Lost and Found!

Have you ever gone wild with excitement when you found something that had been lost for a long time? I know I have, with the most recent time being me finding my camera that had been missing since about last August! Mom & Dad were the only ones in the house at the time I happened upon it, and I’m sure they thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care what anybody thought. I had found my camera!

It got me thinking… How often do we as professing Christ followers get that excited about our relationship with Jesus, the Savior of mankind? How often do we just “go crazy” with adoration, love and gratitude for Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf — never giving a second thought to what other people may think about us? It’s pretty selfish on our part to worry about what people think, rather than only seeking our affirmation from God, the One whose thoughts really matter anyway. He made us, He saves us. We are but dust. He is the “I Am” who was, who is, and who forever will be!

I think of Jesus, who is the good Shepherd, leaving the 99 sheep to go find the one that was lost, and when he had found it, there was much rejoicing! He went crazy! And friend, if you are a prodigal and are wondering if God can use you, if He would even accept you, cry out to Him! He will keep drawing you toward Himself and He will deliver you. Stop resisting! It will hurt worse if you keep resisting God’s grace, and don’t surrender your will to Him NOW!

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see! Thank You Father! May Your Name be glorified in me.

20140529-235259-85979755.jpg

Advertisements

God’s NOT Dead!

I don’t usually do this, but I copied and pasted a lot of this, refining and editing along the way. Please let me know if you find any inaccuracies. •Elizabeth Ann
———————————————–
At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death. At that time, crucifixion was the “worst” death reserved for only the worst criminals. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus because unlike criminals condemned to death by crucifixion, Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet. Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrists, not into His palms, as is commonly portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support Himself so that He could breath.

Both of His feet were nailed together, thus forcing Him to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back and then using his legs just to continue to breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.

Jesus endured this reality for over three hours. Yes, OVER THREE HOURS! Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound To His side… But do we really realize that His wounds were actually made inside his body?

A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nails and the spear, Jesus was beaten so severely that His flesh was torn from His body. His beard was ripped from His face and He was unrecognizable. He had no more blood To bleed out, only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of His blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns cut deeply into His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier stabbed a spear into His chest.

All this without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in His face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed), or the night before when He sweat drops of blood. He asked His Father to “take this cup from me.” I always thought He was talking about what He was about to go through, namely, death on the cross, and separation from God; but is it possible that Jesus was asking His Father to help Him now, in the garden? I would think that sweating great drops of blood in itself could be deadly. It’s definitely not something you see everyday. Jesus was man — He was mortal, and could’ve died before He even reached the cross. Did you ever stop to think about that? Jesus died, but more than that, He rose up from the dead!

He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and is now at the right hand of God!!! Why did He go through all that, and willingly? To open the gates of heaven so that you can have free access to God if you accept His atoning sacrifice.

Jesus prayed, “and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3

Don’t ignore this situation.
JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!
He died for you! So that you could live in freedom, have victory over sin and gain eternal life, which, as described in the above verse, is knowing Him… Forever! It’s a gift. Crazy, isn’t it: I give Jesus my sin stained black heart that could NOT stand before a Holy God, but since God sent His Son to die the death I deserved, take my sin and the sin of the world on Himself, now I am clean in God’s eyes, because He imputes Jesus’ righteousness on me! My sins are washed away!

Yes, I love God. He is my Source of life and my Savior. He’s the reason my heart and yours are still beating.

Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him… “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.

What will YOU do with Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Christ?

Happy Easter. HE IS RISEN!!! Hallelujah!

20140421-013027.jpg

Death.

“But though He causes grief, yet will He be moved to compassion according to the multitude of His loving-kindness and tender mercy.  For He does not willingly and from His heart afflict or grieve the children of men…”    -Lamentations 3:32-33

Death is inevitable, scary, sad, and has a terrible finality to it.  I’d seen death before, my first recallable experience being when my great Grandpa Hartman died in his 80’s.  We expect 80 year olds to die — but a normal 11 year old doesn’t expect a friend to die.  Thursday, April 8, 2004 was my first real wake up call with death.  I was dusting the piano when we got a phone call from our friends down the road.  Mom hung up the phone in tears and told me that my friend Kelli had been hurt really bad in a go-cart accident.  We didn’t know at the time, but she had already died — she was my age.  In the coming days, I cried and verbally cried out to God while doing the outside chores.  I remember singing “Because He Lives” in a breaking voice while gathering eggs from the chicken coop.  Kelli Ann Bidlack.  I’d known her since we were like 5.  She and most of her siblings were at our place just the DAY before…  I had said “see you Sunday!” as they packed up to leave.  I remember thinking that I should add ‘Lord willing,’ but, as I later regretted, I didn’t.

“WHY?” the question was always not far from the surface of my mind.  “Why would God just let this happen?”  “Why didn’t He raise her back up?”  “Why did He allow it in the first place?”

