Lunch that says a bunch!
After I made this creative lunch my grandson grabbed the celery broke it in half saying,

"Let's make him smile!"
One simple action makes such an improvement.
Ha! Kind of like asking Jesus into your life.

April 29-30
Heading out the door, I grabbed a new pair of jelly shoes by Trendsup that I'd purchased for $16.99 on Amazon. They are so light and comfortable.  The perfect summer lake shoe. I thought,  "I need to tell my friends about these."

The thought process on sharing continued realizing the difference a friend's tip on Johnson and Johnson's No More Tears baby shampoo made in opening up a clogged oil gland in my eye.
It saved me from surgery!

Now some women may not share their special recipes or secret beauty tips, but there is a life saving tip we should all be quick to share.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23

The wages of sin is death.  Romans 6:23

If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Romans 10:9

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  1 John 3:16

Who will you share with this weekend?

The Sweetest of the Sweet

Our son sent this picture.  He was on his own baby sitting for his two sons a few weekends ago
and decided they'd have a contest to see which sugar cereal is the best!
Growing up, we didn't allow sugar cereals during the week, it was a Saturday treat.
Sounds like his house adult rules may be similar to his childhood!

April 28
Presently, I'm joining the She Reads Truth community in a study of miracles.  Today, contributor, Sharon Miller wrote:
"The Gospel accounts of Jesus conquering death (as in Lazarus and the religious leader's daughter) seem like the ultimate of all miracles.  But really, they were only a short-term (and yes, miraculous) solution to a long-term problem.  The only source of real and lasting hope is not a miracle, but the Messiah. 'I am the resurrection,' Jesus said to Martha.  
As glorious and dazzling as a miracle can be, it has only an ounce of the power and glory of the Savior."

The stories of miracles in the Bible are amazing and certainly draw us in when we are considering who Jesus is.  The more you get to know Him, you come to realize He's the sweetest of the sweet!
The I AM Himself, is better than anything thing He did.

May you take time today to feel His love pour out all over you and recognize His Presence in every detail of your day.

I love you Jesus!

A Junket

 While visiting a dairy farm recently, we came home and turned into cows ourselves.
After we journey to heaven we will experience a transformation!

What you talking bout lady?

April 27
Today's Merriman Webster word of the day is junket-"a trip made at another's expense."
For those of us who love the Lord and call Him Savior.  We have an amazing trip to heaven awaiting us and it is only made available at the expense of Christ's sacrifice!!!!

In 1 Corinthians 6 & 7 Paul is preaching on sexual purity and marriage. In both incidences he reminds believer that " were bought at a price."  

Listen to how The Message translation expresses Romans 5:9-11.
"Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way.  If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!  Now that we have actually received this amazing with life with God, we are no  longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

1 Peter 1:18-21 gives another reminder of the payment made for the junket which lies ahead and the peace we can experience now by knowing the payment has been made.

"Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know.  He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb.  And this was no afterthought...God always knew he was going to do this for you.  It's because of the sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

I don't know what trips you have on your calendar this summer, but I do know for those of us saved by God's grace through Christ Jesus, we have quite the unimaginable journey ahead and the cost of this junket has been paid in full!  Now that's a reason to get up and do your hallelujah dance!

The Light of Heaven

Sparklers bring such a thrill, so will the light of heaven...FOREVER!
God's Glory will be a light like we've never seen.

April 26
Yesterday, I read this entry in Jesus Always, by Sarah Young and thought.  Who do I know who's headed to heaven soon.  The thought entered my mind, it could be me and this was to excite me about the journey.  Ends up, the father of a dear friend, since childhood, had passed from this earth into heaven just hours earlier.  He would have been 96 tomorrow.  What wonderful words for this friend of my to read as she thanks the Lord for her father's faith and the comfort of knowing where he is spending eternity!

“There will be no night in heaven, for the Glory of God gives it Light.  You will not need nighttime for sleeping, because your glorified body will always be full of energy.  Tiredness is one of the main things people have to contend with in this this world, especially as they grow old or sickly.  But there will be no fatigue in heaven and therefore no need for sleep.

The Glory-Light of heaven is perfect and brilliant, without a speck of darkness in it.  There will be no sin there-nothing to hide. You will see everything through glorified eyes, as you’ve never seen before. Colors will be more vivid; faces will be more vibrant.  You will be able to look fully into My Face.  Your experience will be far better than that of Moses, who had to hide in the cleft of a rock while My Glory passed by.  He was allowed to see only My back, but you will have no such limitations.  In heaven you will see Me face to Face-in all My Glory!”  By Sarah Young (Written in the voice of Jesus)

Make "Em Laugh

Laughter is good for the soul.

Our last small group study was on laughter, joy and happiness.  What a joy it was to gather each week and laugh together. We watched clips from Tim Hawkins and Jeanne Robertson, which had us chuckling, but taking turns reading church bulletin bloopers out loud made our bellies hurt we laughed so hard.

