Saturday, March 30, 2013

Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins Should be Proclaimed in His Name

This week has been one of poor time management, for me. It is Spring Break for my young ones, I have been collecting pledges/donations for the "Lose My Locks for Deven" fundraiser, and MOST importantly, it is Holy Week! It all started with Palm Sunday:

The Triumphal Entry: Palm Sunday

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say this: 'The Lord has need of it.'" So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" And they said, "The Lord has need of it." And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." (Luke 19:28-40 ESV)

There are many fond memories I have about the church family in which I grew up. Some being the importance of Palm Sunday (The Triumphant Entry) and Easter (Resurrection Sunday). They were a big deal not just something that got mentioned. As a child, I waved a palm branch and placed a flower on the cross. I attended sunrise service and was filled to overflowing with the love of Jesus! I have yet to come across another church family who gets the whole congregation to be a part of rejoicing, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Resurrection Sunday

As this week comes to a close, there was a lot going on for Jesus, in His time. This is the when He stood in a place called Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly "and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44 ESV). He was betrayed by someone who was closest to Him. He was arrested, mocked, spit at, hit (Matthew 26:67), and scourged/tortured (Matthew 27:26). He was crucified on a cross and drank the full cup of wrath of God.

He was the Word made FLESH so He felt every bit of it as I would, or you would. He did not possess any special super human strength or immunity to pain and suffering! He was wholly God and FULLY man...not partially human or some sort of demigod like in Greek mythology. He got stressed. He cried out. He died so we can live! And, tomorrow, I will celebrate my favorite "holiday"...when Christ Jesus conquered the grave. He was resurrected and LIVES! I thank You, Lord! I sit, bow, am curled up, face down at the foot of Your throne! Thank You, God, for writing my name, before the foundation of the earth was created, in the Book of Life! Truly, I am undeserving, in awe, humbled, and so in love with You!

He is alive! He has risen! He will come again!

..."Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46, 47 ESV)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Losing My Locks for Deven

Cancer has touched people in my life. Some of them are survivors. Others, I have lost. My soul cries out to God for a cure. Until that day, there is treatment. Though it is expensive and there are no promises, there is HOPE!

Next weekend, I am "Losing My Locks for Deven" (and everyone else in my heart who is facing/has faced it, or lost their battle with it). Further, I am asking for pledges! All donations (which have to be turned in next weekend) go toward Deven's cancer treatment and my hair will go to another organization.

Please click on the button below to make a pledge/donation! I promise to post "after" photos (or video)! I thank you, and Deven thanks you!




Friday, March 22, 2013

Zombies in the Bible?!

One evening, after AWANA, one of my kiddos (the Little Leaguer) announced (quite ecstatically, by the way), "Mom! There are zombies in the bible! I find this very interesting!" Now, I feel there is something I should explain about the Little Leaguer's AWANA (and Sunday School, for that matter) class. They are undoubtedly, limitlessly, deafening, rambunctious!

Now, "zombie", as I know it, refers to a person who has been resurrected from the dead by means of evil, sorcery, or any other type of magic. Generally speaking, I believe the term to be associated with Vodou (voodoo) beliefs. So the first question to pop into my mind was, "Why are zombies being discussed at AWANA, during class time?" Our faith is not in Vodou.

The Little Leaguer stated the scripture being talked about was when Jesus was on the cross and the sky went dark as night, though it was afternoon, and the earth shook. Being familiar with this event, I said, "Yes, that is correct." The Leaguer went on to say this verse also speaks of dead "Romans" walking around. (The sound of a needle scratching off of a record.) Now you've lost me! But hey, I'll look it up! First, I'll check with Luke since he was a physician.

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!" And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. (Luke 23:44-49 ESV)

Nope. No "zombies". Let us see what Matthew recorded.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:45, 51-54 ESV)

Okay, I see where Matthew mentions "many bodies of the saints were raised". And, to confirm what Matthew stated, I checked in Mark. His account was just like that of Luke. So, what in the world was Matthew describing? It sounds like a "Lazarus" type thing but he does not go into detail. All I get to work with is, "Many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many." So, I looked to Pastor John MacArthur who answers this question in his "God's Miraculous Commentary on the Cross". He actually has a lot to say regarding this scripture and I HIGHLY recommend you check it out at http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2397/gods-miraculous-commentary-on-the-cross.

There was a resurrection, folks. There was a resurrection. Did you get that? You say, "What came out of the graves?" Somata, bodies, bodies, not spirits. This isn't some ethereal thing. These aren't ghosts. Bodies, this is a real resurrection. What bodies? Many bodies...not all of them, it was a very discriminating one. Only select ones. Who were they? Saints. What are saints? Holy ones...from out of the Old Testament era who were waiting for their resurrection, who had been waiting perhaps a long time. When Jesus died, their spirits came from the abode where righteous spirits dwell and were joined with glorified bodies that came out of those graves.

You say, "Is this a real glorification? A real resurrection?" Absolutely. So many people who know the story of the cross, miss this. This is important. This is another statement by God. This is a resurrection, a real literal physical bodily glorified resurrection.

