Eggs are traditionally died red for Easter–the color of Christ’s blood. As time passes, other colors are being sold at corner stands, but you won’t find any color tablets–most dyes are made from ground up roots. These appear to have food coloring added–we’ll see what happens!
At one of our recent outreach events with a group of International students we discussed the power of words. We shared how the words people say to us or about us become words we choose to believe, and because we believe them, we begin to act according to them, and then often end up speaking similar words over others in our lives. The students were challenged as they thought through the words they have chosen to believe, that in turn have impacted the choices they have made in their lives. What words have been spoken over you that you have chosen to believe?
I never get tired of seeing (and smelling) bunches of lilacs, daffodils, and crocuses. They are one of the signs that spring has arrived in the city. While you can sometimes find these at the “regular” flower stands, oftentimes villagers bring them into the city to sell. During these difficult economic times, many families are depending on every bit of money that they can make just to have their basic needs met. To give you an idea, a bouquet of lilacs costs about a $1.00.
Our city has been enjoying a more “normal” flow of life as more and more restrictions have been lifted these past few weeks. However, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 are increasing, and with the approaching Orthodox Easter holiday there are rumors of another lock down. Please pray for people to use caution and make wise decisions during this time. Pray also that as they gather to celebrate the resurrection, the reality of the sacrifice Jesus made will become very real to them, and that many would be drawn to Him!
I heard a pastor once say that the act of surrender is like floating on water. You can’t simply try harder when learning to float- the harder you try the faster you sink. Instead, you have to learn to release control and allow your body to be at rest. Over the past year I have found myself needing to be reminded of this again and again- a continual need to release my plans and expectations to a loving Father and to rest in Him. There is such peace and joy in the space of surrender- floating in His love and sovereignty.
“Cease striving and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NASB)
Last year at the start of the pandemic, a group of women started meeting online for God’s word to be shared and for mutual encouragement. After the initial months of lockdown, we’ve continued to share scripture with the group on FB, and we’ve had some in-person meetings. Last Sunday, seven of us (and a little one) spent a few hours together discussing scripture, decorating flower pots, and filling them with plants. Please pray for these ladies–for their spiritual roots to grow deep, and for N to take the step of choosing to follow Jesus.
Paradox is a part of life–we can experience opposing feelings about the exact same thing. The other day as I walked to our Center I captured this image, and was reminded of this reality. The same building is experiencing light and shadow at the same time. Praise God that as believers we can process both hope and grief with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He can light up the dark places, and help us step more fully into the light as He ministers to our hearts and cries out on our behalf.
There’s a store here called “The Dollar Store.” Nothing is a dollar (they don’t even accept dollars), but there are many American products (close-outs, etc.). You just never know what you’ll find–Ohio souvenirs in GM. 🙂