Tag Archives: Easter

Because He Lives…


I have always loved Easter.

However, this year, the holiday was infused with special meaning for me. I spent all of last week with Jesus, as I immersed myself in the details of His last week on earth before He went to the cross. I felt like an eyewitness, experiencing the highs and lows with my Savior..and often being moved to tears by His beautiful spirit, breathtaking love, immense strength, and tender heart.

I saw and felt Him everywhere and His peace covered me like a blanket. Fear melted in light of the glory of the magnificent Cross. There truly is nothing to be afraid of. On that Cross, Jesus took care of my most pressing need…forgiveness of my sin. There is NOTHING He cannot handle.

As Romans 8:32 states, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”

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Last Thursday night, we attended the communion service at church.

Our pastor reminded us that the Last Supper was a time of intimacy between Jesus and His disciples. This, too, was a time of intimacy…when Jesus called us to draw near and go deeper, to meditate on all that He had done for us…to celebrate that because of the Cross, we have instant and miraculous access into His very heart, both now and for all eternity.

I saw Him in so many faces that night:

*a breast cancer survivor who boldly shared that she would choose to go through that journey again because it brought her to Jesus…and His love is better than life itself (Psalm 63:3)

*our pastor, whose beloved wife has long battled illness, admitted that it’s been a long time since he has felt like singing. Yet, sing he did, clear and strong…because Jesus always gives us a new song (Psalm 40:3)

*a friend who is waiting for the results of a biopsy, yet is filled with peace…because Jesus IS Peace. (Ephesians 2:14).

*a dad who is grieving the loss of a son much too soon…but who rests in the fact that God is a good God and chooses to trust what he cannot understand. (Psalm 34:8 )

That is the power of Jesus on display. Not only does He save us…but He continually gives us the power to live victoriously and joyfully in the midst of a fallen world.

Watching Jesus put a broken life back together and love someone to wholeness is a beautiful wonder.

He has done it for me and I will be forever grateful.

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On Saturday, our family watched “The Passion of the Christ.” There is one particular scene in that movie that always brings me to tears because it is so deeply moving. As Jesus is carrying His cross, He drops to His knees to fully embrace it. One of the criminals who will be crucified with Jesus rages at him: “Why do you embrace your cross, you fool?”

To the world, this looks like utter foolishness, perhaps the actions of a madman. Yet the world does not have eyes to see the beauty of redemption, particularly one that by necessity was so bloody and gruesome.

scene from "The Passion of the Christ"

Jesus fully embraced His cross…so that He could joyfully embrace all who would come to Him.

He knew that His redeemed bride was on the other side of that Cross.

Likewise, when we choose to embrace the personal crosses we carry, we will find that we are actually embracing Jesus Himself…which results in a time of unparalleled intimacy and transformation. That is when we discover that He truly is all that we need.

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On Easter morning, I awoke at 4:30 to get ready for the sunrise service. I could see the clouds moving across the moon and the fog was thick. It has snowed the day before and the ground was still covered. It definitely looked more like a winter scene than Easter morning.

However, the sun did rise over the mountains as we all gathered at the church property to sing and celebrate our risen Savior. The skies cleared, revealing a brilliant blue. Even the snow reminded me that my sins, once scarlet, have now been washed white as snow by the precious blood of Jesus.

Easter truly is the most joyous of days because…”we are the celebrants out dancing in a wild rain of grace.”–Ann Voskamp.

Dance…and celebrate for the rest of your days…because HE IS RISEN!!!

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Weekend Moment: Easter 2003


 This photo marked our first Easter in south Florida.

It truly was  a new beginning for all of us.

The year before was without a doubt the hardest year of our lives. I underwent surgery, Doug’s job was cut, we had to sell our home, and my father died.

In January of 2003, Doug was offered a job in south Florida and we moved there in February.

The sunshine and warm weather were a balm to our souls after what had felt like a never-ending winter.

The day we left the northeast to make the long drive south, it was 4 degrees below zero. We had experienced several days in a row of snow and the grayness and cold seemed to have seeped into my heart. The Florida sunshine was so healing. For the first two weeks, I just  literally sat by the pool and soaked it in.

I also made the unfortunate decision to cut my hair short and have it dyed white-blond. My new stylist tried to talk me out of it, but I was determined to make a big change. In my mind, it represented a break with the previous awful year and a brand new start.

What was I thinking?!

At any rate, Easter morning dawned bright and beautiful. My mom was visiting and she took this photo right before we left to visit a new church right down the road. I can’t believe how little the kids look to me…particularly since I look up at both of them now! 🙂

The main thing I see when I look at this photo is a family who is bonded together in a very powerful way. Having lived through a year of heartbreak, we were more aware than ever of the preciousness and brevity of life. We were stronger, full of faith, and ready to seize all the joy and laughter we could.

The church we visited that year had the strangest Easter service ever. It looked like a traditional Baptist church on the outside…but the minister rambled on and on for about an hour and a half…and he never mentioned the resurrection or the fact that it was Easter Sunday even once!

However…even that weird service could not dim our joy.

Easter is a glorious time of new beginnings and we were living ours.

Because of Easter, Christ’s love and joy blaze undimmed regardless of circumstances. He is an expert at healing wounded hearts and giving beauty for ashes.

“God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal, and forgive

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because he lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living, just because He lives”–Bill Gaither

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