Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Noah was asked to give a short talk to his Bible study class this morning. Thought I would share:

John 20:1-16

When God created man He put man in a Garden - The Garden of Eden must have been a beautiful garden. It was on high ground, with four rivers flowing through it. It had trees and plants everywhere. It also had The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the garden's rivers there was gold. In the ground there was silver. The fruit on all the trees where luscious and good to eat. It was, probably, the most wonderful and beautiful place on earth!

In the garden, Man was able to talk and walk with God. Adam and Eve were able to talk to God face-to-face! Wouldn't it be just amazing to see and talk to God face-to-face?

But after all the gladness, sin enters the world. God said not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Man disobeyed. Sin is the reason we die. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the tree and sin entered the world and with it death. As a result of this sin we all die. In fact, death is a reality for all living things in this world. And as another punishment they were kicked out of the garden, the most wonderful place on earth!

Winter, more than any other time of year, reminds us of the power that death has in our world. When winter comes the trees start to lose their leaves, the flowers lose their petals, the grass turns brown. Everything loses its beauty and begins to look dead.

That is what sin does to us. We lose our beauty, the beauty of man created in the image of God. The end of this loss of beauty, is that we die.

But we are in the season of Easter, in the season of spring. When I think of Easter, I think of when Jesus was risen from the dead.

What is so special about Easter is that when Easter comes all the plants and trees bloom. In the winter all the plants are dead, but in the spring, they all come back to life. In the bible when I think of plants, I think of the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was the place where Man could be with God. He could talk, face-to-face, with God. But since sin entered the world, man has been longing to get back to the garden. To have the face to face communion with God in the garden. To get back into Eden.

So know we see that Jesus' tomb was in a garden. When Mary Madeline saw Jesus she thought he was the gardener of the garden. So, what John is trying to saying to us, is that because of the resurrection of Jesus, Man can be able to walk and talk with God, face-to-face, once again. It can be like we are back in the garden!

So when I think of Easter I think of being dead one day then blooming the next, Jesus death and resurrection and of that sweet taste of chocolate bunnies .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Molly Jones

Today is a day of rejoicing. My beautiful daughter, Molly, has decided to give her life to Christ through baptism. She will be baptized tonight and I have a heart so full that I wanted to take a moment to write down my thoughts.

It is unimaginable to me how great our God is. I think about the sacrifice God made of his Son so that my daughter can live. Can you imagine it? My daughter has promises and blessings unending because of a God who desires a relationship with us. How can I not be full of praise? How can I not fall down in the awe of such a God?

There are few people I have known that are more faithful than Molly. Molly is faced daily with special medical challenges that cause her to rely on her faith. It never fails that in the midst of these challenges, Molly will be the first to say, "I really think we need to pray." She recognizes that it is only through God we can be sustained and she relies on Him in a way that humbles me and encourages my own faith.

For more than six months Molly has talked to Nathan and I about her faith, her hope in Jesus, her desire to be claimed by Him through the act of baptism. We, in our own weaknesses, detered her, but she stayed persistent. In fact, Nathan shared with me today that he feels we have made a huge error in judgement, by asking her to face her challenges without giving her the peace that she will receive by God's cleansing hand, we have added to her burden. We became that one who would be better to have a millstone around our neck, for we prevented OUR little child to come to Him. May we be forgiven. May we now lift her up to Him with boldness and thanksgiving.

As a mother, the dreams and hopes I have for my children abound, but in the end the one thing I desire for them is the peace and comfort that comes from being in relationship with God. Tonight my biggest desire for Molly will be realized and I will be lifting my heart and hands in praise to My God, who is MIGHTY to save.

God in Heaven, There are no words that can properly express the thankfulness, the fulness of joy, the overwhelming love that fills my heart. You, My Father, are extending Your Hands to my beautiful little girl, and my heart cries out, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Because of Your Son, I rest with peace and hope for my daughter.