1) Do to the pastor's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
2) Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist.  Come
     hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
3) The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
4) The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy"
5)  Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having
     trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Nelson's sermons.
6)  Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship
     that began in their school days.
7)  Weight Watchers will meet at 7PM. Please use the large double doors at the side entrance.
8)  The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.
9)  The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
10) Tuesday at 4PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

It's amazing the difference a simple word can make.  Just like it's amazing the difference one solitary life made when He came to earth as a baby to die for the sins of the world.  We can laugh, smile, and radiate joy, because we know the best is yet to come because of the gift we have received.  
His name is Jesus!

"You never saw him, yet you love him. 
You still don't see him, yet you trust him-with laughter and singing.
Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to:
total salvation."
1 Peter 1:8-9

Brain Shift

"She is at a place 
in her life
where peace is her priority
and negativity cannot exist."

April 24
This quote popped up, like an advertisement, when I was reading some blogs.  It caught my attention as I thought back to my own mother growing older and it seemed like one day she had a brain shift and had come to a place where she just wasn't going to be riled anymore.  Peace was her priority. Unfortunately, although she had a passionate love for Jesus, for many years she also had a very real addiction to alcohol that had robbed her of peace and joy.  That peace that passes understanding was evident the last years of her life.

Sarah Young writes, "The nature of addiction is that you need more and more of a substance to get the same effect as before. This is a self-destructive trap. However, the more you make Me (Jesus) your Focus, the less dependent you are on other things."

One definition of addiction is: enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

Do you have an addiction? 
Is there a thing, person, activity which you show more devotion to than Christ?
It may be robbing the peace that Christ planned for you?
Let's take time for a brain shift concerning the priorities in our lives.

Lord, Jesus, today we pray that we may look up and make peace our priority by turning on the Holy Spirit as the Controller in our lives. Through that act help our brains shift as we become enthusiastically devoted to YOU! You are a life changer. Thanks for loving us.
In Your precious name, Amen

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

The Journey, The Hunt

The Saturday before Easter provided a wonderful day for an egg hunt.

April 22-23
 We are always hunting for something, aren't we?  The car keys, our phone, the perfect pair of shoes, a new job, the man/woman of our dreams, what God's purpose for our life is....  Things that bring satisfaction in this world.

As I set off on this seeking journey a couple months ago these are steps I jotted down in my journal.

The Journey-Seeking Him-Simple Steps to Take
1) Approach Me- Return, return, return to Me.
2) Remember you are not of this world. 
3) Keep your arrow pointed out  (away from selfish desires)

On day twelve, I wrote down that I heard the Lord say, "I will not make you wait long.  You will know My plan."  Then my husband said, "Remember with the Lord a day is as a 1,000 years!" 
Ha! Thanks!

March 21st brought this message from Jesus Always"I may not answer your prayers quickly, 
I am doing something important in your life-far beyond simply solving your problems."

A quick reference and remembrance...God's ways are not our ways.

We don't get it.  God is up to good with us, but often we don't recognize His purpose in the process.  
We forget we are not of this world and we are not designed to comprehend the mind of God.

We are aliens and that's a reason to praise the Lord!
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he has made for you-from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. Friend, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it.  Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.  Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.  Then they'll be own over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
1 Peter 2:10-12   

Our journey, our hunt, will end in a heavenly place.

It's Not About Us

April 21
Years ago, we were teaching in the youth department of a large church, a new youth pastor came onboard.  The hashtag he lived by was #it's all about Jesus.  At some point in our faith walks, the gears shift and we realize...this life journey is not about us, it's about what God wants to do with us.  The initial journey begins when we recognized we've been bought at a precious price...the price of Jesus' life.

Sarah Young so beautifully writes in the voice of Christ in Jesus Always,
"There is no condemnation for those who are in Me." I want you to enjoy the wonder of walking through your life as My follower-totally forgiven!  The best response to this wondrous gift is to live in gratitude, seeking to please Me above all else.  You don't need to do good things to secure My Love, because it's already yours. Just let your desire to please Me flow readily out of your grateful heart. Thanking Me frequently will help you stay close to Me, ready to follow wherever I lead."

Wait, what?  We aren't to initiate our walk and just ask You to bless it?  We are to follow Your lead?

Ha! This just made me think about walking with our grandchildren.  I bet they tire of my continual explanation of why they must hold my hand in a parking lot.  The explanation is that I am higher up than they are and a car can see me in their mirror and stop,  but there's a good possibility they would not be able to see a child who is so much lower!

Whoa.  God is higher up than we are. He sees all things.  He wants to hold our hands, keep us close, and lead us into a life that has eternal benefits, which we are not able to see.

"From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind."
Psalm 33:13
Yesterday, I began to fret over uncertainties...God immediately said, "Stop looking outward. Look upward!"  It's not about us and doing what appeals to us. It's about believing in our Creator and that he created us for a specific purpose. We must look to Him to discern that purpose.

