The Tomb was Empty



I snatched this photo from Liz Curtis Higgs' email, 
which came this week about Mary Magdalene at the tomb.
Check out Lizcurtishiggs.com

Happy Easter


March 31
Two of our great nieces came to spend the day yesterday and were a delight to our two grandsons,
who were visiting.  There is something enchanting about a series of photos I shot yesterday.  At first I figured it was my deep, deep love for these little ones that has me enthralled with these shoots.  As I looked back through them today, while I've been reflecting on Christ, I realized it is the thrill of discovery in their young lives that was bring such joy.  Whether is was a plastic egg, a daffodil, sticking their toes in the lake to see how cold it was or throwing a stick in to see if it would sink, they loved the process.
Today is all about Jesus and his incredible miracle of resurrection, which has freed us from death!
Think back to the day you discovered who He really is and what that really means.
There is not a day that has to go by lacking the thrill of discovery when Jesus is in our lives.
When we slip away with "The Way" he shows us new wonders!  Oh, how I love Him.
Enjoy the pictures and then be sure to listen to Dolly Parton's song in the link below, where she tells the story of that first Easter morning and shares John and Mary's perspective!








Dolly Parton tells the precious story of Christ's resurrection in this song:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0FF1CCNU&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20-%20Mobile&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=03/31/2013

Life's uncertainties.



March 30
 I assumed I would wake up this morning and the Lord would give me an Easter message, but life is full of uncertainties. Our youngest son called to say that "Nannie" his wife's grandmother, who is the biggest University of Florida Gator fan God ever made, flew out to Texas to cheer her Gators on in the tournament.  They were hopeful Florida would make it to the Final Four and the whole family would celebrate in Atlanta next weekend, where our son and daughter in law live.
The game was off to a tense start with the "Cinderella" team giving those Gators a few tussles early on.
But Florida got it together and pulled off a victory.  Nannie's brother and his family were with her.  After the game she was having difficulty breathing, so they asked for a wheelchair.  Then the EMT's called an ambulance.  She died on the way to the hospital.
The tears are dripping down my face again, as they have all morning, as I think of the void the passing of this vibrant life leaves for so many sweet, sweet people.   The Easter weekend has taken a different twist for them as they make arrangements to bring her back to Florida and plan the celebration of her life.
So today, I stop and say..."You were loved by many Nannie!"

The pictures are from our son's wedding in Sarasota...she had a whistle she blew to get our attention! :-)
The last picture is of her with my Daddy!

While "Life" is filled with uncertainties and we have no idea when we will breathe our last breath, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
His love for us is steadfast too.

Such a Wimp

An Addition to March 29
As you read today's blog, you will see that I choose a picture of "symbol" for Christ's sacrifice. The reason, I don't like to see images of Jesus' suffering. Right after I posted today's devo, I read a James MacDonald devotional on why Christ had to suffer.  Then I went to Facebook where my niece had posted this picture...below her entry another friend had posted the second picture telling about a race in which she hopes to run.  The three went perfectly together.  I hope these photos speak to you as well.






Peace through the Cross?



John the Baptist announced, “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.” The Lamb of God died on the same day as the Passover lambs were being slain on Mount Moriah, the very limestone ridge where long ago God had told Abraham, “God will provide Himself a lamb.” Jesus said, “Abraham saw My day, and was glad.” (John 8:56)
By Adrian Rogers


March 29
I've always struggled with the term Good Friday.  It's just so hard to grasp why God chose this sacrificing of his Son, as the way for atonement of our sins.  If He was looking for a way to "stop us in our tracks" and make us value the sacrifice, He got my attention.  I'd have appreciated a prettier picture, but SIN isn't a pretty picture, is it?

... having made peace through the blood of His cross.” - Colossians 1:20

Adrian Rogers wrote:


"How can a cross bring peace if Jesus is the One hanging there?
At the cross, wickedness was not appeased. Wickedness was confronted.
At the cross, sin was not overlooked. Sin was atoned and paid for.

God’s greatest righteousness confronted man’s greatest wickedness, and righteousness won! Peace was attained through the blood of the cross."

So what do we do with our knowledge of Good Friday, our knowledge of Christ hanging on the cross, our appreciation for the phrase Jesus spoke with his last few breaths..."It is finished."  Will we talk about it today to someone who may be clueless what today represents?  That's what God would have wanted.  We could tell someone today and then invite them to come along to church on Sunday for the greatest celebration of the year!

Paul wrote:
He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we've learned: that there's one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us-Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set the all free.  Eventually the news is going to get out.  This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.  1 Timothy 2:5-7

Threatened

March 28

Don't you love how you can read the same passage over and over and learn an entirely new lesson?
This week as I was dabbling in the Easter passages I came to this one.

