The Book of Life of the Lamb Who Was Slain

Good morning! It is Sunday, April 5, 2015! ONE more day until Opening Day!!

Today is commonly known as Easter. However, I (and many others) prefer to call it “Resurrection Day,” because that is what we are celebrating on this day. Since Easter is a “movable feast,” there is little likelihood that this is the actual day that Jesus rose from the grave, but it is the day that we celebrate what is the true lynchpin of the Christian faith.

Today’s word of the day is nushnik, a word with Russian etymology, just as you might expect. Pronounced “noosh-nick,” it means, “An outhouse containing a toilet, usually without plumbing.” It seems that the most general usage is or was in Alaska.

Today is Read A Road Map Day. Talk about your obsolete ideas . . . But, hold on! Think back to a time when a road map meant adventure! Pack a road and follow it and see where it goes! We did that once, in Arkansas and Oklahoma. In the modern age of GPS and Waze apps on the phone (by far the best GPS app we have found), the practice of unfolding a road map on the hood of the car is long gone. Heck, I don’t even think we OWN a map, anymore!

Yesterday was an interesting day. I wouldn’t call it a great day, but it did finish well. We were all feeling a little . . . how you say . . . foggy? And it wasn’t just those of us in the Bickleyhouse, either. As we gathered for our Anchor prayer gathering, there was a bit of a fog hanging over all of us. It was odd. I think it got better during the worship gathering, but the music was off, as well. The message was a great message on the Resurrection (take from Colossians 2, of all places!), and very encouraging. As I stated above, Jacob made sure we understood that the Resurrection is the lynchpin of the Christian faith. We tend to make Christmas the biggest day of our year, but if you go back to ancient Church celebrations, Christmas got 12 days, while Resurrection Day got 50! That tells you where they placed it, in importance! The “tweetable moment” of the night was when Jacob said, “We are far better at following advertisers than we are at following apostles.” That was a great statement.

After we got home from church (arguing with someone about whether we were going to get Krispy Kreme), Christi and I went to the grocery store, which was more crowded than we were expecting (we later realized, *duh*, it was the night before Easter). At least the parking lot was more crowded. Once we got inside, it wasn’t that bad, and we got our stuff and got checked out somewhat painlessly. It was odd seeing the Blue Bell ice cream section completely empty. It seems that they have pulled it all over that “Listeria” scare from a month or so ago. Over-reaction, much? Perhaps. We picked up Mickey D’s on the way home, for dinner, and settled in to watch a few TV shows before going to bed.

Today, we are, I believe, still planning to head to Scarborough Renaissance Festival (it seems they don’t call it “Scarborough Faire” anymore), as the rain seems to be ending for the day. We’ll give it a shot, anyway. With that in mind, I’d best get a move-on!

It was on this date in 1949 that Fireside Theater debuted on television. It aired from 1949 to 1958, on NBC, and was a drama series with credited writers such as Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury, and Gene Roddenberry. I must find some episodes of this series!!

Today’s birthdays include Thomas Hobbes (philosopher and namesake of a stuffed tiger), Axel von Fersen the Elder (father of Axel von Fersen the Younger), Booker T. Washington (educator), Mistinguett (French vaudeville performer who was, at one time, the highest paid female entertainer), Spencer Tracy (actor), Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Bette Davis (actress), Albert R. Broccoli (film producer), Gregory Peck (actor), Robert Bloch (author of Psycho), Arthur Hailey (author), Gale Storm (singer), Roger Corman (film director), Tony Williams (singer, The Platters), Billy Bland (R&B singer/songwriter), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler), Colin Powell (General), Crispian St. Peters (singer), Agnetha Faltskog (singer, ABBA), Paula Cole (singer/songwriter), Pharrell Williams (music producer, The Voice), Christopher Papamichalopoulos (skier), and Sophia Papamichalopoulos (skier).

Pharrell Williams was born on this date in 1973. We knew little about him until a year or so ago, when he began being one of the “coaches” on The Voice. We actually saw him in a parking garage, a number of years ago, on Rodeo Drive, during one of our Southern California trips. I had no idea who he was, so I didn’t get an autograph. If only I had known. We have grown quite fond of this young man (I consider 42 “young”), as he seems to be a genuinely friendly person. He produces, mostly, but has also released some of his own music, most notably, this recent hit, “Happy.”

If you can watch this without smiling, you’re broken.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:5-14

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”
Matthew 28:5-6

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “The Books at the Judgment.”

. . . and all who dwell on earth will worship it [the beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
Revelation 13:8

“Salvation is secured for all who are written in the book of life.”

Take note of what this book is called. In Revelation 13:8, it is “the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” The names in this book are not names of people who have been saved because of anything they did. They are saved on the basis of the work of Christ, “the Lamb who was slain.”

These books “contain enough evidence of our belonging to Christ that they function as a public confirmation of our faith and our union with him.” Revelation 21:27 reiterates the truth: But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Even the thief on the cross, whose life was 99.9% sin, will be judged solely on the basis of the work of Christ. His salvation was secured by the blood of Christ, not by his deeds. It is important that we do not think that the book must contain more good deeds than bad deeds. This is a misunderstanding, and that thief is a perfect example of this truth. As long as the final page of our record shows that we were covered by the blood of Christ, it literally does not matter what the rest of our record shows!

As I enter this day, I enter it with the confidence that there is no condemnation for me, and that my name is written in “the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”

Father, I praise you for the truth that my name is written in that book, and that it will show that my life is covered by the blood of Christ. I thank you for the power of the Resurrection and what it means to us. We celebrate that event today, and give you praise and thanksgiving for the mighty work of the cross and the Resurrection!

I pray for the rest of this day. As we travel, today, keep us safe, and may we have a good time and relaxing time this afternoon. Keep us always mindful of what we are celebrating today.

If your name is written in the book, remember that it is the work of Christ that put it there, not your deeds.

Grace and peace, friends.

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