Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · searching

I wish we’d all been ready

Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready

Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready

There’s no time to change your mind
How could you have been so blind
The father spoke the demons dined
The son has come and you’ve been left behind

You’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Larry Norman
I Wish We’d All Been Ready lyrics © Ordure Blanc Music

As a kid I loved this song. It was sort of dark and moody and I liked that. As I grew older and the tune gave way to the words I still liked it for it’s powerful meaning, but now as 2022 has been in full swing for five months and we see how much worse things are getting this song breaks my heart, because I see it. I’m not saying Jesus is coming tomorrow or trying to prophesy end times, I am just saying we need to have eyes that are open. You might sound crazy if you mention the word apocalypse, until you are proven right. This might not be it. Jesus might not be returning for another two thousand years for all we know, but I wish we were all ready. I have heard the people call us Christians fanatics and Jesus freaks and other things I can’t say. I get it. We look crazy to some people, we talk about an all powerful God who takes away sin and makes us clean, a God who loves us as we are and is willing to help us be better. We talk about a paradise and a second coming and Heavenly beings. We sound a little crazy. But if you have met Him. Heart to heart, and found a true connection. If you have seen Him do amazing things, if you have been in darkness and then met His perfect light, you know that you aren’t crazy, you know that He is real and what He says is true.
Don’t get discouraged by the bribes and threats of the fallen world around us. Stay strong and continue to follow.
My Poppa who has been an evengelical minister for seventy some years said something really good the other day.
‘Those in the stands will always find criticism in those running the race, but those who have crossed the finish line will cheer you on.’
Those who aren’t aiming for Heaven will always find fault in those who are, but that doesn’t mean that those who are striving toward God are wrong, it means that the people in the stands aren’t running, they don’t understand the race and have nothing better to do then yell at the people who are down on the track sweating it out. But the people who have run the race and are watching from Heaven, they know what it’s like, they understand and are cheering you on. Don’t give up because the guy buying peanuts in row three seat A5 thinks that you should do something differently, is he running? No. So how does he know what you should do?
Look closer at that guy who is challenging you to give up, do you see the sneer and…is his toungue forked? Never doubt that the one telling you to stop being a Jesus Freak is the devil. It doesn’t matter whose voice he uses to dissuade you, it’s the deciver trying to make you give up. So keep going. And when you can’t run, walk, and when you can’t walk, kneel. Jesus is there beside you cheering you on too. I wish we’d all been ready, but just as much I pray that those who are ready don’t give up before the race is won.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love

He cares

He cares.

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am at how amazing God is. There are so many moments when I don’t ask God for help because I don’t even know that the thing that could have been disastrous without God’s intervention happened. There are small things, like coming home and realizing the hair straightener was left on all day but did not burn the house down. Then there are big things, like me letting my dog out and having him chase the six big deer in our yard, yet by some miracle they didn’t kill him. Or having a driver who is high on who knows what, swerve into my lane, I hit my breaks and head for the ditch and the person swerves back into their lane seconds before I am killed annnnnnd the guy behind me doesn’t hit me as I try to avoid a head on.
These things you didn’t know you needed to pray for so you didn’t, yet God stopped you from being hurt. The words lucky and coincidence come up so often when these things happen, but if you know God, then you know it was Him who saved you. They have an old saying about magic, if you don’t look for it you will never see it. The same could be said about God, if you don’t look for him you will never see him. It is too easy to throw aside God’s goodness and try to explain away his truth, but he is there just open your eyes. And. One more thing we forget. God cares more about us and more about the people, the animals, and the things we care about then we ever possibly could, they’re his creation after all. We forget that he cares because we can explain away his goodness, but if we give the credit where credit is due we will realize that God is always watching over us and that He truly cares about us. As my Poppa sings, “Jesus loves even me.” Don’t forget that.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love

