Dear mom, when it feels “too hard”, the grace of Christ is greater still . . .

Abraham and Sarah are too old, but Christ is greater still

Noah is too weird to build a boat in a desert, but Christ is greater still

Joseph’s pit is too deep, but Christ is greater still

Moses’ mouth is too ineloquent, but Christ is greater still

The Red Sea is too deep, but Christ is greater still

Pharaoh’s Army is too close, but Christ is greater still

The desert is too deserted of water and food, but Christ is greater still

The Giant’s are too big, but Christ is greater still

The Armies are too powerful, but Christ is greater still

The walls of Jericho are too high for Joshua, but Christ is greater still

Gideon’s army is too small, but Christ is greater still

The False Prophets are too demonic, but Christ is greater still

The widow and her son are too poor, but Christ is greater still

Samson is too blind and his hair is too short, but Christ is greater still

Goliath is too big, but Christ is greater still

King Saul is too powerful for David, but Christ is greater still

Daniel’s lions are too hungry, but Christ is greater still

The furnace is too hot for three Hebrew children, but Christ is greater still

The walls are too broken down for Nehemiah, but Christ is greater still

Mary, the Mother of Jesus is too chaste, but Christ is greater still

The storm is too great for the fisherman-turned-disciples, but Christ is greater still

Lazarus is too dead, but Christ is greater still

The back-thrashings are too many for Paul, but Christ is greater still

The death of James is too discouraging for the early Church, but Christ is greater stil

The deaf are too deaf, but Christ is greater still

The blind are too blind, but Christ is greater still

The cripple are too crippled, but Christ is greater still

The lost in sin are too lost in sin, but Christ is greater still

The Cross is too Foolish, but Christ is greater still

The Tomb is too Guarded, but Christ is greater still

The Resurrection is too improbable, but Christ is greater still

And also, for you – my dear mother, Christ is greater still!

 

 

I heard my dad’s tiller say, “&$^%!+_^%($}#”!!!

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This is my dad’s tiller and it’s very, very upset. I heard it cuss’n up a storm as I roto’ed my way through the earth. It seemed to be all heated up for two reasons:

First, it is turning over Obama Land soil – Illinois soil, that is. When I first set the tines to turn, and they automatically turn counter clock-wise while the tires slowly pull forward, the dern thing put the tines in forward motion with the tires, broke the governor on the carburetor, and took off full throttle on its own back to WV! I had to run it down with the truck and pull the gas line before it crossed into Indiana – no tell’n what them dumb hoosiers would have done to it – probably used it to scratch their backs . . . or somethin.

And the second reason for all that briggs-and-stratton rage,

It’s now work’n for a garden hater! For all its days until now it has had the dutiful pleasure of the hands of a gentle man who loved to garden. But not now! This tiller is going to suffer all the days of its wretched life, not only cutting the very soil that its first master deplored, but to boot, its second master hates the very purpose of its existence. I hate gardening – and this stupid machine is going to long for the day that it runs out of oil and blows its gasket . . .  (*)

Miss you so very much dad. From the sweet hand of your Lord, may you enjoy the blissful garden that he has prepared for you (Revelation 22:1-5).

 

 

 

* not responsible for any bad words or snarky attitudes expressed – it’s the tiller’s fault:)

 

“Jesus Paid it Some” – guard your heart from singing this song during the week by worshiping the Lord this Sunday!

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I can list 100 reasons from scripture why I need to regularly worship the Risen Jesus each Sunday – but this one reason ranks nearly the top reason: during the week my heart is prone to drift away from the gospel’s good news that Jesus paid it all – and I mean all of it! This is what I mean and what the author meant to say:

  1. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, he actually, not potentially paid my debt (John 10:16 – “will be one flock”).
  2. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, all my sins were future – and not one of my yet future sins was left out (1 Peter 2:24).
  3. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, his death secured and guaranteed my future faith (John 10:16 – “will hear my voice”; John 10:25-30).
  4. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, he forever secured his Father’s love for me, so much so, that not one ounce of wrath was left on the scale against me (Rom. 3:21-26).
  5. When Jesus died on the cross, he died specifically for my sins, otherwise, I would not say that. Jesus does not do random. He does not shoot from the hip. He did not make a good attempt. He came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) and will not fail to justify every single one of them (Isa. 53:11-12).

