Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Resurrection Sunday.  Why such a big deal?  By the end of last week, my heart felt heavy.  Very heavy.  I do not know why.  I went to bed Saturday night thinking I could not possibly join in the celebration in the morning.  I also knew deep within me that it was vitally necessary that I participate in our Resurrection Sunday service.

Surprisingly, I woke up early feeling hope.  Something was stirring in the deep places (or perhaps the heavenly realm).  I found my heart looking forward to the celebration about to begin.  The importance of Jesus conquering death is more important to my heart this year. How can one lose a daughter with no hope of eternity with Jesus? If Jesus could not or would not conquer death, it means the rest of us have no hope of eternity with Him and all of life feels quite pointless.

The music of Resurrection Sunday triumphantly declares truth.  By the time we had started worshiping at the first service, I felt like heaven had opened up and we could all join in the celebration of conquered death. I cannot sing or play some of these songs without having my heart feel like it will burst within me with the joy of truth washing over difficult circumstances.

The song, "Great I Am" by Jared Anderson has lyrics that propel me into the glory of God.  

I want to be close, close to Your side
So heaven is real and death is a lie
I want to hear voices of angels above
Singing as one.

Hallelujah, holy, holy, God Almighty
The Great I Am
Who is worthy? None beside Thee,
God Almighty, the Great I Am.

The mountains shake before Him
The demons run and flee
At the mention of the name
King of Majesty.
There is no power in Hell
or any who can stand
Before the power and the Presence
of the Great I Am.

One of the Bible verses that Christina loved as she was moving into the presence of Jesus was 2 Corinthians 5:4  "For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."

How often do we talk about dying as "being swallowed up by life"?  That is the way Christina started to refer to her leaving her physical body.   I wonder why we proclaim Jesus as Lord and then act like leaving here to go be with Him is such a tragedy.  Being with Jesus is life!  

"Heaven is real and death is a lie."

We learn John 3:16 as children and most of us can recite it but I wonder if we believe it.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should never perish but have everlasting life.

"Heaven is real and death is a lie."

In John 17, Jesus' prayer just before his crucifixion, he prayed, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory..."

Jesus' deep desire is to have us with Him.  Does that feel amazing?  
He desires us to be with Him, to see His glory.  He has much to show us.  We are so earth bound and yet, He has endless Good to share with us.  

Have you ever longed for someone to be with you?  Have you ever had something that you wanted to share with those you love--perhaps a new house or a new location or a new baby.  Just multiply that desire over and over and imagine Jesus waiting for you--to show you His glory, to show you Heaven, to show you the throne room, or the River of Life.  Can you get a little excited with me?  Christina was VERY excited as this journey unfolded for her.  We saw and heard little pieces of what Jesus was already sharing with her.  The angels singing, her special dock, the window, continual access to the presence of Jesus, so many conversations with Him.  

On Sunday, we also sang "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher.  It made me want to shake my fist at hell and raise my arms to Jesus, and motion to the church to come along--all at once!

Christ is risen from the dead
trampling over death by death.
Come awake, come awake
come and rise up from the grave.

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church come stand in the light.
The glory of God has defeated the night!
Singing, O death where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light.
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!!!

I long for my heart to be captured by this truth every day.  No matter what.  I long for the church of Jesus to be looking so deeply at Jesus that the trouble and trials of this world fade to insignificance.

Hebrews 12:2-3
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

It is so easy to lose heart when our eyes are fixed on our circumstances.  It seems that fixing our eyes on Jesus, keeps our hearts full of strength and hope.

Resurrection Sunday, 2013, Isaiah's Baby Dedication
 I wanted to share this baby dedication picture from last year, just to illustrate what a difference one year can make.  Christina was 2 months from entering Jesus' presence, our Pastor Mike was days away from a heart attack (which he survived beautifully), and Isaiah wasn't yet walking and talking.  My head spins with the reality of time passing.  We have no control over what a year will hold but we know the One who can walk with us through anything a year can bring.


  1. Oh this was so riveting. Death is a lie. We need to start living that. <3

    1. Yes, Janice, that truth is riveting to me also:) I believe that Jesus really wants us all to start living it.

  2. I'm so grateful that you were there to share with us the gift that God has given you in music Jodee! While you were playing, I could picture Jesus holding Christinas face while listening to you! Thank you so much for your service.

    1. Oh my, Amy, that brings tears to my eyes. I am pretty sure Christina is well aware of what is happening on this earth.

  3. I have SO been encouraged by Christina's journey and by your journey, too! There is a real push these days for the book and movie Heaven is for Real. Truly, I am much more impressed with the Heaven is for Real that Christina showed us. Never once did she waver from the object of her affections, Jesus Christ. He was the focus of her journey to the eternal heaven. Her heaven message took us to the cross, to death, to the resurrection and even to the reminder that Christ is returning. My heart aches for you, JoDee, as a mom, but I know, (and isn't that the joy! the KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt) that you will be reunited with her and although you will rejoice in being reunited, even much more will be your union with Christ, the Center of it all... ALLELUIA! Again, I THANK YOU for sharing your journey and Christina's journey.

    1. Thank you so much. Even though my heart aches, I have not been lost in despair because Jesus keeps sweeping His truth over and through me. He is so faithful and kind to my heart. I am looking forward to thanking Him in person.

  4. Someone once wrote that our future with those we’ve lost will be much greater than the past we once shared. It is when I think about this through your experience that I see that this is so very true.

    1. Hi Karen,
      I am certain of that truth:) And so thankful for Jesus who made it possible.
      Much love,
      Jo Dee