Good Friday or Bad?

Today, many of us celebrate what we call, Good Friday. The day Christ died on the cross with the promise of rising in three days. The day the earth shook, the sun darkened, the veil was torn, and the believers were scattered with their dreams of majesty shattered. The day the Holy Lamb of God was beaten, bruised, pierced by those who hated Him and forsaken by the very Father God who claimed to love Him.

So, if all this bad happened on this day, how can we call it Good Friday? How can we join together to celebrate such a horrific, gruesome, unimaginable death? How can anything good be taken from such a terrible day that is forever written in the annals of time?

If you don’t know Him, I can understand why you’d wonder. If you’ve never realized His love for you, I can believe your confusion and doubt. If you’ve only heard of Him in storybooks and seen Him portrayed as “just a man” in cults and Hollywood box office hits, I can comprehend your skepticism, ridicule and even rejection.

But for me, I know Him on a personal level…

He was there before I even took a breath. He was there when I was in my mother’s womb, and her guidance counselor tried to convince her to “get rid of the dilemma,” because, after all, she was just 16. He was there when I was born six weeks (8 wks to today’s standards) too early and fought for life for those 10 days in that tiny incubator.

He was there when I was six months old, and my alcoholic parents split up. He was there when my four year old self waited by the door with packed bags for a father who never showed up. He was there when my twelve year old self received a “new daddy” who took us away from a comfortable, small town to a great big city with so many unknowns.

He was there when I met the man of my dreams and said, “I do.” He was there when our first child never grew in the womb, and we buried him under those great big oaks at my childhood home. He was there when our firstborn aspirated meconium, and we were told by a young nurse that it could be fatal. He was there when our second son fell off the changing table onto a tile floor while being babysat. He was there when I lost my precious grandfather to cancer, the man who had protected me, loved me and cherished me, the man who been my “Daddy” for so many years. He was there through all of the grief and sorrow.

The stories could go on and on with so much more detail, but I won’t bore you with my life story. I can just say, with 100% confidence, He was there. In my darkest days and in my happiest hours, in my finest moments and in those times that I wish to never be repeated, He was there.

He has always been there.

So, I call it Good Friday, because I know He was there hanging on the cross pouring out His blood for me for redemption. I call it Good Friday, because I know He rose just a few days later with the promise of victory, and heaven and eternity for my soul if I just believe. I call it Good Friday, because I am a witness to all that has come from His sacrifice, His love and His grace just in my own life.

I call it Good Friday, because often times, out of the bad, the horrific, the most unimaginable things comes such beauty and goodness and promise that you can’t call it anything but GOOD!

Watch and listen…

https://youtu.be/Is6weMrenls

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Be the Fire

No one said this life would be fair. No one said you’d always walk along a path of daisies and roses. Sometimes, life just stinks, and you have to live through the pain and agony it presents.

Sometimes, this life is going to be set on fire, and you’ve got to decide whether you’re going to grab a bucket and put out the flames , stand your ground and walk through the blaze, or lie down and become the ashes. The choice is yours, and no one can make that choice for you.

You can be destroyed in the fire, or you can slow it to refine you, strengthen you and teach you. If you decide to lie down and allow it to consume, you must know that your life may not be the only one that is devoured. There may be children, grandchildren, friends and family. Often, we do not realize, we stand as a shield for those coming behind.

If you choose to walk through, the road may not be easy, and it may get hotter and more strenuous before it gets better, but there is one who promises you will not be diminished from the inferno.

His name is Jesus.

And He loves you.

With God by your side, the flames may lick at your being, and the temperatures may rise beyond comfortable, but YOU WILL MAKE IT. He will walk beside you. He will guide you, and when needed, He will carry you.

Give Him a chance. He will not disappoint. He is able. He is faithful. He is true, and His promises are unbreakable…inflammable…in-consumable.

When you choose to walk through the flames with Him, you become resilient to the wildfires. You become a pillar of stone that cannot be singed. You become the firefighter who rescues others from the flames.

Grief Like An Ocean’s Tide

Grief is such a difficult journey, and it’s different for every person who encounters it. Some scream, some cry, some wail, some cling, and some push away, and some even still simply walk away.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the reactions to grief. Grief is not selective. It doesn’t skip the wicked and only hit the believers of this religion or that. It doesn’t skip the rich and only threaten the poor. It is no respecter of persons. It is not bias to name, prestige, status, heritage or race.

