Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Turbulent Tuesday... cleaning up the path

Jesus said
Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Matthew 25:34

He's rattled the temple, He's called the Chief Priests out, He's comforted the prostitutes. It's fair to say Jesus kicked up dust on the path to the cross. Are you still holding on to His Hand? It's total turmoil, but with God, peace will fill our soul.

We are surrounded by deadlines this week at school -- an incredible student production of "Annie" starts today with 4 total performances, plus Spring break begins Friday. It's time to kick into high gear and focus on getting the job done.

Jesus found Himself with such deadlines, His last week on earth. Knowing His days were numbered, He unleashed many lessons --

To His followers He encouraged them to choose rightly and righteously.
To His critics, the religious leaders, He scolded them for misguiding His sheep. 
To the unbelievers, He gave warnings. 
He told believers about being ready and watchful, as He instilled in them the hope of things to come. 

Jesus holds nothing back for He has nothing to lose, and everything to gain... another believer, joining His family for eternity. He did and will do anything to reach one more.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, March 30, 2015

the countdown is on...

As we leave behind the glorious entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on Sunday, the palm branches and cloaks scattered on His path are also gone.  The bare dirt and pebbles along the path now squeeze between His toes.

Jesus' first stop in Jerusalem, the Temple...
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the table of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves... He said, "My house will be call a house of prayer, but you are making it a den for robbers."

Later that day, He tells His disciples...
"I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt,... you can say to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done.  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  

Jesus' last week on earth was not a walk in the park; it was filled with difficult and trying work.  The Army wants a few good men, but God wants ALL to come Home -- to His amazing, saving grace and eternal life.  

Thank You, Father!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Sunday, March 29, 2015

a Mighty Week

"They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!'" John 12:13

THE countdown is on...

I'm not referring to the countdown to the school play, nor Spring Break, nor the the finals in March Madness, but THE countdown of all countdowns. The countdown in remembering Jesus' final week on earth.  The countdown that sealed forever my future. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, purchasing for ALL who believe in Him, eternal life in Christ Jesus

I wonder how Jesus felt His last week on earth?  After His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, life took a dramatic turn.  Did He understand what would happen? Yes.  Did His disciples?  On Sunday, the palm branches are swaying with shouts of "Hosanna", and by the end of the week shouts of "crucify Him" by the same lips.

With joy comes tears. With thanks comes humbleness.  Let's walk down the  path in hand with Jesus this week with grateful hearts, as we remember His sacrifice and unconditional love for us.

Hosanna, to God in the highest! Thanks be to God!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Our shining Star

"You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light." Psalm 18:28

Gray clouds roll in, storms pound and thunder erupts...
but they do not last forever. 

God's promises are true; He provides the strength and hope we need in trials and hardships.  When all we see are clouds, trust and know He is still with us and working in our lives.

Not only do we have the promise of the "Son" tomorrow, but we have the promise of Him with us yesterday, today, tomorrow and forevermore.
Thank You, Father.

Next week --
The Greatest Story Ever Told -- One with Everlasting Hope

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

practice, practice, practice

"May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through." 1 Thessalonians 5:23


 Life is like an ongoing dress rehearsal.

We do it... 

and we do it again, and again and again.  

And then... 

with practice, guidance, correction, encouragement and inspiration we become more like the One who created us and filled with the Peace of RIGHTeousness.

Thank You, Father, for not giving up on me.  Thank You for constantly working on my heart, soul and mind and growing me to serve You better.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

what are you wearing?

"... make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  Colossians 4:5-6

It's almost play time at school.

But, it's always pray time...
Father, may others see Your Light shine through us in our actions and words everyday.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ Healing

"You need only to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you." Exodus 14:14

He's got you.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, March 23, 2015

many shades of gray

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness."  Proverbs 16:31

Looking over the audience, it was obvious gray comes in many wonderful shades.

Gray hair is honored by God...
but gray behavior is not. 

God is black and white on how we should treat each another.
"Do not let an unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

Father, help me live, act and speak in a way that honors You.  May i be more concerned with the removal of gray thinking and behavior than gray hair.   Give me the heart to keep more gray on my head and not in my head.

Love one another as you love yourself... Be imitators of God...

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,


Friday, March 20, 2015

In other words...

Why?? How could this happen? Where were you, God?

