Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013: My life in review

2 days left in 2013. WOW! Where has the time gone? More importantly, what did you learn in this year? For me, from the very start - the first weekend of 2013, in fact - it has been an incredible year of changes and growth. Both for the better. I am not the same person leaving this year as I was coming into it, and for that I am very thankful.

I have made incredible friends for life, some of whom I've only met once or a handful of times, but the blessing of the internet is that we can keep up daily across the miles. Some whom I reconnected with, whether online or in person. Friends who are of a like mind, friends who encourage, support and speak life over others. Friends who have prayed for and over me. Friends who have listened and encouraged the growth in my life, and have been part of the catalyst of that growth.

One of the biggest changes - and best - is becoming a work from home mom. Being able to be there for my kids has made all the difference in the home atmosphere regarding attitude. It has been a tremendous blessing! The biggest one. It has helped me to become closer to them in ways I couldn't have imagined prior to working at stressful 45+ hour work week elsewhere. It has deepened my relationship with them as I am able to be there for celebrations and parties, milestones and games. To pick Em up "early" - now meaning as soon as school ends - and stay late with Nate when I drop him off.

I am thankful for the incredible spiritual truths that have been brought to me this past year. Truths that have opened my eyes and changed my life. Thankful for an amazing group of women who have seen the transformation in my life and have believed in and encouraged me and spoken life and truth over me. Not a day goes by where I and my family aren't thankful for their existence in my life and the truths that have been so much of the catalyst for the change in me.

I still have much to work on, but then again, we are all works in progress, are we not?

I am excited for what 2014 has to offer, because as good as 2013 has been, it can and will be better. 2014 will be a year of many dreams and accomplishments realized, goals reached and milestones crossed off my list. It will be a year of even deeper spiritual growth and understanding and I know it will be a year of blessings and wonderful surprises because God has never failed me or let me down and He won't start now. I have promises from Him that will come in His timing. Not mine.

That's been probably one of the biggest lessons for me is to be patient and wait. Psalms 27:14 says it very well. "Wait on the Lord, be strong and He will strengthen your heart. Wait on the Lord." Jeremiah 29:11 says it even better. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." If God has great plans for me and if I follow the path He has laid out for me, if I put my WHOLE trust in Him and let Him lead, instead of trying to make Him follow, how can I go wrong?

So, leaving 2013 behind soon and coming into 2014 with great expectations and beliefs about what will happen has me looking forward to this coming year with GREAT anticipation, joy and excitement! I look forward to being a better and stronger mother, daughter, friend, person, leader and Christian. 2014 is a new year, a new beginning, a new page on which I will write victories, goals, joys and dreams realized! Happy New Year to you all and may your 2014 far exceed and outshine your 2013!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Championship Mindset

I feel very strongly that this message is for someone, or maybe many someones out there today. This comes from a YouTube video from the phenomenal Trent Shelton, but I have transferred from video to text because many people pay better attention when it comes to the written word, whereas video can kind of go in one ear and out the other. If this is for you, know that I am praying for you, even though I don't know who you are. Keep moving forward! Be a Champion. Have a Championship Mindset.


KMFLY - Keep Moving Forward and let nothing hold you back! Today is special. Today is that day that you become that new you. Today is the day that you become that Champion! It's time for you to stop feeling so sorry for yourselves and doing nothing about it. It's time to stop doing the same old things that have gotten you NOWHERE! It's time to stop using excuses to keep you at a place where you know you shouldn't be. Each and every one of you [watching this] is great. Each and every one of you [watching this] is a Champion. But YOU gotta make that decision.

There are 5 truths to every Champion, whether it be Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey...people who are Champions in their field, in their profession. There are 5 truths that each and every one of these people have. And today we're going to talk about it. You are going to develop that Championship Mindset. It's time for you to be great.

1. Commitment. The first TRUTH to every Champion is that every Champion has something called commitment. Staying loyal to what you said you were going to do...LONG after the mood you said it in has left. So that means that, for a whole month, if you said you were going to wake up at 5 AM to run 3 miles - that sound great the first week. Excited. What happens when that 3rd week comes around? When it's no longer fun. When it's no longer exciting. When that mood you said it in has left. Are you still going to be committed to it? Is it still going to mean that much to you? So many people live a life of incomplete dreams because they give up, they throw in the towel when that mood has left.

2. Discipline. The second TRUTH to every Champion is that every Champion has a little something called discipline. Tattoo it. That mean's permanent. Tattoo your purpose on your heart. So that your actions are trainable before you. Every Champion gets good at saying "NO" to the things that don't get them the "YES". Right? If it's not helping them, it's hurting them. But a lot of us lack that discipline. We say that our dreams are so important. Our goals are so important. We're so focused. But that first opportunity comes whether it's to to go to the club or do something that doesn't move you closer to your dreams, you go jump on it and do it. Your circle is filled with people who don't share your vision. That's holding you back and not moving you forward. You got to be disciplined! Success is a lonely road. There's not going to be too many people around you. You're not going to have a whole clique of friends because they're not going to be disciplined like you. They're not going to understand the commitment that it takes to make these dreams, to make these things happen. You gotta be disciplined.

3. Consistency. The third TRUTH to every Champion is that every Champion is consistent. We anchor our actions in greatness. So daily, not every now and then, not when we feel like it, so daily we produce nothing less than our very best. You know, when you're consistent, you're reliable. When you're reliable, you become trustworthy. There's nothing better in this world than a trustworthy person because when you're trustworthy, you're dependable.

4. Faith. The fourth TRUTH to every Champion is that every Champion has faith. Belief in the odds are beautiful, even when the odds say it's impossible. You know, there's a guy called David and he fought that impossible Goliath. Well, with us, we have a lot of Goliaths in our lives. Whether it be people doubting us. Whether it be statistics. Whether it be our generational curses. Whether it be genetics. Whether it be where we're from, our environment. But we have to "David" ALL of those things because God tells us that faith will make us well. Faith is what makes dreams come true. Believe it. You gotta throw that blanket over that scoreboard of life. You gotta to keep playing until your final seconds are up. You gotta give it your all. You gotta KNOW where you're going. Not what you're going to do. Not believe in the circumstances. Not believe in the stress. Not believe in the challenges. Not believe in the obstacles. You gotta believe in your finish line, that you're going to get there NO MATTER WHAT. That's what Champions believe in. Faith.

