Happy Holy Week-Wednesday

March 31
E-everlasting
A-affliction
S-Satisfied, Sacrificial, Savior

The satisfaction of Jesus is a new thought for me. Jesus willingly surrendered to His Father's plan and became the "solution," the sacrifice for our sin. He grasped that his purpose in life was to be the Savior, but I don't know that I have ever associated the word satisfied with His phrase: "It is finished."
For me "It is finished" has always been more of a relief phrase! There is much joy in recognizing the comment in terms of being a statement of satisfaction for carrying out a plan to completion for our heavenly Father.

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.
Isaiah 53:11a

Happy Holy Week Tuesday

March 30
Today's Easter letter is "A". I wanted "arise," but that really isn't quite where we are in the remembrance of Holy Week. On Bible Gateway today is Isaiah 53:3-4 in the NIV version and the "A" word that jumped out at me was "afflicted."

A-Afflict: to distress so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish.
While I really prefer to look at the pretty side of things...like Jesus' victory when he arises, to know Christ is to comprehend his suffering which was done for us.
Look closely at The Message version of this passage and ask God to show you something you have never seen before about Christ. Get to know Him more and more, take a second look!

Isaiah 53:2-6(The Message)

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him.

Happy Holy Week

March 29 Monday
Did you wave your palm branches high yesterday? I've been praying this morning on how I can honor the Lord this week in remembrance of what He did for me. Biblegateway's verse today points to our Savior:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.- 2 Corinthians 5:21
The word Easter is in the forefront of my mind, but not in the Bible. So I am asking God to give me a word and verse for each letter in Easter to focus on these next six days.

E- EVERLASTING
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
Psalm 145:13

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.
Genesis 9:16

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
John 6:47

Feed Me

March 27-28
Being blessed by a visit from our grandson this weekend my heart was stirred for the Lord as I watched this little fellow's desires when he became hungry. Very similar to Moses, our bulldog, he let it be known when he wanted to be fed!

My thought was this...how often do we let the Lord know we are starving for his Word?


He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

Distractions

March 26
Feeling a little disconnected from the Lord, because of so much going on at our home, I couldn’t hear the Lord today. All day yesterday I kept hearing Him say,
“Do not look to the left or right but straight ahead or you will miss what I have for you.” I prayed and decided to write the devotional on distractions. On Biblegateway I typed in distractions and check out what I found!
Me oh my, I am feeling connected again! He is faithful!

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
Proverbs 4:23

Belly up to the Bar

March 25
Talking to a dear friend from out of town the other day, I felt like a bearded sailor bellying up to a bar in a familiar seaport ready to pour out his heart to a trusty bartender and find approval and encouragement. Within hours I read a devotional relating to the fact that the only affirmation we need to seek is God's.
Throughout the day I felt like a wobbling child learning to ride a two wheeler for the first time. God was keeping my mental thoughts on course by saying, "Stop looking to the left and right. If you concentrate on what is going on in those places, you will miss the mighty thing I am going to do...look straight ahead at me. Do not miss what I am up to! The only approval you should seek is mine."

Whew, each time He shared that I would get discouraged knowing it was a much needed reprimanded. This early morning on Biblegateway I came across a load releaser in the verse for the day:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”- 1 John 1:9

Our God is so loving. Like a tutor who is thrilled when a student grasps a concept he has struggled with, God rejoices and showers us with affirmation when we confess our sins, learn another of Christ's many lessons, and shine brighter for Him through the process.

We can belly up to the bar or fall flat on our face with Jesus.
He will listen and love on us free of charge! He has already paid our tab!

FIT

March 24
Here we go again. A word comes to mind and you ask...is that You Lord impressing this upon my heart? Fit. We hear it, but would that be the noun, verb, adjective form or maybe an acronym?
Are we to get going and exercise? Is there an adaptation needed or a home repair waiting? Do we need to clean up so the house is fit for company? Will there be an occurrence in our path today that tempts us to throw a fit? Oh, here's a possibility...suppose we go shopping and find some items which fit!

A wise move to make is to take that word to the Word and see how God speaks.
Faith
In
Training

Going back to the Budweiser commercial which said, "This Bud's for you," the Lord works in a similar way when we search His Word and will say..."This verse is for you." Draw close to Him, for He is close to you!

