Friday, March 25, 2016

Christ is Risen—Happy Easter!

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.  
(Matthew 28:5-7 KJV)

This is a slightly edited version of the Easter post I wrote for last year. Please enjoy and take some time to meditate on the significance of this special day for Christians.  What a joyful day this should be for all us who have Jesus as our Savior and Lord!

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!”  Listen here: 

These majestic opening words to the wonderful Easter hymn by Charles Wesley captures the essence of Easter for Christians.  

The somber mood and darkness of Good Friday gives way to joy—great joy—when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus three days later. A tragedy turns to triumph. Darkness turns to light. Death turns to life—ever lasting life. 

Reflect on this:

Grief turns to joy… 

Darkness turns to light… 

Death gives way to life…

What do you suppose it would have been like to have seen the empty tomb? Would we have understood any better than Jesus’ followers, what He told them about His coming death and resurrection? How would we have reacted to the empty tomb in our grief? Would we have recognized Jesus?

Like Mary and the other women and the disciples who grieved the death of their Teacher and Friend; our grief can turn to joy, when we fully realize that we serve a risen Savior and what it means. This is good news, indeed; news that we should share! The world needs to hear what we have to share. Yes, not everyone will want to hear—and yes we will face rejection and ridicule. However, if we keep in mind that it is Jesus who is being ridiculed and rejected, not us; our perspective can change.


It is not too late to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord! He is ready and waiting for you to turn to Him with open arms! Be assured there are no age limits for salvation—a person cannot be too young or old. For more information, please refer to my previous posts: Salvation; A New Creation; Counting the Cost.

Take time this week to reflect on the hymn He Lives. Listen here:

Remember, we can face many things because He lives! If Jesus is not alive our faith and hope would be in vain! Jesus gave us victory over death and the grave! For those of us in Christ Jesus, we have a future to look forward to with great excitement!


Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your only Son to die in our place—to redeem us from our sins—even though we did not deserve it. With great joy, we exclaim, on Easter and every day, “HE IS RISEN”!!  He is risen, indeed!  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Happy Easter! May God Bless you richly today and everyday!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Palm Sunday: Hosanna! Hosanna!

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 
(Luke 19:37-40 KJV)

This is a slightly edited version of the Palm Sunday post I wrote for last year. Please enjoy and take some time to meditate on the significance of this part of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

As we get closer to Holy Week (beginning this coming Sunday [March 20] and ending on Easter Day, Sunday, March 27, 2016, let us turn our thoughts towards the final week of Jesus’ ministry on earth—beginning with His entry into Jerusalem on what Christians call Palm Sunday.  


What do you suppose it would have been like to have been in the crowd exclaiming “Hosanna!  …Hosanna in the highest!” waving a palm branch, celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem? 

Where would you have been? 

What would you have been doing? 


The excitement of the crowd must have been electric. People cheering for Jesus, their King, fulfilling prophecy declared hundreds of years before (they likely did not realize the meaning of their actions). Children running about, laughing, enjoying life—some would have memories of Jesus interacting with them, loving on them. 

Here’s a hymn that reflects on this day, Hosanna, Loud Hosanna!

However, not all were happy with this celebratory time. The loudest voices crying out against this were many of the religious elite—scribes and Pharisees. Due to how Jesus presented Himself and the things He did caused them to reject Him out of hand and seek a way, any way to kill Him. Jesus did not do what they expected Him to do—to bring to an end the rule of the Romans.

During the week to come Jesus (and His disciples) would face unbelievable pain and suffering—physical, emotional, spiritual—culminating in Jesus’ death on a cross and His resurrection three days later. The week that started out so cheerfully and vibrantly on Sunday, ends in deep darkness, horror, and solemnity on Friday. The most exciting news is yet to come!   

Palm Sunday was the high point of Jesus’ ministry (the one time He was popular), while celebrating the significance of this day in Jesus’ ministry, may we reflectively prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Easter. This day also fulfilled a prophecy from Zechariah 9:9.

From [url=] 

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Jesus, with the crowd that welcomed You into Jerusalem, we lift our voices to praise You.  We remember the joy of this day, while remembering the pain and horror yet to come—followed by Your victory over death, sin, and the grave that is coming. Thank You for all that You did for us, while we were yet sinners.  Cause us to remember all that You did for us, because of Your deep love for us.  In Your name, we pray. Amen

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, March 11, 2016

Serving in Jesus’ Name: Mission Trip

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  (Colossians 3:17 KJV)

Mountains in Mexico

Several years ago the church I was active in organized a mission trip (for youth and adults) to Mexico.  They went during the school district’s spring break.  Due to circumstances beyond my control (and a lack of a passport), I was unable to participate.

