Tag Archive: Jesus


Egged

IMG_0631It sounded like a good idea at the time.

My Children’s Ministry Magazine had an idea to “egg” your neighbors’ homes with the story of Easter.  It seemed so simple and fun.  Copy the Bible verses, cut them, put them and candy into 12 plastic Easter eggs, leaving one egg empty because Jesus is alive – not dead in the tomb anymore.  Then secretly hide them in their yards and leave a note on their door so they know they’ve been egged.  What a fun way to share Easter with your neighbors!

I decided it would be fun to “egg” the children that I teach in my Good News Club.  My son and I went to the store for eggs and candy.  We printed and cut the Bible verses and door notes, filled the eggs, and prepared many sacks of 12 eggs along with addresses and directions to each child’s home.  Then in the morning while the children were at school, we went out and hid eggs.  A lot of eggs.  Do you have any idea how many children are in my Good News Club?  There are a lot!  But my son and I kept going.  And going.  Hiding eggs.  Driving.  Looking for another home.  Hiding more eggs.  Staying away from barking dogs wondering what we’re up to.  Wondering why in the world we thought this was a good idea.  And hiding more eggs.  Finally we were done.

I decided to stop at the grocery store to get something easy for dinner from the meat counter.  The people there are so friendly.  The man behind the counter asked us if we were doing anything fun that day.  My son and I looked at each other and said, “No.  We’re NOT doing anything fun.”  And we laughed.  The man probably wondered what we had been doing that day to get such a reaction.

But we all have days like that, don’t we.  When we’re in the middle of something that is difficult.  Or something that is not what we thought we signed up for.  Maybe it’s a class in school that we’re trying so hard to earn an A in.  Or maybe it’s spending way too many hours at work.  Or maybe it’s taking care of a newborn that we love, but isn’t able to show us any appreciation while they cry and keep us up all night – no smile or anything.  Or maybe it’s feeling alone while taking care of a loved one.  Or volunteering in ministry and wondering if what we’re doing is worth our time and effort.  Or “egging” several children’s homes.  It can seem like no one understands, no one appreciates our hard work and it just doesn’t matter.

But it does matter.  Especially when that difficult class is over and you earned that A.  When you reach your career or financial goal.  When that baby finally smiles at you.  When you’re loved one holds your hand.  When someone in your ministry says, “thank you” and when a child leaves an egg on your front porch.

Yes, that’s what happened.  I was “egged.”  The next morning I found an egg on my front porch.  Inside was a note written by a child that said, “Mrs. Lori, Thank you for teaching me all about God and Jesus.”

You know what?  That “egging” trip was fun!  Filling the eggs, finding the houses, staying away from barking dogs.  It was all worth it.

IMG_5623

IMG_1803It was really dark this morning.  As I sat at my kitchen table for breakfast I looked outside.  It was darker than usual. I could see the small spots of light dotting the neighborhood in the distance.  But the darkness pretty much covered everything else.  But soon something happened.  To one side I could see the darkness getting a little lighter.  Not so much black, but some blue now.  So I looked over to the east and it was so neat.  Some pink, some orange and a lot of gold.  The sun was coming up and very quietly, but very majestically, overtaking the darkness, turning it into glorious, welcoming light.  As I finished my Cheerios and got into my car in the daylight I thought about how different it was from just a little bit earlier this morning.

And then a song from Stellar Kart played.  “Everything is Different Now.”  How true that was!  Everything was different now.  The darkness was gone and though many people probably missed it, God had powerfully overtaken the dark sky as the sun came up with its quiet majesty.  And its light changed everything.

Maybe you have some kind of darkness or difficult time in your life right now.  There is a God who made you, knows you and loves you.  He is right there just like those streetlights softly dotting light throughout the dark neighborhood.  He is waiting for you to let Him in with His quiet, powerful majesty that changes everything with His light.  Will you let Him?  Maybe you’ve been in that darkness for so long that you forgot that God cares about you.  He does.  And everything can be different now.

Or maybe you are enjoying everything about life today because you know the joy of knowing God and what Jesus did for you.  Don’t you love the reminder of how powerful and glorious God is when you see the sunrise each morning?!  Let’s take time to thank Him today as we enjoy our day filled with the light that He has given us.

Here is Stellar Kart’s song to encourage everyone today.  Because “Everything is Different Now.”

 

 

Day Lily Lessons

IMG_5230Day lilies.  I see them all around in the summer time.  They are beautiful green bushes full of brightly colored flowers.  Do you know why they are called day lilies?  Because each flower lasts only one day.  It’s amazing.  Every day the day lily plant looks pretty much the same, yet the blooms from yesterday are no longer there and the blooms today will be gone tomorrow.  Which makes me think of several day lily lessons.

