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Easter Lives in Me

I wasn't planning on writing today, and definitely not a blog post. I know it's been a long while since I've written one. I miss it, and I like to think that you might have to. I don't have an excuse other than, well, life. It's a poor excuse, though, so I will not even attempt to make one. I am just happy to be here typing from my heart this Easter Sunday night. It is one of those under-the-wire writing moments, so I apologize in advance for the lack of pretty graphics with verses in them, Easter pictures, etc. Maybe next time.

The other thing I hadn't planned on was hearing something new at our Easter Service this morning. I went for the fellowship and the music with no other expectations and with good reason. We went to the "bar" church on the beach this morning. I've talked about it here before, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, google Florabama Bar Church in Alabama. On Easter Sunday, it's in a tent with an overflow of people with chairs and blankets in the sand. We were part of the overflow, and I was on the blanket with my two grandsons. I thought I was an excellent grandma when I went to collect what they had for the kids to do during the service, but when they handed me sand buckets and shovels, I knew it wouldn't end well. It started out fine: quiet digging, small piles lined up, discreet feet burying, etc. Later on, though, the youngest quietly put small handfuls on his brother's head. Did you know sand sticks to hair gel? He went from a brunette to a white-haired frosted look, and it wouldn't just brush off. I do not have a picture, but I wish I had taken one. At that point, would it have mattered if I had hauled my phone out for a quick photo? The people around us most likely would have done the same!

That said, I was just happy to be in a sea of people praising God and celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, knowing full well there would be distractions, and that would be enough for me.

But during the message, I was drawn in when I heard the pastor say,

"Dreams and goals in life end because of darkness."

...and out came my notebook and pen.

I thought about my dreams and goals, dreams I had never considered before my descent into alcoholism that had now become my assignment in life because of the darkness. 

I thought about Good Friday and the darkness that ensued.

A Rock Bottom Moment. 

 Mark 15:33 —  At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

When Christ died on the cross, enduring unthinkable pain for us, he handed me my redemption story. 

Luke 23:46  Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."When he had said this, he breathed his last.

When I look up the meaning of redemption in my trusty Power Thesaurus app, one of the first synonyms to appear is Recovery. Redemption and Recovery mean the same thing. What Jesus did for me is why I am unwavering in my belief that I would not be sober today without his sacrifice. I owe it to him, and I will be forever grateful that when he offered me this gift, I accepted it. 

It is because of the cross we can rise from the sin and devastation of addiction. 

I am not where I was, and I will not go back.

Thank God I did not stay there, and thank you, God, you gave me a way out. 

My dreams-desires, the ones I think about in the wee hours of the morning, make me know for sure that God is not done with me. Because of the cross, my dreams are not dead. They are aspirations I would have never believed possible for me.

Then, today, the resurrection story. Today, we celebrate Jesus's victory over the grave!

Matthew 28:5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.

Do you have a resurrection story? Have you thought about that?

He has given you the power to rise from the pit of your own sin. To accept the gift of redemption and walk in freedom, but you must believe it is possible. 

Romans 10: 9-10 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 

My Day One.

The day Jesus rolled the stone away from my heart.

That is my redemption story—a story that only Jesus could write. The same Jesus who came into the world the same way as you and me, who performed miracle after miracle only to be persecuted and die a horrific death on the cross, the same Jesus who rose from the dead, walked among his people again, and then descended into heaven.

Yes, that Jesus. Don't you think he can make a way for you to live life without substance? There's a reason they call him a Waymaker.

I write this tonight for one reason: that someone who wants that day one more than anything might read this and find resurrection hope here. 

Share this with that person.

Today is the day to accept the gift of Recovery that Jesus is offering.  

Start there. What a beautiful day One you will have.

That is what Easter means to me.

Peace on your week,


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1 Comment

Apr 06

Didn’t Jesus ascend into heaven not descend ? Was that a typo?

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