After Easter

The story doesn’t end with Jesus on the cross, although that is the focal point of our salvation.

Every drop of blood in His body flowed out, ran down His brow, ran from the wound in His side, from the stripes on His back. His blood ran in rivulets down the hill, over the cliff of Golgotha, where according to legend, His blood flowed into the tomb was where Jesus was to be buried. Jesus didn’t die because His blood was all gone from His body. He died because He voluntarily gave up His Spirit, His life.

Jesus Himself said in John 10:17-18, “I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of Myself.” Then the first day of the week, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus took up His life again and rose from the dead, but the story doesn’t end there either.

In the garden, He appeared to Mary. That night He appeared to His disciples. Later He appeared to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Then in the presence of at least 120 people He ascended to heaven, but that isn’t the end of the story either.

After Jesus ascended to heaven, the Bible says now He is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. But the story didn’t end there either.

Jesus will come to take us to heaven where we will be with the Lord, but the story doesn’t end there either.

Then Jesus and His resurrected saints will return to the earth and we will live on earth with Him for a thousand years, but that isn’t the end of the story.

At the end of the thousand years, Jesus will re-create heaven and earth, and heaven will come down to earth, right over Jerusalem. Then we will rule and reign with Him forever. That isn’t the end of the story either.
That is only the beginning.
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Sweet Words

If I were to define my worst trait it would be my big mouth. Oh, I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble over the years because of my mouth.
One time we’d been fishing and were leaving the creek, with Dad driving a big Dodge pickup with an overhead camper. We pulled up to the road and stopped, waiting for a car who was going  to turn in where we were coming out,  but she couldn’t see around us to see if she had room. In other conditions, Dad would have just backed up a little to let her in, but there was someone behind us too.
I was in the passenger seat with my arm hanging out the window and I just mouthed, “Can’t you see we can’t move? Come on, lady.” She was almost facing me and I could see her face as she hollered out at me, “What did you say?”
I said, “I only said we can’t back up.” Well, she couldn’t hear me, so she said, “Say that again,” and I could tell she was getting mad. Now I was an adult, maybe 30, and I decided maybe I’d better act apologetic before she jumped out of that car, pulled me out, and stomped on me.
While I was smiling and shrugging at the lady, Dad waved at the guy behind us to come on around us, and he did, so then Dad backed up, so the lady could turn in. It turned out okay but I should have just kept my mouth shut.
Have you ever had to eat your words? I did that day, and I’m sorry to say, that’s not the last time I’ve had to back up and retract something I have said.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.Psalm 19:14 NKJV.
I’ll keep my words sweet in case I have to eat them.
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Storms of Life

Another thunderstorm blew through town this evening, and it thundered occasionally for several hours. Most of us didn’t get very much rain this time, but we had received rain a few days ago.

Until the time of Noah, mankind had never experienced rain. In Genesis 2:5-6, “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, ….but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”

God spoke to Noah telling him that because of the wickedness of the people on the earth, He was going to destroy them all. God told Noah to build an ark and gave him all the details in how to build it. In Genesis 7:4, God said, “I will cause it to rain forty days and forty nights,” then God put Noah and his family into the ark which would ride upon the water. From the day that Noah and his family entered the boat, their lives were never the same. The world that existed when they entered the boat was different from the world to which they returned, and their lives were spared.

When Noah and his family left the Ark, Noah built an altar to God and God spoke to him again, telling him that he had placed a rainbow in the sky which represented God’s promise that He would never again destroy the whole world (and all the people) with a flood.

I was not singled out to experience the storm. Everyone in northeast Oklahoma experienced the same storm, although it wasn’t exactly the same in every location. Some places received rain but others only had thunder.

He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 NKJV.

Are you facing struggles in your life, storms that threaten to destroy your world? It might destroy things around you, but it won’t destroy you, if you will just allow the Lord to put you into His ark of safety.

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Strange Fish

When we were first married, my husband had a streak of good luck fishing for unusual fish. He kept bringing home strange looking fish.

A true pre-historic fish, the spoonbill is a boneless fish, with a spinal cord that looks like a rope and a tail that looks like a propeller and a big flat spout that looks like the beaver’s tail. Also called a paddlefish, they can grow up to 7 feet long and up to 200 pounds and in Oklahoma at least they are caught by snagging or using a giant hook to catch them on their body.

