Saturday, February 16, 2013

Easter Letter - The Good Shepherd Lays Down His Life for His Sheep

Resurrection Sunday is coming!  For my Easter letter to my kids this year, I'm sharing my testimony of receiving Jesus as my Savoir.  I used a sheep theme for my stationery, and wrote about Jesus being the good Shepherd to rescue His sheep.

I love sharing beautiful art with my kids, so here is the shepherd picture I included with this letter... I love the vivid imagery.  I love also how it depicts the rescue in progress... there's nothing passive about this!
"I am the good Shepherd;
I know My sheep,
and My sheep
know Me—
just as the Father
knows Me
and I know the Father—
and I lay My life down
for the sheep."
John 10:14-15

I was only 5 years old, but I still can vividly remember that night after Bible time when mom shared the salvation message with me from John 3:16... "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  There by my bed, I prayed to invite Jesus into my heart.  I was ridiculously annoyed right afterwards at my 3 year old brother "Stevie," because he "copied" my prayer... lol... annoyed as only a 5 year old child can be. My mom calmed my protests and reassured me that it was fine for Stevie to copy my prayer and invite Jesus to be his Savior too.  Each of my siblings and my kids prayed this when they were only 3-5 years old... that's not too young!

I also shared about when I was baptized as a 9 year old child, and also shared a few family baptism stories as well.  My husband became a Christian as a young adult, and was baptized in a frog pond!  But I especially loved recounting the miracle story of my grandmother's baptism.

Babushka grew up in Russia, and when she understood the gospel and accepted Jesus as her Savior, she wanted to be baptized. In spite of the icy winter weather, she and the others from her church walked through the snow to the nearby river, broke the ice and were baptized!! I love the determination and boldness that was shown in following Christ... they didn't want to wait till it was "comfortable" to do so!  The miracle happened as they walked back to the church... God enveloped each of them in His Presence, keeping them warm and protected from the cold while they were soaking wet. I still remember the way Babushka's eyes lit up as she recounted the treasured memory to me, holding her arms as if she could still feel God's Presence wrapped around her like a cloak.  It was such a testimony to her and the others of God's loving care and protection for them personally, and of course, there's nothing like experiencing God's Presence personally.

I included these photos of Babushka... the one above was of her as a young woman with little children.  My mom is the youngest of the girls in the picture.  :o)  This other picture is of me with Babushka the last time I saw her before she died.  My mom and I flew down to California to help take care of Babushka for a week there in her cabin home in the mountains before she died several weeks later.  It's hard to believe that it's been about 17 years already that she has been home in heaven! 

Here is a wonderful coloring page of the shepherd rescuing the sheep   that I included...

I also asked my kids if they have asked Jesus to be their Savior yet, and said that I would love to hear their story. 

"I have other sheep
that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also.
They too will listen to My voice,
and there shall be one flock
and one shepherd.
The reason my Father loves Me
is that I lay down My life
only to take it up again.
No one takes it from Me,
but I lay it down of My own accord.
I have authority to lay it down
and authority to take it up again.
This command I received from my Father.” 
John 10:16-18

If you haven't written your Easter letter to your sponsored child yet, consider doing so this weekend, and be encouraged to share your testimony!  Let's pray for salvation for all our "little lambs."