Jesus is Needy

Jesus is Needy

I am a certified fitness instructor and have been teaching group fitness classes for over 22 years. I am also a board certified holistic health counselor with a degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. I am 48 years old with a 25 year old daughter and a 23 year old son. My husband Chris and I have been married for 28 years. I have been a member of the Church of Christ my entire life as well as my mother, father and both sets of grandparents. I am the owner of a local food service based business and currently teach conditioning classes here in the Edmond area. I have been a strict vegetarian for many years but I will walk 10 miles barefoot in the snow for a good piece of chocolate! ;)
Julie W
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What Would Our Reaction Be?

Many of us attend congregations where members’ various needs are brought publicly before the church. At times there are prayer requests. Other times, families in crisis bring their financial burdens before the church, having nowhere else to turn for assistance.

I often feel the tug of the Holy Spirit during those moments and an ache in the pit of my stomach. These are human beings, God’s precious creation, and my need to help is compelling.

What would our reaction be if Jesus himself walked down the aisle, stood in front of His people, and proclaimed His own neediness?

Would we even know it was Him?

If we did recognize Him, would we all wonder what possibly the Son of God might need from us?

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Are We Benevolent or Judgmental?

The topic of benevolence in the church is one thing, but benevolence to strangers seems to be a real hot-button issue with Christians today.

  • We are inundated with homeless people at every street light and corner.
  • We come face to face with some sort of cardboard sign at least once a week. If you live in a big enough city, a stranger with a need might even approach you directly.
  • What to do in that split second, what to do with that uncomfortable opportunity, what to say or not to say…sometimes you only have the length of a red light to make your judgment call.

How often do we find ourselves passing judgment on someone? Have we ever said these words to ourselves?

  • If that man can stand out there all day in the scorching heat, surely he can get a job.
  • This is just one of those scams, all these corner people working together to swindle honest people out of their hard-earned money.
  • If I give them money, they are just going to turn around and buy alcohol or drugs.
  • She is wearing nice clothes and those shoes don’t look like a poor person’s shoes, so I am going to pass.

As the Bible clearly tells us, God chose individual, unique spiritual gifts to give each of us. Benevolence happens to be one of mine, and He also chose this specific gift for my father.

Learning Benevolence from my Father

I could never tell all of the many things I have seen my father do to help total strangers. However, I can tell you that his complete lack of judgment in each situation leaves me in awe and constantly striving toward that same goal. 

Breakfast at Denny’s

Once, our family was eating breakfast at a local Denny’s.  After we paid and were heading to the car we realized my dad was no longer behind us. We found him sitting on the curb next to a very fragrant homeless man with a bicycle. My dad talked with the man, then patted him on the back and started walking toward us. He asked us to find something to do for a few minutes because he was still a little hungry and wanted another breakfast. He then took the man inside, ordered him a huge meal, and sat with him while he ate.

Playing Santa

Another time, near Christmas, my dad came home and asked my sister and me to gather some of our very best toys. He said that someone else could really use them. We bought a Christmas tree at a nearby tree lot, tied it to the roof of our car, and headed to a stranger’s home.

When we arrived, a young girl and a grade-school-aged boy answered the door and invited us in. The small house had nothing that looked like Christmas to my sister and me. My dad brought in the tree and some much-needed decorations as the kids’ mother came around the corner. My sister and I were startled to see that the mother’s arm was amputated just below the shoulder, but my dad hugged her and acted as if he never noticed. We put up the tree, left some of our toys, and my dad gave the mother some “secret” money to buy some things for her kids for Christmas.

Over the years, my dad helped many people. 

The people and their needs were never the same–but my dad’s attitude and enthusiasm always remained constant.

I think of the very few times that my earthly father has been in need and I can promise you that on those few occasions I have moved heaven and earth to help him! Why? Because for me he is the giver, he is the need-meeter, he is the symbol of hope and love to the people he helps so when it is his turn to be in need, I run to his aid.

Helping Others as if it were Jesus

Now, let’s go back to our church service with our Lord standing front and center proclaiming His neediness. 

