Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Five Year Old Wanted To Pray

I just love our Ladies (Sister of the Vine) prayer meetings. We are joined by kids !  little ones, home-schooled ones, and even Older ones on "no school" days. 

*We love kids.   

The most precious thing happened yesterday at our bi-weekly meeting. One of the little kids (5) wanted to join us when we got ready to pray for the requests that had been made. I think she really just wanted some cuddle time with mom, but she wanted to join us, And she wanted to pray too. 

We told her the signal for when it was her turn. The praying began. Now I've been teaching young children and 1-6th grade kids for years. Most of those prayers are for good days at school, tests, puppies, little brothers, new bikes, etc. There have also been a few very serious requests made too.

 I wasn't really sure where our young prayer warrior was going to fall in that group. I fully expected to hear a prayer for a puppy or for the older sister to share a treasured toy, or older brother to play nice.. but what came out of that little girls mouth was nothing but Pure Praise . 

She spent about 2 minutes thanking God and Jesus for being beautiful, for loving us, for being wonderful and kind, and being the best at everything. her little heart poured out praise.. 

Well I can tell you that it moved not only my heart but made tears well up. 
It reminded me that I've been spending way to much time focusing on what I want God to do for me and not so much for just thanking Him for who He is Beautiful, Wonderful, Kind, and loving. 

She thanked God for Jesus. Wow.. what a prayer. Thank you little one for reminding your fellow prayer warriors to not only make requests but to take time and just thank God and Jesus for who they are. Thank you for Praising Them in the midst of our requests.. I love you little one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple Butter In The Crockpot

I had a friend ask for my Apple Butter recipe so here it is. 

I love this easy recipe. You can't mess it up. You'll be tossing all your ingredients in a crockpot. 

Dig out your crockpot.  I have a 6qt. oval one, but any kind will do. 

Apples: peel, core, and run through a meat grinder. (I have seen youtube videos that show people just chopping them up so either way will work.) * chopping may mean the apples will have to cook longer. Fill your crockpot almost to the top with chopped apples. then add all the other ingredients mixing well after each addition. 

add 1/2-1 cup of apple cider
add about 4 cups of sugar * I use about 1/2 that amount for my husband whose diabetic. You can use all white sugar, or a mixture of white and brown sugar to fit your taste. 

2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon 
A sprinkle of Nutmeg and cloves. * this is where your personal taste comes in. remember you can always add more, but you can't take it away. taste as you go. 

Mix all well. 

Turn the crockpot on high and leave it there until it starts bubbling, then turn it to low and cook until the mixture is thick 12-14 hours. If you chopped the apples the cooking down process may take longer up to 20 hrs. You can tell when your apple butter is done when you scoop up a spoonful and it holds on your spoon without sliding off. It should be a deep dark brown and smell amazing. 
you can blend it with a hand mixer, or an immersion blender if you wish.   This recipe makes about 8-10 half pints. 

at this point you can freeze your apple butter * check online for freezing instructions. 

Canning your Apple butter:   *see link below 
prepare your  Water Bath Canner
Prepare your jars *wash and sterilize your jars according to the link above. It's very important you follow this step. 
  I wash mine in Hot soapy water, rinse and drain. 
  I put my New *don't use old lids ever! jar lids in boiling water for a couple of minutes then turn on low until I use them. 
Using a ladle and a canning funnel I pour the hot apple butter into the jar leaving 1/4 inch head space.   
Wipe the top of the jar with a dry cloth or paper towel 
Using tongs I take a hot lid out of the water and place it on top of the jar. 
Get a screw band and screw it down tight. 
put all your jars in the Water Bath Canner you have prepared *see link above. 
Process in the canner about 15 minutes for Pints, and 10 minutes for 1/2 pints.  
Remove from the canner and set on a towel until completely cool. Then check the lids and make sure they are sealed. * press on the top of the lid. Lids will flex up and down if they did NOT  seal correctly. 
* A note about Apples: I have an old tree in the field behind the house. I use those apples for apple butter as  well as apple sauce. the apples are tart and fall apart when heated. You can use any kind of apples you like. You may want to mix them up and use some tart and some sweet. You'll be filling your crockpot to the top with apples so make a good guess. Husband picked 1/2 bushel for me. Most of those had bad places I had to cut out and some were unusable. I would guess 1/2 bushel of good apples would make one or two batches. If I was buying them at the grocery store I would get about 10 lbs. Any leftovers could be used for Apple pie or other favorite apple recipes.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

MIni Rant Of The Day: Dear Mr./Mrs. Politician

Politicians drive me nuts...

