Tag Archives: Bible

Mondays.

Every Monday for the last four Mondays an email assignment has popped up in my email. Those assignments have allowed me to not only share about some pretty amazing people but to become part of an amazing group. There were incentives to participating in Compassion International‘s Blog Month but that is not why I contributed. I wrote because of the challenge. I write still because I cannot stop.

We sponsor a child, from Haiti. 

Without writing for Compassion International over the last month I wouldn’t have the knowledge and understanding I do now. I also wouldn’t have taken the steps to get to know other bloggers who do what I do. There are bloggers out there who I may have very little in common with, save two things:

We all love Jesus.

We all sponsor a child, some more than one.

Sponsor.

That is a fun word. My boys thought it meant they were getting a brother, something akin to adoption. And, they did. Although, our sponsored child is not coming to live with us he is still very much a part of our family. Every day we pray for each other and for our kiddo and if by chance I forget {we are still pretty new at this} the boys will stop me and say, “Mommy don’t forget the boy we’re helping raise and teach about Jesus! You know, the one who lives in Haiti!”  {Typically they call him by name but I am still uncertain how much, if any, information I am at liberty to divulge via the internet.}

Our goal for blog month {September} was to get 3,108 children sponsored. When it was all said and done our total was 3,159 children sponsored. We not only met but exceeded our goal. What an amazing opportunity! We have this chance to speak life, love, and Jesus to these little people!

For the last month, I have greeted Mondays with expectancy, awaiting the newest challenge each week. Now that those assignments are complete, and our goal has been met, I am not finished. I have found a new way to begin my week by taking some time to think about, pray for, and write about my sponsored child.

Mondays have a new meaning.

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Compassion.

I made an executive decision.

Instead of showering my children with presents for Christmas we are going to step outside the box. Don’t get me wrong. We will still celebrate Christmas but this year I’m striving to make the meaning of Christmas hit home for my boys, something more than presents under a tree.

We are adding to our family.

This is a HUGE deal.

Many of you may not know that I am a blogger for Compassion International. Now, I will fess up and say I have not blogged consistently over the last year. There are many reasons and excuses I could come up with, all true, but none more true than I just didn’t take the time. I am hoping to change that this month.

You see, this month is being deemed as BLOG MONTH for those at Compassion International. It is a month where I, along with my fellow bloggers, will be encouraging our readers to sponsor a child. Each week will have a new topic related to sponsoring, an act that is life changing. I have noticed, however, it has become increasingly difficult to encourage something I do not participate in myself. We do not currently sponsor a child. 

That is changing.

We will be sitting down over the next couple of weeks, as a family, in order to choose a child we can sponsor and watch grow as my own children grow. As soon as we have chosen a child to sponsor I will post about him or her here – as much as I can anyway. Hopefully one day we will get to meet this, as of yet, unknown child. I wish we could help them all.

This is where YOU come in.

With all of the natural disasters that have hit around the world there is a much greater need than ever before. If you have the desire to help a region but are not sure how please consider being a sponsor. Sponsoring is easy. It only takes a few minutes to get set up and I can promise you it is one of the most meaningful decisions you will ever make.

I’ve heard it said many times over:

You may not be able to change the world

but you can change the world for one person.

That is exactly what sponsoring is; changing a child’s world.

FOREVER.

Like I said, it’s a HUGE deal.


Since I am in Christ.

I discovered this list several months ago and it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since. I’m going to post it all here and gradually through the next year come back to it for topics to discuss. There’s a lot here but I challenge you to copy/paste this into Word, print it, and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Read it every single day. Especially those days when it seems things cannot get any worse.

Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God:

I have been justified – completely forgiven and made righteous {Romans 5:1}

I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule over my life {Romans 6:1-6}

I am free forever from condemnation {Romans 8:1}

I have been placed into Christ by God’s doing {1 Corinthians 1:30}

I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God {1 Corinthians 2:12}

I have been given the mind of Christ {1 Corinthians 2:16}

I have been bought with a price, I am not my own; I belong to God {1 Corinthians 6:19-20}

I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ, and I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to com {2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14}

Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ {2 Corinthians 5:14-15}

I have been made righteous {2 Corinthians 5:21}

I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ’s life {Galatians 2:20}

I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing {Ephesians1:3}

I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him {Ephesians 1:5}

I have been redeemed and forgiven, and I am a recipient of His lavish grace {Ephesians 1:7-8}

I have been made alive together with Christ {Ephesians 2:5}

I have been raised up and seated with Christ in Heaven {Ephesians 2:6}

I have direct access to God through the Spirit {Ephesians 2:18}

I may approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence {Ephesians 3:12}

I have been rescued from the domain of Satan’s rule and transferred to the kingdom of Christ {Colossians 1:13}

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled {Colossians 1:14}

Christ Himself is in me {Colossians 1:27}

I am firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built in Him {Colossians 2:7}

I have been made complete in Christ {Colossians 2:10}

I have been spiritually circumcised {Colossians 2:11}

I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ {Colossians 2:12-13}

I died with Christ and I ahve been raised up with Christ. My life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is now my life {Colossians 3:1-4}

I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline {2 Timothy 1:7}

I have been saved and set apart according to God’s doing {2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5}

Because I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother/sister {Hebrews 2:11}

I have the right to come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need {Hebrews 4:16}

I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I am a partaker of God’s divine nature {2 Peter 1:4}


A Thankful Heart.

I determined a while ago that I would post on what I am thankful for. It layer dawned on me that I could do that daily during the month of November. Then I discovered National Blog Posting Month and knew I wanted to accept the challenge of blogging daily, something I’ve not done in ages.

I started to tell you all of the normal things; I’m thankful for my family, friends, home, etc. and it isn’t that I’m not so very grateful I have those people and things in my life it’s that there’s something more pressing on my heart as I write this.

Today has been a day full of tragedy to an unimaginable extent for people I am acquainted with in one form or another. Everything from homes and material possessions up in flames to not knowing if a child’s voice will ever be heard to the loss of one lived so deeply. Today has been an emotional day on many accounts and while not directly affected there has been a sharp reminder that the life I live is not my own but His.

Today I am most thankful for life.

Life that can and will be lived to the fullest. Life that allows me the opportunity to hug and hold my children. Life that is full of laughter and joy even during the hardest times.

Even beyond that I am thankful for the life, willingly placed upon a cross so long ago, given in my place so that I might have life eternal.


Resurrection Day.

We celebrate Valentine’s Day as the “Day of Love” but have you ever given any though to the greatest gift of love ever shown to man?

John 15:13 says – 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I don’t know about you but I honestly don’t have too many people in my life I’d die for. My boys and a few other family members and that’s truly about it.

Jesus laid down His life for us – people He didn’t know, strangers, so that we would have the chance for eternal life.

Not only did He give His life, He willingly walked into the worst torture ever known to man. In Bible times a typical punishment was to either be scourged (brutally beaten) or crucified but never both – Jesus went through both.

The week before (what we typically celebrate as Palm Sunday), Jesus rode a donkey into town to people praising Him and bowing at His feet with palm branches. He ended that week on a cross, buried in a tomb, fighting Satan so that we wouldn’t have to. He had the power to call down 12 legion angels to save Him (a legion = 1000) and yet, He didn’t. He knew what He was getting into.

He had already made His choice.

The following depiction is something I copied from this website and is very, very difficult to read.

The physical trauma of Christ begins in Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His suffering – the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by; they spat on Him and struck Him in the face.

Condemned to Crucifixion

In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Flogging first

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman Legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with fill force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.

At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.

Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.

Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from his back. This had already become adherent to the colts of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain – almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.

The walk to crucifixion

The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey, The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.

The nails of crucifixion

At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The Legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titular reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The pain of crucifixion

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.

Crucifixion – the medical effects

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”

Crucifixion – the last gasp

He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the Legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Out Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.


Haiti. One year later.