We may think of it in hypothetical terms but according to Jesus himself it is NOT. Matthew 25 starting in verse 45 (NlV) clearly states:

And he will answer, “I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”

I know what some of you are thinking and it’s an OLD argument. When Jesus states “brothers and sisters” we take that as only Christians and Christ-followers.

Scripture Speaks to Us All

As convenient as that might be and more comfortable for us, it simply is not true. Let’s ask Jesus what He means and HE will clear things up. Verse 44 says:

“Then they will reply, Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?”

This scripture is all encompassing and speaks to all mankind.

Just like my father did, next time you come face to face with a cardboard sign or a dirty, smelly person you would rather not help, try to see them through the goodness of Christ.

matthew-25-44

See Christ Himself in need.

Run to His aid as fast as you can!

Why?

  • He stopped in a crowd and touched a sister and healed her.
  • He noticed when others were hungry and fed them.
  • He wiped a tear from a sister’s eye and His own when His best friend lay in a grave.
  • He touched ten diseased men with healing, knowing only one would be grateful.
  • He looked a humiliated, desperate, sinful sister in the eye and defended her without condemnation.
  • And then He opened His arms and gave us His life.

How could we not run to meet His every need?

Putting Words into Action

I am very passionate about helping others, but it’s also a subject I work on. Keeping my heart and mind right while meeting the needs of strangers is anything but simple!

keeping-my-heart-and-mind-right-while-meeting-the-needs-of-strangers-is-anything-but-simple-1

 

A few weeks ago I was heading to work. I noticed a woman standing at the on-ramp with a sign. I was going the opposite direction so I said to myself, “When I go home, if she is still there, I will stop and see what she needs.” Of course, my meeting ran long and she was gone. The next day I saw her again. This time a man in a suit was talking with her and handing her a card of some type.

I thought maybe that was a good sign and she might be getting some assistance. I hoped he was able to help her because I didn’t want her to have to stand out in the 100-degree heat all day.

Determining to Help

At the end of the day, my heart melted when I saw that she was still at the on-ramp. Quickly, I drove home and told my husband that I wanted us to head back over there with some food and see what we could do.

I pulled up to an old gas station and walked to where she was standing. I told her that I brought a bag of groceries in case that might help in any way.

She practically jumped into my arms, wrapping both of her arms tightly around my neck. She said that they had broken down and were just trying to get enough gas money to get back home to Colorado. I asked her where her car was and she said it was in the gas station parking lot. I told her to walk back with me and we would fill her car up.

The Ground Shifted

As we walked behind the station, the scariest van I have ever seen came into view with two equally scary-looking men inside.

We had brought our puppy with us. Worried that the puppy would overheat, I grabbed her out of the car. That’s when the ground shifted under my feet.

She turned and saw the puppy and said, “Oh! Would you please let my kids pet your puppy?” KIDS??? I said “sure” as we walked toward the van. Two boys and a little girl, heads sopping wet with sweat, squealed delightedly as the puppy licked their faces.

One of the men even started talking in a cute voice and got a couple of licks. As they were finishing up on the gas I walked back and put the puppy in the car. The lady followed me with an old, cover-less book in her hand. After giving me a third huge hug, she said the book was one of her favorite things. She had read it cover to cover many times but begged me to take it. That she was willing to part with such a treasured possession almost broke my heart!

Lesson learned for me!

It looked like just another dirty, sweaty person with a sign but underneath was a desperate mother with three children baking in an old, filthy van for three days just needing someone to see past her and see the real her, the JESUS her!

Have you ever been in a position where you had to set aside your judgments to help someone?

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

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Kindness Cookies

Kindness Cookies

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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We know that every good gift comes from God and the gift of kindness is no exception.

Kindness makes our heart smile. It gives us warm fuzzies. Receiving kindness makes us want to give kindness too!

Kindness Cookies

That’s where these fantastic kindness cookies come into play.  You see, this month’s Family Time Training Activity, “Kindness”, is not just a one day activity. It’s about intentionally creating the attribute of kindness in kids and adults of all ages. (Truly, even we as adults need this reminder in our lives…like during rush hour traffic.)

