The People in the Bible Were Human

Just Like Us

As we’ve been going through the Old Testament these past couple of weeks, one of the things that has become obvious is how human these people were. We seem to have a preconceived notion that the people in the Bible were near perfect.

As we look at the people of the Bible, we tend to place them at a superhuman level. Many of these people are a part of Jesus’ lineage after all. Doesn’t this mean they were better than we are? Not so much.

As we read about these people, we see that they did some pretty questionable things, like giving their husbands other women to sleep with and then being mad about it after wards, or sleeping with multiple women, or stealing a brother’s blessing, or lying and saying that your wife is your sister. (Genesis 26:6-7)

These things seem to be quite a bit less than superhuman.

Okay, so these people were people, just like us.

Isaac is the person of focus this week. He is one of the three consistently referred to throughout out the Bible in Jesus’ ancestry known as the triad. This is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Of these three, Isaac’s story is probably the smallest.

Even though it may not be as big as Abraham or Jacob’s it is still an important part of Jesus’ family tree.

One of the things we discussed in Sunday School was Isaac’s age when his father took him to the mountain to be sacrificed. The common picture we get when we think about Issac being placed on the altar to be a sacrifice is of a small boy, maybe eight to ten.

It is likely that he was much older than that.

Issac was conceived when Abraham was 99 years old, Sarah was 90, and Ishmael was 13 (Genesis 17:1, 17, 25). When the boy was weaned (2-5 years) later, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away and the covenant between Abraham and Abimelech took place (Genesis 21:34).

In Genesis 22:1-18, God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Issac.

Sarah died at the age of 127 when her son was 37. So, there was a period of 35 years from weaning till the death of Sarah to allow for chapter 21 and 22 to take place.

Issac must have been a young man to be able to carry the wood necessary for the large sacrifice (Genesis 22:6) because we are told that Abraham left his servants at the bottom of the mountain and went alone with his son to the place of offering. A small boy could not carry the bundle of wood. 

I’d never thought about Issac being this old and still being willing to let his father tie him up on the altar (Genesis 22:9-10).

When thinking about this story of Abraham and Issac, we always see it as Abraham’s strong faith…and it was. But what about Issac’s faith in being willing to let his father tie him up on the altar? This took as much or even more faith.

I don’t know if I could have done either of these things.

So, maybe these people in the Bible were pretty amazing.  

Clear Communication Can be a Tricky Thing to Get Right

There’s a Reason We Have Two Ears and One Mouth

Too often we think we know what some is saying without bothering to even listen. Good communication takes twice as much listening. This is why we have two ears and only one mouth.

We’ve seen a lot of miscommunication in Luke and Acts over the past several weeks as we’ve been going through these books. This was a problem between the Jewish leaders and Jesus then, and this is still a problem for many church leaders today.

A good example of how miscommunication can cause problems happened in Sunday School this past week. We were talking about the new book The Great Dechurching. Bradley Gamber has started reading it, and he described it as “wonky”.

I asked him what he meant by “wonky”. His definition of wonky is something that has a lot of detail and statistics.

I told him that’s not what wonky means to me. It means that something is out of whack, leaning, or crooked.

This led to quite the discussion about the word “wonky”, and we discovered that there were a variety of thoughts on this. I’m glad that I asked the question because otherwise I would have assumed that Bradley didn’t like the book, but this isn’t what he was saying.

What’s even more interesting is that after doing some research…both definitions are correct.

Wonky according to the Cambridge Dictionary means “knowing or showing that you know a lot of details about something, especially politics or science”. This sounds like the way Bradley was using the word.

Wonky also is defined as “askew, cockeyed, lopsided, rickety, shaky or wobbly”.

It’s no wonder that there’s such a problem with communication.

This brings me back to the Scripture in Acts 5-7 and Pastor Lisa’s message this week. The focus was on Stephen and his arrest and stoning. This story is full of miscommunication.

