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!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Seek Him

The last thing a Christian woman wants to be is unequally yoked.  No…  not an egg yolk, silly!  Yoked…  hooked together.  Till death do you part can seem like a life sentence in San Quentin if you’re pulling the wagon with the wrong partner!

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  – 2 Corinthians 6:14

I didn’t learn this until I was older, but now I know – as long as I keep my hand in God’s hand, He will set me on a joyous journey and my path will be straight.  The first time I saw this quote, I literally cried – it’s so true.  When I was younger and immature, I didn’t think about this at all.  Back then, I can’t say my heart was hidden in God – so there’s the first problem, eh?

How can a non-Christian man understand a Christian woman?  He can’t.  He may try, but all of his suggestions and solutions would be gleaned from the world, not from God’s Word.  Prayer?  He would not be a man of prayer.  Where does his strength come from?  If not from God, then from the Wall Street Journal, I guess.  Most Christian couples pray together, so…  that leaves you alone to pray – by yourself.  Soon you would feel resentment at having to bear the spiritual burden alone.

He could be of a similar mind to you in every other sense and still not make the cut.  He could vote a straight political ticket, be a non-smoker, go to the gym three days a week, drive a car made in America (wait – are there any cars made in America anymore?) – anyway – unless he is a believer in Christ Jesus…  nope – sorry – he would not be the man for a Christian woman.

If two Christian people can just come together and look to the cross of Christ Jesus – together.  Show devotion to Him – together.  Praise Him – together.  Seek His face and His grace in prayer – together.  Then…  they are equally yoked and the wagon’s pulled without one partner feeling strained or resentful toward the other.

Christians are not perfect people…  we embrace grace – God’s wonderful, amazing grace!  It’s as simple as that.  We need a life partner who wants that same thing in life.  We wilt and die without it – marriages end when God is not invited in.

If a woman will keep her heart hidden in God – the right man will know he needs to find God before he can get to know her.  Two people yoked together should be looking in the same direction – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

We have inexpressible JOY…  you know what the world is asking right now???  They’re asking, “How???  Why???”.  Those who do not accept Christ Jesus and His precious Holy Spirit into their hearts and lives, do not understand inexpressible joy.  It’s only by accepting Christ Jesus by faith into your heart and life that you can experience a joy that can not be explained.  It’s better felt than telt…  because I can’t explain it with words.  Words are not adequate – but true faith in the Lord and Savior Christ Jesus is how we experience His amazing joy, love, grace, and mercy.  And He rewards us with these things because He longs to have a relationship with His creation.  He wants to love us and for our love and faithfulness in return.  Sometimes our faith gets tested…  major big time!

You know about the fires in California, right?  Take a look at this photograph – everything around it is in ashes, but this cross still stands!  What a wonderful reminder that no matter what is being destroyed in our lives, Christ and His cross can never be destroyed if they are in your heart and life!  When I saw this picture, my eyes filled with tears and once again I prayed for the folks there whose homes are being destroyed.  May they have the joy of the Lord along with His strength and wisdom through this situation.  I pray God will bless them with everything they need – and I pray that God will bless with some wants as well.

We don’t follow a list of rules and get zapped by lightning if we step out-of-bounds.  We are obedient to God because we love Him and are so thankful for the horrific sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross at Calvary.  He took the sins of the world – past, present, future – on His shoulders!  We are saved from an eternity in hell.  There is a reason we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls and minds.  As the years go by and we see His marvelous works in our lives, we just love and trust Him more and more!  This is how we get the inexpressible, undeniable, precious JOY of the Lord.  What does the joy of the Lord do for us?  Why do we cherish it so much?  Well, a verse comes to mind:

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  – Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  It sounds like a GOOD thing to me – doesn’t it sound like a GOOD thing to you?  No matter what is going on in your life, the Savior of your soul can be trusted to make a way and provide answers.  The way and the answers may not be in your time, but believe me when I say, there will come a time when you look back and say, “Oh, now I understand God’s timing in that situation!”  That’s why the longer you trust God, the stronger your faith gets.  You’ve seen so many ways God has helped you in the past – so you know without a doubt that He has all the problems in the present and the ones coming in the future under control.

I’m assured that whatever comes along in my life, God and His precious Holy Spirit will pour out His love, peace and joy on me.  When we are fully trusting in the Lord, it’s not a superficial happiness that we’re given, but it’s joy that lasts in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  That’s why it’s called inexpressible – and to the world, I would go further and say they think it doesn’t exist.  Ah…  but if you know the Lord, you know better!

I want to show you a photo of JOY!!!  This is Madi, and I hope her middle name is Joy, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t..  If I ever get to meet her, she will be JOY to me!  She’s such a bright, shiny star and lights up any room!

I’VE GOT THE JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY DOWN IN MY HEART! DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Have faith, children of God.  Keep praying and keep showing the world the joy that God gives you to share.  🙂

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.  🙂

AMERICAN ARTIST APPRECIATION MONTH

TL AUGUST IS AMERICAN ARTIST APPRECIATION MONTHBalance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life.  It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.  – Thomas Kinkade

https://thomaskinkade.com/

CAPTURED BY A STEEPLE

Who is your favorite American artist?  My favorite was Thomas Kinkade.  Since his death in 2012, I’ve seen many works that look similar and have the “painter of light” look, but there will never be another Thomas Kinkade.

