Category Archives: Easter

According to the Promise

In this day and age where promises are so easily broken, I can certainly understand the hesitancy of the unsaved to believe anything Christians say. Many Christians don’t have any more of a testimony of honesty and purity than the unsaved.

That truth was an “ouch” moment for me. I certainly haven’t lived a life above reproach. There are no stones in my pocket. If anything I’m forever in a state of waiting for someone to hurl one at me.

So on this Holy weekend I’m ever conscious of what my Lord has done, as well as conscious of my ingratitude and lack of understanding of the depth of His love.

Last night was our Good Friday Communion Service at Victory Baptist church. Lifting that bread and cup to my lips is difficult. I’m never sure that I even should. That’s the depth of failure I feel. But Praise His Holy and wonderful name He does not intend for me to stay in that state.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:1

Not your typical Easter scripture. But for me it reminded me of what the cross meant…

The Promise of Life

That promises is only found in Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Not Shari’s work, not the preacher’s or the deacon’s or anyone else in this world, but Christ alone.

It’s the life that the unsaved long for but they don’t even know it. It’s a life that can only be experienced by accepting what the blood of Jesus did that day on the cross.

Red Makes White

As an artist I’ve on more than one occasion mixed a strong pigmented color in with a lighter color and ended up with a gallon of paint trying to fix it. Yes that’s an exaggeration. Red into white would certain cause that effect. But not with Christ.

In reading this scripture this morning that’s what happened with me. All my failures and sin were covered with that promise Christ made at the cross. And it’s what gives me the strength to go on. I understand Paul when he said that “by the will of God, according to the promise.”

It is God’s will that we continue on serving even on the days that we don’t feel worthy. It is His will that His children continue His work. The work that He died for on the cross.

Stir it Up!

That was Paul’s advice to Timothy in verse 6 of Chapter 1:

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

Paul had laid hands on Timothy and ordained his service for the Lord. And while that is a wonderful testimony and service of the church, it doesn’t mean that we who have not had the hands of man laid upon us are not ordained for a work in Christ Jesus. Start searching your heart for the truth of what it is God has called you to do and you will stir something inside of you that you may or may not have felt before. But it’s the work, and it’s a specific work that God has called you alone to perform. I believe that.

I don’t believe there is anyone else who can or should do what I’ve been called to do. But I also am painfully aware that I have taken on other people’s callings because I was too impatient to wait for them to step out in faith and do it.

Don’t let me or anyone else rob you of the blessing that comes from serving Christ. Let God stir that gift up in you as He did Paul and Timothy!

Paint the Town!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My tendency to fall into a vat of guilt keeps me from doing the work I’ve been called to do. It stops my productivity and creativity in the Lord. What a sad statement. But that’s Satan’s goal when he reminds us that we are unworthy. Which if it were only of ourselves would be a true statement; but not according to the promise of life which in in Christ Jesus!

In that promise we can paint the town red. By sharing what the blood of Christ has done in our life. But only if we ourselves believe it to be true, and live it like it is.

Renewed Like the Eagle’s

Most every day since the heart attack has been filled with a plethora of emotions. There are days I feel awesome! And I appreciate those days because they’ve been less than more. I ask not for pity. It’s just the process of aging and the result of having poured more junk into the vessel the Lord gave me rather than healthy fuels. The truth hurts… sometimes literally.  The same is true spiritually.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the book of Psalms lately. It’s my go to place when I’m in need of encouragement. Most likely because I can relate to many of them which were penned by David, who certainly experienced more than one lifetime of emotions through tribulations and celebrations.  Take Psalm 103… Just in the first 5 verses it describes my day to day:

That is my prayer this morning as I approach the Easter weekend and attempt to dry nigh to the Lord Jesus. It’s difficult when you’re in the flesh and throwing a pity party for your aching arthritic bones. I find myself saying “Oh my stars!” more than “Oh my soul!”

Which is exactly why I needed to fuel my body with His words instead of mine!

The Benefit Package

1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

While insurance companies are paying less and less on the average health care bill, the benefits of serving the Lord have been multiplied. A fact I need to remember. As a matter of fact it’s a prescription dose we all need this week.