5. Heart. The fifth final TRUTH to every Champion is that every Champion has heart. Finding the strength to keep going, even when your mind, people, whatever, says you have nothing left. You keep pushing through those tears. You keep pushing through that pain. You keep pushing through that struggle. You keep pushing through that hurt. Because your heart won't let you quit. Your heart won't let you find excuses. Your heart makes you go until you reach that finish line in life. That's what you gotta have pumping in your heart. It's not about talent. It's not about money. It's about the person who just wants it the most. You gotta want it. You gotta want it so bad that it's hard for you to sleep at night. You gotta want it so bad that it wakes you up in the morning. You gotta want it so bad that conditions outside won't stop you, that people around you won't stop you. Even if it's just you by yourself. That's how bad you gotta want it. It's gotta be planted in your heart. When you talk about it, it should be hard for you to talk about your vision and your goals and your dreams because it means that much to you. Every Champion has heart.

I want you to look in your mirror tonight and create this new you. I want you to develop this Championship Mindset because God has great things for you. God has planned a future of greatness for you. Only thing you have to do is BELIEVE IT and follow His ordered steps. It's time to be Champions. Remember, it all starts with you. Championship Mindset...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food For Thought: What Do You Listen To?

So, I am the biggest music fan and have enjoyed everything from classical to country to (really)hard rock over the years, but God completely convicted me over this past year about what I/we were listening to in the truck and at home so I started listening to what is called "prophetic worship" music. Such great music like Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Hillsong United, Bethel Music, Gateway Worship, Jesus Culture and others.

The most interesting thing has happened since starting this in my house just a short few months ago - playing those artists/music in the house even at night while we sleep.

*Nightmares with the kids...gone.
*Bad tempers...reduced greatly.
*Responding instead of reacting...has changed the entire atmosphere of my home.

In listening to a friend who encouraged me to take that challenge in my house I realized why that is. Lucifer was the worship leader in heaven, along with his other lofty positions. Worship music is like daggers to his and his demon's ears. I have noticed when we DON'T play it in our house, is when tempers seem to erupt, attitudes grow sour, etc.

What are you playing at home? What are you listening to? What are your kids listening to? I challenge you to take a month - 30 days - to listen to nothing but Christian worship music wherever you are, including at night and have your kids do the same (an experiment of sorts) and see if the atmosphere in your house changes.

I know I used to hate to listen to worship music and the old time hymns that play on such great stations as KHCB out of Houston. It would make me angry and I would get up to turn it off. I had no reason why. But when I started changing the music in my life, and stuck with it, those attacks on my attitude really changed, the way I responded instead of reacted to my children changed my relationship with them for the better, etc. It has completely changed our house and that is a GOOD thing!

Full disclosure, I still listen to country, Celtic (Irish/Scottish) and classic rock/80's every now and then, but now it's about 1% instead of 99%.

You become what you listen to, read, watch, who you hang around, say, think, etc. Your life goes in the direction of your mindset. Make sure what you put into your life is positive, Godly and life affirming.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on 9-11

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
You the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
You the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?

Lord love Alan Jackson for that unforgettable song. Where was I? I was about 38 weeks pregnant with Emily, stopped at the light at Stassney and 35 on my way to work when the news came on the radio. I remember the horror. I remember calling home in a panic and telling my then husband to turn on the news, pop a tape in the VCR and start recording and don't stop. It was 2001 after all and VHS was "the thing". I remember being asked at work to print up and keep a running timeline on the wall during the day. I remember. I remember.

I remember being so filled with anger and hatred for those who attacked us. And that lingered for several years. I still do not have friendly feelings toward those who planned and perpetrated an attack on my country. On the liberties and freedoms that I hold so dear. On the innocence of children. On families.

I remember the stories of incredible miracles of those who, for whatever reason, were delayed in getting to work that day. One, because they developed a blister and had to stop and buy bandaids. Tens of thousands should have died that day. Tens of thousands escaped the fate that beset the 2,977 who were part of these attacks on American soil. But not just Americans. More than 90 countries lost citizens in those attacks.

I remember having many friends who lost loved ones and family in those attacks. Many in New York. A couple in Pennsylvania when the heroes saved further untold counts of death by putting the plane down in a field. And I grieved with them and for them.

I remember hearing the voicemails of those caught in the towers, of those on the plane over Pennsylvania, to loved ones. Knowing that would be the last time they ever got to say something to them. I wonder if the fights and the cross words haunted those left behind? If they still do?

I have friends who fought in the war on terror. Who enlisted right after 9/11. Who still fight. Some, very dear to me, who are over there right now. I pray for them daily. Pray for their safety. Pray that they come home in mentally and physically safe. Pray for their families and loved ones.

Peace, peace, everyone cries. But in reality, there is no peace to be found. Not when the religious ideology fuels hatred of those who refuse to submit to the sword hanging over their head. Who refuse to submit to tyranny. Who refuse to give in to those who would subjugate us with their last breath. Not when we still draw breath as a free country. Not when we still have people who believe in the sovereignty given to us as a nation. Not when we still have something to believe in. Not today. Not ever. Not until the Lord returns.

I no longer have that burning hatred of those who attacked us. They did not defeat us. Liberty still stands. We still stand. To hold onto that negativity is to create a hole in my soul. To change me, and not for the better.

I prefer to honor those who perished by remembering the past, but not let it affect my future. I prefer to honor those lives lost by trying to make my corner of the world a better place to be. I prefer to be a light in the darkness, when all other lights seem to go out. I prefer to honor the sacrifice of the soldiers out there on the front lines and at home still fighting by supporting them any way I can.

I choose to live. I choose to love. I choose to leave this world a better place than when I came into it. I choose to be the best I can be. I choose to not let bitterness and hatred consume me. I choose a life of meaning and purpose. I choose to not let my last words with someone be those of anger because I never know when my last moment will be with them and that is not a memory I wish to carry around with me.