The power of prayer is like turning on a light as it illuminates God’s purpose for our lives.  There is no greater connection to knowing His will other than the word.  – Thomas Kinkade

https://thomaskinkade.com/art/the-garden-of-prayer/

I adore the painting called THE GARDEN OF PRAYER.  When I sit and look at it, I’m inspired to begin yet another conversation with my Heavenly Father.  The water looks as though it’s flowing and the sunshine and shadows are placed perfectly – which we expect from all of his paintings.

Rather than set aside daily time for prayer, I pray constantly and spontaneously about everything I encounter on a daily basis.  When someone shares something with me, I’ll often simply say, ‘Let’s pray about this right now”.  – Thomas Kinkade

https://thomaskinkade.com/art/remember-me/

When I see the painting REMEMBER ME, it reminds me of the fact that nobody is beyond hope and too far gone to be forgiven and escorted into Paradise when this life is over.  It also reminds me that although there is evil in this world, God’s love and light will win in the end!

You have to expect spiritual warfare whenever you stand up for righteousness or call attention to basic values.  It’s just a matter of light battling the darkness.  But the light wins every time.  You can’t throw enough darkness on light to put it out.  – Thomas Kinkade

When my mother passed away in 2004, I decided to buy the Kinkade painting called THE BRIDGE OF HOPE.  I felt as though I was standing on one side of the bridge alongside my mom, but with a bit of HOPE I would be able to cross the bridge and have the courage to embark on new adventures on my own.  I can’t tell you how many times I have sat alone in my living room staring at that painting.  I also appreciate that it looks different at various times of day and the shadowing changes according to the weather.  Those are the qualities that make Kinkade art stand out from the rest.

https://thomaskinkade.com/art/bridge-of-hope/

Beautiful objects, ideas, even beautiful people all share the power to lift the spirits and motivate creativity while at the same time soothing the soul…  – Thomas Kinkade

There are so many more works I’d love to talk about (I could talk all day long), but I definitely want to show you one of the cottages!  I’m such a romantic at heart, and if I could afford to fill my house with these, I would.  Here’s my favorite – don’t ask me why – but it is.

Every conversation, every cuddle, every kiss and caress, even every disagreement, adds another brush stroke to the picture of home you paint with the days and hours of your life.  – Thomas Kinkade

https://thomaskinkade.com/art/friendship-cottage/

Romance makes a radiant sunrise out of every moment.  – Thomas Kinkade

If I had to choose just one of the “cottage” collection paintings (and I would – I’m not rich by any means), it would be FRIENDSHIP COTTAGE.  Maybe it’s the little pathway or the bridge…  maybe it’s the name of it, or more than likely, it’s the colors, shading and that magical way that Thomas Kinkade had of drawing you in…  it’s as if the cottage is welcoming me to go in and stay a while.  It says, “Come in and sit down.  Relax and have a spot of tea whilst the world turns, oblivious to you for now.”  Yes – I want to go there, don’t you?

The most important key to a more romantic life:  you have to be willing to pay attention.  – Thomas Kinkade

Oh, I’ve seen people try to duplicate the warmth, light, romanticism and genuine talent that Thomas Kinkade put into every painting, but they are a long way from capturing my attention or my heart.

To be romantic is quite simply to allow yourself to fall in love with life – all of life – and experience it fully, openly, passionately, and purposefully.  – Thomas Kinkade

God’s house is beautiful and nobody captured that as well as Thomas Kinkade.

https://thomaskinkade.com/art/sunrise-chapel/

Isn’t SUNRISE CHAPEL beautiful?

Beauty is found in anything that delights the senses, nourishes the soul, fires the imagination.  – Thomas Kinkade

I appreciate the colors, textures and shading in Kinkade art.  Whether it’s a print or a painting, let his work speak to your heart and soul.  Enjoy American Artist Appreciation Month.  🙂

 

LUKE 11:13 ON 11/13

TL LUKE 11 13 ON 11 13

 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  – Luke 11:13

Right away we are reminded that we’re evil by nature.  Indeed we are, but we still know how to be good to our children.  As parents we do our very best to make sure they are well cared for, yet our heavenly Father gives His precious Holy Spirit to His children because He loves us even more than we love our kids.

Do your children have to beg for you to feed them?  Did you know that you don’t have to beg God to receive His Holy Spirit?  He wants to give His Spirit to you – and He will give it to you gladly! 

Click image to enlarge

What a timely post since we are just weeks away from the largest gift-giving time of the year – Christmas!   We do give good gifts to children, but just imagine how much more God wants to give to you.  It boggles the mind to imagine how much the Father loves us and wants to help us every day!

Whether we know it or not, we need God’s Holy Spirit in our lives to guide us down the narrow road.  In this day we think we need fame and fortune, but we need to count those crosses along the way – Amen! 

So today, with God’s Holy Spirit living in our hearts, we have all the help we need to face our challenges.  We don’t even have to be afraid of Friday the 13th…  yes, that’s today.  No worries…  God’s got this!  😉