As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.
The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ. They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation. They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord. And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.
Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian. He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith. He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real. He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.
When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith. We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved. He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself. There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven. He is the ONLY way. Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.
Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy. And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.
I finished The Kite Runner. It took me about a third of the book to “get into it” but then I was hooked. It was done well. Khaled Hosseini is a talented author. It is eye opening. That is the best way for me to describe it. My heart breaks for the suffering of people all over the world. I am not one to pretend that the world is always happy and no one faces pain. On the contrary, I know that there is more than enough suffering and pain to go around. But sometimes thinking like that is just as bad as pretending there is none, because we get immune to it. I like reading books that put it in my face a little bit. It makes me better aware. And hopefully the more aware we are, the more help we will be able to provide. Even if our help is “only to pray,” prayer is an enormous thing we can do, because God can reach across the world.
I also saw Catching Fire this weekend. I give a lot of credit to everyone that is part of the Hunger Games movies. I think the movies are an excellent representation of the books in details, characters and settings. I enjoy the Hunger Games series. I am not as big of a fan of the second and third books as I am of the first, but I still enjoy them. The movie was the same for me. As good as it was, not quite as wonderful as the first. It is a tough thing to do. I still think they all did a great job! And, I loved that Divergent was previewed…cannot wait to see that, too. 🙂
Our world has been spinning at high speed lately. I feel like we are always at high speed and then more things go into our schedule, but they are all good things. We are moving quickly, but we are doing it together (for the most part) and praising God for the blessings! 🙂
For my husband, MBA classes have begun. How he is able to work full time and be an awesome daddy on top of going to school full time blows my mind, but he does it. It adds a little extra chaos to all of us, but he surely bears the brunt of the load.
For me, on a personal level, my eating and working out too a hiatus this summer, so I am back on my strict schedule of working out and eating somewhat right. 😉 Teaching and taxi driving has been put back in motion as well.
The kids are back to school (at home) and each have 1 sport activity as well as a church activity they attend each week. By Friday they are just as tired as my husband and I. They are still mourning the loss of their Riley cat. My oldest was the most outwardly sad in the beginning, has recovered quite well and talks about all the pets he will have when he is big. My daughter, who was the most attached, holds it all in. This concerns me a little bit. She will say things on occasion that let us know she is still thinking of Riley. She is trying to bond with the other cat now, which is kind of a cute thing to watch. My youngest, who is my old soul, was the one who went to Stormy right after Riley died to let her know what happened. He still misses her. He is also concerned that about Stormy’s buddy being gone. We can’t sure if he is more sad for himself or Stormy.
So, nothing drastic in our world. We count our blessings for that. We seem to be surrounded by friends who are suffering and we know we should thank God for our blessings as often as we pray for their lives to be mended.
Last night my awesome cousin and her husband took us to an awesome champagne bar! Very cool. I am not a big drinker, but I do like champagne, so ordered a champagne cocktail with strawberry something in it. SO GOOD! Then also ordered a scrumptious s’mores crepe…may be the best thing I ever ate. I seriously wanted to move the place into my basement.
Because of that and the birthday party we had prior to, my foot was not wrapped at all yesterday and I am feeling it today. I feel so old between the tendinitis and the food allergies or whatever is making my body react, but the fact that neither is serious is awesome…can’t keep me down. 😉 No complaining…really…when I was on the elliptical the other morning after the sermon I was listening to they showed a clip of a girl that was sold into human trafficking. The degrees of suffering in this world are so great…I was reminded again that I have no right to be upset about little things in life…at least not dramatically upset…a little frustration may come out at times. No use creating drama when there is enough real drama in the world already.
And my tangent post is done, but if you have a champagne bar anywhere in your vicinity, I would highly recommend!
My heart is heavy tonight. I see so many lives falling apart. Christians as well as non-christians are suffering across the world from hunger, fear, abuse, neglect and hopelessness. Christians, as well as non-christians in my immediate life are suffering as well…they live with children who are destined to a life of health strugglea, they live with the pain of a spouse who has given up on them, they live with the heartbreak of a child who has died, they live with no answers of what is to come. I am sad for those especially who do not know my Lord and Savior, for without Him I do not see how they can get through even one second of the pain. I am sad for those who do, too, because they still hurt and grieve, but they have the peace that comes from God and they are able to give their burdens to Him…for that I am thankful. I am thankful that God knows the end as well as the beginning, the future as well as the past…and that He knows best. He will forever reign victoriously! He will rejoice with my friends as they come to rejoice in life’s joys to come and He will rejoice with them even more when they join Him for eternity at the end of their time here on earth. Praise to God who carries us through and loves us despite our failures!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
So many friends and loved ones are journeying through trials right now. Some are in the midst of the darkness, some can see the light of hope as they near the end and some are at the end ready to share their new wisdoms with all.
As I pray for and hold these people in my heart, I know there are millions around the world facing these same challenges, or worse.
I encourage everyone to cry out to Jesus, to hold onto Him and to know He will not leave you no matter how hard life gets. He holds you through the trial and shares your pain. He loves you…do not forget that. He didn’t promise to make life easy, but He does share the burden. Hang on…you may just be refined by fire.