ABOVE THE SERVICE OF SELF

 

1 Kings 3:16-28 New International Version (NIV)

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman.
Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

Isn’t it funny how some people think that they can gain something in lies? My most recent study is with a group of women about this. The book is called, “Lies Women Believe”.

In this story I wondered why they were prostitutes. Why indeed. If these women had been in a higher position with husbands, there would be no equality amongst the two of them. In this case they were already guilty of the same shame. The difference is in their heart.

Where is the wisdom when the acclaim for selfishness is masterful? Would the child cut in two be a solution? No, then both of the baby boys would have died. The mother in grief of her loss would not care about the other son. She just wanted the other mother to suffer like she did.

This could also be said about fathers and their children. It is not necessary to be blood related to call someone your mother or father. Many people develop a strong relationship without the same genetics. I have many I call family because we share a spiritual bond.

What would you do if someone said they were going to put your loved one in jail? If you knew the crime was not any part of theirs, but a lie from someone else, what would you do? You would find out who the real law-breaker was.

I am not a detective nor do I think I would be very good at the job. It seems to me if I wanted to find the accuser, I would pretend that I believed my family member was guilty. To do that you would need to turn your back on them. This must be done in secrecy to protect them during the search. Sadly, it would mean that your family member would think you lied to them and resented them.

“Well worth it,” you would say no matter how many tears were shed, because they would be free. They could hate you for the rest of your life, but they would be free. Free because of their Love. Let your life be the proof of your self-sacrifice in Love.

We all have the capability of giving “above the service of self’ as Jesus did. How many other stories are in the Bible about this one purpose? Good reading ahead of you, I think.

REMIND US OH LORD

 

reminder-candles

‘We are reminded that spiritual warfare is sometimes expressed on the battlefields of this world. That warfare is likely to become increasingly intense as we progress into the end times.’

It is nothing wonderful to be reminded about our own weaknesses. The wonder of it all is Jesus holding onto us in comfort. We all fall down He always raises us back up.

Many questions are not fully understood. There are others I look at differently than before. Some time ago, while praying about the Temple, I realized something that is written.

Hanukkah: Prophetic Fulfillment

Hanukkah – light, courage, and faith.

Hanukkah – the true worship of God in Yerushalayim

Believers endanger their belief in an idolatry fashion of the Temple, when in fact that is what they are.

Or don’t you know that your body is a Temple for the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. You are the Temple. I Corinthians 6:19-20

I have read something unknown to me before.

God revealed Himself to Moshe (Moses) in the four letters

Yud-Heh-Vah-Heh. No one was to speak His name except a high priest. Adonai is instead the Name whenever the Torah is read.

Adonai can include Yeshua and or the Holy Spirit.

Seems something like, God the Father/Adonai, God the Son, Messiah, and God the Holy Spirit.

God = Adonai The Trinity

I fail to understand something in my heart.
Christian Anti-Semitism.
Where did these translators think the New Testament left the Jews out of the plan of God?

Jesus is a Jew. He is our Resurrected God who was human on earth as a Jew. He was always in the Scripture as the Messiah of the Jews. The chosen Jews were then supposed to teach the world of truths Jesus gave them and taught them to show the world His Power of grace and Love.

Who do we remember the disciples as?
The purpose for the Jew is the whole plan of God to present our Lord and Savior Jesus to the World.

Israel is the servant of God in the whole beginning of His Commandments and sin itself. The first sin was from Adam and Eve, Jews. Then requiring the sacrifice of His one and only Son, the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus to give us eternal life.

Just as many have forgotten 9/11 in a very short time, so the Jews forgot the Miracles God has given them time and time again. Jesus’ Power is forgotten by all! (Please humble us Lord so we are not blinded.)

Jesus was born of Mary, a Jew from the family of King David as promised and fulfilled.

How can we as believers in Jesus be against one another?

