Embracing Joy!

Today, I thought, “I think I’ll call Marilyn today.”, and then as soon as I thought about it, I realized, “I can’t call Marilyn, she’s gone.”

Marilyn is my mother-in-law.  I say “is” because although she has passed on to the next life, she is still living, and we are still connected through her son.

Marilyn passed in the summer of 2020, at the age of 90.

April is Marilyn’s birthday month, so I find my thoughts going to her during this month.  I find myself wishing I could pick up the phone and call her.

She used to tell me stories about my husband, times when he was a baby, a toddler, a young child, a young man, times when I had not yet met or known my husband.   She was so proud of her son, she was so proud of her children.

My husband swam competitively in High School and College.  He was offered a full scholarship to Boston University to swim.  My mother-in-law did not think it was a good enough school for him so she had him turn it down.  She told me, this was a great regret of hers—as my husband went out of state to college, and he never returned.

She thought if he would have gone to college in Boston–he might never have left Massachusetts.

She loved her son and her grandchildren so much–she hated to be apart from them.

I used to tell her that if he had not left MA, he would not have met me, and she might not have any grandchildren.

She would then say, “That’s true, I never imagined him getting married at all.”

It’s funny the things we look back on and regret, and wish we had done it differently–things that in reality made us who we are.  Things that we learned from—some things we learned from to never to go that way again, and some things we reaped the benefits of those choices.

I’ve been learning about forgiving myself and others, and receiving God’s forgiveness.  Part of forgiving myself and others is realizing that my brokenness, my regrets, my scars—they brought me to Jesus in the first place for that forgiveness.  Jesus was broken, was scarred, was crucified for me and for you.

Jesus died for this forgiveness to be possible.  I have determined not to take this great sacrifice of His for granted.   I will ask for forgiveness from God, from others and from myself, and I will extend forgiveness to others and to myself.  

This is a time of new beginnings.  This is a time of hope and forgiveness.  This is Spring.  This is why we celebrated Easter.  This is Joy!!

May We be Encouraged!!

The Crocuses are up!!

The crocuses are up!!

In my garden, the crocus flower is usually the first flower of the spring, then the daffodil and then the tulip.  The crocuses have been up for about a week.  But I’m taking a moment to proclaim that to the world—the crocuses are up!!  Spring is officially upon us!

Spring is the season, of Passover, and Easter—each proclaiming life over death, and freedom from slavery and sin.

Most of us know the story of Passover, where the Angel of Death “Passed Over” the homes where the blood of the lamb was placed over the doorframe of the house.  The Israelites had been instructed to eat the lamb and place the blood over the doorframe.  They were told if they did this that it would protect the firstborn of their children and animals.  This was an act of faith for the Israelites.   It was an act that would result in their freedom from slavery.

In Scripture, we find Jesus celebrating the Passover with His disciples.  He takes the bread and says, this is my body which has been given for you, take and eat.  And this is my blood, the blood of the covenant which has been poured out for the forgiveness of sins.  Take and drink.   Jesus is letting His believers know that He is bringing about a new covenant, one which is based on His blood, His body.  Just as the covenant that God made with Abraham involved a blood sacrifice so the new Covenant would involve a blood sacrifice—of Jesus.  This New Covenant would involve God reaching down to us, paying the penalty we each owed for our sins, so that we could enter into the “Holies of Holies”, into the very presence of God, based on our acceptance of this gift.

 I also believe that Jesus was letting the disciples know that just as they were celebrating Passover, and the act of faith that set them free from slavery—the eating of the lamb, and putting the blood of the lamb over the doorpost—so Jesus was to be their Passover Lamb—they were to eat—partake of Him, and when they did His blood would protect them from death and give them freedom from the Kingdom of darkness. 

How do we partake of Christ?   By faith.  That is what the New Covenant is about—we come to God and have a relationship with Him by our faith.  “For by grace you are saved through faith, and it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast.”  We can express that faith through prayer.  Here is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You.  Thank You for dying on the cross and sacrificing Yourself for me.  Thank you for being my “Passover Lamb”.  Please come into my life and may Your blood be over the “door” of my life.  Thank You for giving me eternal life.  Take control of my life, and make me the kind of person, You want me to be.   Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, and asked Jesus to come into your life, you can know He did answer you.  Why?  Because Jesus is God, and He does not lie.  He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, he who hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…..”    Rev. 3:20

Jesus also says, “…..Be content with what you have, for I myself have said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

If you took this step of faith, (the Israelites took a step of faith when they put the blood of the lamb over their doorframe), you can know that Jesus did come into your life and He will never leave you!!

Yes—I know—that’s why it is called, “Good News”!!!

So, be encouraged—for our Passover Lamb is Risen, and He is coming again!!!