Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Easter Sunday

March 31, 2013

Today is Easter Sunday.

Yes, we know all about the pagan traditions attached to Easter: Bunnies, chicks, eggs, even the name “Easter”!

So, many people prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday” in order to delete the paganism and keep the Christianity in it.

We aren’t here to judge, so we’ll let you do what you wish with it. HOWEVER… we still want to point out the importance of this day’s observance.

Today is the day in which we meditate on, and appreciate the incredible thing Jesus Christ did for us: Although He never deserved it He took the mockings, took the beatings, took the blasphemy, and took the death, just so we could be forgiven and have a chance to dwell in the Kingdom of God.

He certainly did not owe this to us.
And yet He did it, even though all of us today weren’t even born yet.
In fact, we wouldn’t be born for many generations at that time!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for tolerating such pain and humiliation for us.
Thank you for giving us the only chance we could have.

 

 

Mary, Did You Know?

December 16, 2012

Poignant Christmas video I must share, by CeeLo Greene:

Mary Did You Know….

It’s Very Simple

September 21, 2012

Christianity is complicated only because PEOPLE make it complicated.

Some denominations tell you that you must perform particular works in order to be saved. Or that you must believe in only their doctrine. Or that you must perform certain rituals (which aren’t actually commanded  in the Bible). Some cherry-pick Scriptures to construct a teaching that really isn’t in the Bible. Some claim to be speaking for God and/or Jesus and require you to follow their every word. And some are extremely legalistic; embracing rule-keeping over mercy at all costs (Luke 11:42). And many are a combination of these things.

How can you know which one really clings to the truth as set out in the Bible?

First of all, you must realize that, at this time, there is no “perfect” denomination. Human influence has its nasty little way of getting in between ourselves and God. This is a situation we have to put up with until Jesus Christ returns and sets things straight.  Does this make our situation hopeless?

NO.

It simply means that we need to make a diligent effort to test any doctrine we are taught and see how the teachings hold up against Scripture.

For example, the Bible states very clearly that we should never call anyone on Earth “Father” (Matthew 23:9 ). However, the Roman Catholic Church refers to their Pope as “Holy Father”.

Another example: Seventh Day Adventists teach that Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael. They received this teaching from their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White, not from the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses also teach that Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael, though in this case it’s a matter of cherry picking Scriptures to come to that conclusion. The article here explains how erroneous their cherry picking is.

In order to find truth in faith, it is vital that you read your Bible on a regular basis and become familiar with its message. Ignore the words of so-called prophets whose words cannot be solidly supported in Scripture. Do not succumb to teachings based on cherry picked Scriptures that the Bible does not clearly connect within Itself. And remember that true Christianity teaches mercy and love over rules and rigidity.

It is not wrong to scrutinize a group’s teachings as such scrutinization is the best way to avoid getting trapped in false doctrine. The Bible Itself teaches that testing the teachings is the right way to go (Holman Christian Standard Bible):

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Acts 17:11
The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.

Colossians 2:8
Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.

Galatians 1:8-9
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

As mentioned earlier in this post, all religious groups today are burdened with the curse of human imperfection, but this shouldn’t stop us from finding as much Bible truth as is humanly possible. Real Christianity is not something you are taught from men, it is something that is taught to you through the Word of God — the Bible. Be sure that what men are teaching you are in direct harmony with Scripture, and be sure that you heed Scripture over the men when discrepencies occur. Be sure that the godly qualities of love, mercy, and forgiveness are promoted, and leave all judgmentalism to Christ instead of ourselves. True Christianity is not complicated, so don’t let other people make it so.

Peace, and Amen.

 

 

Good Samaritans?

August 13, 2012

Yesterday at church the pastor read the Bible passage about the Good Samaritan.We all know the story: A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead. Two of his countrymen pass him by and don’t offer help, and then a Samaritan, a social outcast, came along and helped him at great financial expense.Nice, lovely story that everyone should take lessons from.

And it got me thinking: But how does this apply today? Nowadays, most of the “robbery” comes in the form of men with suits working in offices. And nowadays, nobody could care less if someone is from the geographical region of Samaria (Palestine).

So let’s update this:

You are driving your car through the Sonora desert and your car tire blows out. Your cell phone can’t get a signal, you have a spare tire but no tire iron, and you’re stuck on a hot road in the middle of the scorching day. You are in danger of heat exhaustion if you stay in it for too long, and you have nothing to drink. Your car prominently displays Christian-themed bumper stickers, so anyone can figure out where your views lie. And you see a car coming: Unbeknownst to you, the driver is the pastor of a large church who is on his way to speak at a Bible rally. He slows down as he approaches your vehicle, but since you currently appear to be okay he decides to continue on his way, after all, he is LATE for the rally.

About an hour later, another car approaches. This driver is also a fellow Christian, but he is also quite busy and can’t spare a few minutes to help you — he doesn’t even slow down, he just continues on as if you weren’t even there.

You are getting discouraged. And hot. And thirsty. And worried.

Another hour later, a third vehicle comes into view. This one contains two gay men who’ve just gotten married and they are traveling to their honeymoon destination in Mexico. They see you’re stuck, and stop to see if they can assist you. They clearly see your bumper sticker opposing gay marriage, and for a moment your heart sinks.
They probably hate you.

But no.
One offers you some water, the other starts changing your flat tire, and they stay with you until they are sure you’re going to be okay. You can’t possibly express enough gratitude for their help.

