A Decision That Changed My Life

 

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Each of us lives in a world made up of milestone moments. Those moments in time that stand still, like a monument, even as the rest of life rushes by. Those special moments that, when woven together, help to create our story.

One of those moments happened to me right before my eleventh birthday in 1979. It was a sunny Sunday morning in May when I walked down the aisle of my small church and told the pastor I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart. You might be reading this and thinking, what does a fifth-grader know? How could I possibly understand what I was doing? I can tell you, I was old enough to know that I needed Jesus. Although I had grown up in a Christian home, and for my family attending church was a weekly occurrence, I still realized that I needed a personal relationship. Not my parent’s relationship with Jesus. Not my grandparent’s relationship. It was not even about attending church and sitting in a pew each Sunday. I loved Jesus, but I wanted to know Him. Even as an almost eleven-year-old, I knew I needed a Savior….even if I wasn’t able to verbalize all the reasons why, at that point.

That decision I made almost 38 years ago, has affected all subsequent decisions throughout my life. There is no other decision that I’ve made that has been more important. More life changing. More eternal. I am not here to say that life has always been easy since that day so many years ago. I have had many hard and difficult things happen over the years. I’ve cried. I’ve been angry….and I’ve often wondered why? Being a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that life is easy or always happy. It is not about never having very real problems. The difference in having a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, is that He gives hope to the hopeless. He loves the unlovable. He has compassion for those who know they don’t deserve it.

His grace truly is amazing.

Becoming a Christian

God Loves You!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God has a wonderful plan for your life!
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

Walking Down the “Romans Road” to Salvation . . . .Because of our sin, we are separated from God. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23) The Penalty for our sin is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ! But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins! For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

***http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/about/becoming_a_christian.aspx

 

 

 

 

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






Life Change

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Why is it that when I want to have good habits, healthy habits, interesting habits…it is so hard? Sigh. Oh, the bad habits, I’ve got that covered. They are not a problem, I know those habits, oh so well. I wish that was not the case. Sigh, again.

I want to eat better, exercise more…be healthy. I want to read more and travel more. I want to try new things and meet new people. I overwhelm myself with all that I WANT.  Now, I’m not saying wanting these things is all bad. It’s not. I think God wants for me to have an exceptional life and to live abundantly…but, what does that really mean? For, me? For, you? On a daily basis, where habits are formed?

What, out of my myriad list of things that I’d like to change from once in a while, hit or miss attempts, into habits, do I choose? What is the habit that is the most important? The one habit that, if I’d stick with it, would literally change my life?

 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV 

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Obviously, as a believer, Jesus has things planned for me. Good things. Things that will make me more like Him, and after all, isn’t that the goal? To be more like Him, every day?

To know Jesus, more.

How do I do that? In practical ways? In meaningful ways? In real ways?

1. Communicate- Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2. Celebrate- Colossians 2:6-7  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

3. Emulate-  Philippians 2:5  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

 

 

 

Words That Describe God

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;102_2364
  you are the one Israel praises.  Psalm 22:3 NIV

The words of scripture let us know that, God indeed, inhabits the praises of His people…..

The words that describe Him, leave the heart full.

* Faithful * Forgiving * Glorious * A Refuge * Ever Present Help * Father * God * Love * Peace* Just * Avenger * Mighty * Powerful * Helper of the fatherless * Judge * Jealous * King * Maker * Provider * Advocate * Most High * Comforter * Mighty Rock * Wise * Adonai * Jehovah * Eternal * Compassionate * Glory * Only True God * Righteous *

And…

Jesus, name above all names.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2: 9-11  NLT

* Alpha and Omega * Ancient of Days * Chief Cornerstone * Bread of Life * Christ * Lord * Faithful and True * God’s Son * Great High Priest * Shepherd * He who searches hearts and minds * Light * Holy and Righteous One * Jesus * King of Kings * Lamb of God * Savior * Rabboni * Messiah * Passover Lamb * The Word * The Great Physician * The First and the Last * Wonderful Counselor * Word of Life * Salvation

And, the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. Acts 2: 1-3 NIV

* Holy Spirit * Holy Fire * Spirit of the Living God * The Gift * Voice of the Almighty * Holy One * Spirit of Truth

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This day…..Thanking the Great I AM, for all He IS.