During the week, as we grapple with the world, the flesh, and the devil, our hearts can begin to feel guilty with indwelling sin, so much so, that the song shifts from, “Jesus Paid it All” to “Jesus Paid it Some.” Think about it, if Jesus did not actually and effectively pay it all for all that the Father gave to him (John 6:37, 44; 17:6, 9), then the only alternative is “some.” Do you really want to sing this song on Sunday morning?

Jesus Paid It Some

I hear the Savior say,
You’re not doing enough;
Work your fingers to the bone,
I will save those who are tough.

 

Jesus paid it some
I will do the rest
Sin had left a crimson stain
Now I will give my best

 

For now indeed I’ll try
To earn your love and grace
I’ll add the works I’ve done
To complete the price you paid.

 

Jesus paid it some
I will do the rest
Sin had left a crimson stain
Now I will give my best

 

And when before the throne
I’ll give my deeds to you,
I’ll hope I’ve done enough
To make you let me through.

 

Chorus (repeat 7 times just to be sure)

 

 

How to margarinelize (lighten up) the gospel at Easter.

 

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If I were a devout Christ-rejecting secularist that already believes that the resurrection of Jesus is a silly myth held by superstitious conservatives, and I drove by a church next Sunday and saw children on the lawn picking up eggs laid by rabbits, I would keep on driving. Why?

Why not?

How am I, a skeptic at heart for the christian dogma supposed to believe that there is something credible, something serious, something awesome and weighty to the blood-splattered cross and earth-shattering resurrection of Jesus when you Christians play games in commemoration of his death, burial, and resurrection? And we all know why you do it – to boost attendance! Surely the first-century church, whose followers were beaten, jailed, ostracized, and became martyrs proclaiming the alleged resurrection, would not attempt to boost attendance on Sunday morning by hosting a “children’s-hunt-for-eggs” laid by rabbits carnival?!?!?!?!

My skepticism would be warranted: there’s nothing really true to believe in.

This is what happens when the church slowly adopts the commercialization of Easter. I’m not against playing make-believe with our children; pretending and role-playing fanciful characters is actually part of what it means to desire a world that is not bound by human brokenness. But when we diminish the glory of Christ’s victory over the greatest enemy of man – death, by luring the skeptic with a lolly-pop, then it should come as no surprise that over time, Easter becomes decentralized in the heart: “see mommy, death can’t be that terrible – I have more bunny eggs in my basket than she does.”

In modern America with its resurrection-merchandising, Easter becomes sensationalized, and consequently, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ becomes marginalized; the gospel is pushed to the outer-edges of our lives, from what was once at the center, full of gravity, to a remote point of insignificance, barely worth dying for. On the very day that is supposed to be approached with the most glorious and joyful heart, with confessional led singing and adoration –  you would think that IF Jesus really did rise from the dead, that believers of this gospel would not confirm the skeptic’s doubt by presenting a great truth with a chocolate bunny, or, a marshmallow peep.

Having spoken with many millennials over the past couple years, and having read real data about what is going on in post-christian America, one of the reasons why the church is rejected en masse is because it just can’t be taken seriously anymore. And no wonder: we now have churches using marshmallow peeps to tell the the most important message that a broken soul could hear. I wonder if the Egyptian Coptic Christians who were murdered this past week by ISIS would still be alive today if only they had used the multi-colored sugarbirds to margarine-ize their witness? That way, possibly, the enemies of the cross would not feel so threatened by the King of kings and Lord of lords.

This coming Lord’s Day, “whatever you do, do to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31)! Sing with unspeakable joy! Give thanks for the most undeserved gift to man! Go deep into the waters of Life! Believe without reservation that Christ is King! If you have any opportunity of influence upon children this coming Sunday, whether because you are a family member, or a Sunday school teacher, or you’re preaching the gospel, do all that you can to joyfully point them to a Savior whose real enough, big enough, and powerful enough to rescue them from sin, death, and the grave.

“He is Risen” does not belong in the candy aisle.

It belongs in the heavens above and in hopeless hearts below!