Thorns and Tears

Love for the new yearThorns today brought me to tears!

Not in the way you’d expect. I didn’t physically have a thorn prick me. Here’s what happened.

We are beginning work on our Stations of the Cross exhibit for Good Friday. I volunteered to help out on the committee, but couldn’t make it to the meeting last night.

Today, Pastor came in with a bag and she took out three broken off stems with thorns over an inch long attached! She showed me these were going to be on one of the tables along with a smaller replica of the spikes used to nail Jesus to the cross. Just looking at those thorns made my heart plummet. This is what the crown was made of that was placed on Jesus’ head. (shudder)

Immediately I began to see the vivid images of “The Passion of The Christ.”

Pastor asked me if I wanted one of the stems and I quickly said, “No!” I began to tear up.

After she left my office, the tears streamed down my face. I dropped my head as I once again felt the shame of all the pain He suffered for me. All I could say was, “I’m so sorry, Jesus.”

His suffering is beyond my comprehension. We have pain medications, and if we have surgery, we are put to sleep. But Jesus had nothing at all to relieve the pain He suffered. He was innocent, yet He endured something so horrific and terrible to save us!

How easy to forget and to take our lives for granted. We accept God’s promise that we’ll have eternal life. We accept God’s mercy and grace and yet, how often do we really think about the price Jesus paid so that we could have these things?

I saw the thorns. I saw in my mind His bloodied face. I saw Him stumbling along, carrying the very cross He would hang upon to die. I’m humbled. I’m sad. I’m ashamed.

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me so much. Amen.


Romans 10:10 – Scripture Verse of the Week

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

I chose this verse because it really stuck with me when used in a sermon on Sunday morning. Pastor was talking about how a person can be saved anywhere, because God is everywhere!

We aren’t locked into being inside a church’s walls to receive Jesus as our Savior. No matter what anyone tells you, the Bible says, “That if you confess 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)

Exodus Study – Let’s Change Things Up!

Exodus 23:20

Exodus 23:20

As we begin Exodus study, our plans will change.

For me and others who have commented, the 3 week study plan is not working. There is too much time to “forget” to open the Bible and then having to catch up means reading without taking time to study or think about the words.

So beginning Sunday, we will be reading a chapter a day, or seven chapters a week. This may change if we get really long or short chapters, so be sure to check back here every week to get the new plan.

READ STUDY EXODUS CHAPTERS 1-7 THIS WEEK.

Additionally, I am sharing some information gathered from various sites on how to study using a notebook/journal and the S.O.A.P method. This isn’t a MUST. It is just another tool to help you to glean the message God is revealing in His Word.

I suggest you keep a journal/notebook if you haven’t been doing so.

Again, whatever works for you.

One method of Bible Study is called the S.O.A.P method.

What is S.O.A.P.?

S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word.

How does it work?

It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.

Use your journal/notebook to record as follows:

S- scripture
Write the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading.

O – observation
What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book.

A – application
How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.

P – prayer
Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.

That’s all there is to it!

Keeping a journal helps you:

Process and personalize what God is saying to you through His Word.

Ask questions of the text. The Who, What, When, Why and Where can all be written in your journal. (It doesn’t always have to be an “aha” moment, it can be a “Why did you say or do that, God?” Or any other question that may arise from your reading.)

Confirm what God is speaking to you personally.

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I hope this change of direction will motivate you to read/study your Bible on a daily basis or at least more frequently.

Enjoy the Exodus study!

 

 

The Unwelcome Guest – Part 1

It was a cute little house, just perfect for our family of four, though we never could have imagined the unwelcome guest that would come to live with us.

We toured it before renting, delighted at the cute covered front porch, with a white wooden railing. Inside we found two bedrooms, a huge farmhouse type kitchen, an upstairs with two rooms, one for storage and a second that could be used as an additional bedroom. One bath, and a small but serviceable basement area for laundry. There was a nice front and side yard, but no back yard to speak of. Behind the house was a ditch which separated the cul-de-sac from the businesses on the main road through the small “town” of Creve Couer, Illinois. We moved into the house in the fall of 1966.

