I got distracted today. It looked so inviting outside. The rest of the family was out there exploring. I just couldn’t resist. So we were out there today, and I discovered something. Here’s a picture:
If it’s not obvious what it is, I can tell you. It’s a big old stump. The tree was cut down before my time here at the house. Out of the stump little shoots are growing like crazy. It reminded Chris and me of a couple of things.
It reminded Chris of an image from the book of Isaiah: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (11:1 NIV). It’s okay if you’re like, woah, that doesn’t make much sense. It’s basically a promise of a Savior in the Old Testament. The rest of the chapter describes this Savior and what life will be like after this Savior comes. This Savior is Jesus Christ who between then and now came to earth to save us. Jesus was a decedent of Jesse. It’s sort of a family tree reference.
This stump reminded me of our church. We went through a great tragedy last year in the form of the fire. Like that big old tree being destroyed, our building was destroyed. There’s something quite beautiful, though, that’s coming out of the stump: new life. Our church is also experiencing new life. This tree represents what God is doing in our little church community.
For those of you who live outside of our little community and have been praying for us: Thank you! You have done more than anyone on earth will give you credit for doing. Know that we are doing well.
For those of you who are a part of our church community: Thank you! You have been so incredibly flexible. Know that each one of you is part of our community (myself included), because God planned it that way.
Nearly every time I sign into Facebook (feel free to friend me), I read all sorts of things that people are passionate about. Some are passionate about soccer (playing or watching). Others are passionate about being green. Some are passionate about weekends (and what they do on the weekends). Others are passionate about homemaking. We are made to be passionate.
I am passionate about serving Jesus and making Him known. Oh, sure, I’m passionate about other things that aren’t as important. I love making bread. The thing is I’m not sure where I would be or what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for my relationship with Jesus. I think I’d be pretty lost. That’s why I want to live my life the way Jesus wants me to live and I want to share with others of Jesus’ gigantic love for them.
A week ago I listened to a guy talk about sacrificing for his church. He made a challenge to us. So here I am a week later thinking about Easter and Jesus and what I can do for my church as a member who is passionate about Jesus. I’ve decided that I’m going to get up early on Wednesday mornings and pray for people – more specifically for people who do not yet know Jesus. I’m fairly sure that if I get up at 5am, no one in the house will wake up. Once a week for one hour I’m going to pray for specific people to know Jesus. (Please email me with a list of people to pray for at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
All of the stuff that happened leading up to Easter is sometimes referred to as the Passion. The word “passion” comes from a Greek word meaning, “to suffer.” Jesus suffered. Am I willing to give up a little sleep to pray for people? I’m going to try. If Jesus was willing to suffer for us, what are we going to do for Him in our churches? This is all about people’s lives being transformed. Think about what you can do and do it.
Last night I woke up when Chris told me that he had dropped our cell phone into sap. Seriously. I thought he was joking seeing as I believe it was after midnight. It took much convincing on his part. I’m a little bit fuzzy on the details of last night’s conversation, because I had been in a deep sleep. I remember something about taking the battery out and putting it all in rice. That’s it.
This morning I find out Chris was using the cell as a flashlight and accidentally dropped it. I dropped my old cell phone so many times that it eventually broke, so I’m not upset. The cell is okay this morning. Well, it’s a little sticky. Other than that – good as before. Even though it wasn’t an April fools’ joke, everything is all good.
I’m going to be serious now. It may be April 1st; however what I’m going to write next is no joke.
God loves you. And whenever you eat pancakes with some locally made maple syrup, remember that God loves you.
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.