Tag Archives: religion

Restoration Day–An Easter Story

Praise

It’s finally spring once again; a time of rebirth and the hope of warmer days ahead. It’s a time when new life bursts forth from the cool damp ground or from the branches of once dormant blossoming beauties. Pollen aside, I love to take in all the newness that envelops our world, transforming our once gray world into a kaleidoscope of colors. Truly, hope blooms alongside the tulips and daffodils, the azaleas and the forsythias! For it reminds us that once, we were wondering around in the icy grips of winter, where there was more darkness than light, where optimism seemed to be swept away by the frigid cold winds of despair. And then one day, the sun came out and restoration began…

I have a confession to make; I’m kind of in to restoration and the shows that are offered on cable, whether it be the popular This Old House reruns or more current shows dealing with taking something old, be it an old Victorian house or an antique gramophone, and restoring it back to its’ former glory. I must look plain silly, sitting there in my recliner, mouth partially gaping open as I’m completely transfixed by these craftsmen who take an old unwanted house and start peeling back the layers, each dusty layer representing one or more decades until they finally uncover the original foundation and floors, the beauty that once was, yearning to be rediscovered once again. Then with painstaking efforts and unique God given talents, these craftsmen begin to restore, brick by brick, wall by wall, the decrepit house into the way it was originally meant to be when it was erected by the builder so long ago.

Did you know that God is in the restoration business as well? What do you think Easter is all about? I know most of you know or even have John 3:16 memorized: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. But what about John 3:17? For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. I’ve always thought that hope was born on Christmas Day, and I still do. For Jesus entered this world, our world, at a very dark time; God knew we needed a Savior because we needed to be saved from ourselves and our sinfulness. And so Jesus began his ministry, recruiting his disciples, simple humans like you and me, ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the least of these; the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, the downtrodden. Jesus obeyed his Father’s will, up to and including death. They treated Jesus like a common criminal and hung him on a roughhewn wooden cross to die a horrific death and then, to be forgotten. Those who loved him, took his body and laid it in a borrowed tomb. The Romans sealed that tomb and placed soldiers to keep watch, lest his followers attempted to take the body and make unfounded claims. Jesus’ disciples scattered across the winds. While the Romans breathed a deep sigh of relief and the Sanhedrin was doing a happy dance, triumphantly giving each other “high fives” over Jesus’ death, for the bereaved followers of Christ, hope was also sealed in the tomb. And then Sunday came…

And the stone was rolled away, and Christ arose, and everything changed for humanity, and HOPE was restored; for it was Resurrection Day, but I would like to call it Restoration Day; let me explain.

Luke 19:9-10 reflects Jesus coming to Zacchaeus’ house, Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Zacchaeus was a despised man; a tax collector who, because of his diminutive size, had to shimmy up a tree to even see Jesus entering Jericho. Jesus saw something in Zacchaeus that no one else could see; a soul in need of restoration. That’s what Jesus sees in all of us; potential and a need for renewal. All we need to do is trust Him enough to let Him; to ask forgiveness for our sins, our wrong doings, and our bad attitudes, to surrender to the fact that we, indeed, are nothing more than a shabby, neglected and worn down bungalow in desperate need of restoration. And Jesus will do just that! (He IS a carpenter you know…) He’ll strip out the walls of deceit, strip the floors of shame and tear out every unnecessary piece of worn out despair until He lays you bare, to your very foundation on which He can build what you were intended to be all along; to be a child of God and obedient to do His will, not your own, to live with Him forever. 2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!

And so here we are, in the present and in the presence of a mortal enemy we call the Coronavirus or COVID19. It’s a virus that has crossed over every continent; across the borders of countries, oceans, neighborhoods, and not unlike Satan himself, is relentless and does not discriminate in its’ victims, despite their color, creed or socioeconomic status. This sinister nemesis has filled humankind with a paralyzing fear and has stripped away our false sense of security we once held on to so tightly, as if it was nothing more than vapor in the wind. Everything mankind has held in importance for so long, whether it be wealth, material possessions, entertainment, social activities or even food consumption seems to be threatened.

But there is still hope! Maybe this is just the wakeup call our world needs today; to help us strip the unnecessary and reset our priorities! Perhaps this is the largest restoration project this world has ever seen since Noah’s time! Nevertheless, it’s time we reevaluate our lives and allow our lives to be stripped of whatever is of little value, until we stand before God, our souls laid bare and ready to be fully restored! Are you prepared to have YOUR own Restoration Day?

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thought of the Day–5/20/18

Thought of the Day—    Gift of God, freely given

Receiving mercy

Accepting Christ as savior

Christ centered life

Experiencing unmerited favor

Thought of the Day–4/13/18

Thought of the Day—Do you have times when you struggle with self-esteem so you go to your local Walmart and stroll around to people watch until you feel better about yourself?  Are those snickers and eye rolls?  If you answered yes, you may have more than just a self-esteem issue; you may have a judgmental one.  It is so tempting at times to compare ourselves with others who aren’t in our “class” or standing and we write them off with a wave of our mental hand.  But in all honesty, we are the true “bottom feeders” if we stoop so low and are so shallow as to judge by glance.  After all, who are we except perhaps one job away from welfare, one chronic illness away from poverty, or one accident away from mental impairment?  Here’s another thought; Jesus came from and mingled with “the least of these”.  Who are we to give anything else but compassion to others?  We need to pray for new eyes to see others as God sees them; His blessed creation.  Come to think of it, that’s exactly how He sees us. Kind of boosts the old self-esteem, don’t you think?

Thought of the Day 4/1/18–It’s Not About the Bunny

Bunnies

It’s not about the bunny or the patent leather shoes

It is not about the colored eggs or mama’s brand new do,

It is not about the spectacle of baskets with candy heaping full

It is about the selfless love God has for me and you.

***

For God so loved the world that He gave his only son

To take our place, to take our shame, to die for everyone,

And on that first Easter morn when God raised Christ from his tomb

Hope also arose for all mankind, that our destiny would not be doomed.

***

So as you celebrate Easter, celebrate also the empty cross

And praise the name of Jesus Christ without whom we would all be lost,

For it’s not about the bunny but yet a sense of life renewed

Eternal life for us is possible because of the empty tomb.

Thought of the Day–2/1/18

Thought of the Day—God gave us the spark of life but Satan has been tempting us ever since. God is all about light, life and love. Discern the spirits; if it’s anything other than those three qualities enticing you, chances are it’s the great deceiver…rebuke him in the name of Jesus!!

Thought of the Day–1/28/18

Dark Clouds

Thought of the Day—Even though the storm clouds hang low and appear threatening, the sun still shines above those clouds. Just like the One who knows you best and loves you most; He’s been there all along…

Thought of the Day–1/16/18

Thought of the Day—God is bigger than our burdens and can vanquish every fear.  Matthew 6:27 says, “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Trust that God knows what you need even before you do…