On Viewing the Fine-prints (An Easter Musing)

[Image by Madelinetosh]
That one moment when you stop and look into the sky, and you stretch out your hands as though reaching out to God, and you ask "what are the fine prints?" Or "What's the point?" Or "What do you have to do to get it?" Or "What if you'll never really know?"

In many documents, the fine-prints are the words with the tiniest fonts. They are usually so small that you can hardly read them, unless of course you raise the documents close to your face so that you can see them clearly. Unless of course, you think it matters. Unless it is THAT important to your life.

During Easter, the fine-prints of the entire meaning of Christianity are enlarged in bold so that hopefully everyone can see. In it we can understand what happened and why we are where we are today.

See, on that cloudy day, Jesus walked several miles with a cross strapped on His back and thorns on His head, to a place called Golgotha ('place of skulls')...to where murderers had been sentenced to death prior to His own sentence, just to die for you and me and to place the burdens on an innocent lamb, that blood might be shed to build a new covenant.

 Now in Him, instead of death we can receive life.

 Instead of judgment, we can receive forgiveness. 

 Instead of nails, we can receive love.

 Instead of consequences, we can receive forgiveness.

 Instead of leaving the earth to futility because of the sins of the world, we can embrace the Father again and receive new life and living waters that we might not thirst again in futility. 

[image by coconinoco]
That anyone....truly, anyone...who calls upon the name of Jesus, can be saved, even right here in the nick of time. Right here, while reading this blog. 

These are the fine-prints of Easter. In the midst of days off work, organizing Easter egg hunts, grocery-shopping for Easter bunnies, and groveling in the kitchen to make an Easter dinner. In the midst of all these is the reason this Friday is called "Good Friday." That He died for you and me, and on the third day (Easter Sunday) He rose up from the dead, collected the keys of Hades, and sat at the right hand of the Father. This fact, single-handedly, is the most important thing that could have ever happened in the history of the universe.


What this means to me is priceless. Happy Easter, people. 


Question: What does Easter mean to you? Readers, I hope you have the BEST Easter ever, and I hope you pause to reflect on these fine-prints.


For Length of Days, For Long Life



[Image by Mabyssal]
"Honey, close your eyes, count to three, and slowly repeat what I just told you."

I wrap my arms around him and rub his shoulders, gently cajoling him. He responds, but not what I expected. Then he gives me that look, the one where his eyes become smaller than they really are, and I immediately sense the gargantuan fear coming from somewhere inside him.

Motherly instincts tell me that he's just encountered a Goliath that he cannot defeat. He is shaking because he's afraid, and doesn't know how to tell me.

"Mummy," he mutters. "I don't think I can do it." He averts his gaze to the window sill. Outside, birds are chirping and going about their usual morning routine, whatever it is they do. One flies down to the sill to watch us have our conversation.

"Jeremiah, look at me."

I lift up his chin so that his eyes meet mine. "You're an intelligent boy, don't you know? All you need to do is tell yourself that you can do it. Never say you can't. You hear me?"

He shakes his head. And his fist. "But...but...I can't."

What is this I see? A tear sliding down his face. No, it can't be.

I reach out to him, this rascally naughty son of mine, and I hug him as tightly as I can. After all, he is only five years old and already at the top of his class. He's my own little genius, I tell you. I whisper into his ears, "Repeat what I taught you, Jeremiah. Don't be frightened. Now, count in fives to fifty."

He closes his eyes and opens his mouth only just a little. Muffled sounds come back to me.

"Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty." I stay right there and wait for him to finish. "Thirty-five, forty, forty-five, fifty."

When he opens his eyes again, I am right there looking at him with pride. I can never forget how widely he smiled.

For many weeks (and years) after that episode (he is now seventeen years old), he has not forgotten the count, and has gone above and beyond the call. I've seen my son rise up with confidence every morning, ready to take upon each day. Ready to use his memory to defeat any Goliath who tries to stand in his way.

For length of days to come, and for the whole of his long life, he will always remember.

*Fiction*


* * * * *
My son, do not forget my law,
    But let your heart keep my commands;
       For length of days and long life 
      And peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:1-2 


What results in length of days? What memories keep us alive, elongate our days, and give us peace? If we forget the law, how does that affect our lives?

My Musings:

✪ We are what we take in. Whatever we memorize as the truth tends to spread out into every area of our lives. Because of this memorized truth, we become stronger and stronger, and soon enough we will be able to defeat our giants.

✪ Whatever we know as the truth will be reflected upon every action we take in the world. If we know God's strength is made perfect in our weaknesses, then we will learn to feel strong regardless of circumstances. If we know that we're storing treasures in places where thieves cannot break into, then we will entertain a lifestyle of endless giving. If we know that meekness is quiet strength, then we will be willing to serve.

✪ Whatever we repeat again and again will become a part of us, the very foundation of our character. If you can't remember that the Word says "You're victorious in Christ," then it won't be part of your foundation. We have to repeat the Word so that we don't forget the truth about who we are.

✪ Although we want to remember always, sometimes we may forget. But just as we can pick up broken pieces of a bottle, we can always pick up the word of God to remind ourselves of His promises. This is why Solomon says, "do not forget," because there's a natural tendency to forget the Word and focus on what we feel are current pertinent issues.

