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Good Friday

Good Friday

For Christians, there is not much to say. After being so humble at the last supper, evidenced by the washing of the feet, our Lord suffered so much pain on Good Friday. And we all know why. Over 40 lashes, throrns piercing His head, carrying of the cross and then the crucifixion.

John 15:13 (NLT)

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

Our God relied on many to uphold the covenant he made with his people. Abraham, Noah, all of the kings and prophets…and not forget about Moses. His chosen people couldn’t cut it. They gave up on God. To them God was intangible and the men chosen by God couldn’t “open their eyes” so they may follow the terms of the covenants made by God.

Enter Jesus. We have a full canon in scripture where we have learned how the Son of Man led by example of how to lead our lives. There are many that just don’t buy into it. We as God’s people don’t have the same excuse as those in the Old Testament. Jesus was tangible, yet many could care less and even mock Him.

For me, I could care less about material things. I know what’s waiting for you and me. We die on earth so that we can live for eternity. That’s pretty much good news.

Peace.

The Devil Made Me Do It?

James 1:14
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

My favorite rock band is Dream Theater. Recently they released a song where the lyrics went, “I’m runing from the enemy inside.” When I told people that I could really relate to the song, they thought I was mental. What it really means is that I run away from temptation all of ther time.

Joyce Meyers asks: We all face temptation, it’s an unavoidable part of life. The question is not, “Will you be tempted?” The question is, “When you’re tempted, will you be ready?”

“In your own strength and by your own ability, you’re right. You can’t. But when you put God’s Word in your heart, when you lean on His strength and trust in His promises, there’s no temptation you can’t overcome.”

What I’ve learned from reading scripture, books and daily devotionals is that blaming temptation on the devil is a cop out. (You know, the devil made me do it.) Yes, the devil is real and evil. But, per James 1:14, temptation resides in each one of us and it is our individual selves’ responsibilties to address and then conquer that temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted but it becomes a sin when we give in to temptation.

For example, if I were to notice an attractive woman and think “no big deal…just another woman” I have defeated temptation. However, if I were to look back at her and ogle, for example, I have caved in to sin. Take traffic. Like most I’d get upset with tailgaters and rude drivers. My problem was that I had to make a sign (not a peace sign), wave them over so I could confront them, and provoke a fight once we got out of our cars. Stupid right? I caved into sin after being tempted to do something idiotic.

It’s hard, no question. But I found that doing what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years has helped tremendously. Of course, when you add prayer to the equation, temptation becomes beatable in itself.

Pray for God’s grace.

I can’t do this alone. God wants to accept my yoke and carry me. It’s by His grace that helps me defeat temptation.

James 1:2
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

I kn ow that temptation is there all day long. Again, I can’t do it without God. The feeling is wonderful.

God Bless you and peace to you!

Public Displays of Affection

Matthew 10:32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

Some of my generation might remember the game show, “I’ve Got a Secret.” The celebrity panel was tasked with trying to figure out which of three guests was the actual person by asking questions. Basically two of the people were lying. But it was a game show so I’ll give them a pass.

What made me think of that was when it came time for me to pray in public…outside of the church. Being a Christian was my little secret. One would really have to question me down to see if I was actually in love with God or simply going through the motions. If I was on trial on whether or not I was actually a Christian, I probably would have had a hung jury. They would be split on whether or not I was indeed following Christ or lying to myself. “Wow, what will people think of me? Would they call me a bible thumper, a zealot, a religious nut or a holier than thou type person? I wouldn’t want that. I need to be accepted.”

I very slowly began to pray…but only if I was at home. God forbid that I would demonstrate my Christianity while dining with others, and especially at a restaurant or gathering! “Oh those pagans would never understand.” So I remained frightened of what they might think.

Until five years ago.

When I had my epiphany I took the final step. I began praying in public. I don’t look up after my prayer to see if anyone is watching. I no longer keep my sign of the cross hidden the best I can. No longer do I avoid answering any questions regarding my faith and love of the Lord.

