March 30, 2013

The Great Exchange ~ or ~ Why We Celebrate

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
I John 4:10

This weekend we remember the events that made "the great exchange" possible.  Christ died not only that we might be rescued from punishment, having our sins forgiven, but also to give us His righteousness in exchange for our sin.  (Crazy, huh?!)  We stand alone, dear Christian, on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling."

God the Father turned His back on His Son, that we might be able to turn back to Him.

That's good news.


Wishing you and yours a very happy Easter.

March 25, 2013

Holy Week Reflection: The Love of Christ

Stained glass window, Meyer's Studios, Munich 1899This morning we read the story of Mary anointing Jesus with expensive perfume in The Child's Story Bible.  After finishing, I asked the kids why they thought Mary did what she did.  I shared with them that she really loved Jesus and it was a way of worshiping Him, to give Him one of her most prized possessions, to pour out on Him something so valuable, He alone being worthy of such a gift.

I commented, "Mary really loved Jesus."

Brian, my four year old responded, "Like you really love me, Mom."

"Yes Brian, like I really love you and Elizabeth and Katherine and Dad."

His comment got me thinking about why Mary so adored Jesus.  The short answer, I think, is that Jesus first loved her.  Her Savior knew her, called her, rescued her, taught her, and cared for her.  Mary was captivated by Him.  And she was as sure of Jesus' love for her as my little one is of my love for him.  The consequence was an extravagant display of worship and affection that brought disgust from some, but affirmation from Jesus.

I shared with the kids that we can worship the Lord in this way by giving Him all that we are, the very best of ourselves.

If you are a Christian, dear one, your Savior knows you, called you, rescued you, teaches you, and cares for you.  You've been adopted into a new family.  God's family.  You are no longer defined by your past, your sins, or even your strengths.  No.  You are now defined by your relationship with Christ Jesus, having been given a new and righteous identity.

We can worship the Lord,
responding to His sure and unchanging love for us,
by giving Him all that we are, the very best of ourselves.

Something to consider during this Holy Week, when we join Christians throughout the world in reflection on the Passion of the Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Here's what I wonder for myself and will ask you, too: What kind of response does the love of Christ elicit from you?  Oh to have even a small taste of the extravagant love Mary had for Jesus!

Lord, move in our hearts, especially during this week as we meditate on your Passion.  May our love for you grow with each passing day as your Spirit impresses upon us the truth of who you are, how you love us, and what you've done for us.  How good You are, Sweet and Precious Lord.  Amen.

March 4, 2013

Goodness Me, It's Been a While!

Hey all!  I wanted to debunk the rumors that I gave up blogging for Lent!  But if you've wondered, I don't blame you; last time I wrote was Ash Wednesday.  That was the middle of last month.  Goodness!  In that time baby girl turned one, we traveled to Omaha for my grandmother's 90th birthday (she and Katherine have the same birthday!), and February turned in to March all of a sudden.

I've been trying lately, to stay on top of things better.  Now that we're out of the first year of Katherine's life and I feel more like myself, I have the energy to be about my business here at home with the family and to get some regular exercise.  In addition, the husband has had a busy season at work, adding a little to my responsibilities.  The funny thing about actually devoting myself to my work, is that there doesn't seem to be much time left over.  Oh, how finite we are!  Each of us gets 24 hours a day and we need to sleep some of that time.  So where have I been? I've been wanting write, but needing to use my time other places.  I'm sure you know the drill.

The difficult thing is making peace with it.  Am I right?  Once one does, life is so much happier!  If we dwell in a grumpy place, cursing our responsibilities or (as I'm prone to) ignoring them, we're quickly embittered and/or consumed by them.  But if we look at life and say, Hey, this is the life I have right now, I'm gonna embrace it and learn to love it, well, life is a whole lot brighter.  At least that's been my experience.  I have done my share of cursing the darkness and refusing to light a candle, so to speak.  :)

This coming Wednesday I have a day mostly to myself; the husband has an all-day job interview and my (super cool) in-laws are watching the kids so I can tag along and check out the area.  I think I'll use some of that time to assess my weekly schedule and see if I can't plan better so I can write here with some consistency.  I miss it and have many I-want-to-write-about-that moments, but have to choose.  You know?

Okay, now that I've filled you in a little on what's been going on around here.  How are you?  Do you find yourself needing to choose these days?  How so?

And finally, some verses for your encouragement, because God's Word is where it's at.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8