I often wonder if all of us, from the Baptist, to the Lutheran, to the Catholic, to the Church of Christ, to the non-denominational churches, and so on, yes including the Jews and the Messianics; were in one room and Jesus walked in….what would He say?

Would all of us bow down to His Holy Presence or think ourselves higher in our opinions of His Word? We translate what we deem is right, He gave us Holy Spirit did He not? Discernment is applied through Him in us. Where do we go wrong? Like the Pharisees in the Temple? Jesus threw the tables over in perfect distaste of their process.

What would Jesus say to us in the hackling of our salvations? The price He paid for us, that we will never understand the cost of.

Can you hear Him say again?

“Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”

Have you ever had to pray what Jesus said? I have, and have had to forgive them, to stay close to my Lord Jesus who forgives me.

How long are we here?

Heretheretheretheretheretheretheretherethere..eternityeternityeternityeternity

What would we do to show our Jesus what our hearts truly believe?

A wisp and we go on to Heaven for eternity.

What
Is
Spiritual
Purpose?

Jesus, is our spiritual purpose with all men. To share the Gospel of Salvation if we ask with our mouth and speak with our tongue the need for Jesus to wash away our guilt and sin and become our Savior.

Share Him….Purpose
Share Him with your children, share Him with your family, share Him with the hungry, share Him with the rich, share Him with our Leaders, share HIM!

HIS LOVE IN THE STORM

 

the-storm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5bLvVjJ4MA

2 Chronicles 20:21 “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him….

“Give thanks to the Lord, for His Love endures forever.”

As the armies were out there against Judah and Jerusalem, here is Jehoshaphat believing His voice to all who would hear.

2 Chronicles 20:15 “He said, Listen King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem, this is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

The battle is not ours, it is God’s. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.

Have we forgotten the battles of Gideon, of David, of Jericho? Whose were they? Certainly no one could have won those battles the way the Lord our God did.

I notice in all of these times, God wants our praise, our songs, our prayers, and our adoration of the one true God! This is what we can do, because He has made us with the availability to love Him.

I have been through many storms. I thought I could fix them on my own. I thought it was me who had the answer. Since when did I create the world, or make the man of God? Who makes the sunshine, the moon glow, or the stars sparkle? God forgive me when I forget who You are!

When Peter was falling and slipping into the waves, He took his eyes off of Jesus, and became afraid. Jesus held His hand out and raised Peter. We will not sink if we keep our eyes on the One who saves. He is our all in all.

Our pastor just gave us a service that involved the story of “Cinderella”. Aptly there were great comparisons that would meet our understandings of God. The one that stood out the most for me was when the Prince was searching for his love. The beautiful princess he had met at the ball.

The stepmother of Cinderella locked her up in the tower. She knew it was Cinderella that the Prince was searching for. Cinderella refused to assist the stepmother of all her plots if she let her go. The stepmother was angry and left Cinderella.
Then the men met the two stepdaughters and knew they were not the one they were searching for. The Prince asked the stepmother, “Are these all of your daughters?” The Stepmother lied saying, “yes”.

The Chief was moving his men to leave when he heard the most beautiful song he had ever heard. He asked, “Who is that singing?” The stepmother lied that it was some worker. The leader of the men, said, “No, I think we need to examine this more”.

In the end, the Prince found Cinderella, in her clothing of rags. He loved her still, and asked her to marry him. She of course said yes. As they were leaving her stepmother, Cinderella said, “I forgive you”.

This story reminds me of one specific scripture written.

I Samuel 16:1 “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected his as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’

Here it is as the time that the Prince rejects the stepdaughters, and says there is another.

I Samuel 16:10-13 “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” Samuel then went back to Ramah.”

Are these all of your children? We cannot be hidden from God. We cannot hide from Him either. Even in the storms of the highest waves, the strongest winds, the quaking of the land, the Lord knows where His sheep are.

We will always see His Love in the storm. We belong to Him and He belongs to us. God is all we need.

