Monthly Archives: November 2008

Days Eighty-Nine and Ninety

Scripture reference: Luke 24:36-49

I decided, since we were concluding today, to add both days. I have no idea what Christ has done in your life through these past 90 days, nor you mine. But if He has done similar to you—what He has done in me….girls, I don’t know how we sit to type!

There have been many days in this journey, after reading your comments and reading the pages I have wept before the Lord. This has tendered my heart in so many ways.

Now as Beth has shared with you her thoughts on the fear, fright and temporary unbelief of Jesus’ own, I feel another direction. Let’s look at verse 45 of the passages we read from today. “Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

He had explained. He had held out His hands and directed them to see His feet! What more evidence did they need? Still they were unsure. I like what Beth said in her paraphrased version, “Boys, you don’t have a mental file already prepared to stick this information in. This one won’t compute intellectually. Quit trying. Just behoLd and believe.” Right. Have faith. Show a little trust here.

I have been praying for God to reveal the Word to me—my mind—my heart—and to show up in my life! I want HIM to work fully in me and through me!

The Scripture reference for the final day of study is Luke 24:50-53.

Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. They worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God. (NLT)

I remember when I was an older teen, at my home church, a revival broke out in a powerful way. Souls were saved, lives forever changed and God was sought. I remember going to school the next day after particularly awesome services when the Holy Spirit was so strong and still having that “high”—that feeling of awe at what we had felt. God was moving—because people were seeking. Are we seeking Him with the same fervency today?

In 1Corinthians 15:2 Paul writes in a letter to the Church at Corinth… “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

Beth writes, “Jesus Christ walked the way of humanity so that humanity could walk the way of God.” He paved the way. He gave us the perfect and ultimate example of life. Of love, grace, mercy–compassion–and true fulfillment of a life following and seeking God with all our heart.

What do we do with what we have learned? Well, He gave me the exact word on a day and at a time I needed it most of all.

The day that Rese, my dear friend and pastor’s wife from my home church, called me to ask if I would be willing to speak at the Women’s Christmas Tea. Well, after I told her that I would and hung up the phone, the enemy started. Immediately. “You’ve been to this before—do you remember how many women attend this?”

“Yes I do!”

“Do you possibly think you can do this?”

“With Christ I can do all things.” Of course the Lord was speaking the rebuttle to my heart—from what I had learned over the years of leaning on and trusting in Him. The ride home that day was long. Very long. I cried most of the way. Talking with God. Trying not to listen to the enemy.

When I had almost made it home, I was praying to the Lord, “Father, You remember I did tell You that I would do anything You asked of me. But Lord, You know I’m not a good speaker. You know how I sound? Do You remember?” Well of course, He reminded me He knew EXACTLY how I sounded! (I really ask Him stupid questions.) As I drove on, I asked Him to show me—tell me—let me know what You desire of me—‘if You would only just speak it out to me!’….and then He did. Right before my eyes and right straight as an arrow into my heart. Oh how I love Him!

Crossing a bridge, about 3 miles from home, a white van comes up on my right side on the 4 lane. On the side of the van is a picture of a cross, some sheep, and the words, “Feed my sheep.” I started squalling. Not a pretty site. I began thanking Him. I have never before seen that van. But He meant for me to see it that afternoon. He meant for me to see the message. The one to me. Personally. He is such a personal God.

Sisters, I have to tell you—ask Him for what you have need of. Seek Him with all your heart. Live for Him and walk with Him. Devote your self and time to Him as never before. I want to be found working in His fields. I want to be found doing what He has asked of me.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV emphasis mine)

Sisters, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to meet with you here everyday. I can’t say when I have ever enjoyed anything as much as I have this. You are a strong bunch of women! God sees your strength—and He will use that strength to bring glory to Him!

I leave you with Beth’s closing words, “He is changeless. But you and I were destined for change. So determined is God to transform us, we cannot draw near Him and remain the same.”

I want my life to reflect Him. Everyday—in every situation. More of Him and less of me.

We love you sisters!

Keeping the Faith,

Angie

P.S. Don’t leave just because this study is finished! There will be a give-away among the sisters that have joined us! Also more news is coming on the “testimony blog”, Joined Together. Please consider sending me your testimony—maybe something particular—or how you found Christ! It is a great encouragement to others! We will start that up soon!

P.S.S. Details of the giveaway will be posted next week—so check back! And the next study—which will begin in January (not sure when exactly) will be forthcoming!


Day Eighty-Eight

Happy Thanksgiving all you sweet friends!!! May your day be filled with His bountiful blessings. I’m so glad you came to join us for a few minutes out of your day. If you are like me, it is a busy one, filled with lots of traveling, cooking, visiting family, and eating. We’ll diet Monday, right?! Our Bible study will soon be coming to a close and I’ll say I have loved it! I have enjoyed getting to study more about Jesus. Let’s continue on today with Beth on: “Snapshots with Jesus.”

