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HAPPY EASTER!

I loved our last Easter post so much, I am going to share it with you again this year.
Thank You Jesus for what You have done for us!

Have a beautiful Easter everyone, celebrating the Love of Our Risen King!  

Last weekend at church we sang a song called “We Exalt Thee”.  It is a wonderful, older song, and many different artists have performed it throughout the years.  As I was singing and exalting The Lord, I was thanking Him for all that He has done in my life.  My mind then drifted back to when I first became a Christian.  I saw myself standing and singing the very same song at a meeting many years ago.  The chorus went,  “I Exalt Thee.  I Exalt Thee.  I Exalt Thee, Oh Lord”.  I, however, sang what I thought was the refrain;  “I Am Sorry. I Am Sorry. I Am Sorry, Oh Lord!!!”, over and over again.  Tears streamed down my face as the shame of my past and the focus on my failings prevented me from hearing the true lyrics  of the song.

You see, I didn’t yet realize what Jesus had done when He chose to die for me on The Cross.  I did not know that as He received the lashes on His body, He brought healing to my life.  I didn’t know that when they pressed the crown of thorns into His head, every unkind word of judgment spoken against me, both past and present, would be rendered powerless when I presented them to Him. That as He suffered on The Cross, He bore the weight of my every sin. I didn’t fully understand that when He conquered death and rose again, He bought eternal life .  Now I realize, that as He looked at me standing there weeping, He saw me as whole and forgiven because of His suffering on The Cross.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate Easter.  What a wonderful time to begin your new life with Jesus.   He will walk with you daily as you experience His Great Love for you.  He will lift you out of your shame and fill you with joy, as you sing your praises to Him.

Opening The Door is one of the most important pages on this site.  It explains how to invite Jesus into your life.
Growing in Faith gives helpful information on how to move forward after you have done so.

Luke 24:6,7 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Mathew 18:19,20 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Matthew 28:6 KJV. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said…

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Getting Even-Jesus’ Way!

Last week I was driving through a parking lot when a young man backed into the passenger door of my car. He said he was sorry and that he hadn’t seen me. Indeed, there was a larger vehicle to his right which had blocked his line of vision. I acknowledged that it wasn’t intentional and said that I was sorry this had happened to our day. As he expressed concern that his mother was going to kill him, we exchanged information and parted ways. Unfortunately, I have not heard from him since.

My insurance company has tried to contact him based on the information he provided, but to no avail. It looks like that well mannered, apologetic young man fooled me. It seems as though he has no intention of taking responsibility for his mistake. So I have decided that I am going to get even. I am going to forgive him, then I am going to pray.

I am going to ask The Lord to pursue this young man. That He draws him to Himself. I am going to ask for blessing in his life and his finances, and that he will know the goodness of God.

Yes, Jesus knows this young man’s real phone number and insurance information. He knows his relationship with his Mom. He sees the wounds from his past and wants to heal them. He knows every moment of his day. When Jesus looks at him He sees the great plans that He has for him. He sees him through the sacrifice of His Blood.

Matthew 5:44 KJV 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

Romans 12:2121Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Luke 6:3737Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

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The Freezer

In the 40 years we have been married, my husband and I have had home grown beef in our freezer. Every time it has been near empty, we have chosen just the right animal from our herd to fulfill their purpose for us. It has been such a blessing. I never order beef when we go out to a restaurant because there is none that can compare to what we have grown and fed out ourselves. That, however, is about to change. Our supply is almost depleted and we no longer have cattle.

Last week as I reached deep down and grabbed one of our few remaining packages of hamburger, my mind went back to a very busy time in our lives. We had two small children and I worked in town part time. There was housework to accomplish, a lawn to mow, bills to be payed and meals to prepare. In addition, one particularly busy day, I received notice that our meat was ready to pick up from the butcher. That meant our very old, very large freezer would need to be defrosted and cleaned by the next morning.

