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!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  – Titus 3:4-7

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The hope that every Christian has hinges on what Christ did – it has nothing to do with us, except for the fact that we’ve come to believe in Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary – just as we are.  Our righteousness is not even almost good enough, but God’s grace and mercy are what we place our faith and trust in.  That is why we have the hope of eternal life, but we hold on to the Lord because we love Him above all else.

I want to show you something I found on my facebook newsfeed.  I was taken aback a bit when I first saw it – and then I read the article and decided that this guy has a pure heart and pure intentions – he really wants people to see Easter in the right way – so look what he did at this FRED’S store in Tennessee…

http://www.gracecentered.com/freds-store-displays-easter-crosses-mr-pibbs.htm

Every day in this world we watch people backstab and hate each other, but it’s the duty and joyous privilege of God’s children to love one another.  Why?  Because once we realize that Christ has delivered us from our miserable condition by HIS mercy and free grace, and has given us HIS precious Holy Spirit – we understand that love is the cornerstone of our faith.  Without love, it’s a lie.  God is love and He wants us to not only love Him, but love one another as He loved us and sent His precious Son to this earth to live and die for our sins.

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How will you share your faith today?  Maybe you can do it through your job – in creative ways when you stock the Mr. Pibb…  or maybe as a retired secretary, you want to start writing a little blog that shares faith, hope, and love with others.  There are so many ways to share your faith – but one thing is for sure – if you feel God’s Spirit prompting you to share your faith in some way, you will be miserable if you don’t do it.

Christ is the fountain from which the precious Holy Spirit flows.  It’s only through Him we are able to teach and mentor others with patience and prayer.  What a blessing to have the Holy Spirit in our lives each day.  Because we have Him, we can practice true love and kindness in our daily walk.  Think about it…  His love and His grace have such great power to change a human heart.  Commit the lost to Him and be patient as you share and teach.  Remember His timing is not our timing.  Never give up on anyone because the Lord did not give up on you.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”   – Mark 2:27

God is pleased that man works Monday through Friday.  But on the Sabbath – which may be Saturday for you – or Sunday…  He’s pleased if you are in His house, giving Him your undivided attention – your praises – your thanksgiving.  God is a jealous God and will not have any other gods before Him.

Why do we need to be in church?  Why can’t we go out on the fishin’ bank, or climb a mountain, or watch Dr. Stanley on television and call it good?

Being off somewhere alone and keeping your focus on the Lord is not a bad idea – but there’s something about being with others who believe the same way you do… it’s a sense of community and support of sorts, you might say.  If you’re a lone ranger, with whom do you take communion?  Who is around to challenge your spiritual backbone?  With whom do you pray?  Who prays for you and for whom do you pray?

If I didn’t visit the gym and use the machines, I’d soon gain my weight back and be out of shape.  The church family, ideally, plays a similar role with each member.  I was reminded recently however, that we mustn’t focus on the horizontal view – as much as we focus on the vertical view – we have to keep our eyes on Christ – because people are so – well – human and will fail us at one time or the other.  And guess what?  We will fail them too.  We have to remember that Christ is our example and the one with whom we measure our own standard.  When we do that, it makes all the difference in how we relate to others.

The church family is there to encourage when needed.  It’s there to challenge when needed.  We help each other grow because growth and change are signs of maturity in faith.  There’s nothing worse than stunted growth.  It’s a bit like having cut flowers in a vase too long.  If you wait too long to toss those flowers – it can be a very smelly job.

I don’t want to be a stinky child of God.  I want to grow in my faith, in love, in joy, in peace that passes all understanding.  It’s God’s will for my life – and it’s what I want for my life.

Sometimes a church family is not found at a brick and mortar.  Sometimes it is found in the most unusual and creative way – and God is leading toward an exciting adventure in ministry.  If we don’t put Him in a box, He will make everything work for good.  We just have to place our trust completely in His plan.

What do you do on the Sabbath?  It was established for you, you know.  It’s for your own good – from a God who thinks you are pretty special.  🙂

 

 

WE THREE KINGS

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After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.  – Matthew 2:1-12

… guide us to THE PERFECT LIGHT.

Christ came to our earth for ALL – not just for the wise, but for the foolish – not just for the strong, but for the weak – not just for the rich, but for the poor.  God loves us all so very much.

