An offering from Debra: Joy in being alive…

April 13, 2015
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He is risen, indeed!

I love the beginning of spring.  I love sitting outside with the pups and a cup of coffee, watching the sky lighten, hearing the birds wake up and start to sing, feeling the breeze soften as the day awakens.  I IMG_2365especially love watching the leaves overhead seem to burst forth overnight, their tender, pale green shoots rendering what were stark, bare branches to those bursting with life.  I walk around exhilarated this time of year, singing more often than not.  If I ever thought God was nowhere to be found I must have had my eyes closed.

We’re lucky the Easter season coincides with this miracle of nature.  My Lenten focus on where I have missed the mark gives way to a generalized joy in being alive.  Like the risen Christ, I, too, am raised to new life, filled with a joy and hope and a zeal to follow the blueprint to wholeness and holiness God has so graciously provided.

(c) 2015 Debra Cook

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An offering from Brian: Christ is risen!

April 10, 2015
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He is risen, indeed!

He is risen, indeed!jesus mafa stone rolled away

‘Christ is risen’ is a spiritual truth in my life, not because of any archaeological proof from a tomb in ancient Israel, but because when life seems to cave in, Christ’s light leads the way to new life!  I often wish that the path to new life did not have to include the way of sorrow or suffering, but it seems that it does.  The cross of death and the empty tomb of new life go together.  A seed has to die and fall in the ground, Jesus says.  All I can say is that whenever it feels like I am at the end, God makes a way. So I am a walking witness that Christ is risen; he is risen, indeed!

I invite you to pray over Matthew 28:1-7 today.

(c) 2015 The Rev. Brian Hardesty-Crouch

Director, HeartPaths DFW

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An offering from Diana: Early on Sunday Morning

April 7, 2015
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This season as I read the familiar accounts of the resurrection, my attention was drawn to the phrase, “Early on Sunday morning…” in each gospel.   I recalled a very special early morning many years ago when I understood the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection for the first time. Jesus did not appear to me as he did for Mary Magdalene that morning of his resurrection, but I am sure I was just as amazed and forever changed. It was a time when I was wrestling with some important questions about life and faith. I was staying at a house in the desert and woke up just as the sun was coming up over the hills. It was the most glorious sunrise I had ever seen. I felt a peace and a presence at the moment and a complete assurance of Jesus’ love.river sunrise

There is something about Jesus’ resurrection taking place early in the morning that is more than just a coincidence or a convenient moment.   The word “morning” in scripture seems to hold a particular significance. In Mark 1:35, we read that Jesus himself rose early in the morning to pray. A few other beautiful and encouraging verses:

His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning.  Lamentations 3:23

 Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.  Psalms 30:5

 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.  Psalms 143:8

 Morning by morning he awakens me and opens my understanding to his will.  Isaiah 50:4

I am not a morning person, but in the stillness of the early morning, I sense those new mercies, the gift of joy can be found once again, I am filled with hope for the new day. Jesus waits for us each morning to give us a fresh, new vision for the day ahead as well as for our lives. His resurrection power continues. He is risen indeed!

 

(c) 2015 Diana Beaudry

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An offering from Eunice: This is the day the Lord has made!

April 6, 2015
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This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!  Psalm 118:24

The light coming from the empty tomb is for me a symbol of new life, the resurrected life, hope and joy. DSCN0771Today I want to forget problems, disappointment and worries – personal and national. I even want to put aside the ongoing “to do’ list and focus on joy. It is easy for me to see what is missing, what is undone instead of seeing my cup is more than half full. And yet as I reflect, I am aware that my real life experience is one that supports trust, positive outlooks and gratitude. Most of the negatives that I’ve seen as possible never happened. So this week I pray to keep my attention on the light of hope and joy.

(c) 2015 Eunice Cheshire

HeartPaths Faculty

Spiritual Director

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An offering from Regina: Resurrection

April 5, 2015
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Mark 16:1-8

“…And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb…As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed…So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”rolled-stone

Every time I read this account of the resurrection I wonder how I might have reacted to find the heavy stone rolled aside and Jesus’ body gone. In the distance of time, we are well-acquainted with the end of the story and we easily dwell on the amazement – the mystery of resurrection – and skip over the terror the women must have felt when they arrived and found the tomb empty. How could they not be afraid? They came expecting to lovingly care for his body and instead they fled in fear and silence when they discovered him missing.

What are the experiences in our lives where we find ourselves so overcome by fear that we attempt to flee or are paralyzed and unable to act? How often are we apprehensive, waiting in the dark, speechless and expecting the worst only to finally see the light dawn and our fears fall away. These are times when we can see the beauty and mystery only from a distance – from the ending of the story – and only then can speak of it with clarity, recognition, and appreciation of God’s incomparable action unfolded before our very eyes. Perhaps our own “resurrection” story.

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

©2015 Regina Strader Hunt

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