My Thoughts on Good Friday

Scripture Must Be Fulfilled in Jesus
Jesus was not a victim when He went to the cross. He was obeying the will of His Father, God. He willing went to the cross to fulfill scripture.
Jesus said in Luke 22:37, For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment. 
Jesus was referring to Isaiah 53:12b, because he poured out his soul to death
 and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many,
 and makes intercession for the transgressors. 
He who had no sin (Hebrews 4:15) was numbered with us (transgressors)  when He went to the cross.  According to Romans 3:23 all have sinned (transgressed) and fall short of the glory of God. Fulfillment means completion and this is why Jesus said in John 19:30, “It is finished.” He did what we could not do for ourselves. He paid it all. Jesus also intercedes for us.
The cross was a place of shame but Jesus came to do the will of God. Jesus, despising the shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:2), suffered an excruciating death so that believing in Him and His resurrection we would be saved from the wages of sin which is death (Romans 6:23) and eternal separation from God. 
On this day in history, Jesus was scorned, beaten, and tortured to death for all. But as I was reminded recently, Sunday is coming! Jesus was not a victim but the Victor!
May you remember on this day what Jesus willingly suffered for you!
Disclaimer: I know that there are many out there who would discount what Jesus did but I wholeheartedly believe that He did this for me. I want others to know Jesus as He wants them to know Him.
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What I am Thankful for Today

Laughter in the Midst of Grief
 Proverbs 15:14-16
 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil,
but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure and trouble with it.
 Whilst I was a way to attend my father’s memorial service in Henderson, Nevada, God gave me the gift of laughter. For you see with grief comes many different thoughts and feelings. There are times of tears and sadness and times of intense anger and strife, but I find it to be a gift when something causes one to laugh and not just a funny ha-ha but a gut busting laughter. There was a time of levity while I was there and I wrote about it and titled it, names have been omitted as not to offend.
“Something Funny Happened on the Way to My Brother’s”
 There were four of us in the car. We had to make a stop to pick someone else up along the way. There was some confusion as to where to find the other person. Something funny was said and we will started to laugh. The driver and passengers were laughing so hard that I thought that we were going to have to pull over. I thought that it would be hilarious if we had to pull over and should a police officer pull up and ask us what was the matter? I would say, “Officer, quick call an ambulance we are dying of laughter!”
 It felt so good to laugh in midst of our sad time. I am thankful too for the opportunity to offer words of comfort and prayer for those left behind. For I am instructed to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort which I have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Blessings to family of my father in Henderson, Nevada and elsewhere. May God comfort them and give them peace has He alone knows best.
Disclaimer: I share with you what I have learned and experienced for myself so that you may know that the love of God is real and that He sent His son to die for you. 
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Hanging on the Words of Jesus

Valuing Jesus’ Words
Luke 19:47-48
And He (Jesus) was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men …were seeking to destroy Him, but they could not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on His Words.
The phrase were hanging on his words” stands out to me. How often do I hang on the words of Jesus. He told his disciples in John 6:63, “It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken are spirit and life.” Therefore I should hang on His words. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus came to give us abundant life. The truth sets us free to live abundantly. Jesus is the truth that sets us free from the law of sin and death. The apostle Peter said in John 6:68-69, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.
Whoa, you might be saying. You might think that I am getting too deep. But this is what Jesus is calling us to. There are some who think I am wrong and that’s okay. Let me put it this way. If they are right and I am wrong, I have nothing to lose. But if I am right and they are wrong, they have everything to lose and I have gained eternal life (a changed life now and living with Jesus forever in the next ). I have experienced the changed life now. I am not who I used to be.
So let me ask you. Which side to you want to be on? Romans 10:9-11 tells you how you can have the assurance that I have.
As for me,  I will choose to hang on to the words of Jesus.
Disclaimer: I share with you what I have learned and what I have experienced so that you too may believe in Jesus Christ.
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The Acronym for Today

F.R.O.G.
FullyIsaiah 26:3
RelyProverbs 3:5-6
On   Acts 4:12
GodDeuteronomy 32:3
First, fully means completely or entirely; to the further-est extent. There is no doubt or holding back for Isaiah says that God will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is resolutely or dutifully firm and unwaveringly on Him.
Second, rely is to depend on with full trust or confidence/be dependent on Him. Trust in the Lord all my heart.
Third, on who? Christ for there is no other name under heaven by which man must be saved. In Him I place my full confidence.
Fourth, God, the Name of the Lord. I will proclaim His Name and ascribe greatness to His name.
Summation: I will completely and entirely to the furthest extent depend on with full confidence in Jesus Christ. For there is no other name under heaven by which man must be saved. The name of the Lord I will proclaim and ascribe greatness to His Name forevermore.
My challenge to you is to ask yourself, who do you place your trust and confidence in man or in Christ alone?
My disclaimer: I know that each person’s relationship with God is unique and one of a kind. I am sharing with you what I have learned from the study of God’s Word so that you may know Jesus Christ and Him crucified. To be to God be the glory now and forever Amen.
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An Attitude of Gratitude Can Bring a Smile to Your Face

Gratitude

Looking for Things to be 

Thankful for in Everyday Life!

