Restorer of moldy marriages, moldy lives

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth…and God said that it was good.
Everything was perfect, in the beginning. God created space and the atmosphere, stars and sunshine, oceans and dry land, flowers and food, birds and beasts. He created everything and called it good. He created man and woman and called them “very good.”
We can overlook that all of creation is not just subject to God, but proclaims Him and honors him. Creation itself knows the true story of God and redemption and restoration. Creation longs, just as we long, because it knows beauty and it knows the complex rhythms of life put in motion and sustained by a loving and involved Creator. Creation longs because things just aren’t right. We look around and see the beauty in creation, but we also see the thorns. We see and experience death in our lives. Things decay, things mold, things age. Sickness is real, in our lives, and in the lives of animals and plants all around us. Cancer looms, pain is a daily battle for some, and famine and pestilence are reality.
But as creation longs, we too long, and we know that restoration is coming. We hold on to this promise because we have seen with our eyes redemption. All of creation has beheld the Lamb of God walking among her streets and in her gardens. Stones cry out to Him and whales sing His praise for all He has done. Christ is good and redeems that which was begun “in the beginning.”
When marriages decay or become moldy, when families find that their only refuge is Christ, then we see the truth that restoration is still to come and we long for it with the creation. When the negative impacts our lives, we can thank God for His restoration promise still to be fulfilled and thank God for the freedom that Christ has given us through His death and resurrection, to experience restoration now.

Lord, You restore. Restore us today, through Your Son. Restore us completely on the last day, to live with you forever in Paradise. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Resurrection power every day!

Easter Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the whole year.

Most of us love the opportunity Easter gives to hear about and celebrate Christ died and rose. It’s beautiful every time you hear it.

Every year it gets me like it’s the first time though, our God raises the dead. What a God of grace, and of power and might! We understand this resurrection power for our eternal salvation, but have we stopped to consider this resurrection power for each day of our lives here on earth. 

A God who raises the dead is like that Father who gives good gifts to His children, how much more can He and will He do? Ephesians 3:20 tells us that  “God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us.”

All of this is based on a resurrection God. That is who He is, and this same resurrection God dwells in us. Paul tells us that He gives life to our mortal bodies, our mortal lives, by dwelling in us as a resurrection God. 

What can God resurrect in your marriage, in your family? The day in and day out of married life and of family relationships is hard work. It takes effort and strength to love one another more than oneself, to sacrifice, to communicate, and to bear burdens together.  We have the strength of our resurrection God to call on. He dwells in our marriages. His Gospel can change and does change how we respond to one another and lift one another up, rather than tear one another down. His resurrection changes everything!

Take a moment…how have you seen God’s resurrection power alive and well in your marriage and family in the past and today? Praise God for His Spirit dwelling in you and in your home and in your church.

Press Reset

My husband and I have our alarm clock set for 6:15am every morning. The dial is tuned to our local radio station and every morning the alarm peacefully alerts us with a Christian song that it’s time to rise and shine. We like the alarm settings just the way they are. However, we happen to have a four year old who loves electronic things, buttons, and dials. One morning we woke up to the blast of the alarm at full volume. The DJs were talking about something between songs, so we basically woke up to someone yelling at us. Not a great way to start the day.
How many of you have settings that you like just right, on your computer, on your alarm, on phone, whatever?
Our minds have settings too. Our original settings are those of the flesh. The Old Adam wells us and easily fills our mind, fixing it on selfish desires. But in baptism, in justification, we are given a new mind, new settings. Our new settings reflect who we are in Christ. Our new settings are set on the “things of the Spirit.” What are the Spirit’s things? Love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Good stuff!
When Luther instructs us to remember our baptism daily, this is the daily setting of our minds. Luther knew, as the Spirit knows, we need daily reminders of what Christ has done, so that we can live what Christ has done in our relationships.
Here are some setting-our-mind ideas we use at our house:
Post Bible verses on your fridge, on your mirrors, on your walls – surrounding yourself with the Word is like auto-reboot on your computer. Change them occasionally for a reset.
A cross in every room- it’s hard to argue and look at a cross at the same time.

Pray for others – it’s hard to hold on to selfishness when your lips are murmuring the needs of those you love.