SHARING A BROKEN COMFORT

jesus-carrying-the-cross

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

My three daughters and I were baking cookies. The dough becomes messy on the counter, and half of it goes into their mouths before we can bake it. It did not take much time before we removed those delicate savoring chocolate chip delights. After they had cooled, I handed each of the girls a scrumptious cookie.

One of them cried out, “Mom, their cookies are bigger than mine”. Inside I was moaning and thought this was going to be quite a row. What happened next, became a glory moment of God’s intervention. My oldest daughter broke a piece of her cookie off and handed it to her sister. Then the youngest one did the same. Now, in fact the daughter, who had less, now had more.

These acts of kindness worked in my heart. It was the brokenness that was required to give and share. The adorned cookies were broken.

What was the comfort coming now? They ate and enjoyed their self-made desires. Instead of a fight, they enjoyed moments of glee. They looked with yearning into my eyes asking me to give them more.

What a great way to look at our Lord Jesus. The one who broke Himself on the cross to give us all He had. He gave His all to give us life eternal with Him. Jesus suffered Himself on the cross to share His Love with us.

In His sharing we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Joy in such a rapture we want to share Him. In order to do so, we need to break off a piece of ourselves. The break requires a broken suffering that results in scars and lessons in pain. Jesus has taught us that the outcome is of great light and loves in the giving.

In Psalm 19:7-14 the Lord gives us His designed recipe to prepare for this. When we read His Word, He says think about such things. The contents of the recipe are His law, His statutes, His precepts, His commands, His pure fear, and His ordinances. Verse 11 says, “By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

The spiritual lesson I learned from my daughters is that brokenness can supply comfort.
Can I share this devotion without giving? No, it both breaks my heart and comforts my heart reliving my children in their suffering. This is the suffering that turned into gladness.

Our Father loves us so much, He watches over as we suffer and holds us tight. He knows His Promise will be right there for us to bring His comfort. He will make His Joy in the morning live in us.

How can we ever forget Jesus’ suffering to bring us comfort? We are to be like Jesus.

Our Father loves us so much, He watches over as we suffer and holds us tight. He knows His Promise will be right there for us to bring His comfort. He will make His Joy in the morning live in us.

 

How can we ever forget Jesus’ suffering to bring us comfort? We are to be like Jesus.

THE UNFORBIDDEN CATHEDRAL

unforbidden-cathedral

(If we google the word unforbidden it is listed as an adjective and the opposite of forbidden.)

Worship our Lord. I was thinking about how many times God spoke to men in the Tabernacle as they would worship. I should go and look at all of the Scriptures to do this, but I really do not have the time right now. My mind is reminding me, there were more times to worship God away from a building, and more in His Creation. Where do we read that Jesus and His disciples spent their times in worship?

This is His unforbidden Cathedral. We can worship Him anywhere. God’s majesty of art is displayed in the hills, the pastures, the bushes, the dove, the lambs, the figs, and so much more. The Garden of Eden was the forbidden, Adam and Eve caused the end of it due to sin. Yet, we are still surrounded by beauty that is His gift to us, His unforbidden territory.

This just goes to prove, God is not in a cathedral; He is not in a building. He is everywhere in His Creation. Next time you take a walk, remind yourself He is with you always in an unforbidden Love.

Here is something to share.

Colossians 1:5 “the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in Heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel
(6 )that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

The hope that is stored up for you in Heaven…can be spread all over the world…!!

This is what I am praying for…the hope….of the world.  Never forget…our King of the World!

 

RISKY BUSINESS

girl-ice-skating

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To-BnDwld8M

 

Romans 8:38-39 New International Version (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It was a cool December morning and the ice was perfect on the local pond. Rachel grabbed her ice skates. She had finished her chores as fast as she could. Now, the walk in the feather of snow with the sun glistening was luring her.

