I Often Don’t Like Easter Services

I often don’t like Easter services.

I don’t. I like parts of the service—usually. But I often come away less than satisfied.

The Easter story is packed with lessons:

The prophecies of Passover fulfilled
“Not my will but Yours”
Peter denying Christ
Christ bearing the punishment for our sins
By Christ’s stripes we are healed
The crushing of Satan’s head
Light in our deepest darkness
The defeat of death and the grave
Eternal hope
And so on, and so on, and …

It must be rather difficult for preachers to decide what to focus on. Most usually choose a topic that will speak to those who rarely attend church. (I think that’s a great idea.) And for those who want to break the story into meditation-size pieces, many churches offer several services the week preceding Easter Sunday. (Another great idea.)

But if I was the one planning the Resurrection Sunday service …

Continue reading “I Often Don’t Like Easter Services”

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Would You Like a Refill?

 

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Sometimes when you sip a cup of warmth, the contents can turn a bit tepid. So how about a top-off of this week’s cups? It’s Thursday, the day I re-serve the warmth shared throughout the previous six days of the Write 31 Days challenge. That way if you missed anything, or simply want a refill, the offerings are here for your enjoyment.

And for those who drink til the last drop, you’ll find a link to a generous offer from DaySpring. (DaySpring, the Christian branch of Hallmark, is an official sponsor of Write31Days. They have something very special for the faithful readers of our posts. They are saying thank you for me in a way I can’t.) But you only have one day left to respond—deadline is Oct 28.

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Feel free to take your time soaking in the warmth of God’s graciousness, served in my little nook of the world. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cup with a friend, so feel free to take a seat and share your heart. My cup is warm but my heart is warmer—eager to hear your thoughts.


Friday, Oct 21, defined the flavor of true humility.

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Humility for a Heart Enslaved by Pride


Saturday, Oct 22, served the reminder of where to place legitimate expectations.

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Reality for a Heart with Faulty Expectations


Sunday, Oct 23, offered hope for the recognition we desire.

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Recognition for a Heart Overlooked


Monday, Oct 24, placed unforgiveness on the table so we could examine what it really means.

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Freedom from a Heart of Unforgiveness


Tuesday, Oct 25, offered an assurance that sometimes walls are necessary (and I’m not talking about geographical walls).

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Assurance for a Heart Protected


And, Wednesday, Oct 26, served a reminder of who’s really in charge

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A Pry Bar for a Heart Clutching


Now for that offer. DaySpring is an official supporter of Write31Days and they are offering our readers a chance for a $100 gift certificate. $100! That’s awesome! So click the link and it will take you to the special signup page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to use the Rafflecopter giveaway widget before October 28th. If you’re the winner DaySpring will contact you directly.


I can’t believe there are only four days left of this challenge! Thank you for being a dear friend and reading the messages God has burned into my soul during the years I had kids at home. I pray that you are encouraged and that those spots of your own heart that have grown cold, have been warmed by God’s grace and faithfulness.

I will resume my weekly blog again on Monday, November 7th. November! Oh my how this year has flown by. But, I’ve more material to share and a few surprises in store. So stay tuned.

Freedom from a Heart of Unforgiveness

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She was only seven but she scared me. She reminded me of someone from my childhood who had hurt me deeply. So what did I do? I didn’t trust her. I was too hard on her. Heaven forbid (or at least Cheri forbid) that my child treat me the way this other girl had treated me all those years ago. Truthfully, that didn’t work so well for me. Instead, I wounded my child.

Isn’t it interesting how God can use our children to ferret out deep-buried pain so that we can deal with it? In fact, I believe one of God’s purposes for giving us children is to bring our junk to the surface so He can wash us clean and heal us whole. If we pay attention to our poor reactions, we will probably find past offenses that need forgiving and brokenness that needs restoring.

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We may feel we have the right to carry an offense. But what happens when we don’t forgive?

• We hold ourselves captive to the offender. When the offense plays over and over in our minds, does that really feel like freedom? Doesn’t it stir the ick inside, like a witch’s brew?

• We hold a dear one responsible for the someone else’s behavior. Does that sound fair?

• We become a weaker person, lesser mom, and a disobedient child of God.

• We rob ourselves of the joy and freedom found only when we release a person and their offense into God’s hands.

We make Christ’s death null and void. Oh, yes we do!

Let me ask: is Christ’s death on the cross enough to cover our sin? Then isn’t it enough to cover our offender’s sin? If Christ has forgiven that person and we don’t, then we are living in opposition to all Christ did on the cross.

Which leads to another point. Is Christ’s death enough to cover our sin? You see, that’s what I think unforgiveness is all about. Not the inability—or unwillingness—to forgive others. If we get glaringly honest with ourselves, we’ll find that we have the hardest time forgiving others when we don’t forgive ourselves. Maybe that’s what Matthew 5:16 is about:

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (NIV).

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If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:3-5 NIV

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
Psalm 103:2-4 NIV