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The Saturday Before Easter

Sad Pre-Easter Lillies

Saturday’s Stunned Silence

 

 

 

It was a day of stunned silence
After the horrors of the cross.
How could God let this happen?
We were all left at a loss

With no logical explanation
For taking a life so pure.
Injustice was swift and deadly,
That much was for sure.

That day was strangely silent
Birds didn’t sing like other days.
Even flowers drooped their heads in grief
In the tomb his body laid.

Our precious Lord was taken.
Our dearest friend was lost,
Followers left alone in anguish.
It was much too great a cost.

In silence we acknowledged
The things which had taken place,
While our hearts were still left longing
To look again upon Jesus’ face.

In truth He often told us
These things just had to be.
Our Saviour paid the terrible price
For the sins of you and me.

Yes Saturday was sadly silent
Such a solemn grieving day,
But we now know what would happen
At the dawn of the brand new day!

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… Just like resurrection morning; we look with anticipation to the time of our Lord’s return.

A Good Playdough Day

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To those who know about the unpredictability of autoimmune diseases, it comes as no surprise that there are days that I have deemed as “Frisbee Squirrel” days. Those days when all previously made plans must be set aside to deal with a body in non-compliance. When the weight of one’s extremities add boat anchors to the weight of the torso sinking into the mattress, it requires major effort to move. Getting upright to walk a few yards to the toilet and back is akin to executing a marathon. Although, praise the Lord, these days are fewer than past years, I do occasionally get side-lined. Today was just such a day.

I had great plans of getting some painting done on a big set project that has a hard deadline. I did prep work yesterday, so I was ready to execute some productivity today. Awwwwk [buzzer sound]…not gonna happen!

Exactly one day after proclaiming that I do trust that God is in charge of everything in my life…And that ALL of it is for my good and His glory…And that I can actually rejoice in trials because of the fact that God uses trials to make me more like Jesus; here I am “grounded” so to speak. My bones have all the strength of a pile of dust. I am fighting to keep my eyes open and my thoughts of the simplest task in a straight line.

It became obvious that I was forced to resign myself to another lost day. The cold, rainy day outside was adding to the gloom that wanted to throw a big pitty-party to the frisbee squirrel who was of no use. However, God was gracious to me!! Let me tell you how.

Last night’s growth group study, focussing on the Bible book of Ephesians, dealt with God’s gifting each of us with what we need to help grow ourselves & others up in Christlikeness. A godly advisor & another friend each independently spoke of being happy for trials. In my morning Bible reading God’s Word reminded me that God is the strength of my heart. In the midday, I received an unexpected facebook tagging of a very good article about Women’s ministry being more than just casseroles or being a Proverbs 31 woman. And finally, my handheld device allowed me, even while too weak to get out of bed, to follow-up on people who are seeking help with Foreign Accent Syndrome.

That series of events helped me quickly shift off of the feelings of defeat to the intentional pursuit of just doing something…any little thing…that I can do.

As a result, today I was blessed to be able to bring great relief and comfort to two souls that are literally in different parts of the world from me, and each other. Yet all three of us know the pain, suffering & loneliness associated with having such a rare condition as Foreign Accent Syndrome. The difference is, I know how to use social media and the world-wide web to reach out to find those who are not getting properly diagnosed or help in the ignorant or uninformed medical community. I have been blessed to be able to speak with many different people about many different things in straightforward and understanding manner. I care for others and they sense that early on. God allows me to be comfort and His love for them.

It is so humbling to realize that God actually uses ME!
God actually uses me, at my absolute lowest of strength and power to have impact in the lives of others! Is that not amazing?!

So, today as I look back on what I thought was going to be another wasted day in which I was just taking up resources, God instead used this day to teach me a new perspective.
What I thought was a “Frisbee Squirrel” day actually turned out to be a “playdough” day. >> Rather than giving in to the notion that I was of no more use than a dried up dead squirrel and all the negativity associated with that, I was given a different outlook.

God allowed me to be truly flexible; to accept that although things were not as I had planned, that it could be okay.