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)
This verse tells us that in whatever we do, in word or deed. This means when I go shopping, going to the doctor’s, cleaning house or just about anything do it in the name of the Lord. It also refers to what I say to my family or the clerk at the store. Therefore, I am to speak as if Jesus were listening which He does. I am to give thanks to God the Father through Him. There are time when I do not always get this right but if I stop and think about it, it is a game changer.

An attitude of gratitude is what separates the believer from the unbeliever. It should also be what attracts others to Jesus. Gratitude is the state of being thankful. So on my trip to see my father last month it was easy to see many things to be thankful for. But upon returning home that I seemed to be challenged to find things to give thanks to God. Now I try to focus on the little things that I can be grateful for and give thanks to God. For His love endures forever.

Developing An Attitude of Gratitude

 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
 
Gratitude for the simple things in my life brings a smile to my face. I am thankful today for the Christian women in my life. I am thankful for the cancellation at a doctor’s office so I could be seen. I appreciate it when the traffic lights are green. When someone tells me that they were thinking of me when I call makes me smile. God somehow made my time multiply and I was able to get much accomplished before my flight tomorrow. Getting to hold a child even for a little while brightens my day. My husbands calm and collective reasoning to help me work through my emotions to make a right decision. My loving young men who ask how I am doing and give me hugs. Most of all I am forever thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made so that I may reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him in the next.
What little things in you life that you can be thankful for and give thanks to God? Smile for Jesus died for you!
 
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Greater is Jesus in Me than he that is in the World!

1 John 4:4,
 “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He (Jesus) who is in you is greater that he (Satan) who is in the world.”
I take great comfort in this because I know no matter what comes my way I am okay for He is with me. He surrounds me with His amazing love through the prayers and encouraging words of my friends and family. There is nothing that can separate me from His love and He truly works all things out for my good, helping to shape my character to be more like Jesus everyday.
Looking at the verse above the reference for the “them” that we have overcome is the Antichrist which is the spirit that does not confess that Jesus is from God. By confessing Jesus is Lord , as a believer, I have overcome that spirit. I have victory in Jesus. With the passing of my father who I know has gone to be with Jesus, I take comfort in this. There is none like Jesus in all the earth. I know that one day I will see my father in heaven when I see Jesus. I am thankful for the time that I spent getting to know my father. 
God’s got him now. I pray for comfort and peace for those of us who will mourn his passing but rejoice that he is with Jesus and no longer suffering. I take comfort in God’s word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.
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Air Force Training and Service to My Country

My Air Force Training

My Years of Training in the United States Air Force

 After high school, I went to Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas, in the summer of 1984. Following basic training, I went to Colorado for Air Force Technical school. I was training to be a munitions system specialist. I would go on to handle, store, inspect, and deliver Aircraft munitions. After training, I went back to Bergstrom AFB and served 2 years there in the Air Force Reserve.
I made an attempt at living at home and commuting to the University of Texas. I majored in electrical engineering, big mistake. Physics class presented me the hardest course. I joined the Air Force ROTC which only made it harder because I had to take 15 to 18 hours a semester. Yet, I had too much fun in the ROTC. I especially enjoyed going to football games. Gradually, my grades started to reflect this and I had to drop out. I made the decision to go full-time active duty.

Going from Reserves to Active Duty

In 1986 after going active duty, I went to Tyndall AFB in Pensacola, Florida. This would be my first active duty assignment. I was a bit of a recluse there and I met my first husband while stationed in Florida in 1987. In August of 1988, I received orders to go to Korea for a remote tour. In February of 1989, I flew home to get married and returned to Korea to finish my tour and change my follow on assignment.
My husband returned to Florida and received his orders for Morbach Air Base, Germany. I distinctly remember putting in for a joint assignment knowing that God would answer this request. God indeed answered because I later received my orders to Hahn Air Base. By September 1989, I was in Germany. I found out that I was pregnant in October 1990. We were in Germany until his death in December 1990. I took a hardship assignment back to Bergstrom AFB.  My son was born in July 1991. I would be there until the base closed in 1992. As of July 15, 1992, I was honorably discharged from the military. God was with me every step of the way. He was my comfort and mainstay.