 The biggest spoonbill my husband ever snagged was 60 pounds. He hung it by the “paddle” from a tree, cut around the tail, and pulled the spinal cord out. We chopped it into big chunks, dipped it into cornmeal, and deep fried it. It was very good. We froze a large amount to eat later, but when I thawed and cooked it, I didn’t like it.

Once hubby came home with buffalo, buffalo fish that is. Most people throw them back since they are full of bones. I didn’t really want to bother with it, but Mom said that they used to eat buffalo, after it was pressure-cooked, so we canned it. In January when I opened the fish to eat it, the fish reminded me of jack mackerel, and we made “tuna” sandwiches and “tuna” patties.

Paul had some rough times too and he mentioned frequently that he worked for his living instead of depending on the people in the churches.

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT.

There are many things that we ate back in those early days of our marriage when we were struggling to get by because we weren’t too good to eat fish that wasn’t commonly served.

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Ironing the Wrinkles Out

During World War II, Mother worked at the Army base laundry where Dad was stationed and because she could iron so well, she was assigned to iron the officers’ uniforms. After I was born, Dad bought Mom a wringer washer, a sewing machine, and iron, so that she could take in washings for a living, while he worked as a mechanic. She washed and ironed clothes for the businessmen of Vinita.

For many years, an ironing board and iron was always set up in the front room of our house. The ironing board represented hard work for 10 cents a shirt. I could make more money than that waiting tables. No more ironing for me.

I was so happy when they started putting polyester in shirts and pants. The only time I ironed was to press the seams when I sewed. I trained my two kids to toss wrinkled clothes into the dryer and “fluff” them. Now I occasionally iron a dress for church or a funeral, but it is rare.

“That He
[Jesus Christ] might sanctify and cleanse her [the church] with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV.

Jesus washes us with the Word of God, in the agitator of life. He is turning up the heat on the dryer to get the wrinkles out of our life. Sometimes He can just toss us into the dryer to “fluff” us, but if the wrinkle is too deep then He gets that heavy iron from the top of the woodstove.

When you are agitating in the washing machine of God, sing “Hallelujah.”

When you are tumbling in the dryer, being fluffed, shout “Praise God.”

When the heat is on, rejoice.

When the intense pressure of that hot iron is removing the wrinkles from your heart, bow down in gratitude for His mercy.

And thank God, that He loves us too much to leave us in our sorry state, but will do whatever it takes to prepare us for that Special Occasion in heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God.
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Teach Your Children

When we kids were little, sometimes Mom took in kids to babysit. One time in particular that I remember, Mom took in a pretty little dark-haired girl about 3 or 4 who stayed overnight with us for a couple of nights. She really missed her parents and cried quite a bit. The first night she wouldn’t go to sleep. I think Mom was trying to get her to go to sleep in the baby bed, but she just kept crying and saying something over and over that none of us could understand.
Mom kept asking her what she was trying to say and finally figured out that she was saying she wanted to sleep on the “davenport.” Suddenly Mom understood and the little girl went sweetly off to sleep on our “divan.” The whole problem had been simply a matter of understanding the words she was saying.
 Mama loved little children. She was always glad to have children hanging around the house with us, and when she later went to work at the school cafeteria, she loved every little kid that went through her cafeteria line.
 
Mama taught Sunday School as well as teaching us Bible stories and songs at home. We learned the song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
 
 We held in our hands little Sunday School cards with a picture of Jesus on the front and the story and verse on the back. We gazed on the picture of Jesus holding the little lost sheep, and fell in love with Jesus while we were children. We were taught in a level of language that we could understand.
 
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 11:19 NIV.
It is easy to believe in Jesus as your Savior when you are raised from babyhood hearing about Him.
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Royal Blood

 

 Aethelwulf Birth King Of Wessex 839-861, Kent 839-858

photo from west facade Lichfield Cathedral in London

The PBS TV station has been showing movies of kings and queens of England. I have watched 3 shows of “Victoria” who was the queen of England, and a show called “Secret of Six Wives” the story of King Henry the 8th who had six wives. I love those historical shows. When I was in elementary school, I read through all the books of the kings and queens of England and France. I was mesmerized by the stories of their lives, the lavish lifestyles, and their impact on the present day.

And now I’ve discovered while doing my family tree that I have royalty in my dna. Oh it’s way back there a thousand years ago, and I’m not the only one who is a descendant, that’s for sure. If you figure that he is my 33rd great grandfather, then the possibility of being a descendant of his is astronomical. The way I figure it, there would be 8.5 million descendants, if he had 2 children and each child had two.  You wouldn’t recognize the name, so I won’t mention it but he really was a ruler of the area which became England.