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright
to praise him.
Psalm 33:1

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:14-16

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:61-62

He is Able

March 23
There is a praise song called He is Able.
He is able, more than able to accomplish what concerns me today.
He is able, more than able to handle anything that comes my way.
He is able, more than able to do much more than I could ever dream,
He is able, more than able,to make me what He wants me to be.

My husband was channel surfing the other day (taking a break from Fox News and the health care bill) and came across the refreshing distraction of the movie Swiss Family Robinson. While the four male members of the family were enjoying the exhilaration which adventure can bring, Mother was a bit more reticent to rejoice in their stranded predicament. Father showed Mother a tree which they were going to transform into their new home. All mother saw was danger. The comprehension that her husband and boys were able to build her a fabulous home in a tree did not exist.

What are we facing today that has us doubting God's capability to handle it?
Did a rejection notice just come from the college you thought was the perfect one?Have test results dealt you a horrendous blow? Maybe the job you were hoping to get turned out to be a "no" or the one you thought was the "one" wasn't. Praise God He knows what is best for us and He never leaves us or forsakes us.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

Filled with the Spirit

March 22

Ah, but this English language is confusing. Checking out the definitions for spirit you will come across everything from alcohol, angels, demons, the person of the Holy Spirit, an individual's soul which is separate from the body, right down to moods. Also, spirits of ammonia, the spirit of division, a free spirit, etc.

Saturday, I was trying to remove some stains in our little laundry room. Clorox was my first weapon of choice and when that didn't work I tried a large amount of Whink. Before I realized what was happening my throat was burning and I was wheezing. Calling for my husband, he ushered me outside. We called the doctor and it took almost 24 hours for the side effects to leave. The doctor said, "Mix nothing with Clorox!"
The invisible fumes consumed my body and changed me.
The Holy Spirit has the power to do that in us as well!

Lord, we give thanks to You for knowing all our needs and giving us a Helper.
May we be quick to silence ourselves and seek His ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Quick Fix

March 20-21
Rummaging through a box of old phones, I was looking for a replacement phone. Amazingly, I found one with all the cords and even the instructional book for programming. The handset had a rechargeable battery. The instructions said to charge it for 17-20 hours before plugging it into the phone jack. I really had not expected to have to wait for it to work.

Often, our lives need recharging and it is not a quick fix. We need to fast, pray, and sit a spell with Jesus. For it is during those recharging times his guidance appears.

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13


For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14


I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Proverbs 4:11-13

The old phone is fully charged and working well. That is exactly how I feel after being in the presence of the Lord!

Leadership

March 19
Integrity and wisdom are qualities which are hard to find. While I am filled with passion and enthusiasm for Christ and what He did, I will never measure up to the integrity and wisdom of my husband. A teacher at one of the schools where he is head master, paid him a huge complement by telling me she would only work under a person who possessed the characteristics laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and she certainly saw those in him.
While this guideline is written for overseers and church deacons it makes for an excellent measuring stick for anyone in a leadership position...even our elected officials?
Be above reproach. The husband of one wife. Temperate,
self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, sincere.
Not given to drunkenness. Not quarrelsome. Not violent, but gentle.
Not a lover of money. Must not be conceited.
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him
with proper respect. He must not be a recent convert.
Must have a good reputation with outsiders.
Not indulging in much wine. Worthy of respect.
Hold to deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

Speaking to a college football player, whose team was performing terribly that year, he shared how the players had lost respect for the coaches and it was difficult to "bust your butt" for someone you didn't respect. That thought process can fall into so many categories....bosses, parents, teachers, spouses...

As believers we are given a measuring stick to evaluate the presence of the Holy Spirit in a place or a person...
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”- Galatians 5:22-23
If we have Christ in our life, we have the Holy Spirit. Now sometimes we stuff Him under a bushel and don't let Him shine. As we put on the armor of God today, polish each piece with the Holy Spirit, so it is He who leads us into battle and makes our path straight.