Allowing myself to be molded by my Maker was very rewarding. In fact it was beautiful. I could relinquish all the strain of trying to “make” things happen and instead allow myself to be moved and shaped as He saw fit, knowing that would guarantee a good result. In fact: the best result was assured. It truly left a lasting impression on me and on others.

As I look back on today, I rejoice even in the not-idealic circumstances of my day. I was able to make a new friend in Scotland and another in Chile who actually cried with relief to hear from me…me?! (a nobody Frisbee Squirrel bedridden in the Midwestern United States). I tell you God never ceases to amaze me. Amazing love; how can it be? It was a good day to be playdough.

What kind of day did you have?

True Peace

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“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” -1 John 2:23

Examining 1 John2:23 in light of people who believe Satan’s lie that they can please Holy God without having a true relationship with Jesus Christ…a pulpit commentary (via http://biblehub.com/philippians/4-7.htm) presents these points for our verification:

Verse 23. – Every one who denieth the Son not only does that, but οὐδέ doth not possess the Father. To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Son of God, for the Christ is the incarnate Son; and to deny the Son of God is to deny the Father also, for the incarnate Son is the Revelation of the Father; and not only so, but to deny the Son is to cut one’s self off from the Father, for “no one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”
To emphasize this great truth St. John uses his favourite motive of stating it both negatively and positively. To deny the Son is not to have the Father; to confess the Son is to have the Father (comp. 1 John 1:5, 8; 1 John 2:4, 27; 1 John 3:6; 1 John 4:2, 3, 6, 7, 8; 1 John 5:12).
Note the solemn asyndeta. There is not a single connecting particle in verses 22-24; the sentences fall on the ear like minute-guns. “Every one that denieth.” There is no exception. Even an apostle, if he denies that Jesus is the Christ. thereby also loses all possession of the Father. The history of philosophy verifies the statement. Deism has ever a tendency to end in pantheism or atheism.//

–Definitions——via the Dictionary App
Deism
(1)belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism ).
(2)belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.

Pantheism
(1) the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God’s personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.
(2) any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.

Atheism
(1) the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
(2) disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Sadly, there are many who remain deceived into thinking they are on good terms with God although they deny the Savior. It is not our going to a temple, shrine or place of worship, knowledge, our good deeds, nor anything that comes from us that saves us. It is not a prayer, a ceremony, nor our ascending into a higher state of consciousness, or obtaining some great degree or status. It’s definitely not our own senses or feelings that testify to our soul’s state before God. No! It is not about us and what we’ve done! It is ALL about Jesus and what God has done/ is doing/ and will do for us.

It’s a relationship with Jesus and our devotion to that relationship that many unbelievers mislabel as an “organized religion”. That’s akin to calling the passionate love of my life just “an okay human being”. Or our “marriage vows” to one another just a business arrangement that is only a piece of paper that could be undone with a lawyer and a few bucks!
I’m sorry to say that those who are fixated on dissing Christians as being “religious” just don’t know what a Christianity really is. Unfortunately, unless they allow themselves to intelligently examine facts and dispel lies with truth, they will likely remain in opposition to the very people who try to help them.

Those that don’t really know Jesus do not really know peace. Their souls deep down know that they are at enmity with God. Something is not right. They search and cannot find it. They try the world’s way of selfish ambition and self-rule. The Bible refers to this as the man who built his house on shifting sand. There is no solid foundation, because when the current scheme, relationships, pursuits fail (and they will) they simply try something else and start the cycle all over again.
Our rock-solid, devoted & loving relationships with God and other people is in very strong contrast to their hate for our proclaiming the truth of God’s word.

Christians are accused of being “judgemental” when all they may have done was state truth. It is the truth…God’s truth that judges. The soul that remains unsaved knows it is not right with God so it attacks the messenger. Do you notice how much venom is thrown toward a Christian by a non-Christian? Satan fight’s hard to keep an unsaved soul from being redeemed. As long as Satan can convince a person to remain in sin, he retains damned souls. Those who remain under the curse of sin because of their rejection of God.

