I love this picture. I love it because it's my sweet Riley enjoying this beautiful day. But what I love about it most is that when I look at it, I see freedom.

I'm not naturally able to freely run and express myself in this way. Something about being a grown-up seems to suck the freedom out of us and replaces it with self-consciousness.
When I think about me in in Heaven, in God's presence, I think of myself this way...the way Riley is running, arms wide, chasing bubbles and loving it, unaware and unconcerned with anyone else. I look forward to feeling that way again.
About two weeks before Summer Kempfer went to be with the Lord, I was in a light sleep and had a dream. In the dream I woke up lying in a grassy field on a beautiful day. I realized that I had just finished my race on earth and had gone to heaven. All of a sudden Summer ran up and stood over me, saying, "You did it! You're finished! Come on!" She was healthy, whole and had her wavy blond hair and a huge smile. It was as if she was calling me to get up and go play. There was such a sense of joy and freedom.
Today, on Easter, on Resurrection Sunday, I think about that. I think about those who have gone before us and who are experiencing freedom and joy and I am so thankful that because of the sacrifice Jesus made, they are free from the shackles of this life. I'm thankful that I will experience that, too. And so much more.
This is the comfort we have in sorrow and death. Even when things don't make sense, we have this hope: the hope of eternal life, fullness of joy and pleasures forever.
And you know I had to add this song...because it's perfect.


Trouble That Brings Revival?

I had a thought today...a question, really.

Are the things we are seeing in our country a result of prayers offered up by the church for revival? Is the growth of our government, the pressing in on our freedom, the things that make us nervous for the future, an unexpected answer to that prayer? 

How many of us can point to a time of trouble in our personal lives as the thing that turned our hearts toward God? Why not on a larger scale?

If historically and currently we can see clearly that the church grows exponentially under persecution, and if we live in a nation with a complacent and shrinking church, then should we expect anything less?

Should we not only expect it, but maybe even welcome it? Yeah, I'm not sure about that one, either. But maybe?

Should we forget that even when God sent judgment to His people in the past that He did so with a heart to draw them back, because that's what it often takes?

When He said nothing shall snatch you from My hand, do we expect Him to let us go quietly? Would that be loving? What does the grasp of God look like to a people who have said, "I am Yours," but then turn to run the other way?

Perhaps revival is a double-edged sword, bringing both pain and renewal. I don't know, but I think maybe so.

Trouble that brings revival is a gift from The Lord (not that I'm pumped about, or invite, trouble in my personal life or on a national level...felt like I needed to say that. I do not like it :)

Just a thought...not a statement of fact. But worth consideration. 


Better to Yield Than Die :)

I was driving this morning and just missed having an accident, one that probably would have been ugly. I was driving straight through an intersection and a girl coming the opposite direction made a left turn right in front of me, without hesitation at all. Then, she had nerve to look at me like I was crazy!

I, of course, threw my hands in the air and said, "Wha-T? (emphasis on the "T," in a Madea sort of way). Why are you looking at me? Are you crazy?" Then I caught myself, and calmed down. I said to God, she is crazy. And wrong. If I had not stopped, and had hit her, it would have been her fault. Not mine.

And He said (in my heart, of course), and this is paraphrased, "Yes. She would have been wrong and you could be dead...but she was wrong. Or you could both be badly injured, but she was wrong. How's that sound?"

Well, when you put it like that...I suppose it wouldn't really matter who was wrong, if we were both bleeding. If I held my ground because I was right, and hurt us both in the process, I wouldn't really win.

The lesson I took away was this: not every hill is worth dying on. Not every argument is worth having. Sometimes it's better to yield, even when the other person is wrong. Just back off, slow down and let them go on by with their wrong selves.

Not every wrong needs to be addressed and pointed out. Not every wrong thing said needs to be confronted or defended.

Easier said than done, but it's the way I am called to live.