Life IS Hard. Don’t be Afraid of the World

There are times when I wake up and I start reading all the email {insert coffee here} that came in overnight- well, truthfully reading essentials and trashing what I can and leaving some unopened for later when it’s convenient to read. Then there are the times I wake up, start reading the email and it’s just TMI {even with coffee}.

More than I can take in and process. It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s on sale at my favorite shopping spots on the web; it’s not that I don’t want to read a friend’s latest blog post; it’s not that I don’t want to know what’s been dug up by archaeologists and how that relates to scripture and history repeating itself. It’s just information overload. Those days I’m doing good to be breathing and vertical.

Those days I begin to think that having the slate wiped is not such a bad thing. All the way back to Tabula Rasa – the blank slate waiting to be written upon. For new things never thought before, never learned, never believed to be carved upon my heart and mind.  An in real life do-over. {how’s that for weird?}

However, can we un-have an experience, an emotion, a touch, a vision, an overheard conversation? Of course, we can’t. So we bumble along, a jumble of thoughts, memories, emotions, beliefs, likes, dislikes hoping that we don’t make a mess of it along the way.

Yet, we are here for a reason.  Jesus, in praying for the disciples and for future believers, says in John 17:18 “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

We have been sent. Right into the thick of it. Scary thought. Right?

 He also tells us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 14:27b.

I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me not to be afraid or troubled that’s about the time I start being troubled and afraid. Because, by the very way it is spoken, it implies that there are going to be troubling and fearful things we will encounter out there in the world.

The truth of it is that some days we will shut down whether from TMI or from the things at hand. Life is hard. And it doesn’t matter if you live in a pup-tent or a palace- the news of what’s going on in the world can send us over the edge of reason. 

The good news of it all is that Jesus told us that it will be hard, that we will suffer, that the world will hate us because it hates Him. He gave us fair warning of what we will face as His followers.  He knew what we would be facing whether in first century Christianity or in twenty-first century.  We are not alone and we are not blank slates.  “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

So, we open our email, we trash the irrelevant, we answer the important, we save the ones we want to read later. And, we get on with the day.  We have much to learn about not being alone, troubled and afraid. He has much to teach us.

May all we hear and see and read and reach today remind us that He is with us and this is a life lesson He is teaching us.                

 Are you ready? School is about to start for another day.

Dear reader, thanks for reading my early morning rambling thoughts today.  What’s rambling about in your corner of the world this morning?

 

All The Way to Calvary

This song says it all. May we all remember. May His Steadfast Love for you be evident in your lives today. 

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


He was oppressed and afflicted, 
yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

 By oppression  and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life  and be satisfied;  by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,  and he will divide the spoils with the strong,  because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.- Isaiah 53

 

Love is Alive. Amen

 skyplanesunrise1web

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” – Matthew 28:1-10

 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –  Ephesians 2:4-9

Love is Alive. Amen