Season of New Beginnings

Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.  – Romans 5:18

If all we look at is the original sin, life looks so hopeless, doesn’t it?  But as we see what Christ did on Calvary, we see that there is hope for renewal and real change in behavior and lifestyle – for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!  I like the sound of HOPE, don’t you?

This portion of Scripture celebrates freedom for every Christian.  There is finally good news that we can have eternal life because of what Christ endured to pay the price for our sins – past, present, and future.

If we put blinders on and see just the one original sin, we’re likely to lack vision regarding our own life.  Salvation does not guarantee that we will never sin, and the truth is, that ol’ devil will mess with a Christian more than a non-Christian!  When we do get tangled up in the weeds, we do have hope for better days ahead.

Sin is only fun for a season, and be sure it will find you out one way or the other.  When it does, turn back to God, seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of those you wronged here if possible.  Move out of the ruins and walk in God’s beautiful light.  Nobody knows your heart better than He does.  He can and will help you get your act together again.

It’s almost May and the April showers are nearly a thing of the past.  As the May flowers start growing around you, don’t you want your life to be heading in the right direction?  Discover a new life that will not only make you happier, but be pleasing to God as well.  That’s what matters – pleasing our Heavenly Father.  Let Him pick you up, dust you off, and set you on His straight path.

Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  – 1 Corinthians 15:22

New life.  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  Why live under the death curse, among the weeds and the waste, when with Christ, you can have a new life?  He loves you so much and wants to give you His peace, joy, love, hope and eternal life.  Walk out of the ruins and into His loving arms.  He will make you a beautiful flower!  🙂

 

 

 

 

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

Before the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus…  all of mankind was in big trouble – by that, I mean we were lost – like, unbelievably, no GPS can help us…  lost!  Until Christ took the sins of the world on Himself – there was no hope of redemption.  That would be a very sad ending for us, wouldn’t it?  But God made sure we were not left hopeless.

Christians have good news to share.  The Savior was sent to earth by His Father – sent here to live, serve, teach and be the ultimate and final sacrifice so that mankind can make Heaven their eternal home.  That is what Easter is all about.  HOPE. It’s the greatest hope imaginable.  When God raised Christ from the dead…  HOPE was born!

Each person has a decision to make regarding the Lord.  You will either accept His gift of hope or you will reject it.  It’s not my job to judge anyone (and I’m quite pleased about that), but it is my job to share my faith…  and so I do.  There’s no fence walking allowed – you will either live on one side or the other.  God is not an elderly grandfather who winks at sin, making excuses for His children.  God is love, yes – but He is also fair and just.  You can’t pretend to be His and go on living like you’re not.

God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He wants us to grow in our faith and share this good news with others.  Being a good person and doing random acts of kindness is certainly commendable and so needed in today’s society to be sure, but a genuine walk with the Lord is what will get you through and to Heaven when this life is over.  Keep it real and honest because you know, God knows everything.

So…  you know which side of the fence you’re living on.  If you would like to meet this Generous Carpenter, it’s not that difficult.  Just have a little talk with Him.  Yes…  WITH Him.  Prayer is a two-way conversation.  Listen – trust me.  God talks back – He speaks to your heart.  Let’s pray:

Dear God,
I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

If you’re living on the wrong side of the fence (and only you know if you are), I hope you prayed this prayer and meant it.  I also hope that this is the first of many conversations you have with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Once you begin living your life for God, it’s a journey you’ll not trade for anything.  Putting my faith and trust in God through Jesus was the best decision I ever made.  God bless you.  🙂

 

 

 

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

tl-from-my-heart-to-yoursFebruary is a rough month for me – I’ll just admit it.  It’s a time when I remember a lot of happy times that I’ll never get back.  My mom’s birthday was the 15th and my dad’s birthday was the 21st – just a week apart!  I always baked a heart-shaped cake for my mom – and put pink or red icing on it with little red-hot candies.  We never had fancy celebrations, but we had each other and that’s what really mattered.  I can’t remember any of the gifts I gave her, but I remember the love in the room while she opened each of them.  ❤

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My dad loved German chocolate cake – and I’m not a baker – so to the boxed cake aisle I’d go to pick up a mix and some icing – although I’m not sure you can call that icing – I suppose it is…  that coconut concoction.  LOL!  Dad’s cake was a simple 9×13 sheet cake – I never made a cake that had to be stacked – I’m practical – and if that puppy had to ride in the car with me – it was going to be a sheet cake!  ❤