The local forestry workman had started a fire in the round rocks on shore. The flickering flames gravitated her to warm her hands there. Some of her neighbors were there already. Most of them were about the same age between 8 and 12 years old. They were already wet from melting snow on their legs.

Soon it would be Christmas, and they were all so excited about the plans that were made. Some were going to visit relatives out-of-town. Linda, her best friend was staying and decorating with lights. They had already planned a Christmas Caroling Party.

This tight friendship began at their church. They were part of the younger choir group. At school, they both were persecuted for their beliefs in Jesus. They would not go to the wild parties these kids would attend with teenagers using drugs. They would not date or sleep with boys as other girls did. So they were mocked.

Rachel and Linda started singing and skating in circle eights and left and right turns, enjoying the easy gliding. Rachel had taught Linda how to do some figure skating. What a contest they started amongst the group.

A loud cracking noise was heard throughout the whole pond. The ice had broken, and Linda had fallen into the icy water. Rachel rushed over to where Linda had last been seeing being very careful herself. Where was Linda? She had floated under the ice. Rachel could see her, but could not reach her.

There was no time. Rachel made a quick decision. She jumped into the freezing water and held onto the unbroken ice. She grabbed for Linda. Someone threw a rope to Rachel and she went under the ice. Rachel grabbed Linda. She brought her above water and tied her to the rope so she could be pulled out.

Linda was safe. Rachel however started sinking into the icy water. Her woolen clothing had soaked up so much water, and her hands were so frozen she could not hold onto the edged ice. She disappeared.

Many people were asking “Why, why Rachel?” Why did God let her die? Why did Rachel risk so much? Her Pastor was engulfed at the service with these questions.

Rachel risked her life for another whom she loved. Linda was her best friend. She read books with her, laughed and cried with her, and had planned a Christmas Caroling Party with her. Now, she was gone.

It is not really the why we should ask God, but for what purpose. He has a purpose in everything. Rachel knew Jesus as her personal savior. She knew Jesus had “risked” His life for her.

She knew He would always be with her. Jesus had taught her the real value of risk. Risk for life. His death on the cross was for eternal life. Her risk had enabled Linda her life.

The Christmas Caroling Party was still celebrated. The group met at Rachel’s parents home. There was a table full of yummy cookies, Rachel’s favorites. Each of the 20 children lit candles and sang, “Joy to the World” in her memory. They said a prayer together and as they walked down the sidewalk to town, the snow began to softly fall. They sang, “Silent Night”.

There is a poem I love written about this time of our lives. If you have not heard of it, please read it here: “The Dash Poem”
http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

I ask myself everyday, “How much am I willing to risk for Jesus?”
I will admit some days I fall into a mess of me. Most days though, He grabs me with Joy in the morning! I stay there until I go to bed and thank Him for a beautiful day.

Are we willing to believe His Words in Romans 8:28-29? Many of us have memorized this and say it often. In reality do we really understand what it means? To risk our lives with Jesus includes so much. He tells us this in His Words.

Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Are you ready to take that risk?

soldier-at-the-cross

PRAYING FOR OUR VETERANS

STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND

reaching-out-of-jesus-hand

Good Morning!  Good Morning JESUS, Good Morning FATHER GOD, good morning HOLY SPIRIT.  Good Morning and thank you for all Your blessings!

Shhhhhhhhh, did you hear Him?  Try it again, empty all other thoughts….shhhhhh

Good Morning JESUS……He whispers…“g o o d morning my child”….Good Morning FATHER GOD…. He whispers…..“g o o d morning my daughter” (or son)…..shhhhhh,

Good Morning HOLY SPIRIT……shhhhhh….“g o o d  m o r n i n g my Love”.

He takes my breath away not physically, but spiritually…..shhhhhh, “just hold me”; He says.  He takes my out stretched hand and holds me close.  At that moment, it is only He and I in total peace.

Is there possibly more that I could want or need?

