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Imperishable

This week I have walked through murky, dirty water. I have listened to the sound of it squish around my feet. I have seen its mud everywhere. This week I have also sat in ashes. I have coughed and wheezed. My eyes have burned from smoke. I have thrown away more things than I care to count.

It has been a long week, friends. Last Friday, we got a big thunderstorm and overnight, my town flooded. And along with it, my church. I’m not talking a little moisture here, I’m talking 6-8 inches of dark water through the entire basement. I was in shock. It was one storm! This hasn’t happened in the 6 years I’ve lived here. Needless to say, it was A. LOT. of clean up.

But as I watched the doors open on Saturday for volunteers to come help and I saw them stream in, I was reminded that the church is not the building. The church is God’s chosen children and we had a time of sweet fellowship cleaning that building where we worship our King.

Bright and early on Sunday morning (like 3:30am folks) I woke up to noise going on outside my bedroom door. I couldn’t figure out what it was so I flung open my door to find 6ft flames burning their way through my wall and just touching the ceiling. Do you know that feeling? Do you know what it’s like to wake up and find that scene right outside your bedroom? I’m sure some of you do. I was able to put the fire out with an extinguisher from the hallway and I realized that I must not have blown the candles that were on my bookshelf out before I went to bed. 😦

And as I literally sat in dust and ashes on Sunday morning, thinking of my childhood books that were ruined and gone forever, there was only one passage I could think of. It ran through my head over and over again.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

I have had the help of so many people this week that it would be impossible to list them all. My friends and church family jumped right in and surrounded me with love and practical help. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

But the thing I’m most thankful for is a salvation that is imperishable. One that isn’t kept on earth where things like floods and fires destroy. One that is kept safe for me. Praise the Lord for that.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in life

 

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A Real Christmas

This weekend I got to do one of my favorite things of the whole year. The Farm where I used to work was putting on their annual Christmas event and I got to volunteer for it. This event is great- a wagon ride that stops at different scenes where the story of Christ’s birth is told by volunteer actors. The culmination of the scenes is the last one. A simple nativity in a barn and angels singing. The gospel is told at this scene which means that all the thousands of people that come to this event have the opportunity to hear the gospel. I. Love. It. 

Friday went really well but Saturday came around and it was POURING. Torrential downpours, people. And for an event that is outside, it didn’t look like it was going to be quite as much fun that night. But I was reminded that things go on and the gospel is shared no matter the weather. And I prayed. Lo, and behold, we had practically no rain for the tours and as soon as we finished, it started to rain again. Isn’t God incredible??

But this weekend, I also had a good friend of mine say something unusual to me. She asked me why I was smiling so much and said I just looked so happy and she loved it. She said she is so happy and wished her face could show it like mine can all the time.

Gotta admit, I was kind of taken aback for a minute. I had to stop and think. Of course my answer would have been different if this person wasn’t saved but she’s a strong believer and we are good friends. I thought and just realized that somehow, seeing God answer small prayers like clear skies and being surrounded by people I love, doing something I love filled me with a joy I haven’t felt in a long time.

But I think there’s more than that. Growing up, I was the embodiment of the Christmas spirit. I was ALWAYS cheerful, ALWAYS singing carols, ALWAYS excited for Christmas. And that’s a hard expectation to live up to. The last two years, I have felt very depressed and numb at Christmas but I didn’t show it. I felt like I needed to be the cheerful person that my family and friends expected me to be. And I hated every minute. I hated pretending to take joy in my favorite time of year when I felt nothing. I would enthusiastically participate in every Christmas activity and then come home and cry because I felt so empty.

And this morning at church, sitting taking communion, I realized that I wasn’t faking that joy this year.

It was real.

Amidst all the pain and difficulties this year has brought, God has given me his joy for this season and I don’t have to pretend to have it. I suddenly felt so relieved and unburdened.

So if you saw me quietly crying during communion this morning, no worries, they were tears of thankfulness. Just pure gratitude as I remembered all Christ has done for me.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2018 in Christmas

 

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