Knit Together

March 18
Today is a double birthday celebration in our household. One of our sons was born on my husband's 30th birthday. He was our fourth child in three years and it is a wonder he survived! In addition to the birthday camaraderie, these two both attended UNC and are die hard Tar Heels! It is amazing to think about God knitting each of these men together for specific purposes.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13

My husband's secretary had a son born on this day as well, but he was accidentally killed. I know her heart must be heavy as she ponders the what ifs of this day. Her son had a passion for the Lord and a deep desire to see his friends come to know Jesus.
My prayers today are for all those parents who have lost a child or have a child who is spiritually lost.

Burden Bearer

March 17
Waiting for a connecting flight last week I watched a single dad and his four year old daughter try to gather their belongings for pre-flight boarding. He had his coffee in his hand, a briefcase, backpack of his own and a small suitcase for his daughter. While he had made it to the door to go outside to mount the steps of the puddle jumper we were taking, this little tyke was finishing up a page she was working on in an high tech automated book with a battery operated pen. He hollered, "Abbi, come on!" With the book in one hand and a snack and water bottle in the other, it was difficult to get out of that seat. Then her own backpack was heavy and laden with things. Finally, she drug everything to the doorway where her father was and said, "I can't do it!" A lady waiting in line to board offered to help, but the youngster would have nothing to do with her. They had to take time, readjust their load and finally holding her father's hand with a smile on her face they persevered and boarded the plane.

It's ok to tell God, "I can't do it!" He longs for us to lay our burdens down and reach out for His hand to guide us!

James 1:3;12 says: the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


Psalm 68:19
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Dove

March 16

The word was so clear. Dove, but the message has been slow in coming.
Is it about chocolate, music awards,or Old Testament sacrifices????
Webster's defines dove:
1) any of numerous pigeons
2) a gentle woman or child
3) one who takes a conciliatory attitude and advocates negotiations and compromise; especially : an opponent of war.
Still nothing was clicking. So off to Bible Gateway I went and there it was...
Psalm 55:5-7
Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest-I would flee far away and stay in the desert.

Today I went to the Duke Cancer center with a dear friend who will approach her six year battle mark in April. Entering the facility I was immediately overwhelmed by the numbers of people waiting there to fight the fight of cancer. Oh, that each of these people could fly away from this dreadful disease.

The waiting room swarmed with over fifty people. Name after name was called out and individuals were taken away to who knows what awaited them. Just as quickly another would pass through the check in desk and fill a chair. A very tall young man cruised past us and I strained to read the wording on his long sleeved T-shirt which had a picture of Jesus' bloody hand and forearm nailed to a piece of wood.
"His palm was red to tell your future."
I wanted to know the future of each person facing the misery of cancer. The more I looked, the more I realized there was peace in the process at that medical facility.
Ah, yes, the dove is a symbol of peace.
As I watched my precious sister in Christ maneuver through the decisions she had to make today, I saw another symbol of a dove at work...the Holy Spirit and oh my, the control He brandished in her life had to impact everyone who came in contact with her.
Thank you my friend, for taking me along. The way you walk with Jesus makes me stronger. Love, Boo

Pleasing In His Sight

March 15
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9

Ten years ago this month, I underwent surgery for a ruptured disc in my lower back. Unbeknownst to me or my doctor, the extreme pain I was left in a few days following the surgery was due to a spinal leak and then an active infection in my spine. The doctor explained that the surgery had just not been successful for me and left me in worse shape than before the procedure. Accepting that diagnosis I went forward believing God had allowed this for some reason in my life. Actually, it led to me writing daily devotionals for the past ten years. Hmmm? Probably part of His plan.
Being the mother of six children complicated the situation, because I could neither drive nor barely get up out of a chair on my own. Alone one day, while all the children where at school, the enemy began working on my mind. Rolling off the couch, I clambered to my feet and made my way to the woods where we have a little outdoor chapel area. Face down in the sand, beneath a huge wooden cross, I cried out to the Lord to beam me up! My petition began like this:
"Lord, please just take me home! I can no longer be a wife or a mother in this pain. I want to be my children's joy!" Whoosh, then came the reply. The unmistakable firm, but true voice of God disciplining his beloved child.
"I want to be your children's joy. Your job is to teach them about me, not be their joy!" Brushing the sand from my body, I pulled myself up and stood before that cross shell shocked. I stopped my whining and asked him to forgive me for trying to be things He never intended for me to be and to cleanse me and make me pleasing in His sight. Our love relationship deepened that day and eventually physical healing came as well.

