An Extraordinary Week

For the last  seven years, the pastor of a local congregation, literally “….picks up his cross….” and walks through downtown Many, Louisana, on Good Friday. Daniel Lowe is a familiar face in this community having pastored the Church of the Nazarene for over 16  years.  It was exciting to see the feedback from his Facebook friends encouraging him and thanking him, for his walk once again this year.  In fact, some were waiting with anticipation for his walk and would have been disappointed if something would have hindered him.

This is an extraordinary thing that Daniel does each year.   He is a humble man and will be embarrassed that I wrote this, but as I often say “…it is what it is…”  And it is extraordinary.  The definition of “extraordinary” is “….beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure”.   To better understand this word, think of the ANTONYMS which are “common, normal and usual”   In my book, picking up a heavy cross, dressing in ancient dress, and walking down main street is NOT common, normal or usual.  Daniel is my friend, so he is ok with me saying he is not normal!

We humans yearn for the extraordinary.   It’s in our DNA – it’s how we are made.   It’s the reason that the most loved popular films that have captured our hearts and attention involve extraordinary powers – Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Superman, Spiderman, Star Wars.  OR those movies with extraordinary heroes, Indiana Jones, Robin Hood, Batman.  This is the message of the book “Extraordinary” by John Bevere which our work Bible study group began over 7 months ago and concluded this past Wednesday, during Holy Week.  Because the Psalmist said “My times are in your hands…..”, I have to believe it is NO coincidence that our last lesson on living the EXTRAORDINARY life was just before Easter Sunday.  It truly has been an extraordinary week!

Jesus said that if anyone wanted to be His disciple, they must pick up their cross and follow Him.  I don’t think that means that every follower has to do as Daniel did – and pick up a physical cross.  It does mean that whatever He calls me to do – I do it.  No matter how impossible or difficult  it may seem – if He calls me to it, He will empower me to do it.  THAT’S extraordinary!  I love the way the Message Bible says it:

Galatians 2:19-21 ( In part – The Message)

“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central…….. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”

I also want to remind you of something  this night before Resurrection Sunday.  God not only desires for you to live the extraordinary life, but He has equipped you to do so – no matter who you are or how you serve in life.  Whether you are a mortgage banker, school teacher, stay-at-home mom, pastor, secretary, offshore worker, it does not matter!  Because of the “Resurrection Power” operating inside of you – you are empowered to live a life that is remarkable, amazing, marvelous and unimaginable  – in other words, EXTRAORDINARY!

The decision is always ours – to pick up the cross – or not.  But when we do, it is the beginning of  an extraordinary life – a life that is “crucified with Christ”.    The life we were meant to live.

God bless you all – HE IS RISEN INDEED!

2 Responses to “An Extraordinary Week”

  1. 1 Dawn P April 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

    He is risen indeed! Your Pastor Daniel is an extraordinary man just as you are an extraordinary woman. Thank you for sharing these pictures and your faith with all of us. Easter is my favorite day of the year because of the promise Christ gave us with his life, death & resurrection. He is risen indeed!

  2. 2 Louise Thaxton April 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Below is a comment post from Pat Ulmet which was posted to another site – wanted to make sure it was visible here:”Thank you for sharing of the “cross walk.” I’ve known Daniel for years, but because I live three hours away, I was not aware of his ministry on Good Fridays. Thank you for your words reminding us that we, too, should be focused on making a difference in our world. To make a difference, we must put aside personal comforts to truly BE different.

    “Jesus words in Luke 14:27 remind us to take up our cross and follow Him. “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

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