The Storms Of Life

Everyone is tuning in to hear the latest on the big storm that is going to hit the east coast. The weather people are calling it

English: Halloween Storm at Peak Intensity Vis...

the “Franken-storm”, the “perfect storm“, or just plain Sandy. Whatever it is called….it is big and messy. My beloved home state of Maryland is probably going to get a direct hit. Here in Ohio, where I’m at now, we have the wind and snow. It is snowing on and off even as I type this post.

How many times are we faced with storms in life? Sometimes, much like Sandy, we can see the storm coming. We can prepare ahead of time. We know what we are up against. Other times we are caught in a storm that slams us to the ground. We didn’t see it before it hit. We are left scared, beaten down, and drowning.

What do we do when faced with a “perfect storm”?  How we react in the middle of the storm, when the waves are crashing hard, tells a lot about what we believe. More than that…it tells in WHO we believe…. He, who can calm any storm in life.

He (Jesus) got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39 NIV

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Thanking Him even as the storm approaches……

* a warm, snug house

* taking care of all the pets, making sure everyone is fed and warm

* the smell of fresh brewed coffee

* a new chocolatey creamer

* goofing around with hubby

* steel gray, wintry skies

* the first snow flakes of the season

* new cars for sons

* happy faces of boys that have “wheels”

* big brown doggie eyes

* friends

* shopping with my daughter while she reads me interesting “Guinness World Book” facts

* warm, cozy socks and sweaters

Jesus In The Gospels

I often wonder what it would have been like to know Jesus while He was here…in this place. Walking this earth. Living among us. I think that once I knew that Jesus was, who He claimed to be…God….that I would have bombarded Him with questions. (Jesus is patient, right?)

Passion of Christ at Ginosa (TA) (Italy)

What is heaven like? What did it feel like to be at creation? Please explain The Trinity. How many stars are there? What were you thinking when you made the platypus? How did you make such beautiful colors in a sunset? Physics, and biology, and gifting people with words and colors……and Jesus…..um…….what I really want to ask……what I really want to know……Why do you love me so? Why are you willing to die for me?

Honestly, I’m glad I live in this current period of time but, it would have been wonderful to see Jesus face to face. I know that some day I will. I will stand before Him, and all my questions will have answers. It will all make sense. I, right now, can only see a dim image but, one day I will “get it”.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12 NIV

I’ve had people ask me, “How can I know Jesus?”  I point them to the gospel books. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are the written accounts of Jesus’ life on this earth. His words, His actions…that tell the story. Listen to what He says.

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49  NIV (Jesus at age 12,  in the temple, when his parents were looking for Him.)

“Away with you, Satan!” replied Jesus, “the scripture says, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve’.” Matthew 4:10

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 NIV

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1: 14-15 NIV

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” Mark 1:38 NIV

“But what about you?” he (Jesus) asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”  Mark 8:29 NIV

“Why must you argue like this in your minds? Which do you suppose is easier – to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But to make you realize that the Son of Man has full authority on earth to forgive sins – I tell you,” he said to the man who was paralyzed, “get up, pick up your bed and go home!” Luke 5: 23-24

And He was saying to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:5 NIV

“And what is the point of calling me, ‘Lord, Lord’, without doing what I tell you to do?” Luke 6:46

Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48

But Jesus said, “Somebody touched me, for I felt the power went out from me.” Luke 8:46

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” John 1:35-36 NIV

“Is that your concern, or mine?” replied Jesus. “My time has not come yet.”  John 2:4 (Jesus before performing the miracle at the Cana wedding)

After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. John 2: 12-16 KJV

Believe me,” returned Jesus, “a man cannot even see the kingdom of God without being born again.” John 3:3

“I am Christ speaking to you now,” said Jesus. John 4:6

I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. John 5:36  NIV

“The work of God for you,” replied Jesus, is to believe in the one whom he has sent to you.” John 6:29

Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” John 7:28-29  NIV

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10: 25-30 NIV

“I myself am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus told her. “The man who believes in me will live even though he dies, and anyone who is alive and believes in me will never die at all. Can you believe that?” John 11: 25-26

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20 NIV

JESUS —- Name above all names.

MESSIAH. LORD OF ALL.




Loving Others

The Heart

Today at Faith Barista we are writing about “Unwrapping Love”.

To be honest, I’ve been having a busy day. I was going to write earlier this morning and then I had to get something else done. Later on, I planned on squeezing some blogging time in. It didn’t happen. Then I thought, “I’ll write after dinner”. That didn’t work. It is now almost 10 pm, east coast time. So much for my profound post.

I’m sure that you all can relate to having one of THOSE kind of days. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going!

So, on that note….. I will be re-posting something I wrote awhile back.

It is part of my story.

It fits well with “unwrapping love”, because real love comes in all kinds of packages.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  Mark 9:35  NIV

 

Simple Acts Of Faith

Child 1

Image by Tony Trần via Flickr

Simple acts of faith…it’s the topic we are discussing today over at Faith Barista.

Simple.

Acts of faith.

When I hear that phrase this verse comes to mind…

Mark 10:13-16 ESV

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Children are pretty simple. They usually wear their feelings on their sleeve, right out there in the open for all to see. They can say the most profound things in the most common of ways. Many times God has used the voices of young children to talk with me. Children haven’t been around long enough to become cynical, or hardened by the world. They accept things, they adapt, they love…right where they are.

Simple faith.

There is a reason that Jesus chose to speak of children in these verses…an example for us all.

Throughout my life, I have had the honor and privilege of witnessing simple faith. Through children. Family. Friends. Even strangers.

“This is the best job ever!”—me at 17, excited to get the opportunity to be a camp counselor with developmentally disabled adults (even then, God was sowing the seed in my heart and giving me a passion for this population)

“Would you be interested in being a special ed. teacher is a small town in Scott County, Tennessee?”—my college professor who had tracked me down over 500 miles and several states away

“Mommy, don’t cry. This is just Daddy’s body in the ground. Daddy is with Jesus right now and he is happy.” — The faith of my 5 year old son as he stood at the graveside of his Daddy.

“Mrs. S, the policy you thought was canceled, wasn’t. We’ll be sending you the money soon.”– A phone call to the newly widowed, faith that God would provide for me in a miraculous way.

“Mrs. S, those people in the buildings are hurting. It’s very sad. Can we pray for them?” — The faith of my second grade student, after she heard about the attacks on the World Trade Centers.

“I forgive you”– said to someone who never apologized, and having faith in God as One who heals.

“We’re all okay. God had his hand on us.” — After my car hydroplaned and slid sideways on the interstate, totaling the car, but not hurting us at all. (Less than a mile up the road there was a steep vertical drop off, if we had hydroplaned and went off the road there we would have been killed.) Faith that God is in each moment.

“Father I can’t find what I need. Can you please help me? I know this is a simple thing, but I really need your help!” — after looking and looking for various objects and then, there they are ……this has happened numerous times. Faith that there is nothing too small or too big for God to handle.

“We say we trust God. This is a circumstance where we will have to prove it. God promises to take care of us and provide for our needs.”— Paraphrase from my husband, after he lost his job of 22 years. Faith that God is Jehovah-Jireh and will supply all our needs.

Lord, I know you have a plan for me. All the doors to opportunities seem to slam shut. I trust you because I know you have promised me hope and a future.” — When in the midst of finding my niche’, faith that God has a plan for me.

“Look at that beautiful double rainbow!” —- Standing on the front porch with the family, enjoying God’s promise.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

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What are some of the simple acts of faith that you have encountered?


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