But what happened? They came out of the graves..period. The next sentence says, "After His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared unto many." Can you imagine what kind of testimony they have? "We have a guest for dinner tonight, you won't believe this..."
((c) John MacArthur, Grace to You.)

So, "zombies" in the bible?! No. But the miraculous promise God has made to us, His saints? Yes! Resurrection!

In His Hand is the Life of Every Living Thing

Do you ever watch "reality" t.v. (television)? It is my opinion it's not really "real" but rather "scripted" or "enhanced". Hubs finds "Duck Dynasty" entertaining...okay, sometimes I watch it, too. It's comical, fun, playful, dramatic, sarcastic, touching, goofy, and engaging. (Not to mention they close each show with prayer.) But if that is "reality" then my life pales drastically in comparison!

My children are not as obedient and easy going as theirs. I can not work with or for my spouse. I am not always pleasantly agreeable. (At times I struggle with my sin of anger, irritability, or annoyance.) I definitely do not regularly look glamorous. (Generally, my hair is in a pony tail or messy bun. I prefer jeans and "Ugg" like shoes or comfy dresses with flip flops. Sometimes I wear makeup but not much, usually. I opt for simple, au naturel, girl next door, airy, comfort. Perhaps, in Hollywood terms, boring.)

I do not have a team of writers, producers, censors, or directors guiding the way each day plays out. But, I do have God, the creator and author of my existence! To me, my being is a work in progress. To Him, it is a complete, perfected, work.

In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
(Job 12:10 ESV)

...the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways... (Daniel 5:23 ESV)

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

"'In him we live and move and have our being';
as even some of your own poets have said,

"'For we are indeed his offspring.'
(Acts 17:24-28 ESV)

...he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. (Hebrews 12:10 ESV)

He is with me, always! If I were a show, song, or a movie, I would have to have a "hook", something to draw in (and keep) an audience. But I am me...and I have God (and His Son). He is my provider, protector, all powerful, and in my corner!

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:10, 11, 14-18 ESV)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homeschooling Resources: Animaniacs

Say what?! Yes, you read that correctly. I said, "Animaniacs".

When I was in elementary school (before Animaniacs), my music teacher taught us a song about the 50 United States. To this day I can STILL recite them in alphabetical order. The lyrics are burned into my brain, whether I want them there or not!

Animaniacs, similarly, has catchy tunes about things like the states and capitals and presidents (in order of presidency), etc. Not to mention poems about historical events such as the ride of Paul Revere. Sure, a lot of the show is slapstick humor, like "Looney Tunes" however with a witty, sometimes educational twist.

The States and Capitals

The Presidents (in order of Presidency)

The Nations (Territorites)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Time Marches Onward

As I tripped down memory lane this morning, and stubbed my toe, I realized time waits for no one. It presses ever forward whether I am willing to keep up or not! It is impartial, unforgiving, and sometimes just down right, blatantly rude! But that is the nature of it. And, I must say, I am SO incredibly thankful for the camera that allows us to snap moments of it to cherish for many years to come...though time itself has moved onward.

Like everything else in this world, time is a creation of God. It, of course, treats Him better than the rest of us...but is that not the way it ought to be, indeed? Quite so! The Beginning and The End does not answer to it! Maybe that makes me (and some others) a little jealous. There is something to be said for the notion of "time travel". But, as I have to remind myself, now and then, God's timing is perfect!

The book of Ecclesiastes even mentions there is "a time for everything".
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(3:1-8 ESV)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Be Angry and Do Not Sin

Be angry and do not sin; (Ephesians 4:26 ESV)

I give this piece of scripture a bit of thought from time to time. Hum, "Be angry and do not sin." I feel, in part, this goes hand and hand with, "Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all." (Romans 12:17 ESV) And, "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself." (Proverbs 26:4 ESV)

So, I can be as ticked as I want but that does not give me permission to misbehave. Someone sinning against me does not make it okay for me to act in kind. I am called to remain firm in all that I do according to God's word.

Just as I am writing this, the following Mother Teresa quote was read on the radio:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

(Based on The Paradoxical Commandments.)

This seems so simple but in reality it is (for me) a challenge at times. Just because an individual may harass me and be rude, embarrass me, yell at me, deceive me, betray me, lie to me, cheat me, steal from me, gossip about me and spread rumors, be hateful toward me, I may be wise and separate myself from that person and the situation but I may not sin toward him/her in return!

Regarding the topic, Pastor John Piper states the following,
Not only does the Scripture say, "Be angry and do not sin," it also says, "Be slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God." And the Bible says, "Put away anger and malice." And it says that Jesus—at one point when he was in the synagogue and they were bent out of shape because he was healing someone on the Sabbath—it says he looked around upon them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart....

We shouldn't be angry at clutches that don't work in our car. Jonathan Edwards made a resolution never to get angry at an inanimate object, because ultimately it would be anger against God who is in control in inanimate objects, and they don't have any will to commit an immorality with which to get angry.So we should get angry with sin, but that anger should be so mingled with heart-sorrows for the people sinning....

