The Burden

CrossWith the thoughts and celebrations of the Easter weekend still lingering, my mind turned to a short story I came across just before Easter last year on inspirational author Louise M Gouge’s website, called The Burden.  This story beautifully describes how our burdens can be left at the cross due to His sacrifice for us there at Calvary. I decided to read it again, and a year later, it still has left me deeply moved, so thought I would share the link with you so you too can appreciate the story.

There’s another link I would like to share with you. If you click on the picture of the cross, it will take you to one of my favourite hymns by Stuart Townend, a reflection of His wonderful work on the cross, and my complete unworthiness!

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

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Book Review – Does God Know How to Tie Shoes?

Title: Does God Know How to Tie Shoes?Does God Know How to Tie Shoes

Author: Nancy White Carlstrom

Illustrator: Lori McElrath-Eslick

ISBN: 978-0802850744

USD: 14.40 / Hardcover

Review: :) :) :) :) :)

Psalm 96:12 – Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.  Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.

This book was given to us as a gift for our son, Caleb.  Each page of this book dances with brilliant color. Children will definitely be captivated not only by the beautiful artwork of this book, but by the simply way the author, Nancy White Carlstrom, helps children understand how our great God works.

Does God Know How to Tie Shoes - is about a little girl named Katrina who loves to ask her parents all kinds of questions about God.  Example: How does God talk, Mama?  Does God ever sing, Papa? Does God like to paint?  Parents: He paints the sunrise and sunset, and spreads out the heavens like a cloth. Katrina: I bet He likes painting rainbows best of all.  Just like me.

I love that there are 18 scripture references in the back of the book all from Psalms. Here are a few:

Psalm 147:4-5 – He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limits.

Psalm 91:4 – He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.

Psalm 104:19 – The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.

Great bedtime story for little ones ages 4 and up.

This is my own personal opinion and I received no monetary compensation for my review.

Blessings,

Melissa Staehli

Author of: I Love You to the Moon and Charlie’s Gingerbread House

 

 

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Easter Monday

Why did God wait fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection before giving the disciples the Holy Spirit?

That was the question posed to me by a friend who works in children’s ministry. She teaches a fifth grade Sunday school class, and as she prepared her Easter lesson, she was anticipating questions the children might ask. We wrestled with how best to answer that question in a way children would understand. 

The day after Easter seems so anticlimactic. The big celebration is over and we shift back into the routines of family, school, and work. Did the disciples feel the same way after the resurrection two thousand years ago?

Why did God wait? Why didn’t He give the Holy Spirit to the disciples sooner? 

Instead, Jesus appeared to the disciples over a period of forty days, and told them not to leave Jerusalem until they were “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:3-5). DoveToday, we know those early believers received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. In ancient Israel, this was known as the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest. It was calculated forty-nine days after Passover, and celebrated God’s provision of the wheat harvest. 

The celebration of the wheat harvest seven weeks after Christ’s resurrection reminds us of the analogy Jesus made when preparing His disciples for His death. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). 

Just as the Israelites celebrated the wheat harvest, Jesus’ disciples were able to celebrate a harvest of new life when they received the provision of the Holy Spirit. This new life was brought about by Jesus’ substitutionary death – the “kernel of wheat” that died, but produced a great harvest.

My friend and I also realized that the period of waiting experienced by the disciples until they received the Holy Spirit served another purpose. It reminded them that they did not have the ability to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in their own strength.

Despite the many appearances of Jesus during those first forty days, the disciples and other early believers often huddled together in secret. They were fearful for their lives at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans.

Those early Christians experienced the reality of their own limitations. They quickly learned that if they were to be powerful witnesses, they needed something – no, Someone – to provide what they lacked. Without this realization, they might have later wondered as to the necessity of receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit.

What a lesson for us today. All too often I attempt to do great things for God in my own strength…and fail miserably. But those failures remind me of the importance of depending on God’s Holy Spirit day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute.

Yes, the disciples had to wait. They waited forty days until Jesus ascended into heaven. Then they waited a week more until they received the Holy Spirit. But in the process of waiting, they learned a lesson that would remain with them for the rest of their lives: they could not do it on their own.

Will you and I remember this same lesson today?

Ava Pennington

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