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Saturday, April 19, 2014

R - Resurrection A to Z Challenge (PR)

Statement: He is Risen
Response: He is Risen Indeed!

Resurrection of Jesus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that after being put to death to take the punishment for sins Jesus rose again from the dead. It is the central tenet of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures".

In the New Testament, after the Romans crucify Jesus, he is anointed and buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea but God raises him from the dead and he appears to many people over a span of forty days before his ascension to Heaven, to sit at the Right Hand of God. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, the third day after Good  Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter's date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus, that is fixed for the night of the Full moon near the time of the spring equinox
Resurrection of Christ
 by 
Noel Coypel, 1700,  using
hovering depiction of Jesus

The apostle Paul wrote that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures".[1 Cor. 15:3b-4] Thus the death and resurrection of Christ were proclaimed as belonging together at the very heart of the gospel, forcefully placing "the full weight of faith on both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ" by stating, "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith".[1 Cor. 15:14] In fact, Paul further claims that belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus is so central to salvation that "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.[1 Cor. 15:17-19]"

In the media lately, Christians have come under fire because we do not agree with the eroding values of our culture. They are, in effect, trying to put us in the closet and throw away the key. We cannot get in that closet, we must be free to recruit all that we can to join us in Heaven, when that day comes. 

We work very hard not to judge others, but the truth is, we cannot compromise our faith either. We cannot accept some things as normal when they are specifically forbidden in the Bible. We will not change our Bible to conform to current attitudes. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. We may make it easier to read, but we cannot rewrite it to make immoral acts into moral acts. I am sure that God has not changed his mind since he inspired the writers of the Bible.

The last news is that you must die in Christ to enter Heaven. Christ did not approve of many things, remember how he felt and acted with the lawless money changers in the Temple? I think he would act the same way with people who have broken the commandments of God.

I love you all, and will pray to see you in Heaven.

GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME! GOD IS GOOD! 

Q - Quest for Faith - A ti Z Blogging Challenge (PR)


"Soria Moria" by Theodor Kittelsen:
a hero glimpses the end of his quest.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"In mythology and literature, a quest, a journey towards a goal, serves as a plot device and (frequently) as a symbol. Quests appear in the folklore of every nation and also figure prominently in non-national cultures. In literature, the objects of quests require great exertion on the part of the hero, and the overcoming of many obstacles, typically including much travel. The aspect of travel also allows the storyteller to showcase exotic locations and cultures."

"And God Will Open Wide The Gates Of Heaven For You" by versaillesexquisitesThere are many meanings for the word "Quest" but I am looking at our quest for faith that starts from the moment of birth. It is strange that we know what the quest is and forget sometimes when we reach the age that we know right from wrong (age of consent). If we have been brought up properly and shown the ways of God when we are small, our quest is not quite so difficult. On the other hand, we may come from a culture that believes in strange customs concerning faith in many gods, or do not believe in anything at all. We have an aching in our heart to know God. "Be still, and know that I am God!" (Psalms 46:10)

Some people spend their entire lives in a quest for God, and never find the peace of God. They are looking for the god they have made in their minds. Our God does not want us to look in many places for him, he wants us to listen to the words he has placed in our hearts to get to know him. Some people go through life thinking if they do only good things for other people, they will be able to enter Heaven.
If they do not seek Jesus Christ, they will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man can come to the Father except through me."  (John 14:6) Via, Veritas, Vita

 "I would rather live my life as if there was a God and die to find there isn't, than to live my life like there was no God and die to find there is." Albert Camus

So, through this time of Easter and rebirth, I pray your Quest leads to the Cross.

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

Friday, April 18, 2014

P - Passion of the Christ - A to Z Blogging Challenge

Passion of the Christ

Per Wikipedia:

The Crucifixion (1622)
by 
Simon Vouet;
Church of Jesus, 
Genoa
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred during the 1st century AD



Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrestedtried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion represent the central aspects of Christian theology, including the doctrines of salvation and atonement.



For the new Christian: 
  • Focus on positive, righteous, and holy things (Col. 3:3; Phil. 4:8). This should include choosing friends and entertainment wisely.
  • Practice the presence of the Lord. God is always with you. Ask Him to make you more sensitive to His presence. As you allow the Holy Spirit to live through you, He will help you withstand temptation and become more Christlike.
John 14:6

New International Version (NIV)
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Have a Happy Easter!
He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

God is Good, All the Time!

 All the Time, God is Good!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

N - 14th of Nisan was a Wednesday A to Z Blogging Challenge

Ash Wednesday 

Per Wikipedia:
In Christianity, Holy Wednesday, also called Spy Wednesday,[1][2] and in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Holy and Great Wednesday) is the Wednesday of the Holy Week, the week before Easter. It is followed by Maundy Thursday.

