Sin Sickness

Not Jesus' tomb, but a tomb none the less.

(Photo credit: callmetim)

Let’s face it.

For all the beauty that is in this world…

every gorgeous sunrise, every mountain peak, each newborn baby…

all those things that bring fleeting, tenuous, joy…

There is also pain.

This world spins crazy on its axis, and sometimes the spinning can make us sick.

Sick with worry, sick with sorrow, sick to death.

This is how the world was then, too.

When Christ came.

Sin sickness since the day the stench of it permeated the earth.

When the deceiver asked the woman and man to defy.

And their “yes”, bit hard into sin.

And ever since, mankind has known full well what sin feels like.

Roman soldiers, people crying, “Crucify Him!”, a governor who wanted no part of it.

Heavy wooden cross beam, splintered wood, and blood.

The sin of the world on His shoulders, separation from His Father……

and Jesus tasted darkness that day.

The bitterness of a world gone bad.

His perfect sacrifice, for a world that knew Him not.

Killed. Buried. Left in a dark and silent tomb.

Sin mocked. The deceiver lied. The world waited.

The disciples questioned, the women cried. The world waited.

On the third day, the tomb was empty.

Jesus was not there. Death could not keep Him. The tomb could not hold Him.

He is alive! He stands victorious.

We can face this world on days that are hard and uncertain

.Because our Savior lives!

11 Now Mary (Magdalene) stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.      —John 20 NIV

Looking Toward Easter

The Crosses on Good Friday

The Crosses on Good Friday (Photo credit: 50%ChanceofRain)

It’s not about the bunny, it’s about the Lamb.

Christmas is wonderful, but Easter is the real reason that Christ came.

The Son of God was the perfect, blameless lamb.

It was the cross that formed the bridge. It was His blood that cleansed.

It was His resurrection that brought life.

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

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Today I am thankful for:

* Springtime snow

* safe travel for my husband

* a phone call and husband’s voice

* sleeping in

* lots of leftovers in the fridge

* quiet stillness

* laughter

* kids getting along

* good grades

* taking a break

* orange juice that I don’t often get to have…

* Jesus, my Savior

* God’s perfect Lamb






Children Of God

Today at Faith Barista we are writing about Jesus.

I can’t think of a better subject.

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This world is hard on people.

Heart Candle

Heart Candle (Photo credit: Bob.Fornal)

Oh, none of us like to talk about it, admit it….but, deep down we know it is true.

Life can be harsh and confusing and many times it… well, it can be irritating.

At the very least it wears us down.

I needed a perspective change…

Last night in Bible study, we ladies were discussing the verses about Jesus being The Word, and dwelling among us.

And, once again I was reminded…

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:9-14 NIV

Jesus understood the pain of not being understood. Can we even imagine?  Being accused. Being abused.

These particular verses amaze me…every single time I read them. They are powerful. Jesus, Creator of the world, and yet people didn’t recognize Him. Many did not believe Him….but, to those who did (and do), HE gave the right to become CHILDREN OF GOD.

Stop.

Think about what I just wrote. Read the verses for yourself. Do it.

It is right there in black and white.

We, as believers, are adopted. Signed and sealed, because……..

Jesus chose to love us.

I don’t know about you, but that changes my perspective about today and tomorrow.

How can it not?

I’m carrying this Word in my heart today, with a smile on my face.

Beloved

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:

Beloved…

Dearly loved

The one that changed me,

forever.

You taught me lessons on love

that I would never have known,

otherwise.

I’m so grateful that God gave me

You.

My dear, treasured one.

You are almost grown,

more man than boy.

I’m so proud of you and pray,

that you will continue to grow

in your walk with the One

who knows your soul.

Cherished.

Always.

My beloved, son.

 

 

 

 

Dream

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What are your dreams?

What do you want to do, to complete this one full life that God has given you?

How do you spend your moments? Precious, valuable moments sifted through the day to day.

How are you making your journey, not about just surviving…but, really living?

You know that days don’t have to be extraordinary to be exhilarating…

or be momentous to be magnificent?

Eyes that are open to all the wonders,

and a thankful heart that knows no boundaries,

are what make a life meaningful.

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1: 17 NIV

 

Laid Bare

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go buck wild with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

Won’t you give me your best five minutes for the prompt:

Bare….

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The first thought that came to my mind is bare naked. Hey, it’s 8:30 in the morning and my mind isn’t quite “with it” yet. I think since I’ve only got 5 minutes to type….I might just go with that.

Bare naked. That makes me think of Adam and Eve in the garden. They were perfectly content living there. They were obviously not clothed…..until after their sin and then they realized, “Hey, we need to cover this up!” Isn’t that true still? I don’t mean the part about us walking around naked, because  don’t know about you, but

I am well past that stage. The 40’s haven’t been as kind to this body as I had hoped. Sigh.

Anyway, I digress. Isn’t it true that when we sin we still try to cover it up? It’s our nature. It’s who we are. Sinners.

All of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly is laid bare before the eyes of God. He sees it.

But, I’m so grateful that I asked for forgiveness and He has forgiven me.

What was once dirty and broken is now beautiful through the cleansing blood of Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Adam and Eve by Rembrandt

Being Extreme

Today, at A Holy Experience, we continue to write about--The Practice of Radical….living in Christ and with Christ.

