Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dogwood

There is a legend (I think from Appalachia) regarding the Dogwood.  The legend is that it used to grow tall and strong and was the tree from which the cross used to crucify Jesus was built.  
So after the crucifixition of Christ, God changed this tree so that it would never grow tall enough or straight enough to be used to build a cross for crucifixtion. 
Then God gave it a blossom with 4 petals...whose tips are tinged in red....the blood of Christ from his palms and feet.
Then in the center of the blossom is crown of thorns...all of these are to remind us of the sacrifice Jesus made for us....
So next time you see a dogwood in bloom...stop and think about its Creator and the lessons it teaches us.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Fine Tooth Comb

Romans 10:9-10

(9) Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  (10) For with the heart one believes and is justified , and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

I have been listening to a variety of pod casts / sermons these past few weeks 
and have heard a recurring theme regarding sin.    

Imagine at the end of the day EVERY thought, spoken word and action by you on this day was to be broad cast in the sky for all t he world to see.....

Would there be anything you would be ashamed of?
Or Embarrassed by?

If so---then that was a sin.  

It is a thought / spoken word / action that will separate you from God.

If you could re-do this very day with the eyes of the Lord....

Would you do anything different?

Would you treat anyone different?

Back to Romans 10: 9-10

Reflecting upon these 2 verses tells me that there are 2 very important things that have to go together:

You must BOTH confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior 
AND believe in your heart that He was resurrected.

See, you can't simply say the words but feel nothing in your heart.  That would be like the person who goes to church, takes communion, prays the prayers, sings the songs----goes through all the MOTIONS....

But the other 6 days to the week is mean to others, is selfish, disrespectful or worse.


you can be the one who feels so much love in your heart for Christ, you think about Him and pray passionately to Him---BUT you don't tell others (confess) that He is your Lord and Savior.

In Matthew 10:32 Jesus tells us 
"Whoever acknowledges me before others, 
I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven"


So Paul is telling us that we must do BOTH.

So next time you see a friend......or even a total stranger...

Do what this little guy is doing:

Share your story, share your love with others.

And believe it in your heart

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Funny-----

True Story taken from "Country Magazine":    

Six year old Judy complained, "Mother, I've got a stomach-ache"
"That's because your stomach is empty," her mother replied, "You would feel better if you had something in it."

That afternoon the minister came to visit, remarking in conversation that he was suffering from a headache.

Little Judy perked up.  "That's because it's empty," she said. "You'd feel much better with something in it."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Feathers!! Feathers!! Feathers!!"

Psalm 91

Psalm 91: 1-4
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

A friend shared this story written by Kay Arthur with me:

"She had stopped at a red light.  Before she even realized the car door had opened, a man had a gun stuck in her side.  He demanded, "Lady, just drive.  Don't do anything dumb!"
She had just heard a message on Psalm 91.  This Psalm told her that God was her refuge, that he was her fortress, that he would deliver her from the snare of the fowler, that he covered her with his feathers, that he was her shield and rampart.   But in this instant, with a gun in her side and her mind in a whirl, she could not think of the exact words of the Scripture.
In desperation, all she could come up with and exclaim was "Feathers! Feathers! Feathers!"
The hijacker panicked.  He shouted, "Lady, you are crazy!" And as quickly as he had appeared, he disappeared!"

Psalm 91: 14-16  
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.

When you find yourself frightened or in need, remember God's promise and turn to Him.

"When your knees are knocking--Kneel on them"~ author unknown

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Lord's Prayer

The Disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.  Here is what Jesus said:  (From Matthew 6:9-13)

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father who art heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those that have trespassed against us.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil.

(and some add:  For thine is the Kingdom, the power and glory forever"

We say this prayer every Sunday at Church, but really it is meant to be a "template" on how to Pray.

Jesus is telling us that in prayer and in our lives, we need to recognize that God is first and all powerful and that we submit to His will.  It is an opportunity to show thankfulness for all He has blessed you with.

I love verse 11:  "Give us today our daily bread".  It is only recently that I have come to understand that single line.   On the one hand, it is a line that tells us we realize that God will give us all that we need.  But it is deeper than that.   See, just as bread nourishes our body, the Word of God will nourish our soul.  And just as our body needs nourishment daily, our soul hungers for His Word.  And on another level, remember at "The Last Supper", Jesus said "This bread is my body".   So this one verse also show that our soul, that we need a relationship with God / Jesus, on a daily level.