Now this was no small task as ice had been accumulating since the last time we had put in a beef. I used a hair dryer to speed up the melting process and then sopped the water out of the bottom of the chest. This required that I balance on the edge on my stomach and reach in. It must have looked comical, my 5’1″ frame half in the freezer as my legs stuck out, periodically swinging wildly in the air. In addition, from time to time I would lose balance and my shoulders would disappear from sight. I would then struggle to regain my stability before I could continue my task. It was during one of those times that our phone rang. It was our neighbor, Bob.

“What are you up to?” he asked in all innocence, as he tried to determine where my husband was. “Cleaning the freezer!” I complained as I grumbled about my cold fingers and the poor timing of the meat’s readiness. Without missing a beat he responded, ” I will clean out my freezer and you can bring it to my house if you like”.

The reality of my attitude hit me like a ton of bricks.

I never complained about cleaning our freezer again.
No.
Never, not ever, again.

Lord, help me to be thankful! To remember the many blessings in my life! May I focus on the good in those around me, and trust You to deal with their “frost”. May I walk faithfully through difficult circumstances as I trust in You. Forgive me when I complain and grumble. Help me to live each day with a grateful heart.

Philippians 2:14 KJV Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 9:1 KJV  9 I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.

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Perfection Not Required

I made a mistake last week. Actually, two. With the first, I neglected to listen to sound advice. For the second, I hurt someone’s feelings. I didn’t tell them something they would have liked to have known, and it made them feel left out.

There was a time that I would have been upset for days, berating myself for what had taken place. I would have worried, been fearful, and felt guilty. My emotions would have become a barrier between Jesus and I. However, with The Lord’s help, I have decided I don’t do that anymore!

Instead, I do what I can to correct mistakes when I make them. I turn to Jesus, not away from Him. I seek to learn from my errors so that I don’t repeat them. I apologize to others and ask them to forgive me. I forgive myself and ask for The Lord’s forgiveness as well. Then having done everything that I know to do, I release every detail to Him. (More than once if it need be!).

Yes, there are often consequences for our mistakes. Sometimes we have to walk those consequences out. Yet God, who sees from the beginning to the end, has promised to use them for our good. He will not condemn or turn His back on us. He stands ready when we ask for His help. Our Heavenly Father sees us through eyes of pure love.

In a world that is looking for perfection, it is good to remember:

With Jesus,

PERFECTION IS NOT REQUIRED!

Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness

Ephesians 1:4 NKJV. 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose

Romans 8:1 KJV There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:39 KJVNor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 103:14 NKJV 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.


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Good Morning Lord!

I awoke this morning before the alarm went off, my to do list the first thing on my mind. I asked the Lord to order my steps throughout the day. As I started to make specific requests I realized; I hadn’t even said Good Morning! Instead, I had begun my needs inventory without giving thanks and praising Him. Immediately I corrected my error:

Thank You Lord for Your goodness! You are Amazing and Mighty and Holy! You are the Creator of the Universe, still, today You will walk with me. Thank You for watching over me through the night. For my husband and family and friends! You have given me so many people to love. I trust You with their lives… and so I continued…

As my feet hit the floor a short time later, my attitude was changed. No longer preoccupied with the heaviness of my cares, my heart was filled with joy.

Today will be an adventure with Jesus. I am so very thankful that He is with us wherever we go! Yes, He wants to help us with our needs, but He desires ever so much more for us. He wants us to take His hand and run with Him! To include Him in everything we do! He wants us to talk to Him as we go about our day! He is right here waiting to be invited! He is a gentleman. He will not push His way in.

Psalm 59:16 NKJV But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.

Isaiah 41:13 KJV For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Colossians 3:15 NKJV 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Psalms 106:1 KJV- Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.


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Don’t Tell Anyone… But

Psalm 141:3 KJV Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

At my last trip to the hair salon I was asked a personal question about my son, whom my hairdresser also knows. My answer was obviously vague. This is because I try not to talk about other people and their business. Sometimes, I’ve been told, to the point of being ridiculous! This topic, however, is very important to me.  I try to keep what I know about others to myself.  I often keep what I know about myself to myself as well. I have learned that different people have very different definitions of “confidentiality” from my own.