I choose to make the most of what life and God have given me. But I still remember...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little Eyes Are Watching You

Parents, what are you teaching your children? 
I mean seriously.
  • "Too lazy to work" is NOT acceptable for the description under "worked at". They will look for the easy way and expect to get the success without the effort. That is so far from reality it's laughable.
  • Skimpy clothing/bathing suits on children is the playground for pedophile's minds - and it's almost always someone that the child knows, adult or their peer, who molests them - trust me on this, I know this from personal experience. 
  • Dropping the "F" bomb every other word will get more doors shut in their faces for GOOD opportunities than almost anything else. It's so unattractive and, regardless of their intelligence level, shows that they are anything but. 
  • Disrespecting those in authority, your elders, those who are different than you, yourself...your spouse...will teach them to put themselves first instead of looking out for others, could land them in hot water with law enforcement, have them in and out of relationships and marriages because they expect to always be right and heaven help anyone who disagrees with them so POOF...divorce makes it "easy", and they will have the same issues with each relationship. So many parents talk to their children with disrespect. You are not dealing with an inconvenience, you are raising a human being who needs your love, your protection and your respect.
There are so many more but those are the ones I see online on Facebook and witness in person day in and day out. We teach our children what we are by our actions. Not by what we say; though what we say can break spirits and hearts. Your words have power, especially with your children, so use them wisely. Respond to your children. Don't react to them. That can shut them off to you faster than snapping your finger. Proverbs 15:1 says a gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. This is true for all ages. I don't know about you, but I like my house peaceful and not full of stress and strife.

It is always, always, always better to HAVE character than to BE a character. Proverbs 22:1 states that it is better to have a good name than to be rich and to have respect is better than having gold and silver. There are people that you know that when you think of them, of their behavior, even of their name you don't think very favorably of them, if the truth were to be told - even though you might consider them a "friend".

What happened to the good old days of teaching your children the values of respecting yourself and others - because if they truly respected themselves they wouldn't wear a lot of what they do (just sayin'), hard work, integrity, modesty, kindness to others, everything in moderation, honor and so on? When did those fall by the wayside and become "old fashioned" values? Those values NEVER go out of style!

You are their PARENT FIRST and their friend second. If they don't like that you discipline them now, they'll get over it later because they'll remember the lessons learned from it. I did. I hated it at the time, but I learned from it. Children NEED rules and boundaries. Why? Because it shows them that you care! If you let them get away with anything and everything, they will get into bigger troubles to try and get your attention to show them that you actually care for them. Go figure! Sounds crazy but studies have shown it to be true! Correct and appropriate discipline is a GOOD thing! But never discipline in anger. Again, that is the reactionary side of things. Respond. Don't react.

Another thing, don't talk down to them! The world is treating and talking to our children like they have PhD's and we still talk to them like they're in pre-school. Would you rather they find out about things like sex and STDs and drugs and drinking from their friends first or from you first? Young children don't need the details, just the basics satisfy them. As they get older you can answer with more. But if you are too embarrassed to talk to them about those things and the consequences, you can bet that their friends won't be and they won't be talking about the consequences. Be wise. Be a parent. Give them a reason to be able to trust coming to you with these questions. DON'T REACT! Respond.

Yes, I know I have been saying that a lot here, but it is TRUE! Responding gives them a safe atmosphere where they are comfortable talking to you. Reacting shuts them down and makes them think, "I can never come to her/him with anything because, WHOA!" And they check out.

Be the parent you want your children to be. They do what you DO, not what you say, no matter how many times we wish it were otherwise. But, if you are the person you need to be, then you won't have to wish it were the other way around.

Be ATTENTIVE to your children! Don't check out. The phone, the computer, your work, your friends...NONE of them are more important than your child. Spend time with them. Let them know that they matter to you. Children spell L-O-V-E as T-I-M-E. Don't be afraid to get silly with them. They love it and they'll love you all the more for it. It's hot, you're sweaty, it's raining, you're hair is frizzing? Suck. It. Up. They're only young once and time flies so don't blink or you'll soon had a tween or teen who doesn't want to spend time with you and you'll have lost out. Again, spend TIME with them, or you will find as they grow they don't have time for you.

It makes my heart hurt to hear and see what kids are doing and behaving like these days and I thank God every day that Emily and Nate are far different from most of what I see out there today. It's times like this that I really do miss Mayberry. I miss the values so clearly portrayed in that show. I wish that they were still the focal values in society today. I think we would be a whole lot better off if they were.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

There is something immeasurably profound about a military man and woman in uniform, choosing to make the sacrifice - to leave their newborn, to leave their family, to leave their spouse or loved ones behind in order to protect our freedoms and try to ensure freedom for others around the world. It is not perfect. War is ugly. It is raw. But, sadly, in the face of dictators and malevolent rulers who crush their countrymen under foot for the thrill of power and of the extremists who hate our way of life and wish to crush us under the weight of their malignant hatred, it is necessary. Not only to protect others, but to protect this land we call home. 

Our country asks great things from our service men and women. Sometimes what is asked for is the ultimate sacrifice. On this Memorial Day, and every other, I am proud to honor those who answered that call. I have friends and loved ones serving in the military. I have friends and loved ones who have lost those serving. When a soldier loses their life for the ideals which they hold dear, thinking of the ones back home which they are leaving behind and trying to protect, there should be no protest at their funerals. No slurs hurled at their memory of at their loved ones. No words of ignorance posted. In death there should be no partisanship. There should be a coming together and honoring of their sacrifice...regardless of how you feel about war. It is the honorable thing to do. It is the right thing to do.

It is sad that for many in America today that Memorial Day is just another day to be off of work and BBQ and drink beer instead of being a day to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that they can have the right to have BBQ and beer.


It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

~ Charles M. Province

For all of my friends and loved ones who have served, are serving, who have lost those to the ugly affair of war...I salute and honor you and them, today and always.

God bless and keep you, and comfort those who mourn.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's In A Testimony?


Every Christian has one. Even if you don’t think you do. Whether God has brought you out of addiction, or a sexually explicit past, or have been part of the occult at one time, etc.; or whether you have followed Jesus all of your life and never had anything major happen to you. You have a testimony!