As followers of Jesus were gaining more and more popularity among the people, the Sadducees were becoming jealous and had some of them arrested. Then after the apostles were released by an angel, they went back to the temple and were teaching. Then the apostles were called before the council and again told to stop speaking about Jesus. (Acts 5:17-28)

Stephen was a man of great faith and was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was one of the men chosen by the apostles to help spread God’s message to many more people. (Act 6:1-7)

Then Stephen is arrested because there were men who started arguing with him and accusing him of saying terrible things against Moses and God. These lies turned more church leaders against Stephen. Stephen begins to give the church leaders a history lesson about Abraham, his descendants, Joesph, and Moses bringing the slaves out of Egypt. (Acts 7:1-47)

The church leaders didn’t like what Stephen was saying so they covered their ears and started shouting.

Doesn’t this sound like a child who’s not getting their way.

The members of the church council get so mad that they attack him, drag him out of the city, and stone him to death. In order to throw the stones, the men that brought the charges give their coats to Saul to take care of. (Acts 7:54-58)

Check back next week to see what becomes of Saul, the coat keeper.

As Stephen is dying, he calls out to Jesus to welcome him home and asks Him to not blame the men throwing the stones because they don’t know what they’re doing. (Act 7:59-60)

There was no question what Stephen was saying as he spoke to the leaders of the church. He didn’t mince words, he said what he believed. This took boldness and courage in his willingness to stay true to what he believed.

We need to be willing to speak what we believe in love. We need to open our ears and listen. We need to discuss and learn.

Stephen was clear on what he believed and was willing to die for it.

A faith worth living for, is a faith worth dying for.

Are you clear about what you believe and is it a faith worth dying for?

On a side note – My amazing personal assistant, Dori, recently shared a link with me of Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary speaking at a recent chapel at Cedarville University. In addition to the great message presented by Dr. Mohler, I was impressed with the number of students and their focused intensity.

Maybe there is hope for the future of our country and our world.

Having Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed Can Move Mountains

What Do One Sheep, One Coin, and Two Sons Have in Common?

This sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it. But in reality, there’s an important message here. Not that jokes can’t have important messages.

Jokes are a form of stories, and we can all relate to stories. Stories help us to see things from different perspectives or witness things when we aren’t even there. They can let us see things that we can’t physically see. They allow us feel things that we can relate to.

Jesus used stories to help us understand and relate to things.

As Pastor Lisa has been going through the Book of Luke, we’ve heard a lot of Jesus’ stories. This week was no different. These stories are commonly called parables.

A parable is an illustrative story, by which a familiar idea is cast beside an unfamiliar one in such a way that the comparison helps people to better understand or grasp the unfamiliar one. A simple story is told, certain features of which are similar or parallel to the points or principles one wishes to drive home.

Back to the one sheep, the one coin, and the two sons.

In Luke 15, Jesus is hanging out with a bunch of sinners (this would be all of us). And once again the Pharisees and teachers of the law are grumbling about this. Then He tells them a story about a single lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7) and the importance of finding it.

Then He tells them about a lady looking for one lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) and how she looks and looks until she finds it. Then she celebrates and the shares her excitement with her friends once it’s found.

We’ve all heard the story about the two sons, commonly called the “prodigal son”. (Luke 15:11-32) The younger son is given his share of his father’s money and after squandering it, comes back to be welcomed by his father. Then the older son is upset about him being welcomed home with a celebration.

We can all relate to the different people in these stories at different times.

Both sons in this last story made mistakes. Like the sons in this story, we’ve done stupid things as well. The father forgave both of his sons for their errors. One wasn’t better or more deserving of forgiveness than the other. Our Heavenly Father does the same for us.

In Luke it is clear that Jesus was looking for the least, the last, and the lost. From the first chapters until the end. Luke is always drawing attention to the ways in which, as Mary puts it in the Magnificat, God casts down the proud and lifts up the lowly. 

Forgiveness is something that we need to both give and ask for. It is one of the most powerful weapons we have. We need to forgive those who do not ask for forgiveness. Forgive those who criticize us unjustly. Forgive ourselves.

Forgiveness is a secret that is hidden in plain sight. It costs nothing and is worth millions. It is available to everyone and used by few. If you harness the power of forgiveness, you will be sought after and regarded highly. And not coincidentally, you will also be forgiven by others!” (6th Decision from The Traveler’s Gift)

It doesn’t matter who we are, we can be forgiven.

Forgiveness requires faith. We must have faith in God. We must have faith in others. We must have faith in ourselves. Having faith in ourselves is one of the hardest things to do.

