Sunday, June 10, 2018

How God Grows Us


Every year I tend to a garden that sits way back from our house. There are different varieties of plants and flowers and every year I am amazed at what comes up, I completely forget!

Just this week I went back and realized that my fig tree which I thought was completely dead has been resurrected and is growing need branches at the bottom. It just helps me realize that what I thought was gone and dead has been given another chance to grow.

That’s what happens with us doesn’t it?

Just when we think things aren’t going the way we hoped God has another plan, He makes part of us die, so that new growth can emerge and we can be better in our newness and service.

I thank God for the newness in me, it helps me to grow and to see where I was, what had to change and what can still be ahead, God will always surprise, we don’t have to know it all, we just stay faithful for growth and understanding, praying for guidance in doing His will as He directs us in His mysterious ways.

Shalom, Nancy


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
John 15:1-4

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Thieves On The Cross-

The Thieves On The Cross-


Three hung on a cross on an early spring morning in the month of April, AD 33

Jesus in the center of it all, severely punished for no crime, in excruciating pain and suffering was mounted between two others that committed crimes, maybe they were wondering why he was there, though their suffering could not compare to what they put Jesus through, as the day lingered slowly, hung on the crosses we can only imagine the thoughts and words that were being said. But as scripture says we read, on the cross the thieves were insulting Jesus.
Matthew 27:44 says:
In the same way, the insurgents who were crucified with him were also insulting him.

Luke 23:39
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But as these men turned away from God and committed their crimes, sealed their punishment, penalty was death for what they chose to freely and willingly do. 
Now Jesus, freely and willingly came into the world not to save our worldly lives but our eternal lives, through His great love for us, he went to the cross for that very reason.
Luke 23:40-41
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Of course what they were experiencing, a criminals death was subject to change that day, as one confronted Jesus as Lord to save them, the other wanted Jesus to remember him, both acknowledging Him as God. 

Luke 23:42 
 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”


Through His pain, Jesus loves the thieves he is not dying for himself but for the sins they did, He never held His love back even through his own suffering, Jesus shows selfless compassion.

Luke 23: 43
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Even through Jesus own pain and suffering, facing death, forgave the ones that didn’t know what they were doing or saying to him. 
How often have we turned away from Jesus because he wasn’t saving us from a situation we stepped into? 

Maybe there was something we could have avoided or something that came up and we prayed for an answer only to feel unheard. 

Is there un-forgiveness that is still lingering that needs to be nailed to the cross?

Our situations are not just for learning a lesson, but also to grow us and teach us to walk in humbleness with Christ, to yearn to want to be like him and to let him shape us.
Nothing is hidden from God, nor will any of your plans, dreams, hopes or failures. 
But in surrendering our lives to Jesus, we will see that His plan is better than ours, His way is better, a self focused life is a dead end, but a life surrendered to Jesus is an amazing journey.

As we see Jesus was obedient to the cross, victory over death, and saving you because of His love for you, you never walk alone, He sends his gift of the Holy Spirit. 
Even the sinful thieves acknowledged Jesus and didn’t die without him. 

Glory to the High King, Jesus
Shalom
Nancy

#Thieves #ThethievesonCross #suffering #painoncross #paradise #Jesus #God #cross



Friday, March 30, 2018

Eye Witnesses Of The Living Jesus

Eye Witnesses Of The Living Jesus

If there is doubt in the world whether or not Jesus was real and some made up story, there are many historical facts that are documented history on this. The most trust worthy written word is in the New Testament of the Bible, there we find eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdolin at the tomb then to the disciples, then to many others. Pressing out further, we find documented letters from His Apostles that have been written and shared about Him and shared with followers regarding His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection from death. In the Gospel of John, we read how the obedient disciples wait in hiding until Jesus appears to them as He promised.
John 20:19 
 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

In the Book of Acts, Paul (was Saul) himself experienced the Living Jesus on the road to Damascus as he was headed to persecute and kill Christians.
Acts 9:3-6
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Then later after Paul’s conversion we read in his letters of the resurrected and living Christ and as he wrote to the Corinthians and said:
1 Corinthians 15:6-8
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: 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 Scripturesand that he appeared to Cephas (Peter) and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

There were many witnesses to the appearance of Christ that are documented in the Bible. There are other historical books that document Christ, Christians and the Romans persecution of Christians.
The following link is explores other documented evidence of Jesus’ existence.
(Bible History Daily)

At this time of High Holy Days, it’s a time to be reflective of our lives and what Christ has done for us on the Cross-, He died so that you could have eternal life; He defeated death and was a perfect sacrifice for your sins.
His faithful disciples knew first hand and stood their ground for Him as their one and only God. They were eyewitnesses to Jesus alive, talking and eating with them.