Because of the cross our benefit package is out of this world. There is nothing that our God cannot do so long as it’s His will. And His will is for certain that His children walk in truth and joy.

The Prescription Plan

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

In 2017 I took no medication. At the beginning of 2018 I took 2, by mid 2018 to now I’ve been on 9-13 daily meds to make this body of mine function. How ridiculous is that!

Well, I may not like it, but it’s what keeps me going. Missing anyone of those pills can make life difficult. The same holds true with my spirituality. Failure to take the prescribed daily dosage of God’s word and time in His presence takes its toll on me. I feel terrible. And not only that,  I miss the blessing of feeling clean and whole through His forgiveness. And for certain I lose sight of the fact that He has the power to heal this body and strengthen me for His service.

The Forgiveness Clause

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

This was an “oh my stars!” moment for me today. Only God has the power to take back the damage that I have inflicted to this soul and body. He created me, through sin and poor decisions I destroyed me, through doctors and medicine He restored me, but He can just as well heal me. He has that ability and His mercy may go there… or it may not. But either way He has given me so many opportunities I did not deserve. Yes Glory to God it is an Oh My Stars! Kind of day.

Open Enrollment

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Unlike the insurance world enrollment isn’t limited to a certain time. It’s any time. God’s ready and willing for us to use our benefits and renew our relationship with Him. This is a good week to think about that…

The Lord’s Cup and Mine

The Power of His Word

Those who are saved know there is power in the Word of God. But we sometimes forget that the power is literal, not figuratively speaking. Just by speaking it out loud, things can happen.

It’s not magic. It’s understanding that the Holy Ghost is within us and when we speak what He tells us to speak, there is power in those words. The key word there is what “He” tells us to speak. When people put the power in incantation (chanting or reciting something over and over in religious discipline) then they’re actually saying that they have the power. Examples are: Reciting the Lord’s prayer without thought of what those words mean, reciting the prayer of Jabez for the purpose of greed. Those scriptures are not evil, they’re the word of God. Us reading and studying and even reciting those prayers aren’t evil. They can stir the soul and cause you to draw nearer to God through the testimony of those writers. What’s wrong is putting the power in the word (little w) and not the Word. (big W!)

One of my favorite mental images is that of Christ blowing people down with His words. Wouldn’t that be a great ability for the child of God? J

What biblical super power would you like to have? (Elijah’s fire) (Moses’ staff)

We can’t blow people down, but sometimes the Word of God blows me away; especially when it reveals things to me and causes me to think about the Word like I hadn’t before; like Doug Rowe did in Sunday School class last week. It causes me to search deeper into the word of God to discover what God wants me to know during this Easter season that will help me appreciate Him more.

John 18:1-14

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

There’s not always safety in numbers, as Judas thought because God doesn’t control things from a human perspective. Judas knew somethings about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus.

What are some things we know about Jesus that the unsaved wouldn’t know or understand?

Where do you see people of the world thinking they’re in control?

When searching your life during this special week before Easter, where do you see places in your life that you “think” you have control or you’re taking control when you shouldn’t?

­­­­­­­­­­

The Power of His Ways

Even Peter who had seen the Power of God at work and believed that He was the Messiah, missed the mark as a child of God on several occasions. This was one of them. He attempted to “fix” the problem.

Peter missed God’s directive.

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. 10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

How many of us are guilty of that?

Some of us have that personality. I’m a fixer. I want to fix everyone’s problems. But sometimes that makes me the problem. There are some things that from the surface look bad, but the end result is a great victory. That was this circumstance. Peter was trying to remove the cup from the Lord, and which one of us wouldn’t want to do that from a human perspective, but from God’s perspective, all of these circumstances lead to the end result of eternal security for us.

Jesus had just said, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

He wasn’t going to lose any in the garden by the battle, and He’s not going to lose any out of Heaven because of the cross.

What was Peter focusing on?

Jesus had Heaven in view, while Peter had this earth in view.

