Love Remains

Easter weekend quickly approaches and some will be focused on the cross, and some on the chocolate bunnies.  I will be focused on Jesus and my new year with Him.  In case you don’t understand, I believe my new year to be Easter Sunday not January 1.  I do celebrate the changing of the yearly number, but it is more important to me to celebrate the changing of my soul each year.

We go through so much in a year.  Joys, sorrows, struggles, miracles; you name it, we humans experience it.  So I like to think of Good Friday as the day Jesus takes my past year to the middle of hell and leaves all the bad stuff there.  My brat ways, my control freak persona, my self-centered absorption, unkind words thought and said, and anything else along those lines.  Then Jesus brings back the better side of me, especially my heart.  And on Easter Sunday, I start a new Christian year!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Humans die, kingdom don’t last, fads fade away, countries rise and fall because nothing stays the same.  We are all evolving.  The one who has never changed and will never change is Jesus.  Love remains!

This year why not start a new year with me?  No resolutions or fad diets required.  Just the love of Jesus Christ in your life to share with others!

Love Remains by the Scott Family is the perfect video to explain how I feel.  Like I have said before, if I could sing, I would sing for you.  But I want to protect your ears!

I pray this music blesses you the way it blessed my heart!

 

Charity PanHandlers ( A Phone Call Away)

My family and myself had a Sunday reminiscent of Sunday’s past.  We went to church, had a lunchtime supper, and came home to rest.  Not to mow the yard or other chores waiting for us, we just wanted to rest.  So, my husband and myself decided we should take a nap.

Around 30 minutes into the nap, our house phone rang.  I jumped up quickly to answer the phone and not disturb my husband. The authoritative male voice (on the other side) told me he represented a law enforcement charity and wanted to know if I would help the officers and their families out.  I politely explained to him that I would have to research his charity to find out how much of the donations actually went to officers and their families, before I could give him my decision.

He readily gave me the information of 10 % of all donations went to officers and their families. I shook my head and asked him didn’t he think that was not much money and was it because they had large salaries being paid to those head of the charity.  Maybe next time I would want to give, was his response.  End of conversation.

So many people are proud to say they run a non-profit or charity, because it is the new career where you can earn big bucks!  Just like the highway panhandlers, who do it because they make $500 to $700 dollars a day by only looking ragged and holding their hand out.  I understand some of these panhandlers do this because they mentally or physically can not hold down a job.  And they have my empathy and money. But the rest of these scam artists and scam charities make my blood boil!

The next thing  I did was to pull my American Heritage Dictionary out and look up the word charity.

3.  An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy.

I don’t see the words to help yourself to the money listed or pay yourself a salary from the charity either!  Maybe if a looked up selfish or charity selfish, I might find those instructions listed.

Charity from the Christian perspective means love.  Jesus did address the type of charity, where you take care of the needy in Matthew 25:34-36, 40.

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”

So whatever action a charity takes concerning the division of funds, they also do it against Jesus Christ.  While a charity CEO makes $100,000, $150,000, or even $ 250,000 a year; the trickle down of the donation may result in Jesus Christ receiving a nickel or even a penny.  They are giving Jesus Christ, the one who saved them from death,  a penny.  Jesus Christ, who gives life everlasting, mercy, grace, and love to each person equally.  These upper class panhandlers, pull a paltry penny from their pockets for their Savior.

Do you see it from my perspective?  The next time you are asked to give to a charity, find out how much goes to salaries and how much goes to the people/Jesus.  You may even find out these charities have been reported for not dispersing the funds.

You can go to http://www.charitynavigator.org and find out the best charities and the scammer charities.

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

 

Salt and Light

The next section of Matthew is 5:13-16. Jesus is speaking the whole time concerning us and how we should be as His followers. And I love the fact Jesus uses everyday items to help us visualize what He is teaching. Sort of teaching without teaching.

First Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth.  We know we came from dust and will return to dust, but in our dust is the extravagant sprinkling of God:i.e. our salt. If salt is used for flavoring food, then what kind of flavoring is our salt from God?

Do we make the taste buds of others, who want to know about Jesus Christ, tingle and salivate for more?  Or do we make them feel like they are eating dirt?

Jesus also tells us that when salt looses its’ saltiness, salt cannot get the taste back.  And Jesus suggests that the salt should be thrown out and trampled by men. Wow, fortunately for us, we are covered with His Grace and can come back to Him to regain our saltiness.

