Live Like You’re In The Game!

I love tournaments. The competition, energy, tension. Win and play again or lose and go home.

The NCAA March Madness is a favorite time for many sports fans because of that.

The underdog taking on the favorite hoping for that one game where they take down the giant. The player who shoots the free throws to tie the game with no time on the clock or, better yet, the last second shot from deep beyond the 3-point line to win the whole thing.

In moments like that there is so much emotion: one team rejoices and one team feels empty. You see 18-22 year olds jumping around like kids who got some free candy or having faces of tears like someone took the candy.

It’s one thing to watch it but to be a player in it is a whole different ball game (no pun intended 😉 ).

photo credit

photo credit: O via photopin (license)

Some times you hear players after the game talk about “If only I would have did this or not done that.”

I even hear players put the loss on their own shoulders saying they cost their team the game. Noble? Maybe. Hard on the heart? Definitely.

Think about the disciples. They thought they had suffered the worst loss ever when Jesus was crucified and died.

The One who called them from mundane life to experiences of healings, miracles, intense conflict with people who wanted to kill Him. The one they followed for three years of their lives seeing things they wouldn’t know how to put into words.

The One who said He loved them and the One they loved was gone in a sequence of events of brutality, fear, betrayal. It’s a cloud of hopelessness.

This feeling of defeat and blur of confusion was endured for three days.

This wasn’t a ball game. For these followers is what the very heartbeat of who they were thrown into tornado of havoc and spit out with no compassion.

Imagine what it would be like for a team who lost a heartbreaking game in the tournament to get a call to find out their loss had been reversed and they were now declared the winners!

How would that feel for those players that they were still in the tournament and still invited to compete and play in the next game?

Magnify that emotion by a million and then you might taste what the Mary, Martha, and the disciples felt when they found the tomb empty and Jesus reappeared to them.

What was happening in front of them was inconceivable: Jesus had come back to life in front of them. What was happening inside of them was even more inconceivable.

They were being told not to go home and curl up on the ground in defeat but instead all things had been reversed and they were still in the game!

We’ve been told the same thing.

That should cause anyone to jump, shout, dance, even shed tears but oh they are tears of joy!

Does it do that to you?

We just celebrated Easter Sunday, the most crucial day in the life of a Christian. It put us back in the game.

How do you live after that? How will you live this year?

The disciples lived the wake of the resurrection of Jesus like they never had before. They didn’t want to waste their second chance.

You? Me?

We’re still in the game through Jesus Christ. Not only that, the victory is already ours!

Don’t live like you wish you would have, should have, could have.

Play!!!

God is good.

Peder

Seeking

Happy Easter!!  Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!  The Eide family Easter was a great day. We of course have few traditions.  Worship being the big one.  It was a great time of song and message by Pastor Bill at Hosanna!  So well done.

One tradition we have happens right away Easter Sunday morning. It the traditional Easter egg hunt. It’s plastic eggs filled with candy hidden through out the house by the “Easter Bunny” the night before.  Everyone waits at the top of the stairs until all are ready. Then the hunt begins.

It’s really fun to see them go for it.  The older ones act a little more tired or less passionate but 2 eggs or so into it they are hooked.

I loved watching my youngest son Teshome.  He was so full throttle this year. Every time he found one, he would yell “I found another one!” or “look what I found!” It was really fun. His pride, joy, excitement, and feeling like a winner is a priceless memory in the eyes of parent.

Can you imagine this truth that God is the same way with you and I? God is that excited about anyone who discovers the love and grace found in Jesus Christ.  He sent Jesus to live and die and rise not out of duty bout out of love.  He took great joy in planning our salvation (Eph. 1:5)  Look at the verses about seeking and finding.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart-Jeremiah 29:13

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him-Lamentations 3:25

He loves it when your eyes are opened to something new that is about Him! Really!

The best part is God is not hiding.  Jesus is not about hide and seek.  He is about seek and find.

Maybe you have forgotten the joy you have when you find His goodness in your life.

If that’s true, go hunting.  I bet you will find yourself telling saying “look what I found!” and it way more satisfying than an Easter egg.

God is good all the time!

Peder

Lent and the Eide Family

As we enter this season of Lent, my family has decided to do something a little different.

Kinda…

The tradition is to give up something in the weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Something that may be taking your focus off of Jesus and basically getting more of your attention than the Lord. It’s a good time for believers to commit to taking something out of their daily living in order to get closer God.

This is a pretty simplistic description but it is a common approach. People give up certain foods, habits, social media, movies, etc.