Now, almost 7 years later, these questions still surface, but now I know for a surety what I did not know then.  God is sovereign. He knows all things, and He doesn’t allow us to go through something we cannot bear.  Will the question ever be solved?  No, these things probably will not ever totally make sense until we see Jesus face to face.  Only God is good, and He is good all the time.  We must trust that He knows what we’re going through.  He knows our pain!  To think!  He GAVE UP His Son, knowing what Jesus was to endure.  And Jesus — He obeyed His Father, became obedient unto death, even death on a cross!  Wow!

Death is everywhere.  There is a 100% chance of dying.  I’ve been to three funerals in the last few months.  One of them was for a second-cousin, Krystle.  A gunman came into the grocery where she worked and killed her and a shopper before dying in a shootout with the police.  She was 20.  Soon after this, a snow plow in our area failed to stop, ramming into the side of a semi-trailer which then jack-knifed into the path of an oncoming car.  Another 20 year old met his Maker in what we would call an untimely, or premature death.

This thing, death, has always made me take a sober look at myself.  “Is my heart right with God?” “Am I walking the path that God desires me to be on?”  “Does my life reflect glory and praise to God?” “How will I be remembered by my family?” “Will I have made an eternal impact for Christ’s kingdom?” “Am I living as if today will be my last?”
These questions, and others have haunted my thoughts since that day when Kelli died, and I still ask them of myself today.  Death is no respecter of age.  It can come to any one of us at any time.  I may live a long life like my great Grandpa Burkey — I may go water skiing when I am 90, ride into the backyard with my power wheelchair, be buried the day before my 95th birthday…  But of what use is all of this without Christ?  If I leave behind a bunch of people who didn’t see Jesus’ reflection through me, then my life was for naught.  Many start out well, but not that many finish well. We need look no further than the Bible for examples of this (Solomon, Eli, Samuel, etc.).

The last funeral I was at, I knew without a doubt that the preacher wasn’t bluffing when he said that Mrs. Rhodes was in Heaven.  Mrs. Rhodes was a wonderful lady who loved Jesus and her family.  I will see her again!!!  Thank you Jesus for helping her finish well.  Help me, and may we all make it our goal to do just that.

FINISH WELL.

Pastor Saeed Alive! Now Being Held in Deadly Iranian Prison- Iranian Family Allowed Visitation

Please act on behalf of our brother in Christ. The ACLJ has confirmed through Pastor Saeed’s family members in Iran that he has been moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj – an even more dangerous prison where he faces life-threatening conditions and treatment… The ACLJ has confirmed that Pastor Saeed is now in one of the most dangerous wards of Rajai Shahr Prison – where violent prisoners are held – those who are imprisoned for murder and rape.

In 2005, Loes Bijnen, a Dutch Diplomat from the embassy in Tehran, described Rajai Shahr prison:
“Rajai Shahr is the place where political prisoners who are seen as a nuisance, are stowed away. Going to Karaj is a severe punishment. Once in there one stops to be a human being. One is put out of sight, even of human rights activists and the press. In Rajaï Shahr, political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists and drug addicts who don’t hesitate to attack their cell mates. They have nothing to lose: many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence.”

The transfer to this prison is a deeply disturbing development and can only be viewed as a move that puts Pastor Saeed’s life directly at risk. Go to this link to read the full report. http://aclj.us/3yhx

TAKE ACTION! Call your legislators and sign these petitions:
1) http://www.savesaeed.org
2) http://www.aclj.org/iran/stand-firm-pastor-saeed and
3) http://www.petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ask-iran-release-christian-pastor-saeed-abedini-imprisoned-there-his-faith-and-let-him-come-home

Saeed Abedini: a 33-year-old Pastor, father, and husband from Idaho, is in prison for following Jesus. What will you do?  Will you let your voice #BeHeard?

#SaveSaeed #FreeSaeed

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

130102025959-saeed-abedini-story-top

For the first time since he was abruptly transferred from Evin Prison to Rajai Shahr Prison earlier this month, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was allowed visitation with his Iranian family.

This is a positive sign that international pressure continues to work to keep Pastor Saeed alive. Pastor Saeed’s Iranian family has, for the past two weeks since his transfer, been prevented from visiting him – something they had previously been permitted to do once a week during his imprisonment in Evin Prison.

It is also the first physical confirmation of Pastor Saeed’s condition and life since his transfer to the brutal prison.

Pastor Saeed remains in the violent criminal ward – Ward 3 – of Rajai Shahr, sharing a 3 meter by 3 meter cell with other prisoners. This particular ward of the deadly prison holds some of the worst criminals in Iran – murderers and rapists.

International human rights organizations have…

View original post 284 more words

I Give Myself Away — William McDowell

I learned this song at Joni and Friends Family camp this year, while serving as an STM with my sister.  This has been going through my head all day…  It’s a powerful song that glorifies THE all powerful God!!!  Thank You Jesus.