Carried in His arms

I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4


Isn’t it wonderful? He even carries us. He doesn’t have to. He could simply show us where to go and wait paitently through our weak moments until we get there ourselves, but instead He carries us.
You might say, “um, I have never noticed God lift me into His arms and carry me.”
That’s because you thinking of a physical sensation of being picked up. He doesn’t carry us like we would carry eachother, He carries us in spirit. When our spirit has fallen and is weak God picks up and carries us in spirit. When we are tired in body, He helps us in our spirit. Even if you are exhausted and injured an unbroken spirit will keep you moving forward. God binds up and strengthens our powerhouse, our soul, our mind. When your mind claims it can’t go on and can’t do it, then you really do have a struggle. But when your body says ‘I can’t do it’ and your soul and mind says ‘oh yes we can!’ Then you have a fighting chance.
God carries our spirit. God. The creater of the universe. Carries us.
Don’t ever forget that.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent · The Bible · True Joy

Death accepted, death defeated- Jesus is RISEN!

All this lent time, all our lives, all of Jesus’ ministry comes down to these words of Paul:

And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So, you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again? And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.  And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right and stop sinning. For to your shame, I say that some of you don’t know God at all.
1 Corinthians 15:12-25, 27-34 NLT

In movies when death is defeated it means the MC was half killed, as Mad Max from Princess Bride says, ‘he’s only mostly dead.’
That was not the case for Jesus, He was completely dead and buried before that third day when He walked out of the tomb. Death defeated means that Jesus walked up to the devil, took the keys from his hand, and strode out of hell with all our souls in His hands. We still sometimes choose to return to death and hell by not choosing to believe in Jesus, but we no longer belong to the devil, we belong to Heaven and Jesus.
Carmen imagined what today was like for the devil as two fighters in a ring, the final blow was struck and everyone even tje demons were shocked that Jesus had gone down, this is how he says it:
God the Father turned His head
His tears announcing Christ was dead!
The 10 count would proclaim the battle’s end
Then Satan trembled through his sweat in unexpected horror, yet…
As God started to count by saying
“…10…”
“Hey wait a minute, God…” “…9…” “Stop! You’re counting wrong…”
“…8…”
His eyes are moving…
“…7…”
His fingers are twitching…
“…6…”
“Where’s all this Light coming from?”
“…5…”
“He’s alive!”
“…4…”
“Oh – nooooo!”
“…3…”
“And yet,”
“…2…”
“Oh…Yessssss!
“…1…”
He has won!
He has won!
He’s alive forevermore!

He was killed. He is risen. He took the keys of death from the devil and waits, sharpening His sword for the day when He comes back for us, because He is our avenging warrior coming back to destroy the enemy, and there is an enemy, don’t get into the train of thought where you feel that the devil is not moving against you, because he is. But! Jesus is here with us! His spirit is within us, His Holy Spirit guides us! He has won our souls if we give them back to Him. Stop taking your life out of His hands, He cares more about you then you could ever care about yourself. He died for you. Would you suffer even for the sake of your own life? Jesus died, and He rose again. Why is that important? Because if He did not rise again then we have no hope, but He did rise, and we are saved.
Prayer:
Oh Jesus, how saved we are. Beyond this life, beyond us, beyond it all is You and You saved us. Glory to God! Let us sit in your presence forever. Thank you, God, for you alone are our Hope and Safe place! There are no words but thank you, and it is not enough, but it is all we can say, so we say thank you. Amen.

encouragement · free · Jesus · lent

Good Friday, why are you so hard to get right?

