Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Motherless Mother's Day

Well, it is Mother's Day--a day to honor those that are constantly serving us in more ways than we can even think of. I think not having mom for a few days definitely helps me appreciate her more. She really is the kind of woman that I want to marry some day. I'm not saying that she is completely perfect and that I never have disagreements with her (though they are very very rare). The reality is that we will have conflicts even to a small degree (as with my mom) with any relationship. It isn't so much a matter of not having conflicts that makes a relationship work, but rather how we deal with the conflicts that come our way. Mom is a wonderful example to me of resolution. She has a strong will and uses it for His glory. I tend to not be strong willed, so she offers great balance to me in making decisions. I was reflecting about something she did a week ago at Jonathan's soccer game... there was a college age guy there that she struck up a conversation with. She asked him what he was majoring in and he said he wanted to major in theology. He is obviously unsaved and un-churched. She started taking him through the faults in relativism and what theology really means. I can't even really describe how she did it. She is so good at getting down to the serious matters with someone that she knows very little about. I am thankful for a mom that does crazy things for the sake of the gospel. She definitely has the spiritual gift of evangelism. She has taught me so much over the years, and I could never be thankful enough to God for blessing me with her as a mom. She is currently in Wisconsin with her brother who broke his neck and cracked his skull. Talk about an example of complete unselfishness... even on mother's day. I love you mom!

Church was great today, we talked about holding the keys of the kingdom today (Matthew 16:19). In Catholicism, they talk about Peter being the first pope. Pastor Tim pointed us to passages like Matthew 23:13 where it says that even the Pharisees hold the keys to the kingdom and do not allow people to go in. The keys to the kingdom really comes down to preaching the gospel message. I had the opportunity to teach children's church again today. I actually got the entire service today because they didn't do children's choir time. This was an unexpected blessing. I actually finished all of the lesson and memory verse. :) We talked about Jesus' death and resurrection. I think it struck me more than ever how amazing that really is. It doesn't even make sense! Jesus should not have died. Why would anyone want to release Barabbas? I mean really... did Jesus not heal people? It doesn't make any sense... except that it was the will of the Father. Like 14:45-48 really caught my attention as I was teaching today... I love when the spirit guides me in what I should say.

Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

Jesus had told them about his death and resurrection, and yet they obviously didn't expect him to rise again. I wonder how often I should be expecting Him to do something because of what He promises in His Word, and yet I am completely caught up in my own life that I miss it completely. I need Him to open my mind to understand the scripture just like he did for his disciples. Jesus said right there that the gospel (repentance and forgiveness of sins) would be proclaimed to us (all nations)! That right there is incredible. It wasn't like he was talking in front of the United Nations or something... he is talking to a small group of people. Just the reality of His death and resurrection should completely drive us to share it with others. At the end, I got to talk about how they could apply this to their lives. It was such a blessing to see their eager responses to sharing the gospel with friends at school and stuff. I needed that reminder of child-like faith and obedience. I think I learned more than they did. :)

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