In the next paragraph, Jesus calls us the light of the world. Jesus reminds us that we don’t try to hide a light, but we set it out to illuminate our rooms.  What if we, Christians, were like  glow sticks, waving through the darkness for others to find their way to Jesus?  And if we are a Jesus glow stick, our brightness should be powered by our actions and words toward others.

Let me ask you…”How brightly do you glow?”

The last line of Chapter five is important to mention.

The words of our Lord and Savior…

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

I wanted to quote this line because my study bible tells me Matthew uses the term “Father in heaven” or “heavenly Father” seventeen times in his gospel.  Mark and Luke use the term only once and John not at all. Just an interesting side note.

Well, here we are the salt and light to the world.  Except in our humanness there are times we are a robust flavoring of Jesus Christ, and other times we are dirt. The same with our light.  At stages in our lives we burn so brightly we could power New York City and other stages we are like a lighted match in a dark cave.

But through it all, we are covered by grace.  Amazing Grace! Which allows us to regain our saltiness and power boost our light.

If you feel like you have lost your flavoring and glow, talk to God.  He will wrap His arms around you and power charge your soul, while sprinkling you with His salty love!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

The Sweet Fragrance of Love

I want to share with you a dream I had the other night.  And it brought 2 Corinthians 2:15 to life for me. For those of you who will say that it happened because I read or was studying 2 Corinthians, nothing could be farther from the truth.  I am working on the book of Matthew right now.

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

In my dream I was sitting on a couch sectional which was U-shaped.  There were two other, older couples each one in an area of the U. Our conversation was about my father.  They had known him and wanted something of his to remember him.

I found myself handing each of them items, that I have no clue where they came.  We talked a little about the items. And then I was handed a many-colored striped shirt, almost like those flannel coat-shirts you see in hunting magazines.

Immediately I said, “Oh, no I can not give this shirt because it reminds me of my father, it smells just like him.”

For those of you who know me, know I can not smell anymore. The auto-immune disease along with the numerous facial surgeries has destroyed my sense of smell.  Even in my dream, I thought it was odd for me.

Then I buried my face into the shirt, and took a deep breath.  I so wish the internet had smell-a-vision! For it was unlike any smell which I retain within my memory bank.

The shirt smelled fragrant, but not overpowering; warm, gentle, pleasing, and full of love.  The next breath I breathed deeply into my lungs.  My body was filled with the warmth and love of the fragrance. I was so happy, with a happiness that comes from another dimension.  And I knew it was Jesus!

I woke up praising God and dancing around. Jesus just sent me a love note to remind me that even in sorrow and difficult times He is there with me!

Oh, I know the scientific minds will equate this to missing my father and my brain working it out.  But my heart knows my brain had nothing to do with this, Jesus did.

And that is why I am sharing a bible study starting with Matthew.  I want people to realize that with a good study bible, God’s word can come alive in their lives.  You can have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, with Him as your bride groom.  Even when you think you are going through the worst moments in your life, Christ is there. Hold on to Him tightly, and He will see you through.

My earthly father told me a week before he went home (passed) that there were moments in his life he thought were so bad.  But they were all good.

Jesus Christ wants to do this for all of His children. We just have to let Him.

If God would grant me one wish. I would want everyone who reads my blogs to leave with the fragrant smell of Christ lingering in their nostrils!

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

I Learned Something New!

Yesterday I joined a Christian forum and one of the individuals had posted about the Arabic Symbol which means NUN. The symbol is in the picture above.

 

It refers to the word Nazarene, which is what Christians have been called since the 7th century in the Middle Eastern countries.  The word when used, means to portray us as contemptible and disobedient.

But what I did not know is that, Isis uses the symbol to mark homes of Christians in the Middle East. Either to shame them, have them killed, or to run them out of the country. They try to use our own symbol of Jesus against us.

It will never mean contemptible or disobedient to me. For me, the symbol is a symbol of love. Because it is the symbol of my Lord, Jesus Christ! If we must wear a label in this world, instead of Michael Jordan or Ralph Lauren, Nazarene should be it!

“He will be called a Nazarene.” Matthew, end of the sentence in 2:23.

Our media should be “The Nazarene.”

Our publishers should be “Nazarene Publications.”

Our clothes should be by the designers, “Nazarene.”

Bottled water should be, “Nazarene Living Water.”

I guess I am going a little over board. But when we allow others to disgrace our true moniker, they disgrace our Christ. I am proud to be a Nazarene who follows the one, true Nazarene Jesus Christ!