Grief comes to us all, and if you think you’re excluded, well, just keep on living, my friend…

I read these two pics, and they seemed to just sum up almost all there is to know about grief. It is like a morning’s tide, except there’s no gadget, computer or orbital phase to help you schedule its rise, fall, or turbulence.

Sometimes, the waves roll in, and you just have to roll up your pant legs and wade until they roll back out. Other times, the sea rushes in so swiftly, without warning, and you just have to sink or swim, as you work hard just to keep your head above to catch a breath. Still other times, the tide pulls back awhile, giving the appearance that you can walk a little deeper, out to a sandbar or two, in order to find a bit of a reprieve.

As I struggle to describe the different phases of grief I’ve observed, I can’t claim to know all the answers of “Why?” “When?” or even “How much longer?” Yet, I may be able to give someone an answer to the “How?”

How can I go forward? How can I ease the pain? How can I be left here? How can I go on living without them?

For, I may not know much, but this one thing I do know! HE is an anchor that holds. Jesus is the Rock that I can cling to. I stand as a testimony, as a witness, that He will bring comfort in our darkest hour. He will carry us through every single step of this painful journey. With Him holding your hand, and sometimes, even picking you up to carry you, you CAN make it.

Afterthought…

This is one thing that He is absolutely amazing at doing: bringing comfort to the broken and giving grace to the desperate. I stand back in awe each and every time as I watch someone experiencing grief and leaning on Him as their source of strength.

Sometimes, it almost seems instantaneous the grace He gives, and other times, the depth of pain seems almost insurmountable; yet, each and every time, without fail, He comes through for those who believe. His promises are true. His love is unfailing, and His grace is so sufficient.

It doesn’t mean there everything is instantly washed away, and you never feel another moment of pain. It doesn’t mean you all of a sudden feel giddy and lightheaded, because the sorrow is no more. It doesn’t even mean, just with a snap of a finger, you somehow stop longing for the return of the one you lost.

No, the pain still rocks in like the tide. The sorrow still awakens you in the night as you reach for their hand. The longing in your heart still stretches to eternity. But the peace He brings, the grace He sustains, the stability He instills is worth giving Him the chance.

All we have to do is simply believe. When we believe and place our trust in Him, we are releasing His Holy Spirit to do what He does best. He is called The Comforter for a reason.

Just Hang On

Sometimes, life with God feels just like this…

But I promise you, all His promises are true, and He ALWAYS has our best interest at heart, because He loves us more than life itself. 💗

Just hang on. This will be the best ride of your entire life!

Where Do You Run?

When the trials of life settle in like a cold, hard rain, where do you run?

When the pain beats in your chest in rhythm with your own heartbeat, how do you keep breathing?

When all seems lost, and the world feels as if it’s closing in around you, what do you do? Who do you call?

Some run to a friend. Some run to a lover. Others find solace in a bottle or a pill. Still others fight it, deny it or even lash out at all those around like a wounded animal.

Yet, can I tell you there is One who will never fail? Can I tell you there is One who will bring comfort and strength, grace and peace?

His name is Jesus, and He’s reaching out His Hand. He’s calling to you in the rain.

Can you hear Him? Just say His Name.

*I do not own nor possess any pictures in this post. A simple Google search led me to each.*

True POWER

Where do you find your power?

Where do you find your strength for living?

Where do you search for might when all seems lost, and you feel you can’t take another step or even another breath?

Ok, so this will be controversial, but I’m not really looking for a debate or a fight. Just gonna share with you what I know to be true in my life.

Some chase after fame, fortune or prestige. Some run after men/women, programs or jobs. Others seek for friends and family to bring them encouragement and stability. Still others try to find their strength, and even their peace, in a bottle, drugs or sex.

I’m here to tell you, all those things will fail you. All those things will, eventually, leave you broken, desolate and hopeless. Only One can bring you all the hope, peace, strength and power you need. His name is Jesus, and He loves you right where you are!

If you don’t know Him, just say His Name. Just ask Him to reveal Himself to you today. He’s pretty good at that. 😉💗

Fears Have You?

