writing for children

Happy Resurrection Day

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… — Luke 24:1

 

The women arrived with the expectation that the giant stone in front of the tomb would still be in place. When they arrived, it had rolled out of the way.

But if it had not been moved, how did they plan to move it?

I asked my daughters what they thought. They said, “There were guards there. They would have asked them to help.”

I considered that – but I don’t think it is a plausible answer. These were Roman guards — guards who owed nothing to the Jewish women. Even if the women had dared to speak to them, (which I don’t think would have happened), would the Roman guards have agreed to help the women? I don’t think so. They were under no obligation to do so.

The women were under the assumption that Jesus was still DEAD. They weren’t coming expecting the stone to be moved OR for Jesus to have risen. They arrived with anointing oil for his body.

So why did they come without backup help? How did they expect to move the stone? I’ve been praying and asking God to make it clear. I’m sure there are many reasons. But here’s what I’m leaning toward right now, the answer that I hear in my heart…

Even though they knew Jesus was dead — I believe that the women came with EXPECTATIONS.

The truth is, Jesus was dead and they had no way to move the stone.

BUT — they came anyway. 

There was NO plausible way they would be able to anoint Jesus’ body without divine intervention — no way to move the stone on their own and no help to do so —

and they came anyway. They came expecting God to DO SOMETHING to make that happen.

THEY CAME EXPECTING. 

 

Remember when Lazarus died? Mary and Martha were furious and hurt and full of all other sorts of emotions b/c Jesus hadn’t arrived in time like they’d expected Him to do. They had expected Him to come back and heal their brother before he died from the sickness. And when Jesus didn’t, they were distraught. They wept and Jesus wept with them. BUT THEN… when it seemed that all hope was lost, they watched as Jesus raised their brother from the dead.

But this time, it was Jesus in the tomb! Who was going to raise Him from the dead?

They didn’t know —

And they came anyway. They came…

EXPECTING!  

         Provers 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. *

So what about us? What “stones” in our lives need to be moved to allow us to see the miracle of Jesus’ death-defeating power? His resurrection power? His grace, mercy, and truth? When we ask God to do something, is our faith in line with our requests?

Like the women at the tomb — do we come to Jesus EXPECTING Him to do something?

That’s what faith is. It is the HOPE in things not seen… and EXPECTATION that God will do what God does… He saves. He revives. He makes all things new. He makes a WAY when there is not way. He responds to our pain and hurt in compassion and with truth. HE LOVES.

The empty tomb means that we ALWAYS have help in time of need. The one who raised Lazarus from the dead holds the power over sin and death — and moves whatever needs to be moved.

When we shift our expectations and put our focus on Jesus– God’s plan is revealed and no stone can stand in His way. NONE.

What stones are in your way today? God can and will shake what needs to be moved and shaken…

Come expecting! 

 

 

 

 

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writing for children

REVOLUTION

REVOLUTION HAS COME
which side do you choose?

our world moans and groans
under the weight of “progress”
while our trees die from acid rain
and our rivers, once teeming with wildlife,
are suffocated by our excess

The future of our world,
our children,
are abused, silenced and tossed aside
like pieces of trash
with no value

Yet piles of true waste
are upgraded and “upcycled”,
and valued more than their original costs

but God sees His children
They are not hidden
from Him
He sees their plight
and their despair

Revolution has come
which side do you choose?

The God of the universe
sees
and hears
and knows
Even that which is done in secret
in secret meetings, with whispers and
bloody promises

God sees.
He knows.
And He is not pleased.

God is not moved by the cud of rhetoric
that rolls around in the mouths
of seemingly high-powered politicians,
Those that seek power,
that yearn for it,
more than they yearn for Him

He is not impressed with the
never-ceasing speeches
from the leeches
that suck the life
from our nation
and chain the lives of the
their brothers and sisters…
the ones they claim to protect

They would do well to remember
that they are God’s children
and He is a protective Father

REVOLUTION HAS COME
which side do you choose?

God’s ways are not our ways
His thoughts are not our thoughts
His Power has no bounds
His truth, mercy and Love
strikes down wickedness
and strips it of every disguise,
disintegrating mountains
into dust

There is no one who compares
No one who rivals His great deeds
The One True God

And yet He, the God of the Universe,
sees His creation…
and is moved – NOT by the words of those who
believe they can change His mind with their
perfect posture –

But rather –
He is moved by those
who humble themselves
before Him
seeking His forgiveness,
His direction,
His mercy…
believing and knowing that His promises are true
and His Love is everlasting

“But God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong…”

A young girl
A manger
A baby

REVOLUTION HAS COME
Which side do you choose?

writing for children

Still learning: Hogwash

Do you remember the 70’s movie, “Love Story”?

At one point in the tumultuous story, Ali McGraw (the leading lady) says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” And then later, AFTER SHE DIES, Ryan O’Neal (the grieving leading man) repeats the statement. And with that, the movie ends.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

This, my dear friends, is the definition of HOGWASH. The lot of it. COMPLETE HOGWASH.

Why am I bringing this up now?

Because I recently heard someone say, “If you feel like you have to apologize to someone, then you aren’t really close.”  

Interestingly enough, Ryan O’Neal made another movie in 1972 called “What’s Up Doc” witih Barbara Streisand. When Barbara says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry“, O’Neal replies, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think you can interpret the “never having to say you’re sorry” bit as something worthwhile. Maybe it means you treat another person with as much respect and love as possible and therefore never have anything that needs to be apologized for.

Yeah. Like anyone can live up to that hype!

We all do things that end up hurting others. Our words and actions leave gaping holes in our relationships. Admitting our faults and making amends (yes, that means apologizing!) helps in the healing process and draws us closer.

But what if we never try to bridge those gaps – what happens?

We end up with relationships separated by canyons.

There will be times when words aren’t necessary. But more often than not, admitting we’ve hurt someone and trying to make things better is a good thing.

For me, though, claiming the “if you love me, I shouldn’t have to apologize” rule is a selfish rule at best. And at the worst, it is self destructive.

So what do you think of that old movie line? Truth? Or Hogwash?

 

*for further reading and opinions, check out these posts by other bloggers:

http://dawnkinzer.blogspot.com/2010/02/love-means-never-having-to-say-youre.html

http://mainstreetmom.com/marr/say_sorry.htm (EXCELLENT ARTICLE!)