Lent devotional 38

Every year Good Friday comes and I fight to know what to say. Violence and suffering seems woven into the seams of earth and we as people have become so sensored to it that Golgatha just slips past as another sad story, but we feel nothing. But Jesus was not just anyone, He was ours. He did this for us, He has a personal connection to us. He loves us. We forget that when we see the man being scourged until his back had no flesh left, the man being dragged up the hillside, the man being laid on the cross and having metal spikes being driven into His feet and hands, the man choking on His own blood as fluid fills His lungs, the man being mocked in death and buried in secret, the God raising again as conqueror over sin and death-He is ours, we love Him, we are Him, by that I mean He took all that siffering so that all our sins and failures and mistakes would be taken onto Him so we wouldn’t have to spend a second in purgatory. Next time you see Jesus on a cross don’t simply pass Him by, stop, see yourself in His scars and thank Him.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · lent · searching

All wet

Lent devotional 38

All wet

Today I was shoveling our steps to our house of the knee deep snowfall we had last night. Suddenly my shovel his something metal and I had a moment of that ‘I found treasure’ rush before fishing it out of the snow and finding it be the cross we have hanging on our door. The wind had blown it down in the storm. I put it aside, finished what I was doing and then took it around to the back of the house where I could leave it in a shelter to dry. I noticed that something was wrong with it as I inspected it for damage and soon realized that the ‘faith’ on the front of it was covered with snow, so I brushed it off and went inside.
Isn’t that so like life? We dig for something of value in this world and find a treasure of faith. Then a big storm hits and our faith gets blown around and beaten until it falls and becomes buried by the crushing weight of our problem. Then we start to clean up from our pain and problems little by litte, knowing that we need help, and there we find our faith waiting for us, just a little wet and a little buried by the snow. we pick it back up, dust it off, and place it back in our lives where it belongs. Storms are supposed to be conquered through faith, they aren’t supposed to win and knock our faith down. They aren’t supposed to, but sometimes they still do. But God is faithful to us and is ready to help us even when we lose our faith, even when we can’t take anymore, even when we fall asleep in the garden. It breaks His heart, but He gets it and doesn’t give up on us.
“Thank you Jesus for getting me even on days when my faith has taken a beating, I know you are always there and that though you may rebuke me, you will never stop loving me.”
Don’t be ashamed to face God and ask for forgiveness for falling asleep on watch, go to Him and reach for Him, He will hold you close and restore you, because even if you fail Him, He never fails you.

Christianity · Devotional · free · Jesus · lent · Love · searching · The Bible

Who is He?

Lent devotional 37

Who is He?

Two people walked past the platform in the street market. Amid the shouting of the vendors and the bartering of the shoppers you could hear a single voice raising. It said As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
Acts 13:25 NIV
“Who is he?” The one person asked the other.
“One of those followers of John I think.”
“Who is he speaking of?”
A shrug, “who knows, the man is crazy, he lives in the bush and rants about the Messiah.”
“Yes but, what if he is right?”
“And what if he is wrong?”
The two continue on and later find themselves arrested, each had stolen from the vendors as they passed through the streets. Their trial took several days and at last they were executed. While on the cross he had earned through his crime the man wondered again if his Messiah would truly return soon. He hoped ‘soon’ would be within the hour. Then he looked at the man next to him. His face, His eyes, they were not right, they did not belong next to him. His friend gloated and mocked the man in the middle. What was wrong? Why did He seem so out of place? So many mourned this man, so many seemed to hate Him, for what?
The man turned on his old companion and silenced him, deep down he knew that what he had heard was not the ravings of a man in the wilderness, it was the prophesy of one who believed he would see God. The man wanted that, even at this late hour while death stood waiting the man desired to see Heaven, to be free of guilt and shame. He turned to see sad eyes staring at him, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The face smiled, “today we will be together in Paradise.”

