Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. The Christian Faith has been blessed by countless numbers of women who have made positive contributions to the faith. A Hall of Fame could include women like Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Teresa, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus.

As a blogger there are so many women who have blessed me through their blogs. This month I will share the blogs of women I follow who I did not share last month.

Alicia of forhispurpose.com. She is my little sister in Jesus and we live in the same state. She joins Blogger Chat on Saturdays. She is a mom, a wife, a substitute teacher, and a wonderful young Christian women.

Vanessa of braveblessedandbeautiful.com also joins Blogger Chat on Saturdays. She is a mom, wife, teacher, and a wonderful young Christian woman. If you want to be called gorgeous read her blog. She starts with Hello Gorgeous. She lives where there are many alligators. 🙂

Cheryl of parkinsonscaregivernet.wordpress.com also joins Blogger Chat on Saturday mornings. She is the primary caregiver for her husband who has late stage Parkinson’s Disease. She is a retired teacher. She is a mom. I admire her faith in difficult times.

Barb of mylifeinourfathersworld.com is a mom, wife, a bus driver for pre-school and a jail ministry chaplain. She joins Blogger Chat on Saturdays as well.

Ruth of plantedbylivingwater.wordpress.com is a mom, wife, wonderful Christian woman, a homeschooler. She also joins Blogger Chat on Saturdays.

Dawn of dawnfanshawe.wordpress.com is from the UK. She joins Blogger Chat on Saturdays. She is a mom, grandmother, and someone I always want praying for me.

Bethany of flowersonthedashbaord.com a mom of two little boys, a wife, a wonderful Christian woman. She shares her faith and life in ther blog.

alwaysfindingthesilverlining.com is a blog by a young Christian woman. I love to read her posts.

If you have not checked out their blogs, please do yourself a favor and check them out.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Can Do A Lot with the Little We Offer- John Chapter 6

I will never forget what Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, said when he was speaking at a church I visited in Crystal Minnesota. He said, “When it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can never dream too big for God because God’s ability to empower and anoint is far greater than your ability to dream.”

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Jesus showed his ability to anoint and take what little is offered when he fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish in John 6.

Jesus went to a mountainside and a great crowd followed him because they had seen the miracles he performed. When he saw the great crowd coming, he asked Philip:

“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 

We read in the next verse:

He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Jesus knows what he can do and will do. He gives us opportunities to look to him in faith for help.

Philip showed he was only looking to what they did not have not to what Jesus can do when he answered:

 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Andrew look at what little they had;

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

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Jesus took those five small barley loaves and two small fish and blessed them. He had them distributed to the people. The bible says 5,000 men were there. We can multiply that at least by two for account for women and children. After the thousands had enough to eat, Jesus told his disciples to collect the leftovers.

So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

There was way more leftover than they started with. In fact, there were 12 baskets enough for each of the 12 disciples to hold a basket in their hands for a tangible lesson.

When Jesus calls us to do something, do we look to ourselves, what we have and don’t have, or do we step out in faith looking to him?

Do we look to our own ability or the Jesus’s ability?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Hard Hearts or Prepared Hearts- John Chapter 5

It had been roughly 400 years since God had sent the prophet Malachi to Israel by the time John the Baptist came on the scene. The people were under Roman occupation and desperate for God to send them a prophet and even better in their minds the Messiah.

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Hundreds flocked to John to be baptized and he was revered as being a prophet sent by God. John clearly stated his purpose which was to prepare the people for the coming of the Savior.

So when Jesus brought up John as a witness on his behalf, it was something the religious leaders had a hard time refuting.

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.

 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.

Jesus brought up another witness for him which they had a hard time refuting-the miracles Jesus performed.

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 

The hardness of the hearts of the Pharisees, the religious leaders, made it so no matter what testimony or proof that Jesus is the Savior, they would not accept it. They were more concerned about their own grip on control and power and Jesus was a threat to that.

Jesus held nothing back as he spoke with them.

I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

He pointed out that they were only concerned about their own egos not the love of God.

Are we more concerned with our own egos or with the love of God?

Do we want to follow man made rules or the Savior who loved us so much he gave his lfie for us?

Are our hearts hardened or ready for Jesus?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Alabaster Box by CeCe Winans

In honor of Black History Month, I want to share a beautiful song by Ce Ce Winans. Our black brothers and sisters in Christ have contributed so much to our Christian faith over the years. I think of preachers like Tony Evans one of my favorites.

Musically Andrea Crouch paved the way for many contemporary Christian musicians. He was one of the pioneers in Christian music that today’s artists owe a debt of gratitude to.

Ce Ce Winans has such a beautiful voice and her song Alabaster Box poignantly shares the experience every Christian must go through which is to experience the forgiveness and love of our Savior Jesus. The song focuses on the Mary who poured out her expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair out of appreciation for his forgiveness and love.

I hope this song blesses you as much or more than it did me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Hamburgers and Deep Conversation

Yesterday I went out for lunch for the first time in a very long time. It was my friend from Bosnia’s birthday, so we went to eat hamburgers which are his favorite. I treated him to lunch and encouraged him to get the double cheeseburger. Mine was healthier with a Bison Burger with a gluten free bun.

