Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Jesus said in John 16:33 " this world you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world!"

Jesus does not promise to take us out of the tribulation. He does not promise us a life of ease and unending happiness. What He promises us is Himself.

When people fail us....Jesus is always faithful. (Lamentations 3:22,23)

When we are hurting to the depths of our soul...Jesus says "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11: 28)

When we feel we cannot go on....Jesus carries us. (Psalm 55:22)

When we fail Him....Jesus picks us up and gives us another chance. (Psalm 107: 28; 37: 23, 24)

When we sin.... Jesus forgives us . (I John 1:9)

When we are rejected by man....Jesus claims us as His own. ((Psalm 118 : 6)

When all seems hopeless...Jesus reminds us HE is our hope...our eternal HOPE. (Psalm 43:5)

When we are disappointed...Jesus says He will never let us down and never let us go. (Joshua 1:9)

When we feel alone and abandoned...Jesus is ALWAYS there. (Psalm 145: 18,19)

When others are too busy to care....Jesus is ALWAYS available (Psalm 121: 4)

When we hurt so badly we don't know what to pray...Jesus intercedes on our behalf. (Rom. 8:26)

When our hearts are breaking and the tears fall like rain...Jesus puts all of our tears in His bottle, promising that one day, He will wipe away every tear. (Psalm 56:8, Rev. 7:;17)

When we feel we just can't go on....Jesus promises to be our strength. (Psalm 138: 3, 27:7)

Yes, JESUS is there through it all, in the midst of it all. Even in the midst of our darkest days, if we will just look, we can see HIM through our tribulation. Our true joy comes in seeing Him THROUGH the pain, the disappointment, the sorrow, the rejection, the abandonment, the loneliness. He IS there. He is ALWAYS there.

Happiness is based on our circumstances and when the circumstances go south, happiness takes flight.

But true JOY...the JOY that only JESUS can give, comes from knowing that in the MIDST of it all....all the junk that life throws at us....all the fiery darts that Satan attacks us the MIDST of all of that, JESUS is shining like the beacon of a lighthouse to a storm tossed sailor. If we will but keep our eyes on Him, we will make it safely Home. The storms may continue to rage in our life. The pain may seem unbearable at times. But, if we can learn to look PAST the storm and to the LIGHT that is JESUS' love, we can find peace in the midst of the storm.

I omitted the first part of the verse at the beginning of this blog, now I'd like to give it ALL to you....

"These things have I spoken unto you, that IN ME you might have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Keeping our eyes on JESUS is the ONLY way to have peace in this tribulation-filled world. I pray today that you will find that peace in the midst of YOUR storm just as the author of the beloved hymn "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL" found his.

Monday, April 13, 2009

THE TOMB IS EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen!!"

In deed! He IS risen!!!!!!!!!! Jesus is alive.

I serve a risen Savior
He's in the world today
I know that He is living
Whatever men may say

I see His hand of mercy
I hear his voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me
And talks with me
Along life's narrow way.

He lives!
He lives!
Salvation to impart.
You ask me how
I know He lives?
He lives within my heart!!
Rejoice rejoice, O Christian
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal Hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King

The help of all who seek Him
The hope of all who find
None other is so loving
So good and kind.
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me
And talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives!
He lives!
Salvation to impart.
You ask me how
I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
----Lyrics and Composer: Alfred H. Ackley, 1933.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This has been an extremely busy week for me. I was out of town for a week on a relaxing retreat with friends, so I have had to hit the ground running this week. Easter is just days away and family is coming Sunday for lunch and egg hunting. Trying to get the yard presentable as the weeds are quickly taking over with all the rain we've had is a daunting task. Making lists for groceries for Sunday lunch, a meal to take to a sick friend and last minute goodies for granddaughters' Easter baskets have me running a mental checklist in my head. Not to mention the ordinary everyday things like laundry, housecleaning and cooking.

Where is EASTER in all of this? Not the bunnies, Easter eggs, jelly beans, and Sunday fare. Not the Easter dress, centerpiece, or marshmallow bunnies. No, I mean where is the REAL Easter?

Once again, as happens with CHRISTmas, we must fight through all the traditions and commercialism to get to the REAL thing....the REAL reason for this special holiday.

Tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY, the day we mark as the anniversary of Jesus' death on the cross. Most will mark it only as a holiday, a day off from school and work. A day to get the last minute things done and purchased before Sunday. Most will not give it a thought.

But what happened centuries ago on that hill on that cross forever changed my life. Jesus went to that cross willingly to die for me, to pay my sin debt. He paid a debt He did not owe, because I owed a debt I could not pay.

We must not allow the things of this as they may crowd out that enormous truth. We must take time to remember and reflect about the sacrifice that was paid for our sins. No one took His life from Him. He laid it down for you and for me. Max Lucado says "He chose the nails" for you and for me. How can we neglect the remembrance of such a great sacrifice.

