Sunday, March 28, 2010

Preparing Your Heart for Easter

What are you doing to prepare for Easter? Not just coloring eggs or getting a new dress. Not just searching for Grandma’s au gratin potato recipe or inviting guests for dinner. I mean, how are you preparing your heart?

Easter is the biggest holiday in the Christian faith, the main event. Sure, Christmas always seems to get top billing in the media and the preparations go on for weeks before the actual day. But what about Easter—Resurrection Day?

The snowdrop flowers in the photo above remind me of the contrast of this holiday. The dark black background is the Good Friday sorrow of holy surrender and death. And yet, there is also the triumph—the bright white good news is that Jesus Christ rose again. Alive and free! So we could be too.

Darkness and light. Death and resurrection. Hopes dashed and hope renewed. The messages of life played out in the events we celebrate each year in this Easter Week.

What are you doing to prepare?

Me? I’m pushing aside worry and focusing on WORSHIP. I’m spending more time in prayer and less in putting my own agenda first. I’m choosing to CELEBRATE the best news ever from the One who loves me most. Jesus died and rose again to give us life, hope, freedom and peace. And that is so worth celebrating!

It may be Easter, but this holiday carol still applies, “Let every heart prepare Him room…”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Awakening Your Dormant Dreams

Spring is just around the corner. It's the time of year when the earth wakes up. Purple crocus' and bright yellow daffodils pop from the ground and display their vivid colors, despite the lingering snow.

Perhaps it's time to "wake up" in your own life too. Do you have dreams and desires that never seem to come to pass? You think they're dead--never gonna happen. But maybe they are merely dormant.

Consider the sunflower seed. It's small and unobtrusive. Yet, with the warmth of the sun and the moisture of rain it grows to be one of the tallest plants.

To me, a sunflower in bloom represents a dream come true. From a seed, planted in hope, fruition comes.

Give your dream seeds to God and see what grows. You may just get a field of dreams that you never could have imagined.

Dormant Dreams

Desires and dreams encased in a seed,
Released in the black earth of faith.
Time to let go of what I think I need,
And hold on to the hope of His grace.

Longingly gazing at empty brown dirt,
Can’t make your dreams grow any faster.
For the seed in the soil is dormant, not dead.
Look up, to the face of the Master.

Call out for courage, have patience, have faith!
A mystery’s unveiling, my friend.
For a small, simple see can yield sunflower gold.
Surely, this isn’t the end.

In the fullness of time, resurrection.
The earth births a tender young shoot.
Nurtured and tended with strong, loving hands
The flower grows deep, solid roots.

And the seedling unfolds to a blossom,
Pure artistry formed in the dark.
In His perfect timing the Harvester brings
Fruition to desires of the heart.

-- Jackie M. Johnson