Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Almost Easter

     Today I've chosen three videos I want to share because of the impression they make on me with both their words and music. They remind me of what Jesus did for me in a very real and vivid way, and I hope they do the same for you.

      Warning... They are set to scenes from The Passion... that movie is not something to watch lightly, in my opinion. I've seen it once and I'm not sure when I'll see it again... it sickens me... as it should. The "tame" pictures of Jesus we sometimes see with a little blood trickling from His hands and feet and with the crown of thorns perched on His head - that's not the right mental image we should have when we think of His death. It was brutal. It was bloody. It should make us cringe to think about. . .  God - perfect, all powerful, sinless, just and holy - becoming a slaughtered lamb for you and me. . . Because He loves us.

    There is something I'd like to point out (at least briefly) that The Passion's portrayal of Jesus' death lacks. Jesus' physical death was not the only wrath He endured on our behalf. On the cross Jesus was separated from God the Father. I don't think we consider that aspect of it as often as we should. It isn't something we can fully wrap our minds around - what it means that God forsook His Son. . . Jesus, who was and is one with God, who had always been with God, who had come to earth in obedience to His Father, was dying in torment and God left Him. In the deepest darkness that we may face as Christians, we have the assurence that God will never leave us... Jesus paid the price so we would never know that kind of suffering. 

    I pray you will ponder what Jesus' death means as tomorrow we remember Good Friday and Sunday celebrate Easter.


Wish - Brian Littrell

 "To hear you pray in the garden alone
Laying down Your will with each tear
To see You walk that lonely road
Willing to die for me

And in that moment
I know I should have been there
You took my cross and gave Your life
And you live again, oh
And You live again!"
 - Wish

 No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
 - In Christ Alone


 You Loved Me Anyway - Sidewalk Prophets
I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas' kiss
But You love me anyway
See now I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaken ground
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night I still call out for You

So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

But You love me anyway
Oh God, how You love me

Yes You love me anyway
It's like nothing in life
That I've ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me!"
- You Loved Me Anyway

~Ophelia - Marie

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Container Of 'Good Things'

       I got the idea for a 'Jar of Good Things' from this blog: Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden. ^_^
     The long and the short of the idea is this - Get a jar (or a jar equivalent -  Mine is made from a coffee can with cloth glued on the outside. )  and anytime a 'good thing' happens that you want to remember, you write it down and put it inside.

    When 2014 gets here I'll be able to open it up read all the little things I wanted to remember. To keep myself from even the temptation of opening it and reading the things inside before 2014, I glued the container shut.  *Grins* I hope I don't have too much trouble getting it back open...

    So far I've filled out several note cards and dropped them into my coffee can. The idea of only putting 'good' things in there didn't really appeal to me - I've written about things that have happened, both good and bad, so that I can look back on this year and remember lots of different happenings.

    I've written about my eighteenth birthday party, and the crazy fun we had... About the four days I had the flu and slept most of the day... About long talks with friends... About a few of the rough days I've had... Life, I've written about life. Parts of it may not be glamorous or exciting, but there it is - bits of it scribbled down on note cards.

   It's not the beginning of the year anymore, but perhaps you'd like to make a 'Good Things Jar' too. I mean, come on, doesn't this sound like a fun idea? ;)

~Ophelia - Marie

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Friends Aren't Mine

   I've been eighteen since January fifth and since that time I've decided on what I think is one of the biggest downfalls of growing up:

   The changing of friendships.

   My friends are busier now and trying to schedule time to see each other is a task in and of itself. One of my friends is going off to a mission school for a year in another state, a few others are starting to talk about college, and another friend had to go away for a month unexpectedly. There have been a few times when I cried selfish tears of 'but what about me?' , with ungrounded thoughts of them forgetting me, or never seeing me. Sure, I am so proud of them as I see their love for God, and their passion to follow after where they feel Him leading, but the fearful side of me still plays on my doubts. Let's face it - I didn't want things to change.

   God challenged my thinking with a continuous thought that wouldn't go away.

   'They aren't yours, Ophelia.' He seemed to be saying. 'They are Mine'.

   'But You gave them to me!' I protested, playing over and over the memories we had created together. Our laughing. . . inside jokes. . . questions we had. . . times we prayed for each other with tears. . . how we said we'd always be close. . . Quieter now, 'You gave them to me. . '

   'And now I have other plans for them.'

   After a time filled with prayer (and I admit, some more crying) it finally began to set in. They are God's -not mine. When He placed them in my life, He knew just how they'd effect me, cause me to grow, and fill my heart with joy and sometimes pain. He is right now directing us to where we need to be in our young lives and I've gotta face the fact that my friendships with each of these special people is going to look different.

    And that's okay.

   Change isn't always bad. It's just. . . different. That difference doesn't mean loss of my friendships, it means stepping back a bit as God leads each of us. Yeah, I know I'll miss them, but hey, Love isn't selfish. Since I love them, I'm going to pray for God's best for them - even if it means He moves some of them far away. I'm excited to watch what God is going to do in the coming months and years. I trust Him. My friends aren't mine - they belong to Him, and He loves them so much more than I do.

~Ophelia - Marie