For those who have fought the fight and danced with the devil – literally or figuratively, those of you who have found salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and know the redeeming power of the Blood and Name of Jesus, you KNOW your testimony from darkness into light.

For those of you who have followed Jesus and stayed steady on the path God has laid out before you all of your life, you too have a testimony. In the face of everything the world is throwing your way, in onslaught of the arrows and slings of the enemy raining down on you, you have kept your eyes upon Jesus and clung to the Word instead of the world and that is INCREDIBLE! That is not easy to do, but you have done it and for that, you are a warrior, living the life that God has purposed for you.

Here's the thing, friend...whether from darkness to light or having always been in the light, you have a powerful testimony and the enemy is trying to shut that up. We are OVERCOMERS, through the blood of Jesus - which has covered you from head to toe, inside and out. Jeremy Camp has a great song that comes to mind right now:

We will overcome
By the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony
Everyone overcome

It is one of my favorites right now and I love to sing that song. It goes hand and hand with Revelations 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Whether or not you can sense it, there is a daily battle in your life and the enemy is trying to steal your victory in Christ and he is employing the battle tactics of using your weaknesses against you. Your past. The addictions you conquered but still struggle with. Past memories. Past sins. He is trying to make you weak. But you CAN do ALL things through Christ Jesus who gives you STRENGTH. As the child's song goes, "...we are weak but HE is STRONG...YES, Jesus loves me...".

What is love? "This is love, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Don't let our enemy steal that victory in Jesus that you have. As I said at the start...you have a powerful testimony - do not let Satan succeed in shutting you up permanently!

In the name of Jesus you are free!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Pure Is Not Just For Ivory Soap


This is what I'm teaching my 11 year old daughter. For most of my adult life I have willfully disobeyed God when it came to sex and I admit it. In the movie, "The Devil's Advocate", the devil, played by a couple of actors - Al Pachino most notably, at the very end of the movie looks right into the camera and says, "Vanity, definitely my favorite sin." Well, for me it's always been lust that I've struggled with almost all my life.

In the movie "Oklahoma" there's the song, "I Can't Say No" with the line in it that goes, "...kissin's my favorite food...with or without the mistletoe, I'm in the holiday mood". Yup. Kissing and everything else that follows. But here's the thing. Yes, lust has historically been my favorite sin, so to speak. Somewhere along the way, I started to believe that in order to get a man's attention or keep it, that I had to offer up my body. Cheapen the act of intimacy and turn it into something crude and rude and vulgar. Sometimes it was so that I wouldn't feel lonely. Sometimes it was to prove to myself that I was desirable to others because I had extremely low self-esteem, regardless of my looks. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to feel close to someone. Sometimes it was just because I wanted to.

Maybe it had to do with the childhood trauma of being molested, not raped, thank God, but by more than one person as a child. One, a single adult in the neighborhood who'd been friendly to all the kids. I suspect I wasn't the only one, but I could never prove it. Two others, one girl when I was very young who was much older than me, one boy my age when I was older... All of these years apart from each other, but all under the age of 10 for me. My mom only knew of the one at the time, and only because my best friend back then forced me to tell her. Back in the late 70's through mid-80's, you just didn't discuss stuff like this and I didn't know what to say or do about it. The one was dealt with quietly and she protected me as best as she knew how and I love her even more for it. But you don't experience stuff like that and not have it leave some sort of damage to your soul.

Regardless of the reason, I KNEW it was wrong. As I got into my late teens, I finally caved to the pressures of the world that said, "if it feels good...DO IT" and continued to do so for many years. Growing up in a strong Christian household and having accepted Christ at an early age, I was definitely not ignorant of God's Word and what it said about intimacy and sex outside of marriage. I was just willfully disobedient about it. Like so many Christians I know today. People who claim to know and love and follow Jesus, but think that living with someone or having sex before marriage is perfectly fine because purity is old fashioned and...everybody's doing it.

I'm woefully guilty of this myself. I KNEW it was wrong but did it anyway. I desensitized myself to God and what His guidance is.

There are reasons why God says that we are to save ourselves for the person we marry. GOOD reasons. There's so much heartache to be brought into a marriage if you've contracted an STD or have "tried somebody else on for size". Too many people to compare your spouse with and what if they fall short of your prior experiences? What disappointments are you bringing to them? To yourself?

There's a REASON God says we are to remain pure and chaste for the one He has chosen for us.

Casual sex is rampant in many societies. There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. The following analogy helps you to understand just what casual sex and multiple partners does to us. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all.

Yes, I have a rather colorful past. God, in His grace and mercy, has forgiven me for the sins of my past. It has been 2 years since my divorce and I have not been intimate with anyone since then. Not even when I was seriously dating someone a year ago. I know now WHY God says these things. I am so thankful that God did not allow me to reap the punishments I deserved for my sins. I don't have to explain to someone that I contracted something that can't be gotten rid of because I gave myself away to someone who was just as reckless with their bodies as I had been with mine. But I have friends...family in Christ, who have had to deal with the fallout from their sin of lust and sex before marriage and it's hard. It is difficult for them. It's a whole different world to have to deal with. A permanent reminder. Even if it is an STD that has gone away through surgery or medication, the fact is that they still had one. It is just one result of not honoring our bodies and the gift that God has given us to give ONLY to our spouse that He has chosen for us. Of not respecting ourselves...or God.

Do you not think that God doesn't love you and that He wouldn't have chosen the best person for you? Perfect for you? Why ruin something wonderful by being unwilling to wait for God's best?

If this the lifestyles in this world are what's considered "normal", I'm glad to no longer be "normal". I'd much rather be considered "different" as I finally follow what God says about sex. Yeah, it might be "old fashioned", but so what? At least I know that the one who is worthy of the person I've become loves me for me, and not because I'm an "easy" catch. Someone who's an "easy" catch is just as easily thrown back while they search for someone who is worth keeping...someone who isn't so easy to catch.

So, here are some other truths for you if you're single, whether you've never been married or are married and divorced - once or more than once, like myself.

1. God desires us to be pure, maybe the reason you are single is that He is removing that temptation from your life until you are ready for the one He has chosen for you.