Isaiah 55:8 reminds us

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Peter didn’t always have his focus on the wrong thing. When Jesus asked in Matthew 16:15 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Verse 16 says And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

He knew God like Judas did not. Simon proves again and again that he’s not perfect. Why do you think God may have put someone like Simon in so many places of prominence in the Bible? What is there about his character that God wants us to understand?

I personally relate to Peter on many levels. His jump and the net will appear attitude is who I’ve been all my life. When looking at the Apostles, do you see yourself in any one of the characters and why? (back page list)

The Power of His Blood

That’s what Peter didn’t understand at that time.

11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

Caiaphas didn’t understand the truth of those words the way that we understand them today.

Only one Man could die for the people. All the people. And that Man was Jesus.


Jesus had to drink from that cup, because He was the only One that could have. Without the sacrifice that He made there would have been no hope for mankind. That part Peter didn’t understand, but there would come a time that he would.

What About My Cup Lord

There came a time that Peter would understand the cup of Christ, and the fact that he too would have a cup. He would also learn, not to worry about what someone else’s cup is filled with.

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Peter would be crucified like the Lord, although it is said that he was crucified upside down by his own choice. John wasn’t crucified, but his life wasn’t a piece of cake either; he was boiled in oil and banished to the isle of Patmos where he wrote the final book in the Bible.

Peter’s conversation with Christ helps us to understand that we’re to look at no other persons walk with Christ and judge it, or compare it to ours. We each have our cup to bear if we’re doing anything for the cause of Christ.

Examine your life this week. Draw and Write inside your cup the things (both good and bad) that God has allowed you to go through because it made you a better child of God.

The Apostle personalities:

  1. Peter – quick to speak and act, crucified upside down
  2. Andrew – Soul winner (Peter) Often in the background.
  3. James – Inner circle, one of the Sons of Thunder, First martyred. Brother to John
  4. John – Loyal, fiery temperament, leader, last of the apostles to die. Brother to James, the other of the Sons of Thunder
  5. Philip – quick soul winner (Nathanael) died a martyr.
  6. Nathanael – skeptic but loyal
  7. Matthew –Left everything and devoted himself to Christ.
  8. Thomas – doubter, risk taker and prone to extremes.
  9. James the less – little known
  10. Simon the Zealot – mentioned only 3 times
  11. Jude – tenderhearted
  12. Judas – betrayer

It is the Power of God

I feel foolish a lot. There are days that every dream and imagination I’ve had seems like the dumbest ideas ever. True story. Not an exaggeration. But the one solid foundational belief within me is that the cross made all the difference in my life, and when the rest of my world falls apart the cross still stands.

This morning I needed that truth. I guess I need it every day, but today more than ever. I don’t want to give credit where it’s not due; and there are times that I’m pretty sure it’s me attacking my mind and not Satan. My self-doubt is running haywire today. So I turn to the one sure thing in my life. The cross.

The world may view it as foolishness but my work in the ministry I’ve never doubted. I’ve never doubted my purpose in that place because I always stand in amazement at what God has done in my life and it’s all because of the cross.

The Cross brought Communication

I love the image of the veil being rent from top to bottom (Luke 23:45)

And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

 As Jesus “gave up the ghost” and the work was finished on the cross, the final price was paid so that we could have a relationship with God. So that I could talk to the Creator. I have no need to go through a priest. The High Priest is at the right hand of God saying “that child is mine, she can approach the throne any time she needs.”

I have never been turned away.

The Cross brought Comfort

John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

When the world says I’m foolish, the Holy Spirit say, “You’re fine.”

That comfort that comes from within cannot be explained, it can only be experienced. It’s heartbreaking to think of the world who does not have it because I know what it’s meant for me to have the indwelling of God. Especially on days like today.

Please don’t think that I’m asking for sympathy or a pat on the back for what I do. I’m just sharing with you what you too have probably experienced. Doubt is a powerful tool. It’s the avenue of quitters and I have a hard time not traveling down that road.

The Cross Brought Compassion

It’s what keeps me going. I know the world needs to see more of it. It’s the reason I can kick doubt out of the way and keep on keeping on; because I have compassion for the people of God who need words and images of encouragement. I don’t know what the future holds for the Jesus Chick, but as the song says “I know Who Holds” it.

