My family and I are gearing up to head to the shore for our annual vacation with my husband’s side of the family. I have been joining them on this trip since we began dating nine years ago. It’s where we were married and where I find some of my greatest memories - memories I look back on now to see some of God’s most splendid creations
I grew up in the heart of the Catskill Park in upstate New York. I swam in the Esopus Creek and hiked up Wittenberg Mountain. Whenever I walked the two miles along Route 28 from my house to Kirk’s Market in Phoenicia, I always ran into a neighbor I knew. The natural beauty of the Catskill Mountains and the friendly community made it a wonderful place to be a kid. I can’t possibly tell you what a childhood in that park means to me.
I also grew up with schizophrenia in my family…
One of my earliest memories was taking a road trip alone with my father. With his long work hours and my multiple siblings, time alone with my dad was a treasure. I vividly remember him buying me a toy at a truck stop along the way and “showing me off” to the couple that we were visiting. To spend time alone with my dad was a gift. a
Psalm 104:34 “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.”
Summer brings out the relaxation in all of us, with heading to the beach, dangling our feet in the pool, or sleeping in a little longer. It is one of the times of the year I treasure most because I get to spend so much time with family and friends.
Good Friday, the day Jesus died, was the darkest day ever. For those standing at the foot of the cross, it must have felt like all was lost. Jesus’ friends, feeling dejected, ran away in fear. But just three short days later, all was changed. When Mary arrived at the tomb on that first Easter morning, it was empty. Nada, nothing, zip! Jesus was not there.
When I read in my Bible about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, I imagine crowds of people lining the road, waving palm branches and throwing down their coats. The crowd joyfully praises God for who he is and what he is doing. The kingdom of God has come and the one who brings salvation is here!
The day was quickly approaching. In just a few weeks Jesus would be betrayed by his closest friends. He would be tried and convicted of a crime even though he was not guilty. He would suffer the excruciating pain of death by crucifixion. What must he have been thinking as he approached this destiny?
Growing up in a Christian home, I was very familiar with the term “grace.” I understood it on a deeper level when at age 8 I accepted Christ into my life. I called my grandparents to tell them and exclaimed that I felt like a butterfly! In my childlike faith, it was that simple. In some ways it is easy to define, and yet God’s grace is beyond what my human mind can comprehend.
I think we all fear judgement, and this especially seems to be the case when it comes to sharing our faith We fear backlash we might receive, questions we won’t find the words to answer, friendships we might lose. So how do we conquer that fear and share the Word? How do we go about bringing others to Christ?