I’ve had my dna tested and it shows 65% of my dna was from the British Isles, so I really am English and Irish. That’s proof, isn’t it? I am Eunice and Roscoe’s darling daughter and their dna flows through my veins. In addition to what I inherited in my dna, the physical possessions that belonged to my parents became mine and my siblings when they both passed away.

I am also a child of the Creator, the Lord God Almighty. I am His child and He is my Father.  I’m His favorite, but He has millions of favorites.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:16-17. NKJV.

I’m a descendant of God, His darling daughter, and His spiritual dna flows in my spirit.

 Aethelwulf Birth King Of Wessex 839-861, Kent 839-858

photo from west facade Lichfield Cathedral in London

 

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Loving to Read

Mother let me walk by myself to the library one summer when I was about 9 to get a library card and check out my first book. The librarian Mrs. Moss suggested a book for me. Three days later I was back to get another book. Then a few days after that, I was back. Mrs. Moss told me then that I could take more than one if I would be very careful and bring them back on time.

I started taking home two books and then three.  The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, plus Black Beauty and all those books that were available for my age.

I have often wondered just how I developed a desire to read at such an early age. Our daddy was a voracious reader, but he worked out of town all the time. Mother didn’t seem to have time to read, but she always had newspapers and books at our house. My older sister had been a very good reader, the teachers told me, so they expected me to like to read too.

One thing I loved to read from the beginning was the little Bible story cards we received in Sunday School, with a picture on one side and a scripture verse and lesson on the other.

Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul…. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. Deut. 11:18-21.NKJV.

God used these little scripture cards to develop the desire to read in my heart, so that I could learn His word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Framing Your World

Have you ever watched concrete being laid? They build a wooden frame around the area they are going to pour into, building it up to the depth they want and the shape they intend for it to become. Then they pour the cement and smooth off the top, working the bubbles out and let it set up.
 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” the Bible says in Hebrew 11:3.
This is how God made the world, framing it up with his word through faith. We are living life today exactly as we have framed it with our words. You are today what you have made yourself to become by the words of your mouth.

Don’t blame your parents or society or religion. Of course, bad things happen even to good people, but the outcome of your life depends on what you say. After all, your ultimate eternal salvation depends simply on your believing in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and confessing with your mouth that He is Lord.
Maybe you don’t like what your world has become. Maybe you are ready for a change. How can you change it? Reframe it.
Start building your frame. Speak the Word of God.
If you have wayward children or a spouse that isn’t serving God, for instance, here is a good scripture to frame with. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Josh 24:15. Another good verse is Acts 16:31 which
says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
If your body is sick and you need healing, frame your healing with these words: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Matt 8:17.
Here is another good one. I Pet 2:31 “By whose stripes ye were healed.”

We frame our world just like God does, with our words.
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The Prodigal



Luke 15 tells the story of a prodigal son who squandered all his inheritance and ended up slopping hogs in a foreign country, with nothing to eat but corn husks.

But the Bible says he came to himself. He came to his senses and suddenly realized what was going on. He thought to himself, “The servants of my father’s house are better off than I am. At least, they have food to eat.”

He prepared his speech. “I’ll tell my father, ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; just make me one of your hired servants.’ ”  Half-naked, barefoot, starving, smelling like hog slop, the son turned in the direction of home.

The father’s heart yearned for the son’s return. Every day the father watched the road, expecting his son to return. Watching. Waiting.
Even while he was yet far off, the father saw him, ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him fervently, all over his unshaven, dirty, smelly face. The son started his speech, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son….” But the father stopped him right there.

It didn’t matter if he was worthy or not, he would always be the father’s son. The father told the servants to bring the best robe, a ring, and sandals. Prepare a feast with that calf they had been saving for a special occasion. This was a celebration! The son had come home.

Do you know a prodigal son or daughter? Pray that he will come to himself, come to his senses. Ask the Lord to open his eyes.

Paul prayed a prayer for the Ephesian church, in Eph. 1:17, that “the eyes of their understanding may be enlightened,” that their spiritual eyes will be opened to the truth.

When you pray this prayer for your prodigal, you better start getting the calf fattened up, the musical instruments in tune, the balloons inflated, the confetti prepared. Get the “Welcome Home” banners strung across the front of the house and the yellow ribbons tied to the trees. Call all your friends and prepare the banquet room.

The prodigal will come home.
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