Mini Rant for the day.. 
    Dear Mr./Mrs. Politician.. 
Stop telling me how bad your opponent is.. Stop telling me how your opponent has supported "the bad party and the wrong people"...  Stop telling me how we will all suffer if your opponent wins.. 

Tell Me:  What are you going to do to help us, the voters..  
We need you to tell us how you are going to improve the economy, help our Veterans, make sure everyone has insurance, how are you going to improve our schools and City services. How are you going to look out for Seniors.. What are you going to do to see that our taxes are used in the most efficient way.. 

Stop telling me how bad the other guy is.. Tell me that you are going to listen to me. That you are going to set your priorities for your constituents even if it doesn't agree with your parties' line of thinking..  

Tell me what you are going to do, and I just may vote for you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Where Did The Summer Go ???

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post.. Way back in July Wow..  

It's been a busy Summer. Some things have changed as far as Summer routine. We have pretty much decided that Hubby, with his back, just can't till up or work out in the garden. I'm hoping that maybe next year we can get a raised bed garden put in. I really missed those fresh veggies, and as time consuming as it is. I really miss Canning. I loved making all kinds of yummy stuff to use during the winter. I hate having to buy canned veggies. I think we could manage a raised bed garden. It seems as though downsizing is just part of the aging process. 

We had a great time going to our local Farmer's Market this year. The new market opened in May. It will be open year round. I found some great veggies and fruit there. Lots of friendly faces too. I know I'll be heading there at least a few times a month for eggs, meat, and Bakery stuff. I like all the specialty coffee's the offer.. Hubby. Not so much.  He is a Maxwell house Man. He doesn't want any of that foo foo coffee. He wants a good stout cup of "made in the old coffee pot" coffee.. the closest thing he could find at the Market that resembled his brew from home was a Brazilian "Pour over".. He didn't like it, but at least it was hot and it got him home to get " just a plain old cup of coffee"..  

I had a great time with our Church's Summer Awana Program. The kids had fun with various activities including Vacation Bible School. The best time was the Summer wrap up in Aug. The kids made Pinewood derby cars and raced them. It was so much fun. We've just started back with our regular Awana program. A sure sign that Summer is over and School has started. 

The weather has been cool here the last couple of weeks. Thankfully it looks like we'll be warming back up into the 70's for the next week or so. I'm glad summer is still hanging on for a bit. 

I love all that summer stuff.. Warm nights, Fireworks, fishing, Water fun, watching gardens grow and fluffy clouds swimming by in the bright blue skies. Birds and bunnies, butterflies and squirrels visiting our yard. Picnics, festivals, fairs, Ice tea on the porch, and burgers on the BBQ grill. Watermelon, and Peach juice dripping down my chin. And the laughter of children playing. Ice cream on hot summer nights .  car rides with windows down. Singing with my favorite songs on the radio. Star gazing on a warm night with my husband holding my hand. 

I hope you made some great memories this summer, and that they help keep you warm through the long nights of Winter....   

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'd Forgotten How Terrifying The Car Wash Can be.

I can almost hear the evil music playing now.. 

I know, It's just a car wash. It's sweet and gentle and will give you a nice clean sparkly car on the other side. 

If you can make it to the other side.. 

Maybe it was a horror movie from years ago. Maybe it's because I've learned I'm a bit claustrophobic. Maybe there is no reason; it just is.  I'm terrified of going through car washes.. 

I really just want out of the car. Seriously. 

I really want to scream and beat on the windows.. 

I really had forgotten about how afraid I am to go through a car wash. I've driven a truck for over 20 yrs. with the topper and other stuff they were way to tall to take through the Automatic car washes. Hubby just runs them up to the Self wash. 