God talks about that in the book of 1st John as well. They love the darkness and hate the light. The light of truth exposes lies, sins and that which they want to keep hidden. Those that live in darkness do not SEE all that they are missing. They remain in fear of the unknown. But there is a certainty that awaits all of us…One day …and it could be at any moment….EVERY knee will bow, and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is LORD. There will be those who will rejoice at being in His presence and others will trembling when they realize that they have been spitting in the face of the Beloved who came to save EVERYONE who would put their faith in Jesus.

There are only two ways for any person to be:
(1)Lost=dead in our sins, an enemy of God=No Jesus, No peace OR
(2)Saved
=redeemed by Christ putting to death our sins at the Cross & giving us grace greater that ALL our sins, a new life IN Him, a child of God=Know Jesus, Know Peace.

I so love knowing Jesus (and the grace, joy, love & hope God has given as a result) that I cannot help but sing His praises and introduce others to the Love of God. Out of love for all people I cannot help but ask:
…do you know Jesus? Not just “about” Jesus
…do you really know Him?
How do you know Him? Is He your Savior?
One day, when you are in Holy God’s presence, being accused by the Evil One, what hope have you?
On what basis do you believe God will accept you into Heaven to live with Him forever?

I’m telling you where I pray that your faith & hope rest…
In the name that is above ALL names…Jesus! For He alone is the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, the Only Begotten Son, the propitiation for all of our sin, the ONLY way to obtain forgiveness and enter into a right relationship with Holy God forever and ever. It’s not about if we are good enough to get into heaven; because none of us is. BUT GOD– (my favorite two word phrase) MADE A WAY and his name is JESUS!

If you are not experiencing the peace and joy of being in harmony with your creator and the love He has for you, may I suggest that you ask yourself why you are rejecting God’s will for you? Why do you reject God? Do you think you have got a better way, that you know better, or that you are more powerful than the Almighty? Has Satan convinced you that your sins are “not that bad”? Well, all of that is a lie!

Even a small sin is sin. It is disobedience and an affront to Holy God, therefore deserving of His punishment. God’s word tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That means me. That means you. That means the Pope, Mother Teresa and Billy Graham too. ALL of us are sinners in need of a Savior.

Jesus came with the promise that all who will repent (admit to sin of living contrary to God’s perfect, loving intent) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be forgiven and saved from the just punishment which awaits those who will not accept God’s provision of deliverance.
The Holy Scriptures tell us God does not want to punish us, but to love us. However, as a righteously just and Holy God, sin must be atoned for under His perfect judgement! Yet God has never stopped loving us; He always wants what’s best for us. So merciful God provided a way of escape. Either we release our sins to Jesus Christ as having done that for us OR we hold on to our sins and continue to reject God which will ultimately lead to damnation.

Forgiven sinners are at peace in their own souls because they know that God has given them a way to enter into love that casts out fear as Children of God. Having been forgiven, Children of God, just like Jesus, seek to save the lost, help the hurting and show God’s love to a world full of turmoil and hopelessness.

Jesus is the one who said to His disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Peace comes through having a right relationship with God. God Himself provided the way…His name is Jesus. It is very likely true that if you have a lack of peace that your soul has not been cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus who left Heaven to come to earth, lived a perfect life so that He could be the perfect sacrifice to take all of God’s wrath toward our sins in order that Christ could save our souls through the greatest love of all.
Jesus died once so that we may live forever! The power of God that brought Jesus back to life is the same power that God allows us to partake in through His Holy Spirit, His Word and prayer. We now belong to the family of God. Every human being is His workmanship, but not every person is His beloved child. I, for one, am forever grateful to be His and praise His name! I have the desire that you dear reader will experience this same exhilaration and eternal peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:7 (ESV)

—I believe that the love of God is ours IF we accept it…IF we accept Him.
You see a gift that is given is of absolutely no use unless it is accepted, unwrapped and utilized. God offers the perfect gift…have you accepted?

I welcome comments and respectful conversation. Be blessed.
May God grant you His mercy, grace, love and peace.

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