“The reason why my father loves me is because I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father.” John 10:17&18 NIV
From the beginning they were there together. They knew all and had a plan to save all people and bring them back to themselves to live for eternity. What impresses me so much about this verse was that God put his son in control. Of course Jesus knew his father’s will but he also had final authority to make that decision himself. At any point he could have called for a hundred angels to come save him. So that they could not harm him. But he willingly laid down his life. He looked ahead to eternity and said, “they are worth it.” He kept that and the joy of his father in mind during everything. As he was being beaten and as he hung on the cross in great anguish we were on his mind. Family is so very important. I know as a parent my children came first, there wasn’t anything i wouldn’t do for them or their father. Well he looked at us that very same way and he knew that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed for our sins for God to be able to be with us, his family forever. He was the only one who could do it. Not only did he go to his death willingly but he put up no objections or arguments. He forgave each and everyone who would do anything to bring about his death. As he hung there dying he saw the remorse and pain in the eyes of the criminal that hung next to him. He had done things worthy of death but he could also see his heart . He knew that he was sorry. He forgave him on the spot and promised him paradise. Even when he could have been thinking of himself he wasn’t. He was thinking of others. He knew they were all a part of God’s great plan. It was a perfect plan and each person’s actions were important to that plan. He saw the big picture. What it would mean to eternity. We see the small view. How could he do this? Why would his father want this? So much pain, hurting and suffering. But it was enough, it was brief compared to forever. I am so glad he made a way for me. A gift so precious that I will never take it for granted. I have so much respect and love for my savior. I get to know him more every day and I love him more and more.
Aren’t you glad for this gift, too?
“I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals. Human beings that are but grass,”. Isaiah 51:12 NIV
We who serve an awesome God need to remember how big that God is. How much he greatly loves you and me. Our God is in control of everything. There is evil in this world that has control over us but it can only be used against us how God seems to allow for our good. He is sovereign and still has the last word. He made everything and has power over everything he has made. Mere mortals were one of the things he made. Although they have free will to do evil, God has more power because he controls how it’s affects his children. You can never say something was so bad that it should not have happened. My stroke was awful but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because of how it saved my soul. I was on a destructive path and it woke me up. I know of many things that seem bad on the surface that God has turned around for great good. If you have complete trust in the one who holds your future in the palm of his hands then everything will be all right. He is a very good and merciful God and over sixty years he has proven faithful. I have seen him do so many, so called, miracles just making our destinies work out. He has each of our lives planned out in advance and nothing takes him by surprise. He can see evil coming and his angels are just waiting to step in to help. We are his prized possession. And our outcome is of great importance. It is never left to chance. I had someone who I knew was having surgery today and they were worried about all that could go wrong. But they were a child of God and his will, will be done. It will turn out for good no matter what happens. This is so comforting. Not everyone can say that. If you are against God and doing life on your own than you have something to worry about. Especially if you die during surgery. If you are a child of God and something does go wrong and you die, then you will be in heaven with Jesus and that’s our greatest reward. And the most wonderful thing that can ever happen to us. I don’t want to die any earlier than God has panned. But I think a lot about heaven and how it will be. I can only imagine.
Can your fears do more than God can?
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? What can anyone give in exchange for their soul?“. Matthew 16:26 NIV
What is your soul worth to you?
‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.’ Genesis 28:17 NIV
Heaven for a Christian is your final reward. For a life lived for the Lord. We don’t have to fear death. We are going home to a wonderful family. A father who loves us more than we can ever imagine. Relatives and friends who died earlier will be waiting. Maybe you lost a child at birth or had a miscarriage, you’ll get to meet them. People whose lives were changed because of you. I once heard of a doctor talking to a dying patient. What do you think is waiting on the other side, the patient asked. The doctor went to the door and opened it. In came a big shaggy dog all excited, almost knocked over the doctor. He explained, ‘my dog was waiting outside.’. He didn’t know what was going on inside but he knew his master, who he loved greatly, was in there and he couldn’t wait to be reunited with him. Do you know what’s awaiting you when you pass through that door? There is forever after, when you cease to exist in this life. It’s not knowing what’s on the other side but, who is on the other side. I can’t wait to see my master. Can you? Who is your master? If you don’t know Jesus, and he gladly wants to get to know you and for you to know him. He is the most awesome, loving one you will ever meet. If you know him you don’t need to worry. He loved you before you were ever born. He knows how many hairs are on your head. He knows all about you and he is standing before you with his arms open wide, saying, ,‘welcome home.’ He doesn’t expect anything from you but love. If you don’t know him it’s easy to get to know him. Then you will know who is waiting for you. He anxiously waits for you to ask him to be your Lord and savior. All he asks is that you believe in him and his son Jesus Christ. Believe that he died for you and that he was raised to life again. The best gift you will ever receive is Jesus Christ. Accept that simple gift today by asking him into your life, and to forgive every sin you have committed, and for him to help you live a life devoted to him. If you believe that with your heart, you are now a child of the King. Get to know him by speaking to him like a long lost friend. He loves you so much and wants to have a relationship with you. Get a Bible and begin to read about the God who loves all his children equally.