Nisan (or Nissan) (Hebrew: נִיסָן‎, Standard Nisan Tiberian Nîsān) on the Assyrian calendar is the first month and on the Hebrew calendar is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month (eighth, in leap year) of the civil year. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. Assyrians refer to the month as the "month of happiness." It is a spring month of 30 days. Nisan usually falls in March–April on the Gregorian calendar. In the Book of Esther in the Tanakh it is referred to as Nisan.
  • According to the Talmud, the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people – Abraham (1813–1638 BCE), Isaac (1713–1533 BCE) and Jacob (1653–1506 BCE) – all were born and died in the month of Nisan.
There are those who believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on Wednesday because he was supposed to be in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights. Some believe that Christ was crucified on Friday, so they just count Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The problem with that is that Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. I have been told for years that Christ rose from the dead on Sunday; therefore, Sunday is the beginning of our calendar week. The whole thing is, does it really matter? Events happened, no matter the day.

Actually, Sabbath meant High Holy Days also, not just Saturday. High Holy Days can occur on any day of the week and would be considered Sabbath.

The most important thing we need to know is that God Loves us and gave His Son to be sacrificed for our sins.

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

O - Observance of Maundy Thursday - A to Z Blogging Challenge (PR)

Today is the Observance of  Maundy Thursday


Per Wikipedia

Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.

Maundy is taken from Latin and refers to "foot-washing"
Christian denominations that observe foot washing do so on the basis of the authoritative example & command of Jesus as found in the Gospel of John 13:1–15:
1 And before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour hath come, that He may remove out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own who are in the world—to the end He loved them. 
2 And supper being come, the devil already having put it into the heart of Judas of Simon, Iscariot, that he may deliver Him up, 
3 Jesus, knowing that all things the Father hath given to Him—into His hands—and that from God He came forth, and unto God He goeth, 
4 doth rise from the supper, and doth lay down his garments, and having taken a towel, he girded himself; 
5 afterward he putteth water into the basin, and began to wash the feet of his disciples, and to wipe with the towel with which he was being girded. 
6 He cometh, therefore, unto Simon Peter, and that one saith to him, "Sir, thou—dost Thou wash my feet?" 
7 Jesus answered and said to him, "That which I do thou hast not known now, but thou shalt know after these things;" 
8 Peter saith to him, "Thou mayest not wash my feet—to the age." Jesus answered him, "If I may not wash thee, thou hast no part with me." 
9 Simon Peter saith to him, "Sir, not my feet only, but also the hands and the head." 
10 Jesus saith to him, "He who hath been bathed hath no need, save to wash his feet, for he is clean altogether; and ye are clean, but not all;" 
11 for He knew him who is delivering him up; because of this He said, "Ye are not all clean." 
12 When, therefore, He washed their feet, and took His garments, having reclined at meat again, He said to them, "Do ye know what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me, 'The Teacher' and 'The Lord', and ye say well, for I am; 
14 if then I did wash your feet—the Lord and the Teacher—ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 
15 For I have given thee an example, that ye should do as I have done to ye. Verily, verily, I say unto ye, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

So, you see, this is not a "normal" Thursday. I was supposed to serve as a deacon tonight to help with the Lord's Supper, but I am just feeling too bad to move. I guess I will stay home. I have some Bible Study to catch up on and I may go to sleep in my chair.

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

M - Mammogram Again? - A TO Z Blogging Challenge


Last week I had a mammogram. That is something that I have to pray about and sometimes cross my fingers about.
They also asked me to stay and did an ultra-sound. It seemed to be alright, but today I received a letter from the radiologist and I have to have another mammogram in 2 or 3 weeks. This is very disturbing and it is difficult to keep the tears back.


When I found the lump back in January 2009, I walked around in a daze until the surgery the end of January. It was Stage I and the doctor said not to worry. But, when they tested the lymph nodes, the found microscopic evidence of more cancer. So, I had radiation. Every weekday for 28 days. I got 2 little tattoos out of that. The results from the BRACA test came back and we found out that it was not genetic, but environmental. The doctor left it up to me to whether I had chemo or not. The end game was, if I had the chemo, I should not have to worry again, at least not for 10 years or so. 

So, I took my new laptop to the Cancer Center twice a week for 12 weeks and taught myself  how to use Twitter and Facebook. I found some pretty interesting people online. I met people in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and almost all of the Continental United States. A lot of people in the Far East. 

Our little Beach House
In August, my mother came to visit and we drove down to North Carolina to our Beach House. On the way down, I started to have severe pain on my right side and by the time we got there, Ray had to call the Rescue Squad. We were surprised, but they were there in less than 5 minutes. 

