Friday, March 4, 2016

Before and After Easter Thoughts

I grew up with teachings from two denominations. 

I still have that bunny, BUT did you notice that purse?

My parents were Methodist

My dad's mother was actually a Pentecostal Holiness. My great grandfather who died before I was born was a Pentecostal preacher. My great Aunt Ruth had his pulpit at her home. Loved all of my great aunts and my dad had such great respect for them, but interestingly enough, he and his two brothers were all Methodists. 

My little Methodist church was a country church. You may noticed I have a picture of it in my sidebar. It is where I learned about Jesus and am so grateful that I grew up in a Christian home.

Hartwood Methodist Church, Range, AL

When my mom remarried, my step dad was Baptist

It is a very long story, but we ended up at a Baptist church. 

I love both and through the years I have learned that I don't like many of the rules that make the denominations, but that is life ---and how we as humans roll.

AT the home of one my great aunts, I am pictured here with my two cousins. I am the youngest. I guess I missed the white shoes that year and the one before.

I am now a member of a nondenominational church and it suits me to a tee. No matter where I attend, I am going to check it with the Scriptures and make sure I can fully live with my stance on any position.

However, I am not going to get into a discussion about any of those rules that would hinder bringing someone into the loving arms of Jesus. He certainly could stir up a pot on breaking rules. Couldn't he?!

I guess I got white shoes that year, but not Mama.

That brings me to Lent which is what I chose to write about today.

I didn't grow up observing Lent. 

Being the person that I am, along the way I wondered about why we didn't and why they did, etc.

I have come to my own conclusions and found my own way to observe the weeks before Easter. 

Once in a Bible study we were talking about this very topic (well denominational differences, etc.) and my friend who grew up Baptist as well, said when you don't observe any pieces of the Lent that Easter Sunday can kind of just pop up out of nowhere. Yes, you fully recognize the sacrifice, but by not getting your mind focused on it in the preceding weeks maybe we had missed out on a little more.

That is where I stand. I like to do something to focus my mind on the sacrifice Jesus made and the fact that I do serve a Risen Savior. 

This Ash Wednesday, I was thinking about giving up something, and nothing worthy came to mind. I mean I have already been giving up things food related since November, and if I really think about what would be a sacrifice to me personally... would have to be time and energy given to something.

I pondered that for a few days and just came to the conclusion that the Lord would lay on my heart what that would be. Fast forward to a week later. 
Our church is growing by leaps and bounds. Hooray!

So much so, that we have to add a service not even related to Easter Sunday. We will do four for the public that day and one for volunteers only -for a total of five.
Three services added this quickly is going to be a tough job of having volunteers in all the spots necessary. Hence, we have been asked to serve two services for 8 weeks only. That will give us time to take care of those spots long term.

Well, there was my sacrifice, teaching in Waumba Land (our preschool environment) for two services and then attending the third for 8 weeks would be a sacrifice of time and energy.
I am pretty sure Satan will try and wear my tail out and make Sundays so busy that I want to give up. After all, isn't that what he specializes in?

Same two girl cousins with my other one included. Even at a young age, we seemed to flock together. 

Anyway, I think my Lent focus on sacrifice and what Jesus did for me will come with the beginning of Easter Sunday and last for the 7 remaining weeks. I will have to remember what He did for me as I give up the two things that I never have enough of...TIME and ENERGY.

Sometimes, you wonder whether you should share such personal thoughts, but hey maybe there is someone out there that needs to hear them.

Hope you enjoyed the stroll through memory lane with some of my old Easter pictures. I love looking at my own children's pictures as well. 


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE all the old pictures!! It brings back memories of gentler times...those Easter dresses! precious. I grew up Baptist, then joined a Methodist church when I married Marvin but now we are in a Bible church. I love your sacrifice for Lent, Sandy! One of our Catholic relatives tries to do something like that for Lent, doing something instead of giving something up. But working extra with the little ones is giving up time and ENERGY for sure. Marvin and I are in the Nursery this Sunday. I will be thinking of you!!


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