During this Easter Season “Reflections” event at Bakersfield’s historic Crystal Palace, I talked about finding our way out of darkness through the power of Christ.
Video by Bob West Video.
Happy Easter! It is still Easter Season! I have loved this Easter more than any others.
I think back about the Easter holidays with my family, most of whom have passed. The Easter Clothes, basket and scavenger hunt, Going to Mass and then a big breakfast cooked by my dad.
I must admit I didn’t really understand what Easter was all about. Fast forward and Easter became a time of craziness, all the liturgies, services, confessions, Baptizing sometimes 40 adults. We used to laugh as clergy and call it Holy Hell Week. It was powerful though.
Moving forward Easter day became painful. 9 years ago TODAY my mom died on Easter and 4 years ago the day after Easter I was removed from ministry. Easter became more of an extended Good Friday than anything to do with Resurrection. I stayed in the tomb for a long time and it can become very safe and comfortable but it reeks of death.
Fast forward for me Easter has NEW meaning and is deeply rooted in the mystery of life and death. It becomes a time for me to pause, reflect, and celebrate what Jesus has done for me! A time of Deep Gratitude and Grief but I see the grief not as a bad thing anymore but a necessary event and emotion to move me forward in life and in a deeper relationship with GOD!
I coined a motto many years ago, SLOWDOWN , SIMPLIFY, AND SANCTIFY and my friend Sue Felton gave me another word to complete the phrase SAVOR. I LOVE THAT SLOWDOWN, SIMPLIFY, SANCTIFY AND SAVOR. Easter is about Savoring.
Take a deep breath! Really feel it. Feel the body move, feel the spirit come alive. Life started with a breath. The scriptures, Genesis, the Pentecost all speak of the breath of Life and it is Life changing. We are blessed and our God wants us to rest and Savor in the LOVE OF THE FATHER brought to us through Jesus Christ.
In life we experience it all!
We fall, We break, We fail, But with Jesus. We rise, we heal. We overcome!
I have often found myself living in the tomb…my brain, my mind wants to relive the pain and suffering I have experienced in my life. Do you ever find your mind going back to the pain of being rejected, abandoned, betrayed, abused? Do you ever go back to the pain of losing someone you love? Are you ever overwhelmed with the world, politics, violence, homelessness, addictions?
When we are overwhelmed we live in the tomb! It is paralyzing.
Easter is about boldly walking out of the tomb and beginning to live. Living in the present Moment to be alive and mindful of the God who calls us to shed the wrappings of pain and walk out of the tomb into the light. We all need the light.
The light is the breath of the Holy Spirit through the power of Christ.
Today I feel liberated, set free, the bandages of pain and suffering removed. The stones of defeat, humiliation and limitations are rolled away. Today I am free and unlimited. Don’t get me wrong I still have triggers, I am still working on forgiveness…but I can name it and not give it power over me. I have learned to surrender and accept that all of this was necessary for my salvation. God needed me to do more and in a different way.
I am inspired by the people who come and share their stories and their pain and suffering and are vulnerable seeking the same light. They have become true signs of the power of God working in lives. I laugh a lot more and mostly at myself and the way I blindly believed everything, I didn’t question I just did what I was told…63 years later (slow learner) I seek God’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s voice to guide me.
Today I welcome eternal, indwelling life into my mind and heart.
I am resurrected through the indwelling Christ! It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new beginning. I too have Risen.
It would be easy to go back to the tomb, it is never too far away. But daily I wake up…and I give my day to the Lord and each day is incredible. I learn new things every day.
Over the years since Christ’s Resurrection the truth has been distorted. We do not have to earn anything, the message of Jesus was so simple and now it gets convoluted by so many. It is simply a message of Love, for that is what the Father is LOVE. Any other translation is a lie! When we allow the Love of God to dwell within us we are complete, we are made holy.
Are you tired of living in the tomb, because it is a choice. I have lived there many times, it’s dark, you think you are safe there, there is no internet. It can be everything we want , but it is not life. The tomb sucks life out of us. We have to come out and realize and find our purpose. And our purpose is always linked to serving others.
Easter is a reminder to come out, come out into the light, shake off the bondage, of pain, rejection, negative thinking, self pity, victimization. Come out into the freedom promised to the children of God. Leave all the negative, gut wrenching pain, betrayal, abandonment, and loss…and run to the opening, the light, the freedom, the joy, the peace and don’t look back. Allow the source of all life and love Jesus Christ to dwell in you.
It is a choice…strife or life! Take another deep breath, take another one. The air is fresh, it is a new day… as Maya Angelou…says today is the most wonderful day, I have never had this one before. Today let us remember the truth of the scripture, the truth of real faith. It is all about love!
There are lots of rules, doctrines and Dogmas out there but if they do not come down to LOVE they are lost.
I feel like exploding with joy each day now. I try hard to eliminate the negativity around. I had to block some people…I chose not to enter into all the crap out there. I try to love others and ignore those that have a negative energy. I keep holy water around to push that mojo away. I laugh more and I see so many miracles every day. I am tired of just feeling oppressed all the time..
I keep changing and growing. I find myself alive. One of the greatest awarenesses I have had is getting out of my trained thinking. To step outside and look at my thoughts and allow them to pass. Most of my thoughts are ridiculous anyway.
We are learning that painful and disappointing things happen, often for a reason and a higher purpose. The car does not start, you spill your coffee, your appliance goes out, no hot water, stuck in traffic when you’re in a hurry. It is just a bad day but we take these things seriously. They are not personal, just inconveniences. Sometimes we just have to nurture ourselves through a bad day. No matter how much we grow, practice loving peacefully and in the moment we can still have bad days.
Just solve the problem. We do not have to question every occurrence to see how it affects us.
Sometimes we just need to take care of our responsibilities and don’t take things so personal. Fix the car, leave the cleaning for another day.
There is a space on our forehead that tells alot…anger, frustration…woman pay lots of money for it to go away but it comes back because we are worried.
The plan which is AWARENESS,MINDFULNESS is the insight, the potential for personal growth-will reveal itself to us. Perhaps the lesson is to learn to solve our problems without always knowing their significance. Perhaps the lesson is to trust ourselves to live, and experience life.
Sometimes God lets a stinging blow fall on your life. You Bleed, feeling the pain, and your soul cries out in agony. At first you think the blow is an appalling mistake. But it is not, for you are the most precious jewel in the world to God. And HE is the most skilled stonecutter in the universe. He is precisely and skillfully forming you into a priceless gem. And in the depth of the painful experience, you see untold blessings and spiritual enrichment you have never before imagined.
Today I like to:
I taste my food, I sing out of key and make up songs, it drives my grandson crazy. I like to spend time with my family and close friends, I strive to help people heal! I sleep, I sit and look at my garden. I find gratitude every day.
The people I come in contact with each day their stories matter, they matter and I love connecting with them.
This Easter it is time to let Jesus roll away the stone, it is time to walk out, it is time to leave the past behind you and to live in the present to be resurrected! Its time to smile -you have to have work done on your face to smile…
We fall, We break. We fail. But with Jesus, we rise, we heal. We Overcome. It is time for us to come out of the tomb and bask in the light. To laugh, sing and enjoy HIS presence.
He is Risen and it is time for us too!