Read Luke 24:13-35
Angie and Grandbuddy are the camera crew in our family. They are always making pictures at our family get-togethers and I’m so glad they do. We have some very special family memories captured. What about God’s family photo album? Like Beth said, “We can look back and see all the times Christ was there and we didn’t even know it.” He is not the news reporter with the “Heaven’s Gates Post” or the “Daily Christian’s Life Chronicle” waiting for us to goof up, but He is holding the special memory album for us to see Him with us in our everyday snapshots.

This time of year people are eager to have their children’s picture made with Santa or themselves with Santa. Makes me wonder, “If people knew Jesus was ready to have them in His picture, how eager would they be?” Would they be so eager to show it to others or would they poke it down in the bottom of their picture box, not wanting friends or co-workers to see?

Have you been away from Him so long you have forgotten what He looks like or would you immediately recognize Him? It took two walking on the road to Emmaus time to recognize Him. We get so caught up in our on cares and concerns that we forget He is there with us. I would have loved to hear Jesus expounding on the scriptures like He did with those two followers. He took out time for them, and came right to where they were to share His presence with them. He loves us and wants to share His presence with us. What kind of pictures does He have to share with us or snapshots?

I see the astonishment on the Emmaus fellow’s faces when they finally recognized Him. I picture them with eyes as big as saucers. I imagine they thought, “It’s Him… It is true!!!” Were they not as close to Him in the past as they should have been to recognize Him? I pray I would. I want to even know my Lord’s whispers. I believe this closeness only comes with spending time together. Spend some time- extra time thanking Him today for who He is and what He has done.

Join us here tomorrow with Angie with Day Eighty-Nine, “A Frightening Peace.” I love all you dear sisters!

Heavenly Father, I come to you today thanking you for sharing your “One and only” Son with us. You’ve opened the album for us all to see. Thank you for your love for us, and I want to say that I love you with all my heart. I’m thankful for this time with you today. Help us all continue to grow in you, mold us and shape us in the women of God you would have us to be. May this devotion today remind us that you are always with us, even when we are unaware. In Jesus’ name I pray–Amen.

Keeping the Faith,

Aimee


Where I’ll Be….

On Thursday….Thanksgiving Day—I am at Laced with Grace!

On Friday—I conclude the 90 Day Jesus the One and Only Bible Study!

Also on Friday, I am over having coffee with YOU and anyone else that is joining before or after shopping—at the Cafe!!

So—-where are YOU???


Day Eighty-Seven

Scripture reference: Luke 24:9-12

I hope you could feel the excitement of yesterday’s discovery! Aimee shared it with a full and overflowing heart!

I love that He chose us. To tell it—to share it—to be a part of His ministry! When they “went back” to tell what they had discovered…they met the same faces filled with incredulity that you or I would see if we were to tell someone that gas was now on fifty cents per gallon! Some of us might simply choose not to believe, while others might grab our purse and scurry off to the nearest gas station to “see for ourselves”.

I think Peter had the heart that longed for more fellowship. He longed for a chance to “feel” the love coming from the Teacher. His Lord. His Savior. If there was even the slightest possibility that the women were telling the truth —Peter was not going to miss his chance! He needed the assurance of his forgiveness. Perhaps he felt he needed to explain his actions. His fear that caused him to leave, then to curse. And deny. Ever been there?

Have you ever been in the place where you felt you had broken the heart of the person you most loved in all the world? I have felt disappointment for my actions as a teenager, as well as an adult. Wrong choices leaves us with an aching heart. Peter had made a wrong choice. Said the wrong words. To the wrong people. At the wrong time.

So for Peter, the women held out to him a thread of hope in the words they carried. The thread that could lead back to the One he loved the most. He chose to believe the women. He clung to the hope and belief that what Jesus taught them was in fact true.

“However, Peter ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.” Luke 24:12 NLT

While Peter didn’t “know” exactly what happened….he had hope. He had faith. He believed, although he had not seen. His belief and faith would enable him to preach a fiery message we read in Acts. Peter found his voice. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell….Peter found his voice. He had reason to shout from the roof tops…and fear didn’t enter the picture!

Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this… Acts 2:14 NLT with that introduction, he embarked on the beginning of a Pentecostal Sermon if there ever was one! AND there was about 3,000 saved and baptized after that message! GLORY!

I pray for a Holy Spirit empowerment in each of our lives…as we have NEVER before experienced! Seek Him! Daily! Express to Him your desire for more of Him—He will flood your heart and life with blessings!

Father, You alone are holy! We exalt and magnify Your name! I praise You for choosing to use us. We may sometimes feel like an unlikely vessel. But we are willing. Give us wisdom and knowledge and may we glorify Your name in all we do. Bless each heart and life that shares our study today. We give You all the glory and praise, in Jesus holy name~Amen.

