Monthly Archives: April 2019

Happy Easter!

Like most of you, I saw the tragic fire at Notre Dame in Paris, France on the news this week.  I was profoundly saddened at this sight, which kind of surprised me, to be honest.  I’m not Catholic and I’ve never been to Notre Dame and never really had any particular desire to go there, so the depth of my feeling at seeing it burn took me off guard.  It struck me as being a holy place, and seeing it burn, not knowing if they’d be able to save any of it, I got all choked up.  When I saw the Parisians gathering and crying and singing “Ave Maria” as they watched the fire, I could no longer hold back the tears.

As with all tragedies, however, there were good things that came out of the fire at Notre Dame.  There was a line of heroes who passed many pieces of art and Christian artifacts hand over hand all the way from Notre Dame to the Louvre where they could be kept safe.  They were able to save the Crown of Thorns that was used to torment our Lord, and they were able to save a piece of wood and a nail that were thought to be part of His cross.  I wept when I saw that those items had been saved – they’re truly irreplaceable and are important to all Christians around the world.

It has also been encouraging to see people’s determination to see Notre Dame rebuilt and restored.  France’s President Marcon has pledged to have it done within the next five years, which seems like a very ambitious goal.  To date, over $1 billion has been pledged to help with the rebuilding efforts.  I have the feeling that no matter how much damage has been done to this majestic cathedral, the determination of the French people to rebuild it will prevail, no matter what it costs them.

This whole process with Notre Dame reminds me of how the disciples must have felt as Christ died on the cross and then was resurrected.  Although Jesus had tried to prepare them for what was to come, the disciples lacked understanding of what was happening.  They did not gather to sing hymns at the foot of the cross as Jesus suffered and died – they were too busy running for their lives.  Their despair at His death was complete; they had no hope and quickly lost sight of their purpose.  However, once the resurrection happened and they finally saw Him for themselves, they were ecstatic.  Even after Jesus returned to Heaven, the disciples knew what their purpose was and they could not be deterred from it, no matter what it cost them.

This Easter, I’ll be worshiping with my family and reflecting on my purpose and what obstacles threaten to keep me from pursuing it.  I’ll be thanking Jesus on this holiest of days for His rescue of me.  I’ll be looking forward to being with Him for all eternity in my REAL home one day soon.  How will you spend yours?  I pray you will encounter Him richly.  Happy Easter, my friends!

 

Chosen

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  Ephesians 1:4

When I was a kid, one of the most tangible ways in which you could suffer was to be picked last or near last by one of the team captains.  Thankfully, this humiliating experience didn’t happen to me too often; I was usually chosen somewhere around the middle of the pack. However, there were a few occasions when I really sweated it out because I thought I would be the last one to be picked.  It felt so good to be chosen.

Time went by, and much later in life I found myself at a weekend church leadership retreat where I paid rapt attention to what was being said.  I maximized the use of our quiet times to listen to the Lord and invited Him to work in me.

Towards the end of the retreat, our pastor encouraged us to really assess what the Lord had done in us during our time there and to share it with someone else.  He urged us to be succinct in our descriptions of what had happened.  My friend Martha and I agreed that we would process what the Lord had done and share it with each other the next day.

The evening that the retreat ended, I was asking the Lord to help me understand what He had done in me.  I knew there had been significant shifts in my heart but I couldn’t quite put it all into words on my own.  His answer was quick and succinct:  “I moved the Truth that you are chosen from your head to your heart.”

WOW.

I was totally blown away.  He was absolutely right (of course) – I now knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was chosen by Him.  Immediately I began to thank and praise Him because this shift was so critical for my heart.  I prayed, “Lord, please let the Truth that I am chosen mark me from this day forward.”  His answer, however, astonished me.

“If you want it to mark you, why not get it tattooed?”

I had long wanted to get a tattoo above my ankle of a cross with a banner across it and the date I gave my life to Christ underneath the cross.  However, I had long debated what word or words I wanted to have on the banner so I had delayed getting it done.  I suddenly knew that the word “Chosen” would be perfect for it.

I went that very night and had it done.  🙂

Tattoo

 

The Truth that I am chosen has marked me in other ways also.  I have struggled in the past with abandonment issues.  I’ve also had a long battle with low self-esteem where I felt less than, unwanted and insignificant.  Now when those issues raise their ugly heads, I am able to stand and say, “Actually, I know that I have been chosen by God, and His voice is the one that defines me.”

That makes those lesser voices shut up pretty darn quickly.  The voices also come around less frequently than they used to.

My friends, you can find that same freedom for your life because YOU ARE CHOSEN.  God made you so that He can love you and so that you can love Him.  However, you have to choose to love Him, too.  Won’t you choose that today, if you haven’t already?  It will be the best choice you’ll EVER make, guaranteed.  Just message me or leave a comment below if you would like some help in making that choice and I’ll be glad to help you.  Blessings to all!