2. God is still writing your love story so don't mess up the ending by trying to write your own.

3. God wants your focus to be Him first. Keep your eyes on HIM and delight yourself in Him and He has promised to give you the desires of your heart.

4. You should be so hidden in God that someone needs to seek Him in order to find you, and when they do find you both of you should keep seeking Him together because, as the Bible says "a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken".

5. Trust in God means trust in HIS timing. We can't force God to move and if we try to do it on our own, how can He bless us with His best?

6. The RIGHT one will respect you and your decision to remain pure and will want to honor what it is that God has given to the two of you by not pressuring you to have premarital sex.

7. Ladies...yes, it is a man's job to respect you...but it is your job, as a woman, to give him something to respect.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Why I Don't Fear Death

This is a song that really gets to me for some reason right now. Jesus has defeated death thru His death on the Cross. Those of us who are in Christ don't have to fear death or what happens to us in eternity. We have HOPE that those without having Jesus as their Savior don't have. We have no reason to fear death!

Can I get an AMEN!?!

I don't fear it because I know WHERE I'm going.

Do you?

As 1 Corinthians 15:55 and this song ask..."O, death, where is your sting? O, hell, where is your victory?"

There is none any more. Not for one who has been washed clean, pure, whiter than snow by the Blood of Jesus and whose eternal security is in heaven. The grave cannot hold us. We are ONE with Him...Christ has risen and lives for eternity and we will too!

ALL of us will live for eternity...the only question is where YOU will spend yours.

Do you know?

"Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us

Freely You bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, He's alive! He's alive!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Rise up from the grave..."

Monday, April 01, 2013

Do You Live Out In Your Life What Your Lips Proclaim?

There it is in BLACK and WHITE...I have been the biggest of these. Saturday night sinner. Sunday morning saint. Though, to be honest, that has been a while, nevertheless, I can remember in my teens through mid-20s going to church still drunk from the night before and pulling it off. But since my life has started the process of transformation in Christ, what used to not bother me in other's posts of being drunk and hungover now greatly saddens and disappoints me as in the next breath they post about how great God is and how much they love Him and are thankful.
That was ME. To a TEE. I sit here ashamed to have to admit...that was me. And it was amusing to me too.
At the time.
Though, I can no longer recall just why. Why is it amusing to comment publically, as an adult, how drunk/hammered/smashed/wasted/hungover you are and then post about how much you have to thank God for? How you love Him. How awesome He is.

Really?!?! Do you think people are buying what you’re trying to sell?
Because you’re sure not acting like you believe the words you’re posting. Neither did I. One post about God does not negate everything else that you’ve said about living anything but a Godly life. James 1:8 in the New Testament says, “A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” You cannot serve two masters. You can’t live for the world on Saturday night and then try and claim you live for Jesus Sunday morning. It just doesn’t work that way. Sorry folks. Who would believe you mean it? Who would want to follow YOU if you don’t present the spiritual walk consistent with your talk. All it seems to be is hot air and empty words when compared with your life and what pictures and comments you post about your wild weekend/party time.
Yes, God’s grace IS greater than all of our sins. But grace doesn’t give us license to sin.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Final Thoughts on Resurrection Day 2013

On these final thoughts for Resurrection Day, I want to share my favorite rendition of this song from the original Ernie Haase and Signature Sound group! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

This week Christians everywhere acknowledge a pivotal point in history that literally affects EVERYONE! That event is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"He is not here, but He is risen" (verse 6) are words that matter eternally. If they are a lie, humanity has no hope after this life. If they are the truth, rejecting the Risen Lord Jesus Christ has eternal consequences. "He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (I John 5:12).

Paul said (I Corinthians 15:14) "and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain."

Many things we believe and do daily matter little. But the Resurrection is eternally important.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles, no matter how great or marvelous, is secondary to the Resurrection in importance. If the Resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.

Death is man’s greatest enemy, and it has conquered all men but Christ. No matter how brilliant or rich or strong he may be, no man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave always wins the victory, and man sooner or later returns to the dust.

In fact, the inexorable triumph of death applies not only to man, but to all things. Animals die and plants die, and even whole species atrophy and become extinct. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season, and then fade away. Homes and automobiles and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do their owners. Even the universe itself is running down and heading toward an ultimate “heat death.”

This universal reign of decay and death is called in the Bible the “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21). In science it has come to be recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Also known as the Law of Increasing Entropy, this Second Law is now recognized as a universal law in science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply, that every system tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually die. Its entropy, which is a measure of disorder, always tends to increase.

The universality of the reign of decay and death is the measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other men, even the greatest men and the holiest men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx—men who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another—are all dead.

But Jesus Christ is alive!

It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all miracles, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.

If all this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then He is no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because He is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since He staked all His claims to absolute deity on His promise to return from the dead.

On the other hand, if the Resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are His claims vindicated, but so are His promises. Death is not, after all, the great victor but is a defeated foe. He has “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, … so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 22), as the “firstborn of the dead . . . and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:5, 18).*

Dead in our sins, we have only one hope for new life: by trusting in Jesus Christ and relying on His death and resurrection for our salvation. No other spiritual leader has ever conquered death; Jesus is the unique Son of God. He is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and “whoever believes in [Him], though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

What difference does the Resurrection make in your life today?

Happy Resurrection Day!

What Proof Is There Of the Resurrection?

Before I get into this final principle for Resurrection Sunday, I want to post one more video from Sandi Patty, entitled, "Was it a Morning Like This?" Was it a morning like this one when Mary Magdalene and Peter and John found the tomb empty? Found that Jesus had risen from the dead, defeating death and hell itself, ensuring our victory over death and the power of hell if we are believers in Jesus as not only the Son of God but God Himself?


The resurrection is central to the Christian faith. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then Christian beliefs don't amount to much, since Jesus Himself said that He would be raised from the dead on the third day. On the other hand, if Jesus did rise from the dead, all His claims are true and we can know for sure that there is life after death.

A large volume of evidence exists to support the resurrection claims. In fact, there is more legal-historic evidence (the kind used in courtrooms) for the resurrection than there is for Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo or proof that Julius Caesar ever lived. There are several reasons why those who have studied the resurrection are convinced beyond a doubt that it is true.

