Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Easter is just around the corner. While the world will be distracted by bunnies and colored eggs, for a Believer this time of year is so much more than that. Its about hope. Its about a few days 2000 years ago when those who followed Christ were shrouded in uncertainty, and captivated by a heaviness which would eventually be drowned out by an event that would serve to once again fill their lives with hope.

The disciples are often looked down upon when it comes to how they reacted when Jesus was arrested. They all jumped ship. It was every man for himself. Each one of them ran for their lives and abandoned this friend who they believed to be the "One" sent from God. Yet, I'm not sure if the sandals were on my feet, if I would have acted any different. I would like to think that I would have gone down with Him. I would love to imagine that while He was being beaten that He would glance over at me and smile as I too were there with Him undergoing the same inhumane torture. However, the truth remains that I feel a bit more like Peter than I do a sacrificial martyr.

I can't fathom the emotions of His followers watching all this play out. Sure, He had told them time and time again about this very moment, but as they took it all in it appears none of it made any sense. This "One" sent from God had been arrested and was to be beaten and brutally killed. Their Hero, their Messiah, the One who had come to save them appeared unable to save Himself. And then, when it was all over and He had breathed His last breath I can only imagine the sinking feeling in their hearts as all hope seemed lost.

Have you ever wondered what their conversations were like in the hours and days immediately following this horrific event? Was there any of them full of hope trying to encourage the others? Or, were they all puzzled and confused by it all? Perhaps, if you would have been there, you would have tried to remind everyone about everything He as said about this event. I'm thinking had it been me, that disillusionment might cloud everything. I'm just being real as I look back at my life and those moments when I've been hammered with circumstances that flooded my mind with questions. Most of the time the uncertainty and disillusionment of the moment blind me to the promises that I know He's spoken. I'm thinking like Peter, I might just pick my net back up and head out fishing.

For three days those followers of Christ were left in that state. Not knowing, not understanding, not certain of anything anymore. Then all of a sudden in runs the women who had just visited the tomb only to find it abandoned. Now, picture yourself in that moment. What emotions are you faced with? If you're still sitting around feeling defeated and playing that part of a victim perhaps you're filled with thoughts that someone has stolen the body. Or, maybe just maybe, your heart starts to pump a little faster and the adrenaline begins to pump through your veins as you think maybe just maybe He has risen just like He said. Running to the tomb your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imaginations and when you get there its just as the women proclaimed. Now, imagine seeing Him. Not, dead but alive.

Do you cry? Do you laugh? Do you shout? Do you run to Him? Are you numb? Are you overwhelmed and your emotions take over? Perhaps its all of these and more, at least I'm pretty sure that's my reaction. My Friend, my Hero, my Savior is alive! Hopelessness has given way to an unbelievable, unimaginable hope.

As I sit here thinking, that's just it. I mean, coming back to 2011 that truth hasn't changed. It's as real today as that very moment 2000 years ago. My Friend, my Hero, my Savior is alive! He's alive! That empty tomb speaks hope to me today just like it did to those who followed Him back then. Hope that makes me take on life today. Hope that makes me confident that whatever hammers me today can't overshadow the truth that my Redeemer lives. Hope that whatever is going on in the world around me pales in comparison to knowing that my Savior is on the throne and forever will be. Hope that the sin in my life past, present, and future was carried to the cross and the punishment for it all was laid on Him. Hope that forgiveness has been granted to me, mercy has protected me, and grace has saved me. Hope that who I was, is no longer who I am, and who I am is now completely the result of Him in me. Hope that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Hope that in all things He causes me to triumph. Hope that even in death I win. Hope that freedom reigns in my life. Hope that one day I will see the One who has showered my life with this very hope.

And the world is distracted by bunnies and colored eggs. What a shame when there is so much more. Hope, that's what this season is about. It's about an empty tomb that screams hope to whatever you're up against and wherever you are in life. It's not just a religious holiday, its a celebration about the One who Was, and Is, and IS to come. Nope, this weekend isn't about a bunny, it's about a Lamb and a Lion. It's about the Lamb who was slain and lives again. It's about the Lion who's return is moving closer with each passing day. As far as I'm concerned the world can have their Easter and I'll take the empty tomb and the hope it speaks to me!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tim The Tool Man And A Blown Fuse

Growing up I loved to take things apart. Electronic equipment was my favorite. I took radios apart, computers apart, televisions apart, and anything else that peeked my interest. I have to admit, I was great at taking things apart. However, I wasn't quite as good at putting things back together. Now, that wouldn't be a bad thing if we were talking about items that were broken, but most of the time the things I took apart had nothing wrong with them. I was just curious as to what made them work and with screw driver in hand my adventures of discovery would begin.

