An offering from Amy:

April 20, 2015
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I am created new.

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5

How slow I am to embrace new life in Christ.Untitled

I’ve spent time wrestling in the Lenten desert with who I am called to be. I’ve waited painful hours from the garden to the cross to carry that, which needs to die, to the tomb…reluctance to serve as I am called, impatience with God’s timing, pride, my desire to control. And in pre-dawn prayer I have known Christ’s renewal. I have been amazed, as I’ve experienced God’s love in and through me. Yet, I want to return to the tomb to retrieve my old ways in disbelief that I’ve actually been made new. I keep looking for the dead to see if it’s really dead rather than rejoicing in the living.

In the crucified Christ I am forgiven. In the risen Christ, I am a new creation. I surrender, Holy Spirit, to live in trust and joy among the living.

(c) 2015 Amy Moore

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An offering from Beverly: Transformation…Easter…Remembrance…

April 19, 2015
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He is risen, indeed!

On the third day, Jesus arose from the dead, fulfilling the prophecies. He is Messiah, Savior, Redeemer, King of Kings, Shepherd, God with us.rolled-stone

But where were His followers on that day? They had fearfully gone into hiding, left without hope or understanding. Imagine the surprised disciples, when Jesus suddenly appeared with them in their locked room! Consider Jesus’ grace-filled love for Thomas, who needed to experience Jesus for himself. Jesus met his need with an invitation to touch His nail scarred hands and side. Thomas’ eyes were opened, as he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”

These disciples, ordinary men, saw the Risen Christ, received the Holy Spirit, and became extraordinary in their passionate zeal for their Messiah. Receiving a remarkable new strength and courage, they were empowered to witness boldly, to bring healing and deliverance, and to live out the truth they believed, even to the point of a martyr’s death. Transformation.

Easter. Remembrance.  Jesus Christ, Risen Savior, invites me to be with Him presently, forever. Everyday, I fall in love with Him again. Every day, a new opportunity to say, “My Lord and my God!”

(c) 2015 Beverly Middleton

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An offering from Donnie: God Has Chosen Me

April 18, 2015
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He is risen and has given me himself as the example upon which my ministry is to be lived out. This was first shown to me in the Father’s relationship to Jesus and by extension,

2005-7-Bee-Balm-with-Orange-Butterfly4Jesus’ relationship to me. The heart of that relationship consists of reaching out in love and concern for all. This happens in and through the intimacy I am called to by Jesus: “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15)

That is pretty heady stuff—intimacy with Jesus–but if I am ever to go out and be of service to others, that intimacy has to be cultivated and not by myself, that is the Lord’s work, accomplished in and through the power of the Spirit. So with his Resurrection, I am given my walking papers—go and reach out to others in love and concern. Alleluia!

(c) 2015 Donnie Hawley

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An offering from Dorothy: Known to them in the breaking of the bread…

April 17, 2015
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Jesus walked unrecognized with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection and was not known to them until the breaking of the bread at the evening meal (Luke 24:31). breadEach time we take communion we, too, can know Christ again and again in this sacrament. After my mother died, I was in a deep state of grief. One Sunday at the altar rail during Eucharist, I felt an indescribable peace, a profound realization that Jesus and my mother were somehow together there in that moment. He is risen, indeed! He is there in the breaking of the bread, offering His love and His grace to all who will accept the gift.

(c) 2015 Dorothy Castle

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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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