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Doug Creamer: Happy Easter

            We didn’t really have much of a winter this year. Since winter wasn’t taking charge, spring decided to come early. In early February there were spring flowers blooming. Allergy season got an early start and I thought spring was here to stay. I forgot I was living in North Carolina where the weather changes in the blink of an eye.
            Winter decided to flex its muscles right after spring got all the fruit trees to blossom. I know we lost some fruit. I sure hope that winter has made its final advance for this year so we can officially begin the growing season around here. Most of the trees have come out and I see that many of the azaleas are blooming. I love driving down certain roads in the area when the dogwoods are in full bloom.
            So let’s declare it: winter is over and spring has arrived. We are planning our first of many trips to the garden centers this week. I have noticed that almost everything you can imagine is out and ready to be purchased. It is still early for some things, but they are in the stores. We really enjoy walking through the garden centers and dreaming about the possibilities.
            Spring brings with it a sense of hope and renewed opportunities. Seeing fresh new plants in that pretty spring green gives us hope for a new season of growth. Here is hoping that we will all enjoy beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables. Spring gives the feeling that this will be a good growing year and that we will find better ways to keep the weeds down and the deer out of the garden. We get to start over fresh and new.
            There is nothing like the feel of freshly tilled soil. The canvas of the garden has been wiped clean and now it is time to create a new picture for this year. Putting out the new tender plants and believing for a bright future. Spring feeds my sense of optimism. Garden centers are the places where dreams are born.
            Spring and fall are my favorite times of year because the temperatures are nice and I can enjoy being outside all day. I enjoy spring the most because of the strong sense of optimism, that we are going into another growing season and I can hope and believe for a good year. I am glad that Easter is in spring because it affords us the same sense of optimism for the future.
            On Palm Sunday we celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. He was hailed and greeted as a king. The joy of his arrival was unbound. Sadly, in less than a week, the crowds who praised his arrival called for his execution. How could their hearts have changed so quickly? Weren’t these the same people that Jesus healed, delivered, and loved like lost sheep?
Whatever the reason, the crowd turned on Jesus and they crucified an innocent man. Everyone, including his disciples, thought it was over. But then Easter morning came. There was a powerful earthquake and the huge stone that would have taken several strong men to move was rolled away. Jesus was no longer in the grave. Jesus, the Savior of the world, rose from the dead. He overcame death, sin, and sickness. Everything that is evil in the world has been defeated by his resurrection.
            Talk about hope. For the alcoholic and drug addict Jesus can set you free. For those trapped in sexual sin, I know a Savior who can break those chains. For those suffering with sickness and pain, I proclaim to you that Jesus took that beating to buy your healing. For those who feel unworthy, God paid the highest price to buy you because He believes you are worth it. Jesus died and gave his own blood to buy you, so God says you are worthy and valuable to His kingdom. There is no dark place Jesus won’t go, including unbelief, doubt, and fear, to buy and win your soul. The hope of Easter is that Jesus died and rose again for us all.
        I want to encourage you to open your heart to the hope of Jesus. His forgiveness is more powerful than you can imagine. His healing power is greater than anything that holds you. His love is deeper and wider than the ocean. Easter gives us the hope of a new life. It’s a fresh start regardless of your circumstances. Turn your heart over to him and let that resurrection power fill you, renew you, and set you free. Happy Easter!

Contact Doug at doug@dougcreamer.com

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