Are you ready to see God?
God always wants us to enjoy life. God granted an unbelievable imagination to some for the purpose of entertainment. I heard one pastor say that Jesus was probably at the Canaan wedding because he enjoyed having a good time with people. Imagine this world without Disney, with all his imagination, whimsy and brilliance. He made entertainment what it is today. Moving us from the past of yesteryear to the future. God doesn’t just call people to be ministers and missionaries but to be doctors, lawyers, and entertainers. Joy is good medicine. Something for all ages to enjoy, and all types of people to grasp. Walt Disney is a perfect example. His motion pictures thrilled audiences and still does even after his death. He left behind so much for the world. With his movie’s, television shows, amusement theme parks, cruise lines, memorabilia and so much more he was one of a kind. As a boy he drew on anything and everything, even though his father grew very tired of his choice of easel. The side of the barn was covered with pictures of the characters he drew. Mostly animals and nature. He had a neighborhood doctor pay him to draw his horse. Many neighbors paid for his drawings. He could not understand how these characters could get him anywhere in life. His mother, however, was a big supporter. At one point he talked his younger sister into helping him paint cartoon characters on the side of the house. He met a friend in school who introduced him to vaudeville and motion pictures. He did take art classes in the evenings. He decided to work for newspapers as an artist until his brother Roy got him a job as an illustrator at the age of eighteen for Ub Iwerks. A layoff a little after Christmas lost him and Iwerks their jobs. When he grew older he decided to start his own company. That’s when ‘Laugh O’ Grams’ got started. He was an amazing animator, voice actor and film producer over the years. With a few friends by his side he set out to make cartoons Alice in her wonderland. He joined up with the maker of Felix the Cat. The company soon went bankrupt. He then convinced his brother Roy to put their money together and with the help of a few friends started Disney Brothers Studios in Los Angeles. They had made money by doing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Not in time to save ‘Laugh O’ Grams’ but it sure got their new venture off and running. He had developed Mortimer Mouse but Lillian didn’t like the stuffy name so they soon settled on Mickey Mouse which was friendlier. It became one of his greatest successes. The making of Mickey in Steamboat Willie in ‘28, which was with sound. Mickey’s voice was no other than Walt himself. It gave him such success in the industry. God gave him quite a talent to share with the world. People can be reached for Christ in all areas of life. I went to a play at my church of Beauty and the Beast, and it was so good. But it has a message from God. We are all important and God knows what’s in our hearts not what we look or act like. We need to see people through God’s eyes and he loves us all.
Has God given you a talent for helping others?
“There is time for everything. And a season for every activity under heaven… a time to weep and a time to laugh.” Ecclesiastes 3:1&4 NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV
I have felt such complete peace lately. I always start my days by thanking God for another day, the air in my lungs, and the love of Jesus in my heart. He is already ahead of me. He has already planned this day perfectly for me in advance. Everything whether good or bad is all planned for my good. I have agreed to rejoice and be glad in it. It is an attitude we get to choose. This day is a present just for me from God. That is why it is called the present. I lay in bed thinking of who might be taking care of me today. I wonder what’s for breakfast. I feel like a child on Christmas morning. I’m excited because I am spending the day with my very best friend, God. I thank him for breakfast even before it gets here and ask him to bless it. The food has been good lately. If I don’t prefer something i just don’t eat it. I know for lunch and dinner I get bean burritos and chicken strips a lot but hey I like them. When I do have other meals I really enjoy them. Last night was pasta with sausage and peppers and it was really good. Throughout the day my mind stays on him. I love to listen to praise and worship music. It drowns out so much noise. I play word games to help strengthen my brain. Alzheimer’s runs in my family so it keeps me sharp. I will catch myself singing along to the songs and my focus returns to him. I love reading books and Christian books are best. It’s homework for my writing but it helps a lot. Some are just for pleasure. Whenever someone comes in my room I’ll catch them singing along with my music. It’s funny how many Christians work here. But their job is serving and it is not for everyone. I can’t do a lot of things but I sure enjoy doing all I can. I’ve gotten involved in the prayer ministry and love praying for needs. Lately there have been so many needs but God answers so many. I shouldn’t be surprised because my God can do anything. I’m excited and it just makes me bolder.