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It doesn’t matter what your status is in this life, Christ wants you to make Him your personal Savior.  God sent Jesus to earth to bridge the gap between Himself and man.  Will you accept this great gift today?

jesusWhat a wonderful gift – the perfect gift – the best gift you’ll ever be given.  🙂

CAROL OF THE BELLS

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  – Luke 2:11 

Carol of the Bells is of Ukrainian origin.  Did you know that this was originally a New Year’s Carol?  These lyrics were written in 1936.  Through the years this old tune has been given several different lyrics, but Carol of the Bells has been a Christmas classic since then.

It’s not quite Christmas without bells, is it?  Obviously there are jingle bells, but in church we are more likely to hear a handbell choir.  Some churches have bells that ring on a regular basis – but even so, when it’s Christmas, the ringing of the church bells has a special sort of meaning.  It’s as though the bells are proclaiming, Christ is born!  Come and worship the Lord!  Let’s prepare our hearts, proclaim the good news and announce to everyone that hope was born in Bethlehem!

RING THE BELLS!!!

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When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.   – Luke 2:17-18

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Did you know in Victorian times it was fashionable to go caroling with small handbells to play the tune of the carol?  Sometimes they would just play the bells and not sing along.  Each person in a handbell choir is vitally important.  You are only responsible for one or two bells, but knowing when it’s your turn to play either of your bells is crucial.  If you miss it – then…  OOPS!

The bell’s rhythm and pitch indicate joy at Christmas and are symbolic of the harmony existing in the society.  Bells act as a go-between from heaven to earth, between God and man.  Sometimes new church bells get dedicated and even baptized before being used.  I’ve never been to a bell baptism, have you?  It’s quite a visual…  I’m trying to imagine what that would be like.  🙂

 

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24What would life be like without music?  I have one word for you…  BORING!!!  We’d all be yawning constantly and people would have to drink twice as much coffee to stay awake!  Have you thought of thanking God for music?  I guess I have because one of my favorite songs is called, “We Thank You, God, For Music” – !!!

Music plays an instrumental role in my life.  Arr arr arr…  music geek humor.

On that NOTE…  let’s pray.a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.  – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

my-thankful-basketMy thankful basket is filled with love songs…  to my Savior!  He first loved me and He’s the only one who died for me – that’s for sure!  He alone is worthy of the highest praise I can give Him.

I wish for you the amazing peace that comes from handing your life…  lock, stock and barrel – over to God and letting Christ lead you.  I can’t explain it, but you just know it’s gonna be okay.  God’s got you and that’s enough.  Praise Him with song.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.  Raise your hands and sing praises to God.  He won’t laugh if you sing off-key…  but I guarantee He will smile.  🙂

PALM SUNDAY

TL PALM SUNDAYBEYOND THAT MOMENTFOR PALM SUNDAYHIS LAST WEEK ON EARTHWHO IS HE

HIS LAST SUPPER

Praise Him, Praise Him, all ye little children.  God is LOVE…  God is LOVE.  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOn the third day ‘fore Christmas we will pray for Wisdom in decisions, patience with each other, forgiveness for our sins, give praise for His love, love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts and thank God for His amazing grace!  Whew…  I had to take a breath about halfway into that – how about you?TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASPardon me if I refer to my mom too much, but she’s my frame of reference (let’s face it, I had a lifetime of mom-isms, didn’t I???)  Mom used to tell me that wisdom from God comes with a free Holy Ghost filter – that’s the filter that many in the world today brag about NOT having…  sadly.  Did you ever think you’d live to see the day when people would brag about just talking off the cuff with no filter???  I know, me neither.  😦

 

Do you ever think that poor decision-making can lead to poor circumstance outcome?  I know people don’t want us to link the two, but I think that if God is leading in your life, your life will be better than if He isn’t.  He will either be LORD OF ALL – or He won’t be LORD AT ALL.  God helps us make wise decisions if we ask for His help.  He’s never going to forsake His own.  If you belong to Him, lift up your head because you will be helped.

The Magi were called Wise Men.  Why did God want the most wise on earth to visit the Christ Child?  Wise Men – and also the most poor and most uneducated – the Shepherds.  I believe it’s because Christ came for EVERYONE – wise, unwise, educated, uneducated, rich, poor, young, old…  there are literally NO barriers – and no excuses – why anyone should not consider the Christ Child at Christmas.