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:10-12

Today's devotional is a double hitter (See Stink Bug below) as I am taking part in a devotional carnival though this website. www.rachelolsen.blogspot.com/

Stink Bug

March 15
Relieved to be in bed last night, after a weekend of work which created sore muscles, I looked down and crawling across our comforter was a stink bug. Now the rumor is that if you kill these ugly creatures they give off an awful odor. Great survival tactic! We've eliminated hundred from our house, by gingerly catching them and throwing them out the door, but never killing them.

God allows us to encounter some stinky stuff in our lives. While assuring us it will not kill us, He actually polishes up our act!

1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

With Holy Week approaching a friend sent me part of this devotional from the World Challenge website.
"I must no longer be afraid of a little suffering!

Christ’s resurrection was preceded by a short period of suffering. We do die!
We do suffer! There is pain and sorrow. We do not want to suffer or resist or be hurt! We want painless deliverance! We want supernatural intervention. “Do it, God,” we pray, “because I am weak and always will be. Do it all, while I go my way, waiting for a supernatural deliverance!”
But, thank God, suffering is always that short period before final victory.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by
Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish,
strengthen, settle you.
(1 Peter 5:10).

Father, You know every hair on our heads and every hurt in our hearts and You genuinely care! Thank You for the molding process. Oh, the great delight, when we get it all right and You call us home! You have moved me this morning to make a list of suffers and cry out for them. I can't write fast enough. Oh the joy to know You are at work in so many of us all at once. In Jesus Name, Amen

Singing in the Shower

March 14

Usually I shower in the morning, but yesterday we spent the day starting a huge clean up project on the scripture trails of Shiloh. Plum tuckered out and achy I stepped in underneath the welcome warmth and comfort of the shower. Then out of no where I was singing the words, Adonai and Elohim over and over. For a moment I thought..."Do I know Hebrew?" Fortunately, Moses (the bulldog) was the only one in ear shot. I couldn't wait to dig into what this was all about.

Elohim speaks to the deity of God. God Creator and Judge.

The name Adonai is translated Lord in the Bible. I found a wonderful article online. "It signifies ownership or mastership and indicates the truth that God is the owner of each member of the human family, and that He consequently claims the unrestricted obedience of all.
Meaning:
Lordship meant complete possession on the one hand and complete submission on the other. God is never a capricious or unjust Master and therefore does not ask what cannot be performed, and never requires a task for which He does not equip His servants. In other words, everything God asks us to do is good and just and can be accomplished as we trust Him to enable us to do all that He has asked us to do.

Conclusion:
This name refers to the true ownership God alone has of man. We are not our own. God alone has the right to tell us what to do. At the same time He provides us with the ability to accomplish that task. Man has a choice to obey in life or wish he had in death.
Application:
I will submit to my Lord and Master and do the things He has asked me to do while on this earth, trusting Him to give me the power and ability to accomplish those things."

God is always up to good! Unlike us,that is His nature!

Taking the translations of those words, I put Lord and God together and immediately began singing Lord, God Almighty.

Whereabouts

March 12-13

I have absolutely no idea where I was writing wise yesterday.
Both my husband and I thought I wrote the devo????

Here are some thoughts to consider about our whereabouts:
"You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself." Gene Mauch

We are called to be in the world, but not of the world.
(Can't find that word for word in the Word, but John deduces that for us.)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21

All I know is I want to be where the Lord wants me to be!

Over and over this week he has put this verse in my face. May it bring comfort to you if possibly God is pushing you places you don't really want to go.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Peace

March 11
Well, I am finally into the last phrase of "One Month to Live". The thirty day study has taken me 3 months. The last principle is titled "Leave Boldly". The writer states "My life, my time, is not my own. It belongs to Christ, and it's His name that will last; only when I live to influence others for Him will I leave an enduring legacy."
The book has the powerful statement:
You are not ready to live until you are ready to die.
I was just visiting my father who will turn 90 on April 29th. When I arrived at his home and asked how he was, he replied,
"I am good for 54 more days, then I want to go!"
We can have peace and want to go because we:
P-Possess
E-eternity
A-at
C-Christ's
E-expense.


