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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APRIL FOOL’S DAY

TL 4-1 APRIL FOOL'S DAY

When I share God’s Word, I share all of it.  There are parts that are not easy to hear (for any of us), but we can’t just pretend it’s not there.  Christians are the only people who are not tolerated in today’s society.  We’ve been labeled haters and intolerant toward those who openly embrace a lifestyle that contradicts Biblical teaching.

What about the rights of Christians?    Are they still protected under the first amendment?  We still have a Constitution here in the United States, right?  Christian faith-based businesses are being backed into a corner.  I used to have a cat that was generally a docile pet, but there was one thing you really didn’t want to do.  You never wanted to back that cat into a corner where she didn’t think she had a way out!  If you did, you only got to do it once.

What exactly IS an abomination?  According to the dictionary, it is defined as something that causes disgust or hatred.  The Bible says that fools have done abominable works.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  – Psalm 14:1

As I sat in front of the television set last evening, listening to the ongoing debate about the now famous RELIGIOUS FREEDOM bill in Indiana – and the spin that sprang forth, I had to laugh.  Nineteen such laws are on the books already – so what’s the big deal?  Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence, is in my prayers.  He has really taken a lot of heat over this.  I have to wonder if the bill had been called the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION bill, would it have drawn such attention???  I doubt it.  The word RELIGIOUS gets some people’s dander up.  In this case it is completely unfounded.

Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.  – Proverbs 13:16

The only thing this would do for folks is give them the right to fight in court.  It does NOT say that they have any right to turn anyone away for any reason.  It just says that if they do, they can present a case in court.  Nobody gets to discriminate so just calm down, fools!  All this spin is ridiculous!!!

Oh wait…  Christians are getting trampled and backed into a proverbial corner – but who cares about them, right?  Hey, just keepin’ it real.

It’s funny, (not ha ha – but sad), when other special groups want FREEDOM, that’s okay – when they want equality, that’s fine.  There’s something about the religious community…  when we want protection, i.e. the right to defend our personal religious beliefs against abomination – well, that’s somehow different.

A few years ago I wanted to be a professional photographer.  I changed my mind after I saw how the ceremonial trend was moving.  I truly believe that some Christians will be forced to get out of the business they are in if that business could possibly run into a conflict.  Yes, I know it’s not fair and Christians who believe every word of God’s Word have rights too – or we should.  Do we now?  Nope.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have a business that you spent money and sweat equity on, as well as every minute of your life – just to be ruined because you are asked to go against your fundamental beliefs.  If you say no, you will be sued – and you will lose.   

Remember when florist Barronelle Stutzman was taken to court because she wouldn’t sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony?  She lost – and had to pay a $1,000 fine plus $1 for court costs and fees.  She violated Washington’s nondiscrimination laws and was told by Judge Alexander Ekstrom that she was not to discriminate against anyone again, including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies.

Up until now, we have been so very blessed to live in a county where we have the choice to believe as we choose and respect each other’s beliefs and have a Constitution that protects our right to do so.  – Barronelle Stutzman

True religious freedom does not exist because tolerance does not cut both ways.  One would think that a mutual level of respect and maturity would come into play, but that’s apparently too much to hope for.  See, I don’t know why if a business owner is asked to do something that goes against their beliefs, they cannot just politely recommend another place.  Why is that offensive?  I don’t get the level of insensitivity.  I’m not going to go into a Kosher deli and eat a ham sandwich!  Why are the beliefs of some business owners not just respected?  If someone tells you no and recommends a different place – just go to the other place and leave it alone!  Grow up, people. 

In this day – face it, there is no religious freedom, so the name itself is misleading.  Now the Indiana law will get tweaked, so it’s really a joke.  In the 20 years this law has been around, no one has ever won a case using it – oh, except that dude who wanted to use an eagle wing in his religious ceremony – and he was told by the government that he couldn’t.  Yeah – he went to court and won using this law – they are giving him his eagle feather back so he can use it in his religious ceremony.  Good for him. 

I do not discriminate against anyone; however, I expect the same respect in return.  Tolerance needs to cut both ways – it really does.  You can’t force someone to accept you.  Christians are well aware of that fact.  Christ never won a popularity contest for sure, but He is my best friend.  And God’s Word – all of it – yeah, I’m a big fan.  I know not everyone is, but respect me for my beliefs – it’s my belief that abomination against God is sin and God can’t look on it.   It’s not about my beliefs, every person needs to read God’s Word and find out what He says about it.  He is the judge of all of us.