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.   John 12:9-11

What struck me was how the chief priests were not able to rejoice in the miracles of Jesus.  They were so threatened by Jesus' victories, that instead of coming alongside him and learning from him, they wanted to kill him.  And in this case, kill Lazarus as well. 

Our world is still like this.  In the business and political world, the world of academia, and the social sports arenas....people long for the lime light for themselves and will go to great lengths to extinguish what they see as the competition.

I recall the movie You've Got Mail where a large book chain comes to a town and puts a little bookshop out of business.  The little shop owner  ends up unknowingly falling in love with the owner of the large chain and finds not only a role for herself in his business, but she finds love.  

Oh that we could learn to pool our resources and gifts and find strength, security and joy in our differences.

Cheapening the Sacrifice

March 27

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

Have you ever had a relationship strained because someone didn't see sin as sin?  Possibly they didn't even want to hear the word sin.  There's many a church in America that never unleashes that word from the pulpit in fear of offending a financial contributor.

More often, than not, the offended party is either dealing with that sin or cares very deeply about someone who is dabbling or maybe even deep in it. Having this discussion with a girlfriend last week she expressed that when we venture into that sort of thought process we are "cheapening the sacrifice which Christ made for our sins."

Watching the previews, for what I assume is the finale, to the mini series, The Bible, on the history channel Sunday night I had to close my eyes as they whipped Jesus. Each lashing reminds me of all my many sins for which He gladly took the punishment.

Oh, Father, may we not let a day go by that we don't say..."Thank You Lord Jesus."

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

Majesty, Worship His Majesty


Praise the Lord, my soul.  Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothes with splendor and majesty!
Psalm 104:1

March 26
Quite often I awaken with my spirit singing the song, Majesty.  
Majesty, worship His Majesty. To the Lord be all glory, honor and praise.
The other morning I awakened singing that song and then I realized my dreams had been full of tears and torment related to churches. In my dream, pastors and pastors wives, had been hurt deeply by their congregations or life's snares forcing them to leave the churches they at some point had been called to serve.  In one part of the dream, my husband and I left a church in tears due to hurt feelings related to changing light bulbs.  (I need Daniel to help interpret that one!)
Contemplating parts of the dream and what could have caused it, I realized we had run into a pastor last week in the grocery store whom we hadn't seen in years.  He told us about another pastor in our area who had been ousted from his church, then had a heart attack and then his father died.  At the church we are presently attending, the campus pastor has resigned due to the seriously of his wife's cancer and his desire to spend time caring for her and their young son.  The night before the dream I had prayed with a dear friend, who is a pastor's wife in another city, over issues mounting up in their congregation.
Being in ministry is not for sissies, but for those who trust in the Lord and are willing to lay down their lives for their friend and master, Jesus.

How much happy our churches would be if Jesus was the center of each members' attention.  If they entered His church with praise and came with an attitude of worshipping His Majesty instead of having their personal needs met.  If we looked at our fellow members as "part of our body, which God had woven together for His purpose" and we cared for them as we care for ourselves.

I just recalled my favorite part of the dream.  I was visiting a church of another denomination and I had my grandson in my lap.  The minister of music announced to the congregation that he was going to play a praise song that broke from the traditional hymns they sang, but he asked the congregation to allow the music and lyrics to penetrate their spirits.  As people began to pray, my grandson's little hands were lifted into the air in praise.  The congregation was so moved by the purity and sincerity of this little one that joy filled their hearts and many other hands were lifted high.

Majesty, Worship His Majesty and may our hallelujahs be heard throughout this land!

Unexpected Surprises

March 25
A snowstorm the end of March in Virginia on Palm Sunday, who would have thunk? My sweet, sweet, husband braved the elements to go out and build a surprise snowman for his grandsons!  The frisbee hat is my favorite part!  We commented on how we wondered what these two little fellows from Nashville thought all those enormous white flakes were falling from the sky.  Then to peek out in the yard and see this fellow looking up at them!  Oh, the wonder.  We even have a baby snowman in the freezer!


Even the big kids, who were visiting, found joy in the unexpected surprise.
Mama Boo donned an old "snowman" sweater (which made the grands laugh and
the older ones gwake) in hopes of a day stuck inside with those she loves.

God is an amazing heavenly Father! He has sweet surprises for us day after day!  
When we behold Him in heaven we will be surprised beyond belief!




