Clara needs prayers! Updated with Part 5

Clara needs prayers! Updated with Part 5

Nothing tugs at our heart strings more than a child in need! One of my nieces, Rachel, has been a good friend to Clara’s mom, Lori since 2007. They met in Mexico while serving as teachers after college. Eventually, both accepted teaching positions in Colorado Springs. And then both went on to have three children each. Eventually, as is common in our culture, both of their families moved apart but they are “virtually” connected!

Clara turns 11 on March 26, 2020. Rachel’s mom, my dear sister-in-law Linda, has been kept up to date on Clara’s life since meeting her a few years ago. Linda has a memory of seeing Clara, her little sister Ana Cecilia and Linda’s grand daughter, Hadassah, running and playing on their farm. No one suspected an unknown and undiagnosable disease was lurking in both Clara and Ana Cecilia. Continue reading

Triumphant Entry!

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From Pinterest

I love it when a sermon really grabs my heart and inspires me to share it. And that happened today, Palm Sunday, which celebrates Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  This account is written in all four gospels so it must be a very important event in the lives of believers: Matthew 21-22, Mark 11-12, Luke 19-20, John 12. But today, he shared from the Gospel of Luke, 19:28-48.

As I turned to these verses, I noted they were not marked. “Interesting, can’t wait to hear this sermon” I whispered to myself.  You see, I have a “Sunday”Bible which I carry to church each Sunday.  I’ve marked it up a lot, and especially mark the scriptures used in the sermons, date it and now that we are traveling, note where I was.

The pastor continues, there is one particular verse not noted in the other three gospels. Luke 19:41:

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it… 

Wow, as many times as I have read this Gospel and these verses, it never stuck out to me that He WEPT!  I do know the one other time Jesus wept, at the death of his friend, Lazarus, in John 11:35. Nearly everyone knows this verse because it is the shortest verse in the Bible. But it is so important. It shows Jesus’ humanity and his compassion.

I searched for many pictures and videos to find one where it might show Him depicted with tears. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but found this tidbit as I searched: “Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is found very early in Christian art, on 4th century sarcophagi in the gloomy Roman catacombs – perhaps because the early Christians wanted to emphasise this glorious moment rather than the tragedy of the Crucifixion.” (From here.)

But we Christians celebrate this event and it is noted in our Bibles as being a “Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem. After the sermon today, I liked how one commentator mentioned this really could be called the “Tearful Entry.” And we don’t view the Crucifixion as a tragedy. It shows the ultimate love gift to each one of us and to whoever will accept it, the willingness to die so others can live.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

So why was Jesus taken to this tearful moment we want to think it a Triumphant Entry? Because He knew how many would reject Him and reject the gift of not only eternal life, but of peace on this earth. And not the warrior type of peace we imagine, just as those who lived in the times of Jesus, but peace in our hearts knowing and understanding why He was sacrificed for us….

Rather than repeat the sermon, I found this short two minute video that really effectively shares the message. But if you can’t watch the video, you can read another Pastor’s notes here. After you watch or read about it, do you understand His tears?

I don’t know about you, but I am viewing today as a bit more of a somber day, a day to really search my heart. Am I living how Jesus deserves me to live after His sacrificial death? I do know I want everyone I know and love to accept Him and His death so they will spend eternity with me….and all my loved ones who are up there waiting for us….

Are we mature, or just old?

This is a follow up to my second assignment in the WordPress Blogging 101 class.  We were to create a blog to a specific audience.  My aim was to those who need hope. That is what I heard growing up….well, actually, mom always said “you have to have faith.” I think faith and hope mean the same….or do they? Well, according to one great blog, it says they are sort of the same, one means now: faith is in the present. Hope is the future, we hope for better things. But what I learned in this blog, is that we need both, and the one thing we must have, is LOVE! But I digress….

We do our best to attend church every Sunday (we travel full-time so sometimes we miss), we do a short Bible Study nearly every morning and I try to read a few chapters of my Bible every morning…first thing! We also pray before we attend church that our worship will be pleasing to God, but also, for Him to give us a Word (or sermon) we really need. Usually, we are blown away by how pertinent the service is. And today is no exception.

