Friday, April 06, 2007

For some, it really is "Good Friday"...

I have not been shy about my faith here on my blog, and actually find that it is one of the main reasons I feel so compelled to share my life and update so frequently here at Nitty.Gritty. I am driven by my beliefs, and while I may not always live up to the title of being a child of God, I certainly am learning that it is worth every ounce of my being to try to do so.
I used to think that 'being a Christian' was all about living 'differently' than people who weren't Christians, and that meant that I had a long list of do's and don'ts. While it is true that there are certain 'expectations' and obvious signs that someone is following Christ, it doesn't mean that all my freedoms have been taken away from me.
In fact, the more I learn about what it means to grow as a Christian and become more like Christ, the more freedom I truly feel I am finding in this world. The things that seem to offer so much happiness and are on the top of so many people's wish big homes, high-paying jobs, boats and trips around the world and all the luxuries this world has to offer, those things, while I won't deny are enjoyable often times, but they don't bring true peace and everlasting happiness.
If it were true- that beauty, money, success and fortune brought happiness and peace in life, well then, I would venture to say that there would be no such thing as a "Hollywood divorce". But we all know the truth about that. Most entertainers and movie stars and sports figures all have their share of troubles and heartache in this world. Just ask Tom Cruise or Jennifer Anniston. Or how about Elizabeth Taylor or OJ Simpson. Do these names ring a bell?! We have heard about their successes and failures, their 'perfect lives' have often taken a turn...just like I blogged about in yesterday's post.
What I am trying to say is that the longer I live, the more I see that life is not about money, image, getting more and more stuff and trying to climb the ladder of 'success'. Not for me anyway. I am living a life that is very "middle class", and sometimes I feel guilty and sad inside because I still have "more than enough" in life to be happy and content.
As I have spent time reflecting on the special holiday of Easter this weekend, I again, am humbled and overwhelmed at the mercies I have been given in life. None of us deserves anything that we have that is good in this world. We are all sinners and yet, God sent His Son, out of His great love and grace, to be the Redeemer of those who would accept Him as such in their lives.
It truly is amazing. It's not just a song, and the more it becomes real in my life- not just in church on Sunday mornings, not just when I know other people are watching me...but real in my life every moment of everyday, I know I have been given a Gift. It brings freedom and peace and contentment and joy in my life, of which I deserve none, and THAT is what drives me to share my faith so openly.
My morning devotion says it better than I can, so I am sharing that here too. It is from 'Our Daily Bread'. I thank God every morning that, as messed up as I am in life, He calls me His friend. I hope He's your Friend too. Wishing you a truly "Good Friday".

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for the sins of the human race. Only those who believe on Him, however, can receive His loving provision. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for all, but it is effective only for those who place their trust in Him.
As the Lord Jesus hung on the cross, two criminals were crucified next to Him. One of those men is now in the place of the lost—his doom in hell forever sealed. The other is with Christ—his place in heaven assured for eternity. Their contrasting attitudes toward the Man on the center cross made all the difference.
One of the criminals railed at the Lord in unbelief. The other cried out in faith, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). To him Jesus said, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (v.43).
We are all represented by one of those two men. We either believe on Christ or we reject Him. Our eternal destiny depends on our decision. Jesus said of Himself, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18).
On this Good Friday, let’s thank Jesus for paying for our sin. If you haven’t trusted Him, do it today! In dying on the cross, Jesus became the Great Divider. —Richard De Haan

We may not know, we cannot tell
What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there. —Alexander


Anonymous said...

Amen, sister! No one good have said it better. Praise the Lord for people like you. You are not ashamed to spread the good word. I only wish more people would listen and take heed, for the end is near. You deserve your great place in Heaven, along with the whitest robe and golden crown. God Bless you and your family, Jodi. Happy Resurrection Day.

susan opel said...

Love it! As a kid, my holy week was spent attending many moving services from Thursday night's remembrance of the Last Supper, to the dark Tennebrae service on Friday, to the joyous and victorious celebration of the resurrection on Sunday morning!

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

bents, K said...

thank you for your inspiring words... you are doing a wonderful job of spreading the truth!
God bless!

Christal said...

Wonderful post Jody~ I am so happy that there are people out there that don't deny Christ! Thanks for the reminder of what Easter really is... Oh and by the way Congrats on SIS. I marked the calender. I will look forward to this date!

Oh and open that card and sing! I wannnnnnttttttt Candy HA HA HA I had to do it!

Jennifer Pendley said...

I have read your blog not knowing exactly what happenend but never wanted to ask. I found the link on your blog to the story done about Teagan and had a hard time reading it through the tears. I know you don't know me but my heart ached for you! To hear what you went through and to still have the strong faith that you do. I can't imagine what was going through your head about the whole situation and your emotions and feelings towards this other woman. I just wanted to say that I am amazed by you and you offer an encouragement to others that if you can get through what you did and still have something to smile about than we all should too. I plan on checking in on your blog often as I really enjoy your posts!