✪ The life of a man is in God's hands, but our decisions also help us to live well. Our decisions produce longevity of life. Our decisions lead to peace or harmony. It's up to us to choose God's Word. Or the filth that comes with wanting a reckless lifestyle.

Question(s) for the Day: What specific word from God have you kept in your life that causes longevity of life? And what lesson(s) did you glean from this?

Three Gifts: On Bothering God, Faith, & Translations

[Image by Xtina, Flickr]
Last week visited, and along with it a barricade of blessings.

So, here I am, not holding anything back from you. These are the gifts with which I've been blessed, three videos sent to me by readers/friends. I hope that when you partake of them, your week will also be nourished. I made summaries of each of them.

1. On Bothering God:

If you have a loving father, you would understand that he would not mind being bothered by things that matter to you, right? Fathers want to know about the nitty-gritty of your life. They want to know if you "like that young man," or if you "want some more money," or if you "can survive in the field you've chosen." They want to know everything. And we ask ourselves why we should pray? We need to rise up and pray to God because He wants to be bothered. We need to pray without ceasing, because that's the heart of our Father. Here's the first gift-- sent from one of my most respected readers (and commentators), Ike.


2. On Faith:

"It's not just the evidence of things hoped for." Sometimes, we want to think that faith is simple. "Isn't it just believing something when you can't see it?" However, it would enlarge your mind to know that faith transcends that restricted definition. There's more to it. What do you do when you're repeatedly hurt but you still believe in God anyway? What do you do when all odds are against you, but you still stand on God's word? What do you do? One of my favorite bloggers posted this on her blog, and I requested to share it here-- a podcast where she speaks about faith using the power of "Spoken Word." Here's Kafo.

video


3. On Waiting for Translations:

"All of you people standing there, when the plane lands, clap your hands. Wave the palm branches! You singers over there, start singing," was what the leader of the Kimyal tribe said. Have you ever danced around your house because someone gave you the gift of the bible in your own language? Were you one of those patiently sitting on your doorstep waiting, praying that you won't die before someone brings the Word of God to you? And have you cried when you received something you've been waiting for your whole life? Well, the third video was sent from one of my wonderful friends, Ann. I hope you rejoice with these people, who at last, have received the Word of God which brings EVERLASTING LIFE. Isn't it lamentable how we, who have the Word of God already, sometimes take it for granted?



I pray you have the most exciting week ever. Three things you must do: Pray without ceasing, have faith beyond the ordinary, and wait on God for something far beyond your comprehension. Make someone's day by retweeting this post and sharing it on Facebook.

One Day in God's Will & One Thousand Gifts





[Image Credit]
I woke up this morning excited about two things... 

1) The blog A Day in God's Will is featuring a Guest Post I wrote, titled "Falling In Love With a Stranger."

2) Today, I will also participate in Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, by writing about little things I'm thankful to God for below.

Here's an Excerpt from my Guest Post...
Falling In Love With a Stranger:

     Only pure unadulterated anticipation can make a woman swoon over a stranger like that. Why wouldn't she? She's known him more than anyone can ever know him, this man she's never met. Not just about him as though it were only a story of hear-say, but more of a deeper revelation of who he is. But of course, she should, right? He's been existing in her head for the most of her early twenties, and now that she's approaching thirty, he appears more clearly in the nooks and corners of every part of her wandering heart.
     She walks to her bedside table, switches on the small lamp, and confidently pulls out "The List" from the top drawer. The Japanese paper feels light to the touch and crumbles underneath her fingers due to the number of years it has been stowed away down under by she who will never reduce it to shreds...
Are you enjoying the story? 
TO READ THE FULL GUEST POST, please visit the blog "A DAY IN GOD'S WILL."


For Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, today, I'm thankful for...

 

#1 For life and purpose. Realizing that life is not a "come-and-go" ordeal, it only has meaning because each of us were created to fulfill purpose. Look at the lives which, heart-brokenly, have been lost in the past few weeks due to futile clashes, wars, and natural disasters both in Africa and Japan. A wise man once said, "the best potentials can be found in the graveyard." Sadly, it's true. These are people who might never get to fulfill their purpose on earth. So as long as you're still alive and talking, you have the chance to LIVE fully and fulfill your purpose. Don't wait for later, do it now. 

#2 For HOT Pancakes & breakfast. On Friday, a co-worker brought in breakfast, and I got to eat three hot pancakes laden with syrup and butter. I felt very grateful to God for breakfast at that point. Doctors say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It was yummy. I hope you eat breakfast each morning.

#3 For Family and Skype. This week, I got to talk to my immediate younger sister through the video feature on Skype. Sometimes technology makes you feel overwhelmed, but at other times it brings you closer to the ones you love. 

#4 For the onset of Spring and summer. This Winter has been the most stubborn Winter I've ever experienced. It refused to say good-bye even now that April has come, but I can see that lovely Spring has come to slowly cajole her sister to go to bed, and I'm glad she's finally speaking up. Soon enough, sister Summer will also show her face, and she's not one to be shy. 

#5 For LOVE. Sometimes, love has its peaks and valleys, but I'm thankful for both because they build character. Thankful for my "better half." I was telling someone the other day that it's good to get with someone who, for lack of a better expression, "loves you more than you love yourself." That way, despite your imperfections, he will still be there for you anyways. 

What are you thankful for today?