We make faith harder than we need to. In Matthew 17:20-21 Jesus tells us, “I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you.”

The mustard seed is tiny. When our faith is smaller than a mustard seed…it’s pretty much non-existent.

Learn from Jesus’ stories. Forgive yourself and others. Have mustard seed sized faith.

There is a Time and a Season for Everything Here on Earth

God Knows What He’s Doing, Get Onboard or Get Out of His Way

Many of us don’t like change. We’re comfortable with a “This is the way we’ve always done it” attitude. A few weeks ago, I told you about changes happening in our church. We discussed that change is inevitable whether we embrace it or not.

The past several months our church has been dealing with a lot of change and unknowns. The unknown part is what makes us so apprehensive about change.

As a United Methodist church, our congregation had some concerns about the direction of the denomination. These concerns created questions which led to other questions. This question-and-answer process went on for months.

Were we going to stay United Methodist or we going to leave?

If we left, what were our options? Which of these options was the best? What did this mean for our property? What did this mean for the pastor? How long would this take? The questions went on and on.

This is where faith comes in.

As Christians we should trust in God and His “blueprint for life”. His Word gives us the instructions for living the life that He wants for us. This brings us to where we are now and this week’s message from our new pastor.

Welcome Lisa Buffum.

She started her message with her story and how God brought her to us to be our pastor.

Being a member of a United Methodist church and aware of what was going on in the denomination, she knew about the things our church was going through. She came to one of the meetings our church held as we were working through the process of what to do. She actively prayed for churches that were going through this process of answering the question of what to do.

The night that we had our vote for what we were going to do going forward, she drove to our church and sat in the parking lot praying.

We voted to leave the United Methodist and become Global Methodist as have several other churches in the district and conference.

There has been a shortage of pastors for a long time and with this split came the question of who would pastor these new churches. As she heard of more and more churches separating, she was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough pastors for the new Global Methodist churches.

She was thinking about this and had the thought that church laity might need to step up and fill some pulpits.

As she was praying, she heard God ask…” Why not you?”

This is a question that we all tend to push back on. Why me? Because I don’t have what it takes. Because I’m not good enough. I must have not heard that correctly. We’ve all done this at some time or another.

Why not you?

As a lay person she is going to be leading our church. She will be going through the process of becoming ordained. Becoming a pastor is not something that was a part of her life plan…surprise.

Looking back, it is clear how these things were happening separately and simultaneously. This is how God works. This is us getting onboard with His plan.

It’s up to us to do accept the changes that are part of God’s plan. If we don’t, we will suffer the consequences. In Isaiah 43:16-21 we are told to not get hung up on the past and accept the amazing new things that God is creating.

We need to remember that this is God’s story…not ours.

Life is a great adventure, and we need to embrace it. There is a time and season for everything here on earth, it’s up to us to open our minds to be aware of and embrace these changing seasons.

Getting a Backhanded Compliment Can Be a Good Thing

It’s Important to Know Who You’re Talking to and Speak Their Language

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. Too often we take our mothers for granted. We are used to them taking care of us and loving us even with all our flaws.

A mother was working late one day, and her husband and daughter decided they would clean the kitchen for her before she got home. They washed the dishes and put them away. They cleaned the table and the counter. They swept and mopped the floor. They had the kitchen looking great and were excited.

When the mom got home, she came in through the kitchen. She took off her coat and hung it over the back of a chair and sat her purse on the table. She went into the living room and sat down and turned on the TV. The husband and daughter stood there waiting for a compliment.

After a while they asked her what she thought about them cleaning the kitchen. She looked at them and said, “It’s a thankless job, isn’t it?”

Don’t forget to tell your mom thank you.

A backhanded compliment can be a little confusing.

A woman was greeted after singing a solo by a gentleman who said, “You sang that song well, and you didn’t sing too long.”

Or what about the man who was always getting reprimanded at work getting a comment from his supervisor, “You’re stinking less at this job all the time.”

We all speak such different languages. It’s hard to know how to take a backhanded compliment.

In Acts 17:16-31 Paul gave the Athenians a backhanded compliment. These people were searching for God but were trying to make Him fit their wants and desires, so Paul spoke to them in a language that they understood.

