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Be renewed, celebrate hope this Eastertide!

When I was pastor in the small, but exquisitely beautiful town of

Carthage, North Carolina, one of my laymen cautioned me not to try and explain the resurrection, but to celebrate it.

He said that Easter for him brought hope in the trying times of life and hope for eternity. He asserted that you can’t explain hope, either, but that word hops, skips and jumps across the pages of the

New Testament like a rock being thrown across the top of a lake to see how many skims and skips it makes.

In the past few years, my title has evolved. I am the president and chief executive officer, but since the advent of the pandemic, that “CEO” has changed to to become “Chief Encouragement Officer.”

A song from “South Pacific” says, “I’m stuck like a dope with this thing called Hope, and I can’t get it out of my mind.”

Easter is about hope in Christ:

H—for happiness. We all want to be happy, but few of us are. Look for God’s surprises in the most unusual ways. Listen for a child’s laughter or the sounds of the birds at springtime. Open your eyes and see the one who in a tragedy is helping to relieve the pain of another. Celebrate the joy of the happy, unexpected moment

that brings a chuckle or full belly-roll laughter. Happiness is all around you.

O—for opportunity. Turn those obstacles into opportunities. Never give up on your dreams. Too many people go to their graves with their music still inside them, with their poetry yet