This Kindness Activity includes:

  • The Kindness Activity Script, which has all the Bible verse references and important thoughts to share during the activity.
  • Act of Kindness Worksheet, which include great acts of kindness ideas.
  • Act of Kindness Calendar, which is used to show which acts of kindness you’ve completed.

Click here to download this month’s FREE activity!

 The idea is to write the Acts of Kindness ideas provided in the worksheet on slips of paper and even brainstorm your own, then choose one of these each day to fulfill.  An extra fun way to choose your Act of Kindness for the day is by turning it into a Kindness Cookie, which of course looks like a fortune cookie.

Don’t miss the end of this post, where we share how else we used these Kindness Cookies.

Making Kindness Cookies

I found this easy to follow video tutorial by Red Ted Art that shows you how to make paper fortune cookies. I used these fortune cookies and put our Random Acts of Kindness inside each one.  This way the kids will take turns each day choosing a brightly colored Kindness Cookie that will reveal one way our family can focus on being kind.

Our next to youngest got to choose the first Kindness Cookie, because without prodding, he helped his sister clean up water that was accidentally spilled on the floor.

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Going Beyond the Activity

There are so many ways that we can implement the ideas given in this “Kindness” Activity.  One idea that popped to mind was to fill these Kindness Cookies with what we love and appreciate about somebody else. Giving the gift of recognition is sweet!  

Our girls, along with one of their friends, filled out the slips of paper that go inside the cookies, ran to their fort, and gifted them to each other. The anticipation grew as they picked up each cookie, gently pulled out the slips and read the kind words written about each of them.  Of course, their mile-wide smiles expressed what the kind words meant to them.

kindness-cookies-make-others-smile

There are so many people in our lives who do not know how much we value them.  We will one day speak of how wonderful they were at their funerals but why not take a few moments while it still matters, to share with them the jewel of a person they are? Make a batch of Kindness Cookies that they can enjoy and be encouraged by over the next several days or month.

However you choose to use the Kindness Cookies, we know that you will not only make someone else’s day a little brighter but you will delight God with your kindness.

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
– Proverbs 12:25

Prayer over Your Heart

Part of the prayerencouraged in the script is to…

“pray that God would give you a kind heart like His.”

How beautiful is that?

Lord, we humbly come before you now.  We want to serve you with all our hearts and want to serve others too. Help us open our hearts to you and see the opportunities you put before us, so that we can cheer others up with our kind words and actions. May we lay down our hearts so that you can pluck out the selfish nature that lies within it and allow you to mold our hearts to express your attributes including the attribute of kindness.  In the One who displayed your kindness and love by stretching out his arms on the cross for us – Amen!

kindness-cookies-pinterest-2

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

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A Priceless Gift for Father’s Day

A Priceless Gift for Father’s Day

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

“Father’s Day is coming!” my daughter excitedly squealed.

It was actually twenty-two days away when our oldest daughter decided to start planning and creating the precious gift she would give to her beloved daddy. For two hours, she sat at the kitchen island, writing funny poems about her daddy.  Each poem was on a separate note card with an illustration of the poem.

She was so excited about her gift that she hid it so he wouldn’t find it.  But the anticipation of giving her gift was so great that the first moment she saw him, she ran to find her gift and gave it to him right then and there.

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Now what?!

With less than twenty days until Father’s Day, she came up with another gift idea.  She decided to make him a picture frame out of Popsicle sticks.  The picture frame idea evolved into a 6-inch container that she would decorate to hold his supplies.

Giving gifts is definitely one of her love languages.  Her eyes, smile, and heart radiated with love as she watched the gift being unwrapped, knowing that she put love into it.

Jumping Back to Mother’s Day

Our daughter had the same enthusiasm about creating a Mother’s Day gift for me. This ignited a passion in her younger siblings’ hearts as well. She and her brother worked hard on their gifts. Both spent lots of time…I mean days collecting and creating just the perfect gift.

But before the gifts could be given to me, my oldest son’s gift broke. So did his heart. He had worked so long on collecting and placing items just right in a glass jar. When he went to gather his gift and realized it was destroyed, he started crying .