This doesn’t mean that a breach always happens out of intention or with malice. I have told people things in the past with a request that they not repeat it. To my shock, within the next hour I heard them report it to someone else over the phone.  When confronted with that fact, they said they had forgotten.  The truth is, they really had!

In another example, a family member told me that they had slipped and spilled the beans on a confidence. They were mortified and filled with regret as this was a rare occurrence for them.

Others are an open book, and don’t care what anyone knows about their lives.  They simply can’t understand how someone may not feel the same way. Maintaining confidence doesn’t even enter their mind.

Gossip, (idle talk about the affairs of others), is particularly harmful. It most often is intentional, though one can become so accustomed to engaging in it that they are not aware of what they are doing. A bad thing about gossip is that it not only affects the person being spoken about, but it is also a reflection of what is on the inside of the one doing the talking. When we are speaking about others, it is best to check the motive in our hearts.

We have a responsibility not to listen to gossip as well.  This can be difficult, as curiosity can get the best of us. Not too long ago a dear friend of mine experienced a betrayal.   It had really hurt. She asked me to pray for her, which I gladly did. I must admit, however, that I was curious as to who it was who had committed the offense.  Darned thing is, my friend wouldn’t tell me.  My admiration for her Godly Character grew stronger when she declined to answer my subtle hints and inquiries. She confirmed what I had already known about her; she is someone that I can trust my secrets to.

I want to be like her.

I want to be a person who Jesus deems trustworthy. One that can be used by God to bring comfort and prayer to others who are in need. Someone who can help carry the burdens of another. One with a heart that is open, but with lips that are tightly sealed.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Proverbs 11:13 NKJV A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

Proverbs 13:3 KJV He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

Titus 3:2 NKJV 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

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Heavy Rubble

I have a wonderful neighbor.  She is wise, loves Jesus, and loves me, too.  Oh, and she is a very powerful pray-er.  We meet on Tuesday mornings when we are able.  I appreciate her so very much.

This week as we were praying for someone we both know, a picture came to my mind.  She said it might be good to share on ALME in case it would be helpful to someone.  I decided to honor her suggestion.

In this picture there was a person laying under heavy rubble from an earthquake. So much had fallen down upon them that they were completely covered and couldn’t move. 

They had three choices:

1.)  Lay there in hopelessness, giving up in despair. 

2.)  Try to dig themselves out, in spite of the fact that it was impossible.  They would wear themselves out trying, and it would be to no avail.

3).  Or, cry out to Jesus and ask Him for His help.

Life can feel that way some times.  Troubles can make us feel buried.  Broken relationships, addiction, bills, our health or our job.  They can leave us feeling helpless and alone, abandoned and pinned down.  Yet there is One Who is always ready to help us.  We need but cry out to Him and He will come and show us a way when there seems to be none. His extrication methods are often much different than our own, but we need not be afraid. It is His desire that we be free.

Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ …

John 8:36 (KJV) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jeremiah 32:27 KJV Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

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The Tests

Last week I decided to go to the doctor for a quick check up as I hadn’t been feeling well. It was the typical winter time stuff. Low energy, a stuffy nose, a heavy chest, and so on. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t need an antibiotic because my symptoms had been going on for such a long time. My regular doctor wasn’t available, so I made an appointment to see a physician’s assistant (PA) that worked in the same complex.

After checking in, I was taken to the back room for my exam. As is customary, I gave my “report” to the nurse. When the gathering of my information was complete, she said that the PA would be in after a bit. A bit it was indeed!

They were running late that morning, which is not uncommon in the medical arena. When that happens I simply choose to remember when I have taken longer than expected, and give grace to whoever is in need of extra time that day.

Eventually the PA arrived and introduced herself. She began asking questions to which I responded, however not quite in the manner that she was looking for. In a short amount of time she appeared to be frustrated, bordering on what could have been considered rude as she attempted to determine my circumstance.

Now, it could be that I was overly sensitive because I wasn’t feeling well and rarely go to the Doctor. It could be that she wasn’t really rude at all. Maybe she was feeling rushed because she was a half hour late. We had very different communications styles, which set the stage for potential misunderstanding. While I do not know the exact cause of the tension, I do know that God loves us both.