Through the years, my curiosity hasn't changed much. Although, I don't often take things apart that are in working order, when something breaks, I always think I can fix it. This week our washing machine went out. Now, I don't know the first thing about washing machines except that they wash clothes. Yet, when my wife told me how much it was going to cost to have a repair man out, I quickly grabbed my tools and went to work.

Something on the inside of me said it was a fuse. So, the first think I checked was the wall outlet thinking perhaps a breaker had been thrown for some reason. The outlet turned out to be fine and there again was this voice saying its a fuse. I proceeded to open up the washing machine's control panel and the very first thing I saw was a fuse. I popped it out and sure enough it had been blown. After replacing the fuse, I plugged in the washer and once again the fuse is blown. Using my "google" tool, which by the way should be a part of every tool box, I googled "Maytag" and "blown fuse" and quickly found how to fix the problem.

I told my wife I knew how to fix it and only needed to find a new part. When I got on the phone with the repair man to see if I could buy a part from him, he was convinced I didn't know what I was doing. He first told me that washing machines don't have fuses. I thought to myself, I've opened enough electronic devices in my day to know what a fuse is. I explained to him that I had purchased some new fuses at Home Depot and each time I replaced them they blew out. After a bit of an awkward pause, he asked me what kind of washing machine I had, because Maytag's have fuses. Still convinced I would not be able to fix the machine, he told me to give him a call when I needed him.

I was able to pick up the part, and actually put the machine back together without any problem. Total cost? Under $20.00! After hearing what a repair man was going to cost, my wife opted to check out Craigslist to see if she could find any good deals on a working washing machine. And after it was all said and done we fixed it for less than it would cost for us to go out to eat. Now, if I was a regular fix-it man I would think nothing of this whole process. But, I'm not. And the fact that my initial thought was that it was a fuse is really a bit bazaar to be completely honest. I had no idea that most washing machines do not have fuses but Maytag's do. Yet, over and over this thought kept coming to me that it was a fuse.

I can't help but think that voice wasn't self-initiated. Afterall, when told the washing machine was out, my own voice said, "Call a repair man, I don't know anything about washing machines." Scripture tells us that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, will teach us all things and guide us into all truth. Perhaps you think I'm stretching it a bit, but I think He can speak to us about anything including household appliances. The truth was, my washing machine had thrown a fuse and simply finding out why it was throwing the fuse led to an easy fix. I'm thinking the Holy Spirit, who knows all things, knew that and passing that info along to me was one of the things He was sent to do.

I really believe we can get way too "religious" in our approach to God and how we walk out our Christian journey. It's not meant to be some kooky, weird, spiritual encounter that has no practical application here in our real world. God longs to walk in relationship with us. This time of year is all about the price He was willing to pay in order to have that relationship with us. He longs to walk the journey with us, involved in every aspect of our lives. He's not on some distant planet waiting for us to get there some day. He wants so desperately to have an ongoing dialog with us in which we can hear His voice whenever we choose to listen.

Maybe, you're reading this and think I'm making way too much out of a blown fuse. Perhaps, your mindset is, "why in the world would the Creator of the Universe care about some lousy blown fuse?" If that's your perspective of Him, then I would love to invite you to get to know Him more. The truth is, He doesn't care about the blown fuse, He cares about me. He cares about walking through life with me and He is mindful about every single thing that concerns me. So, while He is still the Creator of the Universe, He has plenty of time to walk this journey with me.

Don't put God in a religious box. While He will reveal Spiritual truths to you and show you the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, He will also help you navigate through your daily life. Maybe its not a broken washing machine, but a broken heart or a broken relationship. Trust me, He's the kind of friend that is closer than a brother and He'll speak to you if you're truly listening.

What I hear right now is the washing machine finishing up a cycle. Time to change the laundry!