While Paul was waiting in Athens, he was upset to see all the idols in the city. 17 He went to the synagogue to speak to the Jews and to anyone who worshiped with them. Day after day he also spoke to everyone he met in the market. 18 Some of them were Epicureans and some were Stoics, and they started arguing with him.

People were asking, “What is this know-it-all trying to say?”

Some even said, “Paul must be preaching about foreign gods! That’s what he means when he talks about Jesus and about people rising from death.”

19 They brought Paul before a council called the Areopagus, and said, “Tell us what your new teaching is all about. 20 We have heard you say some strange things, and we want to know what you mean.”

21 More than anything else the people of Athens and the foreigners living there loved to hear and to talk about anything new. 22 So Paul stood up in front of the council and said:

People of Athens, I see that you are very religious.

 23 As I was going through your city and looking at the things you worship, I found an altar with the words, “To an Unknown God.” You worship this God, but you don’t really know him. So, I want to tell you about him. 24 This God made the world and everything in it. He is Lord of heaven and earth, and he doesn’t live in temples built by human hands. 25 He doesn’t need help from anyone. He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. 26 From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be.

Some of the people who heard Paul made changes and put their faith in God. Just like the people in Athens, if we listen to backhanded compliments, discern the good from them, make the right choices and apply those changes…we’ll be better for it.

Too often we try to make God what we want Him to be. This isn’t how it works. God is God and we were made in His image…not the other way around.

Remember that we all speak different languages, and it’s important to find out the language someone else is speaking before we start talking. We also need to be careful how we complement each other.

Oh…Thank you Mom for all you’ve done and the love you’ve given me throughout my life.

We Should Be Willing to Take a Risk Because it’s the Right Thing to Do

It’s All About Believing in the Right Thing and Having Faith

Do places have a memory?

Have you ever felt connected to a place through memories. These could be your memories or others.

I have this kind of connection at home. The house I live in was built in 1916 by my great grandfather. My grandmother on my mom’s side of the family grew up in this house. Then my mother and her sisters grew up here. Now I live there and have raised my family in this house.

To say that I have memories here is an understatement. I have childhood memories of Christmases, Sunday evening suppers, 4th of July fireworks, butchering chickens, putting hay in the barn and on and on. In discussions with my mom and aunts, I’ve heard stories of their memories, too.

All these memories, both heard and lived, have played a part in my feelings for this farm. It has been a part of making me who I am. It’s more than that…it is a part of who I am.

I can see my grandmother and mother running through the house in bare feet on the same floors that I walk on every day.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. This commemorates Jesus’s walking into Jerusalem and the people waving palm branches in greeting.

 On His way to Jerusalem, He walked over the Mount of Olives. Like my house holds memories for me, the Mount of Olives held memories for the Jews.

As Jesus walked over there, He would have seen King David as he was fleeing his son Absalom. He would have seen Zacharia as he prophesied. He would have seen all the faces of the people to be the first to be raised from the dead buried in the cemetery there on the Mount of Olives.

Memories are both good and bad. It’s up to us to decide which ones we are going to focus on.

Paul Veneto is a retired flight attendant who worked out of Logan International Airport. On Sept 10, he landed back home in Boston. The next day was off. That’s when United Flight 175, the flight he was an attendant on, flew into the World Trade Center.

He knew the people who were working on that flight. They were his friends and coworkers. This was hard for Paul, he could have been on that plane…he should have been on that plane. He felt guilty about it. Dealing with this Veneto fell into drug addiction.

After being off opioids for six years, in 2015 he decided he would walk the 220 miles from Boston to ground zero pushing a beverage cart to honor the memory of his coworkers and bring attention to them.

This is focusing on the good memories.

We need to remember that the things we do every day will be memories for us and others.

Sometimes this means making difficult and unpopular choices. It can be risky to do the right thing. As we approach Easter, we need to remember what Jesus did for us. He knew the price. He knew that it was risky, but He did it anyway…because it was the right thing to do.

When we are faced with scary situations, we need to remember Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us. Having faith in Him can give us the courage we need to do the scary things in life.