Jesus says, “ I have given you everything.  Everything you need.  He says, “I am your great supplier of all there is”.  Dare I say what He says next….shhhhhh listen.

“Now let’s go my child, let’s pack your bag.  It will be for the long haul.  It will not be ready anytime soon, we will carefully fold, cover, and bring gifts I will provide along the way.  There will be songs, words, smiles, laughter, tears, righteous anger, unfailing love and compassion I am providing all of these supplies for our packing.  Before, I bring you Home again to me, the bag will be full of all My riches needed in Heaven.  Just take hold of my hand.”

We have all heard about the Red Sea and Moses, what do you think God said to him?  The Lord speaks to him more than once, about the Red Sea, this one is very well known.

 

Exodus 14:15-16New International Version (NIV)

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

 

Then much later, Jesus uses this same scripture phrase to show the strength and power of His mighty Will.  These are His miracles and yet many denied every one of them.  From the beginning to now, they still do not believe because they have no faith.

Mark 3:1-6New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

In my devotions today, it was not the usual way.  I normally read a written message provided through one of my sources I receive.  Not today.

Yes, our Father told us more than once…stretch out your hand.  This is His message to us.

I awoke this morning praying for faith in this world.  God has provided faith in each of our spirits.  In the time of Moses He was showing us how to stretch out our hands in faith to Him.

Moses stretched out his hand in great faith to God.  This was not the first time God told Moses to stretch out his hand.  In God’s dealing with Pharaoh, Moses was commanded to stretch out his hand in six of the 10 plagues.  These were the plagues where God was insisting, “Let my people go.”  The final plague became known as “The Passover”.

Through reading these plagues again and again, we watch Pharaoh in our desperation of his cruelty.  He allowed such devastation, and was so hardened, he would not stretch out his hand, to his own people.

The man, whose withered hand was incapable of working, accepted faith, only God could give.  Jesus told him to stand up for all to see.  Does this sound familiar?  Moses was in front of everyone too.  Why do we suppose they are in front of everyone?  Both of these incidents could have been done in private.

Jesus had already healed the man’s hand and by faith showed everyone this miracle done on the Sabbath.  God had already shown Moses His power many times.  These times were to elevate the source of His Miracles.  Not the men, but God Himself.  He shows us this:

2 Corinthians 5:7New International Version (NIV)

For we live by faith, not by sight.

 

“What is more important”; Jesus had asked the Sadducees and the others.  Is it more important to watch this man in pain and work as you do in the Temple, or to show compassion for his need?  He also asked them if their own animals who fell on the Sabbath would not be taken care of.  They too would have to stretch out their hand in this care on the Sabbath.

I wonder what these two were thinking.  I wonder what they thought with this commandment, “stretch out your hand”.  They could not do anything out of their own hand.

His Word lives, He stretches out for our hands.  “Open the God breathed scriptures in faith”; He pleads.  Can you hear Him asking you: “My child, stretch out your hand”?

Ephesians 2:8New International Version (NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&p=Reach+out+to+Jesus#id=3&vid=f90159fe7d5a42f0f1db91f38640c36c&action=click

 

 

HOW MUCH MORE?

Bridge Over Troubles Waters by Jimmie Scott

Romans 5:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

 

How much more can we be saved? Is there more justification than the blood of Jesus? God planned the only solution of our salvation. He gave all His Love, His only Son, Jesus. There is no boundary. God is Love.

 

How would we tell a child? How can be simply share the understanding of His uncondtional Love.

 

My daughters needed to learn right from wrong. They had to experience what sin is. When that time happened, He let my spirit know. My chastisement of their wrongness usually caused tears of admissible sin. I hugged them in His forgiving love. Gently I held their head to look at my eyes and say, “There is someone who will always love and forgive you more.” They would shake their head no, not believing yet.