The next verse seems simple enough, we ask God to forgive us, but although we say the 2nd half of that verse, many of us do NOT forgive others.  But it reminds us, that if we expect / want God to forgive us, we MUST forgive others who have hurt us.

And the final verse we ask God to help guide us and protect us from temptations, so that we can maintain a relationship with Him.

Next time you pray, follow the Lord's Prayer as your "Template"

Tell God He is your Lord and Savior, Show Thanksgiving 

Ask for His Word to nourish you

Forgive those who have hurt you, and seek God's Forgiveness for how you have hurt  Him

Ask God to guide you on His path, protecting you from the temptations of this world.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 () 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. #Bible http://mydailybible.org/dv/esv/2013-04-14.htm

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Far will Haters Go?

Have you ever heard of Joel Osteen??  He is a very popular pastor of a "Mega" Church in Texas.   He reaches 100's of  thousands of people in his church, through his books, and pod casts.  I have listened to his pod casts and if you can get past the southern drawl  (jk) he is really very good and interesting to hear.

So being  in that spot light, the haters  / atheists have devised a very elaborate hoax.  They have created fake internet stories on sites that are viewed by millions.   So, if you don't know Joel Osteen very well and see something like this:

You would be compelled to read the fake article by the haters about how he confesses he no longer believes the bible is true or that God even exists.   If you are one of Osteen's followers and are maybe new to the Faith and not fully "convicted in Christ"  this could very easily damage your beliefs and drive you out of there and away from any relationship you have started developing with God.

Here is another fake website / article:

If you want to read more click:    Joel Osteen Quits on Christianity

Jesus warned us in Matthew 10:22  "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

and in John 15:18:  "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."

For my friends who share His word---be prepared for the haters, Satan has a strong grasp on them, but don't give up and don't get discouraged....and may God Bless you all!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


(Here it is, Tiggerkat! The post you requested! I apologize for not posting sooner, but I didn't want to overshadow Easter, and we had to put down my older cat yesterday.)

Hello! I am vms915, and Tiggerkat has asked me to do a guest post on Passover, since I am Jewish, and know some stuff about it. ^.^

So, what is Passover?

Passover is a holiday to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt by the Jewish people. So, if you are unfamiliar with the story, click here.

I am not sure exactly what Tiggerkat wants me to post about Passover, but I will do a little bit of everything.

There are many traditions associated with Passover. One of them is holding a Seder. A Seder is basically a commemorative feast held to remember when the Jews left Egypt. During the seven days of Passover, you have to keep kosher, which means that you can not eat anything with wheat, rye, etc. There is a Seder plate at the Seder, which contains special food items.

Each food item/thing on the plate symbolizes a certain aspect of the Passover story.

The charoset, or a mixture of apples, wine, and nuts, symbolizes the mortar the slaves used to build when they were enslaved by the Pharaoh.
The egg represents the holiday offering brought in the days of the Holy Temple.
The shank bone (don't worry, we don't eat this!) symbolizes the sacrifice that was made on the eve of the Exodus from Egypt.
The parsley, which is sometimes dipped in salt water (to represent tears of sadness), represents how Israel flourished when it was first in Egypt, before the people were enslaved.
Maror, the bitter herb, represents the bitterness of slavery. It is usually horseradish, or something similar.

And, of course, although it is not on the Seder  plate, there is matzoh, which is the bread the Jewish people had to eat because their bread didn't have time to rise.

When families get together for a Seder, they will sometimes hide the afikomen, a piece of matzoh, around the house, and the child who finds it gets a prize.

The Four Questions are also read at the Seder. They are (in Hebrew) in this video:

(no, that's not me)

They translate out to:

(intro question)
Why is this night different from all other nights?

1. Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat matzoh?
2.Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night we eat bitter herbs?
3. Why is it on all other nights we do not dip even once, but on this night we dip twice?
4.Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

The meaning of Passover:
Passover has a lot of different aspects and meanings. It is to celebrate the Exodus from Egypt, being freed from bondage, and not being slaves anymore. 
But, last week, my rabbi said something that made me think:
He said that we are still in Egypt. Not physically, though. We are still in bondage. 

I thought about this for a little while. 

Then I understood what Passover means to me. 

Passover is to remind us that, although we are free, not everybody else is. There are still more people in bondage. And, until everybody has freedom, we can not say we have completed the Exodus.

However, Passover has different meanings for everybody.

~vms915 signing off from her guest post on this awesome and inspirational blog!