Tag: free

9 lives

Growing up on a farm, we had an abundance of cats. Most earned their keep by hunting mice. With corn in the corn crib and feed grain for the cattle, our farm offered a buffet to unwanted rodents and, in turn, a never-ending supply of food for the cats.  Our cats enjoyed several buildings to live and dine in: chicken house, hog pen, summer kitchen or wash-house, and barn.

Occasionally, some of the female cats ventured into the surrounding fields for privacy as they delivered a litter of kittens. Unfortunately, some encountered machinery such as a combine, tractor, or hay baler as they faithfully refused to abandon their kittens.  Some lived, though injured, and eventually returned to living a normal cat life.  They were living proof that cats really do enjoy nine lives.

Last week, 9 lives of a very different sort were celebrated. A 21 , a non-profit organization devoted to ending slavery around the world, rescued 9 lives. In Ukraine, two women were rescued and 2 men were rescued from labor exploitation.  In Thailand, two women and 3 children were rescued. Praise God! 

Nine lives freed from bondage. Nine lives starting over and free. Nine lives now hopeful of tomorrow.

Perhaps in time, smiles and laughter will come from those nine mouths. I won’t pretend to understand or comprehend the emotion associated with any of those nine rescues. But I can join in praising God for new beginnings and second chances. Nine lives coming out of the darkness and into the light. Nine lives free to continue to become whom God created them to be.

God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. And, yes, even more than 9. God doesn’t keep track. Thankfully, He is always a God of another chance.

I don’t know if this applies to cats or not, but I am certain it applies to those 9 precious lives and to my life too.

Starting over and free.

  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

Photo credit: A21

March Gladness

Charles Dickens said it best about March’s changeable weather.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” used to describe the beginning and end of this unpredictable month. Besides the whimsical weather-related sayings associated with this month, March has a lot going on throughout its 31 days.

If you are into astronomy, you aware that the March equinox on the 20th is the astronomical beginning of SPRING in the northern hemisphere. If your strong suit is health awareness, you may be excited about bringing awareness to the American Red Cross and Multiple Sclerosis throughout March. Don’t forget about World Kidney Day on the second Thursday! If you are Irish, March 17th is your day to shine green! Erin go Bragh!

There are some very famous March babies too:  Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Dr. Seuss, Albert Einstein, and Alexander Graham Bell.

If you follow college basketball, this is YOUR MONTH. Whether you spend hours upon hours researching facts and figures to complete your bracket, or you take a more light-hearted approach and make your picks based on the cuteness-factor of the mascot or the color of a team’s uniform; it is all part of the Madness. March Madness. That term was first used in 1939 by Henry V. Porter, a high school basketball coach in Illinois. Boy, if Henry had a nickel for every time that phrase was used today!

The whittled-down Sweet Sixteen teams will play on March 24 and 25. Then the Elite Eight will follow on March 26 and 27. By this time, your bracket will have been tossed in the trash or your homework will have paid off and your team will still be alive and dribbling. Some will be glad; many will be mad. Again, all part of the Madness.

But on the weekend of March 25-27, I invite you to join me in celebrating March Gladness. No matter how your team has fared in the Madness, circle this weekend for some celebratory March Gladness!

My gladness has nothing to do with a bracket or wins/losses or who’s in/who’s out. My March Gladness is because my best friend willingly died on the cross for me. He did that because He is so in love with me. He died for you too! Yeah, He loves us that much. That is Holy Madness!

That jagged, wooden cross caused Him unimaginable pain and a horribly brutal death.  He suffered for what I did yesterday, and what I did today, and all that I will do tomorrow and for all my remaining days. He allowed His Blood to flow from that ugly cross down onto the ground to cover all the crap in my life. I am not glad that He had to suffer so deeply for me; but I am very glad that I serve a SaviorthH92HM729 who was willing to suffer for me.

My Gladness for His willingness to free me through His Pain should shine through my life every single day that I have breath in my lungs. My gladness for being stamped “Debt Paid” should resonate by the way I interact with people and how I live my life.

No, I am not glad about His Pain. But I am very glad that by His Pain I have been set Free. That is my March Gladness.

Let’s Walk Worthy!

Photo Credit: youthdownsouth.org