That knowledge allowed me not to feel embarrassed by my myriad of symptoms or my rambling communications.  Instead, I calmly adjusted what I could, becoming more succinct and patient with her perceived impatience. I said what I needed to say in spite of her hurry, and eventually we both relaxed.

That is a wonderful thing about God’s love. Remembering that we are perfectly loved in spite of our imperfections can keep us from feeling bad about ourselves when others do not understand or accept us.   It can also keep us from becoming angry and defensive towards them when they don’t treat us as we think they should.

Every day we come into contact with people who are different than we are. We each have our strengths and our weaknesses. What we all have in common, however, is the fact that we are loved by God, whether we know Him or whether we do not.

As for the results of my appointment, no antibiotic was needed. All tests turned out fine and I am feeling better this week. I do need a root canal that will take place in the near future. After that, I expect to be as good as new.

Our meeting ended with a pleasant handshake and heartfelt “it was good to meet you” before she left the room. I believe in the end we both passed the most important test of all; the test to choose to love.

Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

1 Peter 3:8,9 (NKJV) 8Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Romans 12:18  (NKJV) If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

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The Serenade

Recently I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Oregon so that I would have a quiet place to work on ALME. It can be difficult to meet deadlines while at home because of the numerous responsibilities that vie for my attention there. The trip gave me two full days without interruption. It was an opportunity to get much accomplished.

On the final morning of our stay, I was taking the short walk back to the room after breakfast. The route was along a beautiful tree lined path. The air was crisp, and there were remnants of the snow that had fallen the day before. It was quiet and peaceful. Deep in thought about what I wanted to accomplish before we left, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Beautiful music was filling the air. It was a melody that I had never heard before. Searching the trees to locate it’s source, I found the author of the song. A plain brown bird had flown high up into the tree beside me, and was delivering a serenade.

After listening to the gifted soloist for awhile, I had a brief conversation with him. I commended him on the beauty of his tune and thanked him for singing to me. Then away he flew to bring delight to someone else. My heart was full of joy.

Every day is filled with gifts from The Lord. They come in just the right form according to who we are. He may send the perfect scripture you need, or a song that encourages your heart. It may be an unexpected smile or positive words from a stranger. Every light may turn green when you are running late, or a friend may call when you are feeling alone. Some recognize God’s love in the beauty of the sunrise, or in the stars that fill a nighttime sky.

My prayer today is that we would recognize the many blessings that The Lord brings to us. That we would make time to enjoy them when they come. That we would allow ourselves to cast aside the cares of the world for just a moment. That we will truly know, deep down inside, how special we are to Him.

God’s Blessings,
Christine

Psalm 8:4-5  (KJV) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

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For Me?!

God’s Word is a reflection of His character and of His deep love for each one of us.  Yet, at times I have found myself thinking, “Certainly that scripture cannot be true for me”.  I have skipped over the words on the page without allowing their meaning to penetrate my heart.  Words that would strengthen my spirit and build my faith if I would dare to let them in.

God’s Word is true. It is for whoever will receive it. Today, Valentine’s Day, I would like to invite you to choose at least one scripture about God’s love for you.  Maybe you already have a verse that is special to you. Feel free to share it with us!  You might like to use one of the verses on this page.  However you choose, take your verse and remember it throughout the day.  Reflect upon it as though The Lord had written just for you, because indeed, He did!

Happy
Valentine’s Day
Beloved Child of God!


You are Precious to God

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

When I laugh or when I cry, You find joy in singing over me.

You Are Known By God

Luke 12:7 (KJV)
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The number is ever changing, but You Lord, still keep count. I do not need to be afraid because You love me that much! 

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect!

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Your perfect love covers my imperfection. You love me just as I am.

You Are Worth Dying For

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

You died Jesus, that I might live. As if I were the only person on earth, you gave Your life for me.

You are Not Abandoned

Hebrews 13:5b (KJV)
I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Though others may leave me Lord, You never will.

You Are Forgiven

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Because You love me, You take the scarlet stain of my sin and remove it from my life.