It’s Easter Sunday

He held my sins in His hands as the nails were pierced through… wow!  So many thoughts come to mind, but it humbles me to think that Christ suffered such pain and disgrace for me.  I need a Savior – I’m the first to admit it.  To say thank You just seems insufficient and unimpressive.  I understand now that the Lord doesn’t want fancy words.  He wants my life to reflect my relationship with Him.  Actions really do speak louder than words.

What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to you?  When God raised Christ from the dead (yes, He was dead – not stunned), He paid our sin debt!  There is no greater love than that!  This means that through Christ, we are able to claim complete VICTORY!  God doesn’t do anything halfway.  The price is paid, and all we have to do is claim the victory.  Accept the sacrifice He made at Calvary and live like the blessed child of God you are.

We are blessed and even though temptations and yes, sin sometimes gets in the way – we know that Christ will help us get total victory over all of it.  He didn’t save me just to leave me standing in a cold, dark place.  He saved me to guide and direct me closer to Him.  We will mess up sometimes – whoppers of messes sometimes!  But we know whatever comes along, the sacrifice that Christ made for us is greater than our sins.

Should we linger on the sins we’ve committed?  No.  Satan would like nothing better.  Lingering on the sins is polarizing!  Ask God to forgive your sins – and keep moving, leaning on Him to help you out of sin and closer to Him.  Trust that God forgives you and move on.  There’s not a thing you can do about yesterday.  Just make tomorrow better with God’s help.

Jesus Christ is ALIVE – ready to help us live in total VICTORY!!!  Will you seek Him?  There’s not a sin He can’t forgive.  There’s not a temptation He can’t overcome.  Plea the blood of Christ over it, know it’s covered, go on to the next thing.  Praise God for the victory through the resurrection of Christ!  Hallelujah! 

Not that I want to mention April Fool’s Day and Easter in the same sentence…  but someone challenged Lucinda to write a poem about it.  And, well…  she nailed it!  Take a look at this:

Isn’t that great?  There’s no FOOLIN’ about it!  Happy Easter, everyone!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We don’t want to think that there are modern-day Pharisees in this world, do we?  Sadly, there are some that think they will get to God’s wonderful and glorious Heaven in some way that has nothing to do with a personal relationship with Christ Jesus, God’s only begotten Son.  Some think that a family member in Heaven can put in a good word for you with God…  well – that won’t work.  The ONLY way to Heaven is to place your faith and trust in Christ Jesus.  He willingly sacrificed His life on a cruel cross – for you and me.  If you were the only one on this earth, He still would have died so you could be saved.  Believe in Him and you will be saved.

God refers to His children as sheep in the Bible sometimes.  I don’t know much about sheep, but I know they need a shepherd to guide and direct them.  The shepherd keeps the sheep safe from harm.  Some people don’t want anyone, including the Lord, to tell them what to do – they resent it.  Those who walk with the Lord are comforted by His loving care.  He doesn’t want to hold us back from success.  He opens doors along the way – on the path to success and real joy in Him.

I want to go into the pasture through the open gate, don’t you?  Besides, have you ever seen a sheep jump – I mean, other than when you’re counting them in bed as you try to get to sleep – ???  They are really not jumping creatures.  I don’t think they can hop over that fence.  Sometimes when I encounter a person who thinks they can get to Heaven some other way, I think – “How dare you spit in the face of my Savior!”  Honestly – think about what He went through to save mankind.  For anyone to think they can get to Heaven while completely ignoring the plan that GOD set forth for us…  that’s just dumb and a bit unsettling to me.  Our Savior, Christ Jesus, is great!

Nobody will ever love you like the GOOD SHEPHERD!  His love is true and it lasts.  Praise HIM for all His amazing blessings!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

https://youtu.be/-eFuPZkNIuQ

Wednesday, September 23rd was the annual event, SEE YOU AT THE POLE.  It’s my understanding that most schools take part, or at least allow Christian young people to gather around the flag pole to pray.  Apparently, for 2 years in a row, one school did not participate or even allow their kids to engage in prayer around the pole.

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SEE YOU AT THE POLE - ALONE IN PRAYER

Would you have had the courage to do what this child did?  I honestly can’t say that I would have when I was nine years old.  Can the staff at school tell a child they cannot pray by the flag pole?

Note to all who want to squash religious liberty in America:  you’ll never EVER have the power to keep us from praying to our God.  You can’t take that away from us!  Religious liberty in America is under attack…  just as sure as radical Islam wants America dead, there are those here on our soil who want to see the freedoms of Christians depleted, i.e. eliminated.  What do you think would happen to the blessings from God that America has enjoyed up to now if that happened?  Do you care?

If you admire this sweet girl for taking a stand against the status quo, please share this poem on your facebook wall, blog, twitter or wherever people will see it.  Even though a school does not “allow” activities for Christians, guess what???  We pray anyway!

They all met together and were constantly UNITED in prayer.   – Acts 1:14

The only way our young people will develop good morals and values is if the parents teach them.  Our schools today have absolutely no interest in having prayer or saying the pledge of allegiance.  Things have sure changed since I was in school.  It used to be that honoring the God of the Bible and pledging the American flag mattered.  What has happened to us?