These are questions we all have at some time in our life. Questions, no person can answer. Answers, no reasonable person can fathom.  So, where can we turn for sanity and peace? Consolation and comfort can only come from our Father. Just listen to His Words...

"Jesus wept." John 11:35

The Lord says..."at the time it happens, I am there." Isaiah  48:16
"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6

In other words, Jesus cries with us.  He knows and understands all our sufferings.  We are never alone... not for a day, not for an hour, not for a second.  And one day, in the blink of an eye, we will see and be with Him.

Jesus said... "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be... boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, without love,without self-control..." 2 Timothy 3:1-4 
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

In other words, Satan is active in our world. He knows his days are numbered and is furiously working to snuff out God; but God's victory is guaranteed.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Jesus said... "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creations. " Mark 16:14
"God our Savior, wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3

In other words, God can and will use everything, good and bad, to fulfill His purpose - growing His Kingdom.  He desires for all to spend eternity with Him and not in the darkness of hell. Death is a fact, the only question is the destination.

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

In other words, God who comforts us, helps us comfort others.

"And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

In other words, because of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection, we have the gift of eternal life.  And in the face of tragedy and pain, this grace and mercy of our God restores hope and peace to broken lives.  

Thank You, Father, for the only gift i truly want... Jesus, my Savior.  He has the power to heal the heart, restore the spirit and comfort the soul.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Riding high

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

With boo-boos on both her knees, her daddy snugly wrapped his arms around her legs and carried her high on his shoulders down the hall to her classroom.

How thankful i am, our Heavenly Father does the same for us.

No matter what the pain, why the tears, where the hurt, when the fall... God carries us safely where we need to go.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

a Mighty Word ~ HELP

"There is no one like the GOD of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in His majesty." Deuteronomy 33:26

Can you see this?? Just close your eyes now and envision our God riding on the clouds to our rescue. Not walking, not strolling, but riding to us at the speed of light.

A God who will move heaven and earth to get to us and provide for our needs, bandage our hurts and love us unconditionally... that is the God we are blessed to call, Father.

When we are incapable, our God is able.
When we are ready to give up, our God is going strong.

He cares, He can, He will.  BElieve Him.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God, 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free in green

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatian 5:1

Wearing the green... eating party food... dancing the jig... is that all there is to St. Patrick's Day?

Actually the roots of St. Patrick's Day stem from a British Christian child, kidnapped and kept in slavery in Ireland.  After  he finally escaped, he later returned so to care for the Irish people and teach them about God.  Due to his dedicated kindness, he later became St. Patrick.

Below are resources on truths regarding St. Patrick.
And why the shamrock? St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity, one God in three divine beings, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Whatever we feel enslaved to in life, God can grant us the freedom to overcome it in His love and strength.

Now, that's something to celebrate!

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

Monday, March 16, 2015

at a lost?

God said...
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." Isaiah 49:16

3 months and 22 days ago, and she still remembers...

"Mrs. Williams, did you find your bracelet?"  Bre asked.
"No, i haven't."
"I'm going to make one for you.  Is it okay if i just put your children's initials on it?"

Feeling overwhelmed, isolated, rejected, misplaced or lost?  Don't worry, God has you. He has not forgotten you or your situation. He is working things out for your best and His glory. 

My lost bracelet is not forgotten, but more importantly, neither are we.  As my children's name were engraved on my charms, so we are engraved on the palms of God.

Father, even when we don't feel at peace or see it, may we have just enough faith to know it because we know you.  Year-by-year,day-by-day, minute-by-minute... You are our Peace.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,

...please pray for the Hartell family, Spartanburg High School and Pacolet Elementary School

Friday, March 13, 2015

Who said? Seuss said!

"… we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

Oh, Dr. Seuss, how did you know?
the many injustices the earth would unfold.

Thanks for your colorful, zany characters a-plenty,
a dose of truth from them have taught many.

Be kind to others, do as i say,
love one another, and forgive each day.

Being right in life shouldn't be our mission or goal,
but a right relationship with others is worthy we're told.

And thank you also for encouraging and letting me know,
being different is okay, God has great plans for all in His show!

Hardships, questions and trials are a part of our life,
but if we follow the right One we will have more peace than strife.

So, today we celebrate you, Dr. Seuss... and oh, the places we'll go,
reading and believing with Him allows freedom, grace and love to grow.

friend, we are loved and chosen by God,