 

This is the time for God’s Word. I read the Bible about God’s love for His children. How Jesus died for them. This is how He forgave the sin they just did. (John 3:16)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have ever lasting life.”

 

To make a better understanding of His eternal Love, I asked them to listen to my heart. “Thump thump”, they would say. “Yes, I would tell them. That is the sound of Holy Spirit within me and He has carried my “thump love” in my new life with Jesus.” (the heart has two different, S1 and S2 sounds, I call them “thump love”.) I would read:

Psalm 8:2 New International Version (NIV)

Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

I would tell them; “Now, you know what sin is. This is when Jesus will save you. All you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your life. You will be forever His child and forgiven of all your sins. Forever is like sun, moon, and stars we see”. They would smile and say, “Yes, Mommy, I want Him to stay in my life”. So, we prayed, we prayed the most precious prayer of their life. “Dear Jesus, I know you died on the cross for my sins. I ask you to forgive me, to be my Lord and Savior all my life. I want to know you forever. Thank you, dear Jesus for loving me.”

 

I happen to have a stethoscope, and let them hear their own thump love. “See, I said, Jesus is in you now”. They would jump up and dance around singing. “Jesus loves me”. (I taught them that song from early childhood.)

 

How much more? There is no more. Jesus paid with everything God needed. He was no longer separated from us.   Jesus came in the flesh to cover our sins at the cross.

 

A few years ago I asked Jesus a question. (He likes our questions.) My question was, “How many more blessings are there? You have given me so many, there must be a limit.” God’s answer is written below:

Ezekiel 34:26 New International Version (NIV)

26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.[a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.

 

God is telling us that He showers us in blessings. There is no ending there is no limit. He does not charge us interest in our relationship with Him.

 

HOW MUCH MORE?

By Joan Allen Pfeiffer

 

How much more,

Will there be wars?

How much more,

Struggle at the oars?

 

How much more,

Could God display?

How much more,

When we pray?

 

How much more,

Could Jesus pay?

There is no more,

His Love will stay.

 

Jesus paid it all for our sins.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DdgkvnsHjM

 

JESUS’ BOUNDLESSNESS

believe

JESUS’ BOUNDLESSNESS

By Pastor Dan

I contacted Pastor Dan, a wonderful man of God. Years ago I visited him in my hometown church. The message that Sunday clasped the tightness of grief away from my heart. I have shared it with others, and now have received permission from him to share it publicly. I will protect his full identity from others who do not share in these beliefs.

About a year after one of my loved ones dies, I usually have a dream. I call it the “resurrection dream.” In the dream, the real life happenings leading up to the person’s death get reviewed.

‘But, I thought you had a stroke and were in a nursing home.’

‘But, I thought you dropped dead of a heart attack.’

‘But, I thought you were run over by a drunk driver.’

‘But, I thought you were thrown from the vehicle.’

And the person who was dead tells me, “It was a mistake. I am alive, and I’m ok.” And in the dream they are concretely alive. I can see their person. I can hear his or her voice. I can touch them like I used to. I am always confused, relieved, mystified, apprehensive, joyful….all at once. But I awake in peace. The dream always unlocks something for me, sending me on my way toward life after death.

I always think there must be some archetypal truth to that dream. I always hope that there is some kind of universal truth of the human experience of resurrection in it. When I read the post-resurrection appearance stories like Jesus’ encounter with Thomas, I do so from a vantage point of one who has lived through the trauma of parting. I do so as one who has been confused, apprehensive, and relieved. I do so as one who has lived in the joyful mystery that somehow, someway, the power of life outlives the power of death.

In post-resurrection appearance stories, I always imagine that the disciples go through something like I do in my ‘resurrection dream’. It doesn’t take much to conjure up an understanding of their confusion, their apprehension, their polarities of sadness and joy as they mourn the end of the three years of ministry with Jesus, the three days of conflict and loss, and now deal with the ambiguity of a rising.