My daughter was three and my son was a year and a half. We added a swing set to the front yard and settled into our rented home.

For the first year, we only had two incidents, though none led us to believe they were anything but natural.

The first was when my daughter had a sudden bout of anger which wasn’t normal for her. She took a toy truck and struck her brother on the head with it. When I corrected her, she started to scream and ran with arms extended to the front glass “screen” door and her arms went straight through it! Glass shattered and her inside wrist began dripping blood. My husband was at work with the car, and thank the good Lord, my neighbor ran over and told us to get in her car and she’d drive us to the hospital.

They wouldn’t allow me to go back with my child while they stitched her arm. She was so little and so frightened and they had strapped her to a papoose type board! I could hear her cries and screams as I leaned against the wall and cried. I wanted to comfort my baby. This was one of the worst times of my life.

But she was all right and we were able to take her home after they stitched her wound. Though this was unusual for my child’s behavior, I still never thought it could have been anything but a strange fit of temper.

My children had been good sleepers, never waking up in the middle of the night unless they were sick. But a few months later, I began to hear strange noises. The house was dark, so I got out of bed and turned on the living room light. I was startled to see my children standing against the wall next to the front door holding hands, their eyes wide and round. When I asked why they were up, they didn’t have any answer.

I settled them back in bed, read them a story, and turned out the lights.

This continued to happen over and over again. My daughter said it was a bad dream. I wondered who had woken who with a bad dream instead of calling out for me to come and help them.

And then a little mouse appeared in the kitchen. Just a mouse, nothing more. But he was too fast to catch and we began to hear him inside the wall. Not too strange, and not too uncommon, I thought. We tried several solutions to catch the mouse, but had to be careful what we used because of the children, especially since they were prone to wander in the dark of night.

Yes, we did finally catch the mouse and the house settled into our “normalcy” again.

Then, things escalated…

(to be continued)

 

 

God Answered My Cry for Healing

Cup of TeaLet me tell you about how God answered my prayer for healing Sunday night.

Every Sunday after church, a friend and I meet for a late lunch. This past Sunday we met at Cracker Barrel. Normally, I order a salad, but this day I was super hungry and couldn’t stop thinking about how good a country fried steak would taste. I hadn’t eaten one in about six years and decided to treat myself this one time.

Wrong thing to do! The deep fried and high carb meal was a very bad choice. As the day went on, my stomach grew fuller and fuller. I was so bloated and miserable I didn’t want any dinner. The food remained in my stomach and wasn’t digesting at all.

By the time I settled in bed, I was suffering severely with gas, heartburn, and acid reflux. I stumbled to the bathroom only to remember I had taken my last Alka Seltzer some time ago as well as my Maalox. I had nothing at all to relieve the discomfort.

I felt sicker and sicker and longed for my hubby to be here to give me a hug and take care of me. Living alone when you’re sick is the worst.

But I wasn’t really alone. I knew Jesus was with me. I began to pray to him to help me. I asked Him to relieve the misery and allow me to sleep. God is always there and He listens to all prayers. He’s been so good to me and I can’t imagine what life would be without Him. He’s my constant companion in good and bad, my confidante, my guide, and a wonderful listener. He’s also a healer. I trusted Him.

Not being able to sleep, I fluffed my two pillows and turned on Netflix to watch an episode of “When Calls the Heart”. Losing myself in the heartwarming episode, I lay still and my mind forgot all about my misery. When the show was over forty minutes later, I realized all my discomfort was gone! No more bloated stomach, no more heartburn, no more acid reflux! Immediately I gave thanks for the answered prayer!

Never doubt God can answer your prayers. He cares about us and if we trust Him and believe in Him, He can and will work miracles. He is in the healing business! Don’t be afraid to ask Him for help when you need it. And never forget to thank Him when He answers.

Jesus isn’t just a rainy day friend to remember only when things get bad. Having a relationship with Him can change your life. I spend my day in conversation with Him, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud. I am never alone.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you a sweet day, friend.

Blessings,