They loaded me in the ambulance and took me to New Bern. I was in the hospital for 10 days. They sent in every kind of doctor you can imagine, even a exotic medicine doctor. They finally decided it must be pneumonia. Every time they tried to take me off the morphine drip, I would be in so much pain, all I could do was cry. They were finally able to get me on to Oxycodone and send me home. Ray drove me back to Virginia as soon as he could.

It was on a Sunday and they had made me an appointment at the Cancer Center for Monday morning. I went and they sent me to the Hospital for a chest x-ray and it showed a problem with my right lung, so back into the hospital I went. I was there for 10 days and it is a blur, just like being in the hospital in NC was. 

Mother, Me & Social Media
Some friends from church would come and sit with me during the day so I would not have to wait for the nurse to come to take me to the bathroom. You are a little woozy on a morphine drip. The pain was so bad, that I could feel it even with the drip and other pain medicines. Finally, it got better and I was able to go home. I am not sure they ever actually knew what it was.

Since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) from some of the tests taken in the hospital, they sent me to a Rheumatologist. He did not seem to care about what happened, just was was going on now. I saw him every 3 months since October 2009 until he retired in October 2013. I have a new Rheumatologist now and I like her very much. She is very thorough and did a full exam both times I have seen her. Last time, she told me she suspected the first time she saw me that I had Fibromyalgia, too. Now, after examining me again, she was certain. She gave me all kinds of literature explaining what it is and what are the symptoms. No wonder they could not figure out why the RA was so constant. Normally, you have some respite when you go into remission occasionally.   

During all this time in the hospital and after I got home, I had so many people on Social Media who were there for me. I would chat with people in Australia in the middle of the night when I could not sleep. The ladies at my church made sure that I had plenty of cards and prayers going up to Heaven for me. I received over 250 actual cards while I was sick and that is not even counting virtual cards. I had them all in a basket that I called my basket of prayer. 

I will call tomorrow and see what my nurse at the Cancer Center says, they should have a copy of the letter. I have an appointment with my Oncologist on Monday, so I may have to just live with the "if " until then.

This comes at a time that I am praying constantly for our friend @Livinlime on Twitter, Marie Walker Riddle. She has triple-negative breast cancer and it is Stage IV. I am so sorry that she is having to go through this. No one should have to go through it. I hope they find a cure soon. My son-in-law's mother had breast cancer for 25 years. When she passed a couple of years ago, she did not even weigh a hundred pounds. She went through so much but she had a supportive
family around her, supporting her at every turn.

So, so much for me. I hope you are all well and happy. I am a pretty happy person most of the time. I am nervous about this, but to my joy, I am not afraid. I will be fine because:

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

He loves us and everything that happens is for a purpose.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L - Live, Laugh, Love A to Z Blogging Challenge


These three words are the purpose of our lives. God wants us to Live, Laugh, and Love.

  • Living life to the max is to know your creator. 
  • Pray He agrees when you tell Him your plans. 
  • He wants you to depend on His grace and not your own understanding. 
  • He wants to see joy in your eyes when you are obeying his commands. 
  • He lives in your heart and whispers in your ear. 
  • He wants you to hear what he has to say.
As we approach the day of Jesus' death on Good Friday, and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, we need to give thanks that God gave us his Son, Jesus, to bear our sins on the Cross. All the sins that man ever committed or will commit were carried by Jesus. 

I read Matthew 27 last Sunday. It was eye-opening to me.


The Death of Jesus

27:45-56pp 
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 
46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ""Eloi, Eloi," "lama" "sabachthani?""--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah." 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 
49 The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him." 
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 
52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 
53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" 
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 
56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.

Verses 52-53
Did you ever notice these two verses before?
I had read them before, but they never had jumped off the page at me until Sunday, when Ray told me what his class discussed in Bible Study. Here is a copy of what Matthew Henry had to say:

"The graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept, arose. To whom they appeared, in what manner, and how they disappeared, we are not told; and we must not desire to be wise above what is written. The dreadful appearances of God in his providence, sometimes work strangely for the conviction and awakening of sinners. This was expressed in the terror that fell upon the centurion and the Roman soldiers. We may reflect with comfort on the abundant testimonies given to the character of Jesus; and, seeking to give no just cause of offence, we may leave it to the Lord to clear our characters, if we live to Him. Let us, with an eye of faith, behold Christ and him crucified, and be affected with that great love wherewith he loved us. But his friends could give no more than a look; they beheld him, but could not help him. Never were the horrid nature and effects of sin so tremendously displayed, as on that day when the beloved Son of the Father hung upon the cross, suffering for sin, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Let us yield ourselves willingly to his service."    


I pray that this has helped someone in some way. I have the conviction that God spoke to me to put this out today. To me it shows that when Christ comes again, we will be taken from the grave and rise to Heaven with to be with God.

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

 I am also putting this on my blog "Thoughts of Christ" 
and will expand over the next week or so.