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Good Friday

As I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  I will continue to post this introduction…

Most churches have had to scale down their usual services and even close their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another; we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Sunday or some call Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us from sin!

Read with me Luke 22:47 – 71 and 23:1 – 48 

Judas brings the crowd with him to give Jesus the kiss and betray him.  If you don’t know the story, Judas conspired with the religious leaders to betray Jesus.  They needed Judas to single out Jesus so they could arrest him.  They agreed that the man Judas approached and kissed in greeting would be Jesus and they would go in and take him.   In certain parts of the world the traditional greeting among men is a kiss.  So Judas wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, which is why he could do this as a subtle way to single Jesus out.  The Study Bible makes note that ‘isn’t it iconic that a gesture of greeting would be the means of betrayal.

Jesus told Peter that he would deny knowing him, but Peter adamantly told Jesus that he would never deny him.  He was sure he would never do that.  But what happened?  The rooster did crow to show proof of Jesus’ word.  How easily we say what we would do for Jesus, but then how easily we forget.  I always think about that.  We say we believe what Jesus’ words, but we really don’t because our actions shows something very different.  The Study bible notes that this experience Peter had changed his life from a halfhearted follower to a  repentant disciple and finally to the kind of person Christ could use to build his church.  He had to be broken to be made whole.  Have a contrite heart for God to work in Him.  Hallelujah!!

Between 12 noon and 3p Jesus’ was crucified.  I grew up with a family tradition on this day.  We usually didn’t have school so we would be home.  My Dad would shut the house down completely during this time.  No tv, no music, no games…nothing.  Absolute quiet.  And we would read the bible.  Read about this week and what happened to Jesus and what he would endure for ME.  I went along with the program and did as I was told, but now as an adult, I truly reverence this time.  I can’t even imagine the humiliation, the ridicule, the beating, the pain, the disregard for who he truly was in God.  It’s almost scary that they hated him that much to want him dead!  The believing criminal who was crucified with him, said to the un-believing criminal just what I’m thinking “Don’t you have any fear of God at all?”

The bible says that during this 3 hour time period, darkness covered the entire land, although it was the middle of the day.

Next…Holy Saturday

 

 

Holy Thursday

As I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  I will continue to post this introduction…

Most churches have had to scale down their usual services and even close their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another; we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Sunday or some call Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us from sin!

Read with me Luke 22:7-46

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Holy Thursday is also called Maundy Thursday.  Maundy being an old English word for washing.

Passover is celebrated, the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples feet happens.

The washing of the feet to me symbolizes the humility that Christ carried.  He served others.  He served his disciples.  He was about to die, you would think he would be expecting them to wash his feet before they sup.  But the master served his disciples.

Sitting down with His twelve apostles he says to them, With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.   The Life the Application study bible notes that “the Passover commemorated Israel’s escaspe from egypt when the blood of a lamb painted on their doorposts saved their firstborn sons from death. This event foreshadowed Jesus’ work on the cross.  As the spotless Lamb of God, his blood would be spilled in order to save his people from the penalty of death brought by sin.”  Taking the bread and cup, he gave thanks and broke it and drank from the cup; then giving it to them he said “‘This is my body which is given for you, likewise this cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you…do this in remembrance of me.   Communion.

There is so much packed into this day and the reading but two things really stand out for me.   When Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives he his disciples to “pray that you may not enter into temptation’.  Jesus knew that he would be leaving them and that they would need extra strength to face the temptations ahead.  It amazes me sometimes how the Lord knows what we have need of before we even need it, before we even think of it, before we know what’s coming our way.  And He prepares us for it if we pay attention.  Jesus knew his disciples would need the strength to not doubt, to not runaway, to not deny their relationship with him.  Not to think that you were deceived and to stand in your faith.  What you know to be true.  I believe that same word of caution can be directed at us for today in this world.

The other thing mentioned in these scriptures that stayed with me was when Jesus was praying in the garden.  Scripture tells us that he was in agony thinking about what was about to happen.  That as he prayed His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  And he prayed and talked to God about it.  But in all that…he did not give up or give in.  He continued with the assignment for His life.  He went ahead with the mission for which he had come.

Let us remember not to be asleep when it comes to our devotion to Christ.  Let us not give up or give in.  But walk boldly with the strength of Christ to complete our assignments.