Of course, as parents all we want is their love and appreciation. I happened to overhear the commotion when he discovered the broken gift. Quickly but quietly, I let my husband know to tell our son the best present  he could ever give me is the biggest and best hug he could give.

Once my son calmed down and my husband relied this vital information, our son came running to me and I received the best and biggest hug he has ever given me.  I loved on him and thanked him for that amazing present. His smile reached from ear to ear!

Giving the Simple and Priceless Gifts Top Priority

We live in an over-materialistic world.  As time has passed, physical gifts mean a little less to me every year.  It’s wonderful when someone takes the time to truly put their heart and energy into making or purchasing a gift that the other really needs or wants.  Or in the case of children, just shows how much they care.

But the idea of buying something just to have something to give because it’s a certain day doesn’t really mean that much to me.  I’d rather spend time with my family, making memories or cherishing the priceless personalized gifts which can’t be bought in stores.

Giving a Priceless Gift

These two instances, along with thinking about a sweet friend and her three kids whose husband and father is overseas, got me thinking about a priceless gift that would be treasured by fathers forever.

Instantly, this popped to mind: the precious voices of our children lifting us up to God!  

Doesn’t your heart just melt when you hear your children praying for you?  This simple, selfless act can hang on in our hearts and minds for weeks, months, and years.

doesnt-your-heart-just-melt-when-you-hear-your-children-praying-for-you-this-simple-selfless-act-can-hang-on-in-our-hearts-and-minds-for-weeks-months-and-years

So how about recording a video of your children praying over their precious fathers?  

Or if you do not have the ability to record a video, write out their prayers.

These beautiful recordings or letters can be easily accessed whenever their father is having a hard day.  He can hear the prayer from their own heart once again and feel the love and power surround him!

It may not be a new grill or golf club, but this priceless gift will inspire fathers’ hearts for years and possibly decades to come!

 

 

Love Gives Freely

Love Gives Freely

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I moved to OKC after quitting my jobs as a teacher and YouthIntern to pursue the call into ministry. I started as a non traditional student at Oklahoma where I met my husband. He was a non traditional student working on a 2nd degree after moving from Poland to pursue a degree in Ministry. We dreamed together of serving the Lord in Europe. Now we are blessed to be witness to the awesome way that God works all over the world. We live in Vienna, Austria with our3 kids. We work with Eastern European Mission. We provide Bibles and ethics materials in native languages of Eastern Europe. That means we get to seeGod's hand and providence all over Europe. I am Publishing Assistant at EEM and a fitness trainer. I fill my days caring for my family, teaching gym classes and designing book covers and working on details to provide quality materials to those who need God's word. In my free time I paint, cook, make jewelry and run 2 blogs.
Tamika R
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The Shunammite Woman

Do you remember the story of the Shunammite woman? You can find it in 2 Kings 4:8-41. It is a beautiful story full of selfless actions. She is a woman who had great means. She used what she had to bless the servant of the Lord without being asked.

God took notice and blessed her in kind.  Even when tragedy struck, she responded with grace. She was able to say, “It is well,” and walk forward with hope and trust. She knew who she was dealing with and behaved as one who had expectations that the LORD could do all she thought he could. Not only did she believe he could, everything she did was evidence that she believed he would.

not-only-did-she-believe-he-could-everything-she-did-was-evidence-that-she-believed-he-would

Last year while having breakfast with my dear friend Leslie, I heard of women in India who have this kind of faith.

Leslie is an amazing and inspiring woman whom I met about four years ago. We bonded by talking about creative projects. She lives in Ireland, but she and her husband minister all over the world so we cross paths often. My husband was there preaching about three weeks ago. He returned excited about the projects Leslie is involved in. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to hear about them myself.

She spends her free time trying to support women in India who could greatly benefit from very little. As she was talking to me about the things she does, I thought, why couldn’t I join her and we could help more women? I have decided not only will I join her, but I would like to invite other creative souls out there to join as well.

Curious?

