Well, we are back in the Easter season. We are reminded of the resurrection of Jesus, warm weather (waiting), bunnies and baskets (still not sure how that fits), and this year my daughter,s birthday.
When she was in first grade, her birthday fell on Easter Sunday and she was so excited. Her first grade teacher was made aware of this event very loudly and very often, or so I’m told. My daughter was so overwhelmed that her birthday was on Jesus’ Born Again Day. We
celebrated Easter Sunday with family and friends and of course took treats for
her Sunday school class.
Now, this year her birthday is once again on Easter Sunday. She is in the 12th grade and hopefully will graduate… I’ve yet to see a report card! But, she is still filled with that same excitement. We will, yet again, celebrate with family and friends and take treats to her Sunday school class (It’s hard to break traditions).
Through all of this, I started thinking about the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior. We should be this excited about Jesus rising from the dead every day. Our faith is based on
that promise of us receiving eternal life with Him. So celebrate Jesus! Give new devotional books, Bibles, share your testimony or favorite verse with someone (all of these fit nicely into Easter baskets). Share a Gift With a Purpose - always good gifts for anytime or occasion,(shameless plug for tab on website).
As Christians we should be thankful and full of praise for Jesus. Easter is a great time to renew that commitment and excitement for Christ (Birthday on Easter not required). Our web
site is all about sharing life together. What an awesome place this would be if we all started sharing the Good News with others.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes
in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Our entire gospel is summed up in this familiar verse. Do we believe it? If we do, what an incredible reason to celebrate, no matter what time of year!
“It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. “
Jesus knew that His time with the disciples was coming to an end. He had only a few precious hours left with them; one last opportunity to instruct them. So in those final hours, the King of Kings took off His outer garment, wrapped a towel around His waist, took a basin of water, and began washing the feet of His disciples – a job so degrading that even Jewish slaves were exempt from the task.
Why foot washing? Jesus chose to demonstrated an inner humility because it would be necessary for His disciples to adopt the same inner humility in order to fully carry out the instructions that He was about to leave them with.
I’ve often wondered if the first set of feet Jesus washed belonged to Judas. There are times when I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Jesus washed the very feet of the one whom He knew had already betrayed Him. What must it have felt like to kneel at the feet of His betrayer; to wash the feet of the man who had sold Him for 30 pieces of silver? Yet, with an inner humility, Jesus picked up Judas’ feet and in doing so showed us how to love and serve our enemies.
Maybe Peter’s feet were next. Jesus washed Peter’s feet knowing that Peter, one of His closest friends would betray Him not once, but three times. In fact, all of the disciples would abandon Jesus that very night and He knew it. Yet, with a humble spirit, He knelt down and lovingly washed each of their feet, and demonstrated how to love and forgive those who hurt or offend us.
“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
The example, at the core, was this: Jesus did not hold onto the rights and privileges that were His because He was deity. Instead He gave up all that was rightfully His – His position in Heaven, His comforts, His right to be treated with dignity, His right to defend Himself, His life. He humbled Himself in selfless obedience to The Father.
Yes, we are to love and serve one another. Yes, we are to forgive. But in order to do those things after the example of Christ, we must take on the same attitude as He did. It requires an inner transformation of our hearts and minds into the humble likeness of Our Savior.
As we head into Good Friday, carefully consider all that Christ endured, all that He suffered, and all that He gave up for you and me. Sit with your dirty feet at the table in the upper room. Watch the sadness in His eyes as everyone flees the scene in the garden. Listen to the sounds of the scourging in the night hours and the cruel mocking of His captors. Look into His weary eyes as He stumbles under the load of the cross. Hear the ping of the hammer driving the nails into His hands and feet. Watch as the crowd jeers and mocks Him and challenges Him to prove that He is the Son of God. Pay close attention to His anguish as He takes on all our sins and is separated from His Father for the first time in all of eternity.
And when you wake up Easter morning, rejoice in your salvation which was freely given to you all because Jesus humbled Himself in obedience, even to death on the cross. Then follow His example and hear His promise:
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
John 13 and Philippians 2:5-11
In Christ’s love,
Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself.
-Ephesians 2:20 NLT
The idea and visual of a "cornerstone" has popped up several times in my life over the last few weeks. At first, I dismissed it and thought well, that's nice. However,it seemed to become such a pattern at church, in conversations and on the radio that I just couldn't ignore it. If there's one thing I've learned through the years it'sthat God uses repeated reminders for a reason to drive home a point or cause me to take action in something. Once He repeatedly brought a young friend's name to mind as well as caused me to "run into her" on several occasions within a short period of time. After a while it became inescapably obvious that there was a reason for the reminders. Turns out God was calling me to be "listener" in her life. It was a precious time of growth and friendship for both of us and one I'll always treasure.
Coincidence? I don't think so.
So back to another non-coincidence, the thought of a "cornerstone - the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed". A stone from which allthe other bricks, stones, mortar, and frame of a structure rests. The integrity of the floors under our son's feet rests on this stone. The "trueness" of the wallsaround our infant daughter's young body rests on this stone. The strength of the roof above our precious husband's head rests on this first stone. Do we take thatfor granted? As parents and wives do we double and triple check that the cornerstone is perfect and strong in order to make sure our family is protected and safe? We shouldn't be concerned right? After all the builder is "licensed" and "trained", right? Just watch HGTV's program "Holmes on Homes" (my network obsession) and you will quickly learn the answer to that one!
