In the Middle

Do you like Easter?  I thoroughly enjoy celebrating Jesus’ resurrection & His defeat over death!  The next big celebration on the church calendar happens with Pentecost, the outpouring of Holy Spirit, & what a massive demonstration that was!!!  So what about the middle time between Easter & Pentecost?  What should we do in the middle, between these noteworthy events?

It seems to me that there’s a lot of our walk with God that happens in the middle. For example, we pray for something & then there’s often a middle time before we receive an answer. Or think about a time when God led you to start something & maybe you’ve done the beginning but you’re in the middle now, before you see the full culmination of what God has spoken to you. 

In between Jesus’ resurrection & Pentecost, Jesus told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they’re clothed with power from Holy Spirit. I’m really confident that when Jesus told His disciples this, they didn’t know what to expect – they didn’t know what Pentecost would look like for them. They just knew there was something more on the horizon. 

And I would encourage you, in the middle seasons, to anticipate & earnestly desire more of Holy Spirit in your daily living. More Holy Spirit can look lots of different ways for each of us, so let’s be careful not to specifically define what more is. Let’s just be open to having more of Holy Spirit in our lives!

In the Middle

Death is the pre-requisite for resurrection & today is that middle ground. Death happened on Good Friday & resurrection happens tomorrow. But the disciples didn’t know that Jesus would raise tomorrow, no matter how much He told them. And they knew He was dead with lots of uncertainty on the horizon. This is often how the middle feels – uncertain & tenuous.
I don’t think there’s anyone who is reading this now who isn’t in some middle place in life. We can find ourselves in the middle of: schooling, fighting a disease, a financial crisis, a relationship challenge, a difficult decision & heaps more.
So what do we do in the middle? Here are some suggestions that could be helpful:
1 – community: the disciples held together when they found themselves in the middle & waiting for what was next
2 – faith focus: let’s keep our attention on God who works all things together for our good, as we stay in love with Him
3 – purposeful farming: be sure to plant healthy seeds like patience, gratitude, diligence & others since we will reap what we sow 🙂

Sunny Days

I always think that Easter is a sunny day, but in Colorado, that’s not always true. Our weather can be quite unpredictable, regardless of the weathermen & their best forecasts.
No matter what the clouds do, we can have light in our hearts because Jesus is the light of the world. And celebrating His resurrection this weekend, is the exclamation point to living in light & love! I can totally appreciate that we go through seasons & struggles that can darken our mindset or discourage our hearts. But let’s remember that Jesus, the light of the world, lives in our hearts & His lights can illuminate any darkness or discouragement in which we may find ourselves. Today can be a sunny day my friend 🙂

Holy Week

Resurrection is just around the corner & I’m SO EXCITED!!!! And the Biblical events of this week all point to Easter, a time of celebrating life triumphing over death. As Jesus walked through this week, He was intentional to facilitate connection, defy religious traditions & ground His disciples in their relationship w Him.
Please take a quick moment to watch & share this video with your friends!

 

 

Resurrection Continued

The day after Easter is always an interesting experience. It’s tempting to go back to “normal”, the regular routines & business as usual. 
But this Easter is different for me. 
It’s different for lots of reasons:

  • Jesus many unexpected appearances, reminding me to stay attentive & expectant to experience Jesus throughout any given day
  • Peter’s denial & Thomas’ doubt – exceptional grace to both men (Luke 24:34 & John 20:24-28)
  • The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead – more Heavenly Help!! Rom 8:11
  • Getting ready for Pentecost – grab a copy of Heavenly Help to prepare for this supernatural experience!

What areas in your life need resurrection?

Gethsemane Before Easter

  
Take a moment to think of a dark time you have experienced. Maybe you went through a challenging time in your health or with a loved one. Maybe you went through a painful divorce or financial situation that seemed hopeless. All of us have had our share of dark times & we don’t like them. 
I totally appreciate that Jesus had dark experiences as well – the devil tempting Jesus during His 40day fast comes to mind. In this Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, today is Maundy Thursday, the day of Jesus’ Last Supper & the evening when He went to Gethsemane. 

If you’re presently in a dark time, or you know someone who is struggling in a difficult situation, take heart! Here are some thoughts that’s could help:

  • Jesus went through dark seasons & is acquainted with our struggles – Jesus keeps company with us in the darkness
  • To every season there is a limit – this has come to pass & not stay
  • Intimacy often grows deeper in situations of duress & struggle, so maybe this is why Jesus wanted Peter, James & John to keep company with Him in Gethsemane – don’t be repelled by someone’s dark season (Matt 26:36-38)
  • Remember that Jesus is the Light of the world & brings illumination wherever He is invited!

Easter is coming – that means there’s resurrection around the corner! And Heavenly Help gives us strength & wisdom to keep going!

after resurrection

Easter is a wonderful celebration of life, victory and genuine love!!  And it seems to me that there is often a little bit of a “let down” after Easter. – kind of like, “Whew!  Jesus rose from the dead, glad that He conquered death, let’s move on.”  This year, however, is a little different for me.

I’m reminded what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:7 that it was to their advantage for Jesus to go away so that the Helper could come & give us HELP.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on His followers in John 20:22 and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!”

So here’s the overwhelmingly GREAT NEWS about Jesus raising from the dead – not only did Jesus conquer death but we now have the great Helper with us in our daily living!  Let’s never minimize the importance of the Helper being with us!!

hot topic: cannibals & carnivores

“Eat My flesh and drink My blood.”  As we come into the Easter season (a little early for my Orthodox friends), we are often reminded of these words of Jesus at the Last Supper.

This statement about eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood has raised many questions over the centuries:

  • Was Jesus anti-vegan or opposed to a vegetarian lifestyle?
  • Was this Jesus’ way of promoting a gluten-free lifestyle, emphasizing the consumption of meat & blood?
  • Was Jesus advocating a type of divine cannibalism?

As you read these questions & probably think of a few more, please don’t think that I’ve suddenly lost the plot & become obsessed with some new type of eating lifestyle.  My goal with this post is to raise your awareness that we are coming into Holy Week, when we celebrate Jesus’ death & resurrection, around Jesus’ central words at the Last Supper, with His closest followers.

From my point of veiw, Jesus’ words about eating His flesh & drinking His blood show us in a really powerful way that Jesus love for us runs so deep that He invites us to not only revel in His strength & resurrection, but also to fellowship with Him in His suffering, pain & death – Phil 3:10.  Let’s fully enjoy all of Who Jesus is during this Easter season!

happy Resurrection!

 Easter is a GREAT day & I love it for lots of reasons:

  • it reminds me that Spring is imminent
  • it always makes me appreciate what it means to have a fresh beginning
  • it’s a day that infuses HOPE into any dark spots in my life
  • it reminds me that literally NOTHING is impossible
  • it is the ULTIMATE victory – rolling into one giant success March Madness, World Cup Soccer, the Superbowl, World Cup Rugby, the World Series and even more, making me aware that my team wins for time unstoppable
  • it is a tangible expression of the power of genuine love
  • personal resurrection – no situation in my life is exempt from the resurrection power of God

These are a few reasons why I love Easter!  In what ways is Easter meaningful to you???