While It Was Still Dark

While it was still dark, the stone was rolled away.

While it was still dark, the tomb was empty save the grave clothes bereft of their host.

While it was still dark, death was forever defeated, robbed of its victory FOREVER.

Some of us live in the darkness before the dawn of realization has hit.

Some of us only partially believe, which is darkness all the same.

Some of us live like the tomb was full and death won the victory that day.

So we grab all the “victories” we can…in the darkness in which we live.

But they are not really victories. They are empty wind that cannot give sustenance to our cavernous hunger.

In my darkness, Jesus came.
In my darkness, Jesus lifted my bowed down head.
In my darkness, Jesus rescued me.

He forgave me from all my sin…He made me new. Death living in me and eating my flesh no longer win.

For while it was still dark, Light shone and Jesus rose from the dead. He defeated the enemy once and for all.

Now I need to live like it!

For some days seem dark still. And there are those who hate me, who wish I never existed. Fear could overwhelm and cynicism overcome, but no! No.

He has won. Christ in me has won. He has given me the right to walk in victory over the darkness.

And He offers the same to you today. Will you believe? Will you let Christ win in your darkness, too?

Two questions that really matter for you and me today. Take time to ask them…and be still and answer Him.

He is not dead. Jesus is alive! He is alive in me to love and to live like I believe it is so. Even when it is still dark…I know.
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Marginally Exhausted

Even in the margin, you can wear yourself out.  And that is where I am today.  Completely exhausted. We’ve had nonstop company for three weeks, which I loved. Truly.

But today, I have to admit, I’m about as worn thin in my mind, body and spirit as I have ever been.  Kind of reminds me of those days before we got married–so filled with activity and planning that by the time we said, “I do!” And “We will!” we also said now where can we go find a place to rest?? So we went on a honeymoon.

I think we need another right about now.

On the family side of things, we are enjoying seeing each of our kids grow in new ways. Noah is leading mentoring this week. Kylie is looking outside herself to help and encourage others and using her gift of music to help lead youth band, as she sings. Tabor is competing in battle of the books and spelling bee-and even helped lead “big church” worship yesterday. He was terribly cute! And Sydney is beginning to read more fluidly, as we homeschool.  We still have a steep road ahead and will likely homeschool next year, too.  But the best gift is that Sydney has asked Jesus to be her Savior!  She will be baptized the last Sunday of this month!  Such a gift!!

After writing all this, I find myself refreshed…just knowing that God is working in our family–each one. We still have struggles. And burdens. And yet more company coming at the end of this month. But we hang tight to Jesus’ hand, as we hear Him say, “I’ve got this! Come get away with me awhile.”

So we run to Jesus. And there we find refreshment for our souls.  He is so good. And He will mend and provide and teach and lead and carry us…when we come to Him.

Pictures of our last couple of weeks below. Enjoy!

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The end. :)

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Answer to Prayer

Have you ever prayed and prayed about something and it seemed that God wasn’t listening? We long for an answer to prayer. So somehow we think we need to do better in our praying and maybe up the ante. We begin praying more-adding in scripture and perhaps even fasting.  Our works-oriented faith feels better about the strength of the prayer.

We live as if we believe God will know we are really serious now…and He will swiftly answer in our favor.  But that isn’t really how we should approach Him.

Fasting and praying scripture are wonderful ways to worship God and pray powerfully. And we should do both! After the transfiguration Jesus chided his disciples for being unable to cast out the demon in the boy, who would fall into fire. He said this kind can only be removed by fasting and prayer. So there was a certain element missing to their prayers in that instance.

So is there a formula for prayer then or not?

I often have people ask me to pray, because they believe that God answers my prayers and not theirs.  I have to shake my head at that, because through Jesus Christ we ALL have the same access to the Father. We ALL have access and the ability to petition God on behalf of others and ourselves.

There is no formula or methodology, per se, but there IS a right way to approach Him.  Hebrews sheds light here–we approach God with confidence and boldness, speaking plainly and honestly to God–and that with trust in the Person who Can and is Able to answer our prayers with Power…asking from a heart that is humble. The Lord simply wants us to approach Him, believingly.
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Begin simply, trustingly, as a child asking his parent…knowing that the parent unconditionally loves the child.

It is a picture of relationship. And that relationship is all because of the lifeblood and body of Jesus poured out and broken for you and me.

You see, I have seen many, many, many answered prayers. That is true. All have been amazing to watch as they unfold. Praise Him!! And my Father listens to me.  Yes.  He loves me and bends low to feed me.

Many of those prayers were not more than a short phrase-Lord, help.  Lord, I’m weak, You be strong. Lord, the one you love is dying. Raise her from the dead.

But the fact is the Lord doesn’t hear only me. He hears you, too. He longs to reveal Himself to you–and to show you how He is near to every one of us. Oh how He loves us!

If only we could believe that.  And know that. We would begin to pray, knowing that He is listening and waiting and lovingly longing for us to call out His Name. LORD. I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.

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