The goal of the trip was to spread the love of Jesus to those who were needy in a variety of ways—physical and spiritual.  In doing this, they “gave a cup of water” to people who were thirsty—spiritually, as well as physically, or provided clothing to those who were naked (see Matthew 25:31-46).

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
(Matthew 25:31-46 KJV)

Mexican slums

Jesus’ words from the gospel of Matthew shared above, should convict us and point us to reach out to others who are suffering and in need—whether they are in another country or in our community.  How we treat others does matter—as we care for them, we care for Jesus!  What we do really does matter, and as we can see from the Colossians passage (above) all that we do, should be able to be done in Jesus’ name.  (That in and of itself should cause us to stop and assess the things we do and how we spend our time.)   

How does this change how we view the world and our responsibility in it?

It is through giving of ourselves that we truly receive.  In fact, it is through serving others that we are served (ministered to).  I have heard stories from people who visited a church member who was dying from cancer.  They went to bless her; however, they left blessed—feeling they had received far more than they gave her.  (In blessing others, we are blessed.)

We do not have to go all that far (or spend a large sum of money) to do mission work or to serve others in the name of Jesus.  My guess is we may have neighbors (next door, across the street, behind us) who are hurting and in need in ways that we could not fathom.  (They may have an abundance of “worldly goods”; while their souls languish.)

Mountains in Mexico

Many around us are hurting and struggling in a variety of ways and need to experience the love of Christ every bit as much as the precious people of Mexico.  Take a look around you—the possibilities and endless!  What we do for others should be done in the name of Jesus (no matter where we are located geographically).  As we serve from our hearts, expecting nothing in return, transformation happens—within ourselves and within those we help.  Our actions could possibly lead another person into God’s kingdom.

How have you served or how are you serving in Jesus’ name?

What have you experienced on a mission trip?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord of Love, guide us in our service to those around us; help us to do what we do in the name of Jesus, expecting nothing in return.  Thank You for all of Your many blessings on our lives—may we in turn bless others.  Inspire us to use our gifts and talents to benefit others and You.  In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, March 4, 2016

A Few Thoughts on God’s Possessive Love

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  …  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  
(1 John 4:7, 11 KJV)

A number of years ago, I spent a week visiting my friend Neena and her family.  The week was meaningful in many ways.  At that time, Neena and Roger’s daughter, Daria, was about three (she is now a teenager!).  Daria was a typical, bright, and energetic toddler—inquisitive and of course, possessive.  

Kim at almost three years old

One day the three of us were in the car going to a restaurant Neena wanted me to experience.  Daria suddenly said, “My mommy.  My daddy.  My Kim.” Too cute!  Neena had her repeat it for affect. Ah, to experience the possessiveness, acceptance, and love of a toddler!  It was a healing balm to my heart.

Kim at almost three years old

Reflecting on this later, I saw how this demonstrated not only how God possesses us but also how God loves us.  Our God is a loving God who desires our whole heart—no divided loyalties—(see Matthew 6:24).  By giving God our whole heart we find freedom we have never before experienced.

While toddlers are possessive and prone to tantrums when their possessions are taken from them or when they do not get their way; God allows us the ability to walk away from Him or to give Him little thought or simply not acknowledge His presence.  Our God protects His child, His treasured possession, in the storms of life. Yes, God’s love is a possessive, stubborn love—it is a love that allows, His child to grow and thrive—becoming the person He created us to become.


When was the last time you felt that type of love from God?  What about from others?  I pray that each person can truly experience this type of healing love. Love that heals, love that is not domineering, controlling, or suffocating is the love God readily gives us.  What is your response to God’s love?

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  
(Isaiah 11:6 KJV)

When we stop long enough to ponder; we can see the truth in Isaiah’s words (in the passage above): “…and a little child shall lead them.”  We can learn so very much from children, if we take the time to listen to them and reflect on their words.  My friend’s little girl taught me a simple but profound lesson—a lesson that I desperately needed to learn (or perhaps re-learn)—that I was precious, unique, and worthy to be accepted because I was alive.  This was a lesson that God knew I needed, after a very difficult season of living a life I was not meant to live; enduring treatment I was not meant to experience.

Jesus saw the value of children (in a society that placed little value on them) and took time for them.  What is our response to the children in our lives? How are we at taking time for children, especially to listen to what they are saying or not saying?  The responsibility is great; however, with God’s guidance, children can blossom into faithful believers of the next generation.  We need them and they need us!

What have you learned from a child?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your possessive, stubborn love for us.  It is only through You—knowing You—that we can truly love You and each other. Open our hearts and minds to what You have for us to learn from the children You have placed around us.  O that we would have that childlike openness to include others in love and accept them for their inner qualities.  Empower us to accept and love each other—seeing each person and event from Your perspective.  Without Your help, we cannot love others as we should.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,