The new Trailblazer I'm driving now needed a wash bad. I figured I'd just pop through the car wash. Easy right,  WRONG.. I didn't start getting panicky till I got in line and couldn't get out. I swear I started to hyperventilate. I paid my money and asked the attendant what to do. I think he saw the panic in my eyes. He said very kindly. "Ma'am, you just put the vehicle in Neutral, yes, that's right, now take your foot off the brake. then when you quit rolling 
put it in gear and drive out"..   

As you might guess I made it out the other side. It was the early afternoon and I could see some light. I also got a little panicky about the car behind me at the end, but no worries, when I quit rolling I popped that baby in drive and headed out the drive going about 35.. 
I may try that one again. I think I'll bring some headphones. I need to buy some first, then I'll listen to some nice soothing music or something. That or I'm going to try and find the kind of car wash my daddy would take us too. We got out of the car, a worker would get in and clean the inside of the car while it was going through the wash. Now that didn't scare me at all..  

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Favorite Song...

My new Favorite song this week..  

Say Amen  
Finding Favor  

This life is a journey we walk by faith

And there will always be the mountains in our way
But right here in this moment, may our strength be renewed
As we recall what God has done and how we've seen Him move

If there's anybody here who's found Him faithful
Anybody here who knows He's able
Say Amen
And if there's anybody here who's seen His power
Anybody here brought through the fire
Say Amen
Anybody here found joy in the middle of sorrow
Just Say AMEN!

Sometimes through the darkness, it's hard to see
So just be brave and follow where He leads
'Cause greater is the one who's in us, than he who's in the world
So child of God remember, the battle is the Lord's

And if there's anybody here who's found Him faithful
Anybody here who knows He's able
Say Amen
And if there's anybody here who's seen His power
Anybody here brought through the fire
Say Amen
Anybody here found joy in the middle of sorrow
Peace in the storm, hope for tomorrow
And seen it time and time again
Then just Say AMEN!

Even in the valley of the shadow when you feel alone in the unknown
Just say Amen, Just say Amen
Even when the storms are raging, Stand and know your not forsaken
Just say Amen, Just say Amen

Is there anybody here, Tell me is there anybody here
Come on and Say Amen

And if there's anybody here who's seen His power
Anybody here brought through the fire
Come on and Say Amen
Anybody here found joy in the middle of sorrow
Peace in the storm, hope for tomorrow
And seen it time and time again
Just say Amen, Just say Amen!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Celebrating The Past , Anticipating The Future..

Today was the day. Today Eastgate Baptist Church celebrated 60 yrs. I was excited to be part of the committee who planned the celebration. Loving photos I really loved looking through the years of photos. I loved seeing the first meeting places, a home, a basement where pickles were stored, a garage along with purchasing and building a Church on two different properties. 

I loved re-reading the Church History. How exciting to see that what God began in the hearts of 25 people has continued on in the hearts of hundreds of Church members. 

I was honored when the Pastor asked me to share with the congregation a bit about how Eastgate had influenced my life. As I spent the next few days thinking about it. I realized that Eastgate had totally changed my life. Everything changed, and I mean everything. 

It all started when my neighbor and her daughter asked if our daughter could go to Vacation Bible School. The Church had a bus, so I didn't even have to take her. I thought it was good for kids to go to Church, so I agreed. At the end of the week there was a family night. Parents and families were invited to come and see what the children had been learning. I didn't own a dress, I still don't, so I borrowed one.  Everything was nice. I remember several people introducing themselves and talking about how sweet our daughter was. 
The next day I was rather surprised to see her VBS teachers at the door. They had come to see if Susan could come to Sunday School. I knew kids needed to go to Sunday School, so I said yes, but I would take her. I got her ready on Sunday and took her. I'd heard some weird stuff about those Baptists so I wasn't to sure about leaving her there until I saw where she would be and who would be teaching her. 

As I entered the building a wonderful cheery woman introduced herself and told me all about Susan's class. Then she mentioned they had adult Sunday School classes, and I could stay there "just in case" Susan needed me. I wasn't dressed for Church. as you just read, I didn't own a dress. I was in my "nice" jeans and some kind of band T-shirt.. She told me it was no problem and whisked me to a Ladies Bible Study. She introduced me to the teacher, one of the ladies who had come to the house, and to the class and was off. 