The fact is; they were touched by this Jesus….they bought into the things He said and the way He lived. They had experienced in Him the way the world ought to be. They walked with Him in His life, in His work, and in His suffering and death albeit in varying degrees of admirability. No matter how we scrutinize their behavior, they were there with Him through it in some degree of proximity.

So there they were in today’s story, alone but together, fearful, hiding in a locked up room on the night of the first Easter Sunday. They undoubtedly were trying to process the fast events of those days that were like a dream, nay, a nightmare, while they also lived in fear over what was next. “What was I thinking”? “If I’d have only done this instead of that!” “Where did the body go? Is He really risen from the dead?” “What’s going to happen to us?”

It was then that Jesus came to them, as they hid, locked in fear. The power of the resurrection began to shine forth for them when they saw their beloved Lord and they hear His voice saying, “Peace be with you.” He once again became a reality for them when he let them touch the wounds in His hands and side and breathed on them the Holy Spirit. Jesus unlocked for them the paschal mystery in which they had been participating. He was unlocking them in order to set them on course toward new life. And He did so by reminding them of their orientation to His way of life that they bought into: “As the father has sent me, so I send you. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any they are retained.”

I always think it must have been like a dream; like a quiet, amazing, beautiful, real, intimate dream Jesus quietly arose and began appearing to the people He had chosen to live His way of life, and carry out His mission. It must have been like a dream that, in a finite way, points to a reality that is so awesome, so moving, so profound, and so infinite.

The stark contrast between the finite and the infinite was exactly Thomas’ problem, and it’s a reasonable problem. Thomas, like any of us who were not there, as much as said, “I don’t get it. Y’all are nuts…going around talking about seeing Jesus alive. Unless I see I cannot believe.”

And in case we didn’t get the boundless character of Jesus in the first appearance to the disciples, we can’t help but to get it when Jesus appeared to Thomas. Not bound by death and the grave, not bound by fear and locked doors, not bound by even time and space, Jesus came back again for Thomas. “Peace be with you, “ Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt, but believe.”

At that moment, Jesus gave Thomas exactly what he needed for faith. The finite and the infinite converged. The bound became unbound. The locked became the unlocked. And Thomas uttered that moving faith declaration, “My Lord and My God!” And it echoes down through the centuries to us, who have not seen and yet believe.

As for the disciples on that first Easter night, form our perspective all these centuries later, the resurrection sometimes seems like half-dream and half-reality; half finite and half infinite. But the fact of the matter is that we live on this side of it and in its power. We are literally affected by Christ’s boundlessness to time and space. We live deeply, concretely in His real presence at our core and that does something good to our daily lives. It makes us rise.

So, do not doubt, but believe.

John 20:19-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In my own understanding of Pastor Dan’s message, I am risen. Yes, I will admit that I too have had those “resurrection dreams.” I am not the only one who has besides him. Where is that cord that connects the finite to the infinite in Jesus? Faith to believe.

 

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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SHINING SONGS

This is my Fathers House picture

Thy Loving Kindness Is Better Than Life

Psalm 63:3 – 4 KJV

 “Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee, thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”

 

 

Oh, how I love this song. During my years at Bible College, our choir was taught this beautiful hymn. We sang it all over Arizona. From Flagstaff up north, all they way down to Bisbee, this song blessed so many churches.

My favorite place, however, was in Sedona. There in Sedona is a beautiful Chapel with special acoustics marbled into it. This song reverberated again and again. The result to me, sounded like angels singing.

 

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?

By St. Augustine

It has the hands to help others.

It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.

It has the eyes to see misery and want.

It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.

That is what Love looks like.

 

A great description of what loving kindness is like. St. Augustine wrote this between 354 AD and 450 AD. I think he must have read the above verse.

 

Lord, when did we see thee hungry…

Or thirsty…

A stranger…

Or naked…

Or in prison?

I think this is Loving kindness simply said. Walk humbly with your God.