We celebrated. A lot. Which is understandable, we’re just so excited that Jesus is ALIVE!

But now what do we do? It’s easy to have an Easter week. After all, it’s just one week. What about the other 51 weeks in the year. How can we stay focused on Christ those weeks? Short answer: I have no idea. Well, I mean I have some idea. Keep reading the Bible every day, spend time with the Lord in prayer, use the gifts He has given to serve Him, spend time with the local church, tithe, etc. However I have no trick up my sleeve or tips to share. After Easter sometimes it can feel like the trenches. This celebration of the single most monumental event in history has come and passed, and now it’s time to get back to the everyday of Christian life.

So today, I just want to encourage you.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  Colossian 2:6-7 

Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles. That means it’s a letter he wrote while in prison. And yet he is taking the time to encourage other believers to live in Christ, strengthened and overflowing with thanks. A couple of weeks ago I talked about getting up in the morning and starting the day out by spending time with the Lord. Well, I have a big fat confession. I stink at this. I’m simply not happy to get out of bed in the morning. Not happy, Bob. (anybody get The Incredibles reference? Anyone? Anyone?) I complain about the temperature, the time, what I have to do at work that day, what time I got to bed the night before, and on and on. Paul didn’t complain at all. Not even about being in prison. Instead he encouraged other believers in their walk with the Lord.

Many of you have heard about the Iranian pastor Youcef N. who is currently awaiting execution for not renouncing his beliefs. If not, you can read the latest from Baptist Press on his case here. I mention him because I want to bring this into perspective for you. Imagine with me, Youcef sends a letter, from prison, while awaiting his execution, and tells you to be strengthened in the Lord and to overflow with thanksgiving. You, sitting in your comfortable living room, with your family safe, your refrigerator full of food, getting ready to go to church tonight where you can openly worship with other believers. I ask myself, would that stop my complaining? I know for sure at least that I would be speechless.

This turned into a lot heavier of a post than I meant for it to be. Let me try to turn it around. I’ll start by being thankful. Here goes the cheese. I am so thankful for you. Really, I am. Even though I have no idea who reads this blog and who doesn’t, I pray for you continually. My desire is to serve the Lord even through something so simple as this little ole’ blog. If the only way I can do that is by praying for those who stop by here, then that’s okay. And I’m thankful that Jesus died (and rose again!) for me. That’s enough to take strength in, really.

I leave you with Philippians 4:4,

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!