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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Story Time: Amazing Love

The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 
Mark 11:18

Ladies, it is story time. For the past six Wednesday evenings the ladies in our Sunday Morning Bible Study have been telling stories, thinking about a little bling. Frankly they are afraid I’m going to tell on them; but I have reassured them—what happens in story time, stays in story time.

Writing down, and telling your stories to a group of empathetic listeners, alters your perspective. While the facts remain, the way you look at them becomes fresh, energizing. The worst of times re-shape when you take note of all the God moments in them; the best of times become even more poignant. Some of the things psychiatrists and psychologists tell us:  

·         The writing process slows down your thinking enough to help you figure things out.

·         When you see God in your stories, you work His love into your heart.

·         As you share your story with friends, you bask in their acceptance and affirmation.

·         Out of your pen and your mouth will come the hope you have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

·         You will be able to better comfort others in similar circumstances (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

·         A written record makes it clear: God was there before; He’ll be there again.

·         The markers along your way will keep you on track for the future.

·         You will have a legacy to pass on to your children.   

Oh yes, the bling. A charm bracelet or necklace becomes a visual reminder. I have a necklace filled with God reminders. On that note, let’s get started. My aim is to inspire you to begin the process yourself. Today’s story will be the short, short version.

Good Friday: Holy week has been exceptionally filled with meaning this year as I have trailed along in Mark’s Gospel with those following Jesus. It began with the ironic majesty of Palm Sunday, moved past the withered fig, past the overturned tables, past the crowds listening to Jesus’ amazing teaching. In Bethany Mary anointed her Lord; meanwhile Judas scurried off to arrange his dastardly deed. In the Garden I felt Christ’s agony. The Cross looms large as I start off on my morning walk, determined to spend an hour in its shadow.

Yet here, midst the appalling darkness, shines the brightest light of all. Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter. Absent Jesus’ trip to the cross, I would miss out on heaven. All I can say is, praise God I saw His glory that many years ago and believed. And everyday I continue to be amazed at Jesus’ teaching. Today I have rejoiced in these so hauntingly sweet lyrics of Chris Tomlin: Amazing Love, how can it be that You, my King, should die for me?

Nancy P

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