Jesus

The dictionary calls radical: Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme

How does a wife become radical? How does a mother, move the world? Can a special education teacher change lives? A daughter, delight? A friend, be a motivator?

How does radical work in the here and now? Is it possible to live radically for Christ in the dirty and broken of today? Can I truly live this extreme for the One who loves extremely?

As a follower of Christ, I’m called to be radical. Unusual. Different from the world around me.

Make no mistake about it, Jesus was no pushover. He was considered a radical during his life time. He loved where others hated. He showed mercy, when others showed disdain. He did not back down from the leaders of His day, and was not afraid to call them out. He answered questions, taught through parables, loved the unlovable, changed the hard-hearted, prayed continually to His Father, and shepherded the weary. He was a light in a dark place and He led the way, even unto His death.

And I am supposed to conform myself to be just like my Jesus! Now, my friends, that is a radical thought.

How can I ever live up to that standard?  Simply put, I can’t. Not by myself, anyway.

 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus … Philippians 2:1-11 ESV

Radical living is about sacrifice.

Putting others before myself.

That is where truth meets reality….

and that is where radical begins.






An Act Of Obedience

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, picked my word for the year for this weeks prompt. You can read about it here.

Yes!

Yes! (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

The word is “yes”.

True, I did make a post on this a couple of weeks ago but, there is still much that I can say about this particular word. A short, yet powerful word.

Yes comes easy, when it is in response to something I want to do.  Can’t we all say that? Wouldn’t it be great if life was always the easy yes? The “Oh, sure”, “I’d love to”, or “It would be my pleasure” and really mean it.

But, I’m going to be real here. Pour it all out.

Sometimes I bleed the yes. It is painful and hard. I’m scared and unsure. Every fiber of my being wants to shout “NO”, but because I’ve been practicing the yes for years now, I whisper it anyway.

The whisper can come, small and quiet. Only God and I hear it. He knows my heart. He knows my struggles. He knows the yes is an act of faith and a word of worship.

Although it can be, most of the time the yes isn’t a response to a certain thing. It is instead, a response to God, Himself. It is trust in the One who I know is Sovereign, in control, has a plan and a future for me, loves me, and will allow me to glorify Him, through this choice, this yes, that I offer.

I think about Abraham. Many, many years ago, he said “yes” to God. It could not have been easy.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  Hebrew 11: 8 NIV
Yes, is always an act of obedience.
Even when I’m not sure of the outcome, or the task ahead is daunting, I can rest in Him.
The One who hears the heart.

Real Treasure

Sacred Heart Church of Gibraltar

This week at A Holy Experience: The Practice of Radical.  What does it mean to live IN Jesus, WITH Christ in the center of our lives?

This prompt for today actually reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about for awhile.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

We all realize, even if we don’t like to spend time thinking about it, that we are going to die. It is inevitable. We came into this world with nothing and we will leave that same way. With nothing. There is a reason that people call death the “great equalizer”.

With this in mind, what did Jesus mean when He talked about treasures? How can we store up treasures in Heaven if we can’t take anything with us when we go? I think I know what the treasures are.

Jesus loves people, with a love that is beyond anything we’ve ever known or experienced.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

The treasures are other people. We can’t take things with us, but we can take people. Relationships are what make us rich. The most important relationship that one can ever have, is relationship with Christ.  The things that we do for Christ, are never wasted. He never forgets. He sees it all.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…” A heart for people.

Jesus has always had a heart for people. Why else would He leave the splendor of Heaven to take on the body of man, in a sin cursed and broken world? Because His heart was for people.

To the woman caught in adultery, condemned to death for her actions…Jesus stood between her and her accusers–  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:9-11 NLT

Even in her guilt and sin, He saw a treasure.

The people wanted for Jesus to bless their children, the disciples were not so sure, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 NIV

Even in the youngest of children, Jesus saw treasures.

Zacchaeus was the IRS guy of his time, hated by the people because he was a crook. Jesus saw through that and, When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.  All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” This meeting with Jesus changed Zacchaeus, it changed his life forever.  Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19 NIV

Even in the face of a tax collector, Jesus saw a second chance. A treasure.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34 NIV

Lost and far from God, Jesus loved us. Sinners. Unrepentant. Unworthy. He died in our place, took the punishment that should have been ours, and later rose again, conquering death. The nail spikes did not hold Him on that cross, we did. He died in our place because of His great love….for us, His treasured, and beloved.

We as Christ followers, are called to live for Jesus. We need to have Him in the center of our daily lives….not just at Christmas or Easter. Since He loved others so much, should we not also?

Everyone we look at should be considered a treasure, someone we want to take with us to Heaven one day.






The Wonders Of His Love

The ceramic ornament slipped off the counter and hit the floor hard. Cracked. Broken. In pieces.102_4811

A cry escaped, as I stared at the crumbles and bits of what was left on the floor.

I had just gotten the decoration that day, from Day Spring…and I was disappointed at where my gift had ended up.

My kids helped me pick up the pieces. Super glued it back together. Fixed it.

But, the cracks are still visible. The heart is broken.

A reminder…

For the words on the ornament read, “Wonders of His Love”.

Oh yes, the wonders of His love. The words sink into my own heart.

His body was broken for me. His heart leaked for me, the sinner. The blood. His blood poured out.

All because of His great love.

I flipped the ornament over and looked at the spidery crack that ran through the printed verse on back.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV