Okay…I’m going to admit it.

I had a very shaky week.

[sigh]

More times than I can count, I had to dig down, pray, and proceed in faith.

Even going for my walk (I try to get in four miles weather permitting) was difficult.  Who put lead in my legs??

 

Purple Anenomes :: The Promise of Good Times Ahead :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

For lent I’ve been getting up earlier than normal.

During this time I read a few Lenten devotionals and spend extra time in the word.

In that darkness before dawn, I’m reading through the book of Romans.  Slowly.

I don’t know how you do your reading, but when certain passages jump out at me from my old red leather-bound NIV, I’ll drop those passages in the search engine at Bible Gateway and start to read the parallel translations on my laptop.

That’s what I did when I read Romans 8:15-17.

 

Purple and White Windflowers :: The Promise of Good Times Ahead :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Sometimes I really enjoy the way Eugene H. Peterson, the translator of The Message, makes a passage come alive and real for me and my life.

Here it is…

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!     Romans 8:15-17   The Message


This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.

If you know me, you know how important it is to me to live life fully.  When I was sixteen I had an eye-opening moment upon learning that Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).  That was life-changing to me.  A standing stone moment, so to speak.   So, of course, immediately I resonated with this portion of the Romans passage when I read it in The Message.


It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” 

Seriously….that’s what I want to do.  God loves us so much…we can’t even begin to imagine this great love he has for us.  He is totally trustworthy.  Yes, I want more than anything to be able to say with abandon, “What’s next, Papa?”  But, right now, I’m not so excited about this adventure.  It was exciting at the beginning.  But, waiting for nearly 15 months?


God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!

I am so very grateful that I can call this awesome, powerful, mighty God, Father, or Papa.   I cannot even wrap my mind around the fact that he has “an unbelievable inheritance” waiting for me.   But, most of all, I appreciate the confidence I have of belonging.  Of having “a place” in the grand scheme of things.

 

Windflowers :: The Promise of Good Times Ahead :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net


We go through exactly what Christ goes through. 

When I was new in my faith I somehow got the message, that believing and trusting in Jesus would give me a rosy life.  Who was the perpetrator of that thinking?  Someone heard it and that message spread like wildfire.  Look…right here in God’s word it says that we will go through exactly what Christ goes through.  So why in the world do we expect to be exempt from tough times?  I don’t know, but we do.


If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Here’s the part that made my day.  If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!  

Are you walking a difficult road?  Does it seem like it’s uphill all the way?  Does the road seem endless?  This passage reminds me that Jesus walked through hard times.  It’s the season of lent and every day I’m reminded of the challenges Jesus faced in his ministry, like the day Lazarus died.  I’m reminded of his temptation.  I’m reminded of those unimaginable days leading up to the cross, breaking bread with his disciples for the last time, knowing and then experiencing God turning his face away so that Jesus could take on the punishment you and I both deserve.  (Because of what Jesus did, I will never have to be without the Father.) Those were hard times for Christ.

Christ has been and continues to be with us through the hard times.  We are not alone.  Ever.

Here’s the part that made my heart sing…then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!  These challenges will end.  Good times are ahead.  And he is going to share in those good times with us, too.

 

Purple Anemone :: The Promise of Good Times Ahead ::  AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

I don’t know about you.  But, the reminder that we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him really does make my heart sing.

Do you realize that this is a promise?  From God.  Though most will consider this to be a reminder of what we have to look forward to in eternity, it is also a promise for now.  We need to post it before us.  Maybe literally with little sticky notes stuck up on the mirror, and the fridge, and the window over the sink, and on the dashboard in the car.

If we’re living this resurrection, adventurously expectant, life as a child of God, we know he will get us through our current challenges and we really can look forward to good times with him.   Extraordinary good times.  Dancing, shouting, singing kinds of good times.

Are you living the resurrected life?

Are you adventurously expectant?

Are you trusting your Papa to be with you in the hard times?

Are you expectantly looking forward to enjoying the good times with him too?

 

Joy Day! :: Anemones :: AnExtraordinaryDay

Today is Joy Day!

 

Joining with us each week to count gifts can be life-changing.  If you haven’t yet taken the dare to look back over the past week and join me in counting the gifts and blessings from the week, I hope you take the challenge.  Some gifts aren’t exactly pleasant (but many produce character).  Yet, in all things we are to give thanks.

Please join me in counting just ‘seven’ from the past week.

I’ll start…

God, I am grateful for…

  1. the ability to sigh.  It really is a stress reliever.
  2. knowing you have all the resources I need when I am empty-handed.
  3. Robins.  Their delightful chorus stopped us as we walked past the woods.
  4. this place to live.
  5. slightly warmer temps to make winter walking more bearable.
  6. friends whom I can count on to pray.  Hard.
  7. the promise of good times ahead.


Now it’s YOUR turn!!

