Believe and Live

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:25-26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I’ve been to 3 funerals in 2 months. I think I said this yesterday but today’s verse in the Bible app seemed to be in the same vein of thinking.

Seeing people leave this earth is hard. Whether it’s at the end of a long battle with illness or unexpected, experiencing the death of a loved one is never easy. I am, however, encouraged knowing that the 3 people whose lives were celebrated had a relationship with Christ.

I know that although they are no longer here, they chose to receive the resurrection and life while they were here. It doesn’t make grieving easier but it makes going forward capable.

This has stirred a new urgency within me to be more diligent in sharing the gospel. The book of Acts says that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We just need to share that name!

Find more inspiration and hopefully a few laughs on my podcast Seeking God, Loving Others.

What You Thought Was Dead

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In 2016, we moved into our current Midwest mansion. It’s not really a mansion but was one of the few houses we looked at where our visitors didn’t have to use our bathroom so it was a mansion to me!

One of the major selling points of our house was the beautiful apple tree in the front yard that didn’t yield crab apples but actual, grocery storish looking and tasting apples. 

Fast forward two years, and my storybook apple tree stopped producing apples. It looked tired and dry and my husband thought we would have to cut it down. 

Before giving it the axe, he decided to try a few things first. He removed the old mulch and replaced it with new mulch. He cut off the parts of the tree that were clearly dead. And lastly, (and you better not laugh at my man!!) he spoke to the tree. He told it to come to life and produce apples. He told it to do what it was created to do. 

And by the next summer, we still didn’t have apples. I know I set you up. You were expecting a harvest of apples like we were. But it didn’t happen. But he continued to talk to the tree. 

This summer, guess what happened? WE GOT APPLES!!! And this fall, WE ARE EATING APPLES!!! 

Our tree didn’t start coming back to life immediately. It took time. It took patience. It took faith. 

I’m reminded of the story of Lazarus in John 11. You can check out my podcast for a more in-depth discussion on this (small plug!). But when Jesus got to Lazarus’ town of Bethany, he was beyond dead! The Bible says he had been in the tomb for 4 days. 

When Jesus saw Lazarus’ tomb, he spoke 3 simple words to his friend. “Lazarus, come forth.” And I love that the Bible tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us (Romans 8:11)! 

There are dreams in my life that sometimes seem like they’re dead. Or are at least on life support underneath all of my responsibilities. But I think about what Jesus told his disciples when he heard of Lazarus’ death. “He’s sleeping” (John 11:11)

Could it be that what you thought was dead is just sleeping? That business, that book, that blog, that podcast, that invention or service? They’re not dead; they’re sleeping, waiting on a word of life to breathe on it and wake it up!

I believe that our apple tree began producing apples again because my husband told it. Neither of us is particularly skilled at gardening but we do know that power of words. And you can speak to the things in your life that aren’t producing and I believe with you that they will come forth!!

When He Saved Me

As I reflect this Easter Sunday, I think of the goodness of God in my life. I sing on the praise team at my church and it’s not uncommon for people to come up to talk about worship after the service.

I’ve been asked more than once how I have so much energy during worship. I usually credit it to caffeine and the Holy Spirit, both of which help. But the main reason I have so much “energy” is because of my gratitude for all God has done.

Have you ever seen a video of a lottery winner? They are usually screaming, crying, or jumping in disbelief. Why? Because they know they’re lives are about to radically change.

Every opportunity I have to lift up the name of Jesus, I do it with everything in me because I remember when he saved me.

I remember how I rejected him for years. I remember how I pretended I didn’t need him. I remember how despite the truth that I ignored and disrespected him, he still reached down and pulled me out of the pit.

When he saved me, my life changed radically; and like the lottery winner, whenever I think about that change, I celebrate.