First, day lilies remind me of how well our Father in Heaven takes care of His children.  Just like the lilies bloom each day, every day God gives us what we need.  Maybe we don’t even notice it, like we may not notice the new blooms on the day lily plants or realize that yesterday’s blooms are gone and it still looks nice.

Next, as I look at just one day lily I think of how perfectly God made each individual lily on that day lily plant.  He knew that each bloom was to last for only one day.  But He still made it beautiful.  Knowing the short length of time that it would bloom, He still gave it His best work.  I think that if I were to make something that would only last one day and maybe no one would ever see it or that one day it would just pour down rain on it, I wouldn’t give it my best.  Fortunately that’s not how God thinks.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  And He doesn’t cut corners.  Which makes me realize that we, too, should give whatever we do our best.  We should do our work – whatever that is – as for the Lord and not for men.  And while we do that, we can think of the bright, beautiful day lily.

And one last lesson.  Just look at that day lily flower.  It’s beautiful!  And so are you!  God created the day lily and made it beautiful, even to only last for one day.  God created you, too, but you were made to know Him and be with Him forever.  Imagine how beautiful YOU are to Him!

When you see day lilies this summer, what will you think about?

In A Storm

stormonwaterDon’t you love the true story in the Bible about Peter walking on the water?  I mean, who else has walked on water before?  Well, one time a child walked on our pool cover so that was kind of walking on water I guess, but that doesn’t really count.  The cover kept him on the water and his feet didn’t get wet.  But Peter really walked on water – as long as he kept his focus on Jesus and not on the storm that was surrounding him at the time.  Oh, that storm.  That’s the part that I’m thinking about today.

So often we read that portion of Scripture, knowing what is about to happen, and miss the beginning.  Mark 6:45-46 says, “And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away.  And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray” (NASB).

Jesus had just fed the 5,000 and now He sends His disciples into a boat while He stays on the land to pray.  And then something happens.  A storm.  A BIG storm.  Many of those men in that boat were fishermen.  They had been in storms before, but this time they were scared.  Really scared.

Which makes me think.  Jesus knows everything.  He knew there would be a storm, but He sent His disciples there anyway.  They were right where they were supposed to be.  In the storm.  But Jesus wasn’t far away.  He was right where He could see them and He came to them.  Okay, He came to them in a way that frightened them even more, but He was there with them.

Sometimes we are in storms just like those disciples.  We are right where we’re supposed to be, but we’re still in a storm.  So what do we do then?  We can remember that God is also with us, just like He was with the disciples.  We can think about what we know is true about God.  We know that God is always good.  He is faithful.  He loves us.  You can make your own list.  And then thank Him for those things that you know are true about Him.

I’m sure that as the waves pounded on that boat and the lightening crashed loudly around them the disciples were not thinking, “Wow, this is a really bad situation.  God is good at making good things come out of really bad situations.”  No.  They were terrified.  But God did come and make something good come out of that really bad situation.  He came and calmed the storm.  And we get to read about that amazing time when Peter walked on the water.

Jesus proved that He is good.  He is with us all the time.  He is faithful.  And He loves us.  Even in a storm.

I like the new song by David Crowder, “I Am,” where he sings about God holding onto us, “In the middle of the storm I am holding onto you.”  Here it is:

EmptyTombPic“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:1-6 NIV).

Happy Easter, Everyone!

 

 

While We Wait

childwaitingAre you waiting for anything?  I’m waiting for something.  Something that’s going to make me wait again.  And I don’t even really like waiting.

I ordered a new slow cooker.  Now I have to wait for it to come.  Why does that take so long?  Well, it should only be a few days, but it sure seems like a long time.  It will be great when it is here, though.  And while I wait I can find new slow cooker recipes.

Because when it comes, I’ll get to cook with it.  And then wait some more because slow cookers cook food for hours until the food is ready.  But the slow-cooked food will be so good.  And while I wait, the kitchen will be filled with the wonderful aroma of hope – hope of a delicious dinner.

So today I’m thinking about waiting.  Some things just take so long.  And we have to wait.  Like waiting in line at the store.  Waiting for pizza to be delivered.  Waiting for God to answer prayers.  Waiting for injuries to heal.  Waiting for a doctor report.  Waiting for someone’s heart to change.  Waiting for a job.  Waiting for a paycheck.  Waiting for Christmas.  Waiting to meet someone special.  Waiting for marriage.  Waiting for a baby to be born.  Waiting for a busy time of life to be over.  Waiting to go on vacation.  Waiting for nail polish to dry.  Waiting for a child to tie their shoes.  Waiting for an airplane.  Waiting for the weekend.  Waiting.

