from the verse above:

1. “…the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process that the enemy intended to be destructive.”

2. “…even the least grain has a promise of preservation.”

3.  “…for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shriveled grain is permitted to fall to the ground.  Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord.”

He concludes that, “however little we may be, if we are the Lord’s we may rejoice that we are ‘preserved in Jesus Christ.’  (Jude 1)”

May you find tremendous encouragement in Him through your sifting process, whatever that may mean for you…Today.

For the Cross

Good Friday…

When I was young, the name of this day used to strike me as odd. The betrayal, the loneliness, ridicule, beatings, and crucifixion Jesus Christ underwent didn’t seem very good.  The day, to me, was sad, grievous, remorseful, and dark… anything but good.   But, as I grew up, and my understanding of God’s love grew, I came to realize that the day is/was truly good….for me.

The Cross was good (beneficial) to me, us, because, through Jesus’ death, we are reconciled to God!

“..God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation….He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 19, 21

“The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief;  if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.  As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.”  Isaiah 53:1o-11

As Horatius Bonar wrote (1870),

“‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,’ is no mere outcry of suffering nature, the cross is no mere scene of human martyrdom, and the great sepulcher is no mere Hebrew tomb. It is only through blood-shedding that conscience is purged; it is only at the cross that the sinner can meet with God; it is the cross that knits heaven and earth together…”

The Cross is good because Jesus paid my unimaginable debt!

“He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13

“He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our peace fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”  Isaiah 53:5-6

There’s no possible way share, here, all the Scriptures, authors, or reasons why Jesus’ death may be considered ‘good,”  but one final thought is,

The Cross is good because it’s not the End!

 As a stirring sermon and book by Tony Campolo once put it, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!”  Death defeated death, the Cross led to the resurrection, and Jesus paved the way for everyone who believes in Him, to have Eternal Life.

“…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, and your faith also is vain…  But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive!” 1 Corinthians 15:14, 20-22

“I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hell.”  Revelation 1:18

Today, with this curious good-ness of Good Friday in mind, I chose a more recent song, a powerful proclamation of the “goodness” of the cross by singer/writer Matt Redman, from his CD “The Heart of Worship” (which you can hear on my blue Music Box to the right):

For the Cross

I will love you for the cross,and I will love You for the cost
Man of sufferings, bringer of my peace.
You came into a world of shame
and paid the price we could not pay.
Death that brought me life
Blood that brought me home
Death that brought me life
Blood that brought me home.

And I love You for the Cross
I’m overwhelmed by the mystery
I love you for the cross
That Jesus You would do this for me
When you were broken
You were beaten
You were punished, I go free
When You were wounded and rejected
In Your mercy, I am healed!

Jesus Christ, the sinner’s Friend
Does this kindness know no bounds?
With Your precious blood You have purchased me
O, the mystery of the Cross
You were punished, You were crushed
But that punishment has become my peace
Yes, that punishment has become my peace!