And now we begin . . . again

31416_426471080179_582995179_5896140_5420886_n.jpgIn the world of baseball the first month of the season is coming to an end this week.
Spring Training is a distant memory. All those games played – the wins and the losses – do not matter.  Now the long season has begun and everything counts and everyone started equal.

Shoot … even what you did last season doesn’t matter.

What you did yesterday will not determine the game today.
Each game is a do over in this long season of baseball.
Every spring optimism is abundant within every player and every team. Scott O’Connell, director of new ballpark development for the Minnesota Twins, once told me, “Optimism is what every team has during spring training. Reality is what every team knows by July.”

Every player strives to get ready during spring training, but at the same time the veterans know that the games don’t count and the real season begins with Opening Day.

Players that have struggled all spring will play like All-Stars in April and All Star players with great springs will struggle.
The Good News is that today, like each day stretched out this season, will offer the opportunity for redemption.  An at-bat following an inning with an error. A fielding chance after striking out. And a game tomorrow after today’s loss.

The day after Easter is the beginning of season as Christ-followers.

What will you do with the resurrection?
Everything up to this point was a dress rehearsal for this moment.
God’s plan for salvation and relationship was finished and now it is up to us to respond.
What will you do in this season after Easter?

It doesn’t matter what has taken place in the past.

Today everything is new.

So, Batter up!

The time is NOW to live your faith.

An Easter Surprise!

Picture1.pngDid you know that God loves surprises?

Easter is the reminder that God loves us, but it is also a reminder of how surprising God’s love can be.  Let me share with you some of God’s surprises.

God told Noah to build and ark because it was going to rain, but no one had ever seen rain before but then … SURPRISE! it rained and God saved Noah and his family because of their faith.

Shadrach Meshach and Abendigo refused to worship anyone other than God and so the King had them thrown in the fiery furnace but then … SURPRISE! God saved them from the fire because of their faith.

Daniel refused to stop praying to God and so the king had Daniel thrown into the Lion’s Den but then … SURPRISE! God saved Daniel from the lion’s because of his faith.

God promised that He would one day come as a King but then … SURPRISE! God arrived as a baby born in a manger.

Zacheaus just wanted to see Jesus so he climbed into a tree for just a view, but then … SURPRISE! Jesus went home with Zacheaus and ate dinner with him.

The disciples went fishing but didn’t catch any fish, but then … SURPRISE! Jesus said try one more time on the other side of the boat and they caught so many fish the boat nearly sank.

The disciples got caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee and they were afraid the boat would sink but then … SURPRISE! Jesus came to rescue them walking on the water and then … SURPRISE! Peter walked on the water because of his faith.

God loved us so much that Jesus died for us as payment for our sin and was buried in a tomb, but then … SURPRISE! Jesus is alive.

After Jesus conquered death, He went up into Heaven to be with God, but … SURPRISE! Jesus promised that one day He would come back to us.

Until that day, Jesus promised that we would not be alone. He also promised that we didn’t need to be afraid because He was with us. The way that God cares for us can be surprising. God loves to use surprises to remind us over and over again how much He loves us.

So, don’t forget and don’t be surprised that God loves you.

Jesus died for you – and today we know the good news that Jesus is Alive!

Jesus is alive and promises that if we believe that one, day we will get to be with Him in heaven.  So as you hunt for Easter eggs today, remember that the Egg is a reminder that the tomb was empty – After all the candy is gone the empty egg is a reminder that the tomb was empty.

Be open to the surprises of life …

they are simple reminders that God loves you!

Holy Week : Holy Saturday

Garden Tomb outside of Jerusalem

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. Only after the solemn vigil during the day and night, does the Easter celebration begin.

On Holy Saturday long ago the followers of Christ began to gather in the safety of the Upper Room where they had days earlier dined with Jesus.  They gathered to meditate on the suffering and death of Christ – Why had this happened? What was the purpose? What would they do now?

Did anyone remember the story Jesus told? 

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”  Luke 12:35ff NIV

Today as we wait for Easter morning, what will you be doing?
As we wait for the return of Christ, will you be found ready?

See you at Church … I’ll be doing my best to be ready … will you join me?