Let me tell you what she is doing. The first project brings us back to the Shunammite woman. There are women in the Indian villages who need jobs. They are people who can and will work in a local craft. They want to start their own business in their craft, but they need start-up money. The organization is called SWAN and was named after the Shunammite woman. All of the women enrolled in the program have already committed to give 10% of their earnings to support the local preacher.  How much money is needed depends on the craft and the village.sweetcoupleinIndia

The second project is a more personal one. They have a rice project in the village of Pavara in Andhra Pradesh. They provide daily rice for about 150 widows and orphans. During this year’s trip, Leslie noticed an elderly couple and asked for their story. In their culture, the son would provide for them as well as his family in their old age, but their son is really poor and can barely care for his own kids and grandkids. So they collect wood and sell it. The husband chops and the woman pushes the wagon. For the past two years they have been unable to make this journey.

They should both be getting a pension, but for some reason the government is only paying him one. So they work. The pension they receive is 14 Euros ($14.87) a month. They can’t live on it. The amount of the pension for one year is 200 Euros. Leslie was able to sell crafts this past month to provide for her for this next year. I would like to raise 200 Euros ($212.36) to give her another year of pension.

Do You Have a Heart for Giving?

If you have a heart for giving and a passion for crafting, would you think of a way you could make and sell something to help these women? Women who are making so very little. Women who are willing to work hard to get the smallest amount of money to help their families and others.

I have set a goal this year to make 200 Euros to support this woman for the next year. Whatever I make beyond that I will give to the Shunammite Project in India. This will allow me to help women have the joy of creating, selling, and sharing to further the spread of the word of God in their villages. Everything made or collected for these women is 100% used for these purposes. It is all very well organized and professional. I will be painting, making beads, and felting.  You can do anything you love. If so, comment below and we will begin in January. Also, if you aren’t interested in making or selling something but would like to donate money, I know that would also be welcome.

Would you be willing to join me?

You can get involved by purchasing these great books written by Tony Coffey. He is Leslie’s husband. I read Once a Catholic before traveling to Europe on a mission trip for the first time. I recently created a cover for the Croatian translation of Answers to Questions Catholics are Asking.  He gives the proceeds from his books to the works and ministries in India as well.

religion-that-god-our-father

The Other Side of Christmas

The Other Side of Christmas

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

I love Christmas. The tingle and bite of winter air, the rosiness that rises to your cheeks when you’re outside thrills me. I love the music, the twinkle lights, the house lights. I love that people who often don’t think of Christ have their minds bent on goodwill and giving. And yet, for some–for many more than we probably realize–Christmas is a hard season. It is a bittersweet time, full of memories of those we have lost, either to eternity or conflict or distance. The other side of Christmas can be lonely, painful, or even depressing.

And while I don’t think that should lessen our joy, I do think that we can and should be aware of those struggling and sensitive to their burden. What can we do?

Pray for them.

Pray specifically for them–for comfort, for peace, but also for courage. And let them know that you are praying for them. It is a powerful and wonderful tool that we can intercede for each other on our knees before the awesome Maker of all things.

Spend time with them.

Many gifts are overrated and underused. They are cast aside in an ever-growing pile of “stuff” which sucks us into a world enamored with materialism. But the gift of your time is not only something that can help a lonely person, it is something precious and remembered. It says, “I love you enough to give up other things to just be with you.” It may even be good for you to have some perspective shed on what the “other side” is like.

gift-of-time

Listen.

One of the most valued and least developed skills is listening. Listening–and listening well (with interest, love, and warmth)–can be an enormous gift, especially to someone with struggles. Being able to talk about a loved one who died or the particular challenges of a serious illness can help heal an aching heart. And it is something that you can do no matter what your Christmas gift budget is.

So, today, go out there and bless someone who wasn’t expecting it. In return, you will be blessed beyond measure.

 

Beauty in Dying

Beauty in Dying

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P
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Fall is beautiful.

The colors in the leaves are breathtaking. Check out this picture my mother-in-law took of a tree glowing with color:

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That tree is stunning, golden and vibrant.

The leaves on the ground around the tree reflect like a mirror the beauty on the branches.

I’d love to be next to that tree and sit under its calm beauty.

As I admire the vibrance of these fall colors a thought occurs to me:

Those leaves are beautiful because they are dying. 