Or maybe it was a devoutly Muslim man who came to your assistance.
Or a Wiccan.
Or maybe even a prostitute and her pimp.

That’s what the Samaritan was to the man beaten and left for dead: A perceived unsavory element whom he wouldn’t be caught dead with — and yet that very person was saving his life.

And that’s the lesson Jesus was trying to convey: There is no excuse to put your self and your own views ahead of another’s well-being. We are all responsible for each other, regardless of lifestyle, religion, colour, nationality, or beliefs. We need to show love to everyone, not just the people we happen to like. That is what the true love of Christ is all about.

And that is the modern day lesson we can take from the Good Samaritan.

National Day of Prayer

May 3, 2012

Here in the United States the first Thursday in May each year is designated as the National Day of Prayer.

(All Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER
Matthew 6:9-13

In this manner, therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

CHRIST GLORIFYING GOD
John 12:23-28

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. 27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE
Matthew 26:36

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

HANNAH’S FIRST PRAYER
1 Samuel 1:9-17

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

HANNAH’S SECOND PRAYER
1 Samuel 2: 1-10

And Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
“Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.
“The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”

ELISHA’S PRAYER
2 Kings 6:15-18

15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

ADVICE FROM JAMES
James 5:13-18

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

THE LITTLE CHILDREN
Matthew 19:13-15

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

HAVING FAITH
Matthew 21:21-23

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Not Ready To Let Go

December 30, 2011

Today is December 30th.
I’m still hearing Christmas hymns on the radio.
AND I LIKE IT!

Christmas is simply hard to let go of.
I’m not talking about the frenzy of decorating – shopping – wrapping – cookie ing – shopping – visiting – shopping – parties – etc.

I’m talking about the PERFECT part of Christmas.
Remembering a big miracle in such a small child.
Remembering a humble couple grappling with the responsibility of raising the Son of God.
Remembering that we would all remain lost without this event.
Remembering the Perfect Love that decided this should be this way.

Of COURSE we don’t want to let it go! Of course the Christmas hymns linger for another week!  Why would we want to forget that God loves us puny humans THAT much! The greatness of the Love, the process to save everyone, the willingness of Jesus to humiliate Himself for us so readily, just to keep us from being swallowed by Satan’s evil…

For a month or two we have Christmas bombarding our heads each year. And for the week afterwards we wean ourselves off the intensity of the greatness and the wonder. Christmas reminds us of the beginning of our Salvation.

No other holiday in the United States evokes such a feeling of “let down” that needs such a weaning. Think about it:
The media  doesn’t continue to play patriotic songs  on the fifth of July.
Nor does the media care so much about leaving the Thanksgiving holiday behind.
Valentine’s day is forgotten by February 15th (except for the stores steeply discounting their leftover merchandise).
Even Easter is off by the wayside the day after….and how many Easter hymns are recognized by the general public anyway? (And yeah, Easter should be a bigger deal too, but that’s another post for another time)

But CHRISTMAS…That one is definitely a media feast — and I’m not talking about the commercial stuff. Christmas in the United States has the hymns all over the radio for the entire season and then some; even on the non-Christian radio stations. The television stations have Christmas movies all over the place; classics and newbies, all bespeaking the sense of love and miracles that is the common thread in Christmas, even through New Year’s Day. Newspapers feature Christmas stories related to charities, churches, Christ, and children.  Church members practice their lines for Christmas plays, and lawns display Nativity scenes to commemorate the momentous occasion.

And all of these decorations, displays, hymns, and stories don’t stop immediately the day after Christmas.
No.
Instead, they slowly wind down. In truth, we really don’t want to let it go so fast.

And that’s exactly how it should be.

The Easter Season

April 10, 2011

First, my apologies for not blogging so much lately. As I’ve stated several entries ago, I am working on a new website and book, which is taking a lot of my time (because I still have to go to work, be a mom, be a wife, etc. etc.). These projects will be finished by the end of this month, and then I’ll be able to blog more often.

In the meantime, the Easter season is coming up very quickly, and I simply cannot ignore it.

What is Easter to you?
Personally, I prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday” because, well, to be honest I’m put off by the title “Easter”. More on that in another post.

The word “Easter” evokes many mental images to people, and there are three ways that people view Easter:

ATHEISTS/NON CHRISTIANS: Eggs, bunnies, candy baskets, decorations, and bunny cartoons on the t.v.
BIBLE THUMPERS: (that’s me) Church services, crosses, Bible readings, and Jesus movie DVD’s on the t.v.
REGULAR JOES: Eggs, bunnies, candy, decorations, bunny cartoons, church services, Jesus movies, and Bible readings.

I want to make this abundantly clear:
Although I am an admitted Bible Thumper, I do not judge those who are less conservative in their views.

That being said, each and every one of us (you and me) still need to take time out to deeply consider what Easter is to each of us as individuals. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, getting busy with errands, and work, and life and stuff that we only take a passing thought on the topic, not taking some time to really let it sink in: Jesus Christ, a sinless man, died in order to pay off our debt of sin.

Between now and Easter (which is April 24th this year), I ask each and every one of you to take out a mere 15 minutes each day to stop and consider the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice, and how blessed we are to receive such mangificent love. Consider the abuse and torment he endured. Consider his emotional state as he went through each stage of the process between his arrest and his death. Consider his feelings towards his friends, family, and the strangers around him.

Fifteen minutes each day is doable. Let’s not reduce Christ’s sacrifice to a mere passing thought.


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