The Eide Family

The Eide Family

My family and I have decided to make a music commitment.

Being a family that loves music (imagine that) and has a lot of different tastes, we’ve decided to treat it like food.

If you have had an illness, you’re told to drink lots of liquids or eat chicken soup.

If you are an athlete, you’re instructed to eat good proteins, fruits, carbohydrates, do heavy workouts and then light workouts, and replenish your electrolytes.

If someone has the stomach flu, you don’t encourage a trip to Taco Bell for healing.

If someone is trying to improve their physical body you probably wouldn’t suggest to triple McDonald’s intake with everything supersized.

I truly believe that when it comes to the heart and mind, we should take the same approach.

In regards to music, I really believe it’s a big deal. Bigger than we give it credit for.

Without getting into a 20-chapter research project, simply put, music is one of the—if not the—most powerful form of communication we have. It engages emotions; it reminds us of past experiences; it brings feelings and memories to the surface.

You can hear a song with no lyrics and it can move you to tears or excite your heart.

When it comes to lyrics, your brain remembers everything. Everything! Ever walk into a store and find yourself singing a tune you haven’t thought about in years and then realize it was softly playing in the background? Did you realize you know the lyrics of tv show theme songs yet you don’t have the song on you iPhone?

Music is powerful and your heart and mind know it!

With that as a backdrop, for Lent the Eide family decided to listen to only music that we call worship.

Style was not a determining factor. If the song has lyrics, they’ve got to be songs with scripture, hymns, modern worship, etc. If it doesn’t have lyrics, we must recognize the melody line from a hymn or modern worship tune.

It narrows down the playlist for sure.

Before some of you jump on the soap box of “Are you saying secular music is wrong?” or “You can’t tell me that all of today’s ‘Christian’ music is good for you” or “Are you trying to make your family into one of those ‘eyes covered up, fingers in our eyes motivated by our fears’ families?”

That’s not what we’re doing.

Instead we’re looking at what Philippians 4:8 says:

Finally brothers what ever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, what ever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if anything is worthy if praise, think about these things

What we put in our mind through our ears and eyes matters.

Do I condemn all “secular” music? No, I do not.

Do hymns and modern praise and worship fit Phil. 4:8 perfectly? Nope.

But is it closer to fruits and proteins for the mind and heart and a help in the direction of getting focused on the God’s presence? I would say yes.

Well see how it goes. I can tell you I’m ok with a little less Taco Bell in my heart and mind. J

Think it through.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Or tell me what your family’s doing for Lent.

God is good all the time!

Peder

The Rooster Returns!

I was out golfing…yes I know, tough life but I am willing to do it. As a couple of my friends and I were walking down the 18th fairway at a more rural golf course, we heard the sound of a rooster crowing like it was the morning. One of my buddies said out loud, “I wonder what the Apostle Peter thought of when he heard that sound?”

You know the story. Jesus predicts that Peter will deny Jesus three times and when he does a rooster will crow. Peter in all his confidence says “No way, Lord, I would never do that!”  Of course Jesus knew it, Peter did it, and the rooster crowed. Then in the Gospel of John, chapter 21 we read where Jesus reinstates Peter after His resurrection asking him three times if he loved Him. Peter says yes three times, and Jesus, without hesitation, says, “then feed My sheep.”

What did Peter think of when he heard the rooster crow in the years after that?

You know he heard it. The rooster never goes permanently silent.

Rooster returns

photo credit: tinachensf via photopin cc

Did he remember his screw up, is failure, his absolute falling on his face when his Lord needed him?

I think only for a second. Reflecting on the words Peter would write and the life he lived, I tend to believe his thoughts would go to John 21 where Jesus restored him, remembering how far God has brought him. Peter was commissioned to feed the sheep. He did not wallow in the guilt, he lived a “Jesus freak” type life of a man who was restored. That’s what Jesus died for.

What about you?

When you experience a memory through a smell, song, picture, location, calendar date, tradition, etc. that brings back a hard time, mistake, failure, painful moment, what do you remember?

I ask myself as much as you because I am convinced that God does not want you and me to have a huge pit in our stomach forever and degrade ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves. That can take our eyes off the cross, the prize, and we will miss so many divine moments.

Jesus died for all of the “As Is” moments we have.

WE ARE REINSTATED!!!

What if you focused on how far God has brought you? Look where you were and now where you are. God is good. Really.

The next time you here the rooster crow in your own life, remember, amidst the scars, God never left you where you were. He has showed Himself to you time and time again and has reinstated you through the cross.

Feed His sheep.

Love you all,

Peder