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Dad’s Birthday 2-21-85

I have memories recorded on 8mm film – which a few years back I had put on DVD.  There’s no sound, but I can read lips just fine.  I remember every word, even though I can’t hear their voices.  I can’t hear their voices…  but I will hear them again.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

I’ve made a sort of study out of this grief journey.  This blog is one manifestation of my grief experience.  I hope it’s made me more empathetic to others, if nothing else.  When people you love die, you don’t have anywhere for that love to go anymore.  This month I went out to the cemetery and replaced the flowers – but there were no hugs, no smiles, no warm greetings.  Thankfully, there was no snow, or it would have been colder still.  There’s nothing quite so cold and, well, dead…  as a cemetery.  Without faith to sustain, it would appear that it’s all over and there’s no hope.  Ah, but there is faith – there is hope.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

One of these days my Savior will come for me and all who have asked Him into their hearts and lives.  Whether I have the opportunity to live out a full life and die – or get snatched up and fly away…  it really doesn’t matter because I’m going to see Christ face to face.  These memories I hang on to for now…  well, I won’t need those anymore.  I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what lies ahead – but I trust God, through my Savior – and whatever it is…  it’s okay by me.  ❤

Here’s what I do know.  I will see my family again – and it’s going to be great because there will be hugs, smiles, and warm greetings – and we will never have to say good-bye again!  ❤

A Prayer for the Grieving

Lord, please come sit with me today. I need you now as I’m so sad. My heart can’t take much more. Just let me feel again. God, please heal my broken heart. In the quietness, I feel closest to you. Help me to serve others despite the pain. Let peace and love surround all who grieve today, tomorrow and always. I trust you to carry me through this long journey of grief and pain. Thank you for allowing me to share the life of my precious loved one. Please give me comfort in my pain, your love to see me through, and your strength to keep me going. Amen.

When they died, I thought I might too.  But somewhere along the way, the memories took over where the pain was once so raw I thought I couldn’t stand it.  ❤

You know, everyone in school was a bit jealous of me because I was an only child and didn’t have to “share” anything with siblings when I was at home – but let me tell ya…  there’s a flip side to being the only one – it’s lonely when you realize you’re responsible for everything.  I relied so heavily on my parents, not only for moral support, but for spiritual support.  I knew they prayed for me every day.  I miss those prayers so much.  ❤

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE DAY THAT CHRIST WAS GONE

Imagine how the death of Christ affected the people.  The confusion, feeling of despair and wondering why this had to happen and asking what was the point of it must have prevailed throughout the area where the Master once taught, healed, lived.  Jesus tried to explain, but they just didn’t understand – and I don’t judge them for that – would we have understood?  Nothing like that had happened before – or has happened since.

People in our world today still ask why Christ came to earth as a baby and was raised as a human – just to end up suffering the worst beating ever and ultimately dying on a cross.  It’s our favorite question to ask, isn’t it – WHY?

BY HIS WOUNDS

One word – SALVATION.  Christ was the only sacrifice that was worthy to bridge the gap between God and fallen man.  Did He want to go through this?  Have you read the prayer He prayed at Golgotha?  He asked if he could skip it…  but ultimately, for weak sinful people – ones that His Father, God, created and still loved – He went through with His Father’s plan.

So He died – and He’s buried.  Was that the end of the story?  I’m so tempted to say…  tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story…  (what can I say – I miss Paul Harvey!) 

Some churches do a lot of talking about where Jesus “went” (for lack of a better word) – after He died.  Of course we are speaking of His Spirit, not His actual physical body.  His Spirit went to the bosom of Abraham, I’ve been told.  His Spirit went to get the keys from the devil, I’ve also been told.  Frankly, the church I was raised in was not big on talking about that day in-between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I have wondered though – so I’m going to do what I always do.  I’m going to see what Scripture I can find about it.

There’s not much there…  but I’ll share with you what I’ve found.

David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.  – Acts 2:31

God would not leave Him among the dead or allow His body to rot in the grave.  It’s just like our Father, isn’t it?  He will take care of us in the same way, you know.  As Christ is His child – so are we if we have accepted Him into our hearts and lives.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.   Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  – Psalm 16:10-11

At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Isn’t that a comfort?  Amen!

