As we walk the way of the cross this week towards Good Friday, I have been reminded of a very simple truth.
We remember that Jesus was arrested for a crime he did not commit, questioned by the high priest then shuffled off to the office of the roman governor who would not make any decisions as to Jesus' future but took the coward's way out by letting the crowds decide.
Crucify him, crucify him was their demand and cry.
There's much more to the story, I encourage you to read it in Luke 22-23. But the end of the story, Jesus is crucified, dead , buried and rose again on the third day...that's why we celebrate Easter.
The simple thought I was led to Sunday morning was Luke 23:34
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
I have been gently reminded I was them.
No, I wasn't standing at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying,
no I didn't cast lots for the clothes that had been stripped off him
and no, I wasn't there condemning him to death or yelling from the crowd to crucify.
my sin put him on the cross, my rejection of what Jesus Christ came to do; reconcile me back to a loving Heavenly Father; was why he hung on the cross, bore the shame and agony of his Father turning away from him, yes...
I was them.
But it didn't end there for me and it doesn't for anyone who repents of their sin, asking forgiveness of their sin through Jesus Christ, and trusting in him for salvation, of being able to say I am now a friend of God.
It's all right there, read for yourself in Luke 23. And no longer be among them.
I don't remember when this post was originally written. It is probably several years old, but these points remain true as I focus on 2016.
As I look back on 2015 I see personal loss but God in His infinite love and grace gave me gifts at the end of 2015 to look forward to in the coming year. A post regarding 2015 is still rambling around in the ole' brain. Life is one big adjustment. It seems from birth to the grave, adjustments are a part of life. But I have laid a firm foundation over the years, and these focus points bring great encouragement and comfort, because God and His Word are my firm foundation and He never changes.
1. In everything I do I want to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (1 Corinthians 10:31) I want to be a Christ follower, not just pursue the American dream of 2.5 children, a home and 2 cars in the garage. I want to know
God who rescued me and loves me. I do this by making it my goal to read His Word everyday and attempting to pray without ceasing. I pray for people and circumstances as God brings them to mind.
2. Spend my life encouraging my family as a wife and mother; to exhort and encourage all women I am privileged to call my friends. I want to encourage them to love God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind, and their neighbor as themselves. (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30)
3. To teach women how to love God's Word, encouraging them to love God by loving His Word. (Psalm 119:1) I do this by writing several blog posts a week, teaching women's Bible studies and Sunday School, giving birthday cards and gifts, praying and meeting with women whenever I can over coffee, lunch, meeting in my mom cave
, or walking together at the local walking track.
4. Educate myself in the gifts I believe God has given me. Continuing to hone counseling and writing skill(or lack of), and reading many books to the glory of God. My first book, published in 2014, Confessions of a Farmer's Daughter
can be purchased by clicking on the link from me.
5. Eat right and exercise on a regular basis, making it my goal to remain healthy to serve the Lord and "look good" for my husband and no one else. His opinion is the only that matters. Keep communication open between my four children by texting, calling, emailing, visiting, and praying for them everyday.
Ultimately I want to be a woman who knows charm is deceitful and beauty fades, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 31:30)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Come December our thoughts turn to Christmas. If you live at the Gates house, we love to celebrate and typically begin Christmas music around Thanksgiving. This year it was a week before...for me anyway. Some, whom I will not name, have been known to have it on in July. Our celebration of the newborn King include decorations, a white Christmas tree which you have to see to believe. The neighbors who drive by and can see it glowing in our picture window have commented it is very pretty. You're welcome to come see for yourself!! I love to bake, mostly to give away to friends and neighbors, and we love to buy gifts for our family. Please stop by and enjoy our tree, there might even be some baked goods waiting for you!!!
The past several years my mind has turned to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Much has been written about her, who she was, why it was prophesied she would be a virgin and how old she might have been and where she gave birth. I was researching her again this year and was reminded how easy it is to become so focused on the minor points of her life and forget the most important point of the Christmas story.
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a descendant of Adam so that He could ultimately go to the Cross and die in our place. Now the descendants of Adam can be saved from an eternity of separation from their Creator. God gave His Son to this world, which is the greatest gift that could ever be given. Let us celebrate this truth and tell the world about God's amazing love. Tim Chaffey(Answers in Genesis)
How easy it is to get caught up in the rush of the holidays that I do not take the time to sit down, read the Word of God that was written to me and remember why God gave the Greatest Gift. He gave so I could be rescued from the domain of darkness; apart from Christ I am completely destitute. (Colossians 1:13) If that isn't the best present ever then I don't know what is. God loved me so much He gave, He loved, He loves lavishly. (1 John 3:1)
I also do not want to miss the point of who Mary was. Luke 1:28 says she was "favored by God". The Message says it best
Good morning! You're beautiful with God's beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.