My Faith in God Sustained Me

It was times like this that I look back and see one set of footprints in the sand and know that Jesus carried me through. If it was not for my faith in Jesus, I am not sure how I would have managed to get through that time in my life. However, I am now blessed with a handsome young man that my son has become. I am grateful for the places and experiences that I went through as well as for all the people I met along the way. I leave you with this verse because God never wastes a hurt.
 
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
 Related Link: My Story
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His Word.
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Prayer Can Be Brief

Our Brief Prayers Can Be Powerful
James 5:16b
The prayer of a righteous person has 
great power as it is working.
Jesus prayed a brief prayer on the cross Luke23:34. There are a number of examples of brief prayer Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10; Hezekiah, when sick, Isaiah 38:2-3; and Stephen, Acts 7:60.  A righteous person is one who is in right standing with God. One receives this right standing with God when one belies in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His death and resurrection.
Eccelesiates 5:2 reads, “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” I do believe the Rebecca St. James has a song about let my words be few.
Jesus spoke against the scribes and their pretense to make long prayers in Mark 12:38-40. When He taught the disciples to pray He told them not to heap up empty words for God knows what you need before you ask Him Matthew 6:7-8. Be specific in one’s prayers .
I learned a long time back that if I keep this acronym in mind it helps me to focus. ACTS for Adoration- Praising God for who He is, Confess- agree with God that what I did was wrong and seek His forgiveness, Thanksgiving-what I am thankful to God for, and Supplication- asking God for my needs and the needs of others. Turning a psalm into prayer is a great way to pray. Psalm 100 is short only 5 verses. It is great for praising God.
Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, Your are great and worthy to be praised. I confess that I have sinned against You and I ask for Your forgiveness. I thank You for Your steadfast love and that You are faithful to all generations. Thank You for my home and family that You have blessed me with. I ask that You would be with my father as his time draws near and I trust him into Your care. Comfort my family at this time. May those who read this be encouraged and grow closer to You. Your will be done. Amen.
 
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Grace: There is No Sweeter Word

Grace No Sweeter Word

Grace: Without It, We Would All Be Lost

The acronym for today is GRACE. I have two for this one. One came from my pastor at Faith Lutheran and the other comes from Celebrate Recovery. Let’s look at them respectively. Grace is receiving unmerited favor.
God’s    
Riches  
At         
Christ’s  
Expense
You see grace is receiving that which we did not deserve. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have received God’s unmerited favor. It is like a man going before a judge and having his fees paid for without asking for help.
God’s gift
We are justified by His grace as a gift. (Romans 3:24)
Received by our faith
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8a) 
 Accepted by God’s Love
God loved us while we were still sinning. (Romans 5:8)
Christ paid the price
 In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7)
Everlasting Gift
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Grace is so amazing in that there is nothing we can do to add to or take away from it. It is a gift freely given. Christ paid a debt we could not pay and died a death we deserved. It is so simple but yet so many have a hard time accepting it. 

For you

Furthermore, Christ continues to make a difference in my life and I desire for others to know what I know about Jesus. I encourage you to spend time this Easter contemplating on what He did for you. On March 28th here in the Austin area, you are invited to see the Easter Passion Play at Manor High School click on the link, Easter Triumph Passion Play.
Here is something that I think that you will enjoy Acappella Singing of Amazing Grace.
Related link, if you like acronyms: H.A.R.D.
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Prayer: Make It Personal

Using the Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:7-13 (ESV)
 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.”
To make this personal one needs to change the pronouns. It is easy to read it with the plural of you but it reads differently when you change the pronouns to I and me in verses 11- 13. Try reading it this way.
My Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give me this day my daily bread,
12 and forgive me my debts,
    as I also have forgiven my debtors.
13 And lead me not into temptation,
    but deliver me from evil.”
I especially like how verses 12 &13 read in the Amplified version, 
“And forgive us our debts, as we (I) also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our (my) debtors.13 And lead (bring) us  (me) not into temptation, but deliver us (me) from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” 
I personalized this too. It gives one a better idea of what forgiving one’s debtor’s is to be like. I imagine prayer as a personal and intimate conversation with my Heavenly Father who loves me and care about me. Jesus prayed bold prayers and I can too. I have seen many answers to prayer that I have often felt like a spoiled Heavenly Daddy’s girl. Recently, God answered my prayer to sustain my earthly father so that I was able to visit with him last month as his health is failing him. On more the one occasion He has given me peace in my turmoil.
It is my hope and prayer that you will be encouraged to make your prayers more intimate knowing that God cares for you. I leave you with this verse.
  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
My disclaimer: I know that every believer’s relationship to God is different and unique. You may not have the same experiences and that is okay. I am sharing because I want to bring Him the glory for what He is doing in me and impart to you what I have learned from His word.

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