Stay encouraged

There is a weight that comes with unbelief…

There is a weight that comes with unbelief.
You won’t necessarily realize you are carrying it at first. But after awhile you’ll feel it, but never come to the realization that it is your unbelief.
Did you know that we ALL have been given a measure of faith? Which means we ALL have some God in us. What have done with your portion of faith? Did you keep it or throw it away? Did you bury it under doubt? Or dismiss it because you didn’t understand it? Do you pick it up to show off in front of others then put it down when you are alone? Did it get lost in your anger, when you turned your back? Well I have good news for you today.
The weight, the heaviness is lifted when you believe. That’s why there is FREEDOM in believing in God. 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 ‘But whenever someone turns to the Lord (believes in Him) the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And God….please forgive us in our unbelief 💕

Align yourself with God

As I got up this Resurrection morning…I was set to go to my laptop and finish out writing about Holy week.  But the Lord woke me with this statement.  You must align your life with God.  And that looks different for all of us, because we all have an individual relationship with Christ.  But God needs us to align our lives with Him.  With His heart.  With His mind.  With His ways.  So quickly I am being led to share what He shared with me….

 

What does it mean to align your life with God?

Well align means to bring into agreement, to bring into proper or desirable coordination or relation, to identify with or match the behavior.

If your life does not mirror the image of God…His character, His attributes, His love.  Then you are out of alignment with God.  What is your lifestyle? Is it in alignment with God?  How do you treat others? What is your conversation about people? How do you behave towards people when no one is around?  What does YOUR life look like?

This is something God wants us to check within ourselves and then re-check again?  Some of you are still doing small little things that you think don’t matter, but they do.  It’s those small foxes that spoil the vine.  The petty little things you think are no big deal but it’s not right. And it’s a big deal to God.  Simple as that.  And some of us still haven’t gotten that side of us under control.  The part of us that still seeks attention, be it negative to make us feel worthy.  That is not an attribute of God.  You don’t have to seek attention or love.. because God has already given it to you.  You just have to receive it.  Scripture tells me…He LOVED us first! You don’t have to show your body to get it, or give your body to get it.  You don’t have to put others down to grab it first, it’s yours already..it’s been there waiting for you to pick it up.

In this time..align your life with God.  He has a plan and a destiny for you, have you asked Him what it looks like.  I believe He has more for you.  Will you position yourself? Will you align yourself?

Be encouraged

Holy Wednesday

As I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  I will continue to post this introduction…

Most churches have had to scale down their usual services and even close their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another; we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Resurrection Sunday or some call Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us from sin!

Read with me today… Luke 20:41 – 47 & Luke 22:1-6

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I’ve heard that this day is called, Spy Wednesday.

The religious leaders, chief priests and the scribes are plotting to kill Jesus.  They do not like that Jesus has the people believing that he is the Messiah and comes in the name of God.  The problem is they can not openly kill him because they fear the people who follow Jesus. Satan is always trying to undo what Jesus does and he is able to do that using  Judas.  He goes to the religious leaders with a plan to betray Jesus away and it is away from the multitude.  There is thought that Judas wanted Jesus to show them who He was and His power.  Show the people who you are, prove it to them.  But Jesus knew that was not the way to do it.  He knew his assignment and had to obey the instructions from God.  Let us be mindful that we don’t try to manipulate a situation because we want it done our way.  Trust God’s timing and trust that God knows how to handle any situation.  Don’t try to go in front of Him and make things happen.  Let God make it happen.

This moment of betrayal also reminds me to always be mindful that satan can and will use anyone.  Some allow him access knowingly and others unknowingly.   Those who allow him to use them knowingly love evil.  And those who allow him unknowingly, I believe have an opening somewhere that satan was able to get in.  An opening meaning, there was doubt, bitterness, unforgiveness, hate  aleady there that satan was able to use.  But please know that satan will use whatever means he can to create chaos, division and discord.  It is our job as Believers to be able to identify how satan moves so we can stop him in his tracks.  2 Corinthians 2:11 says lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Look out for the next blog on Hoy Thursday….

Holy Tuesday

As I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  I will continue to post this introduction…

Most churches have had to scale down their usual services and even close their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another; we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us!

Read with me today… Luke 20:1-40

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During this time the chief priests, the scribes, the elders and the religious leaders tried to crafty and ask Jesus questions hoping they would trip Him up and cause Him to answer in a way that would criminalize Himself.  They wanted Him to say the wrong thing so that they could accuse Him of blasphemy.  But they couldn’t trap Him.  Most times He turned the question on them, exposing their motives.

I’ve always mentioned to those I mentor, check your motive.  You could be doing something that on the outside looks like its the right thing or the nice thing to do…but WHY are you doing it?  What’s the motive?  I also discern the same question when dealing with those around me.  What is their motive?  Everyone isn’t doing it for the right reasons.  Watch your company, those you keep close around you.

Can you imagine people who wanted you dead, because of who you say you come from?  Because of your authority.  Because you are heping prople to see truth and not be decieved by their  lies.  And they follow you and watch you, scheme and plot harm against you?

Vs.18 talks of being ‘broken’ but the word is not looked at as negative.  It is a place of growth if you look at it in the righ way.  The Life Application Study Bible notes say that ‘those who cast themselves on Jesus, submitting their wills and allthat theya re to him, will be broken by him of arrogance, hard-heartedness, and self-centeredness.