What will you do with this brand new day?
“Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
When we were born again our worldly life with all it’s desires for selfish lusts and self gratifying passions died. As we became a new creature the old sinful man left and was replaced with the Holy Spirit and all of Christ’s power and righteousness. We are no longer slaves to sin, fear, negative mind sets, and all those things that Satan has hoped to overpower us with. We have been redeemed. We are now residents of heaven and this world is not our home. We are aliens just passing through temporarily. We should therefore set our minds on our new family and our new coming home. What it will be like. All it has for us. This new family comes with so many privileges. As part of this family God looks at us as his children just like his son. Perfectly! We are no longer flawed, we are perfect just lie his son. He also longs to lavish us with so much. Power is the biggest gift. Power to speak in Jesus name. Whatever we speak in faith believing he says we can have it. Healing in Jesus name, abundance, power. Blessings will be yours to the right and the left. Do you realize all you have been promised ? God can, and will provide. He is not limited by money or things. He has a warehouse full of provision and the more we use it for his glory the more he has available. He will always provide our needs. Our church lives by this principle. ‘Find a need and fill it.’ We have so many ministries to help serve people in need. Those who are hungry, homeless, addicted, hurting and so many more. You would think that the thousands of dollars going out would bankrupt us but everything is God’s and his supply never runs dry. Money always comes in to meet these needs. He also gives extreme wisdom to help meet life’s challenges. What he wants to do next and where. He wants us to focus on moving forward and growing in the process. We need to look forward to the glorious day of Christ’s returning. When we will all be with him in his kingdom. No more trials, no more needs. Our work will be done.
Can you imagine how the hereafter will be?
“The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5 ASV
I remember how I loved to be outside. We had a beautiful patio garden where I spent many hours. I prayed, listened to praise music, enjoyed the peace and quiet, or just sat and watched the sparrows eat, play, talk to each other and fight over the one lone bird feeder. It was a beautiful place with rose bushes of every color, perfectly shaped shrubs and manicured lawns. One morning while I was out there God gave me a vision of a huge field of flowers. They were all different and exquisite. He explained to me that this is how he sees his children. Made in the image of a perfect God we are all perfect. Each and everyone of us. Whether we are perfectly whole or handicapped and flawed. We are all unique and made for a special purpose and he looks down on us and smiles. I learned a lot about God’s love watching those sparrows. They are happy and so free because they know God loves them and will always provide for them. They enjoy themselves every minute of the day in that freedom. They don’t need need anything that God hasn’t given them. Well today I went out there for the first time in a long time, because with the COVID virus I’ve been locked in my room. I almost started crying. Since April or May there has been no landscapers and the neglect and overgrowth was just unbelievable. Weeds as tall as me, dead greenery everywhere, but abundant weeds growing from every crack in the concrete. As I sat there I began to see it as a sign of what God sees in his people. We have not tended to our souls and like that patio we have become polluted with the weeds of the world. It is so thick amongst us that you can barely see green life. It’s there but boy do you have to look hard. We have overgrown from our selfish Me attitude and are lopsided and no longer trimmed. So many of the beautiful plants are burned up and barely alive. No longer what they once were. This is how he sees this once Godly country. We used to be filled with God fearing people who took pride in serving God, our country, and our fellow man. But now look at us now. My heart almost broke. I thought about how God must feel. We may not be the Israelites but I believe America became a very special people to him and that is why we were so blessed for so long. Our complacency has let the enemy destroy us. When people were fighting for their rights it got out of hand. I mean to have the right to murder an innocent, living and precious infant for purely selfish reasons is unthinkable. To absolutely refuse to allow young people to learn respect and love for their country and be able to pray for it. What were we thinking?