Jesus Himself foretold His death and resurrection, and these events came about exactly as He had predicted.

John 2:19-21 "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.' The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?' But the temple he had spoken of was his body."

John 10:17 "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again."

John 16:16-22 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.' Some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?' They kept asking, 'What does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand what he is saying.' Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, 'Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me'? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy..."

Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Matthew 16:21 "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

Luke 18:31-33 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."

The event is well-documented by numerous reliable, historical sources.

Historians such as Josephus (c.37-110 AD), Ignatius (c.50-115 AD), Justin Martyr (c.100-165 AD) and Tertullian (c.160-220 AD) were convinced of the authenticity of the resurrection. Their writings validate the accounts of the Gospel writers, who, according to leading biblical scholarship, recorded the event as soon as 37 AD and no later than 64 AD.

In addition, other first and second century historians including Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius, Plinius Secundus, and Lucian of Samosata acknowledged the impact this incredible event had on the people of the time.

The resurrection is the only plausible explanation for the empty grave.

Roman soldiers closely guarded the tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Moreover, the grave's entrance was sealed by an enormous boulder. The Roman guard, which was usually composed of 16 members, would have made it impossible for the disciples--who, by the way, were cowering in fear for their own lives--to steal the body. If, as some have claimed, Jesus was not dead, but only weakened, the guards and the stone would have stopped his escape. After being beaten and flagellated, hung on a cross for six hours, pierced by the spear of His executioners to ascertain His death, and wrapped, as was the custom, in 100 pounds of linen and spices, Jesus would have been in no shape to roll a two-ton stone uphill, outwit 16 Roman soldiers and then appear radiantly to His disciples.

The Jewish leaders of the day could easily have refuted all claims of the resurrection by simply producing a body, but they were unable to do so because there was no body.

There are numerous eyewitnesses to the resurrection.

After He rose from the dead, Jesus appeared at least ten times to those who had known Him and to as many as 500 people at one time. These appearances were not hallucinations; Jesus ate and talked with His followers and they touched His resurrected body. Their experiences were not delusions.

Luke 24:36-39 "While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.'"

John 20:26-29 "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, the Apostle Paul wrote, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the beginning of the Christian movement.

The Christian church was born in the very city where Jesus was publicly killed and buried. The belief in a resurrected Jesus had to be authentic to take root in Jerusalem and grow to encompass the whole world. The Christian church is now the largest institution that exists or has ever existed in the history of humanity. Clearly, this would have been impossible if the resurrection was a fabricated story.

The resurrection is the only logical explanation for the transformed lives of the disciples.

They deserted and even denied Jesus before His public trial; after His death they were discouraged and fearful. They did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead. Yet, after His resurrection and their experience at Pentecost, these same discouraged, disappointed men and women were transformed by the mighty power of the risen Christ. In His name, they turned the world upside down. Many lost their lives for their faith; others were terribly persecuted. Their courageous behavior does not make sense apart from their conviction that Jesus Christ was truly raised from the dead--a fact worth dying for.

Throughout the centuries, most great scholars who have considered the proofs of the resurrection have believed, and still believe, that Jesus is alive.

After examining the evidence for the resurrection given by the Gospel writers, the late Simon Greenleaf, an authority on legal issues at Harvard Law School, concluded: "It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact." Mr. Greenleaf was a Jewish professor who became a believer in Jesus the Messiah after studying the facts for himself.

Is Jesus still interested in us? What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Christ, and in what way does it impact our lives? And how does someone go about making that kind of commitment?

Those are good questions, and typical of someone who understands the significance of Jesus. Here is some information to help answer these and other questions you may have about Jesus.

Because of Jesus' resurrection, His followers do not honor a dead founder

They have a vital, personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ lives today and faithfully enriches the lives of all those who trust and obey Him. Throughout the centuries, multitudes have acknowledged the worthiness of Jesus Christ, including many who have greatly influenced the world. French physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal spoke of people's need for Jesus when he said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man, which only God can fill through his Son Jesus Christ."

So, in light of the God-shaped vacuum that might be inside of you right now, how can you know Jesus more personally?

Because of God's deep love for you, He has already made all the necessary arrangements. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can enjoy a personal relationship. Jesus made it possible to bridge the chasm which separates us from God. The following four principles will help you discover how to know Jesus personally and experience the abundant life he promised.

God LOVES you and created you to know Him personally

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

What prevents us from knowing God personally?


Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God].
Romans 8:6-8 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."

A great gulf separates man from God. Man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through human efforts, such as living a good life, philosophy, or religion. But he inevitably fails.

The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf...


Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience God's love

Romans 5:8 "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

1 Corinthians 15:3-6 "Christ died for our sins... he was buried... he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures... he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred..."

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

But it is not enough just to know these truths...


We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; then we can know God personally and experience His love

John 1:12 "As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name."

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith. This does not depend on anything you have achieved, it is the free gift of God; and because it is not earned no one can boast about it."

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (a spirit of repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and make us what he wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.

Jesus Christ is waiting for an invitation to come in to your life. In fact, he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in" (Revelation 3:20).

Perhaps you can sense Christ knocking at the door of your heart. You can invite him in by faith right now. God knows your heart so it doesn't matter exactly what words you use. Here's a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Jesus Christ will come into your life just as he has promised. Once you invite Christ into your life, he promises to never leave you. You can never be alone if you have God in your life.

Hebrews 13:5 "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

To know God personally is the greatest decision you will ever make.

If you just prayed that prayer, then you need to tell someone that you trust about your decision. If you don’t have anyone that you trust to tell, then ask God for guidance to bring someone in your life that you can trust.

Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me
And talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I KNOW HE LIVES?


Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

So, what happened on Saturday?

There is so much talk of Good Friday and Resurrection (Easter) Sunday, but very few people actually talk about Saturday and what happened in between the two. I wonder why that is? Saturday is the pivot point. The day before the single greatest event in history. The day before death and hell were conquered! It’s the day of uncertainty and worry and sorrow.

Put yourself in the Apostle’s shoes for a moment.

