Life is for Living Every Day

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Love, Laughter & Life


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He is not here; He has risen!

 

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”
Luke 24: 1-8 (NIV)

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Imagine going to the funeral of a dear relative or friend. You watch them lower the casket into the ground. You say goodbye through your tears. The next day you go to put some additional flowers on the gravesite and to reflect quietly on your own. As you approach you can see something is terribly wrong. Wreaths are scattered all over the place and freshly turned soil is everywhere. There is a big hole in the ground. You hold your hand over your heart to keep it from jumping out of your chest as you venture nearer and look down.  There is nothing there.  No coffin, no body, nothing. What would you do?

I have no idea what I would do.  For sure I would not be able to sleep at night for a very long time so imagine if I had been the one to go to Jesus’ tomb with the women … and as for seeing two men in gleaming clothes too? I done faint away and pass out aka bring on the smelling salts.

But I hold these particular verses very dear especially on those days when things are tough; when everything goes wrong and what should have been right is still wrong. Those are the times when I reach out to take hold of Luke 24:1-8 and tell myself: “Girl, Jesus is risen! He conquered death and is alive so hello? He’s got your back!”

So how do we move out of the dark shadow of the wilderness into the light? How do we make it from today to tomorrow without having that nervous breakdown or out-of-body experience? Well for starters, we refuse to let the devil keep us suffocated under the details of daily living. We refuse to let him make us forget that Jesus is not dead but very much among us. We strongly grab on to our rope of faith and hold on tight, tight, tight. We continue to look for the signs that show how much God loves us; things like a beautiful blue sky or wonderful yellow flower. But most of all, we do not ever – ever, ever, ever – look for the living among the dead.

Happy Easter! May God continue to bless us all, now and forever. Amen.

 

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” ~ Basil Hume

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ~ Pope John Paul II

 

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If I Perish, I Perish

Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Esther 4: 9-17 (NIV)

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It’s a long passage and incomplete but are you familiar with the story above? I believe most of us are aware of it in general. Esther was an amazing woman. She was timid yet brave, quiet yet purposeful, an unwilling yet eventually confident savior of her people.  This week I wanted to highlight what I think are some of the most important phrases or thoughts in the verses above.

  1. “But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” There is that little word. But. It’s everywhere and can immobilize us. But the rent is due. But the car broke down. But I have to work late. But the cancer is terminal. But there is no way out. But I would need a miracle. But I can’t do anymore.
  2. “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Sometimes things happen in our lives which throw us into a tail spin. It’s like the journey keeps getting harder and harder. The tunnel gets longer and the light at the end gets dimmer.
  3. “And if I perish, I perish.” Who wants to perish? No-one! But we’ve got to step out, to do what needs to be done, even if it looks as though we might perish – just as Esther did, and she knew that death was more of a reality than a probability.

In a nutshell, the message on my heart and which I am sharing with you is simple. I don’t know your story and you don’t know mine BUT if you are tired, in debt, trying hard with children who do not listen, in the middle of a divorce, lost a loved one, been laid off or just diagnosed with a terminal illness stop, pause, take a deep breath and ask yourself: have you come to your royal position as a child of God for such a time as this?

Then consider these other ‘going through the valley’ questions:

  • Who are you supposed to reach out to and help?
  • Who are you supposed to bless?
  • Who are you supposed to lift up?
  • What are you to do in this particular time of your life for the glory of God? Who should you leave behind? Who should you hold on to?

As we look ahead to Easter, I believe that this time my friend, as in this exact time right now right here, no matter how good or bad it is, is God’s perfect timing for us.  If we perish, we perish but God will still be with us.  Amen?

What’s your story? Is your journey hard? Did these words help, even a little? Leave us a comment and have a great week; God bless.

 


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Who are you really working for?

Let us reconsider our work and see if we can change our perspective.

If we agree that we are working for a greater purpose and a higher level “Executive” then maybe disappointing thoughts of being under-appreciated and under-paid may take a different slant. I try to adopt this as one of my daily survival strategies in an attempt to better manage and control my stress levels.  Honestly, some days it works but on others I definitely need to work much harder on my thought filter.

But what about you? Do you agree with this perspective? How do you control your disappointment after working hard day in and day out?

Something to think about.