There is an old hymn which says: "The world is not my home." God created us with a homesickness for heaven. A place beyond our dreams. The hope of heaven creates a peace which passes understanding. Don't you just love God's Word and God's plan!

Each night with my father he sang himself to sleep with an old song from the 40's he wants sung at a reception after his funeral. The title..."I"ll be seeing you!"

Helicopters and Blimps

March 10
Walking along a south Florida beach seashells may have been difficult to find, but the Met Life Blimp could not be missed. Puttering along slowly I envisioned the people inside peering down upon the beach sites. Suddenly, the horrendous thunder of a helicopter blared overhead as the amazing flying machine zoomed up the beach. They too were probably looking down, but at a must faster pace.
Trying to stay keenly aware of the messages God sends in moments I stopped to think about the different paces God calls us to take in life.


Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46:10


Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.
Matthew 10:23


Flee from sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:18


Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14


For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. 1 Timothy 6:10-12


The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Proverbs 18:10


but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31


Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wisdom in Your Word. You are better than any Olympic coach. Give us hearts to trust in Your training and allow You to set the pace. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Always Looking for Something

March 9
Walking along a beach yesterday I encounter a woman with a thick German accent. Cheerfully, I smiled and said, "Good morning." She replied pointed over at a man, whom I presume was her husband, "He's always looking for something."
Walking on I prayed..."And if he doens't know the Lord, I hope he finds Jesus."


My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long.
Psalm 71:23-24

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 17:3

Digging Deep to Reach the Top

March 8
While to the world the phrase, digging deep to reach the top, would seem like an oxymoron, it makes perfect sense to the believer. This is very similar to the exercise concept of having to exhaust a muscle to make it stronger.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:1-4

Allowing our trials to draw us closer to God, in turn drawers us closer to heaven which is the ultimate reward. Our first reaction is to mourn at the news of a death, but the peace that passes understanding comes when we realize that person is a believer and thus is seeing Jesus face to face. It just doesn't get better than that!

Being covered up under the dark earth, allows a flower bulb the time to regenerate and bloom again. When bad news arrives in our lives it can have a suffocating effect, but digging into the Word brings hope and purpose. Testimony is given to the truth that we have an active ongoing relationship with Christ as He shows up and shows off in a powerful way reviving the soul.


For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Baptism is a wonderful illustration of going deeply down, only to be raised up!

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

So if you are feeling buried under, start digging deeply into the Word of God
and He will raise you to the top!
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

Passion

March 6-7

Crying out to the Lord for understanding, I began to weep and became overcome with remorse and a personal encounter of how our Lord had to suffer for our sins. I've always closed my eyes not being able to bear to look at Christ on the cross in plays or movies. It was as if God was saying..."You will love me more by relating at this depth." Opening my eyes, the word "passion" stared me in the face. Actually, it was a book entitled A Passion for Flowers for those of you who are thinking it might be in any other context. Reminds me of one of the funniest stories to come out of the Andrews household. One of our sons and a high school friend were in our bedroom on the computer. When they got up to leave, the friend noticed a book on the bed stand. He blurted, "Oh, aren't your parents kinky, they have a book on massage." Our son looked at him and said, "That would be "The Message" it is the Bible" Glad he cleared that one up!
So back to my passionate adventure. My head began to spin as I thought..what am I passionate about? "Oh, Lord, I do hope it would be said I am passionate about You and seeing others fall in love with You?" Going to Biblegateway only seven verses came up and they were all related to passion in the sinful form.
I thought, "Lord, what am I missing here, is that not the word you were laying upon my heart?" Clicking onto an online dictionary, I was blown away by the first definition of passion:
the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death .
Mind boggling...a passion flamed by love and a passion carried out in total obedience unto death.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious
thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in
the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

Wonder

March 5
What is the word?????
A noun: the quality of exciting amazed admiration.
A verb: to feel curiosity or doubt.
An adjective: wonder drug, boy wonder.