Do you know a really good landscaper?
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer, I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days, be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” Revelation 2:10 NIV
We are in the end times and things will get worse. Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and strange weather, wickedness increasing on the earth. It has been that way for some time. But for children of the Lord there is nothing to fear. One day the trump will sound and we will see the Lord coming in the clouds. It will be a day like no other. For we shall see him in all his glory. The dead in Christ shall rise and his followers shall be caught up with him in the air. And then we will all be in heaven together. But what will happen to the many who remain? There will be many who thought they would go too, but will be left with those that made no plans. There will be hard times ahead. The world will be in turmoil as millions of people just disappear. But they will be crowned with righteousness. Rewarded beyond comprehension. Those who remain will struggle just to survive but if you cry out to God it’s still not too late. If you are alive. Right now minutes will matter so much. Marshall law can not be guaranteed because of all that will be going on. We’ve lived through hijackings, shootings, martyrdom because of the evil around us. But with the good, godly people gone it will be much worse. If you cry out to God you can still be saved from hell but persecution to anyone who finds Christ in this time is promised. But God is trying to give you hope. This won’t be a long period of time, but it will be a hard one. But if you are persecuted stand strong, for God is your strength. If you stand strong you will be rewarded for all that you go through. I have watched documentaries about mass shootings and people who survive targeted attacks like bombings or 9/11. So many people draw strength from these times and their courage brings out good in them. People learn so much from these trials and it does make them better people and more resilient. What is of the utmost importance is whose side you are on when this time is over.
Do you want to meet in the air so you miss this time?
I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the words till I heard someone preach on it. It meant so much more after I heard what each word said to me and just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too. But lately I have been praying earnestly for an awakening. Many people call themselves Christians but are they Christ like? People who are not Christians are watching us. Unless they see us as different or special why would they want to be one. If we live an ineffective life and are unsatisfied ourselves what kind of example are we. God has shown me that so much more is required than praying for our country to be changed. So I decided that just like there are many Bible translations I would rewrite this amplified. So I will elaborate. ‘If my people,’ this at one time meant the Jewish people. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them, his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all they saw him do for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways. We in America have been richly blessed. We are free to serve our God however we want. Our founding fathers knew how important that was. That’s why the pilgrims came here. But we have not cared for this gift. ‘who are called by my name,’ These we’re not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t call everyone. There are some who will never accept God. No matter what he does or who he is there is just evil in this world and there always will be. He is not going to spend time on those that will never change. There are those that will and they are important. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect others to pray. They are too proud and they don’t need or want his help. They don’t want God telling them how to act. They are their own God and serve themselves. But they also want us to be like them. Misery loves company. They do things that are sin but everyone is doing it so it’s good. We have gone with the crowd for so long. We can be filthy and not even see it. We are complacent and lukewarm. We get used to our sins and think we are Godly. ‘will humble themselves and pray,’ Get our minds off ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. The one who can help us. He knows what we need and always wants the best for us. If we will just turn back to him. But we need to see ourselves as God does. Totally ungrateful sinners. We are seeking our own pleasures not God. He has done so much for us, and given us everything, even his beloved son. Just so we could be free from that sin. One day he will ask us why we rejected him when he loved us so much and it will be too late. ‘and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,’ We are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good thing. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and want to obey his ways. To help others and see that their needs are met. We need to really want him in our lives. Because without him, all of him, we will be unsatisfied and our world will keep falling. It’s already so bad that I want to hide in my room and never come out. It will only get worse. We need to turn away from sin for it to get better. ‘then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin,’ To make an effort to sin no more. To obey his commandments. If we make that effort he will forgive all our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves. We need to change first if we expect anything from him. ‘and I will heal their land.’ This nation was at one time founded on Gods principles. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for this country but our sin has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves and they no longer need God. But our land is in trouble. So much violence and trouble. We need to wake up. Right now we need a cleaned up world and it has to start with Christians. We can’t expect non-Christians who don’t know him to help. This virus has been a wake up call and we need to listen.
Do you want to see our land great again?