Easter (To Me)

Easter candy? Yum. Easter outfits? Pretty. Easter bunny? Terrifying… What’s Easter to me?

Before I get started, know that this is a personal post. It’ll be about my faith and how I’ve come to know my Savior Jesus.

I was baptized 2 years ago on Easter Sunday.

Baptism

Me

Baptized

Group

I had became a believer in Christ back in college. I went to a few Bible studies and attended church a handful of times. But the day I truly became a follower was the day I asked God to reveal Himself. With a simple question like that, a serenity had fallen upon me. I felt rest in a very stressful time of school and social pressures. People ask me all the time, why are you Christian. And that’s my answer. It was simply a feeling and a calm that overcame me, a personal connection that I felt with God.

I’ve learned a few things since I started following Jesus.

Life doesn’t get easier. 

Those hurdles? Those challenges? Those bumps in life? I still experience them. Life is still hard, but I have people to share my burdens. I’m able to lean on God, my rock, to know that He has plans for me to succeed. I also have a community to share my worst but also to be with me to celebrate my best.

A different meaning of Love.

I love food. I love my cat. I love my family. Those are all very easy to understand right? But I learned a different kind of love, a love where you do forgive and forget and a love so deep that it doesn’t make sense. Think about the dirtiest, filthiest, germiest thing you’ve ever come across. Mine might be the person who spoils TV shows on Facebook, and to make things worse, he’s sick with the flu, and even worse, he’s part of hate groups that I will never understand… But that’s the people that God loves. And I’m trying to love those too (though it often tests my patience).

By no means am I a first-rate Christian. I wake up with doubts frequently and have to ask myself “Does God exists?” But there are so many times He answers this by fitting puzzle piece together, pieces I didn’t even know existed. I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe that God has perfect timing and perfect plans.

So what does Easter mean? Easter celebrates Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, how he’s conquered death by rising from the grave, and how He’s set an example for how I should live my life.

What does Easter mean to you? How do you celebrate Easter?

In His Love,
Jay

  

From Roots to Fruits

Personal Devos

From Friday evening up until Sunday afternoon, I was at my church’s annual retreat (I attend Living Stones Christian Church). This year the theme was “From Roots to Fruits,” and it was primarily about Evangelism. The last few retreats that I’ve been to weren’t that memorable for me. The retreat sites were nice, but other than that I didn’t get much more out of it. I prepared my heart and my mind the week leading up to this year’s retreat, trying to be positive and focus on the subject of evangelism. And I truly believe that your mindset has everything to do with how much you learn because this year, the messages resonated with me.

My key takeaway was how I could share my own personal good news to people around me. Maybe you’re wondering, “what does that mean?”

It means that I’ve truly come to accept Jesus as my Savior. I know this is true because when I struggle with life’s challenges and I put pressure on myself to perform my best, it becomes unbearable and too much for me to manage. I could never climb out of this pit that I put myself in. The day I asked God to take rein of my life was the day where my burdens were lifted, and I no longer had to climb a neverending ladder myself. I have someone who loves me so much that I could rely on Him to watch over me and guide me down life’s journey.

Worship

Do you have times where you feel like life is too hard? What is your savior in moments of vulnerability?

It’s a heavy thought, one that requires you to really look into your past. But I encourage you to dig deep to find answers because it truly has some implications on what you define as the meaning to life.

Here are some pictures from this retreat at Camp Koinonia.

KoinoniaCampground view – surrounded by beautiful redwoods. No phone reception & limited wifi means a perfect weekend.

Practice
Worship practice

Girls NightAnnual spa night with the girls – face masks and nail painting sessions, not to mention unfiltered conversations! Next time I need to bring a tip jar for all the nails I painted (10+ girls!). Heh!

Sliding
Sliding down the huge slide with a burlap bag. I bruised my butt, ouch!

R2F 2013
These weirdos… (xoxo)

Love!I love my KP and creepy Leo

Hot Pants
Hot pants reunion!

Union City Small GroupSome of the members of my small group. I love these people.

What did you do this weekend?
Jay