Already Gone
This morning I got a lot of Easter emails.  I opened them and saw pictures of crosses and lilies, tombs and thorns.  I wished I had gotten some of them earlier and passed them on. They were beautiful.   I thought too bad that Easter is already gone.  As I thought that thought  I thought of an Easter Sunday school lesson I had taught some children at an outreach Saturday.  The lesson was of course about the resurrection. The point of the lesson was that Jesus is alive.  I remembered reading of the women going to the tomb and worrying who would roll the heavy stone away so they could go in and anoint the body of Jesus. 
When they got there they, of course, the stone had already been rolled away. The big problem they worried about facing was already gone.  God took care of it for them. 
This is from the lesson:
After Jesus died on the cross, He was placed in a tomb.  In those days, people were buried in little rooms that were carved out of the rocky sides of hills.  A big stone was rolled in front of the tomb's door where Jesus was placed.  Three days later a few women who had been followers of Jesus came to the tomb. As they walked they worried who would be able to roll away the heavy stone.  But when they looked up the stone was already rolled away and they went inside.
Of course, the story of the first Easter morning continues by the women seeing the angel who told them to go and tell the good news and they did just that, they went and told which is what all of us should still be doing today and every day even when Easter is already gone.
The point of the lesson, Jesus is alive, is a great point  It is the point all of Christianity is based on. It is the hope we hold on to every single day. Jesus got up.  He is our Savior who did then what He said He would do and continues now to do what He says He will do every day in all of our lives. We just have to believe.
 With that thought, I thought of another very important lesson from the lesson.
I remembered the song, "Why Worry Be Happy." 
Why is it that we worry and let the worry take away from our happiness.
 Every problem we are traveling to, He has made a way for us to go through, God has already taken care of it for us. It is already gone. We just have to look up and see that it is gone. 
 Before the outreach Saturday I faced a few challenges. There were scheduling conflicts with those who were coming with me to minister.  There were problems with the location, we had no access to inside facilities. It had to be done completely outside. The weather was cool and windy. Did we have enough food?
 Was I capable of saying what needed to be said, what needed to be taught to the children, or should I ask someone else?
 All of these worries were with me as I traveled there Saturday. But when I got there... Everything went great!  Every conflict vanished.  I looked up and there were more than enough people, food, and God guided me as to what I should say.
 The problems were already gone as I traveled there, but I had to look up to see that. There is a lesson to be learned here. I guess simply put,  Why worry? Be happy. Problems are already gone if we believe and take the time to look up and see what God has already done for us in advance.
And never forget,
 every day.
When you see God's creation around you today,
let each detail remind you to lift your head in PRAISE!!!
Genesis 1:31
Sunset Survey
Sunday was a strange kind of weather day... rainy, stormy, sunny, rainy, stormy, windy,  very warm (almost hot) and sunny again, and suddenly very cool as the sunset. Working yesterday, I checked out charcoal during the sunny times, umbrellas during the rainy times, batteries during the stormy times, and mostly food ( a lot of coffee) as the sun began to set. And during the high winds what?  Everyone seemed to have stayed home during that time.  I checked out nothing but a door blowing open when the strong gusts came.  As the strange weather day began to come to a close there was buggy after buggy full of groceries.   Everyone must have decided to cook supper, eat,  go to bed, and hope for better weather as they got up to make coffee tomorrow.
As the sun was setting I stepped out the door to bring in carts. As I looked to the west I saw an amazing sight.  Past the parking lot, beyond the busy highway, above the power lines, hovering on the horizon was a beautiful sunset. There were mostly shades of pink and purple. The clouds looked like purple mountains covered in pink snow that had fallen quietly on this strange weather day. I stood in awe and found tears in my eyes as I beheld the beauty. Crazy? I suppose, but God was "all up" in that sunset. 
As I stood out looking, a couple and their little boy walked toward the door to enter the store. They looked back to see what I saw.  The young man asked, "Is it suppose to storm?"  I said, "No,  I think the storms are gone."  The young woman said, "This has been a strange weather day."  I said, "Yes."  The little boy said, " Look, it is so pretty!"
I said, "Yes, isn't it beautiful?"
i went back into the register but periodically stepped back out to get just one more glance of the sunset. I asked a few people who came in to buy phone cards and  Trident gum and Pine-Sol if they had noticed the sunset.  Remember the Trident commercial? "Four out of five dentists surveyed recommended Trident for their patients who chew gum." I wish I could say four out of five customers surveyed about the beautiful sunset actually noticed, but unfortunately, no one  I asked saw it until I told them to look.  Yes, the beautiful picture God painted all over the western sky to bring the strange weather day to a close was largely ignored by most. 
This busy world that we all live our lives in containing some strange and stormy days was created by God.  Yes, He created the world. He created days of all kinds. He created us. He created rain and storms and winds and the sun and beautiful sunsets.  
Give yourself a survey today.
When was the last time you saw a beautiful sunset at the end of a stormy rainy day?
Take the time to notice God's beauty all around you even in the midst of strange and stormy days. I recommend it. As you wipe a tear from your eye, you will feel God "all up" in whatever you are going through.