You have just seen all your hopes and dreams shattered by the Roman executioners. Not only that, but you aren't that proud of yourself, either. For three years, you followed the Master. You personally witnessed His miracles, from walking on water to feeding multiplied thousands with a young boy's lunch to healing the sick and raising the dead.

You heard His wisdom; you felt His Power, witnessed His Transfiguration . . . and when the chips were down and it was time to take a stand, you folded up like a Wal Mart lawn chair.

You ran and hid like a coward, not daring to show your face for fear you'd share His fate.

(And you once had the nerve to ask Him if you could sit at His right Hand!)

He faced His enemies alone, without a friend to speak up for Him -- including you, who promised NEVER to forsake Him.

On Good Friday, 1980 years ago, the last thing on any of their minds was writing a detailed record of their own failures. They just wanted to put the entire sordid experience behind them and move on.

He had forsaken everything to teach and prepare them, and when the time came, they not only betrayed Him by deserting Him, they never had a chance to beg His forgiveness afterwards.

How would you be feeling at this point if you were them? Ashamed? Afraid? Numb with grief? Confused? Here you expected Jesus to rule over all as King. Instead He has been tortured in a way that the Bible says no man has ever suffered more and then was crucified and now lay in a sealed and guarded tomb. Your hope is gone. What do you have to look forward to now?

And what about Mary, the mother of Jesus? Being the mother of a precious little boy, myself, I can’t imagine what she went through. Seeing Jesus beaten, tortured, ridiculed, spat upon and crucified like a common criminal – knowing He was innocent. Did she replay in her mind as Jesus stumbled under the weight of the cross, the other times He stumbled in His childhood…and, yet, knowing that this time she was unable to pick Him up and hold Him in her arms, kiss the boo-boo and assure Him that everything was going to be ok?

Being a mother, that, to me, is the most difficult position to try and put myself in. I can’t. Honestly, I don’t want to. It hurts my heart too much to even try to imagine being in her place.


What we know now, and what the disciples and Mary didn’t know then, was that Sunday was coming…

Just one day away…

And that would be the day when EVERYTHING changed!


Friday, March 29, 2013

WHY Did Jesus Have to Die and What's So "GOOD" About Good Friday?

Before I get into that topic, which is, quite frankly, fascinating . . . In honor of Good Friday I am loading two of my all time favorite songs from Sandi Patty called "The Via Dolorosa" and "The Day He Wore My Crown". I have had Via Dolorosa memorized for going on 25 years now, including the Spanish verse, and I sing it year round. There is no other voice that tells either of these stories so well as Sandi's voice.

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by Him, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His stripes we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth;
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so He did not open His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in His death,
though He had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes His soul an offering for sin,
He will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 After the suffering of His soul,
He will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,
and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53 was written many centuries before Jesus was born, and yet, it tells of His death on the cross for our sins. And He willingly did it, so great was His love for us. So desirous of us to have eternal life with Him that He shed His blood, took the sins of the entire world, past, present and future, of ALL mankind, for all the sinners, us as well as the murderers, the liars, the cheaters, the adulterers, the thieves, and on and on. While we may view sin on a "sliding scale", God doesn't. We ALL are sinners. The only person who was ever perfect and able to be that sacrifice on our behalf was the Son of God, who left His realm of glory in heaven and humbled himself to become like us, as a son of man, in order to fulfill the Covenant that God made with Abraham so many years ago.

In this post will explain the Abrahamic Covenant and what it means for us and why Jesus was the fulfillment of that Covenant, who He was and, most importantly, why He had to die.

This information comes from my friend Jack Kinsella and the Omega Letter. (His powerful explanation is just one reason why he is missed so much)

Why Did Jesus Have To Die and What's so "GOOD" About Good Friday?

Yesterday as we were coming home from church, my grandson Bailey chirped, "Gwandad!! Jesus died for you!" There was a pause and he said, "He died on a Cross because bad men put him there. He was covered with boo-boos!" (Being three, Bailey is not up on all the latest medical terms, but he knew what he was talking about) "An' He died for Mummy and for Gwandma and because He loves us."

I was absorbing all this as I drove when Bailey asked me the next logical question. "Gwanddad!" "Yes, Bailey." "Why did He have to die?"

When we got home, I tried to explain to a three-year old something that many adult Christians have difficulty explaining. Yet it is one of the first questions posed by the skeptic.

Why, indeed, if Jesus was God, did He have to die? To the skeptic, the whole Cross, Blood and death thing doesn't make any sense. I know many Christians to whom the answer is simply, "So He could be resurrected on the third day."

That was never a satisfactory answer when I was a skeptic, either.

According to Christian tradition, the Friday before Easter is called "Good Friday" because it is the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. GOOD Friday?

The Crucifixion most probably did not actually take place on a Friday, anyway. The Scriptures make reference only to the 'Sabbath' and there were two Sabbath days during that particular Passover week.

But it is on Friday that the world remembers, whether it wants to or not, that a Man was crucified on a hill called Golgotha outside the walls of Jerusalem for the sins of mankind.

If the world wants to remember it as a Friday, at least it is taking note of the event. Arguing about whether or not it actually took place on Wednesday or Thursday seems irrelevant to the central point.

Particularly in light of the way it remembers that day, as "Good" Friday. But what is so good about it?

I can recall as a kid growing up in a Catholic school thinking it more than a little strange that all those nuns said they loved Jesus, but celebrated the day of His execution as a "Good" day.

Indeed, as a kid, I thought the designation "Good Friday" was evidence that they really didn't LIKE Him very much, despite their protestations of love. My mother had passed away when I was only ten. I didn't think that the day that she died was a 'good' day for me.

There are lots of possible reasons why the day of Jesus' Crucifixion is designated "Good" in English. One is that the word 'good' was derived from the word "God".

Our word 'goodbye' came from the phrase "God be with you," so, according to that line of thinking, "Good Friday" would have originated from the phrase "God's Friday."

But I think it is less a case of the metamorphosis of language than it is an apt description of the Event that took place on that day just before the Passover two thousand years ago.

The execution of Jesus Christ was an event of incredible evil. He was guilty of no infraction, violated no laws, either Mosaic or Roman civil, and His betrayal was orchestrated, the Bible says, by Satan himself.

"And after the sop Satan entered into him [Judas]. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly." (John 13:27)

But while the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was an act of unspeakable evil, it was a necessary part of God's Plan for the redemption of our sin debt.

And the manner in which He accomplished was a demonstration of His Power over good and evil, using pure evil to bring about pure good.

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1st Corinthians 2:8)

But why was Good Friday necessary? We've gone over this before, but not in several years. Good Friday is the perfect day to revisit the topic. Why did Jesus have to die?

The Scripture says God's Justice demands a sacrifice, but for most Christians contending with the skeptic, that answer is unsatisfactory.

The explanation that only a sinless man was qualified to take on the sins of the world makes sense, but it doesn't answer the nuts-and-bolts question of why He had to die. Not fully.

The answer to the nuts-and-bolts legalities is found, not in the New Testament, but rather in the Old.  I thought it might be good if we were ALL equipped to give a reason for the hope that is in us.

In Genesis Chapter 15, we find Abram questioning God's promise that his seed will be numbered as the stars of heaven and that they would inherit the land to which God had led him.

Genesis 15:6 says "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." But Abram wanted a guarantee, nonetheless.

"And he [Abram] said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" (15:8)

It was then that God proposed a blood covenant after the manner of the Chaldeans. "And he [God] said unto him, [Abram] Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."

Abram knew what to do next, since this was something he was familiar with. "And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not."

The blood covenant worked this way. The animals were slaughtered and cut up. The pieces were intermingled and then carefully arranged to form a kind of aisle through which the two parties to the covenant would walk together, hands joined.

The principle of a blood covenant, and the symbolism of the rended animal parts was clearly understood to Abram. Whoever broke the covenant would end up like those piles of animals.

A blood covenant was, by common custom, a joining of 2 or more persons, families, clans, tribes, or nations, where the participants agree to do or refrain from doing certain acts. More specifically, God had proposed a patriarchal covenant.

The patriarchal form of covenant is a self-imposed obligation of a superior party, to the benefit of an inferior party. In this form, the terms the parties use to refer to each other are: father and son.

God's proposal included not only Abram, but extended to Abram's seed forever.

(Galatians 3:29 makes plain that Christians are also "Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.")

Are you still with me? Here's where we are so far. Abram has just prepared a blood covenant between himself and God in which his seed would forever be bound to God as heirs. To be an heir, under the implied terms of the covenant, also required being faithful to the Father.

Abram understood those terms and waited for God to appear. Consider the picture. Abram waited, driving away the carrion eaters from his grisly creation, waiting for God Himself to come down, join hands with Abram and together, they would swear a blood oath. God would be the Father of Abram and his descendents, who would then be required behave as sons to keep that covenant.

Genesis 15:12 records that as Abram waited for God, a deep sleep fell upon him. During that deep sleep, "it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" (Genesis 15:17-18)

And there's the key! While the covenant was between Abram and God, by passing through the aisle alone, God signed the contract -- alone -- for both sides, binding Himself to keeping both parts.

We know that Abram's seed did NOT remain faithful to the covenant. And violating the blood covenant demanded that somebody had to die. That was what justice required.

The Apostle Paul was, before his conversion on the road to Damascus, a Pharisee, or a religous lawyer, one well qualified to explain the law of covenant oaths.

As Paul explains, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:9) Further. that “they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (3:9)

And also, "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." (3:11)

Of the covenant that God signed on behalf of Abraham, Paul explains "Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto." (3:15)

The covenant could only be confirmed when the price demanded for its violation was paid in full.

When the Law was given to Moses four centuries later, it was assumed by the Jews that to break it was to break the Abrahamic Covenant, for which the penalty was death. Remember, somebody had to die. But God signed on behalf of Abraham, and Paul pointed out the blood penalty required of the covenant was paid in full.

"And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."

Why did Jesus have to die? Because the covenant demanded satisfactory payment for its violation, and no one who had broken that covenant was qualified to stand in payment except those who signed it.

And God signed on behalf of Abram and his seed.

It is for that reason that God stepped out of eternity and into space and time. To keep the provisions of the original covenant and be a true Son, as it demanded.

And having kept its terms on behalf of sinful humanity, it was incumbent upon Him to make payment, as justice demanded, for its violation by those on whose behalf the covenant was signed.

To be torn and rended like the animals that formed the corridor through which God alone passed.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah (53:3)

To make restitution on behalf of the seed of Abraham. You. Me. And everyone who ever broke its provision of faithfulness. All of us.

Jesus made that payment on our behalf. On the Cross, as He gave up the ghost, Jesus cried with a loud voice 'it is finished' (Tetelestai!) meaning, "paid in full."

The terms of the violated Covenant were met, its price was paid by its Signer. God's justice was fulfilled. That is why Jesus took on a human form and allowed Himself to be crucified by His own creation. That is the reason the Blood of Christ is so precious. Why nothing less would do.

Because justice demanded it.

And because justice was satisfied, a lost sinner need only accept the Pardon obtained at the Cross as full payment for his sins to obtain eternal life. Because of Good Friday, "Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord SHALL be saved." (Romans 10:13)

Our sin debt was paid in full on Good Friday. The only thing now separating God from man is human pride. Accepting by faith the pardon obtained for us at the Cross is a humbling experience.

We've noted in the past that God's way is not our way, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Indeed, God's way is usually the exact opposite of human thinking. Christians obtain victory by surrendering. We obtain eternal life through the Death of Christ, but to achieve eternal life one has to first die.

"Good" Friday is the day that commemorates the greatest evil ever perpetrated in the history of mankind. But as it turned out, it was the worst day possible for the forces of evil. It marked the first introduction of pure good to this old world since the Fall of Man.

"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes WE ARE HEALED." (Isaiah 53:5)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

And, just like every Good Friday, after evening services, we will come home and watch The Passion of the Christ, as has been our tradition ever since it came out. It is a serious movie that causes us to really take note of the suffering Jesus went through on the Cross for us. We remember the sacrifice, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus every day, but watching this incredible rendition of it really continues to drive it home and takes the meaning of Easter season even deeper. So from the Boedeker household to yours...blessings to you on this GOOD Friday... ><>