He Gives Us New Life

Y’all! We made it! It’s March! Isn’t that the best news in the world? Woo Hoo! Daylight Savings Time, daffodils, crocus, tulips, bradford pear trees and Easter. Spring absolutely ignites my soul.

 
I know it’s not biblical but I love to decorate for  the Easter season. It’s like one great big coming out party. Debutante season for bunnies, robins eggs, seersucker and white jeans. Only better. It’s as if all of nature awakens in preparation to celebrate the Risen King! Grass is greener, days are warmer, dusk lingers.

 
God gave us such beauty in seasons. Forever carrying us from one stage of life to the next. Have you ever noticed that memories are attached to seasons? The most prolific events in my life are earmarked to a certain time of year and or season of life. Solomon penned it perfectly in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

 

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

a time to be born,
and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Spring is a time of rebirth. It is also the season of the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox is the time when the sun is directly over the equator. Sarah Quiring explains it this way “astronomically speaking, the equinox is the day on which the tilt of the Earth’s axis is neither away from nor towards the Sun, but completely parallel, resulting in a night and day length that are the same. “. This occurs the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Historically right after Easter.

“So what, Elizabeth?!” Stay with me here. When Jesus was on that cross being crucified what position was the cross? Upright in the center of the three crosses. Jesus’ cross was the tallest. He was at 12 o’clock so to speak. What was directly above Him? The vernal equinox! Get out! How cool is God? The sun (God) of the universe was centering the Son of the universe. At that exact moment in  history Jesus Christ was the center of the world. Is that not the coolest thing ever?! Or does my mind just pick up the quirky? Both I think 😂.

And for all who will approach this post legalistically? Yep, I know, the vernal equinox is of pagan roots. Which only makes the crucifixion and resurrection that more precious. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.“— Genesis 50:20

Seasons matter. God correlates seasons with events. He wants us to note our surroundings and our seasons. Biblically they have meaning. Spring is a big deal! Jesus Christ, who dwelt among us sinless, died for our sins. He gives us new life.

This Spring go all out. Celebrate, decorate, praise, confess and profess the resurrected King! He died for you. He was brutally tortured so that we may all have the opportunity at new life in Him.

If that doesn’t excite you? You probably don’t like baby chicks and bunnies either.

“It is by grace you have been saved”-Ephesians 2:5

 

image.jpeg

This Ain’t No Dress Rehearsal 

Recently I cornered my husband and made him engage in an unpleasant conversation. My funeral. Morbid? To me, the I have to plan everything girl, it was a normal conversation. He did not want to participate. “Elizabeth, that’s ridiculous. We both know I’ll go first. And when I do make sure it’s on the way to work”. Confused I said “Huh?” With a chuckle he replied “My life insurance will be worth more if it’s work related”. I was the one not amused.

The facts are indisputable: (1)we are all going to die (2) our earthly bodies have to be put somewhere. Like I said I’m a planner. I want to make sure that my family has planned for my home going. My husband plans estates for a living. I plan our lives. This only seems fitting to me.

I explained to my husband what I had in mind. In fact, a friend of ours came up with a fabulous idea. It’s so good that I asked her permission to share it. I do not want a large church service. I want a private family graveside service. I’ll leave the details up to my family. The rest I want to plan.

I want to throw a party. I want you to show up ready to celebrate! To throw down! I want everyone who has had the pleasure or displeasure of knowing me to come. There will be a band. (Liquid Pleasure would be perfect!) I want you to dance, laugh loudly, and love on every familiar and unfamiliar face that you see.

I want you to indulge in good ole’ eastern North Carolina barbecue, chicken salad, shrimp, fried chicken, biscuits, caramel cake, lemon squares, 12 layered chocolate cake, sweet tea and the adult beverages of your choice. I want there to be blue and white ginger jars and silver vases full of roses, tulips, hydrangeas and peonies.

If it’s warm I want you to see a room full of seersucker, bow ties, sundresses, pearls, sandals, and little girls barefoot in smocked dresses. Little boys in monogrammed John Johns. Am I painting a picture for you? Does this sound like a combination of Easter and a wedding reception? Because that is the point!

When this diseased body finally goes? I will be resurrected out of this temporal life up to heaven to be with my Bridegroom forever. It is a reason to have the largest party eastern North Carolina has ever seen. Not because of who I am (believe me I’m no one ) but because of where I will be going. Does that sound like the most phenomenal day ever?! It will be! No more tears no more sorrow. Healed, whole, and in our eternal home with our Savior.

You don’t think I’m serious do you? Neither did my husband. But I can assure you I have thought this through. And just to keep it exciting I want my family to play a video that I’ll prerecord. I will explain in no uncertain terms: (a) where I am (b) Why I am there (c)How I got there.  And I’ll give the invitation to anyone present to give their lives to Christ right there at the country club. Heck, on the dance floor if that suits your fancy! I live in a small town. People will be talking about it for years to come as a spectacle  or a miracle. “Did you hear about that Wooten funeral? Yes, the tacky one! I heard  they held a revival at the country club” or “Did you go to the Wooten reception? Oh my gosh, greatest day ever!”

I’ve buried two parents, walked a child through addiction, another through illness and been told my life expectancy is 10 years tops. This  ain’t no dress rehearsal. The only “do over” we get? A new life in Jesus Christ. It’s too important to miss! Who cares if your neighbors think you are nuts. Who cares if it’s not politically correct. It’s the right thing to do. It is securing your eternal place in heaven. It’s the most important thing you will ever do.

As we prepare for the Easter season prepare your heart for Him!  Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again so that you may have eternal life with Him.

The parties just getting started what are you waiting for?

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”-1 Peter 3:15