resurrection

Can Gory Be Glory?

In many ways, gory seems to be the antonym of glory and I don’t commonly associate these words together besides the rhyming sound they make.  But there’s a stark and startling place where these words converge into one place and that would be Jesus when He was crucified.

If you saw the movie by Mel Gibson, “The Passion of the Christ”, it showed with disturbing clarity the gory nature of Jesus’ death on the cross.  I’ll never forget how deeply moved I was to the core of my soul when I saw this movie the first time.  As I watched, I found myself repeatedly thinking, “please stop, that’s enough!”  And at the end of the movie, I was entirely unraveled because I couldn’t escape the reality that Jesus endured this excrutiating experience entirely on the pure motivation of genuine love, full stop.

Jesus was glorified in the gory mess of human suffering, sin and sacrifice.  And this continues to give me the assurance that Jesus can redeem human gore and transform it into divine glory, a truth that we would be wise to ponder throughout this weekend 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, missions, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

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?

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 0 comments

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!

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Jesus Chix, listen, living, relationships, saving moses, values, watch, 0 comments

Resurrection Process

  


I have this mindset that says miracles, resurrection & supernatural living are like an on & off switch, with immediate results. But this morning, I was reading in Ezekial 37 about the valley of dry bones. It became really clear to me that all these bones didn’t go from lifeless to resurrected without going through a process. When you read this chapter, you’ll see that: 

  1. sinews were connected. 
  2. flesh (muscles) formed on the bones.  
  3. skin covered the flesh.
  4. Ezekial was required to prophecy breath / life into these corpses for them to come alive. 

If you’re like me, we both have dead areas in our lives that desperately need divine resurrection. Let’s be open to the reality that resurrection can be a process & the Holy Spirit is the breath of life to ignite the culminated process 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, values, watch, 1 comment

Thinking about Good Friday

TGIF takes on an entirely new meaning when I think about it in light of Good Friday.  This day marks not only the conclusion of a workweek, but more importantly, Jesus’ crucifixion which was humanity’s windfall.  Jesus’ death on the cross was:

  • the defining moment for humanity’s reconciliation with Heaven.
  • the conclusion of approximately 2,000 years of Law with human shortcoming & failure.
  • the ultimate expression of Genuine Love for an unworthy planet
  • the fertilzer for resurrection
  • the place where our lives receive ultimate freedom, redemption and acceptance

Truly, Good Friday is good and God’s ultimate expression of Genuine Love & I find myself in a state of awe, wonder, gratitude and overwhelming astonishment at such extravagant love.  May Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection work redemption into our hearts, through our lives and reconcile the world in which we live to our loving Heavenly Father.  Today is truly a Good Friday.

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Consumer Grade Christianity

We do alot of our shopping at Walmart because it’s cheap, close and convenient.  The quality, however, can sometimes be a little questionable.  For example, when I buy socks for my boys, I’ve learned that if I buy them from Walmart, I’ll usually have to buy 2-3 times the number of socks (holes, rips, etc) as if I buy a higher quality & little costlier brand from a different store.  Consumer grade socks for my boys from Walmart usually have a pretty short lifespan in the world of boy socks 🙂

Unfortuanately, I think we sometimes treat Christianity with the same level of function.  We want cheap, close and convenient:  Jesus in the manger, candle light service in less than an hour, the cross, tomb, July 4th and the next thing.  With this kind of thinking, it’s not a surprise that someone could easily be disillusioned, misled and / disappointed with the consumer grade version of Christianity, if such a thing really exists.

So here are some thoughts to consider:

  • does your faith facilitate more function from or attachment with Jesus?
  • is your faith in Jesus based on consumption, sacrifice and / or transformation?
  • is Jesus an accessory or a necessity in your life?
  • maybe consumer grade Christianity is only a Satan contrived deception to the authentic, daily and life-changing relationship with Jesus that will most certainly include sacrifice, fertilizer and resurrection 🙂
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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Jesus wept

My son & I were talking this morning about being sensitive to people and their needs.  In our discussion, I was reminded of the story when Jesus came to Martha and Mary after their brother Lazarus had died, landing in possibly one of the darkest moments of their lives.  If you remember, Martha & Mary had sent to Jesus before Lazarus died, asking Him to come & heal their sick brother.  Despite receiving this information, Jesus waited where he was and purposely came to Martha & Mary after their brother died.  Jesus’ delay was extremely disappointing to Martha & Mary (“If You had been here, he would not have died”).  Nevertheless, Jesus had a really insightful conversation with Martha about resurrection & if you have some moments, I’d encourage you to read John 11 to look into that chat between the two of them.

After talking with Martha, Jesus connected with Mary who was a virtual basket case from her grief, disappointment, anxiety and loss.  Jesus listened, watched, observed everyone’s grief and didn’t reply with a cliche’ quick fix answer – “Oh he’s in a better place now,” nor did Jesus try to change the subject, distract everyone with a miracle,  discuss theology with the attending religious leaders, or do the All Knowing God answer.  After taking everything in, Jesus wept.  When you read to the end of John 11, we see that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead so there’s a really unexpected and extremely happy ending to the whole story – but Jesus didn’t raise Lazarus from the dead before He experienced the grief through which everyone was going with the death of Lazarus.

Jesus wept.

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, Martha, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

Honor to our Veterans

In the US, today is Veterans Day and this is a day when we remind ourselves of men and women who have served in the military and made small to ultimate sacrifices.  This is a day when we remember people for being their best:  selfless, noble, sacrificial, honorable, generous, humble and more.  We honor the men and women who fought in trenches and deserts, lost limbs and lives, bandaged wounds and bruises, gave their energies, talents, time and even lives as a sacrifice.

Such heroic choices and actions cause me to see Jesus as my ultimate Veteran and Victor – giving His life as my sacrifice but being raised from the dead so we can be victorious in life because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Let’s honor our nation’s veterans and remember to honor the Savior of our soul – hail to the Ultimate Veteran and Victor!

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, listen, living, seeing Jesus, values, 1 comment

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!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

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!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 3 comments