‘Day One’ Blog

I Know Too Much About the Lord to Tank…

Photo by Juan Gomez

I know too much about the Lord to tank right now.” I piped up with that statement in our community group ZOOM chat last week and was encouraged to briefly elaborate. I fall within the majority of the population who has been impacted by COVID19 but is NOT suffering significant hardship. Even so, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not invited to embrace fear and anxiety as I look out into an unknown future.

Two simple things fuel my “I know too much…” statement. When I look forward to the future, I remember those things that are sure (the promises of God) and try very hard to attach expectations to those and nothing else. Secondly, I look to the past to see the winding trail of the faithfulness of God, not only to me, but to humanity all through the ages. The promises of God are as solid and factual as my testimony of His faithfulness to me is. And that trumps the invitations to let anxiety take root.

I pray that you too will lay hold of His promises and let the memories of His faithfulness linger so that your response to all things related to the pandemic reveals your steadfast trust in God!

Peace in the Storm,
~ Anne

As for You, O Lord,
You will not restrain Your mercy from me;
Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness
will ever preserve me!
Psalm 40:11 (ESV)

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Entering His Glory – April 11 (Easter Eve), ’20

Meditation for the Soul ~

“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things
and then enter His glory?
Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets
He explained to them what was said
in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.
Luke 24:26-27
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His one and only Son
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16
(see also: Matthew 28:9-20;
Luke 24:13-53; John 20:17 – 21:25)

Reflection for the Mind ~

Tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! I cannot thank you enough for traveling with me these many weeks, and being willing to linger in the details of the events leading up to and through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This has been an experience for me unlike any other, and I’m so grateful to God for the way He has met with me.

It’s one thing to think back upon events that took place over two-thousand years ago, and an altogether other thing to be so immersed in the story that the news of Jesus’ resurrection hits you with a sense of disbelief and wonder as it might have if you were there to witness it! That is where I find myself as I write.

I have a deeper appreciation for the immeasurable power of God that not only sustained Jesus through the horror of His last days but defeated death by raising Him back to life! And why did God make this wondrous and terrible sacrifice? LOVE. Love drove the creation of and execution of the plan of redemption for humanity! GOD IS LOVE.

You’ve heard the expression “love does”? No one holds a candle to God when it comes to demonstrating the height, and length and breadth of His love. Jesus Christ, in cooperation with the Father and God the Spirit, ransomed me through His death! And He secured an eternal place for me in His presence through His resurrection from the dead! He did for me what I had no power to do for myself.

Jesus, the Lamb of God who “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), was and is the essence of love, and graciousness, and passion, and truth. He is the sole One who defines sacrifice, sinlessness, and other-centeredness. All the beautiful gifts Jesus has given me (life, peace, joy, hope…) are mine because HE is mine! I can hardly contain myself!

And so I worship! I ascribe worth to my magnificent Lord, seated now at the right hand of God, the Father, (Acts 2:33)! All glory is His. Jesus has entered His glory and I have the honor of making much of Him! What a gift! I bow at His feet and pay homage to the One who gave everything to save me! I have done precisely NOTHING to earn or deserve Him, and yet, because of who HE is, I am His and He is mine, (Song of Songs 2:16)!

Let praise abound, brothers and sisters! We are children of the Risen, King of Glory! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Happy Easter ~

Response for the Heart ~

Jesus, how I love You! I simply cannot believe I am Yours! YOURS! You are more beautiful to me than ever after traveling with You these many weeks of Lent. I give you praise, my King! I worship You, Lord of heaven and earth, the One by whom and for whom all things were made! All that I am and have is Yours, so even my praise and worship is a regifting of sorts. I am so happy I can worship You! You are the risen Lord – MY risen Lord! Thank You, from my soul, for all You did to ransom me. Thank You, from my soul, for making me Yours. Thank You for all that awaits those who belong to You! Tomorrow is Easter! I celebrate You, Your victory over death, and the life I have in You! All my Hope is in You, Risen Lord.
I pray this in Your name, Jesus ~ Amen

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Lent 2020 ~ ‘thank you!’

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He Has Risen From the Dead! – April 08, ’20

(A read through all the gospel passages is necessary to grasp the whole recorded picture of Jesus’ resurrection. The apparent discrepancies in the different texts are dealt with my many scholars and would make a very interesting search if you are interested. My research left me confident, there is truly no discrepancy at all. There are links to the gospel passages for your convenience.)

Meditation for the Soul ~

Now after the Sabbath,
toward the dawn of the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
went to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake,
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven
and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning,
and his clothing white as snow.
And for fear of him the guards trembled
and became like dead men.
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.
Come, see the place where He lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples
that He has risen from the dead,
and behold, He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see Him. See, I have told you.”
So they departed quickly from the tomb
with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Matthew 28:1-8
(See also: Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12;
John 20:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

Reflection for the Mind ~

The event of Jesus’ resurrection involved more people than we might think. It all began a little before first light on the third day of His death. The soldiers guarding the tomb, many different women, Jesus’ disciples, and a few other favored ones were invited into the first hours of the greatest, most significant event in history. The tomb was empty and Jesus was alive!

Fear, great joy, trembling, astonishment, weeping… all were experienced by various ones depending on how and when they arrived on the scene. Some felt an earthquake, some witnessed an angel rolling the stone away. Some were spoken to by an angel. All were dumbfounded to find Jesus missing from the grave where they had personally laid Him.

This new news was equally as disorienting as Jesus’ death had been. How could it not be! Those whose memories failed them had the words of an angel to remind them that Jesus had already told them He would rise from the dead. Still, this was something no natural mind had space to entertain. Before too long though, Jesus would show Himself to His beloved ones and they would know, without doubt, HE HAD RISEN!

Response for the Heart ~

Oh Lord, how relieved I am to be at this part of the story! You rose from the dead, just as You said You would! Praise You, Risen Savior! The days of mourning felt as though they would never end and of course, Your followers were not sure they would. I would have been just like them. I would have thought You were really gone, that I was parted from You for good. But that is NOT what happened! You rose again! You defeated death! You purchased the redemption of anyone who would believe what You did and declare You Lord of their life! You did that for me! Thank You! Thank You! Praise You! Death could not hold You! I bow before You, Jesus – my risen Lord! ~ Amen

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Two Days of Silence – April 06, ’20

disbelief & disorientation

Meditation for the Soul ~

Truly, truly I say to you,
you will weep and lament,
but the world will rejoice.
John 16:20
For my sighing comes instead of my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.
Job 3:23-25
The Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26

Reflection for the Mind ~

This Lent we have committed ourselves to being occupied with thoughts of Jesus and who He showed Himself to be in the last days of His earthly life. As we approach today’s entry, we do so with the premise that those who followed Christ were very much occupied with thoughts of Him in the two-plus days after He died.

There is no way to understand what Jesus’ followers would have been experiencing at the time of His death. Their Beloved had just been savagely tortured and then executed. The psyche’s immediate response to trauma is to put a temporary stop on all normal responses and shift into a shutdown mode for self-preservation. So I don’t think the extent of their bewilderment can be measured.

But the thing that takes their experience even further out of the known stratosphere is this: Jesus wasn’t just their beloved companion and teacher. He was the one who was going to save them. He was the Christ, the Messiah. He was the Son of God. He was their future hope – and He was dead.

Fear also gripped those left behind. They hunkered down trying to stay off of the Jewish leaders’ grid. That adds yet another complicated, significant layer to all the followers of Christ were trying to navigate. It was just a terrible, terrible time for them. Honestly, Jesus was so detailed trying to prepare them for His absence, but it didn’t appear as though much of it was able to come to bear for the disciples and others.

A few of Jesus’ followers, mainly the women, were able to make themselves useful by preparing His body for burial and taking care of the burial details. That might have been a helpful “if temporary” distraction. But the majority were left to do nothing but wait (in hiding) and pray that the cloud of disbelief and disorientation would mercifully dissipate.

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, even as Your Spirit takes me back to that terrible day, I grieve Your death. The idea that one could be without You, for a moment, let alone three interminable days is beyond my comprehension. I know You sustained Your devastated followers, though I doubt they would have been able to feel it. What would You have me understand as I sit in these days of silence? Speak to me Lord and teach me. I praise You and I worship You! ~ Amen

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