IMG_0549

Today is Good Friday. We just finished a huge Easter Egg Hunt at our church. Over 50,000 eggs, 1500+ families and a ton of prizes. Easter weekend is upon us. Sunday is coming and classrooms need to be prepped, teachers assigned, and chairs arranged. A million things to do to prepare for Sunday. Needless to say, it's a busy time for us church folks.

But today, as everyone is busy in our office preparing for the Easter weekend I can't help but think about Good Friday.

There is goodness in today. We have hope. Hope that Jesus will one day return. But we know the "rest" of the story. We know Sunday came. We read what happen that early Sunday morning. We know Jesus was raised from the dead and sits next to our Father in Heaven. And we place our hope is his returning.

But Friday.....they didn't know that. Friday was dark, defeated, grief filled and......broken.

It filled the air so thick one almost couldn't breath.

Questions swirled. Doubt crept in.

We thought he was the Messiah.

It wasn't suppose to be like this.

This was our King.

How did this happen? Why? God, why?

To be sure as the days and weeks unfolded the answers to these questions would be revealed. Jesus appeared. They touched him. Their eyes were open and pieces of the puzzle were connected.

But how many of us, in our own brokenness, question. Cry out in our grief and pain.....oh how we can get consumed in our own brokenness.

The "good" in Good Friday stems from the hope. And if we fix our eyes on Jesus and the cross that hope swells. That hope envelops us. It lifts ours heads and we receive strength to endure and run this race.

The good in this day is because the veil was torn and he paid the price. Death has overcome. Because of Jesus we can have eternal life free of pain and suffering.

For the disciples, Good Friday seemed the end. But to us, it's the beginning. This changes everything!

They just needed to know that Sunday was coming.......

1

Easter is coming and I'm not sure about you, but when I was little that was dress up time.   I'm a twin and my mom had fun dressing us up for any special occasion.  We even had hats, gloves and white patent leather shoes.  The dress in this picture was my favorite and as you can tell, it is a bit short, but I begged my mom to wear it on Easter Sunday. I'm not sure why I had my hands over my mouth, and the look on my older sister's face is classic.  I'm sure she was thrilled to be in a picture with the two of us.

forget the frock the real one

 

When I became a mom, I went a step further and made my girls dresses every Easter.  Oh, did I mention, I would make a matching one for me too?  Yeah, you won't see that one posted here.  But here is one of my girls.

Forget the Frock 1.jpeg

 

But things are different now.  The girls are all grown up, one with a family of her own.  Being on a church staff, I am on my feet all day long so these days I don tennis shoes instead of patent leathers shoes.  Then this year a special friend introduced me to a movement.

There are times in our lives where the call to do something is so strong you almost can't stand it.  And my friend, Emily was moved into action. She took James 1:27 to heart.

Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence. (NCV)  James 1:27

My heart breaks when I hear of children who are orphaned or abandoned.  I have my own adoption story which you can read about here.  But I am moved to tears when I hear about hurting children.  

James 1:27  is true religion.  You may be asking yourself how can I help?  Not everyone feels called to adopt or run off to a third world country and bring home a child.

Well, there is a for you be involved.  It's called Forget the Frock.

Emily took James 1:27 to heart and made it really simple for us to get involved.  She's helping feed orphans.  And here is how can help.  Instead of purchasing a new Easter dress this year, purchase a t-shirt instead.  Send the money you would use for the fancy duds to Forget the Frock and they will send you a t-shirt to wear on Easter Sunday.  The proceeds from your purchase FTF uses to feed orphans.
FTF 2014 tshirt

It may seem like a small gesture but it's huge to a child who needs so much.  You can hear more of Emily's story at www.forgetthefrock.org.

Oh and I'll be wearing my T-shirt this Easter.  Will you join me?