As this year draws to a close, I wonder, what fears are you battling tonight? What fears have you overcome this year? Maybe there is a fear you are seriously trying to overcome, but you don’t know exactly how to “squash it?” There is Hope, and there is an answer…

Trusting in God doesn’t instantaneously wipe away all fear simply because we believe… yeah, I said that. Now, those of you who believe in Him, please, don’t pick up your rocks to throw, just hear me out…

He is a good God. He is a BIG God, and He is a God who loves us so very much that He sent His son to die for us to save us. He is a God who, when He says in His Word He will do something, you can be 100% sure He will follow through. He’s a God of absolute Truth. He IS Truth; therefore, He simply cannot lie.

So, when He says to fear not, because He is with you, He means it. He’s right there with you. Yet, sometimes, even when we pray, believe and trust in Him, that fear can linger, not because He’s not God anymore but more because, sometimes, our heart has to grow stronger in our belief…because sometimes, we are fighting a fear that has deep roots in our lives, and we have to slay that giant on the battlefield of our faith just as David went out on the battlefield with Goliath and struck him down…because sometimes, we’ve got to lay down that fear with which we’ve walked in agreement since our childhood and stand firm in our faith and believe in His sovereignty and grace regardless of what our feelings might be screaming at us…because sometimes, our faith has been weakened by our lack of preparation, or because our consistency of feeding the flesh rather than the spirit, or because our faith has been beaten and worn due to previous battles, and we just need to rely on Him more than our own strength and ability.

That’s what it all really boils down to: total reliance on Him rather than ourselves. That’s where He wants us. That’s where He does His best work, because that’s where our testimony isn’t how we did some great thing to conquer the fear, it becomes how our Great God did an amazing thing and conquered the fear in us and through us!

So, next time you’re battling a new fear, or you’re trying to conquer an old one, and it just seems that demon is gaining ground, just call on His Name, trust Him and believe; them, watch Him do what He does best! 😉

Just In Case You Wondered

God is Big. I mean REALLY Big. He doesn’t slumber, or grow tired, or even grow weary. He understands where you are, because He is understanding. He can wisely guide you, because He is wisdom. He will give you strength for weariness, because He is strength.  He will give you power for weakness, because He is All Power. He will show you mercy and grace, because He is so gracious and kind. He will give you love, because He is love. He is the Creator of all things and the Creator of you very soul. 

He’s the only One, True God, and He’s absolutely crazy about YOU! If you don’t know Him today, just check Him out. Just say His Name, “Jesus.” … You might just be surprised at what, or Who, you find. 😉

Always There

As I walk down the halls of the hospital and enter through the ICU doors, I am reminded one more time how precious and how unpredictable life can be. When the storms rage, we hit our knees, crying out to our God, begging for mercy and grace.

Yet, sometimes, I wonder why we do not call on His name before that moment. Is it because of self-reliance? A strong will? Stubbornness? A rebellious heart? Or just a simple determination to make it on our own until we realize that thought doesn’t work as well as we thought it would? If we could actually see His great love for us before the storm, I wonder if we might turn our hearts toward Him before the rains came. 

He is always there, from the moment we take our first breath to the time we breathe our last. He is there in the midst of our celebrations, and He is there in the depths of our despair. Often, we do not see Him, because we are blinded by our own fleshly nature or our own hidden pain. 

Our blindness does not change His presence nor His ability to hear and see us. He is there, awaiting our call, at every moment of every day, all we have to do is call on His name. He will answer. Every. Single. Time. 

Klear.com

GO!

I look at so many religions in this world and watch how they fervently make disciples of their beliefs. They go door to door. They call special meetings. They infiltrate and consume college campuses and schools, all to create more followers if their particular system. Yet, I see time and again, Christians hold back from sharing Christ’s story. They allow someone else to take the center stage of testimony. They allow the cares of this world to consume every minute of the day that the busyness chokes the Living Word right out of their lives. They allow the fear of ridicule to silence their stand. 

I know this to be true, because the same has happened in my own life. I haven’t shared this Good News as much as I should, as much as I am truly able. I fall so short in the area of “making disciples.” I often keep silent when I should just open my mouth to speak. It’s sometimes easier to “just keep to ourselves” rather than to possibly be counted with “those crazy charismatics of the cross.”

Yet, sharing His love isn’t that hard. It’s not that lengthy in time, and it’s not complicated. Just share your story. Just talk about Him. He will always show up, and He will take care of the rest. 😉

It is time to speak up! It is time to speak out!  He is a good God. He is a gracious and merciful King. He is a loving Father. He is a living Savior. He is the one true God. Let us GO and tell all the world!