Keeping the Faith,

Angie


Day Eighty-Six

Read Luke 23:50-56, and Luke 24:1-8
Good morning friends. I have something special to tell you today! Have you heard the news?
He is risen!!! What a miraculous promise fulfilled! The ladies that had went to the tomb on that Resurrection day was going to perform a ritualistic custom of that day, but to their amazement Jesus changed their plans. Has He ever changed your plans?

Beth talked about the angels that were there at the tomb, one at the head and one at the foot where Jesus’ body previously resided. I love the comparison of the “mercy seat” with the tomb. The cherubs on the mercy seat were placed at the exact positions. What an awesome sight that must have been! All the worrying the women had done about the soldiers and the stone was already taken care of before they arrived. Isn’t that just like God- always ahead, taking care of every need. He is so good!
Another part that I really was excited about was vs. 6. Beth elaborated on these words and it stuck with me. “Remember how He told you…” Beth asks: “Beloved, have you forgotten something He told you?” My mind automatically started racing away with me, thinking about promises I’ve read in His word that started ringing in my ears…..One of my favorite is Isaiah 59:1, (please allow me to share it again, if I’ve shared it before, it bears repeating) it says: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;” He has heard our prayers friend, and His hand is big enough!!
Had He not risen, we would have no hope, but He fulfilled the plan. We have a hope of eternal life!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the promises you’ve given us. Thank you for saving faith! Your grace is sufficient for our needs today. May we be mindful today of the cross, the suffering, the death, the Resurrection, and eternal life you have given us. This holiday season always brings us back to you and everything you have done for us. I love you more each day. This precious study has drawn us closer to you. Bless Beth Moore for writing this study and sharing her heart, help her to continue to listen your voice as she writes and anoint her heart. Thank you again for all the dear sisters in our study. Show them more promises in your word that is written with each one of them in mind. With a thankful heart I pray in Jesus Holy name–Amen.

*An old chorus comes to mind…. “From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised, from the rising of the sOn, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Keeping the Faith,

Aimee

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our list of thankfuls could go on and on. Bottom line? God is good. Whether we have deserved it or not, most likely the “not” is the correct term, but He is faithful.

He blessed us with famiLy:

My Mother, my Grandbuddy, my siblings and their spouses and children. Our children. Their spouses and children. Our friends and loved ones that are far stretching this nation! God has multiplied His love to us in countless ways. He has used YOU to do so!

Our blessings are not in “things”, although we rest in a comfortable bed at night. Our blessings are not in food, although we never lack for substance to keep our bodies going strong. Our blessings are not in the material possessions, although I collect books, dust and the occasional bear or snowman. And Jeff collects marbLes. I hope one day if he “feels” as if he’s lost them all, I can empty the jars and show them they are still intact!

Our blessings outnumber the problems that only with God’s help, we have been able to overcome in our lives. He has proven His love over and over in many ways. We are grateful.

On this Thanksgiving Day, we pause to reflect on the wonders of His grace and mercy. Undeserving we are, yet He keeps on loving us and blessing our lives.

Our family table will miss the presence of one darling sister, Wanda. But His table is rejoicing that she is home. Completely well and whole. Her skin is radiant as she reflects His Light and love! Mother, she struggles for breath no longer! Victoria, she will walk up stairs with you! Aimee, we will join her soon! Family members that aren’t ready, prepare yourself. In the moment, any given moment, this life could end. But this living isn’t over. You will live on in either an eternal hell or heaven.

Today is a wonderful day to make your choice and stand firm in His love. Accept His free gift~kneel at the cross~offer your life to Him. Repent of your sins~ask Him to come in and “clean house”. You will never be the same, your life will be forever radically changed, once you make HIM Lord of all.

To my blogging friends, you have no idea how much like family you feel to me! I would love to have you join us for Thanksgiving Day!! My life will never be the same because of your love and encouragement! From e-mails, cards and notes and even a few phone calls—you are all my sisters in this walk of faith! Thank you!

I could not pass this Thanksgiving Week up without thanking Mark. My brother-in-law, who is now my brother. Sort of a Namoi-Ruth story—but with different characters. Our family is your family. Our God is your God and your God ours. We are incredibly thankful for all the ways you have loved our sweet Wanda and the love you have for us. I am thankful that God brought you into our lives and blessed our lives, through you and Wanda with Victoria. And the blessings still come our way. We look forward with great anticipation to what God will bring about in your life in the coming year! We are thankful for the miracle of love. God is good.

Thank you Heather~for hosting these thankful hearts this week! I pray that with each post read, hearts will be strengthened and renewed in faith! God bless you all!