When We Ask God Man-sized Questions, We Are Limiting the Answers We Get

We Need to be Asking God Sized Questions Instead

Asking a man-sized question is a sure way to get a man-sized answer. As humans it makes sense that we think in human terms, because we are human after all. But what could be possible if we quit limiting ourselves? Because when we incorporate these limitations, we are limiting God’s answer.

This is a little bit like the cute little girl who went into the pet store and shyly asked the store owner for a small rabbit. The store owner asked her what color she would like. “We have black ones, brown ones, white ones. What color would you like?”

The little girl said, “It doesn’t matter, my python won’t care.

The store owner asked a man-sized question. He made some presumptions about what the little girl’s plans were for the rabbit and then asked the question. We do this kind of thing all the time when asking questions of God. We limit His answers with our small questions.

God has a lot bigger plans for us than we have for ourselves.

In Luke 20:27-38, the Sadducees, who didn’t believe in a resurrection, asked Jesus a question about a woman who was childless when her husband died. According to the writings of Moses, the husband’s brother should marry her. In this story the brothers kept dying and the next one would marry her.

The question from the Sadducees was, “In the resurrection, whose wife would she be?”

This is one of those man-sized questions.

Jesus goes on to explain to them that marriage is a worldly thing designed for companionship, family and filling the earth. In Heaven there will be no need for marriage. We will be like the angles.

We need to be thinking bigger, out of the box questions and then have faith that God will answer them. This doesn’t mean that the answer will be what we think or expect. We need to change our simple-minded thinking.

We need to quit holding God back with our small questions.

In Mark 11:23-24, we are told that if we, “…tell a mountain to be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and don’t waiver, that it will happen”. I don’t know about you, but my small man-sized brain finds this hard to believe.

The first vision that comes to my mind is the mountain being lifted from the earth and floating to the nearest ocean and being dropped in. The Scripture doesn’t get into the specifics. Maybe it could involve some big excavation equipment or new technology.

Think about President Kennedy when he said that we would put a man on the moon…and we did. That sounded pretty far fetched when it was said, but it happened. President Kennedy had faith. This doesn’t mean that it was easy, or that a man just magically floated up to the moon.

This was a God-sized idea that required the faith and hard work of a lot of people.

We need to think bigger and have more faith. If we align our man-sized thinking with God’s and remove our human-sized limits, we will be amazed when that mountain is in the sea.

A Lot of Things are True…But There is Only One Truth

Belief is Important, But Not as Important as WHAT You Believe in

We are bombarded with information that is presented as true. The flood of information that is out there today makes it hard to know what to believe.

We take something at face value only to find out later that it isn’t true.

Knowing what to believe can be a challenge.

How do we know what to believe?

Knowledge is an important thing, but if we aren’t careful, it takes the place of faith. What we put our faith in is the key to unlocking the life we were meant to have.

Real faith is believing in something bigger than knowledge.

In Mark 9:14-29, Jesus’ disciples were unable to release a boy from his demon. The father of the boy asked Jesus to. “Help us if You can.” Jesus replied, “Why do you say, ‘if You can’?

Anything is possible for someone who has faith!”

At once the boy’s father shouted, “I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.”

After Jesus and His disciples had left and were alone, they asked Him, “Why couldn’t we force out the demon?”

Jesus answered, “Only prayer can force out this kind of demon.”

It appears that the disciples’ efforts were short on faith. For prayer to work we have to have faith.

Knowledge is important but it’s limited.

Faith, on the other hand…if we truly have it, has no limit. Jesus’ followers ask to have their faith made stronger in Luke 17:5-6. He tells them, that if they have faith as small as a mustard seed, they can tell a mulberry tree to pull itself up and plant itself in the ocean and it will.

When it comes to our eternal life…faith in the wrong thing isn’t good either.

Earlier in Luke 17, Jesus tells his disciples that, “Anyone who causes another person to sin, is in for trouble. It would be better for them to be thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck.

He goes on to say that we are to “correct followers who sin and forgive the ones who say they’re sorry.”

This sounds pretty straight forward. If we sin, we are to ask for forgiveness not look the other way.

It doesn’t say it’s okay to sin.

If we believe that Christ is God and that He came to earth as a man and that He is our only way to Heaven…then we need to believe everything He tells us in His Word.

