Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happily Ever After

I know that Cinderella is just a fairy tale, but so much can be learned spiritually by pondering her story. The prince searches his entire kingdom for a bride. Then, he chooses the least expected. He doesn't choose somebody popular, wealthy, or proud. Instead, he chooses the one who is lowly, humble, gentle, and pure in heart. She runs from him in fear that if he sees who she really is and what she's really like, he will despise her. But, what she doesn't know is that he already does see who she really is in her heart. Then he meets up with her again...and her rags and filth do not even phase him because he can only see the beauty within and that they were meant to be together.

Isn't that something? So many spend their lives dreaming of that fairy tale happily ever after. We search the world over trying to find our dreams. We envy those who seem to be living out their dreams...but they are without the Prince who is Jesus Christ. They are living in a fantasy that only brings temporary satisfaction. Their earthly dreams will come to an end...but for the bride of Christ..happily ever after begins when life in this world is no longer where we live. What is being missed by those who do not take time to even meet THE Prince is the true, eternal happily ever after.

The Prince of Peace is searching his Kingdom on Earth for His bride. Each of us has the opportunity for a happily ever after but many will miss out due to being caught up in the world's fantasy of happy endings. We don't see the glory in sacrifice and suffering...the glory of the cross.

When I think about Cinderella's magical outward transformation before the grand ball, it reminds me of the transformation that takes place when we are clothed in righteousness. The Fairy Godmother just brought to the surface the beauty that was within. Cinderella saw her inner beauty come to the surface for a brief time. But, then she remembered her rags. That makes me ponder how often as a Christian, I drag out my past sins and judge myself according to the deeds God has washed away.

I wonder what would have happened if Cinderella had stayed with the prince when she returned to her rags? Would the prince have loved her any less? Would he had even noticed any difference at all? She thought the prince loved her because of her outward appearance. But, his love for her was deeper than that. He would not stop searching until he found her...and so he the midst of her ashes and soot. I'm willing to bet that in this fairy tale, what we don't know is that the prince knew the slipper would fit before he ever put it on her foot because he recognized the beauty that stood before him the night of the ball.

Christ knows His beloved. He has always known us. He has always loved us. When we accept Him, we are clothed in the perfect beauty of His righteousness. He finds us in our lowly state and loves us right where we are. There is only one true happily ever after and it begins with accepting the invitation of the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!!!!! I AM a princess!!!!!!!! I have found my Happily Ever After! Just call me Cindy!

Today's shot of flavor:

What about you?

For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life! John 3:16.

Will you accept His invitation to believe?

For Tradition's Sake!

Growing up I have been exposed to many traditions. Some are family traditions while others are cultural and/or religious. Recently I have found myself on a quest for truth regarding Christmas and Easter. Now, I'm not going into all the details of the discoveries I have made regarding pagan practices vs. God glorifying practices, but I do have a problem with the fact that Christians who know the Truth continue to celebrate traditions filled with flaws.

For instance, how many kings were present at the stable when Jesus was a "babe in a manger"?

Answer: None!

There were no kings and no wisemen present when Jesus was born. Wisemen came to see King Jesus when he was a toddler and he wasn't in a manger! There is only one King who really stands out to me and he didn't come to present Jesus with gifts!

This is just one simple example of many many stories that have been passed down through the ages amongst Christians...folklore presented as truth for the sake of tradition. For years...even now, I find myself guilty of falling into patterns of living for tradition's sake. Where does that leave God?

I have to question....

Is it harmless? What if Jesus came to visit a local church at Christmas time to see the portrayal of His birth? Would he sit silently or would he correct our misinterpretations?

Where does this leave me? What will I do differently?

I don't have an answer at this time. I only know that I will continue on my quest...while searching my heart and seeking God for answers.

When asking religious leaders why Christians continue to practice things that are not true and teach them as if they are, they don't seem to think there is anything wrong with it. They think it's okay as long as the point is made.

Is it okay to create confusion for a new believer right from the start?

Lies, lies and more lies:

A friend made an excellent point. He said that we indirectly teach our children to worship Santa, the Easter Bunny, even the Tooth Fairy...eventually they learn that it's all a lie. Then we tell them about Jesus and expect them to believe?

My words are not written in judgement or accusation. Perhaps they are written from personal conviciton. Or perhaps they are simply the ponderings of my heart as I hunger for Truth.

Today's Flavor Shot:

Deuteronomy 13: 29-32
Don't worship the Lord your God the way pagan nations worship their Gods.