One song comes to mind – HE HOLDS THE KEYS!  And I’ve heard many people sing it, but there’s only one Steve Green.

https://youtu.be/YNrn_yuLIJo

Hang on to hope…  not to be a spoiler, but Christ did not stay in the tomb!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD FRIDAY

10400184_10206775779127960_425936773081000745_nIt was for you…

THE REASON WE WEEPTHE CURTAINJESUS' DEATHIVORY PALACESGOLGATHACALVARYAT THE FOOT OF THE CROSSA MASTERPIECE

WHEN SIMON LIFTED THE CROSSHE IS SO WORTHYHE DIED FOR MEWITH TEARS FOR JESUSGood Friday…  good does not begin to describe it.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (3)UNCONDITIONAL LOVEWe’re mourning a loss in our family.  Our precious fur baby passed away on the 22nd of January and our lives are so different without him.  He had diabetes and cancer that was very aggressive.  He was 91 years old in people years, and had a wonderful long life with us.  The 13 years he was with us were the happiest of our lives – that’s for sure.

I hate disease…  just flat hate it! 

What a beautiful prayer my friend Mark wrote:

Dear Jesus, Divine Physician, Healer of the Sick.
We call upon You and ask Your help for our loved ones
Who are suffering from cancer.
We entrust them to Your loving care.
They are Your children and they are in pain.
Give them the ability to know in their hearts
that You are with them in this difficult time.

Give them strength and healing.
Comfort them in their fears,
soothe their anxiety,
and let them rest securely in Your arms.

Help those who care for them.
Give insight to researchers that they may discover cures.
Give patience and energy to doctors and nurses so that
they will care for them with grace and love.

For us, their families, their friends and their community,
we need Your courage and strength,
to be with them and help them bear their burdens.
Give us joy, peace and confidence in You
so that like Mary, Your mother,
we may stand with them in faith and trust,
witnessing to Your healing love.
For you are blessed, for ever and ever.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen    – Mark Farouk

I received a sweet poem from Lucinda Berry Hill and it brings me comfort – thinking of God’s heaven and eternal life always brings me comfort.  Thank you, my sweet friend!

HEAVEN'S GIFTWe don’t have children, therefore, we don’t have grandchildren.  I like to think that Casey is in heaven playing with all the little children there!  If you’ve read the book, “Heaven is For Real” or seen the movie, you know that little Colton saw his family in heaven – but they were young, not old.  All the residents there are free of pain and the burdens of this world.  It’s selfish to want them back here, isn’t it?

I’ll miss my furbaby – I won’t lie.  He had the sweetest disposition (like his mama – lol).  He loved everyone and never growled at anybody.  When people came to the house, Casey was just sure they were there to see him, not us!  Such a funny little fella…  I’m gonna miss him, but he’s not in pain and is at peace.  God will take care of him… and He will take care of us too.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE ESTATE SALE

Estate sales are so much fun because, like a treasure hunt, you never know what you may find!  There may be a house filled with things that you are sure you can’t live without at bargain prices, or it might be full of things that you can easily walk away from and leave behind.

All decoration is about memories.  – Mrs. Henry Parish

The last estate sale we went to left quite an impression on me.  There is a housing development just south of ours that we laughingly refer to as “the high rent district” because the homes sell for over $500,000.00 and the HOA dues are about triple what ours are.  We’re talking about a very nice area!

Ah!  There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.  – Jane Austen

I was first impressed by the landscaping as we approached the beautiful front door.  Obviously these people did not do it themselves.  It was professionally done.  At the door there was an intercom.  I suppose that is to announce your arrival.  We walked in the door and the foyer was lovely with tile floors and textured walls.  I turned to the left and saw the master dining room, separated from the living room by two columns!  Yes, I said columns!  Do you have columns in your house?  Yeah, me neither.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.  – Johann von Goethe

I thought about removing my shoes, but as I looked at others, I realized that I should probably leave them on or look like an idiot walking around in sock feet while everyone else was wearing shoes.

A little house, a house of my own, out of the wind’s and rain’s way.  – Padrak colum

The sale was fairly ordinary actually…  it would seem that even wealthy people use items such as cotton balls and heating pads.  I must admit, however, that the massive stained-glass window in the oversized master bath took me aback!  The his and hers walk-in closets made me think of our own closet space – and our bi-fold doors.  To those of you who don’t know – having bi-fold doors on your closet means that there are items in your closet that are hidden forever because you will never be able to reach them!

An open home, and open heart.  Here grows a bountiful harvest.  – Judy Hand

Back to the estate sale…  yes, let’s go back to those lovely walk-in closets!  I could see each item of clothing and for a moment I just imagined what that must be like.  I think I could stay there and find out…  her clothing was all too small for me, which came as no surprise.  Most rich women are skinny.  It seems so unfair somehow, doesn’t it?  To have money and be thin…  that’s just almost too much good stuff for one woman!

I wondered through the five more than adequate sized bedrooms, the fireplace room and a few rooms that I don’t even know what they were – not sure they knew either.  The man had a very detailed train set in a train room in the basement – it was marvelous!  The woman did crafts and sewed as there were supplies and some quilts that I’m sure she made.

