Sunday’s Here!

Check this out! Gaither vocal band

For many years, I spent the week between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with my favorite musicians—Dallas Holm, Sandi Patty, and Don Francisco.  Early in the week, Dallas Holm’s cd, His Last Days, was played continuously. The music took me through the week, with special focus on the night He was betrayed, his trial, death, and resurrection. Who doesn’t remember his greatest musical accomplishment, Rise Again?

That week before Resurrection Day, I pondered the questions posed on the cd—Did I believe in Him? Did I trust His words? Did I understand and have full confidence in His ability to save me? I mourned the treatment of Jesus during that week, and I mourned His death. The musical ended with Rise Again, and my heart swelled with anticipation and joy of what I knew was going to happen early Sunday morning.  Of course, I knew all these events had occurred a couple thousand years ago in real time, but each year these events occurred again in my heart and mind. It was a ritual observed to remain focused on Jesus and what He did for me.

Every Easter morning I bounced out of bed and ran to the windows to watch the sunrise. As was my habit, I grabbed my cd player–already tuned up to the family’s “wake-up song,”–and turned the volume all the way up to Sandi Patty’s, Was It a Morning Like This? It didn’t exactly thrill our children to be awakened so, but they eventually got into the spirit of the day as we celebrated our risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Another resurrection song I played—very loudly—was Don Francisco’s song, He’s Alive. Talk about a celebration!

Life moved forward, and the rituals continued—our churches produced plays about the Easter week; I played Sandi Patty on Easter morning; I sang along to Dallas and Don; I mourned Jesus’ death and contemplated what it meant for me. I once again settled in my mind that Jesus was who He said He was, and I could trust Him with all of my life.

What does Easter mean to you? How do you celebrate the week between Palm Sunday and Resurrection morning? It’s a personal journey, folks. I encourage you to give the events of the week more than a passing thought as we celebrate the risen Lord.

Our children are grown and now have their own families. I don’t know what goes on in their homes during these holiest of days for Christians, but our household will begin this Easter Sunday morning with a rousing rendition of our old favorites, and we will celebrate!

Shout it in the streets . . . He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah.

#ChristTheLordIsRisenToday

“It Is Written”

As I read my Bible this morning, i was struck once again by the fact that the enemy knows the scripture. When attempting to tempt Jesus after His 40 days of fasting, the enemy said, in Matthew 4:6, “…it is written…” and then he quoted Scripture.

This is just another reminder to me that even folks who don’t trust Jesus as Savior know the Word and that I must be careful to search the Scriptures and not be deceived. Unfortunately, some false preachers make their living off of trusting and Scripturally uninformed Christians. It is imperative that we Christians study the Word for ourselves and trust the Holy Spirit to teach us, so that when someone preaches the Word out of context, we are immediately struck with such a sense of dis-ease that we step back until we can research the Word for ourselves.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing out there–knowing the Word will help us to avoid being taken in by them.

Thank God for His Word.

I Wonder

Stephen the deacon was full of the Holy Spirit, and he performed miraculous signs and wonders. Because of the attention he drew, he became a target of the same mindset that had already crucified his Savior, Jesus. His detractors set him up the same way they set Jesus up. But Stephen refuted their false testimony by giving them a history lesson about God’s chosen people–Israel*. It enraged the rulers who heard him speak, and they became a crazed mob which forced Stephen to the outskirts of the city, where they stoned him.

Stephen died a horrible death by stoning. Did he whine? No. Did he beg? No. The Word says he looked heavenward and saw the Son of God standing at the right hand of the Father. Jesus was preparing to meet Stephen. Stephen’s face glowed with the vision. A few short minutes later, Stephen asked God not to count his murderers’ sins against them, and he died.

When Stephen got up that morning, I bet he didn’t consider that it would be his last day on earth. Yet that is exactly what it became.

Before the day was out, even though his testimony proved his accusers were wrong about him, the powers that be had incited yet another crowd against another innocent man.

We in America don’t have people chasing us to the edge of town in order to stone us because we are a testimony against their lives. Don’t be deceived, though. The enemy still hates us. Watch the news–every day the battle grows more heated. Who knows what God has in store for His followers, who seek to glorify Him with our lives?

What sort of testimony will we leave behind when that day arrives? Will we be able to look into the heavens and see the Son standing next to the Father, waiting to welcome us home? Will our faces glow as we gaze into the heavens?

I wonder.

*Acts 7