I totally expected to see the "Christian Stink Eye".. you know.. Judgemental glares. I didn't see one. Maybe this wasn't going to be to bad. To make a long story short, I stayed.. I attended on and off for 3 months. Then after a very traumatic life event, I prayed to accept Christ and received Him as my Lord and Savior. 

As I recalled different things that happened I saw how my life was totally changed by the loving people of Eastgate. I could tell you countless ways their love and guidance encouraged me to study God's Word and learn of His great Love. I could call out name after name of those who loved me, mentored me.. (I didn't know that's what it was) and showed me how to be a Christian woman, wife, and mother. 

Eastgate influences on my life. wow.. I talk different, I think different, I see God and His Love and Forgiveness differently. I live differently. Not only did Eastgate change my life, but they changed the lives of our kids and grand kids. 3 generations all touched by God because a few people in 1954 followed God's call to start a new Church. Lives changed because someone came to my house and asked me and my daughter if we'd like to go to Church with them. If that hadn't happened I am sure I would have never given that Church a second thought. 

Lives changed because a group of people were willing to serve God by volunteering their time to drive a bus, volunteer to teach and serve in Vacation Bible School, volunteered to sit at a desk and make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.. Volunteered to teach a ladies Bible study class.. And most of all the many who prayed that God would help them reach their community with the Gospel of Christ. They were willing to serve as God led them. 

Now for 31 yrs. I've had the privilege of serving right alongside some of those very same people. I'm so excited to see where God will lead us over the next 60 yrs. I'm excited to see lives changed. I'm excited I can be part of what God is doing. 

yes, today was a great Celebration Day. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Katch-up Monday....

I can't hardly believe it's the middle of June already. Where does the time go? I don't know about you but my days seem to rocket by. I really want the summer days to be long, lazy, and I want Summer to last at least 6 months. 

To Catch you up on life at our house. 
1. I ordered and received seeds for the Garden. 
2. We are planting a garden
3. We are NOT planting a garden
4. We Are planting a garden
5. We are NOT planting a garden.
6. I give up. I have no idea if we are or are not. The winter left our garden spot floating. The wet spring has let it floating and soggy and spongy wet. It finally dried up a bit and now is hard as concrete. So I'm guessing no garden this year. Hubby's back has gotten worse over the past couple of years. He just can't horse that tiller around anymore. I hate not having a garden. I love watching it grow and I love putting it up. So healthy for us and so much tastier then store processed stuff. 
7. A new Farmer's market opened in May about 3 miles from us. I've been there at least once a week. I'm hoping it will fill in for most of the garden stuff. We are already getting brown eggs from hormone free, free Range/wandering in the yard Chickens. Love it. 
8. Only two graduations, kids from Church, to celebrate this year. Loved helping with one open house last weekend. 
9. So far no weddings or babies on the way in the family. 
10. One baby on the way at Church.  wooo hoooo 
11. I've actually been to see 3 or 4 movies at a real theater as opposed to red box rentals in my living room, so far this year. :-)  
12. Still not sitting out in the yard yet. Vampire Mosquitoes, as our Pastor refers to them, would carry us away. I am hoping for a few evenings sitting out there with ice tea. Maybe even a bon-fire or 3. 
13. I'm secretly hoping for a trip south to Ky. this year sometime. I'm not telling anyone, so shhhh I don't want to jinx it. 
14. I'm craving fair food. you know.. sweet deep fried yummy-ness 
15. The Awana program at Church ended, but our Summer kids program has started. 
16. Looking forward to VBS in July. I'm the Snack lady. I love it. 
17. I have a new Soldier I'm packing boxes for at our group meetings. He's a cousin. One I haven't had a chance to meet yet. I'm really looking forward to meeting him when he gets home, and hugging his neck. 
18. I am hoping to take a few overnight trips this summer. 
19. I'd really love to go fishing. I miss it. 
20. We spent father's day with my hubby filling our faces with yummy food.. 

That's it for now. Hoping your summer slows down and let's you savor it .....  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Oh Say Can You See On This Memorial Day....

On This Memorial Day 2014, I'm thinking of a day way back in 1814 When a young man wrote our National Anthem. I'm sure you're probably thinking "Uh Karen, today is Memorial day, It's got nothing to do with the Star spangled Banner". 

