Posts tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

June 20, 2010

lessons I learned from my dad

Never Give Up On People — I learned this lesson by example. My dad forgives, again and again and again. He never stops giving second chances, least of all to his family. And he’s been tested, thoroughly, by all of us, many times over and often through the same mistakes. But he never gives up on any of us. Thank God, he never gives up on us. My dad never has never forgotten what it feels like to be forgiven, and he is quick to offer that to everyone else. In this way, he models our heavenly Father, making it very easy for me to believe in a loving, gracious God. I will never be able to thank him enough for that.
Marriage Is For Life — and your word is your bond. If you commit, you don’t break that vow. I watched my parents struggle through some very difficult years in their early married life, and many years later I witnessed them both verbally commit to never divorce and to always work through whatever challenges came along. Since that day, I’ve watched their love grow and their relationship flourish. I’ve seen them trudge through pain and anger and fear until they could finally make each other laugh again. Their example is a powerful one. I understand the truth of enduring love because of my parents, and I understand how a woman should be treated because my dad has modeled it with my mom. It’s a high standard of excellence, to be sure.
You’re Never Too Busy — For family, for friends, for people in need. You might have other plans or thoughts about what you want to accomplish, but God is in charge of all your time and when He creates an appointment for you, nothing else is more important. This is especially true for grandchildren and daughters who can probably handle things themselves but really want Daddy to do it instead. It’s easy for us to take advantage of our dad because he’s so willing to rearrange his agenda to accommodate almost any request. But I think he does this because it makes him feel necessary and irreplaceable. Which he is. In every way.
The Love of Jesus Is Overwhelming — My dad has a soft heart, but he’s not necessarily prone to tears. Except when he speaks of his relationship with Jesus. When my dad considers the sacrifice of our Lord and the depth of His love and grace, he can barely speak about it. The words always catch in his throat. His eyes fill with tears, and his heart swells to capacity. He has to stop and take several deep breaths before he can speak again. It was this way when he first began his relationship with Christ, and it is exactly the same (perhaps moreso) 25 years later. Nothing affects him the same way; not even his family. And at the same time, my dad bursts with true joy when describing that intimate relationship with Jesus. Nothing in life brings him more delight. Which is why I know that…
The Greatest Character Trait Is A Sense Of Humor — My life is full of hilarious episodes, and most of those are directly tied to my family. My dad has always modeled a joyful life. He finds humor in everything. And he is quick to laugh! He has a quirky sense of humor and a subtle, dry wit, and he analyzes every situation until he can find something to laugh at. Even when things are the worst you could imagine, and especially when things just keep going downhill, my dad will always find some small goodness in the midst of it and find a way to make it funny. It may only be funny because it’s so ridiculous, but he will find the dark humor in the midst of the terrible. I’ve learned to laugh instead of cry, or at least to laugh in the midst of crying. I always think of my dad saying, “Yes, it’s terrible, but that’s the darlin’ part.” And after a time I can always see that he was right.
My dad, himself, is the darlin’ part of our lives. He shows us how to love and how to live life fully. Without regret and without turning around to focus on the past. He leads by example, and we gladly follow. And I am thankful every moment of every day for God’s great gift to us in this man.

April 4, 2010

a family Easter celebration

It’s not often that all of my family can get together at Easter anymore, but this year Mom and Dad are volunteering just a couple of hours away and have been able to spend several days here with us during the week. Although we always celebrate Easter at church that morning, I can’t remember the last time we shared any kind of Easter meal together. Even growing up, our focus was never on a special meal like at Christmas or Thanksgiving. For my family, the celebration was simply being together and sharing the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, plus a little egg hunting when we were young. But I don’t remember a special lunch or dinner planned just for the day. This year, though, something fun was planned for all of us.
It was important to the 3rd boy that all of us attend the Sunrise Service at church, so my sister and my mom planned a little brunch to follow. Sausage pinwheels, ham and cheese spirals, apple sticky buns and fresh fruit salad. Everything was prepared in advance, so we were able to come back after church and just warm it up and eat. Which meant more time to just hang out together and catch up, then everyone could head back home late morning with a full afternoon left. It was a really great day, beginning with a true celebration of Life.

sunrise service
The Way
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.
— 1 Peter 1:18-21 (The Message)
sunrise service
Easter brunch
a little fun for 2 boys and 1 baby girl puppy


December 11, 2009

The Story of Jesus Christ

Each year my church presents Christmas Journey, a presentation of the life of Christ represented in individual scenes with dramatization. Visitors drive past each scene and hear narration from the Bible, as well as the voices of the actors in each scene. It is a powerful medium for sharing the story of our Savior, and thousands upon thousands come to bear witness. No matter the weather, the Journey goes on. And each year it seems a little more poignant than the last. It’s easy to forget that I’m watching friends and family portray characters. Instead, I see Jesus and Apostles and Roman soldiers and Pharisees, as well as persons afflicted with illnesses and disabilities who come to Jesus to be healed. And witnessing the healing is more powerful than one could ever imagine. It’s very easy to put myself in ancient times, to see myself in a crowd of observers being amazed and overwhelmed by visible evidence of the power of God. The Christmas Journey is our gift to the communities surrounding us, and each year I am more thankful for the people who sacrifice their time and energy for these weeks in November and December. And though I have never managed to get clear in-focus images from the Journey scenes, I do not fret over it. Being in motion makes photos challenging, but it does not diminish the power of Jesus Christ and the life he lived to provide salvation for you and me.
   click image to see the entire album and read the story of Christ
Christmas Journey: The Story of Jesus Christ

Documenting the days of Christmas was inspired by Ali Edwards’s December Daily project and the Holidays in Hand class by Jessica Sprague.

December 10, 2009

in the city of David

For unto us is born

Christmas Journey ~ First McKinney, Texas

Documenting the days of Christmas was inspired by Ali Edwards’s December Daily project and the Holidays in Hand class by Jessica Sprague.

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