Sunday

I bought the most beautiful calendar for 2014. It had gorgeous pictures of different spices for each month. They were spice pictures from around the world in sunset hues of red and gold and orange. I always hang my calendar in the kitchen and it fit perfectly.

Except for one thing.

Each week started with Monday. I bought the calendar online, so I didn’t know it was going to make the beginning of the week a Monday. And it drove me crazy. I thought I could work around it. I thought I could retrain my mind to know that the first column was Monday, not Sunday, but I couldn’t. I got so completely frustrated that within a few weeks that beautiful calendar was in the trash and I replaced it with some smiling cartoons of French pastry chefs.

I don’t think all of the frustration was just over retraining my mind. I think that somewhere deep inside, I know that Sunday is the first day of the week. And I think that somewhere deep inside, I knew that God wanted it that way.

I know that some people go to church on Saturday. But when I hear someone talk about “the Lord’s Day”, I know it means Sunday. And I think the Lord’s Day belongs at the beginning of my week, not at the end of it.

And so this morning, I’m happy that my calendar says this is the first day of the week that lies ahead. And I’m happy that I’ll be spending this first day of the week in church, with God’s people, rejoicing, singing, listening. I need to know that I’ve started the week with Him.

Happy first day of the week, my friends.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb and behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it…the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:1,2, 5,6

This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Valentine

Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1John 4:16

Team

Sometimes you just need to be part of a team instead of trying to do it on your own.

I needed a team this week. I needed a team to rally around me and support me with prayers and blessings and encouragement. And they did.

I had to do something that was scary. It shouldn’t have been scary. But they say that more people fear public speaking than dying. Seems I might be one of them. The crazy thing is, God keeps giving me opportunities to do the very thing that makes my heart pound and my knees shake. I know that if God puts the opportunity there, which He so obviously did this week, the only response is – yes.

I didn’t want to do it alone. But I also didn’t want to admit this “thorn-in-my –flesh”, this weakness of mine. It’s much easier to pretend self-sufficiency and strength and confidence. And much more difficult to open yourself up. But your team needs to know about your weaknesses so they can help.

So I told them. And my team of family and friends rallied around me and held me up in prayers and blessings and encouragement. And God heard their prayers and He came through and all the anxiety left me the minute I opened my mouth to speak. Imagine that.

God doesn’t want us to face our weaknesses alone. I hadn’t realized just how many scriptures speak of asking others to pray for us until I started studying it this week. God wants us to have a team of prayer warriors around us, people who know our hearts and our weaknesses. People who want to see our lives glorify God through and in spite of those weaknesses.

I hope you have a team. I had a great team this week. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Daniel 2:17-18

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. Esther 4:15-17

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf. Romans 15:13