The title of the sermon was “Growing up in Christ.” Since I’ve been a Christian for decades, I wasn’t sure I would learn much….but indeed, I learned A LOT and all that I needed to know why I still have so many struggles in life. If you read my last blog, you’d think I had it all together and was living happily ever after. Well, let’s just say I have peace and joy in my heart all the time, but sometimes it isn’t apparent.  And now I know why….I’m still an immature Christian.  So without preaching, here is what I needed to know today and these are snippets from the sermon:

From Hebrews 6:1 and this is the context of what I needed today. I’m using a version I normally don’t use, but I did like it best in The Living Bible:  “Let us stop going over the same old ground again and again, always teaching those first lessons about Christ. Let us go on instead to other things and become mature in our understanding, as strong Christians ought to be. Surely we don’t need to speak further about the foolishness of trying to be saved by being good, or about the necessity of faith in God…”

Growing old just happens, but “growing up” or becoming mature is an option!  Our maturity is based upon our attitudes, and as John Maxwell famously quoted, “Attitude is based up altitude.” Ouch, I thought I had a good attitude…but I have been lacking….

One of my favorite little books of the Bible is the Book of James. I was blessed to teach the teens in our church years ago from this book. And I’ve done two Bible studies as well as I read it at least once every year (and have now for 11 years). So today, it was pointed out it is a great book to learn what maturity really looks like. Ouch, again. So many verses are in my head…now I pray they will be in my heart and more importantly, in my actions.

So here are five things quickly, and as the sermon went, fill in the blank:

Maturity is _______

1) Positive. From James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds….”  I KNOW this! Right?  I think I am positive all the time…well, maybe most of the time….except maybe not when someone crashes into our truck that pulled our home around and it is totaled….

2) Caring for others. From James 2:8 “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right….'”  Oh, I’ve got this one! Yep, I love everyone, except that guy who crashed into our truck….Oops.

3) Controlling ones tongue.  Ok, I have to quote more than the one scripture because there are some great word pictures here…and it is impossible to control our tongues. So there, I’m OK because I sure was mad when our truck was wrecked, and after all, I at least didn’t use curse words. I have overcome that much with my tongue. And actually, he was an old man, so I wasn’t really mean to him, I just told him he ruined our lives home….And I did get really upset dealing with the insurance company after the old man admitted it was his fault and the police put it in their report….but the insurance company didn’t seem to care it wasn’t just a truck, it moved our home and we needed to move it  in two days….sorry, I’m digressing again….From James 3:3-9.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

4) Living as a peacemaker not a trouble maker. From James 4:4 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”  Remember, I have peace and joy in my heart. I know I have this one…I even took a Bible study course on being a Peacemaker. That’s me all right…well, except when I had some trouble with the insurance company that day….Did I mention it was just this past May? Yes, May 2, 2015….

5) Patient. From James 5:7 “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” AND James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered (or been patient). You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Oh, no!!! I wanted and needed an answer on May 2, 2015 (it was a Saturday) that the insurance company would contract for a tow company to tow our home, that we had JUST sold to it’s new owner on May 4, 2015 in Maryland. We were in Virginia and since our residence is Florida, that really makes insurance companies crazy. I don’t even want to relive our day on Monday when it took forever to find the right person up the management chain to get the authority to order the tow truck.

So my husband and I tried so hard to live up to our standards as Christians and on this day (and a few more later on in the month) we failed miserably.  But here is the HOPE!  The lesson continued, what does it take to become mature? Given in reverse order, and I’ll let you look up the scripture verses if you want to learn more:

4)  It’s not automatic!  That’s for sure…. (Hebrews 5:12-13)

3) It’s a life long process!  Oh, good, I still have time. (Proverbs 8:5 and 2 Peter 3:18)

2) It takes discipline! Well, I have been known to be a disciplined person….so more hope! (1 Timothy 4:7b)

1) Finally, maturity requires a commitment! (Galatians 5:24)

So how the sermon ended was based upon a military term, “About face” or repent and start over!

And now for my journey to bridle my tongue. So far, in two days I’ve succeeded!

Who am I and why am I blogging in response to Blogging 101

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Full of HOPE!

I can’t really explain how I ended up where I am today, but it is nothing short of a miracle. I was once very lost, I grew up in a tumultuous household, I had to pay my way through college, and somehow I did it.

But then, I made some really bad choices in life….but yet, I am now retired after an amazing career, I’m a grandmother, have been married 40 years and am so blessed to have a great relationship with my only child, a daughter and her husband. And now she has blessed us with two adorable grandsons who are the light of my life!

The reason I want to blog publicly is to hopefully help someone else who is struggling in life. I pray I can show someone else there is hope. Life can sometimes seem so hopeless, so messed up, but there is always hope.  And there is always a way to regain what was once lost. My life is proof of it!

There have been some very influential people placed in my life that helped me get through the tough times. I can only hope I could help someone else….

My new tagline is now LIFE, for Love Inspiration Freedom Encouragement. I never had a chance to do this at the time of the “assignment” but it finally came to me after jotted down characteristics I want to be known for….

My hope:

Praise to God for a Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  1 Peter 1:3-6