Friday, April 29, 2011

In Need of Resurrection

This past Sunday's Easter message focused on John 11:17-37, the story of Lazarus' death and subsequent resurrection by Jesus. We were reminded that Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life." He was speaking not only about resurrection after death, but power for our lives right now.

In small group, we were posed several questions about resurrection and its application to us. In your life, where have you experienced resurrection? How are you/how is your life different because of Jesus?

They are definitely very good questions to think about and answer. The question that really made me think was our challenge for the week: What is dead in your life right now that you need resurrected?

It's a very good question and one that really requires me to be honest with myself. One of our members seemed to have an immediate answer that they were unreservedly not planning to share. I can understand that. Sharing something like this requires vulnerability. I have to be willing to get past the shame or embarrassment I feel about it in order to bring it into the light. Only then might I truly be able to seek Jesus' power to raise it back to life.

So, what is my thing that is dead and needs resurrection? Compassion. I just don't think that I truly feel the hurts and struggles for others. Yes, I pray for others and seek Jesus' power in their lives and various situations. But when Jesus was in Bethany with Mary and Martha, he saw their hurt and he wept. He saw AND FELT their pain and sorrow. I see it, but I don't take it on myself. I haven't felt so concerned and burdened that it pressed me to my knees in fervent and desperate prayer. It sounds awful, right? Like I am a cold, unfeeling person. I'm really not. I think I have just focused on my own life and family. I know that as one loved and cared for by God, I should also love and care for others. So I guess my new prayer should be for more compassion, for a heart open to taking in the hurts of others. It sounds a bit scary and potentially overwhelming, but "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

Is there something in your life that is dead and needs resurrection? Are you brave enough to voice it out loud?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


We had a great small group meeting last night. Our message on Sunday was about boldness. Our leader presented us with several questions that challenged us and asked us to do something in the coming week. I like that our leader prompts us to come up with and share an action step. Especially since we know we will have to report back the following week.

What keeps me from being bold in evangelizing? What am I afraid of?
>Uncomfortableness/awkward situations, difficult questions, feeling stupid.

Do people look at me and say, "I want that"? Filled with the Holy Spirit, what character of who I am will I let shine this week?
>Contentment and confidence with who I am and where I am right now.

This topic of boldness is very timely for me. A couple of days ago I was talking to another woman who is also a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) and I got the impression that she felt a little guilty for her status. As a SAHM, I do sometimes feel like others think I'm not contributing or doing enough with my time. However, I am confident that being at home with Kaitlyn is where God wants me to be right now. I am contributing a great deal to her growth, development and well being. Who else is going to love my child like I do?

Yesterday I felt the Holy Spirit's prompting to write a note to the woman. I was a little nervous about it as she didn't say she felt guilty but I am trusting the Spirit's leading that the little bit of encouragement and camaraderie is what was needed. So last night's assignment was confirmation that I am doing what I ought to be and encourages me to continue. Eventually the awkward feelings will fade.

What about you? What keeps you from being bold? What part of your character will you allow to shine through you this week?