On my mother’s refrigerator there’s a picture of me, age four, sitting on an oversized Easter bunny at our local shopping mall. I’m wearing a yellow dress and black patent-leather shoes. My hair matched my dress, with that shiny-perfect four-year-old hair glow that I’d now pay money to achieve. But alas, I don’t think the toddler-shiny-glow is attainable at my age. You can’t bottle that stuff.
Kind of like tight skin. Once it’s gone, you just can’t get it back. Botox isn’t the same.
It’s okay, though. I like to think of myself as a classic. Like fine wine and friendship, some things just get better with age. So it’s a trade-off; what we lose in luster, we gain in vintage appeal.
But some things can be made new again. That’s the cool thing about God; He’s all about new beginnings and starting over. That’s why he gives us a new day, every 24 hours, and a new year every 365 days. He is 100% in favor of fresh starts.
I spoke with a man on the phone recently who, ten years ago, was an alcoholic drug-addict who had lost his children, who had spent time in prison because of DUI’s. Now he’s clean. He has his family back. And he owns seven profitable car dealerships in a major U.S. city.
But it was a long road to get there.
His name is Dan, and he hit bottom when his daughter, Shayla, was diagnosed with a degenerative disease. Dan had lost custody of her, and had limited visitation rights. He realized that because of his poor choices, he was powerless to help his daughter at all. He begged God to heal Shayla . . . but that didn’t happen.
Instead, God showed Dan that he was the one who needed healing. In a moment of desperation, he threw himself at God’s feet and asked for help.
Slowly, surely, changes started to take place in his life. And though those changes didn’t happen overnight, they gradually led to him regain custody of Shayla. They led to him becoming a successful businessman so he could provide her with the medical care she needs, and so he could have the platform to bring attention to her disorder. More importantly, he brings attention to God’s transformative power in his life. (Read more of his story in Divine Healing, God’s Way, to be released this summer.)
This Easter, I’m reminded of the power that comes from simple faith in what Christ did for us. I was beyond help. I needed healing. I needed a miracle in my life, and I had no hope of things ever getting better.
It was like I had a million traffic tickets (which for me isn’t hard to believe) with no way of ever paying them . . . and someone came and paid them for me, so I could have a fresh start. That someone was Jesus Christ.
I had a million sins, and my life was a mess, and the fine for the bad choices I’d made was a certain, miserable existence, and separation from God. Separation from hope. Separation from anything good or positive, ever again.
Christ paid that fine. Though the bad choices weren’t his, he paid the price . . . death and separation from God. He stood before the Judge and said, “I’m taking care of this for Renae. Her debt is now clear.”
He paid on a Friday. He stayed buried in my debt, through Saturday into Sunday, when he emerged from the tomb. He had a few scars, and I had a new start. And He offers the same to every person reading this article.
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever believes in me will never die,” John 11:25-26.
Here are a couple of newsworthy tidbits for you . . . Gerald (always the ladies’ man!) has shot to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list. He’s still in the romance category—not sure why—but hey. He’s outselling Danielle Steele. That’s pretty impressive.
And Rabbit Doodles is #1 in its category, too! I’m so proud of each of our authors and illustrators. Here at Armonia, we are blessed to work with some of the most talented people God ever created! (We think so, anyway.) Plus, they’re all really, really nice, and kinda quirky, which is why they fit in really well here.
Don’t forget about some of our other amazing books, as well. If you haven’t tried Jerry Stratton’s God’s Daily Word 1 and God’s Daily Word 2, you’re missing a treat. And Happily Ticked Off will leave you in stitches, and feeling like you can conquer mountains. Finally, I Love You Sour, I Love You Sweet is the perfect love-letter for anyone of any age. It’s an alphabet book, a search-and-find, and an I-Love-You gift, all in one.
God bless, and have a beautiful Resurrection weekend!
–Renae at Armonia