We don’t know much about the two men who died with Jesus and though the scriptural parts are true the rest is an idea, an idea of how the man with Jesus whom Luke claims came to know God in his final moments might have felt, had he heard John or one lf his deciples speak of Christ? Had it simply been the presence of Jesus Himself that turned the man’s heart? Maybe he had been at the sermon on the mount? We don’t know. All we know is that Luke says he asked to come into God’s kingdom with Jesus and Jesus said ‘yes’. Was this man significant to the story? Yes. And God would have known that. We needed to see that it is never too late and you are never too far gone for God to save you. It is so important to remember that. He wants you with Him. That was the point of all this. So that you could come to know Jesus and be with Him forever.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent

Forgive them

Lent devotional 36

Have you ever been so sad that it turned to anger? I have. I’ve seen things that broke my heart so bad I was angry, in fact I was moving to action in my anger, that’s why God gave us moms because they say, ‘don’t be crazy girl, just go eat chocolate and feel better.’
I wish that chocolate could fix the situation, all it can do is soothe my heart. Jesus went to temple to meet His Father, there He saw a Holy place desecrated. It wasn’t the animals that ruined the glory there, it was the dark hearts of the people looking to make extra money, and the people who wanted fast and easy service for buying their sacrifices. No honor. No respect for who God is. Just quick ritual and done, moving on with life. That broke Jesus’ heart, how dare they! Didn’t they know He was about to die for them? Of course they didn’t. How could they? These people never followed Him. In His pain turned anger He drove them out of His Father’s temple. I love this. It reminds us that He was human too. So sad and angry that He reacted to the situation. To think only days later He would die on a cross and say ‘Father forgive them.’ Why could He ask for their pardon after being so angry with them just days before? Because even in His anger He loved them. He saw every one of those lazy and greedy people as He hung on that cross and said ‘Father forgive them.’ He saw the soldiers, Pilot, Caiaphas, His Deciples, the mockers, the mourners, He saw you and me and said ‘Father forgive them.’
His anger is brief, His love is eternal.

Christianity · Devotional · free · Jesus · lent · Love · searching · The Bible

Betrayed love

Lent devotional 32

Betrayed love

His head hung as the smile left his lips. This wasn’t right. Was it?
He took a deep breath and leaned in for the kiss.
This was wrong. Wasn’t it?
He looked into the eyes of the man before him. So filled with pain and sorrow. This is so very wrong. The other man just stared. Then his eyes moved past his betrayer to the soldiers behind.
What have I done?
The betrayer ran away, leaving his friend, no longer his friend. He ran and ran until he couldn’t run anymore as grief and guilt tore his soul.
What have we done?

What have we done?
How many of us have betrayed our Jesus at one time or another? Yet He still loves us. That has never changed.
His heart breaks as we betray Him. His heart loves us still and that is why it breaks.
What a paradox. What a mystery. That the king would leave His royal throne, to save a wretch like me. -Petra
We are all wretches, loved by a loyal king.
Reach out to Him today. He is reaching out to you.

If you have never accepted Jesus. Or feel a need to renew your faith. Please pray with me:

Dear Jesus.
I am a sinner and I know I need salvation. Forgive me for my sins.
Thank you for coming to earth to save me.
I accept you into my life now. Guide me to know you more.
Amen.

Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent

Sparrows

Lent devotional 31

Sparrows

God says His eye is on the sparrow. I love this because of the bird He chose to name. He didn’t say peacock or flamingo or eagle, He said sparrow. The most commonly found, plain, tiny bird out there, that is the one God named. I love our sparrows in our yard, they remind me of God’s compassion. I see the extra feathers deep under the top layer of feathers that these small birds fluff up to stay warm, I see the way they come and go in a multitude for protection but once in a while will flit over to the bird feeder alone only to whisk away at the slightest movement from inside the house. I see the way God provides deep branches in the forest around us so that these birds have shelter, I see their courage when defending against a preditor. God equipped these tiny, ordinary birds so that they could do great things to survive. He equipped us in the same way. He gives us answers to the needs we have. He watches over us and lifts us up when we have stumbled. He gives us the abilities to weather all storms and He alone hides us in the shelter of His wings.
You may feel small, plain, one in thousands; but God sees you, His eye is on you and He is taking care of you. You are not ordinary or insignificant, you are loved and cherished, more than you could ever know.