Seeing in Amazement

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As news of the resurrection moved throughout the land, people had mixed emotions. Some wickedly desired to hide it. Some eagerly desired to tell it. And others, like Peter, desperately wanted to see it.

Among those who wanted to hide the resurrection were the chief priests. They bribed the Roman guards who stood by Jesus’ tomb. “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’” The Jewish authorities wanted to hide it.

Mary and the women, on the other hand, had spoken with Jesus. Too afraid to speak in public, they rushed to tell the disciples. “I have seen the Lord,” said Mary. She and the women wanted to tell it.

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Seeking in Wonder

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Though the sun was bright, the day was dark. The women who came to anoint the decaying body of Jesus were now doubly saddened. Not only had they witnessed His brutal beating and murder, they also had convincing evidence of His body being shamefully stolen. So they wept.

Taking one last look inside the tomb, the women noticed two angels dazzling in appearance. As they bowed in fear, the angels asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

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Sadness in Death

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On the dawn of Sunday, severe mourning swept through the land of Judea. In the hearts of some, life was fearfully different. Three days earlier, the Son of God had been brutally murdered on a cross—the symbol of a violent death.

Still lamenting His death, Mary Magdalene and other women arose early to visit the tomb and anoint the body to offset the stench of decay. They arrived and found the massive stone rolled aside and an unguarded, open tomb. Perplexed, the women rushed inside and discovered the tomb was empty. They were doubly saddened. First, they had witnessed their Lord unjustly murdered. Now, His body had been shamefully stolen. Things couldn’t get worse.

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Wednesday Wallpaper: Remember the Resurrection

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Remember Jesus Christ who rose from the dead.

To accompany the recent launch of the Remember the Resurrection Devotional eBook and Daily E-mail, here is a design to help you keep the resurrection in mind. The vibrant colors were inspired by watercolor themes of Easter. The painting depicts the empty tomb—a reminder that Jesus is not dead.

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” (2 Timothy 2:8-9)

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Remember the Resurrection: 7 Day Devotional eBook

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How often do you remember the resurrection?

After a study of the events taking place after our Lord’s resurrection, I worked to consolidate the four gospels (with the first chapter of Acts) into chronological sequence. This helped me get a clearer context of the story.

Additionally, it caused me to focus on a number of questions asked throughout the Scriptures that resonated with my personal devotions. Each of these questions made me further contemplate the importance of the resurrection in my daily life. I want to pass those contemplations on to you.

After Jesus was crucified, His disciples were deeply troubled. You can feel their sadness leaking from the pages, as if their tears were captured in the closing of the Bible. They were saddened by His death. This is where we begin our devotional journey. We will ask ourselves as the angels asked Mary, “Why are you weeping?”

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Remember the Resurrection: 7 Day Devotional Email

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How often do you remember the resurrection?

Sometimes we need to be reminded of even the most important things. That’s why I created this seven day devotional. By subscribing below, a devotional will be sent to your inbox each day, for seven days, starting tomorrow. Each devotional is a short reading to help you become more mindful of the resurrection through life lessons of faith.

We will go back in time and experience the biblical events beginning with the resurrection of Jesus and ending with His ascension. Our journey will bring us face to face with real doubts, wonder, amazement, assurance, and excitement. And, with the Lord’s help, we will look more closely at our own faith.

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Goals Are Best Made Pliable

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Last week, I took a break from blog writing to write for some other purposes: seminary, church, books, and a tad more. It was a relief to be honest, a good breather. But it didn’t come without a challenge. You see, I have a goal for this year to write at least five pieces each week (a total of 260 for the year). The break meant the end of that goal … sorta.

If you remember my series on goal setting, I mentioned our goals should be seen in light of God’s will. God has a purpose for your life that is expressed in His permissive will. He has things He wants you to do, but will, for reasons of His own, allow you to do things that are not divinely desirable.

At the same time, God has a purpose for your life that is expressed in His providential will. This is the big picture. It entails the master plan that will not be altered by any choice you make. It is the plan that includes you, but takes in account all the other intricacies of creation. There is no stopping this plan.

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21 Christians the World Was Not Worthy Of

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We are people of the cross.

In light of the recent brutal massacre of 21 Christians, I’ve produced a number of graphics (both wallpapers and social media images) to help remind yourself and others about the real mission to proclaim the gospel and pray for those who are persecuted. The imagery depicts a background of sand, colored black as the executioners were dressed, and a bloody smear, colored orange as the martyrs were dressed.

Hebrews 11:38 describes persecuted Christians as those “whom the world was not worthy.” Indeed these 21 who lost their lives on the shores of Libya are numbered among them.

Christians, people of the cross, rise up and be identified. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44-45). Download and support your fellow Christ followers by getting the word out through social media, posters, and other mediums. Here are a few tools to get you started.

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Wednesday Wallpaper: Give What You Cannot Keep

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“One of the great blessings of Heaven is the appreciation of Heaven on earth,” says Jim Elliot.

Philip James “Jim” Elliot was one of five missionaries killed while evangelizing the Huaorani people of Ecuador. In his journal for October 28, 1949, he describes the work of missions as being more important than his mortal life, which he gave so eagerly. This wallpaper was requested by Nicole. Let it remind you that we take nothing into the next life except that which is eternal.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliot)

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How a Pastor Disciples His Children with the Libyan Massacre

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Islamic terrorists bound 21 Christians, marched them onto a beach and paired them with executioners, where they were shoved face-down into the sand with their heads peeled upward. Knees pressed in their backs held them. Knives pressed into their necks killed them. Seconds later, the oceanic waters turned blood red.

I’m not sure if it’s to my shame or not, but I don’t keep up with current events. I simply lack the time. So I usually hear them from my pastor, which is to my advantage. Not only do I hear the reports, but God’s view of them.

Just today, Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church, allowed us a seat next to him at the dinner table. Here, he called the attention of his four young children to the iPad where photos of the Libyan massacre were displayed (with parental discernment, of course). Was it a strange way of doing family time? Not at all. It was an opportunity seized to disciple his children.

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