Join me in counting ‘seven.’
Scroll down to the comment section…Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts….and list your ‘seven.’
I dare you!

Want even more joy?  Take the Joy Dare here.

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Joyfully,

Diane

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Comments

  1. 1 thankful to be alive and well this day
    2 for my loving husband
    3 the beautiful weather where I am right now
    4 and that I can be where I am today
    5 for family who are always there for you
    6 being able to walk, having two good legs
    7 for The Lord God, my Papa, who bestows riches upon me

  2. I can’t tell you how MUCH I look forward to this particular post each week, Diane. I saw it in my email and a BIG SMILE came across my face. Wanna see? :O)

    1. Timely reminders from God’. Things have been a little thin around here of late. This last week, I kept coming across messages (email, blogs, etc etc) talking about how God knows what we need before we do.

    2. Family. Five days ago, I got a letter from a cousin I had not heard from in y.e.a.r.s. She sent a picture of her father (my uncle), my mother and their mother from 1950. Looking at my mother in that picture was like looking in a mirror. I mean, it was almost spooky! :O)

    3. God’s provision. Also in the envelope was a small gift from my uncle’s estate. it was totally unexpected and almost the exactly the amount for our current most pressing need.

    4. Spring rain, that helps prepare the ground for a good growing season.

    5. One of our cats, Panda, who sits regally on the windowsill by my desk and follows the birds in our yard INTENTLY with her eyes.

    6. God’s knowledge and care for each one of His creations. Our older cat, Whiskers, was ganged up on by our dogs this week and we did not see her for a couple of days. The kids started asking questions; we started worrying. Last night she came home, safe and sound.

    7. How all our furry family members (dogs and cats) bend into the belly rubs and neck scruffles and the love just emanates from them

  3. The end of March is here and at least for today it is going out like a lamb….I am thankful for……

    1. We have moved our kittens to the “Cottage” and they are adjusting much better than I could have hoped.

    2. Seeing the kittens sitting in the window.

    3. We got our antique kitchen center moved to the “Cottage”, it makes me smile!!!

    4. Phy. Therp. is going well, and I am getting stronger, and feeling better.

    5. Boxes are getting less and less at the “Cottage”

    6. “Cottage” is beginning to feel like home, feeling so blessed.

    7. My daughter trusted me with some “special news” !

  4. 1. time spent with family!
    2. a wonderful 97 year old dad-in love
    3.. that I have no in-laws they are all in-loves–dad-in-love–before mom died in Jan she loved telling people I call her Mom-in-love and so on!
    4. that my daughter and her husband get to go to Punta Cana celebrating their 25th anniversary
    5. that we get to stay with the 4 grandsons while they are gone!
    6. for Godly daughters and their husband
    7. for Hope I have for prodigal son and his prodigal wife– for our first grand daughter due next month–blessed with 5 grand sons! her big brother will be 16 months old–their parents are the prodigals! please pray for Craig and Tiffany.

  5. judianni says:

    1. For the 68 years of life He has already given me…and the hope of many more.
    2. The absolute, irrefutable knowledge that when absent from this body I will dwell with Christ!!
    3. The joy of my sweet God loving family, that they are all believers.
    4. Prayers answered and promises fulfilled.
    5. Blessings overflowing and mercies without number.
    6 The terrible, heart wrenching walks through the valley which have made me love and trust Christ with abandon.
    7. The blessed pleasures of springtime…that joyful promise of our own renewal with Christ one day.

  6. Debbi Saunders says:

    I am Thankful for so many things! During this Lenten Season at our Church we observe the Stations of the Cross, as we walk through the events of the last days of Christ’s Life we become painfully aware of all that our Dear Lord suffered and went through for our Salvation and so that we might also have a personal relationship with God our Father ,through him and the price he paid!

    I am Thankful for:
    l. I am so greatful for Dear Friend Gertha who walked me through one of the worst anxiety attacks that I have had in 30yrs. reminding me of Gods promises.
    2.That I work in a Catholic School and can attend Mass every Wednesday, a midweek fellowship with the Lord! I Love it!
    3.That I am touching the Life of a Dear Friend whom I text scriptural messages of hope and encouragement each morming. She told me this week that I was her “daily Blessing”….
    4. That my Son, who stepped out in faith and returned to College In Jan.at age 32, just finished his first semester
    with an A!
    5. I am Thankful for my Health.
    6. Hanging onto the promise that there WILL be good times ahead in this Life here on earth!
    7. For this Beautiful, gorgeous day that has so uplifted my spirits!

    My prayer is that everyone will experience something Extraordinary this week!

  7. I am thankful that me and my husband were able to hang our new chandelier without bothering our children,a week without having to take my husband back to the hospital,even tho it was RAINY getting out looking at flowers at the nursery.So thankful for EVERYTIME I have a sleep filled night,the STILL small voice of God this week that said I Accept You.I am so thankful for the reminders God sends in so many ways and even tho there is a bad situation with my daughter the faith GOD gives me tells me she is gonna be ok.

