Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Death has lost, Life has won and Morning has come!

The last several years Easter has come and gone for me in the blink of an eye. It is the most important holiday on the Christian calender no matter which denomination you belong to. It culminates with the most awesome, controversial event in the history of mankind, the resurrection of the Lord. That event is the dividing line, it defines exactly who you think God is, exactly where you will spend eternity, with God or without God.

I was one of the lucky ones, I always knew there was a God, something bigger than myself, something unseen, something hard to describe but an active 'force' present with me. I feel for people who are not born with that knowledge first and foremost in their being, it must be hard to have to sort out all this mess of good and evil, why do bad things happen to good people, or maybe to have to live with the attitude of 'who else can I grind under my heel' to edify their fragile self esteem. I think Non believers have some strange ideas about life without a clear knowledge of God.

I was blessed when I was saved and Jesus was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, when the scriptures found in the Bible began to make sense. Now since I met the living God many many years ago, a lot of life has passed and a lot of major events have turned me on my heel, stopped me short, thumped me on the head, and knocked the wind right out of my sails.

I have been loved and I have been betrayed, and sometimes by the same people.

I have been bathed by the sweet light of revelation and truth, and swallowed up by the painful helplessness of denial and destruction.

Death has been an all too frequent unwanted visitor in my house of the heart.

God alone provides my hope and my joy. Through Grace I will see my family again, and at the end of my days I will know a new life with no pain, no betrayal, no denial.

I want to share something that really touched my heart , it’s an old (look at Guy's hair) video from Gloria Gaither & Guy Penrod and it blessed my soul. May it be a blessing to you as well. You can read along as she speaks, its so beautiful I hope you are touched by the Holy Spirit as I was.

Hush the music player in the top right hand column.

They had sealed his broken body in a halfway finished tomb
And even that was loaned them by a friend
And they spent the endless hours wondering who would be the next
And why a thing so perfect had to end

And if it weren’t enough to haunt them that their hopes and dreams were gone
Shattered by the hammer and some nails
The silent accusation of the fear that gripped their hearts
Made a farce of everything He told them from the start

They said now that it was over she should go and get some rest
She was sure they all had meant well with their words
But for her it wasn’t over
It would never never be
Her child would always be alive to her

The things that she had stored away there deep within her breast
Paraded back and forth across her heart
The moment she had felt this baby leap within her womb
She'd known somehow that life could not be sealed up in a tomb

It seemed I’d gone forever without a ray of hope
My prayers just echoed empty down the hall
The statements that I’d made returned at night to question me
And no one seemed to answer when I called

Music and Joy and all the friends I had were gone
And all I had to hold to were his words
He promised to be with me and never let me go
So that is what I held to it was all that I could know

Sometimes we meet together in our cloistered upper rooms
We drink the wine and share the broken bread
And promise one another to be true until the end
To all the things our Lord and Master said

And yet when we’re facing the dark times of our lives
Those hallelujahs seem so far away
Our failures and our humanness is all we see and hear
And all our best intentions seem to melt and disappear

Listen to me
When the final word is spoken, the last farewell is said
And gone is all our chance to sell or buy
When the last child is delivered and the last soul laid to rest
And all the tears are shed we’ll ever have to cry

When the sands of time have sifted through the minutes and the days
What’s done is done and what’s said is said
Just before the music fades from all our songs of faith and hope
A trumpet blast will bring a shout of victory and we’ll know

Death has lost
Life has won
And Morning has come

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mark16:6 NIV~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Words & Music by Gloria and William Gaither and Chris Christian

They all walked away, nothing to say,
They just lost their dearest Friend;
All that He said, now He was dead,
So this was the way it would end!

The dreams they had dreamed,
Were not what they seemed,
Now that He was dead and gone;
The garden, the jail, the hammer, the nail,
How could a night be so long?

Then came the morning, night turned into day:
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn!
Then came the morning,
Shadows vanished before the sun;
Death had lost and life had won,
For morning had come!

The angel, the star, the kings from afar,
The wedding, the water, the wine,
Now it was done, they'd taken her Son,
Wasted before His time!

She knew it was true, she'd watched Him die too,
She'd heard them call Him just a man;
But deep in her heart she knew from the start,
Somehow her Son would live again.

Then came the morning, night turned into day:
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn!
Then came the morning,
Shadows vanished before the sun;
Death had lost and life had won,
For morning had come!

The old men will dream, the young men will seem
To know what they never have learned.
Your daughters and sons will see what's to come
Before the Messiah's return.

Wonders and signs, plans and designs,
Will play out their final day.
Rumors and war will threaten no more,
The waiting bride is caught away!

Here comes the morning, night has turned to day;
The clouds have rolled away, Eternal dawn!
Then comes the morning,
Shadows vanished before the sun.
Death has lost! and life has won,
For morning has come!

Death has lost! and life has won,
For morning has come!

Morning has come!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Easter is sneaking up on me

Luke Chapter 22: 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I am a ‘holiday’ person, love to decorate, cook something special and different, buy presents, wrap, and look forward to an event to celebrate. I buy into the whole holiday theme no matter what the holiday is because I think it makes for a happy memory and creates a better family environment. But holiday time can be empty and futile unless I keep the religious significance intact. I love Easter’s theme, bunnys, pastel eggs, flowers, spring, freshness, light, church, Easter bonnets and dresses and shoes. But all of these lovely ideas are not the real reason we celebrate Easter.

“Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent. Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of his Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with him in new life on Easter.”

I am not of the Catholic faith, but I completely respect and admire their practice of honoring lent. It really brings your heart and mind around to what is important at Easter and that is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today Hymn

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia

Words: Charles Wes­ley, 1739. Stanzas 8-10, au­thor un­known, 14th Cen­tu­ry; trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish in Lyra Da­vid­i­ca. This ex­ub­er­ant song is one of the most pop­u­lar East­er hymns in the Eng­lish lang­uage.

Music: Easter Hymn, com­pos­er un­known, in Lyra Da­vid­i­ca (Lon­don: 1708) (MI­DI, score).

Wesley’s words were writ­ten for use at the first wor­ship ser­vice at the Wes­ley­an Chap­el in Lon­don. The cha­pel, on the site of a for­mer iron found­ry, be­came known as the Found­ry Meet­ing House, and this hymn was in­clud­ed in the Found­ry Col­lect­ion.


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