You would be partially right. The song was written during the Battle of Fort McHenry. That has nothing to do with Memorial Day, but what you may not know is something happened during that battle that would show the lengths to which our forefathers would go to fight for Freedom and birth a new Nation. 

Prior to the Battle beginning that day the message had been sent to the Commander of the Fort that they need only lower the flag, and that would signal their total Surrender. That would end the war and the British would win. The men at the Fort knew what would happen if the flag fell. Their New Nation would fall. The soldiers made a commitment that day that our Military still makes today. The Flag would Not Fall. 

The Flag and the flag pole were hit by the rockets that night. As some of those Soldiers close to the Flag were gravely injured they would use their body's to prop the flag pole up. In the morning their dead bodies were found lying atop each other making sure that Flag did not fall. That same Love of Freedom, Country, and our Flag motivate our young men and women to make that same kind of commitment today.

I hope as you head out to the beach today or BBQ with family and friends you will take a moment to reflect on the day. I hope you will take a moment to remember the sacrifice of family members, of those who have lived in your community, or those who've had books  about them written or movies made. Remember their sacrifice. 

If you would like to read more about the Story behind the star spangled banner you can click on the link below. 

The story behind the star spangled Banner:

"Francis Scott Key, a Baltimore lawyer at the time, visited the enemy's fleet the day prior to the bombardment of Fort McHenry. He went aboard the ship to attempt to secure the release of a Maryland doctor, who had been abducted by the British after they left Washington. The lawyer was able to get the commander to agree to release the prisoner Dr. Beanes, but not until the next day and they both had to remain on board their ship until then. The commander also told them that they would be bombarding Fort McHenry that night. The fort commander was sent word to the Fort McHenry Commander, that whenever they wanted to surrender, all they had to do was lower the United States flag. As long as the flag was flying, the bombardment would continue. However, once they lowered the flag, it meant total surrender and the British would win the war.
An eerie silence fell across the early morning darkness and the young Baltimore attorney breathed a sigh of relief. It was after 1 A.M. on the morning of September 14, 1814 and it was the first time in more than 18 hours that things had been quiet. Since 7 A.M. of the previous day more than 1,800 bombs, cannonballs, and the new Congreve rockets had lit the sky and shattered the peaceful harbor. From the deck of his sloop behind the enemy fleet, the young Baltimore attorney breathed a sigh of relief. The flag was still there! 

Upon discussing the previous night with survivors of the great battle, he learned just how much keeping the flag flying had meant to the soldiers. The flag itself was hit many times and had holes in it. In addition, several times through the night a cannon ball had hit the flag pole. It was hit enough times that the pole was actually leaning and in danger of toppling over. Brave men rushed to the pole to help prop it up with their bodies and arms. When one man holding the flagpole up was shot, another was ready to take his place. This is how they kept the flag flying all night!" 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nothing Compares...

I was just listening to one of my favorite songs by "Third Day".  
"Nothing Compares"
You can find it here

Here are the Lyrics: 

I've heard all the stories
I've seen all the signs
Witnessed all the glory
Tasted all that's fine
  • Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord
    Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Lord

    I see all the people
    Wasting all their time
    Building up their riches
    For a life that's fine

    I find myself just living for today
    'Cause I don't know what
    Tomorrow's gonna bring
    So no matter if I rise or fall
    I'll never be alone, oh no
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nothing compares to God's Love for me and you. 
Nothing compares to the Promises He has made to us. 
Nothing compares to His sacrifice for us. 
Nothing compares to knowing Him. To having a real relationship with Him. 

Nothing Compares !!!

      Monday, April 21, 2014

      Holy Week Pt 8.. He Is Risen...

      Wow.. The past week has flown by. The Women have made preparations to take spices and prepare Jesus' body. Remember the Sabbath was about to start and the women had to wait till the first day of the week.

      I'll bet the women took their time walking to the burial place. I know I wouldn't have been in any hurry to get there. All that blood and now they needed to bath their Master's body along with the other preparations using spices. No, I don't think they hurried to the tomb. I bet they walked a little slowly.  

      I can't imagine their shock at finding the stone rolled away. they knew it had been there. Some of them were there when Joesph of Arimathia had placed the body in the tomb. They had seen the Stone rolled in place. I'm sure in the early morning they were hoping at least one of the Soldiers posted there could move the stone for them. 

