I have installed IntenseDebate to enable the use of CommentLuv on Blogger, but anyone can leave a comment, and please do! I have also removed the nofollow tags to make this a Christian DOFOLLOW blog. If you have a Christian or family oriented blog and would like to exchange links in the blog roll, just leave a comment and ask!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Till Death Do Us Part... Literally

This is such an inspiring story of what love and commitment really mean. This is such a rarity in today's society. In full disclosure, I, myself, am twice divorced, once widowed, and even have a beautiful daughter out of wedlock overseas. Much of my adult life I was not living for the Lord, but I now understand the meaning of those words "till death do us part," that marriage between one man and one woman was instituted by God, and the sanctity of marriage and human life. How fitting it is that God would allow this couple, after 72 years of marriage, to die together holding hands and not have to experience the pain of one losing the other.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Casting Crowns - Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) with Lyrics

Casting Crowns is one of my favorite Christian bands. Here is one of their many fantastic hit songs, Glorious Day (Living He Love Me) with the lyrics. No commentary necessary from me on it, it speaks for itself. I've just included some scripture I feel is appropriate to each line of the chorus, one each from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. ENJOY!


Living He loved me,

The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:
"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you."
-Jeremiah 31:3

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come
that He should depart from this world to the Father,
having loved His own who were in the world,
He loved them to the end.
-John 13:1

Dying He saved me

And I will pour on the house of David
and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem
the Spirit of grace and supplication;
then they will look on Me whom they pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son,
and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
-Zechariah 12:10

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
-Romans 5:8-9

And buried He carried my sins far away

For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death
-Isaiah 53:8b-9a

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,
that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life.
-Romans 6:4

Rising He justified freely forever

I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues!
O Grave, I will be your destruction!
-Hosea 13:14

And therefore “It (Abraham’s faith) was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him
who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
who was delivered up because of our offenses,
and was raised because of our justification.
-Romans 4:22-25

One day He's coming, oh, glorious day,
oh, glorious day

I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
-Daniel 7:13-14a

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him,
even they who pierced Him.
And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.
Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord,
who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
-Revelation 1:7-8

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Can I Forgive? - Learning How To Let Go Of Pain

In this fallen, sinful and broken world, being wronged by somebody is simply an inescapable fact of life. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, whether intentional or not, and fact is, it will happen again. Sometimes it’s by strangers, or sometimes by someone in our circle of friends, or the worst of all is being hurt by our loved ones.

“How can I forgive her adultery?”

“How do I forgive him for cheating me on that deal?”

“How can I let go of the pain of being lied to?”

“I don’t know how to let go of the pain of betrayal.”

These are some very real questions you may be asking yourself, or maybe something similar. In our humanity these are very legitimate questions to ask, but let’s put a little perspective on it. What if Jesus, as He hung on the cross being wrongfully executed, had asked, “How can I forgive them for killing me?” He chose, instead, to submit to the will of the Father and asked forgiveness for those who were committing the ultimate wrong that can be committed on this earth against Him.

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they do.
-Luke 23:34

Forgiveness is a command of Jesus, but we must CHOOSE to follow it. Forgiving is hard because it goes against our sinful flesh nature that wants to get even and be vindicated, but He set the example for us in a big-time way. I guess you could say he “talked the talk and walked the walk.” The sins committed against us by others pale in comparison to the sins we’ve committed against God. That was the point Jesus was making with the parable of the unforgiving servant. The servant was forgiven a huge debt by the king, but then would not forgive a fellow servant of a much smaller debt. As a consequence, when the king heard about it, he had the servant sent to prison. When we choose not to forgive, there are consequences for us, as well.

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone,
forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.
-Mark 11:25-26

Whoa! Wait a minute! I thought Jesus forgave ALL my sin? Well, He did, but these are red letters in my Bible, and it says what it says. Consider verse 26 with this perspective; if your heart is so hard that you won’t forgive, then have you really experienced the love and forgiveness of Jesus? How can you ask God to forgive you if you won’t forgive others? If you have truly experienced the freedom that comes with God's forgiveness, then how could you NOT forgive someone else? Your heart’s desire should be to forgive the specks in others’ eyes, knowing you’ve been forgiven the board in yours. Notice there are no conditions put on forgiving someone, either. It doesn’t mean that what they did was ok, but that you choose not to hold it against them anymore. For instance, if you forgive someone for lying to you, does that mean you will believe everything they say from then on? Not necessarily, but you overlook that lie and use discernment in the future. They don’t have to come apologize or ask for forgiveness, either. Forgiveness is grace- undeserved favor.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies,
kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another,
and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another;
even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
-Colossians 3:12-15

Forgiveness is a hallmark of a devoted follower of Christ. It is an expression of love like no other, short of laying down one's life for another. I urge you, my brothers and sisters in the Lord, to let the perfect love of Christ live within you, being full of tender mercies, shining forth kindness and humility by His Spirit, and “pay it forward,” as they say, forgiving others in grace as you also have been forgiven, and may God's perfect peace reign in your heart.

And above all things have fervent love for one another,
for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
-1 Peter 4:8





 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Have You Had Your TAWG Today?

time with God
  
I have a 17 year old daughter who lives on the island of Guam in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. She doesn’t know it yet, but she inspired this blog post when I was chatting with her the other day on Facebook. Guam is 14 hours ahead of the US East Coast, so it was Friday night here and Saturday morning there. She told me she needed to get off of the computer for a while because she had to do her TAWG. Having never seen that acronym before, I naturally asked what it meant, and she told me, “Time Alone With God.”
 

Shadanice James
My daughter Shadanice
 
And when thou prayest,
thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:
for they love to pray standing in the synagogues
and in the corners of the streets,
that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest,
enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door,
pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret
shall reward thee openly.
- Matthew 6:5-6

My friends, have you had your TAWG today? The above Bible passage from Matthew 6 is in red letters in my bible. Jesus, Himself, told us to make time to be alone with God. Some people call it going into their prayer closet. It doesn’t have to be a literal closet, as some people do, which is perfectly fine, but a quiet time and place to be with God. Thank Him for His many blessings, pray for yourself and others, read the Bible, confess what you need to confess, but don’t do all the talking. Take time to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Seek His guidance, His will for you, how you can bless others, and how you can glorify Him.


A literal prayer closet

Immediately Jesus made His disciples
get into the boat and go before Him
to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
And when He had sent the multitudes away,
He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
Now when evening came, He was alone there.
- Matthew 14:22-23

Not only did Jesus tell us to spend time alone with God, He set the example for us, as seen in these Bible verses from Matthew 14. Notice how Jesus is proactive here. He didn’t just wait for things to quiet down, He made the time. He sent His disciples away, and then He sent the crowd away. I want to encourage you today, my brethren, to make time for your TAWG. All of us can come up with reasons not to and give a list of stuff that is keeping us "too busy," myself included, but aren’t they really all just excuses? Sometimes we even become so caught up in ministry work that it becomes an excuse for no time ALONE with God, just like Mikes Sumondong wrote about on his blog, Your Daily Word. Can’t we find at least 20 or 30 minutes a day to make time for God every day? Turn off the TV, get off of the computer, get up a little earlier in the morning, or maybe get ready for bed a little earlier and have your TAWG then. Satan doesn’t like it when we have some TAWG, and he’ll throw anything in our way he can, but stand firm my friends, because we are more than conquerors in Christ!


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