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Over lunch we talked about a few things we wished we knew last year at this time. I mentioned that I wish I could go back one year and tell myself to invest all I have in Zoom, a company that makes hand sanitizer, and a company that makes toilet paper. I never did understand the whole run on toilet paper.

He follows the stock market and told me before the pandemic Zoom traded at $50 a share and now it is over $500 a share.

Life can change so quickly. This past year has certainly illustrated that vividly. We are not guaranteed anything in this life except that Jesus has promised to always be with us and has overcome the world-this life.

Changes can also be good. My city moved down to the middle of the yellow on to COVID risk dial this week. I had a positive interview last week about becoming a substitute teacher. It is not all bad in this life. But something my pastor said in his message a few weeks ago has me thinking. I forget who he quoted, but the message is:

If we know Jesus, life in this world is the worst thing we will experience.

If we do not know Jesus, life in this world is the best we will experience.

Ponder those thoughts for a while.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

P.S.- when my friend showed his wife the picture of his double cheeseburger, she was aghast 🙂

Jesus Gives Life- John Chapter 5

As Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders who had their manmade rules discussed last week, he clearly spoke of two separate persons- The Father and Himself. Two separate persons in perfect unity. In that sense they are one-united.

Jesus constantly spoke of God as his Father. In John 5 Jesus spoke of the workings of the Father and the Son-Jesus.

Highlights of the chapter:

The Father and Jesus give life. They give life to us in this world. They also give us eternal life if we accept Jesus.

The Father has given all judgement to the Son-Jesus. The purpose is for Jesus to be glorified.

Jesus will raise people from the dead. He will speak and the dead will rise.

We can tend to think of Christianity as a set of rules to follow that come from a strict God ready to pounce on us when we mess up.

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By contrast, Jesus speaks of Himself and the Father giving to us. They give us life. They give us eternal life. We cannot fathom how wonderful heaven is. They will even raise our bodies from the dead so we can spend eternity in glorified bodies.

Jesus came to give to us not to rob us of joy. He came to give us true joy. He came to give us peace in our souls not as the world gives.

Ask yourself

Do I think of God as being like the religious leaders with their strict manmade rules or as a Father who loves us and give to use?

Do I think of God and being ready to pounce on us when we mess up or as guiding us to a better way of living?

Do I consider how wonderful heaven is going to be?

Jesus is a giver not a robber as we will see in a later chapter.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Face to Face by Natalie Grant

My feet are tired from the runnin’
My strength is gone for overcomin’
My lips are silent, I don’t know what to pray
So I’ll wait, I’ll wait for You

In this life we face struggles that can drain us. It can get to the point that we do not know what to pray. I have had moments in prayer that all I could was mutter-ugh- and say I need your help Lord.

Waiting on the Lord, spending time in his presence, can renew our strength as Isaiah 40:31 says:

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Whatever our struggle in life is, we can know:

1- God loves us and nothing can separate from his love.

2- God knows what we need.

3. Jesus has overcome the world.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Lead Like Jesus: Heart, Head, Hands, and Habits — Drawing Closer to Christ

Leading like Jesus involves our heart, head, hands, and habits. First, examining our hearts, gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves if we are serving God and others or just ourselves. In all we do, our motives should remain pure. Second, we examine our head. We take time to consider our beliefs and how those […]

Lead Like Jesus: Heart, Head, Hands, and Habits — Drawing Closer to Christ

Relationship or Religious Rules? John Chapter 5

Imagine that you wrote a book and went to a class being taught about it only to find out the teacher claimed the book says something you never wrote. What would you think?

Or imagine you own a company and tell an employee to do something and they tell you it is against company rules. What would you think?

John starts in chapter 1 with this about Jesus.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 

That would include what we see in Genesis 2:3:

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

The seventh day being what is called the Sabbath. Let’s use a bit of logic here. Yes God stopped his work of creating, but he did not stop working. All of creation depends on God for being sustained. This is a point Jesus makes.

Rather rest refers to God ceasing his creation work because it was finished. It was time to enjoy his creation.

The religious leaders at the time Jesus was on earth had a long list of rules to observe the Sabbath. Break one of their rules and you were in trouble. In John chapter 5 we see the first of many conflicts between Jesus, the creator who created the Sabbath, and the religious leaders with their long list of rules, manmade rules. to observe what Jesus the creator had given ages before.

We saw last week that Jesus healed a man who was paralyzed and told him pick up your mat and walk.

The religious leaders saw the man walking and carrying the mat. They confronted him and found out Jesus told him to do so. So we read in John 5:16

So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him

They were only concerned about their rules being followed and did not care at all that the man had been healed after almost 4 decades.

Jesus told them in John 5:7

In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

The religious leaders wanted all the more to kill him. Jesus was a threat to their strangle hold of power over the people with their long list of manmade rules about how to please God.

We will examine the wonderful promises in John 5 next Tuesday, but for now ask yourself a few questions.

Do you want to follow Jesus who out of love for us let himself be crucified to be our Savior or do you want to follow a list of manmade rules?

Do you want to follow Jesus who healed people, reached out to people the religious leaders looked down on or do you want to follow a list of manmade rules?

Do you want to follow the creator who became our Savior out of love or do you want a religion?

Do you want relationship with God or religious rules?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.