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Day Eighty-Five

Today’s reading is found in Matthew 27:45-54

The Cost of the Cross…

You know that feeling that you get when your throat seems to close up and you feel yourself choking on the tears that are about to spill down your cheeks? That is what the last 3 days of reading has done. I re-read day 84 together with 85. The Truth and conviction is joined hand-in-hand. The Truth of what He willingly gave, and the conviction for the wasted years of my life seemed to haunt my mind as I read. And then other things came back to me. Aimee will remember. But since you don’t know, I will share at some point in today’s study.

I have a vivid imagination and reading for me paints a picture in my mind. Reading takes me to the scene. But this scene today was filled with stomach churning anguish. I feel unworthy to even share this study today, however, I will share what I have felt as I read this study.

As a sinner, saved by Grace—I can relate to the darkness. For in that darkness of my life, I purposefully kept the curtains drawn on my soul to keep the Light out. Thankfully, I had precious loved ones praying the prayer that got through—and as the Light persisted— I repented and gave my heart to the Lord I have served for many years now.

Hard as I tried, I have not been able to imagine what it must have felt like to be surrounded by darkness and not feel the Presence that had kept Him going since the day He left His throne to embark on the earthly journey for us.

In verse 46 of Matthew, we hear Him plead with His Father for an answer…”My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He heard no answer. There was only darkness screaming back. The pain it must have been for Him to even speak those words, had to be excruciating! I heard a minister preach once about the Crucifixion and he made the statement, “in order for Jesus to be able to get enough air in His lungs to speak, He must have pressed His feet into the block upon which they were nailed (according to history he had read), and push Himself up long enough to breathe in and speak.” I don’t know, but I do believe that the words He spoke were words that He needed to say, not only for Himself, but for us today.

We experience dark days. Granted our days will never compare to Jesus Christ, bearing the sins of all the world. From every liar, rapist, murderer, abuser, addict, adulterer, stiff necked, hard hearted, slanderous, prideful and every perverse individual that would ever take a breath. He bore them all. The problems we face that causes us to “feel” darkness can never and will never compare. But it’s darkness to us all the same. With those anguished permeated words He uttered, He directed us to the next step we should take when our own world closes in on us in complete and total darkness.

Just before He breathed His last breath of mortal air, with a loud voice He cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) From a feeling of desolation to a complete trust in His Father—He paved the way. He drew the road map for each follower to align his or her life.

Wanda followed. On Monday, February 11, 2008, travel plans were being concluded. We had arrived at the hospital the day before to find a weakened sister. The words from her husband, Mark, tore at our aching souls. “Come now.” Just two words. But with those two words, all of life changed. We both had been filled with a feeling of “I don’t want to do this—I can’t bear this—I hate this—but we need Your will Father.”

The hours spent after we arrived seemed to pass in a blur. Blur or not, they are forever etched in my mind. Teaching purposes. God is using them the teach me things I need to know. And remember. As Monday dawned and blood was drawn, vitals checked, the truth bore down on us like a raging bull. We each took turns talking to Wanda quietly. She couldn’t speak, her lungs were being squeezed by all the building fluid in her body. When she did try and speak it was breathy sounding and barely a whisper.

I had stepped out to go to the restroom down the hall when she uttered her last words. When I read the passage for today, tears fell as I remembered her own last words. Similar to Christ’s. With a question in her shakey voice, she said, “I don’t understand….(long pause for breath)….we trusted God”. Another long pause, and then with a resolute firmness amid the weak voice she said, “but I still trust Him”. He had paved the way. She had followed. All the way to the end. Over the next several hours, until she drew her last breath, we recounted her trust and faith in God. In all the years of her life, it never waivered.

Trust. Following Him. To the end.

And so should we. I am following. Aimee is too. We are still praying for many family members to take up the Road Map (Bible) and follow Him as well.

I have been blessed with an incredible family. But the God who planted me here…deserves all the praise and glory for any good thing that may come out of my life. Or your life.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Father in heaven, while I can’t completely grasp all that You have laid before us, I am more grateful that I can express. For You to love someone as sinful as me just amazes me. I guess that’s why the songwriter wrote about Your amazing grace…it is exactly that. Lord, there may be someone today reading this post that does not know of Your ultimate Gift to the world nor His sacrifice. I pray that they would find Your love here. Real in our lives. Living within us. And through us may Your love be spread. In the holy name of Jesus~Amen.

Sisters, we have only 5 remaining days. This study will end up on Saturday. A day when you will probably be cleaning house, putting up your Christmas Tree, or shopping for Christmas gifts. While you are going about, remember this tree. The tree from which a cross was fashioned. While you are buying gifts, remember this Gift. The very Gift that was given so freely to each one of us.

I will share more details about the next study in December, but until then, take some time to get alone with Him. Remember the journey that you have traveled down while we’ve studied together. I am sure this study has made an impact in your heart and life. I know it has mine. I love you all!

Keeping the Faith,

Angie