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIMHow should you seek Him?  There is no cut-and-dried method, but here’s what I would suggest.  Find a Bible.  If you don’t have a Bible, there are online resources you can use.  My favorite is https://www.biblegateway.com/    

I like it because there is a verse of the day.  If you want some encouragement to light up your day, subscribe!  Pray for wisdom from God and begin reading His Holy Word.  He will help you – trust me!  🙂 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDOn this sixth day ‘fore Christmas – on this day of preparation, let’s give praise for His love, pray for love for one another, joy to share with others, peace in our hearts, and thank God for His amazing grace!TEN DAYS FORE CHRISTMASWe learned how to praise God in Sunday School, didn’t we???  With songs like Praise Him, Praise Him…  we are taught that our God is a jealous God and He takes first place in our hearts, minds and lives.  It’s up to us to remember those truths as we grow up.  Today serves as a reminder…  praise Him because He is the only One worthy of our praise, worship and adoration!We Need You

https://youtu.be/rj_0wjETlu4  I love heartfelt praise to the Lord…  this talented young lady’s song touched my heart.  ❤

Naturally when I think of praising the Lord my mind goes to music, but there are other ways to honor, praise and adore God.  We honor Him with our lives, our actions, attitudes and behavior.  Are actions and behavior the same thing?  I don’t know – maybe.

Let’s listen to more praise and worship!  https://youtu.be/yLKAK4g8va0

Make my life a HALLELUJAH!!!  Amen to that! CHRISTMAS DAYDoes your Christmas celebration include the reading of the Christmas Story???  I remember my daddy reading the Story from the book of Luke every year.  It is the birth of Christ we are celebrating, so it makes sense to hear the account of it every year.  It never gets old to me because it is a huge piece of the puzzle that makes Christmas, CHRIST-mas!  WE'RE KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASONIt’s all about Him…  His love, His mercy, His grace, His Salvation – offered freely to everyone.

This is going to make me seem old – but hey – I am…  I like Evie and always will.  I need to hear some Evie at Christmas – LOL!!!  https://youtu.be/F8Fq3tfKDek

You know how some folks have to listen to Bing or Andy at Christmas???  Well, I have to listen to Evie!  🙂

 

 

ROMANS 10:8 ON 10/8

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https://youtu.be/T2nJ69YktX8

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)…  – Romans 10:8

When life is difficult and the stress level is almost too much to bear, this is the truth we need to lean on.  God’s Word, the Bible – the infallible, unchanging, reliable Promises of our Lord.  The word of faith that we proclaim…  yes!

God and His Word are near to us – and we feel a comfort that is not understood by the world.  He loves us so much and wants us to know He is with us to sustain us through bad times – and He is also there for our good times.  He sends us angels often as well to help as well.

Angels are God’s messengers whose chief business is to carry out his orders in the world. He has given them an ambassadorial charge. He has designated and empowered them as holy deputies to perform works of righteousness. In this way they assist him as their creator while he sovereignly controls the universe. So he has given them the capacity to bring holy enterprises to a successful conclusion.  – Billy Graham

I’ve noticed a trend in recent years of angel worship.  Here’s the thing about angels…  they are real, but they are not to be worshipped or prayed to.  God and His Son, Christ Jesus are to be worshipped and prayed to.  Angels are God’s secret messengers – secret agents.  Created by God to help Him help us.  They have a role but are never to be put in a higher priority than God or Jesus.  They are not that high – they are higher than we are – i.e. they can fight Satan when we, by ourselves – cannot.  Always call for help before taking Satan on…  humans can’t fight him without supernatural reinforcements.

If we had open spiritual eyes we would see not only a world filled with evil spirits and powers―but also powerful angels with drawn swords, set for our defense.  – Billy Graham

I have Billy Graham’s book about angels.  He explains their role in the spiritual realm with great precision.

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We catch ourselves referring to our loved ones who have gone to heaven (especially children) as angels.  They are not.  Angels are created by God – they are created to be angels.  They are to help God, but it’s not because God cannot be everywhere at once.  Let’s remember that our God is omnipresent!  People ask me all the time – If God is omnipresent, why does He need help from angels?  My favorite answer is – Because He wanted to. 

We each have a guardian angel.  Have you seen yours in action?  I believe I have watched my guardian angel in action on more than one occasion.  There have been a few times when the prayer for traveling mercies were answered – and I believe my guardian angel interceded just in time!  I also believe that my guardian angel once had beautiful black hair, but now has gray hair.  He or she earned each one of them!

I have a stepping stone in my garden that says ANGEL LANDING ZONE.  I invite them to land at my house and stay close to me and my family.  I don’t worship them – I worship the same One they worship – God.  By faith, I proclaim that He is near me.  His Holy Spirit is near me.  His Word is near me.  His angels are close to me and I know no matter what happens, God, Jesus and the angels will never leave me.  It’s going to be alright.  🙂