Transformation- The Greatest Easter Gift Ever

God's love is amazing and is showered upon us in so many ways.
A new path.
April 19
Transformation:a thorough or dramatic change.
That's what Jesus is all about.  He came to earth to transform us from sinners bound for a dreadful death, to the realization that we can be the forgiven sons and daughters of the King, with our greatest eternal destiny waiting for us.  The choice is ours.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right  to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.  John 1:12

One of our sons posted on Facebook recently a message of God's transforming power in his life.  

"The last 30 + years I have been walking blind to the most amazing gift I could ever receive.  I knew who Jesus was, I went to church with my family, I even went to a Christian college and studied ministry.  Yet, I never felt worthy of God's grace and I ran as far from it as possible.

I am so thankful to finally be learning what this amazing relationship with Christ is about and to be following his purpose and plan for my life and no longer chasing after my own.

His love is perfect and never failing. He is Risen!"

Do What is Better

April 18
So, I'm back, but still not certain of the exact format.  God's not finished with this training course!

Back in early March, I was driving home from a baby sitting gig and the Spirit prompted me to pull off the road onto an overlook.  I started to resist, because I wanted to scurry home, but heard these words in my heart.   "Do what is of better. Do what is of value?"  Looking down into the valley below was a little red brick church with a white steeple.  God had my attention.

About 30 minutes away was the assisted living/nursing home facility where the woman who raised me was now living.  What was of value, was to change the course of my day and go spend time with her.  Oh, yes, I got the blessing!

This past Easter weekend I was a mix of Mary and Martha.  Groceries have to be bought, meals prepared and the house cleaned up, but time can always be made to sit at the feet of Jesus.

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 
but few things are needed-or indeed only one.  
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:41-42 

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

The Women
The Cross

April 7
It's the middle of the night, I've long ago learned not to pray to go back to sleep, but to seek the face of Jesus in the quiet of the night. With Good Friday only a week away, that's where my mind the foot of the cross.

While Jesus hung here in the most horrific pain and humiliation imaginable, I probably would have been hiding out at home with a pillow over my head, so I couldn't hear the hammer hit the nails and praying "God save him!"  The images on the movie/TV screens and in books are more than I can bare.  Yet, the women who loved him most were there to be with him in his suffering.

How could Jesus's grieving mother, Mary of Nazareth, most likely a widow by this time, have stood this torment.  Years ago, we watched one of our sons struggle for his life following a devastating car accident.  While death tried to grab him for days, it was nothing compared to the public humiliation and false accusations which caused Jesus to be stripped, whipped, beaten, and hung on a cross.  Right now a tear drips down my cheek as I think of Christ's mother.

Salome, whose name means "peaceful," had known Jesus before His public ministry began. Makes me think back to the many friends of our children who sat at my kitchen counter sharing a meal with our boys.  Her sons, John and James, became disciples.  She gave up her life as the wife of a well to do fisherman to follow Jesus and invest in his ministry physically and financially.  Being seen publicly at the cross had consequences for her and her sons.  She took the risk and stood by Him.

Mary Magdalene's presence doesn't surprise me.  This woman adored Jesus!  He had cast seven demons out of her and she was sold out for this man who brought her salvation and gave her newness of life.  Her devotion was present at the cross, but also at the tomb.  She was the first to arrive at the open tomb on that great Resurrection morning. 

These women didn't run away and hide.  They stood by their man.  

The past two weeks I've prayed fervently with a large group of people for a thirteen year old, whose name is Josh.  Josh just had a brain tumor removed and his mother has stayed by his side.  Another acquaintance will not leave her home, because her husband is terminally ill. While two others who are dear to me have stood by their men in painful legal battles where false accusations have been hurled at them in courtrooms.

Who is God calling us to suffer alongside?  
Are we willing to be uncomfortable?
Are we willing to make a sacrifice?

Jesus gave up incredible comforts when he left heaven and came to earth.
Jesus suffered great physical pain and emotional pain as he sacrificed His life for our sinfulness.
Jesus is walking alongside us today in every situation we face.

Here's a happy thought. Those gals of the Old Testament were sold out to the end and they received the greatest reward...being first to see the empty tomb!  Interestingly, they were going there in suffering service again to anoint Jesus' body.  When they got there it was quite the surprise party!

Stand up, stand up for Jesus!

Cherished Moments

Learning to play pinball from your 90 year old great grandmother is a cherished moment.
April 1

 The lessons I'm learning on this spiritual getaway are so powerful. This has truly been a time in my life to cherish. At times I think God's going to beam me right up, then I look around and realize...I'm still here. Sarah Young's message today in Jesus Calling (I'm not fooling) is a large part of what God is teaching me.

It reads:
"I AM calling you to a life of constant communion with Me.  Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life.  You yearn for a simplified lifestyle so that your communion with Me can be interrupted.  But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world.  Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.
Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings.  Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me.  A successful day is one which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day.  Do not let your t-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, as My Spirit to guide you moment by moment.  He will keep you close to Me."

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:6

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."  Galatians 5:25

Praying each of you can slip away for some cherished moments with Jesus today.  
He is our All in All!