Good Friday

For He was teaching His disciples saying to them, “For the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him.  And when He is killed, after three days He will rise.” ~ Mark 9:31

What a time that Friday was all those years ago.  A beautiful sacrifice of Christ.  But even though he prepared His followers, they were still unsure.  They still did not see the hope of His promise for a time that probably seemed like forever to them.

As we go through our lives, praying for family, for health, for certain situations, we have to remember Christ has already fulfilled His promises to us.  And we deserve none of them.  We have to listen and trust in Him no matter how long those days from despair to hope may seem.

Be blessed today! 🙂

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Martyrs

As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.

The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ.  They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation.  They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord.  And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.

Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian.  He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith.  He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real.  He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.

When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith.  We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved.  He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself.  There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven.  He is the ONLY way.  Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.

Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy.  And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.

Faith

This passage from Rick Warren was part of an email message I received and I wanted to share.

Real Faith

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. Philippians 4:13 (GNT)

The key to a faith-filled life is not in trying harder. It’s not in psyching yourself up, but in relaxing in God’s grace, so he can do through you what he desires to do.

Paul says this: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” (Philippians 4:13 GNT). Notice that it doesn’t say, “I have the strength for most conditions.” It says all conditions. That includes breaking bad habits and creating healthy ones.

—Pastor Rick Warren

Unbroken

I read Unbroken awhile back…I am sure if you look in my Books section you can find the precise date when I completed and blogged about it.  It was a tough read, a good read, an amazing TRUE story about an amazing man who was given an immense amount of grace and strength from God through the worst of circumstances.

I went to see the movie…a week ago…and it would be unfair of me to say it was a poor movie, because in fact it was not.  Almost every book is better than the movie…I know that…I go into movies knowing that.  This movie was made well, the actors did a great job!  And they put themselves through a lot to look the part of the 65 pound survivors.  If I had not read the book I would probably have thought the movie was a complete and accurate telling of Louis’ life.

However…when the movie ended I was stunned.  I felt as if it ended 2/3 of the way through the book.  I do wish they had included the last third of the book.  A lot of details were left out.  I promptly got on the computer after coming home and found several documentaries on Louis Zamperini that included these details and then some.  I would encourage everyone to read the book and then watch the movie and documentaries as a set.

Louis Zamperini was an amazing man who left an amazing legacy.

11.6.14

Yes, yes, yes, I know.   Promises to be here every day.  I know.  But, I have been saving up verses and will tell you why in a moment.  I am not making any more promises to be on here every day, but I will try very hard to be.  😉

We have had 3 pipe semi-flooding incidents in the last 3 weeks…none connected, all annoying, all time consuming.  I have been knocked down for the past week with gall bladder issues, which has made the eating and exercising thing a bit tricky.  Ironically it hit when I was eating my healthiest, but I am not usually unhealthy (I do not deprive myself of a good burger or milkshake on occasion, but I am generally not in those situations), we are the typical chicken, fruit and veggie family.  Boring, yes, healthy, yes.

So health first…I have not exercised in about a week.  Hoping to start today.  I hadn’t been sleeping…like, at all…so getting on a treadmill was daunting and lifting weights…well, let’s just say I feared dropping things on my head.  😉  I have been great with calories now that I am afraid of food, which you would show on the scale.  I am not worried about losing weight right now…truly…but ya know, an added perk to being sick is usually losing weight.  I think I lost an ounce.  My body is just quite out of whack these days.

Enough about me, I have had some wonderful verses (yes, they are all wonderful) come to my email through my daily verse website and I wanted to share.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  2 Corinthians 3:6

Jesus is the only way we can enter His Kingdom and have eternal life.  Following every law to the “T” will not get us there.  Now, that does not mean you should break laws just because His forgiveness abounds.  If we are one with Christ and know the sacrifices He has made for us, we should want to make choices He wants us to make and reach even those who treat us or those we love the worst.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

10.28.14

Yes I am still here!  Life just recently exploded (nothing serious, just time crunches all around)  🙂

First of all, I want to start with this verse that came in my email a few days ago.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Talk about a convicting verse!  All of our thoughts and attitudes are judged by our SINLESS, PERFECT, Master and Creator.  If only we could remember that every day.  Remember that not only do we not have any right to judge another no matter how “bad” that person may seem, but how do we stand before our perfect maker knowing that He knows our innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets.  We are not called to judge, but we can hold each other accountable…there is a fine line there we must be careful not to cross.

Something else I have been convicted by for quite some time is prayer for children.  I have been a pro-life advocate for as long as I remember, but it goes beyond that.  We need to do everything we can for children all over the world.  Some of us can help them in a tangible way, some in a monetary way, some with prayer.  I feel that kids need to be the forefront of prayer…our own childrens’ eternity, babies not to be aborted, girls who are sold, children who are bullied, children who are abused, bullied, taken advantage of, and even killed.  Children need to know real love, real hope, real faith.  They need to know their loving Father through Him and through us, through prayers and through hugs, through warmth and through clothing, through kindness and through honesty, and through safety.  Let’s keep them in solid and consistent prayer.

Now, I also was supposed to put health and fitness on here too, so moving onto that, which is significantly less important than what I have typed above…BUT…we do need to take care of our temples, too…so here we go…

I have been doing pretty well with calories and workouts…I now have a Christmas party to add to the motivation list.  😉  Even if your calories don’t change, you will feel so much healthier if you switch soda for water and add some green veggies.  Health is the key, remember.  Health and toning is the goal!  If you have ever heard the saying “Abs are Made in the Kitchen” that is correct.  Granted you have a bit more leeway if you are working out hardcore, but part of being toned is what you put in your stomach.  Some foods will help shed fat, while others will put a nice fat layer over those muscles you worked so hard to achieve.  Switching up workouts also keeps your muscles on their toes.  I have been adding some cardio boxing into the mix, which has been great!  Constant moving, squats, arm and back muscles active, and very fun!

OK, off to tackle the day!  Enjoy yours!

God and the world

The world is a mess.  I don’t know of many people who deny that.  Morals have become distorted, God is forbidden in some places (apparently by those who think He can be told what to do), and people are more selfish than they have ever been it seems.  In the midst of the craziness our job is to TRUST HIM.

We trust Him in our lives, with our marriages, with our children, with our homes and our jobs.  We need to TRUST HIM.  That does not mean that our lives will go exactly as we want them to go.  He has warned us in His Word that we will have trouble in our lives.  It does mean that when everything falls apart we still trust that He is good all the time.

When families crumble, when people leave, when children die, when loved ones do not turn to Him, when commitments are broken, when our hearts our broken, we still hold onto His promises that …

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

and

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

In this world that is a crazy mess, He has already overcome.  Our job is to trust Him, to let His light shine and to take as many people as we can to Heaven with us…where the pain will stop…where we will be forever if we know Him and follow His ways.

COMMITMENT

There was a time when a person’s word meant everything.  It was trusted because it marked a person’s character.  If you could keep your word you were a good friend and a reliable employee.  Neighbors wanted to be with you and not with the person who snubbed them in the past.

There was a time when people craved commitment and having a purpose.  It was not long ago that while a great deal of people had begun not to care about those things anymore, a great presence of people still wanted to have meaning in their life.  In the past decade those numbers have dwindled at an alarming rate.

There was a time when people had values.  Some would argue that values have simply changed, but there is a harsh difference in a “changed value” and no value at all.

I have given the lives of my children to God.  I know He has a purpose for their lives.  I also am all too aware that my job is to raise them up in the way that they should go.  A job that I cannot do alone.  A job that is really God working through me and my husband.  I pray for their salvation constantly, and for them to not fall into the millions of options of temptation that are around every corner.

I am tired of people doing what they want just because they can.  I am tired of selfishness and looking out for number one.  I am sorry if life isn’t always perfect, but big news is that no one’s life is perfect.  Putting things and self first is not going to change that.  I am tired of the “cool” people (from age 5-95) being cool because of all the “stuff” they have or all the places they have gone or stunts they have pulled.

Why isn’t it “cool” to raise a family? To commit to serving others? To lead people to Christ and know that they will live for eternity in His presence?  Last I checked eternity is infinitely longer than are lives on earth…for real.

Moms and Dads may live the most exciting lives in all actuality.  Most parents have children that turn their hair gray from time to time…or 10 times a day.  We are always riding on the brink of disaster.  😉

I am not knocking fancy houses and cars, being promoted at your company or traveling the world.  All those are wonderful things.  I am challenging everyone everywhere to put people first.  Keep your word, keep your promises, stay with your families even if it means sacrificing, don’t let a little pain make you run from the things you once loved.

Most importantly, love God, follow Jesus, trust in the Holy Spirit to guide you.  Stand firm in your faith.  If you don’t know Jesus, find out about Him and ask Him to show you the way.  HAVE PURPOSE IN YOUR LIFE, don’t just follow the next “cool” guy or chase after the next best thing.  Make a life you can be proud to say you lived and proud for others’ to see.  Make a life that the next generation will want to live and pray for a revival in our nation.

Son of God

I went to see the Son of God movie yesterday.   It was a decent film.  Movies like this one and the Passion of the Christ have to take some liberties and I sometimes struggle with them.  The liberties in this movie made it seem more relational then others, which is probably how it was…not just the Word, but the downtimes, too.  I could nitpick both movies…but the fact is that I am glad that they are in the movie theaters for the public to see.  I am so excited that we live in a country where we are allowed to have Jesus be the star in a film.  I love that both movies get The Message out there and I pray for the souls that see the movie that they may take a step closer to Him.

The previews we saw included Heaven is for Real and Noah.  Heaven is for Real looks like it is matches the book pretty well.  Noah has some big names in it and it will be interesting to see.

As excited as I am that these movies are in the theaters, I get nervous that since they are in the movie theaters, people will think of them as fiction or fantasy.  So, I pray.  It has to be better that they are in the theater than if they were not.  So, I pray.  I pray that a piece of the message, the Word, something will bring salvation to those who are not yet saved.

UPDATED:   Everyone is asking me about the movie and this is my response to one of my most recent inquirers:

I left the moving feeling a bit let down and I couldn’t really figure out why.  I knew there were lots of changes from the Bible, subtle as they might have been.  Changes that people who don’t know the Bible wouldn’t know.  The more I thought about it and the more questions I was asked about it the more I realized I was more diappointed than I first thought.  
 
I was on guard right from the start when they showed the wise men visiting Jesus right after His birth.  And then they changed the last supper with the bread and Jesus forcing it into Judas’ mouth…and didn’t emphasize why He was dying…which should have been the whole point of the movie.  Plus they put in scriptures that were accurate but in the wrong places.  I could continue.  I know it is a movie, but it is a movie about Jesus and if it is going to be seen as fiction than it probably shouldn’t be in the theaters.  I would probably take it better if the new Noah movie has inaccuracies b/c that story isn’t likely to affect someone’s salvation.  But to change Jesus’ life…
I know a movie cannot be responsible for bringing someone to Christ, but I don’t understand the point in changing it.  I know there are different interpretations, but things were actually changed, and so yes, it would be considered false teaching.  I think of them in the same way as the big tv Christian personalities (televangelists) who say everything right…almost…but why twist it at all?  Will they be the ones outside the gates telling Jesus they did all these things for Him and He saying He doesn’t know them.  I pray that the movie has positive impacts and not negative.  And I know I am not better than anyone, I just try to discern what is acceptable and not.  I have a lot of my own garbage I pray about too.  So I am not claiming I know all or anything like that.  
 
Sooo…I probably could continue, but that is a good summary of my thoughts.  And they are just my thoughts from my understanding of the Bible.

Spiritual Warfare

I love Christmas!  Obviously first and foremost I love Christmas because of what it is.  Christmas is nothing less than the birth of my Lord and Savior.  Without His perfect and precious birth, we would be nothing.  Without His life begun, He could not have laid down His life for my sins and there would be no hope in this world.  We are nothing, there is nothing, there would be nothing to have faith in or hope for…without Him we would all be sentenced to eternal death.  Not only did He do all of that for me and you, but He has showered me with blessings of life, love, family, food, shelter…and on and on.   I also love Christmas because, as you all know by now, I adore being with family and friends.  I enjoy gathering around sharing food and fun memories while making new memories.  It is a special time filled with traditions.

The enemy does not love Christmas.  In fact, He knows that we are saved because of the birth of Jesus Christ.  I think that is why there is so much pain at Christmas sometimes.  He attacks people at their weakest at a time when they are praising the One who saved them.  He attacks and tries to turn their vulnerability into a reason to distrust God.  This is when we need God the most!  He will not let us falter, He will not let us down, He does walk through every joy and every sorrow with us.

Hanging the ornaments on our Christmas tree each year is bittersweet.  There are ornaments that were meant for Joshua.  There are ornaments from people that are no longer here…that died too young.  There are bitter memories along with sweet ones.  My parents just attended a funeral of a great man who was attacked by cancer.  His family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is celebrating Christmas with his Savior this year, but each Christmas will have a scar as they remember the husband, father, brother and friend that they lost.  My friend just was served divorce papers this week, a friend who has done nothing but try to save her marriage as her spouse has thrown it away.  Another friend is facing her third Christmas without her husband at home.  Life is tough and it seems to get harder at the times when we think we should be untouchable. Satan may attack, he may even win a few battles, but we know that the Lord is the ultimate victor.  We know the end and He has already won.  Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, put your trust in the One who is with you each step of the way.  Celebrate Christmas and have joy in the Lord!