April 16, 2017. Have a blessed Easter!

My Easter Day!


An image of three crosses
An image of three crosses

Today has been a different kind of Easter sunday for me.  Mel and I moved from my home town, the town I grew up in last summer.  We are loving it here in the gorgeous Ozark hills of Bella Vista, Arkansas.  But it is definitely different from my home town in the delta region of central Arkansas.  We have a new church, life is slower, we have fewer friends and acquaintances here, we have no other family (other than my mother-in-law who is in a nursing home here) anywhere near here.

My previous Easters have revolved around my church and my family -mostly my daughter and grandsons, and the Passion Play that my sister’s church puts on almost every year.  Here in our new home, I’m missing my sisters and daughter’s family and my little grandsons.  I missed seeing the Passion Play my sister and brother-in-law help with each year and the musical my old church has every Easter.  Today I was thinking how to start a new Easter tradition.  Unfortunately, I was in pain this morning from my fibromyglia and couldn’t attend our new church’s Easter sermon.  However, Bro Mike sermons are recorded and I fully intend to listen to it later this week.  Reading the Easter story is also something special for today.  My daughter and her family are now on the mission field in Papua New Guinea as Wycliffe missionaries and she told me their plans for Easter Sunday was to make a family trip after church to the beach and Jason would be spearfishing with some village friends while she and my adorable grandsons played on the beach.    I miss them this Easter a bunch.

My husband took his mom out for lunch and then to our home for a visit.  I enjoyed talking with her and actually felt like driving her around the beautiful hills some this afternoon.  Then I fixed dinner tonight and she was able to join us on our deck for our meal.  Mel then took her back to the nursing home.  I decided to find a “Jesus” movie on TV to watch and checked the movie guide.  I saw movies like “The Robe” which I had seen many times, new movies/documentaries on the Shroud of Turin (I’ve both seen and read in dept about that), and then I noticed that “Heaven is for Real” was on the Lifetime channel.  I turned to that channel and watched the entire movie.  I’ve both read the book and seen the movie before in a theater, but I still cried and I still loved it.  Every time I see or read the part about Colton meeting his other sister in heaven – the one who died in mommy’s belly, I start to cry.  In the movie, Sonja, Colton’s mom, cries too when Colton describes his sister and that his sister didn’t have a name because her mom and dad didn’t give her a name.

This really hit me, because my own daughter has lost a baby from a miscarriage.  That baby would be my grandchild and I never met her or him.  But one day I will meet that child in heaven.  Jennifer and Jason to my knowledge had not named their baby yet either.

There is a sequel to the book “Heaven is for Real” now and I’ve purchased it to read.  Its called “Heaven Changes Everything” by Colton and his dad.

Here’s some good links to more about Colton and his story:

Here’s an image of Jesus painted by the child protegy Akaine at age 8 which Colton has said looks like the Jesus he met in Heaven, its entitled “Prince of Peace“.

Here is a interesting link to a great YouTube video comparing Akaine’s Jesus painting to the shroud of Turin.

Anyway, that’s my efforts to start a new Easter Tradition.

Today, in light of all the war and missile talk this past week on the news stations, I want to lift up a special prayer for our nation.

My Prayer for Today

Image of a man bowed before a cross

Father God, on this special Day, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Your son and our Savior, Jesus from the grave, I want to lift my praise and worship to You.  Oh Lord God, Your love is so truly amazing and as I read those words from Colton Burpo again as he reminds us that “Jesus, really, really loves us”, I want to just grasp that concept to me and lock it into my heart and my mind just how much You love us and how great was the sacrifice of Jesus for us.  I think of the words to the song “Here I Am to Worship” that I love to hear. (Here is is on Youtube)

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes
Let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

And here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days
Oh, so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came
To the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor

And here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
No, I’ll never know how much it cost

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful
Wonderful wonderful
Yes, You are God

I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Lord, yes, I will never know in this life just how much your great love for us cost.  It hurts me to realize my sin helped nail Jesus to that cross.  But thank you Jesus, you loved me and all of us enough to make that sacrifice.

Lord, I pray today for all those in my beloved nation who have not realized just how much You love them and just what the cost of Jesus’ death on the cross was.  I pray for those of us who do know You and have accepted Your son as Lord and Savior of our lives.  I pray that today we will each realize anew that our

Jesus is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.

And Death has lost its sting 

for those who love Jesus and follow Him.

God, today I ask for Your blessings on my nation, the United States of American and on its leaders.  I pray You will protect them and gift them with great wisdom to lead and guide our country.  I pray for their families and for all those who lead our military and those who serve in our military all over the world.  I pray Your special protection over their lives and their spirits.  I pray each one, if not already, will come to a saving knowledge of You and that they will have the blessed “hope of an eternity with you”.

Please protect our nation from its enemies, both without and within and from all attacks by Satan and those who follow him.  May no evil plot or scheme to harm us succeed and may all of the successes of our enemies turn to failures.   I pray all the peoples of our nation (men, women and young ones) will realize their sins, and repent of them and seek after You and that You will forgive us our sins and heal our land.  I pray that the peoples of our nation will be a great light and help to a lost and dying world.  Please heal us and bless us and use us to promote Your kingdom here on earth and to spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world.

And I ask also, for Your forgiveness of my own sins and failings.  May you strengthen my faith and make me more useful to You in the remaining days of my life.  I pray You will use me to spread the great good news of Your love and the gift of Your Son. Amen

Comments

I request that you join me in praying the prayer above and ask that you share your own prayers in the comments.  Your comments and your own prayers are welcome. – Shirley

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