All these situations Jesus went through, reminds me to be imitate Him when I’m going through similar times.  Be alert, don’t fall into the trap…but respond with TRUTH and kindness.

I pray you had a Blessed Holy Tuesday.  We will chat again tomorrow.

 

Holy Monday

As I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  Let’s chat about Holy Monday, but first let me say this.

Most churches have had to scale down their usual sercvices and even closed their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another, we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us!

Read with me today… Luke 19:45-48

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Jesus is once again in the temple and angry about how the merchants  and money changers are treating this holy place.  They were being dishonest, deceiving the people and my study bible notes say the commercialism in God’s house frustrated people’s attempts at worship. Money changers would change the foreigners money but inflate the exchange rate to make more money for themselves.  The merchants would increase the price of the sacrificial animals so they could make money for themselves.  And all this is happening inside the temple’s court.

My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’

Sadly I must say, this has a familiar resemblance to some of the things that are happening in the church even today.  We as People of God should be doing everything we can to remove any barrier in the sanctuary that would get in the way of worship, of God’s presence.  All that other stuff is a distraction.  Its actually a bit frightening to me that someone would think their needs are more important than God and worship.

This same behavior is happening in our stores also with price gouging the COVID 19 pandemic.

I believe this pandemic is a permissible movement from God to get our attention.  he clearly told me one day that “this is a RESET”  He is calling us back to Him in a more intimate way, we are to sit back at His feet and hear from Him.  Things a shifting and changing.  We should not be the same when this passes over.  And He picked a significant time to bring this to our attention.

Be still and hear God in this time.

The Beginning of Holy Week – Palm Sunday

Today I was led to do a blog about Holy Week.  Most churches have had to scale down their usual sercvices and even closed their doors because with COVID 19 creating physical distance from one another, we are not permitted to gather together.  It is important during this time that we remember we all have a personal relationship with God and our continued worship, prayer and time with God should not decrease nor stop because of this.  You are responsible to keep connected.  You are responsible for your prayer time with God.  You are responsible for your worship.  The church building should not keep you from that.  Philippians 2:12 says “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  You are responsible to seek God out yourself.  We usually hear an abbreviated version of the story of Holy Week leading up to Easter, but let’s read it and know for ourselves.  Know about the sacrifice, the pain, the beatings, the determination, the love that Jesus had for us and what he went through to save us!

Read with me Luke 19:28-42.

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What is known as Palm Sunday…

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the people threw palm branches onto the rode; in his path…yelling

Hosanna!  Hosanna!

He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed
and is King of all Israel. 

Jesus had become very popular by now, many had heard of him or witnessed his great and mighty works.  Healing people, raising people from the dead, bringing freedom and truth to their lives.  Although he was well known, he did not make a grand entrance in to the town.  He knew who he was and the authority that came with it, but he didn’t broadcast it.  He came into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey.  Always a person who walked in humility and without being grandiose, Jesus rode a donkey that was not even his own, but one borrowed.

The whole scene of Jesus coming in on a donkey was prophecy coming to pass.  This same thing was said in Zechariah 9:9. Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your kings comes to you, righteous and victorious, low and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Palm branches symbolize triumph and victory!

Today we celebrate PALM SUNDAY…most churches (when they are open) would pass out palms to all members and visitors.  My Dad always makes crosses out of the palms and we would hang them in our cars or up in the house.  I’ve seen people put them in the back window of their car.  And I also hang them up in my house, sometimes replacing the ones from last year or adding them to the bunch from the years past.  It’s a reminder to me of what this Holy Week is about and what Christ endured.  His crucifixion and how he rose from the dead for me.  Little ole me.  Wretched mess…me.  Again a symbolism of triumph and victory!  So if you’ve ever wondered what the fuss was about on the Sunday before Easter, now you know.  Prophecy is coming to pass and Jesus begins his journey to the cross for you and I.  Willfully and obediently he is moving towards his death.  His love for us is immeasurable.

I’ll continue this chat tomorrow to see what the Monday of Holy Week holds.

Below are some ideas of what you can do with your palms.

http://4soils.com/blog/five-things-to-do-with-your-palm-sunday-palms/

Here 4soils.com offers five things you can do with your Palm Sunday palms to keep the spirit of the day fresh in your hearts all year long.

1. Make the classic Palm Cross from your branch. Tuck the Palm Cross in your Bible, place on your desk or like my mom, tuck behind your vanity mirror.

2. Include your palm branches in your Easter centerpiece. Tuck your palm fronds in your Easter flower arrangement as a reminder of Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.

3. Have a family Palm Sunday parade. Get our kids in the spirit and march around your backyard joyously shouting “Hosanna.”

4. Return your palms to your church for Ash Wednesday next year. Some churches still follow the tradition of burning last year’s palms to use as the ashes on Ash Wednesday.  Ask if your church follows this tradition and if they do not, they may be able to direct you to a local church that does.