Because He Lives…

Corcovado jesus

The day was shrouded in darkness. People pressed in.

The stench of sin flowed through the crowd. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

He did not run from them. Instead, He embraced them.

He loved what was unlovable.

He took their sin on Himself. He suffered for them…

and many did not even care.

They did not understand His sacrifice or the cross He was to bear.

Dying there, that day, covered in sin…God turned away.

Turned from His beloved Son because He could not look at Him.

God is loving…but, also just. The price had to be paid…atonement a must.

“Father forgive them! They know not what they do!”

Jesus suffered physically that day, in ways we may never know.

But, much worse, the emotional pain of being alone

and taking our guilt and shame.

He bore this burden to Calvary. We are the ones to blame.

That splintered, rugged cross made a bridge that day,between God and me.

It’s because of Christ and His sacrifice that I have been set free.

The story does not end there. It is not over.

Jesus did not stay in that borrowed grave,

He lives today…He lives to save!

Jesus, holy, perfect, and blameless…on that dark day, took MY sin, MY shame, MY guilt. He suffered both physical and emotional torment that day. For me. For you. He could have run. He could have called an army of angels to rescue Him. He could have killed the Roman soldiers with just a word from His mouth, but He did not. He bore the sin of humanity all the way to the cross. God, the Father, because He is both Holy and Just, required a perfect sacrifice. One who was (is) blameless. Jesus is that perfect and blameless one. He took my place, so that now when God looks at me….He sees, not my darkness of sin, but the reflection of His beloved Son.

As a believer, and follower of Jesus Christ, I celebrate this Easter Sunday. I celebrate, not because my Savior died, but because He lives!  I serve a risen Savior. The grave could not hold Him. Death could not conquer Him. “Because He lives…I can face tomorrow.”   Amen.

Knowing My Limits

"TUESDAY" production sign

"TUESDAY" production sign (Photo credit: Vaguely Artistic)

I read her words…. once. Twice.

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time.” –Sarah Young

Isn’t it apropos that this should be what I read today? Especially, after the kind of day I had on Tuesday.

Accepting the limitations. Learning to live one day at at time.

One day at a time is enough, more than enough, to do what needs to be done.

Because aren’t there always going to be needs? And the desire to get things done? And aren’t I always pushing for more time?

And isn’t He there in the midst?  Already. Working things out according to His will?

Isn’t this, after all, what I should be seeking? To know Him. To trust Him. To believe Him, more.

Limitations are not a weakness, but a strength.

It is those very things that limit me, that allow me to draw closer

to the One who is limitless, and unchanging.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 NIV

 

 

It’s Always About The Relationship

Jesus

At Faith Barista, Bonnie asked  us to…..“Share one thing that attracts you to Jesus.”

(One thing, Bonnie? Just one? Do you realize how difficult that is?)

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The one thing. The ultimate thing. Salvation that brings…..RELATION.

Relationship with Jesus Christ, not for what He can give me, but for who He is.

Here, in this life, I am limited.

Limited by time and space.

Limited by the physical. Limited in thought.

He is not.

The fact that I, blotted by my own sin, can have this relationship with Christ

still amazes me. Truly. Utterly. Amazes me.

I can never “repay” Jesus for His sacrifice on my behalf.

Lost. Alone. Dying.

Unable to save myself…because I, yes I, was the problem.

Sin, my sin,

not sin as a whole, not I’m not as bad as the other guy, not “hey, cut me a break, I made a mistake”.

Pure darkness. Soul secrets. Selfish. Rebellious. Enemy of God.

That was me.

God loved me so much, even in that horrible state. Even when my very actions screamed, “I don’t WANT you!”

Born into my guilt….. and unable to save my own life.

Restless. Careless. Hopeless.

He came. He came for me. He mended the relationship that was broken, what sin had destroyed.

When the Heavenly Father looks at me now….He no longer sees me as I was. He now sees me as I am.

A sinner saved by grace.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:24 NIV

His Son, Jesus, stands in front of me…so that when God looks at me, He sees the reflection of His perfect and blameless Son.

It’s relationship. It’s always about relationship. There is nothing greater….and nothing I am more grateful for.

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One of my favorite songs is by Fernando Ortega—-Just Give Me Jesus.  The song is very simple, but couldn’t do a better job of describing my heart.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus