Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jesus Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

This is one of the passages I reflected on this morning:

"But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.  But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.   Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead"

Praise the Lord that we serve a risen Christ, who conquered death for our sins!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Teresa, you ARE funny!"

I was just reading through some stuff I've written on my blog and on Facebook and was laughing at myself.  I probably shouldn't admit that to all the world, but this is a safe place, people!

Laughing at how funny I apparently think I am made me think of a quote from my college roommate.  I knew Holly before we went to college but not very well.  Then, we bonded the summer before college at a freshman orientation weekend.  And then we continued to become better and better friends our freshman year, which resulted in us rooming together our sophomore, junior, and senior years.  I'm not sure exactly when this quote came about, but it was either our junior or senior year.  Actually, it was our senior year, because that was the only year Holly's bunk was above mine.  It was late one night and we were already in bed and were just talking.  I said something, that must have been hilarious (because isn't everything I say late at night hilarious?!), and Holly said, "Teresa, you ARE funny!"  The way she said it made me think that she had been trying to figure that out for the past four years.  "I don't know.  Is Teresa funny or isn't she?" and then that night she made her final decision!  It still makes me laugh.  I wish I could remember what I said that tipped the scale in favor of my being funny.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

'Tis the Season, Take 3

Saturday was the last of the spring weddings I was invited to. Alex and Brittany tied the knot on a beautiful spring day. Just two days before the infamous April snow, but we don't need to talk about that right now! I didn't have a great seat for taking pictures, but here are some that I snapped.
Pastor Fred's message.
A prayer for the bride and groom.
Pronouncing them husband and wife.
While we were waiting for Alex and Brittany to dismiss us row by row, we were entertained by Remy (Alex's niece) who was dancing on stage.  I couldn't get a great picture of her because she was moving too much and all the pictures were blurry.  But she was very cute.  And we found out later that her parents didn't know she was up there!  Too funny.

It was a beautiful wedding and a fun reception also.  I have really enjoyed these weddings this year and am actually a little sad to say that they have come to an end.  But don't worry, there is a reception for a cousin in July.  And I have another cousin who just got engaged but I haven't heard when the wedding will be.  There's always another wedding around the bend...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reflections/ Hand written/ Studying/ Observing

Several years ago, my pastor challenged the congregation to hand write the book of the Bible he was preaching from.  He said it was a different experience in the Word and that it would cause us to be able to slow down and reflect on God's Word.  I have always loved writing and can remember when I would take a book and just sit and start writing the book out by hand (I know, weird and a little nerdy).  So, I decided to take up the challenge Pastor Ritch had given.  Several years later, this is still something I do often.  At the beginning of the year, we were starting Colossians in Bible study, so before we started, I wrote it out.  I was able to pick up on repetitious words that I had never noticed before.

Recently, when I've had some extra time in my studying for the two Bible studies I am involved in, I have begun to write out Psalm 119.  It is 176 verses long, so I'm just doing 8-12 verses at a time.  While I enjoy writing out Scripture, I have also learned that if I tackle too much at a time, I stop focusing and just write without thinking.  I'm also writing out from a different version than I normally read because it is even fresher that way.  Did you know that all 176 verses of Psalm 119 speak specifically about God's word (well, except for a few, I think)?  I already knew that and have loved the chapter because of it, but did you know that many of the verses speak about not being put to shame when we know His Word?

Did you know that many of the verses speak about affliction?  I did not know these things.  And the affliction has really caught my attention.  Listen to this verse, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word...It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes." (v. 67, 71)  I was so struck by this verse because I realized that it was affliction that must have caused the writer to turn to God's Word.  Before he faced affliction, when life was great and everything was going as planned, the writer went astray.  But once he faced affliction, then he learned to keep God's Word.  And this one: "My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." (v. 28)  This is a good one for me, because I am so prone to emotion overload.  But when I focus on my emotion, my soul melts away.  When I focus on the truth of God's Word, I am strengthened.  V. 92 says, "If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction."

And this doesn't even begin to talk about all the strong words there are to describe God's Word in our lives. walk in the with whole heart...having my eyes fixed on all your commandments...guarding it according to your word...stored up your word in my heart...I delight...fix my eyes on your ways...delight in your statutes...will not forget...consumed with longing for your counselors...give me life...strengthen me...I cling to your testimonies...I will run in the way of your commandments...I will keep it to the end...I long for your precepts...I trust in your word...sought your precepts...I find my delight in your commandments, which I love...comfort in my affliction...your promise gives life...your statutes have been  my songs...this blessing...I promise to keep your word...I turn my feet to your testimonies...I hasten and do not delay...I do not forget...teach me your statutes!  And these are just from the first 64 verses!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Gilmore Girls Moment (Sorta, but not really)

Last night I had a random Gilmore Girls memory.  Do you remember the episode where Logan hires a coffee cart for Rory?  The guy and the cart just follow her around all day from class to class and give her endless refills of coffee.  I decided I want someone to hire me a fruit cart every day.  Someone to follow me around all day with endless supplies of every fruit imaginable (except blueberries and raspberries) that is already cut up and peeled and is the freshest, most delicious fruit.  I would be so happy.  And I'd probably eat a lot healthier too.  Someone should get right on that.  I'll be expecting the cart outside my door in the morning!