  8. Annpauley says:

    Diane,
    I am thankful for graces in my life, especially peace in difficult times. I am thankful for the angels who were given to us at conception to guide , protect , inspire and help us. I am thankful for the gift of faith in the sacraments which
    Nourish our faith in God and am forever thankful for his Divine Mercy toward all of his creatures.
    Happy and blessed Easter!

  9. Joy Day. Because I slept off and on this day I am up late so it is still Sunday night in my mind. My/our week was strange, medically hard for both of us, and there seems decline in both of us for our ages …the joy to walk four miles…I I imagined how that felt…
    1. A caring doctor for me and a very caring spouse to take me
    2. Curts caring cancer specialist and neurologist, that I will try switching to
    3. My daughter just happened to come over with her two year old as I was lying in bed, and made a wonderful meal. I was so weak and wanted to be up and normal. But I did eat and played a bit with my grandson who is sooo good. We gave her bread and the next day we got free bread!
    4. Calls with my Mom to chat about the long ago
    5. After a week of waiting, over a couple days, I got my window liners planted(covered with a willow surround)
    6. A child I’ve prayed for all his life and has had a long journey to following Jesus completely got a different job that pays double!! He prayed and prayed. His life has turned around for a couple years and its exciting!
    7. An email Bible study–we are growing closer to The Lord–I see it–and I see prayers answered
    8. I was in terror ( my injury) but God helped me for He gave me time to rest yesterday and today when my head felt so odd…the last few days have been very scary but a God is with me

  10. Dagnabit! Just wrote a long encouraging comment for you and my electricity went out and made it disappear!! GRRR …well, read Matthew Henry’s commentary on Daniel 3:5 in your Bible Gateway, it is such an encouragement to me. bless you, dear weary traveler, that you continue to put on beautiful and good fruit even during this difficult drought. I, too, look forward to the Sunday Seven. Mine were great…too bad i don’t have time to write them again 😉

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  12. I love this, Diane: What’s next, Papa? That Eugene Peterson. The Message always opens my eyes to new ways of hearing the Word. I’m sorry you understand this season of worry that I have been in, friend. I’m going to re-read your words here, because they help.

  13. 1) that I am almost back to normal
    2) that it was warm the last two days and I worked in my garden
    3) that I could leave the windows open and get fresh air insdie
    4) that I found through your the CV version of the bible, I really like it
    5) that I feel God’s presence
    6) that the roast chicken we just ate was delicious
    7) that I meet you

    Great post!

  14. Hi, Diane. You know last week was really a tough one for me. Thanks for an encouraging post. I’m sorry you had a hard week, too. But we are thankful for so many things:
    1) That secrets came to light so we could deal with them openly.
    2) That the enemy has been defeated by the name of Jesus Christ.
    3) That our family is bound together in Christ.
    4) That we are in our trial and depending on Jesus for our every step.
    5) That He is faithful to meet our every need.
    6) That He gives us something good each day to praise Him for.
    7) That He continues to show His amazing love and care to us in our pain.

  15. If we’re living this resurrection, adventurously expectant, life as a child of God, we know he will get us through our current challenges and we really can look forward to good times with him. Extraordinary good times. Dancing, shouting, singing kinds of good times….After a LONG, dreary winter my soul bursting with possibilities in Christ. Thanks for this post, Diane. It has spoken volumes. Blessings on your day!

  16. “Dancing, shouting, singing kinds of good times…” Okay….I’m all about the party!! LOL. Seriously, when I look back to some of those horribly, storm riddled moments–there was some serious partying afterwards. And I mean that as celebration of living, loving and the wondrous ways of G-d. I’m ready!! And I’m ready to do some of that with you, for you. STILL praying…He really has done a good job of taking care of you and yours….I know you know.
    Joys!!
    –we drug pots outside, watered the shriveled remains and I talked to ’em. LOL
    –I get to remain employed…and I get new adventures.
    –I’ve discovered 2 small parks by the worksite.
    –someone told me I did ‘phenomenal’ work, my first week. (Made me laugh!!)
    –I’ve gotten G-d hugs multiple times this week….HUGE JOY!!
    –I get to work with people who will stretch my patience. (Apparently this will be used for the good…LOL)
    –THIS post with the awesome photos…..holy moly….very cool photos!!

  17. Great Post! <3

  18. Nice to meet you, Diane! I’m please to have found you through Barbie’ s link at My Freshly Brewed Life.
    God, I am grateful for…
    1. My husband
    2. Your word to sustain, comfort and guide
    3. The ability to work from home and care for my family
    4. The opportunity to encourage others and witness for Christ
    5. My health
    6. Small evidences of Spring
    7. A million little blessings that show Your love for me every day

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