      *Luke 23:55-56
      55As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. 56Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.

      Luke 24:1-12 NIV
      The Resurrection
      1But very early on Sunday morninga the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 3So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
      5The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? 6He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, 7that the Son of Manb must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
      8Then they remembered that he had said this. 9So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. 11But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.12However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.
      I Can't imagine their shock as they saw that stone rolled away. I can just see Mary running inside. I'll bet their first thoughts were that someone had taken Their Lord in the night. How could they do such a thing.. But then 2 men suddenly appeared and asked why they were looking for the living among the dead "He isn't here! He is risen from the dead !...   
      Could it be true? Really True, Jesus had risen from the dead. I'm sure they immediately remembered all the times Jesus has eluded to it. They hadn't really understood it then, but now, oh my, could it really be true..  
      I love that these ladies Rushed back to the upper room. I bet a couple of them had all they could do to keep from running back. They told the disciples and they scoffed. They didn't believe it. Those poor women were so grief stricken that they were imagining things. Peter Jumped up and ran to the tomb to look for himself. He peeked inside and saw the empty linen wrappings. He walked back to that upper room wondering what had happened.. 
      What had happened? Was it just the crazy talk Of some hysterical women. The body was gone. The stone had been moved. Peter did see it for himself. So what had happened. What if the women were right? What if Jesus had risen from the dead?  He had called the dead to life. They had seen him do it. Lazarus had walked out of his tomb still wrapped in the burial cloths. How was it possible. He was dead. Really dead. 
      They would soon see Jesus for themselves. They would talk to Him. See his hands and feet, and know it was really their King. 
      Jesus Appears to the Disciples  Luke 24: 35-49
      35Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
      38“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
      41Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he ate it as they watched.
      44Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations,f beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48You are witnesses of all these things.
      49“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

       Those things that Jesus had said came flooding back to the disciples. Jesus not only appeared to them, but to others also. He had finished the work His father God had given Him. He had paid the price. He had taken on the sin of the world. He had taken the wrath of His Father and bore it so that when we believed on Him and repented of our sin, We would no longer be condemned. 

      The amazing thing about all this was that Jesus didn't die for just those who had gone before Him or for just those of that time. The promise of Salvation and Redemption was planned for all people who would come after Him. All of Mankind for all time. 

      My prayer this Easter is that you know the freedom of that Salvation. That you have repented of your Sin, and that you've asked Christ to come into your life and be Lord/Boss over you. If you have never done this. You can do it right now right where you are. Yes, even reading this Blog post. Just talk right to God. just like you'd talk to a dear friend. Acknowledge your sin. Ask God to forgive you. Believe that Jesus died to take the punishment for you and your sin. that He rose again to conquer death and the grave. Tell God you want Jesus to come be the Lord of your life.  This sounds simple and may even sound a bit foolish to you. You may not even understand how all this works. You don't have to. just do it. Then find a Bible Believing Church. Tell folks what you've done. If you've been part of a Church go speak to your Pastor. Get involved in Bible study. Learn what God says in His word and how you can apply it to your everyday life.  

      I'm praying for you. The Message of Holy Week is one of Amazing Grace, and Unfailing Love. Don't miss it.. Declare it with me Every day of your Life.. 
      He is Risen...  

      Saturday, April 19, 2014

      Holy Week pt. 7... I Will Trust God Even In The Silence..

      It's the Sabbath. 

      Jesus was crucified yesterday. Only the night before the disciples had shared a meal with him. Fear had kept most of them in hiding. I think most of them returned to the upper room. I'm sure there was no sleep. I'll bet some paced while others checked the windows and doors to see if a mob was coming for them. I can see a couple of the disciples retelling what they had seen at that awful place. Golgotha just the name was terrifying the skull. quite an appropriate name for the place where criminals were executed. 

      I'm sure they remembered Jesus' words about leaving them and preparing a place for them. I bet even now His words were racing through their minds as they struggled to understand what all this meant. I can just see them praying for hours and asking the Father for direction. I'll bet the Silence was deafening.  
      We have to remember they didn't have the Holy Spirit yet. There was no still small voice reassuring them that all was well. There was no Bible laying on the coffee table. No voice directing them what step to take next. No feelings of comfort or encouragement. Their world was dark but worst of all it was silent. 

