It was easy to hide behind a label. Introverted. She was introverted. She felt uncomfortable in a sea of people.
Worship was awkward at first. She was distracted by others, wanting to fit in but feeling awkward about fitting in. The most she did was clasp her hands, though often at home during personal worship she reacted physically to the words in her mouth and the song in her heart. But as time went on, she realized anew that she was there to worship Jesus, not herself. She was there to leave herself behind and focus solely on the Cross, worshipping with other Believers, not next to.
She raised her hands to the heavens and sang from the inside out.
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See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”
See God’s salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!
(from “See What a Morning” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend)
I think I love this day even more than Christmas.
Of course, the two go hand in hand. Without one, you wouldn’t have the other. But today! Today, my friends, is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus! You can usually find me laughing and being unusually joyful on this day.
What sobers me is the little question: Why aren’t I always this cheerful?
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Even the Pharisees began to have second thoughts. They had noticed the supernatural events surrounding Jesus’ death (the rending of the curtain, the uncanny darkness in the middle of the afternoon, the opened graves, etc). They kept thinking about how Jesus said He would be killed at their hands, only to rise triumphant on the third day. They simply could not shake off the feeling that something greater was at work.
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We are a broken people. Jesus broke Himself to make us whole again. We are a bleeding people. Jesus spilled His blood to heal our wounds. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are made alive and new in Him. We pursue Him because He first pursues us. Though we are faithless, Jesus is faithful. Though we wander astray, He is steadfast and sure. He is our anchor, and He died so we could live.
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Memory lane is a curious place. It’s lined with rows and rows of little houses. Each tells a different story. Each keeps a different time. Each sings a different melody.
There’s one house painted yellow. Its glass shines bright in the sun, and through the windows passersby can see sky blue walls and antique mirrors reflecting the smiles of the little ones laughing in the front yard. A cheerful song dances out from the upstairs study, and we know Father had a good day at work. Mother finishes assisting him with important papers, then comes to play with her children. The sun has still not set.
But there’s another house with peeling paint. The ramshackle structure barely holds up the roof, and the windows have been shattered by baseballs. Cobwebs are stretched across corners, and mice have chewed holes in the walls. A musty smell permeates from the kitchen stove, where twelve snicker-doodle cookies were long forgotten. It’s a dead house. Nobody loves it anymore. They would rather forget.
Further down the lane, closer to the present lodgings, a dark blue house stands alone. Most of its inhabitants have moved away, but some remain, dusting the floors and trying hard to keep the stink bugs out. I approach, but they shoo me back to the road. One cannot revisit this house. Its doors and windows are shut to the outside world. Somehow, it still tells a story. Somehow, I know I’ll be back to try again.
The last house on the lane is half-built. It hasn’t yet been painted, but they’re making a sun room just for writing poetry. There’s a big library on the second floor, already filled with books from kind wanderers who happened to stumble through. It’s a simple house, yet it draws the spectator in and leaves them begging for an encore of whatever sensation it shared.
Up ahead, I see peaceful mountains. There’s a light winking at me from the topmost peak. That’s where I’m heading.
Memory lane is a beautiful place.
As I seek to improve this blog and find new ways to expand it, I want to start posting reviews of the various books (both fiction and non-fiction) I get to bury my nose in. Reading is a favorite past time of mine, both for intellectual growth and for fun, and it’d be neat to share that with you. Who knows? You might discover your next favorite! This first one is a theology/philosophy book I finished reading a couple weeks ago.
We seem to have no problem saying that we believe something. The trouble comes when we’re asked the simple question, why.
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At any given moment in time, I have several draft posts sitting behind the scenes of this blog. Some of them just sit there for weeks because I either forget about them or am not completely satisfied with their quality just yet. So they wait. They’re not published. Nobody reads them.
I feel like a lot of our life consists of drafts. There are all these things we say we’ll do and never start, or things we start and never finish. And especially when God calls us to do something a little scary, like sharing the gospel with someone, we have a long artillery line of excuses ready to fire off. We wait until we think we can do it just right and find the perfect words, the perfect method, and the perfect timing.
But I’m learning that perfectionism is just a trap.
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