James 4:14

Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 

        Don't Forget Who You Are       


If your life were a book, how many chapters would there be and what would be the title of each chapter?  Would anyone care to read the book? Would the book make any impact, or more importantly I guess, any sense to anyone?  There would probably be a chapter on childhood years, teen years,  and young adult years.  For some, there would be a chapter or two on years spent in a career.  For others, there would be chapters on years spent as spouses.  Many would have chapters on years as parents and grandparents. Some books would be longer with chapters on older and older and hopefully older years. 


No matter how many titles we acquire in this life, we all begin with one simple title defining who we are.  We are someone's child, possibly someone's sister or brother from the beginning, but always someone's child.   Some first-borns go on to become sisters or brothers later,  some never and remain only someone's child.  In that case, the title of only child is always held.  


We become someone's playmate, classmate, friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend,  Many become a fiance,  then a wife or a husband.  Many of these go on to become mothers, dads, grandpas, grandmas. great, and sometimes even great great.   We are usually remembered by the next generation and possibly the next. Stories are passed on about us for awhile but are soon forgotten.  We become distant memories and finally, only a name on a family tree people look upon and sometimes take the time to wonder what we were like and try to find out who we really were.  There is a song.. Songs are important to me and do tell stories in a way simple words can never tell I suppose.  There is one line I recall from the song titled simply Songs. We pass through each other's lives and fade into the past...You don't know who to believe in no one seems to last... And another song Seasons in the Sun is about chapters in someone's life... All our lives we have joy we have seasons in the sun, but the joy and the song like the seasons have all gone.


What titles are most important to us while we are here? I suppose that is up to each individual.  What relationships here are most important to us while we are here? 


I have been thinking a lot about relationships of late,  who I really am I suppose.  What is important?  What is the most important?  I remember going out the door as a teenager and my mother saying, "Don't forget who you are." Of course, the reminder didn't always help when I was trying to fit in.  I think if I were to receive that warning message now as an adult it would have a greater impact on how I choose to live my life now than it did when I was a teenager.  

My mother passed away last year and is no longer here to give me the message.  Since she passed,  I have felt a  huge sense of loss as to who I am.  The day she died I titled myself orphan.  Later I realized that title would not always  stick with me. When people see my name on a family tree someday, I will always be her child.  By my name, there will always be one brother and two sisters who will also be thought of as her child.  Therefore I guess I will always be remembered as a sister to someone, three people actually. On down the tree, I will be someone's spouse, someones' mother, someone's grandmother, and hopefully someone's great and even great great. Time will tell I suppose.  All other friendships and relationships and titles I have here will not be listed. 


I believe God took the time last week to give me a simple message that my mother isn't able to give me anymore.  In a very special way, He said, "Don't forget who you are."  While working Saturday there were visitors from the past. One customer  asked was I Bobby's sister, ( my brother.) One asked was I Linda's sister (my oldest sister.) One asked was I Debbie's sister( my youngest sister.)  This I came to the conclusion was not a coincidence, but God reminding me even though I am older now,  a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend to some I hope,  even so, I also hold the title of sister that has been with me since I was born.


I guess I need to work on fulfilling that title,  that role, those relationships in my life.  I appreciate prayers as I attempt to restore, repair, rebuild and to some extent simply establish a relationship that God created long ago and intends for me to fulfill. 


Also today I pass along this message to you all, "Don't forget who you are." Who are you? What title do you place more importance on?  First and foremost always remember you are a child of God. After that pray, He always guides you and gently reminds who you are and what relationships are most important in your life. Take the time to enjoy all the seasons, all the chapters of your life. Enjoy all the people in your life.  God has given each of them to you for a special reason, if only for a season.