If we believe this, then He is the one and only Truth that we can believe in.

Faith Is Better Than Magic… Magic Only Goes So Far

It Requires Action from Us for Faith to Do Its Magic

Faith’s magic is different than magician magic. It’s not a slide of hand, distract you over here while they do the “magic” over there.

There were two boys that were always trying to out prank each other.

One of them stole three candy bars and showed his friend. The friend told him that was no big deal, he could get the store clerk to give him three candy bars.

The first boy didn’t believe him. He had no faith.

The second boy went to the clerk and asked to show him a magic trick. The boy said he would need three candy bars and he would give them back when he was done. The clerk agreed.

The boy took the candy bars. He unwrapped the first one and ate it. The clerk was puzzled. The boy took the second and did the same thing. Now the clerk was getting concerned. The boy now repeated the process again and ate the third one. The concerned clerk says, “Okay, where are the candy bars?”

The boy says, “They’re in my friend’s pocket.”

God’s magic isn’t magician magic. It’s faith.

Faith requires action. In Hebrews 11:1-12 there are examples of people of faith taking action. Noah had faith and built a boat, even though it had never rained. Abraham had faith and went to a country where he had never been that became the promised land. Sarah in her old age believed and had a son.

Faith is like a staircase. You know there’s another floor up there. But if you don’t climb the stairs…you’ll never experience it. Faith without works is dead.

Faith is more than just believing. Faith is where the rubber meets the road. Even the demons believe.

If we don’t act on our faith, it’s useless.

Faith is more than knowledge. To become a musician, it requires more than just learning how to read music or knowing how to play an instrument. It requires practice. This is true for faith too.

Faith is not about information…it’s about transformation. God tells us in Jeremiah, that His plans are for us to prosper. He has plans for our hope and future. To0 much of life is spent doubting beliefs and believing doubts.

When a trapeze artist lets go of the trapeze and reaches out for the catcher, they must believe that they will be caught. The flyer simply stretches out their arms and trusts that the catcher will catch them. This is faith. We need to stretch out our arms to God and trust that He will catch us.

We all experience faith daily in varying degrees. The more we believe, practice and climb the stronger it becomes.

Faith is a better guide than reason. Reason can only go so far…faith has no limits. I will expect miracles in my life because faith produces them every day. I will believe in the future that I do not see. That is faith. The reward of this faith is to see the future that I believed.

Andy Andrews, Seventh Decision

Fear is a Powerful Force, But Faith Can Help You Overcome It

Like Every Other Decision in Your Life…It’s Up to You

Believing in something we can’t see can be hard. This is where faith comes in.

Last week we celebrated Easter and Christ’s resurrection. We talked about the women finding the empty tomb and how the apostles thought this was nonsense.

This week we’ll pick up from there. In John 20:19-31, the disciples were afraid and hiding in a locked room, when Jesus showed up. He showed them His hands and feet and gave them the Holy Spirit to go out and spread the message of how we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

Thomas, one of the disciples wasn’t with them when this happened. When they told him…he didn’t believe them. He said, “I won’t believe unless I see and touch the scars.”

We’re more like Thomas than we would like to believe. We tell ourselves we believe, but do we really?

Thomas’s need for proof was like a farmer from South Carolina in the early 1900s.

 He said that he thought the existence of Europe was fictional. He believed that there was no such place as the continent of Europe. He found it hard to believe that anything existed beyond the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, in 1918, the last year of WWI, he was drafted into the Army and had the opportunity to experience Europe as a fact. He said, “You wouldn’t believe what lies over there.”

This is often how we feel about life beyond the grave.

You wouldn’t believe what lies over there.

Thomas went on to share Christ’s message in India, where he was killed for the work he was doing.

We can believe because people like doubting Thomas gave their lives to get the word out.

It is easy to be afraid. Like the disciples too often we can hide behind locked doors. On the other hand, if we believe, we can share the message that we’ve been given.

Being afraid prevents us from doing amazing things.

The lyrics of Bette Midler song The Rose, from the movie with the same name, we are given a good example of what we miss when we live our lives in fear.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live

Think of what can we do if we truly believe Christ is risen?

Don’t be afraid to live your life. Live faith over fear!