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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus though out all generations, for ever and ever! Amen   Ephesians 3:20-21


A funny ha, ha...Looking out at the beautiful snow this morning, which is still falling, I told my daughter that while this is unusual I remembered when she was 10 months old we were having an Easter party the first week of April and it snowed.  So she looked at me and said, "So this is a once in every 32 years occurrence."  We laughed.  Well, it didn't seem that long ago that she was 10 months old!  Time is a strange element to life. In a twinkling of an eye...we will be with Jesus. And it's all because of what He did on that cross, so very long ago!

A Mouthful of Praise


March 23-24
I just need to stop and sing God's praises.  The other day I was feeding our 9 1/2 month old grandson his lunch and questioned our daughter, out of concern, about the fact this little fellow had no teeth.  I told her I didn't want him to grow up to be a "mush mouth". She said they'd seen the pediatrician last week and he told her he saw no sign of teeth coming in any time soon, but not to worry.  Well, I wasn't going to worry...I was going to PRAY.  Jesus and I had a toothy little chat and I asked him to tkae a message  to God's throne for me.  I am not kidding you...the very next morning I was holding this little fellow and letting him gnaw on my chin.  It hurt!  I looked in his mouth and there were two big teeth upstairs, and low and behold, two little fellows downstairs as well.  In one night this babe cut 4 teeth!!!!  God cares about the sparrow and every little detail in our lives...yup...right down to our toothies!
Don't know about you, but I like being loved by a personal God like that!

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  Jeremiah 17:7

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:6

 

Still On My Mind

 I love these contemplative photos of one of our grandsons and Moses.

March 21-22
The matter of the word mind is still with me.
Don't mind if I do. I'm racking my mind. My mind wanders. My mind is playing tricks on me.
These phrases keep ringing in my... MIND!

Many of life's problems dwell within the mental torment we allow our minds to take us through.
The "what ifs" of life that we conjure up can quickly take us down.  The greatest solution lies in the advice we can find in Philippians 4:6-8.  Allow your mind to dwell on these verses today. First, I've posted them in the NIV, then in The Message translation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. 

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

For my birthday a friend gave me a card with a BIG smiley face button.  I keep it by my bedside.  The past month has been quite trying dealing with the pain of a back injury.  Several days I never made it out of my pjs, but I pinned that smiley button on my nightgown and it would cheer me up when I'd pass a mirror!  That little effort tied in with keeping my mind in Christ keeps me keeping on!

Don't mind if I do!

 It's The Very Hungry Caterpillar
 Wait...it's Mama Boo!

March 20
Day after day the word mind came to mind!  Battling pain from a recent back injury I couldn't quite get God's drift with where He was taking me in regards to mind.   I rambled through possibilities:
Mind your mother.  Mind  your manners.  Mind your own business.  Mind your "p"s and "q"s.
Could it be: Change your mind? Unlike the referral to God in Numbers 23:19.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

With the back pain pressing upon me was I to have mind over matter?

Sunday was approaching. Maybe I was to bear in mind that the Lord has given us a Sabbath. Ex.16:19

What was on my mind? Was it the things of the world or things related to God's way?
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds.  Deuteronomy 11:18

My mind could not figure it out.  On my heart was a friend with whom I had not spoken in a couple weeks. I picked up the phone and called her.  Moments later she was sharing how troubled her daughter's mind was.  Immediately, I realized where my prayers were to be focused.  Hanging up the phone,  I opened the devotional Quiet Moments With God and read the day's entry.

I will delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.  Psalm 40:8
"Gracious Lord, You know what is ahead today for me.  Crucial issues await my attention. Unmade decisions demand my concentration.  And I know that the choices I make will affect me and others around me.
It is with that in MIND that I say with the psalmist, "Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day."  Psalm 25:4-5
May I prepare for the decisive decisions of this day by opening my MIND to the inflow of Your Spirit. I confess that I need Your divine wisdom to shine the light of discernment in the dimness of my limited understanding.  I praise You, Lord, that I can face the rest of this day with the inner peace of knowing that You will answer this prayer for guidance."  Lloyd John Ogilvie

I don't mind it at all when God sends me on an adventure after His Word. I am thrilled when I finally get His drift!


Watching Grass Grow




For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened
with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.
Colossians 1:9-11

March 19
A fun spring activity is planting wheat or rye grass inside for a splash of color and the anticipation of spring.  My husband wishes grass would grow as quickly in our yard, as it does in our kitchen!  New growth is exciting, whether it is the trees bursting forth with new leaves or a toddler learning to take a step, it is a joy to anticipate.
Do we get as elated over our spiritual growth?
It is thrilling how many people have tuned into the history channel the past few Sunday nights to watch the series called "The Bible".  While Hollywood takes some liberties with such productions, the hope would be that the viewing would spur a deeper desire for growth and people would open their Bibles and allow spiritual growth to take place.
I think spiritual growth has seasons, just as grass does.  There are times we are well watered, fertilized, and growing at a rapid pace. Then we have our dormant stages where we cease to sprout a sign of new growth!