5. Offer your palm to a friend or neighbor or stranger. Offering the palm branch can be a way of sharing God’s love, the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and the Good News of the life everlasting.

Just Wanna Live Right

January 18, 2020

The Purpose of Proverbs is to impart wisdom for godly living.

Solomon’s fathering advice to young people and all who seek wisdom will greatly benefit from these wise words.   Discover the source of wisdom, the value of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom.   Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.   They should call a person to action.  The verses tell how you can live in close relationship to Him and offers positive advice that helps you to make good and righteous decisions. –  notes of the Life Application Study Bible

PROVERBS 10  The title of this chapter is Wise sayings of Solomon

This chapter is said to specifically have been written by Solomon.

Verse 1 says, ‘A wise son makes a glad Father.’  Meaning Dad is proud and happy when his son/daughter makes good choices and decisions.

‘But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.’  I can think of a situation where the Mother is worried about her son, who is hanging in the streets and choosing a lifestyle that is foolish or a daughter who is chasing a man that doesn’t love and respect her and has her doing things that are not right.

God’s principles for right living bring lasting happiness.  Proverbs gives us general situations in the examples.  They don’t apply to every aspect of life.  But basically letting us know that the life of a person who seeks God is better in the long run than the life of a wicked person.

Some people bring unhappiness on themselves by choosing wrong living, but righteous people are those who love the Lord and are seeking to follow him.

Everyday has 24 hours filled with opportunities to grow, serve and be productive.  What are you doing with your 24 hours?  Let us see time as God’s gift and seize your opportunities to live for Him.

In the notes, it gives a chart of examples of ‘wise learners’ and ‘foolish failures.’

  • Wise Learners – Gladly accept instruction… Foolish Failures – Ignore instruction
  • Wise Learners – Love discipline… Foolish Failures – Hate correction
  • Wise Learners – Listen to advice… Foolish Failures – Think they need no advice
  • Wise Learners – Accept parents disciplines… Foolish Failures – Mock parents
  • Wise Learners – Are on the pathway to life… Foolish Failures – will go astray
  • Wise Learners – Will be honored… Foolish Failures – End in poverty and disgrace
  • Wise Learners – Profit from constructive criticism… Foolish Failures – Harm themselves by refusing criticism

Verse 20 stood out to me, ‘The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little.’  I’ve always thought, as a Christian that it probably isn’t the wisest choice to seek advice or counsel about godly matters (which is pretty much everything in my life) from someone who God.  The advice probably wouldn’t be as helpful.  I want to get counsel from someone who will speak truth, even if it hurts.  And someone who knows how to talk to me in a way that is teaching and encouraging.  Don’t hurt my feelings to teach me.   Who do you get advice from?  And when you seek advice, what do you honestly want to hear?  The truth may not always feel good, but when given in love; it will do what has sent it to do.  Counsel from a righteous person is like choice silver…it is valuable, you can give it to others, doesn’t lose it’s worth.

Verse 22 ‘The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.’  The notes say, Wealth is a blessing only if we use it in the way God intended.’  Can you honestly say you are using the wealth/blessings/resources that God has given you in the way He intended?  How are you helping others?  Are you paying your tithes with what He has given you?  Are you spending wisely?

Fear the Lord and prolong your days…be aware of the wicked and the destruction that follows them.  Choose righteousness.

Proverbs Reading – Chapter 9

The Purpose of Proverbs is to impart wisdom for godly living.

Solomon’s fathering advice to young people and all who seek wisdom will greatly benefit from these wise words.   Discover the source of wisdom, the value of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom.   Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.   They should call a person to action.  The verses tell how you can live in close relationship to Him and offers positive advice that helps you to make good and righteous decisions. –  notes of the Life Application Study Bible

PROVERBS 9  The title is The Way of Wisdom

The 1st verse says, Wisdom has built her house.  Then goes on to describe the different preparations of the house with food, drink, furnishings, etc.  Wisdom is responsible and takes care of those who are simple.

Wisdom and foolishness are compared in this chapter.  Wisdom appeals to the mind while foolishness appeals to the senses, but the pleasures of foolishness are temporary.  Wisdom brings a satisfaction that lasts forever.

Wisdom lacks nothing, is complete and perfect.

How you respond to criticism speaks volumes of who you are.  Learn from your critics

Wisdom begins with knowing God, having a relationship with Him.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The opposite of wisdom is foolishness…folly.  She lures in the simple, those who lack understanding.  She tells them that stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.  Making all the wrong things sound like they are good.  She will tell you that your wrong is right and deceive you.   And you will follow her not knowing that she is leading you straight to destruction, to death, to hell.

But when you look for wisdom you then have the understanding and knowledge of where foolishness can lead you.  You would choose that path if you choose wisdom.