Then we wonder why kids grow up to be what they grow up to be…  hmm.  We really are a sum total of our experiences in life.  Knowing God from a young age is the greatest experience of all.  Prayer is the greatest privilege we have as a Christian.  Shame on any school that would deny a child of that!

You know, we are so much more tolerant of other religions.  I saw a recent episode of Watter’s World on The O’Reilly Factor – he was interviewing Muslims and asked the question, “Do you think Sharia law should override the American Constitution?”  In my mind I thought, “Surely they realize that here in America the Constitution comes before any religious laws.”  I was shocked when most of them answered yes – they thought Sharia law should be the law of the land – meaning America.

I understand there is a separation between church & state.  It’s not a bad idea – seriously.  There are beliefs from other religions that I do not agree with (Sharia law in particular).  So, more than ever, we as Americans need to cling to the Constitution in order to stay free and united.

Being a Christian, however, means that we can absolutely pray to God anytime – anywhere.  The purpose of SEE YOU AT THE POLE is to provide Christian kids an opportunity to pray together.  It’s tough enough to be a kid at this time in history.  What would it hurt a school to allow their Christian kids to pray together at the flag pole?

It’s really getting crazy.  Just last Thursday a Jersey City school board meeting voted on whether they should close for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.  It would have extended the school year by another day.  There’s video of some very upset Muslims that maybe you’ve seen.

Here’s the deal.  This is America and our Christian children are practicing a faith that this great country was founded on!  To show special favor to any other faith than the Christian faith is just wrong.  Yes, America is a melting pot – we all know it is.  I remember being taught that in history class, don’t you?  It’s fine to make allowances for other folks – but let’s protect our American Christian youth.  They are precious to God – and to us.  🙂

This just in…  the school has decided to have SEE YOU AT THE POLE at a later date.  This blogger has to wonder if they would have done this if not for the brave girl who honored her God before her school?  I pray God’s richest blessings on her.  🙂

JOHN 9:25 ON 9/25

TL JOHN 9 25 ON 9 25

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  – John 9:25

I was recently called a hater – again.  Have you ever felt completely exhausted because you have been so misunderstood?  For the billionth time, whether someone else is a sinner, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!

https://youtu.be/LJEET8cM7mM

All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject Him.  So much of the negative stuff in our lives is self-inflicted.  What if we would ask God to help us before we just jump in with both feet – huh?  I’m talking to myself too.  But judgment – nah – that’s not what it’s about.  It’s about obedience to God – but if we don’t talk to Him about things, how do we know how to be obedient?

VICTORY WITH MY JESUS

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.  If you were blind and accidentally discovered that smearing sour cream on your eyes would restore your sight, would you keep that miracle to yourself?  I’m betting you’d shout it all over the place!  I would.

On a spiritual level, I’ve learned that through prayer and Bible study, our lives can be brighter and better.  I don’t want to keep that miracle to myself.  I just want to share it with anyone who will hear me.  That’s what we do when we witness.  It’s not about me saying I’m better – it’s about me saying I was once at the bottom, but when I accepted Christ Jesus into my heart and life and began to learn more about Him and His love, I was raised up from the pit and set on a solid rock to live my life in victory!

I want to share that…  of course I want to share it!  We’re all making life’s journey with different backgrounds and different challenges.  The good news (the gospel) is all about Jesus.  It’s Him and His sacrifice on Calvary which bridged the relationship between God and man.  Restoration.  Like refinishing an old piece of furniture.  I was the worst looking piece of furniture in the junk heap.  When I accepted Christ – He refinished me – restored me.

The laws are God’s, not mine.  Sin is still sin – and the Bible is still God’s Word.  This liberal upside down world does make me crazy sometimes.  When it makes me too crazy, I have to back up, breathe; close my eyes and ask God to give me the patience that He has with me.  Truth from God’s Word is hard to handle if you know you are so far away from it in your life and lifestyle.  May God bless His own as they minister.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  – John Quincy Adams

In a nutshell, God and His laws are how we measure our lives – and that’s a very high standard indeed.  So high, in fact, that nobody can achieve it.  He wants the best for us, which is why there are laws.  He wants to protect us.  God forgives sin through the blood of Jesus when we sincerely seek forgiveness.  As we depend on Him more and more, He helps us stay away from things that would cause us harm.  When we sin, He is quick to forgive our sins.  And – this is the part I LOVE about Jesus…  He NEVER brings it back up to us again – but the enemy will – like really often.  But – we can tell him to sit on a tack in Christ Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

There are two kinds of men who never amount to much – those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.  – Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Remember that you are not a robot and should not be afraid to show initiative in life.  Don’t be scared to step out and take action, but continue to be obedient to the Lord.  God wants all of us to GO AND SIN NO MORE.  God’s Word – His desire for us.  We all need God’s wonderful love, forgiveness and a lot of mercy, for sure!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  – Psalm 4:2

REPENT AND RECOVER

Very few of our churches sing the old hymns anymore.  This will make me sound like an old lady, but I like the old hymns.  I know there are some congregations that have a “blended” service – and try to include a few hymns, but those are becoming fewer and further between.

Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.  – Psalm 83:16

This morning I drove over to QT to pick up some coffee (they make better coffee than I do – and I can afford it).  I had a CD playing – one that I burned from favorites on the computer.  As I left the driveway, I heard Brad Paisley sing “The Old Rugged Cross” live at the Grand Ole Opry.

The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.  – Proverbs 3:35

The Lord spoke to my spirit as I listened to the beautiful words in that old hymn.  He said, “Do you hear it?”  I said, “Hear what?”  He impressed on me that I should listen for the word SHAME.

1 On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

Refrain:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

2 O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary. [Refrain]

3 In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me. [Refrain]

4 To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he’ll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I’ll share. [Refrain]

United Methodist Hymnal

What I’m about to say will sound like a statement filled with judgment – but it is not, believe me.  I prayed about this subject before I started writing.  I’m pointing my thumb at myself – my fingers are not pointing to anyone else!

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  – Hebrews 6:6

Feeling shame is an important part of learning the difference between right and wrong.  I wonder if the church has lost sight of that.  The Bible speaks about many shameful acts that were committed in the past and instructs us on what we should know about it.

What is shame?  According to Webster, shame is:

a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong

ability to feel guilt, regret, or embarrassment

dishonor or disgrace

Certainly a large part of being a Christian is praise and worship to our Creator, Lord God and King of our life – Jesus Christ.  This is the focus of praise and worship music in our churches today.  And there is a place for it.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.  1 Corinthians 15:34

Today is a gentle reminder that the Holy Spirit of God wants to speak to hearts about sin as well.  It’s His job to convict and speak truth.  Believe it or not, the Bible talks about shame 128 times (NIV version).

Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear hymns, the Holy Spirit speaks through them.

I wonder if we’ve committed the lyrics of these old hymns to memory, but have somehow become calloused to the meaning of the words – to the point we no longer allow God’s Spirit to speak to our hearts.

It’s just a thought.  God’s Spirit reminded me that with sin comes shame – then I need to repent and turn from it – and keep walking in the way He wants me to.  🙂

GOOD FRIDAY

TL GOOD FRIDAY

How did we go from waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna – to this???

You know, usually when I hear a phrase used several times in the span of a few days, it more than likely means that the LORD wants me to use it in my writing.

In the past few days I have heard the phrase “YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE” used on separate occasions in completely different venues.

It really does seem that if someone jumps off a cliff, others are, unfortunately, bound to follow.  People can be with you and stand behind you and say they will be there until the bitter end…  until they aren’t.

Now, I’m not trying to say that any of this took Christ by surprise – I mean, there’s a reason he rode into the city on a donkey instead of a pretty white horse.  He knew what was coming – all of it – every painful bit of it.

Remember His plea to the Father at the Garden of Gethsemane?  That is the most heart wrenching prayer, evidenced by the sweat drops of blood.  The human side – the side that felt pain and emotion…  He was not wanting to endure it – understandably.  The divine part understood the plan and understood that fallen man needed a perfect sacrifice to atone for their sins.  But understanding it and going through with it…  you have to admit – is two completely different things.

Man was in serious trouble, but God is good.  He sent Jesus to the world – as a tiny baby.  He was part human and part divine because His Father is God Almighty.  Jesus the divine understood instinctively what His mission was.  Jesus the human struggled – just as any of us would have.  Don’t say you wouldn’t.

Why did Jesus go through with it – Jesus the human side, that is?  Because He loves us so much He willingly gave His life – don’t tell me anyone took it – He willingly sacrificed His life on a painful, unbelievably painful road…  for everyone.  For me and for you.

I don’t understand how anyone can dismiss that or ignore it.  I heard Bill Mahr say that all religion is stupid and they hand you a problem and then tell you how to solve it.

Well…  we were all born with a big problem – it’s called sin.  And no, nobody’s perfect – but Jesus was, and it is His sacrifice on Calvary’s cruel cross that allows us to have a relationship with God – through Christ, God’s Son.

God refuses to give up, and we who are enlisted to be fellow-workers with God know that the only reason we continue is that death did not have the last word; that Good Friday was not the end of the story.  – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

For today I have the freedom to talk about it.  For today my religious freedom is protected – I think.  I’m sure we will all find out when our religious freedoms are not protected.  I sure hope we Christians wake up soon and begin to defend this thing called religious freedom – or it could be too late – hmm…  then what?

Christians have walked down the “live and let live” road – and that’s okay to a certain extent.  But we’re at a crossroads now.  If we keep standing still, we’re gonna get flattened.  I want to keep my first amendment right that affords me religious freedom.  It’s being whittled away – wow – whittled…  there’s an old farm word.  Yep, just a little ol’ farm girl from Kansas – hoping the rest of the Christians in the world wake up soon.

The best way to be missed when you’re gone is to stand for something when you’re here.  – Seth Godin

Because…  YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE FICKLE…  it’s not COOL to want religious freedom these days – but guess what?  I’m not going to jump off that cliff with the rest of the crowd.

I want to be free to talk about Jesus in the United States of America, don’t you?  🙂