What I'm looking for when I get angry at somebody on the street or whoever is whether or not I am also broken. Am I hurting and longing for them? Do I want them saved? Do I want them changed? Can I be merciful toward them?
(By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Knock and the Door will be Opened to You

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11. ESV.)

I am a believer in "doors"... not the Jim Morrison kind, but the ones the Lord opens and/or closes. It is the path that becomes apparent when one is waiting and watching...as I have been for years. Each season is different. I find myself hanging out, having to be patient as I await the next "door to open". And generally, I have to say, it is very clear...no "ifs", "ands", or "buts" about it.

As He does, God has revealed a "door" and in pure "Brook" fashion, I have not merely moseyed up to and beyond its threshold but bolted and busted through. I do not pussyfoot around when it comes to making a move. I feel most of the time God has me "be still" so when a way is made visible, I do not hesitate.

For a while now I have been praying, earnestly seeking something...a means, a "freedom" if you will, a mode, a method. Then, Monday (I believe it was), there it was! The passage! I am not quite ready to give all the details, yet. But a new direction has been given and I am perusing it! It is a multistep process and the next step should be coming up relatively soon...involving further training.

Saying I am excited is an understatement. I am downright STOKED! Thank you heavenly Father for hearing my prayer and answering.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to Live Forever

I don't know about you, but I evaluate and re-evaluate things from time to time, including my day to day, and how to best use the time I have in this vapor (James 4:14) of a life. God's word tells how to have eternal life through Christ Jesus. The prideful sin in me also entertains the thought of immortality in the world. How can one live forever?

...I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

Family, to me, is very important. When I was young I did not quite grasp it but as I get older I see the true value of family. So, what will be my legacy? What whispers will continue to ripple on this earth when I am gone? What imprint will I leave as my "ghost" in this world? Where should my focus be, after God and Christ Jesus? Does my "everyday" line up with my goals?

It is SO easy for me to lose sight of what is truly important and become ensnared by my pride. When I sat down and asked myself, "What is paramount (aside from God)?" My answer came rather quickly as a warm wave that washed over me. And I knew in my heart it was right, for me! My children. I will hand down all that I have, all that I am, and all that I believe to them. "Proof of my existence," (as my dad calls me and my sibling).

Much of my day is spent teaching them...MOST of what they know, not EVERYTHING. (They have picked up things here and there from peers, movies, television, AWANA leaders, etc.) They do bible study (four out of seven days a week) in the morning. Under the guidance of accredited charter schools and certified teachers, I instruct my kiddos in math, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, writing composition, cursive writing, literature, history, and science. In the evenings I train in Martial Arts and have decided to learn the business so I can open my own location when we move and then it will (hopefully) be there for my children. We attend church and they catch AWANA once a week. This is where I am called, where I rejoice, where I am to be "all there".

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:6-15 ESV)

"...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Why Blog?

There are so many blogs out there. The Internet is saturated with them! So, every once in a while I ask myself, "Why? Why blog? Why bother?" My answer, I have to say, is this:

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Now, I am a chic (female), so I reach out to other women. I know it is God's sovereignty as to whether or not ladies stumble upon my blog and identify themselves with it.

Why Vlog?

For this question...I really don't have an answer. I tried my hand at Vlogging (after some encouragement) and I have to admit, I felt like a doof! Maybe I'll get more comfortable with it the more I do it? I don't know. The every day is pretty mundane but we do go on some fantastic adventures! We have one coming up to the colonies! We are hoping to hit Niagara Falls, New York City, Hershey Park Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell, the Air and Space Museum, maybe some battlefields, and Ocean City Maryland. That might be of interest to vlog. Other than that, I really do not know what to say (or do) on video.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

For the Promise is For You and For Your Children

"I'd just love to be a fly on the wall..." - The Oakland Tribune, February 1921

Have you ever tried to relay to someone EXACTLY how something happened? Or tried to grasp a situation an individual explained to you? I feel it is IMPOSSIBLE to get it precise. Something gets lost in translation. The environment, emotions, etc. just cannot be duplicated or transferred! I believe the same can be said for the bible. The events told in detail are still a challenge to wrap one's head around because the reader was not present at the time! Further, for me, it is a culture in which I did not grow up and the tone, different from my own.

A Narrative

The wind outside is chilling to the bone. How does it go from a balmy 74°F (23.3°C) yesterday to a biting 52°F (11.1°C) today?! A mother's group huddles around a table with an umbrella discussing their day to day experiences as their children romp on the indoor play structure. Little voices (and the occasional squeal of delight or shout) float to the ceiling as stocking feet slide through the tiled areas. The tubes rumble when the herd of kiddos play "chase" throughout. The smell of French fry oil fills the establishment.

Get the picture?

So, given the limitations of spoken and written narrated information, how does one get the full effect of the gospel? I feel it is simply not possible. But, the Holy Spirit was given to help us comprehend as much as humanly possible.

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-39. ESV.)

Saturday, March 02, 2013


It was so nice and warm today (74 degrees F) but the sun was hidden.


Last night the kiddos spent the night at a friend's house so it was "date night"!

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