230,000 people dead.

http://www.haitinews.net/

http://www.cdc.gov/haiticholera/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cholera-outbreak-haiti

http://progressinhaiti.org/

http://tri-statedefenderonline.com/articlelive/articles/5660/1/Haiti–One-year-later/Page1.html

I know the one year anniversary of this tragedy was nearly 2 months ago. I’m flabbergasted at the amount of destruction.

Between Haiti and Japan and Egypt I wonder if we’ve stretched ourselves too thin but then I remember some things the Bible says:

* Go into ALL the world and lo I am with you ALWAYS (No go, no lo!!)

* Whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto Me.


A Playset Raising.

Back in the pioneer days if a family needed a barn, house, or other necessary building built they’d have all of their friends, family, and neighbors travel out, camp out on the homestead in their wagons and work each day on building whatever was needed until it was finished. We did something similar recently.

Several weeks ago my dad bought this massive playset for my boys. You know the kind, made of wood with a rock wall, slide, swings, a too tall tower, etc. And then we had weeks of seemingly non-stop snow and below zero temperatures. So, building this was postponed until the weather was in a better mood.

It came in 4 boxes that remained stacked on our back porch through many weeks of snow and below freezing temperatures. Finally it was warm enough to build it completely. We thought it would be fairly easy. In theory, each of the 4 boxes was a complete section to be joined with each of the other 3 boxes once they were all together. Not so.

Each box was full of wood. So much wood. And all of it was numbered so we began by sorting the wood into matching piles based on whichever numbers were stamped on them.

Then we started reading the directions. Or rather, my dad read the directions and the rest of us did as we were told. Ha! I want that job next time! Our progress went something like this:

Putting the roof on was … interesting. We laid the whole thing over on its side in order to reach the roof area and to attach those boards. Made it a teeny bit easier to do than trying to stand on tippy-toes at the top of a ladder drill in hand. Once the first roof (yes, first – there were two) was all on we stood it up and called it a day.

On to day two. We started with the second roof – again by laying it down and drilling the roof boards on. One plus to laying it down: made it much easier to undo and redo the boards that slipped a bit out of line. And then came the picnic table. Yes, this thing has a built in picnic table. We were somewhere in the middle of securing the boards that would soon hold the benches when the wind picked up (somewhere around 60-80 mph I’m guessing) and the whole thing started lifting up! So what did I do? I sat on it. Okay, I wasn’t the only one who put my weight on it as there was no way we were letting this thing blow over and potentially destroy all our hard work. Oh, and for the record, the finished project is much more weighted and stronger as well as anchored into the ground really well so it won’t be blowing away any time soon.

Finally, it was time to add the “fun” stuff. You know, the swings, slide, rock wall, and a few small ladders to move between the three levels. Yes, in case you hadn’t see that in the pictures, there are three levels to this thing. The top one is roughly the same height as out attic floor. Aye-yi-yi! That’s tall! Fortunately, I know just how sturdy all of those pieces of wood enclosing the top level almost completely are as I’m the one who secured them all.

The finished product is so much more fun to play on than it was to build. Building it required reading many pages of instructions and sometimes disagreeing with how things went together; meant hitting myself in the head with the drill a few times and scraping my hand on concrete; waking up for a few days with sore muscles in places I’d forgotten there are muscles. It also meant seeing some of the biggest smiles on the boys faces.

Now we just need the weather to cooperate for more than five minutes so we can all go out and enjoy it!

Some thoughts I had while building this:

* Why can’t children come with a manual?! It would be so much easier to raise them if we knew what to say or do and when. Then I smacked myself and said, “that’s exactly what the Bible is”.

* I also thought about how God takes us and molds us to be who we are supposed to be for Him. If something doesn’t line up right, He works on us until we relent to His way and get things lined up again. I consider each learning experience to be the equivalent of each bolt and screw in the playset. Each one holds us to the memory of how God helped us in a particular situation just like each bolt and screw holds that playset together. Individually it seems as though there are just random pieces lying about but when put together they form a masterpiece that only the Master can create.


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