We may not be able to see Jesus, but when we whole-heartedly come to Him, he is in our presence through the Holy Spirit, which has guided you all along your life.
Jesus is as much alive NOW as He was then. We can’t see Him but he tells us
John 20:29
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Be Blessed My Brothers and Sisters
Nancy



#Christ #LivingJesus #LivingGod #ChristCrucified #God #One&OnlyGod #EyeWitnessesToTheLivingJesus

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Simple Lenten Prayer


Lord, during this time of reflection, open my eyes to see the truth of Your presence in my life. It isn’t what I don’t have, but all the things that I do have that I forgot or ignored. I pray you keep me safe under your arms and guide me to the path that you have set before me. Help me to stay faithful even in my darkest days and help me to love and forgive those that have hurt or forgotten me. Jesus thank you for the grace that only you can give and for setting me free from the things that weren’t right, putting me on a new path and a new start ahead.

Praying all this in your precious Holy Name, Jesus

John 8:32
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”





Shalom

Nancy

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spiritual Fitness


Spiritual Fitness

If you haven’t been watching the Olympics you are missing out on seeing the amazing physical endurance of these athletes from around the world, they train for years to get an opportunity to compete with the best of the best.
They endure pain and suffering, intense workouts and failures as well as triumphs through out their training. No one really knows the preparation that goes behind the process of standing strong in that struggle.

The same goes for us. We endure many trials and some do strength training in the gym or on the job as well as in our relationships and with people we don’t know. We can prepare for what may happen but we can never know the outcome, just like the many athletes in the games.

 But, the most important overall is not just the physical training, but the spiritual training and many people neglect to even try to understand what that is.  The spiritual training comes form reading the word of God. The tools that God has given to us for mental equipping are far beyond our understanding but God holds the answers in His word.

So if you are feeling depressed, neglected, overwhelmed, in pain or sorrow, you can bring the word of God into your mind to strengthen you. You can pray and ask for direction and God whom you have trusted will answer you in the ways He knows you need.

Spiritual Fitness isn’t just something you do when you think about it; you must exercise this part of your relationship with God everyday. Pray and ask for direction, read a part of the gospel that can strengthen you for instance where  Jesus says He prays for you (John 17:9) or maybe you just want to see a chapter in the Old Testament where God steps in and defeats an army or heals a person. This is not just beneficial to religious people; it’s beneficial to you in every way.

The Bible is a gift from God to you, to lead and guide through this life
                                                                                                          and for your eternal journey.

Romans 15:4 
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Shalom
Nancy

#spiritualfitness  #Jesus  #God #endurance #intensetraining #failures #triumphs



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Do Not Underestimate The Power Of God





Do Not Underestimate The Power Of God

Recently I heard a sermon about the prophet Elijah, he was a famous prophet of God, and he had blessed him with gifts of healing, power and prophecy.

Elijah was given strength to withstand the opposition of the wicked King Ahab, he was not afraid when he had Ahab call all 450 prophets of their god, Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah to go up to join him at Mount Carmel, for them to call out to their gods through worship and sacrifice, just to see who is really God and follow Him.
But they received no answer from their gods as Elijah tells them the one true God will answer by fire on the sacrifice he instructed them to set up, and that is just what God did, in the most miraculous way. 1 Kings 18:38

God gave Elijah the strength to kill all the false prophets of wicked Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elijah had the strength of the Lord in him giving him the knowledge to bear witness for the Lord. Upon hearing about the slaying of the prophets, Jezebel sends a messenger to Elijah- “I will make your life like that of one of them.” 1 Kings 19:2

Hearing this, Elijah ran, forgetting just what happened at Mount Carmel, he was scared and he took his eyes off the One who is controlling the situation.
Don’t we all tend to do this? Something great happens; we know that God has given this to us. But as soon as something we don’t understand we lose sight of God’s sovereignty over us, because we believe what we can see instead of believing in the one who we cannot.

John 20:29
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

It’s so easy to look at your circumstances and allow them to consume your every thought; we must re direct our thoughts to remember that God is in charge of everything, every situation, good and bad. We have seasons of learning, adjusting, growing, healing and loss.  

As you go through situations where you just want to “run” remember to be still, God is over it as you keep trusting in His way and not your own.

Shalom
Nancy


#Godisincontrol #donotunderestimatethepowerofGod #Jesus