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Life After: Staying Green

Life After: Staying Green

“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Rom 4:25)

            Two birthdays.
            Some of us want to forget the original one as we get older. Not me. The more birthdays I celebrate, the closer I get to going home to heaven in order to reap the true celebration of my second birthday: eternity.
            Jesus provided the second one for us—not when He died on the cross, but when He rose from the grave. But death had to come first. While we are born into this life, death immediately begins. It’s in dying that eternal life exist.
            I love that it was green palm leaves laid down for the arrival of the king. Palm trees are one of those plants that stay green year round. Like a snake that sheds it’s skin in order to grow, we shed the “old man” (sin nature) in order to grow in Christ. The challenge is to stay “green” all year round. I believe we can cultivate our green-growth through the daily digesting of God’s word.
            “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:4)

Lezlie Winberry is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 |
Do-Over Season...Again

Do-Over Season...Again

It's time for all things GREEN again! (Some of you may still be in too much in shock from witnessing your latest snow to protest this). But this IS the week when we gear up for new life. Undeniable death which leads to undeniable resurrection. In honor of such a week, I present to you "Do-Over Season", originally posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2013:

Two Springs ago, we had just moved to Texas and I had just begun to work full time after many months of being at home with both of my precious boys. In an effort to spend more intentional time with my sons when I was home, we started a garden. It was going to be beautiful. Seriously. We planted from seed so, you know, we were cool for doing it from scratch. Noah went nuts when the first shoots appeared. We had green beans, squash, corn, and sunflowers, not to mention a selection of colorful flowers for our little patio. It was going to be just beautiful.

It was going to be beautiful, that is, except for the drought.

Yes, my dears, the drought. You know, the one that fried Texas to a crispy brown and dried up lakes, killed trees, and brought summer temps up to 112 degrees? That drought destroyed our garden. Our veggies died of thirst. Our patio flowers looked like we baked them in an oven (which we essentially did considering the location of the patio next to a brick home). Garden dead. Quality kiddo time ruined. I was not lovin’ Texas two Springs ago. Not. At. All.

But that was two Springs ago. And I honestly can’t remember what we did last Spring other than the fact that we ignored the garden. Perhaps I was still bitter.

But this spring, THIS spring, we planted roses, and lavender, and shasta daisies, and gerbera daisies, and delphiniums, and lilies. And we dug, and weeded, and mulched. We reclaimed the land. It is beautiful, just beautiful! The time with my sons has been so rewarding, both for them and for me. The boys have their own gloves, shovels, rake and hoe and now actually ask every weekend, “Mama, can we go plant something?” I love it. (And Texas is growing on me.)

What a difference a season (or two) can make, right? If we could only have the faith and patience to wait for the drought to end, what beauty awaits us when the next Spring comes! The land can recover and bring forth life.

And so can you.

Katie Pickard is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 |
Light for All

Light for All

 (May 2005 DC Comics). 
I have loved super heroes for as long as I could remember.  I watched the original Superman (yes, the one starring George Reeves),  read Spiderman comics, and made believe I was Wonder Woman.

Our theme this week is Green. Could I really write a post using a comic book hero and relate it to this Holy Week leading up to Easter?

Let's give it a try!

As a child I was fascinated by the thought of imagining an object into reality and the super heroes known as Green Lanterns had this power!  Any weapon needed to fight the bad guy was at his disposal. All he ever had to do was think it and BAM! There it was. His options were limitless!

It was an exciting prospect to be called to be a Green Lantern but you had to be deemed worthy. Once you accepted your call you would be granted a ring which needed to be connected to the source of power (known as Will) and pledge your oath,

"...and I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,
The light of the Green Lantern!"
Oh to be called because you are found worthy and to wear the mark of your power, to be known by your light!

But that is just a comic book and the dreams of a child.
Today I have a book filled with accounts of heroes and heroines whose worth came from the One who called. This book tells me of a Man who came into darkness to bring Light for all to see.  This book tells me there is a Man who made me worthy by shedding His blood and dying on a Cross. This book tells me this Man called me and the same power that raised Him from the dead is the same power available to me.

This Man’s name is Jesus. HE is Light and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1).
He has called me and you. He has made us worthy. Plug into His Will and discover the limitless possibilities He has laid out...all of which far surpass any dreams we may have ever had.


Lisa Arnold is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 |
Full Life Ahead

Full Life Ahead

They expected him to rise to power.

Kick Caesar out.  Everyone would turn and bow to Jesus - the miracle man.  Surely he was the Messiah. Peter believed it. Perhaps he and the other disciples were anticipating watching the greatest takeover in history.

The palm branches were just a start, the disciples may have mused.  They were fitting because Jesus was a King for the people.  But likely someday he would have an army and a palace.  
Everyone would turn and bow to Jesus - the powerful man.

The green parade of branches spoke of victory and new life.
But the King walked himself right to the cross.  And died.

I don't think I could quite grasp the shock of these events witnessed by the disciples - who truly knew the cultural and political atmospheres at the time. To have put so much hope in a man - in a God, and then watch Him die. 

I find in my own life allusions to this kingdom pattern - sometimes things die in order to bring life.
Sometimes it's dreams, or mindsets, or hopelessness, or personal efforts.  At first, I sometimes expect God to come in and save the day, when sometimes His saving the day first looks like me letting go, letting things be nailed to the cross.  Then watching what he resurrects in my life.  

The unfulfilled expectations we bring to the cross 

are superseded at the empty tomb.  It's here that TRUTH is brought into focus.

And it's better than we could've ever imagined.

What do you want to lay down this time? 
Fullness of life is your inheritance.

Sara Rust is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Monday, April 14, 2014 |
Colors of Spring: Green

Colors of Spring: Green

They lined the streets.

Faces teeming with hope.

Voices raised with praise.

Branches waving green palms.

21:5 “Tell the people of Zion, ‘Look, your king is coming to you, unassuming and seated on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”  Matthew 21:5

He rode in as a King on a blanket of green, but his first order of business would be unexpected.

Green emerges around many of us this season with the message of new life. Palm branches are a symbol of victory. Christ would carry that message in his flesh. But he was not the King the people crying out "Hosanna" had expected.

This week as we remember our savior's journey to the cross, we reflect on the expectations we too may need to lay at the cross of this unassuming King.

Sara Rust is your server today! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.

Monday, April 14, 2014 |