Can't Be Too Sweet


March 18
A quick Happy Birthday shout to my hubby and son who share a double hitter birthday!

This morning I opened a Godtube email and had tears dripping down my cheeks as I watched a grandfather/granddaughter singing audition on Britain's Got Talent.  The precious duo gets "X"ed by the infamously cruel judge, Simon.  He says they are like 7 sugars in your coffee...too sweet.  Well, I took offense (which is probably what the audience was supposed to do).  Society often applauds the ugly, seductive and off color performances, but I was up for "super sweet" and "pro-generational".
The love and support of a grandparent is a precious treasure and likewise the attentiveness of a grandchild to a widowed grandparent, as in this case, is a gift to hold.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0F999FNU&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20-%20Mobile&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=03/18/2013

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4

Should I be Good or should I be Bad



March 16-17
My husband and I were lunching with a dear friend last week and as our eyes panned the menu our friend uttered, "Should I be good or should I be bad?  I'd really like a good juicy burger."
What an honest statement revealing the choices we are faced with everyday.
Take just our senses which are related to our heads...
Am I going to taste something I know isn't good for me?
Am I going to use my tongue to talk about something or someone which isn't edifying ?
Are my eyes going to look in a direction I know isn't pleasing to the Lord?
Will I allow my ears to listen to unpleasantries or that which leads to temptation?

Isn't it grand how God prepared in advance the teachings on all the topics we would be faced with.
Romans Chapter 7: 19-25 addresses this issue of doing what we know we should not.



I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.  I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

A Recipe


March 15
I love to cook and particularly to bake.  For a recipe to be successful you must follow the directions and use the appropriate ingredients.  Peter wants desperately for others to come to know Christ personally and writes out what he hopes is a helpful recipe to bring that relationship to fruition.
A dash of this and a dollop of that!

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; amd to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:5-8

The Message Translations lays it out this way.

Don’t Put It Off

3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
10-11 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Eager Believer (Eager Beaver)


March 14

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is teaching on the Song of Solomon this month. When I turned the radio on last week the first thing I heard was "She was an eager believer."
She explains that...
The mark of a lover of Jesus is someone who wants to see spiritual fruit and is willing to go out and work for that to happen.  I care about the endeavors of my beloved (Jesus).  DeMoss poses the question: Are we burdened to the point of tears for the salvation of others?

Who will we pass by today, who may pass away without knowing Jesus?

Be Cheerful


March 13
Now I know Easter is all about Jesus and the resurrection, but I've had these happy bunnies for years and I always put them out in spring as a reminder we are to be fruitful and multiple and share the joy of Jesus wherever we go.  The mama bunny really makes me laugh as she looks on enjoying the antics of her little ones.  Do something today to make another person laugh, for the Bible commands us time and again to live cheerfully.

The people and their leaders were glad to do it and cheerfully brought their money until the chest was full.  2 Chronicles 24:10

Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.  Proverbs 12:25   

A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.  Proverbs 15:13  

A miserable heart means a miserable life' a cheerful heart fills the day with song. Proverbs 15:15

A cheerful disposition is good for you health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.  Proverbs 17:22

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.  Romans 12:11-13

But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing.  Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.  Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.  2 Corinthians 5:9-10

And that's about it, friends.  Be cheerful.  Keep things in good repair.  Keep your spirits up.  Think in harmony. Be agreeable.  Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure.  Greet one another with a holy embrace.   
2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Do everything readily and cheerfully-no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!  God out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.  Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have a good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns.  You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing.   Philippians 2:14-16

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.  This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Don't those passages fill you with joy?  They make me cheerful!

Here's a riddle I heard last week that made me laugh...What does a bird's cell phone sound like?
The answer....wing wing.


Examination Day



March 12
Having a degree in Education and being married to a Head of School the word examination  conjures up the process of academic evaluation related to the mind. Being in a resent Bible study with friends with numerous health concerns, requiring blood work and scans the word takes on a medical twist concerning the body.  Placing the word examination in the realm of eternal value we use it to search our inner most being...the heart and soul of OUR matter.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, or course, you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

The Message Translation states 2 Corinthians 13:5-9 this way:
Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith.  Don't drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups.  You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you.  Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.  I hope the test won't show that we have failed.  Bit if it comes to that, we'd rather the test showed our failure than yours.  We're rooting for the truth to win out in you.  We couldn't possibly do otherwise.  We don't just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph in you. We pray hard that  it will come together in your lives.