With the Easter season upon us and the many worldly images of the season, it’s good to have a reminder set before us. God created the bunnies and the chicks, but He communes with this chick, and I am so grateful for the cross that made it possible.

A Letter to Jesus Easter Morning

Good Morning Lord:

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I’m excited about the coming events of the day, Sunrise at the Park… in the rain… at 48 degrees. Ummm, I’m excited about the day, not so much the weather. But then I think of You. Are these raindrops or tears this morning? I’m excited about our services today just like I am most Sunday mornings. But if I’m honest, I can’t say every Sunday morning. This ol’ flesh lets me down more than I care to confess, but then again, You know anyway.

Omniscient Father

All knowing Father. There were times as my girls were growing up, that I’m pretty sure I was glad I wasn’t an all knowing mother. What must it be like to watch your children every day and know that the very people for which You went through the horrific crucifixion for are so ungrateful. Myself especially. Today, those of us who know You, are celebrating not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. The end of Satan’s tyranny. He no longer held the keys to death, Hell and the grave but Victory was won for sinners like me who had only to confess You are Lord! That’s it. Nothing more. Oh God… I love You so much, for not nearly enough.

Omnipresent Father

Everywhere I go You are there. David said in Psalm 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Glory to God, in the worst of days and the best of days You’ve never forsaken me. I’ve forsaken You every time I turned away from the path You chose, the Words You spoke and the opportunities You provided. But You went with me, even during my mistakes, You stayed. The world let me down, You did not ever.

How can I complain? The world has let You down too. Every single person in it and yet You stayed not only with them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, but You stayed on the cross when the world spit on You and beat You to the point of death, and You lived on until You were ready to die. You said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  You stayed even though when those of us who accepted Your death as payment for our sin, and knew that that’s what it took to save us, and yet we still fail. I still fail You Jesus. I’m so very sorry.

Omnipotent Father

All Powerful God. Happy Resurrection Sunday! Today is the day that we celebrate not the failures of humanity but the power of God! The Power to say “It is finished” at the cross and the Savior reigns. Satan no longer has control over us. He has powers in this world to convince us to take our eyes off of You but He has no power to take our hearts. You hold the keys not only to death, Hell and the grave but the key to peace. Likely what I am most grateful for above all that You have given me in my life. Which is so very much. But the peace of eternal security, knowing that my soul rests in Your hands is overwhelming. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Lord, for my own church, and for those around the world. I pray that the gospel in truth is preached today. Not sugar coated like the bunnies and baskets. But the truth that without Your death, there would be no life for us worth living. From Genesis to Revelation that was the plan. You knew we’d fail. You knew we needed a Savior and You told the Father “I’ll go.” I’m so sorry You had to, but so glad You did.

Today we celebrate not only Your resurrection but the resurrection of every earthly body that has professed You as Lord in the coming rapture. My Dad’s soul is with You, and so many others that I love. I’m ready for that day. But ever so glad that You’ve given me more time to be a witness for You down here. Praying today that there will be no circle broken in my family and friends on that day. But today the circle is incomplete. Lord, help me show them the way.

I pray I Love You more today and every day. You alone are worthy.

Your friend and child

Shari

Even the Easter Bunny Knows

I have no qualms with the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus or any other fictitious character that has been created to give children happy childhood memories. It did not warp me, nor my children that we were told the Easter Bunny was watching in order to make us behave better, even if it were only for a few days. We gradually and gracefully grew into the wisdom that those characters weren’t real and there was no traumatization. My oldest grandbabies have figured it out too, but continue the charade for their younger siblings, even though any other time they’d love to squash their little dreams.  What baffles me is that the “logical” thinking world has yet to figure out what critters and new creatures in Christ have long since known.

Creation is by the Creator

Of all the things (and there are many) that point me to God as Creator, its critters. My chickens for example. I have plain ol’ ordinary chickens and then I have the “fluffies.” They’re actually called Silkies, and they’re the youngest of our brood. They recently just started laying eggs, and although there are no roosters in the vicinity it still doesn’t stop them from treating their eggs like there’s something other than breakfast inside. I have to fight her off to get the eggs. And she’s not happy about it.