 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.  – Leviticus 18:22

Man’s laws will come and go.  As Christians we are to be obedient; however, God’s LAW was in place a long time ago and it is steadfast.  If man’s law goes against God’s law…  hmm…  gotta go with God.  That’s no April Fool’s joke…  that’s a fact.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

I AM YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN

On this April Fool’s Day there is one thing that a good wife can do to avoid being called or even thought of as a fool. She can stand behind her man and be the best cheerleader ever!

I’ve read books and articles my whole married life. I have participated in so many Proverbs 31 Bible studies, I’m almost tempted to by a loom so I can make my own blankets so I can make it official. The perfect Proverbs 31 wife does that, right? She is the enthusiastic woman weaving and singing away because she is providing warmth for her family.

Does a good wife have to go to all that trouble in our day and time? Well, probably not. My biggest challenge is to keep my big mouth shut, but I’m just speaking for me. Maybe you struggle with some other issue. There’s probably not a perfect wife among us. We could all use a little refresher course in Proverbs 31. What is a virtuous woman? Well, that seems to be the opening question:

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yer night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She strethcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:10-31

A virtuous woman is one who puts God first, husband second, children third. She is busy because she has a family to raise. She is wise enough to take a break and do something for herself once in a while, but she is faithful to her husband and dedicated to her LORD and to her family. There are three words that, if I remember right, were in my wedding vows: LOVE, HONOR AND CHERISH. Yes, that about covers the virtuous Proverbs 31 woman. ❤

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

TL 4-1 APRIL FOOL'S DAY

https://youtu.be/lWNlKgHR5vs

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.  – Mother Teresa

As most of you already know, today is APRIL FOOL’S DAY!!!

The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.  – Psalm 14:1

In this text, the Hebrew word is nabal, which refers more to a “moral fool.” Fools do not lack intelligence, rather they are usually the ones who strive for higher education! The atheists, or moral fools, do not want to be held accountable to anyone in this world and will certainly not consider being held accountable to a Holy God. They give in to every whim and fancy with no feelings of guilt for their refusal to be accountable to a Holy God. Nobody will tell them what to do! That makes them foolish in the eyes of the Lord. I don’t judge anyone as a fool because that’s not my job. For me to assume one way or the other is to say that there is not hope for change in that person’s life. I can’t do that. There’s always hope for all our lives. Besides, before I met Christ, I was the biggest fool of all!

I have a message for you, fool. Christ died on the cross for you too! Whether you choose to accept it or not, it’s true.

There is a way to avoid foolishness. Seek God while He can still be found. I enjoy solitude.  The time I spend alone reading or playing the piano is the time that my soul is nourished and my mind renewed.  When I’m alone I can gather my thoughts and organize them better.  My devotionals each morning consist of reading scripture and praying.  The time I spend alone with God is precious to me.  He provides much strength and comfort to my soul and mind so I can carry on.

You can’t find God if you are distracted by the noise of life.  The enemy of your soul would love to get you so wrapped up in the everyday drone of life that you leave devotions behind.  It happens so easily – and innocently.  You miss a couple of days and you say you will get back into the habit of having devotionals – your alone time with God.  Then you miss another day – not on purpose – but pretty soon, you have pushed the devotional time completely out of your day.

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Let me ask you a question.  If you did not look at the needle on the gas gauge of your car, how would you know when you need to stop at a gas station?  Could you just assume your gas tank will never need filled again and keep driving?  Well, of course not!  Guess what?  Your soul needs to be filled every day!  You can either fill it with the love of God or believe me, the people in the world will find tons of different things – good or bad – to fill your soul. Technology comes to mind. It is a major distraction for many people.

If you expect to do any good for another human being, then you have to be properly filled yourself .  That makes sense, doesn’t it?

A soul does not grow in the center of fanfare, but in simplicity and humility.  I’d like to challenge you to turn off all the electronics that would distract your mind.  Take a devotional book outside – perhaps out to your garden.  Sit there on a bench and read one section of the book.  Let it sink in – don’t just lightly read through it just to go through the motions – but let God speak to you through what you’re reading.  If you will open your heart – He will fill it.  God is a gentleman and will never force Himself on you.  He waits to be invited into your life and into your morning.  Invite God to share your morning and see what a difference it will make in the rest of your day.

https://youtu.be/zWIsMDsxeBI

Be still – and know that HE is God.