We normally don't celebrate empty. Empty is not so good.  Empty tummy. Empty head.  Empty wallet.  Empty tank.

Empty is a void.  Nothing where there should be something.  But there is not.

Easter, however, is a celebration of emptiness.  A celebration of what is not.

What is not tells us what is.

Think about the first disciple's Easter Sunday morning surprise.  One of the best things in life is a good surprise, right?  Note: a good surprise; bad surprises tend to bring grief & worry instead of joy.  A good surprise is a surprise because you don't expect it.

The disciples did not expect an empty tomb.  They weren't looking for the living. They were looking for a body.  A dead body.  They were without hope.  Expecting death.  Yet.  Surprise!  "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!  Remember how he told you..." Luke 24:5-6.

Jesus is no longer dead.  He lives today.

He lives to give life to you.

We celebrate an empty tomb.

Mourning into celebration.  Darkness into light.  Sadness into joy.  Despair into hope.  Defeat into hope.  This is what Easter is about.

Do you need a change?  Give Jesus your life.  You'll be transformed: Empty into full.

We celebrate new life.

It's Not About Me

You gotta love this picture: The James Family Four jumping for joy.

The grinning Mom is a friend I'd never met.  Beth James is the wife of a college buddy, David.

Beth James is battling cancer.

That word.  The C-word.  Stirs each of us.  Deeply.

Strong images & emotions within.  Fear.  Sickness.  Pain.  Sadness.  Suffering.  Death.  Anger.  Uncertainty. Hope.  Survival.  Faith.  Future.  Eternity.

Beth is in the midst of the battle of her life for her life.  Read about its unreal beginnings written by David here.

And then do not miss reading Beth's amazing perspective just two months into her battle here.

Join me in praying for Beth & her family.

And, as you read their story, be strengthened.  Be encouraged.

No matter your battle.

It's not about you.

God knows.

God loves.

He will carry you through.

New Day

You & I are witnesses of & participants in a new day every morning when we arise. The Bible tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning. New day. New choices. New you?

Each day our lives answer questions like the following whether we realize it or not... Will I live like the same old, same old or seek something new & challenging? Will I stretch & grow into new areas or will I allow circumstances, my past or other’s perceptions to dominate me? Will I choose to handle any baggage set in my lap or simply wallow deeper in my present mess?

Many of us are walking wounded or playing hurt. We don’t even want to admit it or slow down to treat it. We are a hurt people. And we hurt others.

Yet, there is hope. The Bible overflows with hope & healing. Hope for our hurts & healing for our brokenness are available if we will only choose to apply God’s Words to our lives. And those principles are found neatly in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-10. Jesus offers us freedom from our hurts, habits, & hang-ups if we choose to follow him there.

Making new choices requires courage. Making new choices means change. Making new choices takes risk.

Our economy may continue to be weak for the months ahead. Our jobs may be in jeopardy as long as the economy sputters. Our bills may be higher forcing us to concessions. Our relationships may be strained due to circumstances. Our world may be in turmoil with all signs pointing toward its end. Yet we can make new choices because we have a new day, new mercies, new hope, & an everlasting, all-powerful, all-loving, amazing grace God who is the same all the time. He will lead us through. Follow with me.