Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Last Laugh!

At times, when life's circumstances feel dark and you are tempted to think the devil has won, consider what James Stewart, the Scottish theologian, wrote,
The very triumphs of Jesus’ foes He used for their defeat. They thought they had God with His back to the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated. They did not know it was God Himself who had dragged them down to that point. He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil, He conquered through it.
Easter two years ago my husband preached an Easter sermon with the title "Who Gets the Last Laugh?" This was exactly the focus - Satan gloated and thought he had won on that Sabbath after "crucifixion Friday"! But Sunday was coming and - when it came - Jesus arose victorious over sin, death and the grave! He did indeed conquer through rather than in spite of!
What a comfort! He walks beside us through (through the Valley of the Shadow of Death)! How sad that - like the Jesus followers on that terrible Friday evening and Sabbath - we choose to live trapped in the darkness of our own fears rather than living in the reality of Sunday that may be coming but is as good as here!
Jesus the Risen, Conquering King gets the last laugh and so do we if we walk with Him! Choose - with me - to live today safe in this wonderful truth!

Monday, January 28, 2013

What's in Your Heart?

My sweet mother has Alzheimer's.  She often loses touch with the real world. Just last week she woke up and as my sister was getting her up, she sat on the side of the bed and said, "Now give me a report on your daddy." My sister took a deep breath and said, "Mama, Daddy went to heaven on August 5th." My sister says Mother looked at her like she'd been punched in the stomach and responded, "What? Why didn't anyone tell me? I thought he is in the hospital and that you were going to give me an update."

Ruth said, "Mama, the flag that was on his casket is on your mantle." "O, yes," Mother said, "I remember seeing that."

I can hardly imagine the horror of reliving over and over the reality that someone you were married to for over 68 years and in love with for 70 years was gone!  They had an amazing love and next to Jesus my daddy was her world!

Fast forward - same day later. My sister's husband is a pastor and they have a Bible study in their home on Wednesday night. My mother likes to sit in. My brother-in-law told everyone to look up a Scripture verse and Mother immediately quoted the verse before anyone could find it. This happened multiple times. Everyone was amazed.

What a wonder that she who can't process that her beloved Buddy has gone to heaven before her but has God's Word so deeply embedded in her heart that it just flows out!
What's the most deeply imbedded thing in your heart? or mine? It is certainly something to think about!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gettin' Away with Murder!

Forty years is a LOooooooong time to get away with murder especially in open, perpetual execution! Forty years is a looooooooong time for government and other societal institutions to defend and approve said murder! It's tragically sad but true that in those forty years literally millions of babies have been murdered - some after live birth - simply because it didn't suit someone's expediency for that life to endure!

When I was in Israel I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. There are many striking images to take away but perhaps the most graphic is the entrance that is forever seared into my brain and heart! As I approached the entrance I began to hear names being read - one after another. The entire inside is pitch black except for a single light. As the roll call continues on and on so does the light. The guide says to stay to the right and hold the hand rail. We wound around and around listening to the names in the darkness and seeing more and more candles flickering - lighting the darkness. Indeed the light was pushing back some of the darkness! Actually there was only one candle augmented by many mirrors. The names were the names of many of the children killed by the Nazis during their reign of terror.

This anniversary is no less tragic! The numbers this anniversary commemorates are far greater! But there are no names - no names at all! Millions upon millions of human lives snuffed out with no name!  It is a DARK blight on our nation and our world and society! It is a stain on civilization in our time! Pushing back such terrible darkness will only happen one flicker, one small "candle" at a time!  Jesus called His followers to be light and to reflect His Light - the Light of the World! He is the candle at the center and we are simply the mirrors reflecting His light and love in very dark places!