I had been collecting several of their tiny eggs each day, but a few days went by and there were no eggs in the box. It had gotten a little colder and chickens tend to lay fewer eggs during those times, but I really would have thought that out of my four specialty chickens, somebody would have laid an egg. On the third day I went to move their water bin and discovered that everybody’s eggs from the previous three days were hidden behind it. I cracked up! That overprotective hen had pulled a good one on me.

How could that not be intelligent design? How on earth could an explosion create love?  I need to ask no other question for myself to believe in the Creator. Although there are the occasional critters who don’t have the instinct of parenting, (including humans) most understand their responsibility and the exact methods of taking care of their young. Birds know how to nest, and chickens know how to sit and all know how to protect.

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Regardless of whether or not someone professes that God is God, and Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit dwells within the saved and convicts the lost, doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth. Creation attests to the Creator.

Long before I knew the truth as the truth, God was working in my heart and mind to understand Who He is and who I was. I recently wrote another song titled “Salvation’s Song” and one of the verses speaks of the how I knew I wasn’t saved, and how I knew when I was. Before I was saved… no peace. After I was saved…. PEACE. Only God can make an internal difference. We are created with sin coursing through us. That explains the world. But when God’s presence comes within through the Holy Spirit, Glory to God there is peace on earth. Not outside… but in.

Yes, even the Easter Bunny knows God. Do you?

There’s a link at the top of this page titled “the Road to Salvation.” If you don’t know or are unsure of your salvation, and that if you died today you don’t know if you’d be in Heaven or Hell. CLICK THE LINK. And let me know so I can pray for you.

__________________________________________________________

Comments and Contributions are always welcome

This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complain… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

Here’s the Link

 

Thank God For Friday!

Goodness of God

I found it ironic that Google celebrates every goofy and non-goofy day of the year with a new Google logo or doodle but Good Friday didn’t even get an honorable mention. Ironic yes, surprised, no. The world celebrates Friday because it’s the start of the weekend more than they do the start of eternal life through the sacrifice Christ willingly made on the cross that dark day.  Many Churches are taking the blood out of the story because it’s too offensive to people and yet the movie industry is bombarded with gore and people take or allow their children to view the video with little regard for the way it effects their child’s mind. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Cartoon Network has cartoons that aren’t fit for adults to watch.

But this blog isn’t about bashing the world… As the Lord said, “they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Today’s post is about a grateful heart who “didn’t know” for 34 years how much I had to be thankful for. That was the age I came to the knowledge of the Salvation of Jesus Christ. I understood (as best my mind can) the sacrifice of the cross. That God was willing to spend that Friday suffering unimaginable pain, ridicule and desecration of his body that He lived in on earth, only to serve and teach others how to serve.

But then came Sunday!!! And as dreadful as Friday was for Him and for His followers looking on, Sunday came and the darkness was made light by the empty tomb and a risen Savior that had won victory over death, Hell and the grave. The blood is gory, yes, but its crimson color that stained His cross serves as a reminder that because of Him, I have life and have it more abundantly. I cannot fail to thank Him for Friday, for He gave me Sunday.

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!!!

Thank God for Friday!

Goodness of God

I found it ironic that Google celebrates every goofy and non-goofy day of the year with a new Google logo or doodle but Good Friday didn’t even get an honorable mention. Ironic yes, surprised, no. The world celebrates Friday because it’s the start of the weekend more than they do the start of eternal life through the sacrifice Christ willingly made on the cross that dark day.  Many Churches are taking the blood out of the story because it’s too offensive to people and yet the movie industry is bombarded with gore and people take or allow their children to view the video with little regard for the way it effects their child’s mind. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Cartoon Network has cartoons that aren’t fit for adults to watch.

But this blog isn’t about bashing the world… As the Lord said, “they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Today’s post is about a grateful heart who “didn’t know” for 34 years how much I had to be thankful for. That was the age I came to the knowledge of the Salvation of Jesus Christ. I understood (as best my mind can) the sacrifice of the cross. That God was willing to spend that Friday suffering unimaginable pain, ridicule and desecration of his body that He lived in on earth, only to serve and teach others how to serve.