Some things just take time.  And we have to wait.  But often the things that we wait for are worth the wait.  Which is why I ordered a slow cooker instead of just cooking everything in the microwave or oven or on the stove.  Yes, dinner from a slow cooker will be good.  And worth the wait.  So what do we do while we’re waiting?

There are several verses in the Bible about waiting.  Here are a couple from the Psalms:

When David was confident that God would deliver him from his enemies he wrote, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord,”  (Psalm 27:14 NIV).

I don’t know who wrote this, but whoever it was knew that God’s Word would never fail.  Here’s Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his words I put my hope.”

Isaiah knew that God was always good, even when we are in difficult times of waiting, and he encouraged God’s people to trust in Him and gain their strength from Him.  He wrote Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

So, even when it’s difficult to wait, we can be confident and strong because we know that God’s Word will never fail.  Whatever happens during and after the wait, God will be with us.  Actually, God is right here with us even while we wait.

Love Is…

heartinhands“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

Shoe Saga Steps On

shoeswalkingSo, you know those shoes that I’ve written about twice now?  Yep, there’s more.  My shoe saga steps on!

To catch you up, first the shoes were very worn out, but I kept wearing them because they were so comfortable.  Then I found out that the store was still selling them and they had them in my size.  What a happy day that was!  But I also learned that maybe God doesn’t want us to just be comfortable all the time.  Oh.

Then that second pair of shoes wore out, but I made an amazing discovery:  shoe polish.  When I polished my shoes they looked like new again.  Another happy day!  And I learned that God is very good at making things new, including us.

So I wore my nicely polished shoes for weeks until I realized that they were looking worn out again.  Ugh!  I need to get that shoe polish out.  I haven’t polished them yet, but I did see someone at an airport having his shoes polished and again I discovered something.  As we all live our lives from day to day, our shoes get worn out.  We need them polished over and over.  In the same way, we need to continually be spending time with God.  We were created to know God, to be in relationship with Him, not to live life on our own.

Think about all those athletes that we get to watch now at the Olympics.  I’m sure that they didn’t always feel like training for their sport, but now I’m sure that they are very glad that they did spend all of that time learning, practicing and listening to their coaches.  What if we as believers spent time every day with our coach – our God who knows us and wants the best for us?  I think it would make a big difference in our lives.  We definitely see a difference in the way that those athletes perform their sports.  So let’s spend time training with our coach as he helps us keep our shoes polished.

Let’s keep spending time with God every day and continue to be filled with His Holy Spirit as we step on!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize,” (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV).

presentpicWe just celebrated Christmas and I found this poem that my son wrote when he was little.  It’s still a good reminder for today so here it is:

Christmas is fun in the snow.

But don’t the people know?

The only thing that really matters

Isn’t the turkey on the platters.

It isn’t the presents under the tree,

But it’s that Jesus came

For you and me.

By Nathan Schulz

Just Like New!

manwithnewsignIf you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you may remember my post about my favorite shoes.  The shoes that I continue to wear even though they’re not real pretty, but because they’re so comfortable.  Well, guess what?  After purchasing a second pair of the same shoes because the first pair was so worn out, and then wearing out the second pair, I discovered shoe polish.  Who knew?!

I polished my worn out shoes with shoe polish and now both pairs of shoes look just like new!

And as we begin this new year, I’m wondering how many of us are feeling like a pair of worn out shoes.  Did you know that there is shoe polish?  Did you know that our loving God makes all things new?

God loves you even more than I love those shoes!  He knows that we sometimes feel very worn out.  And He knows how to help you feel just like new again.  First Peter 5:7 says to give all of our cares and worries to God because He cares about us.  All those things that wear us down, God is very able to take care of them.  All we have to do is let them go and let God take care of us.

And He will make all things new, which is very exciting because my favorite shoes are so wonderful now that they are covered with shoe polish.  I don’t have to wear worn out shoes!  I can live my life with beautifully polished shoes!

So as you begin this new year, think about this:  What if you allowed God to take care of you and cover you with His love today and in this new year?

God’s promise is for you today.  Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  You can “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV) and be just like new!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Curios what my shoes looked like before I discovered shoe polish?  There’s a picture in my post about them here:  https://lorischulz.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/dont-get-comfortable/