"You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light." —Psalm 18:28
God’s amazing grace at work in our lives keeps our "lamps burning," redeeming our lives from the ridiculous choices we make—destructive in some cases—and crowning us with loving-kindness and tender mercies. (Another beautiful promise to cling to, friends! Psalm 103:4-6)
Easter is the culmination of our Christian faith, and what a joy to celebrate it on the last Sunday of this month. To think that our Lord Jesus took each one of our sins in his body on that cruel Cross to be remembered no more! The sacrificial Lamb of God willingly bore my sins, and yours, and offered His divine self for all who believe in His precious name. Our spirits will live on after this old body wears out and dies. Hallelujah, He is risen, indeed!
With Easter’s glory and joy in my heart, I’ll begin my Spring 2016 Book Tour for my novel, The Atonement (street date: March 29), in Ohio, with one stop in Indiana. Please check here for where and when on my upcoming events.
I’m eager to see my readers in the vicinity and some who’ve already told me they are within driving distance. We’ll have fun meeting and greeting, taking photos, if you wish, and sharing God’s love.
Spring is almost "sprung" here in Colorado, where the temperatures are above normal and the snowfall in the mountains is wonderful for the ski resorts and our all-important reservoirs. Hopefully, no water rationing this summer!
A most blessed Easter Season to you and your dear ones,
"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." —Luke 15:20
Forgiveness is a characteristic of love—great love.
The scripture verse above describes a powerful example of an earthly father's love, reflecting our heavenly Father's love—amazing and all-encompassing. Who of us hasn't decided to go his or her own way? Who hasn't doubted, feared, distrusted, rejected, and walked away from the love of God, our Father?
Oh, to come running back into his strong arms, knowing He has received us, welcoming us home. Welcoming us because our hearts are tender and broken, destitute...ready and yearning to receive the love that was there all along!
I pray you will know and receive this miraculous and extravagant love for always.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.'" —Romans 5:8
The first of January signals the start of a new calendar year, a spanking-clean chapter in our lives. A new year promises second chances and fresh beginnings.
Will we take the second chance at getting it right this year, and the constant reach for happiness...for all that we wish for? Will we strive to be better at relationships, at work, at leisure...to be more attentive to others’ needs, to follow God’s ways, above all? We want to do all of these things, sure, but we seem to fall short repeatedly.
Yet, graciously, our Lord offers us hope, and once again we remember that it’s not about our doing or being. It’s really just about accepting. Simple, yet true.
So, is it possible to lay down the rope and end the inner tug-of-war of striving, choosing rather to open our hearts and embrace THE miracle: God’s ever-perfect love? He, alone, offers each of us a beautiful second chance, no strings attached.
Here’s an excerpt from my little book, Amish Prayers, which can be prayed on New Year’s Day...or any morning.
“O merciful, gracious God, Farther of eternal light and comfort, whose goodness and faithfulness are fresh again each morning, we give you praise, honor, and thanks for the lovely daylight, and also for graciously protecting us during the night and granting us gentle sleep and rest. May we now arise in your grace and love, and under your care and protection, make gainful, joyful use of the daylight. Amen.”
I truly wish for you an inspiring and peace-filled New Year 2016.
"And the angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.'" —Luke 1:35
I think we sometimes forget that the Lord Jesus was born into our world and not from it. He came to us, outside of earthly history. Jesus wasn't a man becoming God, but rather God Himself entered our sphere of existence in human form—as a newborn baby.
Yes, baby Jesus grew up to be tempted and betrayed, yet He did not succumb to sin. Nether outwardly or inwardly. Just think of that! This has baffled my mind since I was a young girl sitting in my father's church as he gave the "Christmas sermon" the sanctuary all bedecked with fluffy red and white pointsettias, and tall tapers flickering on the communion table. God came here—to us—to save the world!
So, when we're born into God's family (this is salvation, when we repent of doing things are own way and yield ourselves totally to His will), then Christ springs alive in us. When this happens, we, too, become one with the Lord. His spirit envelopes ours—Christ is formed in us. (Galatians 4:19: "My children, I am suffering birth pains for you again until Christ is formed in you.") We crave Christ's ways, His will. We look to Him in everything we do and say. We are so in love with Him, we want to live every minute, every day of the rest of our lives for Him alone.
A blessed Advent Season of Joy and Light and Truth!