Chorus:
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

Here I am
Here I stand
Lord, my life is in your hands
Lord, I’m longing to see
Your desires revealed in me
I give myself away

Take my heart
Take my life
As a living sacrifice
All my dreams all my plans
Lord I place them in Your hands

Chorus:
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

Chorus:
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

Bridge: x7
My life is not my own
To You I belong
I give myself, I give myself to You

I Do!

376973_10150612292968154_685728153_11650319_735616645_n

 

A Voice Crying in the Desert

This is a special guest post by a good friend of mine, Elizabeth.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I have 🙂

———-

I Do!

  Written on Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mom bought Josh Harris’ book “Boy Meets Girl” at a garage sale, and I’ve been reading that the past few days.  I had almost finished reading the fourth chapter when God got my attention… 

 
“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life
with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down;
Perhaps it crept to ones side like an old friend through
quiet ways; Perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose,
until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart it’s
pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; Perhaps…per-
haps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friend-
ship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from it’s green
sheath.”  ~Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

View original post 128 more words

Many things? or One Thing???

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou carest and art troubled about many things: But one thing is needful, Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be takes away from her.  
Luke 10:41-42  (1599 Geneva Bible)

Image

On Monday the 16th, I woke up, S-T-R-E-A-C-H-E-D and sighed as all of the things I “needed” to do came rushing to my mind. I’d just gotten back from the ladies’ Living Free conference the night before.  It had been an incredible weekend and now it was time to get back into the swing of things…  “unpack my duffel bag, finish writing that letter, do the chores, can the pears, keep up on laundry…” all of which DID need to be done, but just the morning before I had been in a tree, basking in Jesus’ presence and marveling at His handiwork.  Now I was going to trade in that “one thing that is needful” for being “troubled about many things.”  The Lord spoke a rebuke to my heart, very much in the way I think of His rebuke to Martha in Luke 10.  His gentle, chiding voice; “Elizabeth, Elizabeth, you are troubled about many things…”  I remembered the account of Mary and Martha and so I decided to make looking that up part of my quiet time with the Lord that morning.  It was refreshing to just sit and rest in his presence!I heard a message by Keith Green entitled “Devotions” or Devotion?  …that’s the real question.  Am I reading my Bible just so I can mark it off a “to-do” list, or am I truly wanting to hear the God of the universe speak to me, bask in the light of His presence and love, and thus, get to KNOW Him and His heart better?  Oh God, help me to continually choose the One thing that matters most!

Scan0021
~ Compliments of Laura Clawson ~

Fotor082812086

Are you LIVING FREE from WORRY, fear, anxiety, GUILT, bitterness, anger, DEPRESSION?  Do you long to LIVE IN HIS PRESENCE experiencing LOVE, JOY & PEACE?

Come join Jenny Speed and the Living Free Team for a time of refreshing spiritual renewal!

Sessions included:

    • Living In His Presence
    • Overcoming the Lies of the Enemy
    • Healing through forgiving
    • Discovering Who I Am
    • Bitter vs. Better with Judy Pittman
    • Pursuing God with Kelly Williamson
    • Daughter’s panel – Young ladies discuss how to resolve mother/daughter conflicts (YIKES!  Mom and I will be on that panel!  –Pray for us!!!)

Break-out sessions:

    • Weight loss programs that work with Lisa Whaley
    • Common uses of esential oils with Patryce Williams

Worship led by Athena Hultgren and Diane Olthoff

HSLDA | Children Seized in Shocking Raid

This story came from HSLDA.  Go there for the full story.  ~Elizabeth

——————————————————

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children “anytime soon.”

HSLDA obtained and translated the court documents that authorized this use of force to seize the children. The only legal grounds for removal were the family’s continuation of homeschooling their children. The papers contain no other allegations of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Germany has not even alleged educational neglect for failing to provide an adequate education. The law ignores the educational progress of the child; attendance—and not learning—is the object of the German law.

Judge Koenig, a Darmstadt family court judge, signed the order on August 28 authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s children. Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to school,” the judge also authorized the use of force “against the children” if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had “adopted the parents’ opinions” regarding homeschooling and that “no cooperation could be expected” from either the parents or the children.

State Custody

In October 2012, state youth officials had been granted formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children by a German court based solely on the fact that the family was homeschooling. German lawyer Andreas Vogt sought appellate relief on behalf of the Wunderlichs and was able to forestall immediate removal of the children. But, yesterday, as the family quietly began their homeschool day, a ringing at the door signaled the interruption that turned their lives upside down.

Dirk Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events.

“I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it,” he told HSLDA.

“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he said. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”

Looking for a Home

Over the past four years, HSLDA has reported on the Wunderlichs’ saga as they have moved from country to country in the European Continue reading “HSLDA | Children Seized in Shocking Raid”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