Search me, 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

How I pray we all pass the test and tutor someone less knowledgable along The Way.

Sheer love and gratitude

March 11
The Twelve apostles followed Christ because he called them.  There are three women mentioned in the eighth chapter of Luke, who followed Christ out of "sheer love and gratitude" (a Liz Curtis Higgs quote).  Maybe they were the original "groupies".

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household: Susanna: and many others.  These women were helping to support them out of their own means.  Luke 8:1-3

If you were asked to complete this sentence the sentence below, how would you respond?

I am a follower of Christ because _______________________________.

I asked several friends to complete that sentence and told them I would anonymously post their answers.  

I am a follower of Christ because He is completely faithful. If everything else was striped away--- He would still be there as an anchor for my body,soul and spirit.

I am a follower of Christ because he called me.

I am a follower of Christ because I absolutely adore Him.  He is the Rock of my salvation, the Lover of my soul.

I am a follower of Christ because He alone is the way, the truth, the life!  He is it!

I am a follower of Christ because He loves me unconditionally and I love him...He's my Father.

I am a follower of Christ because I am a sinner saved by His Amazing Grace.

I am a follower of Christ because He loved me first!

I am a follower of Christ because I need Him so much! 
("I have tried to live without Him in my life and it was so horrible.  I need Him to be the strongest, kindest, wisest, most powerful influence in my life.  I need His Bible. I need the close prayer and love I get from Him.  I need the future to be with Him.I  I need His church of people everyday. I need His companionship.  I need the sweet hope I have with Jesus. I never want to exist a second without Jesus. I need his foundation of solid rock.  I need the faithful plans and rules he gives me. I need to praise His Glory.")

I am a follower of Christ because He loves me so unconditionally, especially when I don't deserve it.

I am a follower of Christ because He gave his life for me. He is my hope of what is to come, my ever present help in times of trouble and my indescribable joy.

I am a follower of Christ because He is Lord of my life now and forever. 

Where You Lead, I will Follow

March 9-10
The disciples followed Jesus, Ruth followed Naomi and our grandson followed 75 pound Moses right up the driveway to our neighbor's house one day last week! Moses was taking our grandson on a walk about.
We have so many opportunities to follow.  For some it is following their heart, a political agenda, a strict diet, a personal trainer, a sports team or TV show. The best advice, which is found in scripture is to follow Jesus, but it requires self-sacrifice.

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples.  Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it.  Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself your true self.  What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?  What could you ever trade your soul for?   Matthew 16:24-16 The MSG

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.  Psalm 43:3
  

Disappointed

The sleds came out of the garage and were waiting for action.
Plastic eggs were placed on the deck and garden trowels waited to be used to
dig the eggs out from the 3-6 inches of snow forecasted.
A trip to Walmart landed us the last pair of pink pom pom snow boots for our granddaughter...
and flashing red light "Car" snowboots for our grandson....
...but the snow was scarce.  We were so disappointed.
We drank hot chocolate with marshmellows anyway and hiked in the woods in the new boots.
Papa even pulled the grands in a sled through the grass.
March 8 
The weather may disappoint us, even friends and family disappoint us, but God never disappoints for He allows all things for our good.

To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:5

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in our tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoints, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:1-5  

"When you come looking for me, you'll find me.  Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."  God's Decree. "I'll turn things around for you. I'll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you"-God's Decree-"bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile.  You can count on it."




Atten hut

Sometimes we wander off and look in the wrong direction
 and we need a nudge to head back home.

March 7
Atten  hut is actually the Army cadence shout of Atten tion.  God has my attention.  Once again, my back pain if off the charts and movement of any kind is difficult.  Crying out to the Lord this morning, he reminded me of my tendency to put my service to others, before my service to HIM.  I found myself requesting healing to be able to do more with the grandchildren; entertain one of our sons, who is having a birthday and coming with his wife this weekend; make my husband's upcoming spring break relaxing (not spent waiting on me); and gear up for more baby sitting and upcoming birthday celebrations of our grandchildren.  Nowhere in the mix was I asking God what his plans were for me or asking for healing so I could be more effective for him.  The Holy Spirit had been stuffed back on his shelf in my heart and I've been in "me mode".

Thirteen years ago a similar scenario set forth and the devotional was birthed out of physical pain.  A disc rupture and faulty surgery landed me quite ill for over a year, but I could pray and type. Yesterday,  God reminded me he can slow me down at any moment.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.  Ecclesiates 3:1

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  Psalm 23:2-3

Papa (my husband) is driving the grands to meet their Mama. The Lord and I are hanging out today and doing it his way!  Atten Hut!