In the very back part of the basement, I saw it.  That is when reality slapped me upside the head – finally.  The heart pillow – you know, that heart pillow that they give folks who have open heart surgery.  I recognized it.  I knew immediately what it was and what it meant.

Surely people with wealth don’t have health problems, do they?  Are they really human like me?  And, this is an estate sale, so…  either they are downsizing or they no longer need this beautiful home for some other reason.  Suddenly my discontentment was replaced by empathy and sympathy.  There’s a reason these things were being sold and a reason the house was being auctioned.

Isn’t it strange how we can look at things more than people?  I admit it – I had house envy and was jealous of the nice closets and the size and beauty of the place.  When I saw that little heart pillow, something clicked inside of me – because I remember our experience with our own.  My mind went back and I finally put two and two together.  Reality came rushing back.

May God help us all to look beyond the temporal to the eternal.  That house will crumble and fall one day, but those people will live for eternity.  No matter what background we come from or how much education we have, one day we will be called away from this planet.  May God help us to stay focused on the things that really matter – and those are not things at all.  ❤

ISAIAH 8:19 ON 8/19

TL ISAIAH 8 19 ON 8 19

 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  – Isaiah 8:19

PRAYER WITH LAKE

I’m not making excuses…  okay, maybe I am.  Once in a while, as I’m flipping through the channels (all 150 of them), I land on the popular TV show, “Long Island Medium”.  I’m fascinated and get sucked in as I watch the sage burn and the talk of “spirit” and the accuracy with which this woman reads people and their pain.

Then it dawns on me – I need to find something else to watch and put my faith in God and not a human being who may claim to speak to my departed loved ones.  It’s a struggle for me because I so want to believe that someone could actually communicate with them and tell me what they think and how they are doing.  Most of the living who have lost loved ones wish that could happen.

But it can’t – it really can’t.  As sad as the realization makes me, I know that my parents are doing well because they are in heaven with Jesus.  I also know that there is no remembrance of things past – they do not remember me, but they are no longer in pain and they are young and happy.  I have that assurance from God’s Holy Word.  That’s good enough for me because that is truth.

Sometimes when we miss our loved ones so much, we want to believe that a gifted psychic or spiritual advisor could speak with them and be a translator of sorts – just so we could hear from them just one more time.  But according to God’s Word, once our loved ones go to heaven, they don’t remember the former things of earth.  We who are left to live on should have hope because we know they are happy and free of sorrow and pain.

God weeps for those of us who are still stuck here because He is taking care of our loved one(s).  We need to trust God and His promises.  Just have faith in Him.  If we can trust God for our needs and remember our loved one(s) are alright, it will help us to be alright too.

You know, sometimes when I pray to God, I ask Him to pass along messages to my mom and dad.  I like to think He does that for me – because He knows that I’m still stuck down here to keep living and struggling on without them.  It’s not easy, but when I think about God passing my messages along – it makes me smile.  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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7-23 LET'S EXAMINE HISTORY

The night is almost gone, and the day is near.  Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  – Romans 13:2

On this day in 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city.  It began in the early morning hours and lasted four days.

It was only stopped after 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops were involved.  The death toll came to 43 and 342 were injured.  Nearly 1,400 buildings were burned.  The 12th Street Riot was the worst U.S. riot in 100 years, occurring during a period of numerous riots in America.

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Johnson, identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968.  In 1967 alone, 83 people died and 1,800 were injured.  Property valued at more than $100 million was damaged, looted, or destroyed.

America, we must study our history, not so we can repeat it, but so we can find a better way of solving problems.  Rioting, senseless death, injuries, destruction is not the way to solve problems.  Let’s look at the late 1960’s and see how that ended.  Do we really want the 2000’s to be a carbon copy?  Have we not learned anything from our sad history?

God’s way is to pray and obey.  If we look at God’s Word, we see that we are to lean fully on Him for guidance and be obedient to His Word.  Nowhere in the Bible does it condone violence or rioting, destruction and hate.

When will we learn that drawing racial lines and causing division are methods that get us nowhere?  It accomplishes exactly nothing and leaves people dead in the streets!  What about that is right?  God cries at these times.

I cry too when I see the division is evident once again.  As a child of the 1960’s, it’s apparent to me that history is beginning to repeat itself, and it makes my heart sink.  Let’s come together and pray for America because frankly, with God’s help, we can be better than that!  Now that we’ve examined what happened in the 1960’s.  Let’s not allow history to repeat itself.  🙂