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The Lamb, the Curtain, and the Cross

Jonah It’s interesting how most of the stories in the Old Testament have been deemed children’s stories by the world and the church alike. Of course, those of us in the church would say that we absolutely believe that those stories are true, but honestly when you think of the Story of Jonah (a.k.a. “Jonah and the Whale”) do you see something like this, In actuality, can you envision sinking down into the dark depths of the ocean after being cast overboard into the most violent storm imaginable, and seaweed coiling around your head, unable to breathe, and hearing the sound of a massive fish (maybe a whale) descending upon you with an open mouth? What happened to Jonah was significant for his time but also was ordained by God as an illustration of what would happen to Jesus. Jesus was buried in the earth for three days (just as […]

The Agonizing Will of God and our Sanctification

When Pain Paves the Way for Salvation: Several years ago I sat and wept as I listened to Pastor Bill Wilson of Metro Ministries share his testimony, and the stories of the many children they serve through his “Sunday School church” in Brooklyn, New York and around the world. As a child, Bill Wilson was abandoned by his mother on the streets of New York. One day, as they walked down the street together, she instructed him to sit down on the curb and wait for her to return. He sat and waited for three days and she never came back. A Christian man noticed Bill alone and stopped to find out if he was okay. He picked him up, brought him home, and paid his way to a Christian summer camp where Bill heard the gospel and was saved by God’s grace. He now runs Metro Ministries which serves […]

The Bloody Gospel

Matthew 27: 27-31 – Jesus is Flogged and Mocked A Brief Summary of My Testimony A thought crossed my mind once when I was looking at the Christian Movie Review site PluggedIn.com, “Am I willing to watch a movie that contains content that Jesus was punched in the face for, spat upon for, and flogged for?” My answer today is an emphatic “NO”, but at the time, believe it or not, I felt disturbed by the thought but quickly pushed it out of my head so that I wouldn’t feel guilty about a particular movie I wanted to watch. I went to church, called myself a Christian, was involved in leadership, and had even spoken out against such entertainment when teaching at youth events. Something was wrong on the inside of me though, it was a cold, dead heart. I loved church, I loved my Christian friends, I loved an […]

Quit Fighting the Sovereign Will of God

The First Fruits of Our Day I want to just take a moment at the beginning tonight and share a bit about what mine and Shane’s evenings look like once we put the kids to bed. We like to put our kids to bed early so that we can have time to spend together, and more importantly time to spend with our Lord. As soon as the kids are tucked in and their door is closed we try our best to get our Bible’s open right away and to begin reading and studying from wherever we left off the night before.  Our goal right now is to read and study a new passage one night, then study it further and blog it out the next night. After spending anywhere from 1.5-2 hrs (sometimes longer) doing our devotions we share with each other what we’ve discovered and learned and talk it […]

Judas Changed His Mind

“I’m going to Change my Heart and Obey now” I have often marveled at how God teaches me about myself and my relationship with him through my son. The day after Max was born I lay in my hospital bed staring at his tiny frame in the bassinet beside me and I felt like I caught a glimpse of how Jesus was able to die for me. I hardly knew this little person yet, but I knew I would die for him that instant if necessary. Then when he was about three years old my husband, Shane, was trying to vacuum our living room and Max insisted on “helping”. He could barely hold the vacuum cleaner by himself, but as he struggled away I realized that just as we did not need Max’s help to vacuum (in fact it kind of slowed the cleaning process down) but we wanted him […]

Share in the Suffering

Sharing in the Suffering of Christ – Matthew 26:30-35 If the World Hates You… Suffering with Christ. This is a subject that I feel very unqualified to write about. As I sit in my warm living room sheltered, well fed, and safe it’s hard to imagine lying on the cold floor of a prison, being beat, or cast out of my family because of my faith in Jesus. I just finished reading several stories of Christian men and women who were persecuted and martyred for their unapologetic and unwavering devotion to Christ and biblical truth in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Then I went to The Voice of the Martyrs website and read the most current updates of Christians who are suffering right now as I write for their testimony of the gospel. One young pastor in Uganda is trying to recover tonight from the physical and emotional scars of being […]

Sleepy Christians

Jesus Praying in the Garden Matthew 26:40-46 Jesus found them Sleeping… I have an eight week old baby. Have you ever heard the saying “I slept like a baby”? I guarantee you it does not mean that you slept well. For me it means going to bed at 11:30pm for a two and a half hour nap, waking up to feed the baby in my sleep, then laying back down for another three and a half hour nap before getting up again to feed the baby and then starting my day. With a five year old and an “almost” two year old ready to take on the world at 6:30am each morning and then a flurry of activities ranging from homeschooling to cooking meals to swimming lessons, etc. I am utterly exhausted by the time we land on the couch at night once the kids are all tucked nicely in […]

A Mob Sent by God

Matthew 26:47-56 K.P. Yohannan: This past Sunday my husband Shane and I visited another church so that we could listen to brother K.P. Yohannan, founder of the ministry Gospel for Asia, speak. We have heard him preach online and I’ve begun to read his book “Revolution in World Missions“, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet him in person. He is a dear friend to our dear friends at Living Waters Ministry and so even though we had never met before we feel great love for him and we love his ministry. During the service he shared several stories of the suffering people in India, in particular. One story at the end though really wrenched my heart because it was about a five year old boy that he had seen on the front cover of a local newspaper who was photographed lying on his side on the street […]

God Plans

God doesn’t just know, He Plans – Matthew 26:20-15 God only knows? Have you ever used the phrase, “God knows”, in reference to a difficult or uncertain situation? I know that, for us anyway, we’ve said it a lot. When we’ve been in car accidents, or when something tragic happens to someone we know, or even if it’s something minor like locking our keys in the car we have often shrugged and said, “Well, God knows. He’ll take care of it.” There is nothing wrong on the surface with a statement like this, it’s just incomplete. Several months ago we decided to change our go to phrase from “God knows” to “God plans”. Of course God knows what is going on in our lives, but it doesn’t catch him off guard and it’s not a mess he has to clean up. God doesn’t just know, he plans, and he does […]

Wasted on Jesus

Matthew 26:6-13 “And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim…” When you become a follower of Jesus everything in your life becomes about the eternal. Possessions lose their luster in your sight, media of the world becomes bland in comparison with the Bible, vacations and holidays are enjoyable and nice but don’t even come close to the place you know that Jesus is preparing for you. Granted, we occasionally lose sight of these truths when we become distracted by life’s trials, but a true follower always regains his footing on the straight and narrow towards the beautiful before all is lost. “Whether fine or stormy…” Recently I started reading The Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor to my 5 year old son. I am amazed at how the story can hold his attention (he is a very active 5 year old boy), it’s always “one more chapter […]

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