Chocolate Bunnies

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“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:11 (NIV) 

This morning, a memory came back to mind as I sat down reading His Word. My family and I were looking for a Bible based church locally. A cousin we had not seen contacted us out of the blue and had informed us that they had been going to this Christian church nearby and had invited us to visit one of their services.

We agreed because we wanted to see her and her family we had not seen in a while. We met the pastor and the church family. It was a great time of singing and praising together as the Resurrection of Jesus was being celebrated that day. We loved what we saw from the start until…

We told them we needed to go. They asked us to stay because they always had a “pot-luck”. I heard the pastor turned to my son and said, “You don’t want to stay? C’mon…Go out there in the yard. We will have egg hunting. You don’t want those Easter bunnies chocolates?”

As a new believer, there was something in my heart that said a big “No!” Trying not to criticize and prayed for Him to help us with our decisions, I heard my son replied to the pastor, “No! Thank you. I don’t like it.”

The pastor I was sure had good intentions. He wanted us to stick around and get to know each other more. But as new believers, that was a crucial lesson that my family and I encountered. There was a barrier that formed in our hearts at that moment. A red flag sort of went up and so…we decided not to join that church.

Those bunnies…Open them up. I hear a lot of kids get so excited to see them around Easter time. There are huge ones. But when they are opened, the innocent ones exclaim, “There’s nothing inside!”

And that’s how our lives are without Jesus…Empty…Hollow….Accomplish nothing…

"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 (NLT)

What a disappointment it is for a child to see “nothing” inside that chocolate bunny! People never stop searching for the true meaning in their lives. The more they try, the more they find little or no satisfaction. It’s because there is no happiness when a life is lived without God.

“What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.” – Ecclesiastes 1:3-8 (NIV)

And that’s what we miss…To search for Jesus first. He is the One Who gives wisdom, knowledge, and true joy. His love is the one that cures the emptiness we all have in our hearts. We all go searching for many roads to find the ones that lead to happiness and satisfaction that often elude us. Most of the time, such roads often end up in disappointments, loneliness, regrets, bitterness, and failures. Some of us are able to see a particular narrow, bumpy road that we avoid without realizing that’s the only one that offers the path toward eternal life, hope and true joy.

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
– Matthew 7:14 (NIV)

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].