I think the only way we can rest assured the walls are true and the foundation in our family is stable is to have Christ as our builder. He's the only one that can guide us to the lessons we need to teach our children when they fall, the only one that helps us know when our spouse needs that silent, unconditional hug or smile, the only one to let us know when it's time to let that little baby boy, now a man, have your blessing in letting go of your hand and taking the hand of another...a future wife. You think that's not hard... how old did you say your little boy is?
You just wait, moms of those precious toddlers who are now just drawing on your walls and putting a cramp in your social life! Call me in ...oh, 20 years! Honestlythough, God has to prepare us and train us for all of this. He is the cornerstone on which we travel through life as a family. Believe a woman who has made the BIGmistakes! All of this does not come naturally just because we carry the title of "parent". Please don't walk this one alone. One selfish, unsupported slip and the foundation under our family could become unstable for all time. I'm not trying to scare anyone, I just know after raising three children it took more than well wishes to get them to the point they are today. It took God's guidance and even then we still have bruises! The Cornerstone...make sure you moms of those precious families never forget The Cornerstone.
One of the most beautiful and meaningful songs I know is "Cornerstone" by Hillsong. The words go like this..."Christ alone, Cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Savior's love. Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all!
If there's a rocky foundation in your life or if the storms are in full swing please look up that song on YouTube. Hillsong will surely bless you as they greatly have me,and it's our prayer your foundation will remain strong and even be strengthened through it all!
I know you’ve heard the quote, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Of course, we understand that we shouldn’t allow the hurtful words of others to harm us, to define us, or to shape us. Of course we shouldn’t. But what we know we shouldn’t allow and what we are actually capable of not allowing are two different things.
Recently, an incredible woman shared with me the way in which she saw herself. The woman she saw herself to be and the woman that I saw were two totally different people. As we talked, she told me about some very hurtful words that were often spoken to her as a child. Sadly, those cruel words have followed her into adulthood. She believes them.
It is astonishing how those words spoken to her as a child have so defined her. She is not alone, though. Many of us have also allowed hurtful words to define us.
Hurtful words cut deep into our hearts. Truthfully, wounds from sticks and stones will heal a whole lot faster than wounds from hurtful words. When we encounter physical wounds, our bodies just naturally begin the healing process. But, when we encounter a heart wound from hurtful words, no “natural healing” kicks in. We have to become actively involved in the healing process. In fact, our natural response to hurtful words can be as destructive as the words themselves.
What is our natural response to cruel words? They hurt, and we tend to hold onto the hurt finding it difficult to move past it. The hurt turns to anger, and unresolved anger leads to bitterness. Bitterness is poison to our souls. If cruel words are spoken repeatedly, we start believing those words. True or not, we allow them to define us.
We cannot avoid the hurt of cruel words any more than we can avoid broken bones from sticks and stones. Those kinds of words are just going to hurt. What we can avoid is all the mess that comes after the hurt…but we have to be very intentional.
Here are some thoughts on how to be intentional in healing from hurtful words:
We choose to seek the approval of God rather than man. Galatians 1:10
We choose not to allow anger to move in and make itself at home in our hearts. Ephesians 4:26
We choose to recognize that bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the rat to die. (Couldn't find scripture about the rat poison, but Ephesians 4:31 will work)
We choose to recognize that the cruel words of another are more a reflection of who they are than a description of who we are. Luke 6:45
We choose to forgive because we have been forgiven. Colossians 3:13
All of these choices are much easier said than done, so we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us through the process of healing. John 14:26
My Mom cross-stitched the saying, “I know I’m somebody ‘cause God don’t make no junk!” and it hung over my bed when I was growing up. I think I will send the saying to my precious friend and maybe write it down for myself while I’m at it.
God doesn’t make mistakes. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
- John 15:5
In Germany, parents of long ago would hide a pickle amid the branches of their Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, the children would look for the pickle and whoever found it, would receive the first gift of Christmas. Our family started this same tradition about 15 years ago after learning about it during a trip to NYC.
Over the years it has become so competitive with our children that we have had downed trees, broken ornaments, and hurt feelings! Why still do it? Well, it's tradition and it has provided a lot of great memories ... really, it has!
Yet, I often wonder if we are also leaving traditions of kingdom value to our children as well. The pickle is good and fun and certainly, nothing is wrong with those kinds of traditions, but we desperately need to leave behind more than just the surface ones. The most important tradition should be a deep personal love for, as my 14 year old friend in Botswana put it, the “One True God".
Are our children and one day grandchildren going to see and experience Christ through us not just on the surface branches but genuinely deep in the inner branches of our souls ...deep enough where God won't be just a holiday ornament or Sunday tradition? We want to wear Him as The Mighty King, as Our Rock, as the Great Comforter and as the Prince of Peace every hour of every day.
So yeah, we will hang a pickle on the tree for fun, we will go to church on Sundays for worship and fellowship but most importantly I pray that our family celebrates the tradition of living life EVERY DAY with a genuine love for Christ. Does that mean we don't and won't mess up, say something we shouldn't , or make a poor choice?
Are you kidding me? You're talking about the Kight family. We mess up on a regular basis!
But it's a genuine attempt at a life of obedience as led by Christ. It's things like waking up every day and asking for enough guidance for just that day; it's changing course with a joyful heart when He asks us to; it's searching for wisdom in decision making; and it's loving others through the good and the difficult.
The "pickle" is a great Kight family tradition but an everyday through thick and thin relationship with our Heavenly Father ... PRICELESS!
Welcome to our blog page! We hope you will find stories here to encourage you.
We would love for you to share your story with us. Click the button above to send us a story about what God is doing in your life.