Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe I almost overlooked it!  April 14th marked the one year anniversary of The Brighter Side.  I gotta say, I'm in awe of what the Lord has done.  He took little old me, who has always hated writing, and sparked this passion in me to write.  What started out as something to share and grow my photography has morphed in to something else entirely.  Part journal, part comedic commentary, part devotional.  As I said, I'm just in awe of Him.  I fully expected to abandon this blog within 2 months of starting it, and here I am a year later...still clacking away on my keyboard.  I haven't written as many posts as I would have liked to, but I didn't give up either.  I searched for a verse to adequately sum up what this anniversary means to me, and as usual, the Lord pointed me to exactly what I was looking for: "May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works--" Psalm 104:31.  It is my sincere prayer that the Lord rejoices at what he has accomplished in and through me, and that he continues to use me and my little blog to bring blessings and beauty into the lives of others.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the last year:
Thank God It's Friday
Big Girls Don't Cry
A Heart Too Big, A Wallet Too Small, And Time Too Short
True Life: I'm A Grown Up Mary Anne
Go On The Internet And Complain Like Everyone Else

I can't wait to see what's in store for year 2!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thank God It's Friday

***Note: I started this on Friday, but the subject matter is so important, I took my time completing it.***

It's been a while since I've posted anything, but I just haven't really been inspired lately.  I've been having a major case of writers block I guess.  Lucky for you though, something inspired me today.  Jesus.

Today is a day that Christians observe as the day that Jesus was crucified.  Denied and betrayed by his friends, beaten, ridiculed, and nailed to a cross to die by the very people he loved and came to save.  I've been trying to think of a way to relate this to our lives, an example I could give to help wrap your head around the love, faith, and obedience it took to make that sacrifice, and I thought of a few.  Each time I wrote them it seemed to trivialize what Jesus did.  What God did.  Even now, my words seem so weak.

God knew what was going to happen, Jesus knew what had to happen, and each of them, Father and Son, out of love followed through.  Jesus was fully God, but also fully human.  He prayed not once, but twice for this burden to be taken from him...for his dad to make it stop (Matthew 26: 39, 42).  He was afraid and anguished over what he knew was coming (Matthew 26: 37, 38).  It was obedience and love for his Father and His Fathers creation that helped him see it through to the end.  He even prayed for us (John 17: 20-26, Luke 23: 34), the ones responsible for His death, the ones He came to save.

I can only imagine the way it must have felt.  Mary, watching her son, her baby boy, being beaten and ridiculed.  Watching him die and wanting nothing more than to take his place, to make the pain and hurting stop like any mother would want to do for her child.  Yet, she was helpless.  I can only speculate that God maybe felt the same way, the only difference being he could have stopped it, but knowing that in this sacrifice He was saving His people, His creation.  And Jesus, enduring it all, because He to knew the greater good of bringing us into a direct relationship with God would far outweigh His short, albeit excruciating, suffering.

That is love.  (Romans 5:8, John 15:13)

It's a beautiful thing.  We no longer have to be slaves to our sin.  We all sin, every last one of us.  We aren't worthy of the gift of mercy and grace that God poured out so extravagantly for us.  It says in the Bible that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23).  That always scared me as a kid because I never got past the first part of that verse.  But, the second part is the best part!  That sacrifice was made for us through Jesus!  We don't have to suffer because of our sin anymore.  That sacrifice was made for all of us, too.  It's just a matter of believing, having faith that Jesus is who He said he is, and in what He accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way a biblical scholar or a pastor.  I'm not perfect and never will be.  I'm simply a passionate believer who loves Jesus.  I've experienced the freedom, hope, peace, healing, and joy that comes from a relationship with God, and I just want as many people as possible to be able to experience that for themselves.