Those leaves are not producing food for themselves anymore. In their death they blaze bright before falling to the ground. In that moment, a question occurs to me: Is there beauty in dying?

Yes, I do believe there is beauty in dying. As I think about it three thoughts come to me.

I believe there is beauty in dying to yourself in the everyday choices.

If two (or more) of my boys are arguing and no compromise can be made I say to them, “Well, one of you must die to yourself and desires then.” This idea comes from many Bible verses such as this one: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NIV)  It is beautiful to see one brother choose to put aside his own passions and desires for the love of his brother and for the love of Christ.

There is beauty in a mother who is weary with chores but chooses to roll up her sleeves anyway and find something to be thankful about. Beauty in a husband choosing to roll up his sleeves and do chores right next to her.

There is great loveliness in choosing patience and love toward someone who is rude to you. Loveliness in choosing to cry out to God to help you truly forgive someone who has wronged you.

There is something lovely in choosing to not watch a popular movie because the Lord’s name is profaned and the story has inappropriate sexual content in it. Beauty in a wife choosing to say ‘yes’ to her husband even when tired. And beauty in a husband choosing to be patient and wait on his wife to be ready.

There is beauty in a father choosing to ride bikes with excited children after a long day’s work. Loveliness in a mom choosing to share her last bite of chocolate with small pleading eyes.

Beauty in choosing to get out the checkbook, an envelope, and a stamp to send off $25 to the mission asking for financial help as they reach people for Christ.

There is beauty in dying to yourself in everyday choices.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death. 

Often, at the passing of a loved one people will say, “I am sorry for your loss.” It is true there is loss in death, but for the death of a Christian the loss is temporary and beauty abounds. I have a dear friend who lost her sister this past May. This woman was in her early thirties and leaves behind on earth a husband, two very young daughters, adoring parents, and loving siblings. To be sure, there is a painful and searing loss. But, oh, there is beauty too.

The Bible says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) This mother, wife, daughter, sister has died, but because of her choice to follow Christ she has gained.

That is beautiful.

Her seeing her Savior face to face is incomprehensible in its beauty.

Her legacy of love and consistency in putting aside her own passions and desires is glowing in loveliness.

Her freedom from cancer and being given a new body by Christ is stunning.

And the promise of her reunion with her husband, daughters, parents, siblings, and friends for eternity is breathtaking.

If you have lost someone and they were in Christ, you have not truly lost them. You know where they are. They are saved for you in the most unfathomable place of beauty.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death.

I believe none of this beauty would be possible without my Savior Jesus’s death. 

There would be no reason for a person to choose to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) if Jesus had not done it first so beautifully.

There is immeasurable beauty in Jesus’s life’s example where He, without fail, denied himself and died to His own passions and desires. When He, surrounded with sick and begging people all the time, chose the beauty in giving of Himself and thinking of others first. Beautiful.

There is inescapable beauty when He said, “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and chose death on a cross so that we might never be lost. So that we might never feel unloved. So that we would never have to say goodbye to anyone who is in Christ but only ‘see you later.’ Beautiful.

There is indescribable beauty in His rising again to live and to rule on the third day.  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55Breathtaking.

There is now beauty in dying. Jesus is the reason for it all.

So friends, feel free to die.

There is little that is more beautiful. Feel free to deny yourself and live for Christ and others. Find joy in being “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) It is your proper worship to the One who did it first. If you earnestly seek His help, He will show you. He knows the way.

May we, by God’s power in us, be like the tree above.

Beautiful in dying. Stunning, golden, and vibrant in sacrificial love.

May our actions leave a beauty around us that reflects like a mirror the loving beauty Christ has put in our hearts.

May we be people the world looks to for the calm in our hearts because we know death in the body is the beginning of eternal beauty.

An Annual Reminder to Find Beauty in Dying

Has this shed some new light on fall foliage for you? I know it will be an annual reminder for me from now on. Would you share how you see beauty in dying, or how you want to have more beauty in your life by denying yourself?

Thanks for reading.

*A note from the woman’s sister mentioned above: “By my sister living out her faith until the very moment Our Father called her home, she taught us how to choose joy in life and how to face death with such courage and hope. What a gift.”  Beautiful.

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