Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I am blessed... Thank You

One always wonders if what they write on their blog, is read by others? I have always looked at blogging as a kind of online diary or prayer journal and if I am blessed enough to have someone read and comment it's a gift! I love reading my online friend's blogs as well! Even when I cannot post a comment! I have some very special Siestas who post comments, but I have always wondered... is that it? Are they the only ones reading? I have found out after the post about my grandpa that many, many of my dear friends do read as well. For that I feel truly blessed! I am so happy that whatever God puts on my heart to write about - however elementary my writing skills are, that it's touching someone! It's truly in my heart of hearts what I wanted to happen here!

So for all you gals who are reading and don't know how to post a comment, or choose not to... thank you! Bless you and I hope my blog can be a place where you find God! And for all my "Siestas" I have been touched by through the LPM Blog and blogland - I am praising God for you too! The internet has connected Christian women, who otherwise would never meet! For that reason God gave me the verse I have at the top of my blog!

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Phillipians 1:3-6

Lord God, thank you for the gift of friendship. Thank you that you have given me wonderful Christian women to share the Gospel with! Thank you for the opportunity to witness Jesus Christ! Thank you for your son, who saves us from sin and will raise us in Glory!!! Amen

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

He is Risen!!!! He is Risen Indeed!!!

Death has no sting... the curse of sin is broken... no grave can keep us from our King!

He is Alive! FOREVER! AMEN!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday - The Passion

While reading another blog earlier this week, one of my Siestas wrote about how easy it is sometimes to go from Palm Sunday right to Easter. To try and skip over the hard part of Jesus' final journey to the cross. The walk of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are necessary to get to Easter. I pray that as you watch this brief snippet from The Passion of the Christ that you are blessed. That you feel the full impact of what Christ did for you and me and rejoice! That you know the incredible love God has for ALL of us - so much love that he sent His only son - not to condemn the world, but to save it. (see John 3:16-17) God Bless all of you today! And remember... Easter is coming!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Grandpa

Today my beloved Grandpa went home to be with our Savior. Only in Christ can I experience joy admist my grief. His last words were to my Grandma... he told her he loved her and kissed her on the cheek. A lifetime of love sealed with a kiss. I wanted to share a few photos of Grandpa. The first is when he was a very young man in WWII, (he is the young man on the left) the other is a picture of Grandpa and me dancing at my sister's wedding. Grandpa was always the strongest man I knew and so handsome. Always ready to play a practical joke on me or give me a hug. Memories have just been flooding my mind the past few days... time at their home in the country, playing in the barn, helping in the garden, sitting and talking, laughing and enjoying the family God placed me in. I am thanking and praising my Lord today, for giving me my Grandpa - and also the gift of memories. Just over 86 years he spent on this earth - just a snippet of eternity. Until we see each other again... I love you Grandpa... thank you for all you were and are to me. Thank you for loving me.

Cheers and Jeers

The Triumphal Entry
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."

4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "[a]

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[c]
"Hosanna[d] in the highest!"

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"

11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

Palm Sunday is a day that the children of our church look forward to, as they are part of the processional. Waving their palm branches and singing. It's such a delight to see the smiles on their faces! We are reminded that Jesus was cheered as he rode into Jerusalem - but by Friday the crowds were screaming "crucify him!"

It's tourney time for us basketball fans! This past Friday night our favorite team The Indiana Hoosiers were playing in a Big 10 Championship game against Minnesota. We had some friends over, we were in a celebratory mood, the chips, wings and other snacks were placed on the table! The game started and we were cheering our team on to victory. Unfortunately, the game did not end up the way we had wanted or expected. A last second shot (and I do mean a last second shot) went up and went in. The final score Minnesota: 59, Indiana: 58.

It was interesting listening to some of our friends - one minute cheering IU, the next saying "they are terrible". Cheering one minute, the next jeering! Isn't it just like the Passion week... cheering Jesus and then jeering. How can we go from one extreme to another so quickly? When the outcome isn't what we expected? The team didn't perform the way WE wanted. Jesus wasn't the king they expected?

I couldn't help but notice the similarities of human behavior between the events of the last week of Jesus' life and the reaction to the game this past Friday. Cheers then Jeers. It's heartbreaking. A team we should love was being jeered. Our God, who came to save us was spat upon, beaten and hung on a cross.

As I reflect on Jesus' journey to the cross - I realize that I am the one who should be jeered. I am the one who lets God down daily. I am not a champion. I am not worthy of the blood that was shed. But God, in His great love, felt that I, as well as all of us were worth it! He sacrificed His son to be our Champion! Our Savior, Our King.

Father God, I thank You for sending your son - for His sacrifice, suffering and pain on the cross in order for us to have eternal life with you. There is no greater gift or reward I could ever receive than that! You are my Champion - you are my Savior! Amen

Monday, March 3, 2008

God's promise in the other crosses....

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."[e] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One." The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

As we journey during this lenten season toward the Cross of Christ and the glory of his resurrection - let us ponder the other 2 crosses on the hill of Calvary. One on either side of Christ. Think about God's promise as you ponder the other two crosses... one on Jesus' right, one on his left. One man hurling insults, demanding to be saved, demanding Jesus to save himself. The other... knowing the crimes he had committed, knowing his punishment was just... this man said to Jesus "remember me when you come into your kingdom" Jesus assured him, "you will be with me in paradise" That man accepted the absolute need for a savior. He was truly repentant - this criminal for some reason, put the story together. The other man mocked God - demanded the right to his life. One man chose the road of self, the other... chose the road of salvation. This criminal noticed and this criminal repented - he turned to Jesus as his only hope - he came to the savior. There was nothing the repentent thief could do at that moment to save his life. He could not, by his own means or strength remove himself from that cross. No deed, no work... just faith. The only hope this man saw was the hope in Christ - and the only thing he could do was ask "remember me when you come into your kingdom" and Jesus replied "today you will be with me in paradise."

Yes dear friends, there is nothing we can do to earn our salavation, there is nothing we can do to win it... we cannot remove sin from ourselves - no it's only by the blood of Christ that our sin can be removed! Call on him - ask him to remember you! He will - that's a promise - not from me, but from God your Father!

Three crosses loom on Golgotha - one on the right, one on the left. But in the center is our Lord, bearing our sin, forgiving those who mocked him, saving not just the repentent thief, but all of us who call him our Savior - confess Christ! Hallelujah!