But then came Sunday!!! And as dreadful as Friday was for Him and for His followers looking on, Sunday came and the darkness was made light by the empty tomb and a risen Savior that had won victory over death, Hell and the grave. The blood is gory, yes, but its crimson color that stained His cross serves as a reminder that because of Him, I have life and have it more abundantly. I cannot fail to thank Him for Friday, for He gave me Sunday.

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!!!

One more day…

chick hope corrected

At 2:30 this morning I awoke to the thought… one more day. I couldn’t sleep and several prayer matters were heavy on my heart. I scrolled through Facebook on my phone to see if there had been any updates, and there were but it wasn’t good. Families facing critical reports, people hurting; the faces just kept pouring through my mind. And the realization that we’re all a phone call away from that kind of news on any given day. It’s just by God’s grace…

Then my mind turned to the weekend events. Easter! Resurrection Sunday. One more day. And that was my prayer for the people on my heart, “God grant them hope for one more day.” Sometimes we can’t think about days and weeks ahead, just one more day.

Matthew 27:59-63

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

I would venture a guess that the day of Jesus’ crucifixion the disciples and Jesus’ followers were living minute to minute. They weren’t thinking about day 3. Jesus had told them, “I’ll rise again!” but they didn’t get it. They were scared for their own lives, they’d lost the best friend they’d ever known, and the world was shaken up! Literally. Earthquakes, the temple veil torn in two from the top to bottom, rocks falling, and the graves were opened up and the bodies of many saints were walking through the city. I’d say the city was shook! And those who crucified Jesus, they were definitely shook. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate concerned that someone would “steal” Jesus’ body. Or perhaps after what they’d just witnessed they were more than a little concerned that He’d do what He said.

Pilate said in verse 64 ~ Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

So the last error shall be worse than the first… Their error was God’s design and what a difference a day made. The disciples were heartbroken but their grief was about to turn into great joy! In the book of John 20:20-22 we read the Victory speech of Christ for all believers.

 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

One day turned hopeless into a happening! And because of that great resurrection morning we have hope today and peace of mind through the Holy Spirit, so that when our world gets turned upside down we can hold onto hope one more day.

What Makes Good Friday Good?

CHICK GOOD  FRIDAY

The year was 1996, and it was my very first Easter as a baby Christian. Everything was new to me, even though I had likely heard it for 34 years. But the tradition of the nails in the cross during Good Friday communion was definitely a new experience. As I recall there were 100 or so folks attending the service and invited to take communion as a family or group of friends. But prior to their taking of the bread and drinking of the cup  each family member  would take a long heavy duty nail and pound it in to the old rugged cross on the platform of the church. Again and again the hammer hitting the nail echoed as soft music played in the background.

Clang…. Clang… Clang….

Each family or group that went forward was a testimony of what the Lord had done in their life. Sobs could be heard throughout the building as the heaviness of situation laid on hearts. Christ wasn’t on the cross, but every nail was a reminder that we each were accountable for the crucifixion of our Lord. He did that for me; it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross, and it was His love that brought Him down and His resurrection that allows me to live with the hope of victory over death and the grave.

Good Friday. Not a good day for Jesus that year, but a great day for Shari Johnson. The sacrifice of sin was too high for me to pay. What piddlely little sacrifices I make are nothing in the scope of eternity. Thousands of lambs were slaughtered in Old Testament days but were only a symbol of the worthy blood that would spill on the cross of Calvary.

The Price of Victory

Victory over death…

Corinthians 15:55

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Victory over circumstances…

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory over the attacks of the world…

1 John 5:4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

There is nothing that was not covered on the cross that day. Yes, it was our sin that caused the crucifixion, but it was His blood that fixed the sinner. If we are born of God, born again as Christ described to Nicodemus in

John 3 [Full Chapter]

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …

Then we are to live in Victory! It’s us who live in defeat… and that’s not a worthy attitude for what Christ did. I pray today finds you with an attitude of Awesomeness! Because Christ believes you are. And that friend makes Good Friday Good!