What I learned in March, 2012; allowed me to realize, really realize, how important God was to me, I completely committed myself to His love and give thanks every single day…sometimes many times a day.

This past election I was asked why I voted for Trump. My response was that I voted with my conscience. I knew that I couldn’t vote for anyone who is pro-abortion. Criticism of demonstrating my love for God and my enemies? That ship has sailed.

Christ’s Peace and Relationships

This refelction is from a dear friend. Many moons ago Deb and I went to school together. We haven’t seen each other…let’s just say in a loooong time. We keep in touch by the grace of God.

Thank you, Deb, for this wonderful inspiration!

Life is an adventure…that’s for sure. Life with God equips us to live in peace with one another…including our spouses. “Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church”….and visa versa. Oh, if we would only practice peace in every area of our lives…with every person in our lives. Lofty goal? Yes, indeed. Jesus said, “seek peace and pursue it1 Peter 3:11. And so, so many more verses on relationship.

Relationship is hard…it takes time, it takes effort, creativity, forgiveness, mercy, Grace….everything that God gives us…and He gives it to us freely. So, in this life journey, with our humanness…we “practice our faith and practice our walk with Jesus” by asking Him to take us by the hand and walk WITH us…through everything..our selfishness, our pride, our misconceptions, our apathy,our hardships, and see us through to see His Promises come alive in us. All that to say…we will see a difference in our relationships with family and friends when we allow and want Him to show His power in us. He created us and loves us so…He wants us to love one another.

Hard to do, I know, when we know so much about each other’s failures and the ugliness that we can present to one another. Much easier to remember the bad and not concentrate on the good. So, we come to Jesus, asking Him to “create in us a clean heart…and to renew a right spirit within us“. Psalms 51:10. I want to experience His Power in my life and my relationships. The choices we make today…how we treasure one another…how we take care of one another’s hearts…this example is what will be followed by our children and grandchildren and people whose lives we touch. I’m speaking all of these words to myself first. And I will remember all of these things when I pray. Agape.

I believe that one of the greatest opportunities we have as Christians is to make a profound difference in the lives of others.

Many years ago, while attending a one day seminar, I heard this quote: “You might be the only Jesus someone might ever meet.” When I heard it, it made me realize that I had better straighten my act up. Of course that was easier said than done.

Fast forward to today. I’ve changed so much that I finally overcame the lack of confidence to share my Christian values. Hence this blog. I know that I am a novice at writing. I also botched many a conversation regarding Christianity. I felt I had to be some kind of intellectual believing the only way I could participate in such a conversation is to try and come across as some kind of expert. Simply put, I made it too difficult. Over the course of the last three years, since my revelation/epiphany, I understand that if I stick to God’s plan it’s all I need to know…with a lot of scripture thrown in as well. Still, what makes me even think that I have any reason to believe that I could be effective at sharing?

The above title I used for today is from Joyce Meyer one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She also said, “I don’t believe God wants us to be mere spectators in life. He wants us to be people who really love others and care enough to be willing to pour into their lives. We need to build up others in Jesus’ name so they can grow and reach even more people.

 

But I don’t believe this is a special opportunity that God made just for me. Everyone, you included, has the ability to influence someone. When you take the time to reach out to others and invest in someone’s life, you are impacting the world…yours and theirs.

Whether you know it or not, someone’s watching and looking up to you. People are influenced by the way you live and they need to see God’s love in your everyday actions
.”

May God’s peace be with you!

How well do we understand God’s intentions?

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 

In these readings Paul was preaching about not to associate with people who indulge in  sexual sin.  Then he explains further that he wasn’t talking about outsiders who sin great sins (You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that) but to not associate with anyone who claims to be a believer.

Perhaps you know a “believer” that indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people

Continue reading How well do we understand God’s intentions?

Now that Lent is over…time for a new start.

Well not quite over but we will soon be entering the Easter season celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I can’t think of a better time than to launch this site.

I will provide a short, thought-provoking, spiritual narrative and/or scripture verse.  The opportunity to share comments is provided below the day’s message.

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Peace and God Bless!