Why would He do that for the likes of me or you? One reason. LOVE. "For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

One of my favorite songs in all the world expresses it best:

In letters of crimson God wrote His love
on a hillside so long long ago.
For you and for me Jesus died.
Love's greatest story was told.
I love you. I love you.
That's what Calvary said.
I love you. I love you.
I love you………… written in red.

Down through the ages
God wrote His love
With the same hands that suffered and bled.
Giving all that He had
to giveThe message so easily read:
I love you. I love you.
That's what Calvary said.
I love you. I love you.
I love you. Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know.
Nothing but the blood the blood of Jesus.

I love you. I love you.
That's what Calvary said.
I love you. I love you. "I love you"… WRITTEN IN RED.
(turn up your sound)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


"The world behind me...the cross before me,
The world behind me...the cross before me,
The world behind me...the cross before me,
No turning back. No turning back"
The words to this chorus, learned as a child, should be the motto of every believer in the world today.
Jesus set forth on His journey to the Cross from the moment He was born in that stable in Bethlehem. It was a journey that took Him roughly 33 years and not once did he shrink from the job nor think about turning back. It was all part of the Father's plan and Jesus was always about His Father's business. "I can of mine orwn self do nothing....I seek not mine own will but the will of my Father which has sent me," Jesus said in John 5: 30 and in John 4: 34 He said, " My [desire] is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work" and finally in John 8: 29 He said "I do always those things that please Him [the Father]".
Knowing His Father's will was for Him to go to the Cross, He set His face like flint and did not turn back. He was in the world, preaching, teaching, loving, ministering, but He was also about daily tasks such as attending a wedding, spending time with His disciples, taking a nap, and having dinner with friends.
He was not a hermit nor a recluse. He did not avoid sinners, rather He dined with them. He was not distant nor aloof from those with needs, He was drawn to them. He was not impressed with those who had position and prestige, but was moved by those such as the widow who gave her last mite and Zaccheus who hid himself in a tree just to catch a glimpse of Jesus.
But no matter where He went or what He was doing, the Cross was ever before Him. He was never in a hurry and He was never late. He had the same 24 hours a day that we do. He did not succomb to the demands of the people though many followed Him and many made demands upon Him. He went as directed by His Father. He was in human form, His divinity clothed in humanity and could not be everywhere at one time. Therefore He had to rely on the Father's direction to know where He was to go, who He was to speak to, and when He was to move on. But always with the knowledge that the Cross was before Him and that His time on this earth was drawing to a close.
We, too, have a limited time on this earth. We cannot be everywhere at once nor possibly meet all the demands that are placed upon our time....though oftentimes we try. We are human and we can only do so much. Most of us wear ourselves out trying to do everything there is to do, burning the candle at both ends. We get so caught up in all of our TO DO lists that often the very things that are most important get pushed to the bottom of the list. All the while the clock is ticking, our time is drawing near.
Maybe it's time as we move toward this Easter Sunday to take stock and see what is really important in our lives. Maybe we need to do a little spring cleaning and weed out those things that are hindering us from being about the Father's business. Maybe we need to place the Cross before us and the world behind us and let nothing cause us to turn back from following Him with our whole hearts.
The main part of that song I shared at the beginning goes like this:
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, No turning back.
Are you following Him today or have you struck out on a detour the world has put before you?

Monday, April 6, 2009


"And they brought him [the colt] to Jesus and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying "Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest"....and He taught daily in the temple. " Luke 19: 34-38, 47.

Today is Monday. If you knew that you were going to die an excrutiating death on Friday, what would YOU be doing today?

Can our minds even begin to comprehend that thought? Can we possibly imagine what it would be like to KNOW that in 4 days we are going to die? I think not.

We have a friend who has recently been told he possibly only has 3 years left to live. It has totally changed him and his family. Until you are there, you cannot imagine. Until YOU hear the words spoken about YOUR life, it is just too surreal.

Jesus knew that Friday was coming. He knew what it held for him....the CROSS.

Yet in the days leading up to that day, He was still teaching. He was still trying to prepare His disciples. He was still sharing the good news.

We do not know the day nor the hour that Jesus will return to rapture His church. Only God knows that. But He has given us signs to look for, clues that it could be soon. I believe we are seeing some of those clues today.

If this is true, what are we doing with our last days? Are we going about our lives with a 'business as usual' attitude?

Maybe it's time that we stop and think what is really important. I've been told by those who are facing their own death, that things take on an entirely different priority when you are faced with a limited amount of time. Things that once seemed SO important take a back seat to those things which really matter most.

Jesus had only a few days left to live and He spent that time teaching others about the good news, warning them of what was to come. Should we do any less?

We are here for a purpose. We are here to glorify God with our lives and to point others to Him.

As Easter approaches, may we truly search our hearts and see where our priorities are. May we be reminded today that Jesus did not die on that fateful Friday so that we could live wonderful, comfortable lives of ease and pleasure. He died that we might live. He suffered and bled and died to give us the ultimate gift. May we show our gratitude today by not trashing that gift but by sharing it with someone who has yet to receive it.