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“He is not here. He has risen.”

“He is not here. He has risen.”

Helping and loving family~
In the community—at work and church~
When I sit at my computer and write~
I serve a risen Savior!

“And if Christ had not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:17

But my faith is not useless.
My life is not without meaning,
Nor is my writing an exercise of futility.

I serve a risen Savior!

He is ALIVE!

Hallelujah!

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter. May the Risen Christ shine bright in your heart.
Anita

The 1 Corinthians 13 of Christmas

If I decorate my house with beautiful bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny baubles, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of mince pies, roasting a perfect turkey, and lay a magnificent table, but have no love for my guests, I am just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not have compassion in my heart for those in need, I am just another social service; it profits me nothing.

If I decorate the tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes and attend a myriad of holiday parties but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to help one’s wife with boring housework. Love puts the Christmas present shopping on hold in order to run the elderly neighbour to the doctor. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has more expensive presents, or even coordinated Christmas china and table linen. Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way; love is glad that they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, even irritating relatives. It believes all things, and encourages teenagers to aim high for their future. It hopes all things, endures all things, even a spouse who is depressed about their job prospects. Love never fails other people. Computer games will crash, even cashmere jumpers will wear out, and golf clubs will get lost. But the gift of love will endure forever. Happy Christmas!

I first read the above article in the Broxbourne with Wormley Parish Magazine that an English friend puts together for her church. The article originally came from a paper called The Church News Service, which is not available here in the United States.

Dressed For Battle

Photo credit: Galdo Trouchky

The apostle Paul used the armor of the Roman soldiers assigned to guard him to illustrate a spiritual truth: the followers of Jesus do not battle “against flesh and blood” but “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm”. As a follower of Christ I’m to put on my battle dress uniform. But when was the last time I made sure my BDU was combat ready? Would I pass inspection?

The Belt of Truth: The foundation that holds my weaponry. In this spiritual battle, Jesus is ‘the way and the truth’. To win the battle, I need to be anchored in the truth found in God’s Word. Have I fallen victim to any of Satan’s lies? God can’t use someone like you. Is my belt a little loose? Your dream is impossible. Cinching the belt one notch tighter.

The Breastplate of Righteousness: Protection for my vital organs in close combat. The breastplate guards my heart. I’m pure and holy protected under the blood of Christ. Hmmm, my breastplate is in need of polishing so my actions will be pleasing to my Heavenly Father.

The Shoes of Readiness and Peace. Uh-0h. My boot lace is untied. Not exactly ready am I. The peace of Christ isn’t the first thing folks notice about me when I’m hurried and harried and my attention isn’t centered on the Good News of the Gospel. Back to basics – boots laces tied and giving God control of the battle.

Shield of Faith: My only protection from flaming arrows. My shield, dinged and slightly bent, is too heavy for me to hold up. I’ve tried. Wasn’t pretty. Spiritual defeat never is. I need Jesus’ strength to fend off Satan’s fiery darts of deceit, denial and doubt. Am I willing to trust Jesus to be my Shield? He’s patiently waiting for me to decide…

Helmet of Salvation: Essential protection for my survival. It skews to the side now and then when the world offers a distraction and Satan fights for a stronghold in my thoughts. Focusing on the total deliverance that Jesus offers keeps my helmet strapped in place.

Sword of the Spirit: My weapon used for both defense and offense — the Living Word of God. My sword is a little dull. I remember some memory verses from childhood, but I haven’t been faithful in learning more as an adult. Fending off Satan’s razor-sharp dagger with my blunt sword makes the battle one-sided in the favor of the enemy. Time for sword drills with the verses I know and adding others to my arsenal.

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:14-17

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