We need not wonder if God's wonders are for real!
We just need to open our eyes.

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Job 5:9


We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4

Rescue Me!

March 4
I opened my Bible study for today blown away by where it took me. Over and over again God rocks my world with how He proves he knows every detail of my life. God is up to good and has the plan which is best for all the unknowns we are facing in our lives. His timing is perfect and He knows what is coming next and where He needs us to be.(Sometimes He has to push us to get us there.)
From health issues, to jobs, to relationship crisis's He is capable of working all things together for HIS good and glory, which in turn is what we should want for our lives.

One Month to Live states:
"King David endured some terrifying times, especially early in his life. After God brought him through one especially harrowing episode, David wrote a song about it. As you prepare for and then endure your next earthquake, what can you do to cultivate the knee jerk reaction to pray first?"

2 Samuel 22:1-18
David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me.I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. "The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. "The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot arrows and scattered the enemies , bolts of lightning and routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils. "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

2 Samuel 22:31-32
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?

Now it just doesn't get much more exciting than that!
Praise the Lord today for He is mighty and righteous and loves us in way we cannot measure or imagine!

Hope

March 3
Changing a classroom display, I removed a brown table cloth and replaced it with a pink one. One of my students said, "This is rather springy Mrs. Boo, and it's not spring yet?" My reply..."Ah, but I am ready for the hope of spring." Within a few hours the snow was pouring down outside making my spring display rather presumptuous.

For me, the snow signals God's covering over us. A visible request to be still and know that He is God. He is the ultimate empathizer!
Whatever we are facing today is no surprise to the Lord.
Acknowledge He is there.
Rejoice in the hope of Christ.
Hold tightly to the life line of faith!
Listen for God's commands.
God will see you through.
God never abandons us. He suffers right along with us and knows more than anyone what it means to lose a child, to be rejected by His people, to be betrayed by a friend. Kerry and Chris Shook

Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

The Same, but different

March 2

In my closet cleaning out the other day, I came across four thermometers. Deciding to do a random accuracy check, I eliminated one (since it was special...if you get my drift). Taking my temperature, all three recorded different results ranging from 97 to 98.2. So much for thermometers...I think I will stick to my mother's technique of the hand to the forehead. I remember my pediatrician asking over the phone once...how much fever does your child have? My response.."A handful."

Thermometers have the same purpose, but can vary in their exact results. Churches are similar. Hopefully, all Christian churches are established on the Sovereignty of God's Word, and have the goal of teaching the ways of Christ,the need for repentance, the command to come together to worship Christ and encourage the body of believers towards obedience. The temperature or amount of the Holy Spirit which is present in those places varies..some are certainly colder than others! When the Holy Spirit is allowed to move, the temperature is perfect!

Come Holy Spirit come, fill each of us today.
Empty us of ourselves and teach us to live Jesus' way.

Removal

March 1

Saturday was designated a clean up day at our home. My goal was to conquer our family room from top to bottom. First I needed to pack up the Valentine and Snowman decorations. (We certainly don't need any more snow!) Somehow I veered off track and ended up in our hallway closet, which houses medical supplies. Whew, how time flies...I found expiration dates all the way back to 1997.

Also, there were several products related to removal..wart remover, an ear wax removal kit, Bore skin strips to remove blackheads, finger polish remover, Chigger rid, a link roller, and floss to remove gunk from in between your teeth. The standard pain relief meds were in there as well. Removal, removal, removal continued to echo in my mind. I began to think of the products or projects God uses to remove sin from my life.
Asking Him to do a thorough inspection right there I had to smile as I looked on the shelf and saw a product called "Nuskin". (That comes in handy for harpist who pluck the skin right off their fingers harping!) Whenever God directs us to remove sin from our live, He replenishes us with "newness".
Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing.

A few weeks ago it was necessary for my dermatologist to freeze some questionable spots on my body. The process stung! Then the places turned red and swelled up looking awful. Eventually, they fell away and the skin is smooth now. Allowing Jesus to take the sin from our lives can be painful, but His love and forgiveness are like a soothing aloe balm which leaves us looking and living so much better!