      I don't know about you, but I don't like silent. I like noise. We play the TV or radio all day just to have the noise. I loved the busyness and noise of the house when our Susan was still living at home. Nope I don't like silence, and I really don't like silence from God. I'm sure we've all experienced those times of Silence. I know of a few times when I've been praying for something and asking for direction, or confirmation, or even intervention, and all I hear is silence. 

      God has taught me that's when I need to Trust Him. It's not easy, and it's definitely not fun. Waiting in silence. Yuck. This is the same thing the disciples were doing. Waiting in the Silence. 

      It's the Sabbath, and that's good. No one will be thinking about them, not yet. they still have time to make plans to leave, but where would they go. Should they all just head for their respective homes? They had left parents and jobs. They had no money. Not enough to make a journey. Should they split up. What should they do. Silence. Maybe they would hear some news from the city soon. The women had made plans to go and prepare Jesus' body for burial. They hadn't had time on Friday. Maybe they could find out something that would be useful in their decision making. I bet they discussed this, and decided that no one would bother the women. 

      So they waited, In the dark of that upper room. In the silence.  

      Friday, April 18, 2014

      Holy Week pt.6 The Crucifixion of Jesus

       Luke 23: 26-43  The Trial is over. The accusations have been made. The beatings are done, the sentence has been handed down, and it's Death, but don't think for a moment that the torture is over. 

      There is no ease for those being crucified. I can't imagine anything more barbaric. I can't wrap my mind around it. I know that for me all those pretty images of Jesus on the cross, Jesus before Pilate, and Jesus walking behind Simon, the man who carried his cross, were to sterile. They never made me think for one moment how Bloody this whole ordeal was. when I watched Mel Gibson's movie " The Passion Of The Christ" (you can see an exert here.) I never realized the horror of that day. It's almost to much to comprehend. 

      "He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed."
      Isa. 53:5

      There were many things that happened after Jesus was nailed to the cross. There was the conversation with John to take care of his mother. Even with all that was going on Jesus wanted to make sure his mother was cared for. The guards gambled for his clothes. There were crowds of people still passing by the hill and watching the Crucifixion. There were 3 dying on that hill today. They were visible from the road. I can just imagine the insults and curses that were hurled at Jesus especially with the sign above his head reading "King of the Jews". 

      One of the things that took place was a brief conversation between Jesus and the two thieves on the crosses on either side of him. Luke 23: 32-43. One of the men hurled insults at Jesus saying "Aren't you suppose to be the Messiah, save yourself and us." The other thief saw things a different way. 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

      I can relate to the second thief. I'm glad to know it's never to late ask God for forgiveness. Think about it. That thief didn't have to get perfect, buy a new suit and go to Church. He didn't have to do anything to get to Heaven other then have sorrow for his sin. I think that sorrow was also an acknowledgement of his sin and knowing he had a need for God's forgiveness. That was it. There was nothing else required. If there had been, Jesus couldn't have told him that Today, he would be with him. 

      44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

      I can't imagine the pain, but I really think the most painful thing for Jesus was when His Father God turned away from Him. They were separated just like our sin separates us from God and keeps us from Heaven. There is so much more we could talk about here. You may have even heard sermons on the last words of Christ along with many other things. Even if you've only attended a Christian Church on Easter you have heard some of the same things discussed. 

      Really when it's all said and done it all comes down to a couple of very basic things. The only plan of Salvation for mankind was to send Jesus to make the sacrifice for sin. Someone perfect had to take on the sin of all men for all time. The required sacrifice was to pay the penalty in Blood. The only way to purchase/Redeem mankind was for Jesus to die and be that sacrifice. He took our place so we could spend our Eternity with God.

      50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. 

      It was finished. Our Salvation was complete, But that's not what the disciples and the followers of Christ saw. No one understood all this yet. All they knew was that Jesus was dead. Their leader, Teacher, son, friend, confidant, healer, was dead. Their world really had come apart. They looked at the body of their Master and lost all hope. What now? They had no idea. I think the disciples headed back to that upper room. Plans needed to be made, 
      but the Sabbath was about to begin. It was Friday.