Maybe if we flooded the world; its’ apparel, technology, food, and anything else which requires signage, we might perk up some curiosity. And then we can tell the world about the real Nazarene, Jesus Christ.  Conversation must start somewhere, why not with the symbol of the Nazarene?

Of course those wearing the symbol, whether representing a person or a company, must adhere to Jesus’ rules for life. Because it is through demonstration the message is accepted. You can’t wear a t-shirt with the symbol and then cuss someone out who made you mad. But you can state your point of view. Jesus did.

I am probably dreaming the impossible, I always do.

So for now, we Nazarene, must go forward and live our lives according to God’s will and Jesus’ ways. And pray for this world.

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

The Magi and The Terrorists

Well, I choose my title after the happenings in France yesterday. I do think I should get back to Matthew and we must concentrate our efforts on loving change in this world. But I want to show that those who are evil and power-hungry terrorist have been around forever.

In, Matthew 2:1-12 , we see the Magi inquiring about the baby who is the Messiah.  They are on a journey, following the star, to give gifts to honor our Lord’s birth! Matthew makes sure to emphasize that the baby was born in Bethlehem in Judea. Once again confirming what the prophets had stated in the Old Testaments. And that the blood line came from King David. Which is very important to the Jewish community!

We are told King Herod, the people’s chief priests, and the teachers are extremely disturbed about the news.  These are our terrorists. Because to me, anyone who wants to kill my Jesus and stop the spread of His loving message is a terrorist! And that is what we are seeing in today’s world.

I am told in my study bible that Herod lived a murderous and opulent lifestyle. He murdered his family members including his own wife and children.  Later on we will see him murder the babies of Bethlehem. His insatiable desire for power, control, and greed will eventually be his downfall. As with all of those who strive to further their terrorism.

The terrorists fear the birth of the Messiah, because now the people will not indulge in assisting their lifestyles of carnage, luxury, and breaking every one of the Ten Commandments. Then the terrorists control is diminished, and the people led by God would rise to the call and vanquish them!

Ok, stepping down from my soapbox…

For now, we see Herod telling the Magi to let him know when they find the baby, so he can worship the Messiah too. What a liar!

The Magi followed the star and found Jesus with his mother.

In a study group, I attended years ago, it was explained that baby Jesus was probably months old. You have to understand that travel, whether on foot or camel, takes some time.

The Magi presented Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh. And then returned to their country by another route. Because God stepped in to make sure evil would not alter His plan for our salvation. In a dream the Magi were warned about Herod and his evil plans.

Once again, love prevails because God has already won the war! He won it the first day of creation and His plans will not be altered. We, as Christians, should step up to win the battles in our homes, streets, communities, and nation!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

Matthew and Jesus’ Birth

Matthew 1:18, begins with “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”

Now, in the those days in Jewish culture being pledged was as solid as already being married. And Joseph would have to divorce Mary, which would publicly disgrace her and she could possibly be stoned. Being a compassionate man, Joseph decided he would do divorce Mary quietly.

Well, an angel of the Lord decided to set Joseph straight and came to him in a dream. The angel told Joseph that Mary was carrying the Holy Spirit’s child. And they would call him, Jesus, because he would save his people from their sin.

Matthew reminds the Jewish people, this was fulfilled through what the prophet Isaiah said, when he retold what Isaiah had said in Isaiah 7:14.  Which is very important, because in the old testament, the prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah.  The information from the prophets was how the Jewish people would know He was the Messiah.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, “God with us.”

Matthew ends Chapter 1 stating that Joseph did what the angel told him and took Mary as his wife.  We are also informed that there was no marital union until she gave birth and they named the child Jesus.

Wow, everything appears to fall into place, but can you imagine the complexity of it all back then? And what about the weight Mary carried on her shoulders by becoming Jesus’ mother? He may have been her Lord, but first Jesus was her baby boy. Any mother can relate to the maternal feelings of having a child.

And then Joseph, a Jewish man with compassion enough to allow the woman he was going to marry carry another’s child. You have to know that his faith in God was much larger than a mustard seed. Joseph had the faith the size of a mountain or even bigger!

You know, Joseph reminds me of great step-dads.  To me, the definition of a great step-dad is one who marries a woman who has children from another marriage or man.  And proceeds to love the child or children as if they were born to him. There is never an accounting of the money spent on raising the child/children. It is all equal among all family members; i.e. the love, money and time.

In this first chapter we are shown great love and faith, between God and His people. And in return great faith and love from the people to God. I believe what came before Jesus was love, what came with Jesus was love, and what should come after Jesus is love!

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior! Joseph and Mary are my heroes!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!