Death to Life

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I was SO disappointed after one of the recent cold nights we had. Our camellia had so many buds just waiting to burst open, and the cold snap turned them brown. Just like that, my anticipation of pink loveliness dissipated like the morning dew.

Then, the other morning I was out with my clippers to cut off the reminders of what could have been, and to my great joy, there was a large pink bloom! It was way in the back, under foliage and had been protected.

Death to life.

This is what the Resurrection of Jesus is all about.

Death to Life!

Romans 5:10  (AMP)

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].

When I think about how excited I was to see the flower blooming, (which by the way I had nothing to do with) I can only imagine God’s joy when His creation, you and me, move from death to life.

“we will be saved because Christ lives today”

Hallelujah!

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In My Garden with God  #8

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It’s Not About Me

granddaughters[1]

Once we as women experience a pregnancy, we get a true picture of what it means for our bodies to not be our own. We feel that little life (or lives) moving inside and we realize it is no longer about us. We may feel sick from certain smells that never bothered us before pregnancy, we also may crave certain foods for no apparent reason. We are no longer in charge and often don’t even understand the changes taking place in our own bodies. This is just the beginning.

Romans 12:1 says “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

As a mother of young children your body is a living sacrifice. You are no longer your own. You get up in the morning, change diapers, breastfeed, have meals, tend to chores (when able) and meet others’ needs all day long according to their schedule, not your own. A loving mother sacrifices her own wants and needs for her family.

I can still remember thinking when our four children were small that I would never feel rested again.

I couldn’t imagine getting enough rest. Yet, God convicted me with the truth of the above scripture one day at our home group. The home group leader, Phil, asked us to think about what in our lives were hindrances to worship. The immediate response that came to my mind was “my children”! Then I felt shame.

These children were gifts from God!

Why did I see them as a hindrance? Because I did not see my service to them as significant in God’s eyes. I thought a “ministry” was more important. Yet, the Lord showed me those children were my ministry at that time. NOTHING was more important. Offering my body as a living sacrifice WAS an act of worship – one very pleasing to our Lord.

As we contemplate this Easter weekend the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, let us embrace the sacrifices we make as mothers  – moment by moment, day by day.

Jesus is our example – He laid down His life.

As His follower, I must present myself a living sacrifice and recognize it as an act of worship.

…. with love and thankfulness for the redemption of Jesus’ resurrection – have a blessed Resurrection Day!

Easter Outfits

Adahlyn and Miriam

When I was little, one of the few times I received new clothes was right before Easter. (the other time was right before school started) Now sometimes these clothes were not brand new – just new to me, but I still was excited to get dressed up in special clothes.

It gave me a feeling of something special happening. It wasn’t just about the clothes – it was the fact that a celebration was going to happen and I was dressed for it!

Clothes do not make a celebration, but they do reflect an attitude.

I called one of our daughters Saturday and heard over the phone as she told her daughter, “No, put on PLAY clothes to play outside. Those are your good clothes for school.”

We wear certain clothes for working in the garden, and other clothes to a wedding. (I did both on Saturday and I did not wear the same to each event, thankfully.)

The following verses give glory to God our Father for what he has done for us, His children.

Isaiah 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

What a beautiful picture of what God plans for us, His children! We will be like great oaks, planted for his glory.

Verse 10 of the same chapter talks about how God clothes us –

10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit
or a bride with her jewels.

How can we communicate to our children that Easter is not about dressing up? God knows if what we wear is simply to get attention, show off, or make a statement that I don’t “need” to dress up. Each of us should search our own hearts and dress in such a way that will honor the Lord, doing the same for our young children.

There is something so much more important than what I wear –

AM I CLOTHED IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS?

That is what Easter is all about, Jesus dying to pay the debt for my sin, and raising to new life again so that I might have life!

Hallelujah!

Whatever we choose to wear on Easter, may we all be clothed in salvation wearing the robe of his righteousness.