iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the tag “Christianity”

Eternity Under Construction


via Daily Prompt: Partake

John 14:2-3 (NIV)

Jesus said this to his believers,

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

I am living for Him so I can partake in His promise.

Who’s with me?

 

 

Maundy Thursday Service


For the second year in a row, a member of my church read the poem below written by Lucy Nanson, from New Zealand, at the Maundy Thursday service. Following this reading, everyone was invited to form two lines up in the center aisle to have one of two pastors pour water on our hands from a bowl at the front of church while making the sign of the cross on our palms. Next to each bowl were little wash cloths, neatly rolled up in a basket, to dry the hands.

Just like last year, my emotions were heightened and I had tears in my eyes while I listened to the poem and thought about how my hands fit many of the descriptions.

Maundy Thursday: Wash My Hands

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

not my feet

My hands peel potatoes, wipe messes from the floor

change dirty nappies, clean the grease from pots and pans

have pointed in anger and pushed away in tears

in years past they’ve smacked a child and raised a fist

fumbled with nervousness, shaken with fear

I’ve wrung them when waiting for news to come

crushed a letter I’d rather forget

covered my mouth when I’ve been caught out

touched forbidden things, childhood memories do not grow dim

These hands have dug gardens, planted seeds

picked fruit and berries, weeded out and pruned trees

found bleeding from the rose’s thorns

dirt and blood mix together

when washed before a cup of tea

Love expressed by them

asks for your respect

in the hand-shake of warm greeting,

the gentle rubbing of a child’s bump

the caressing of a lover, the softness of a baby’s cheek

sounds of music played by them in tunes upon a flute

they’ve held a frightened teenager,

touched a father in his death

where cold skin tells the end of life has come

but not the end of love,

comforted a mother losing agility and health.

With my hands outstretched before you

I stand humbled and in awe

your gentle washing in water, the softness of the towel

symbolizing a cleansing

the servant-hood of Christ.

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday

and not my feet.

At the end of the service all lights went out in the church and the final moments of light at dusk was nearly the only light available to aid a handful of church members as they stripped the altar while my Pastor sang Psalm 22. For on this evening, Jesus is going to be betrayed by one of his disciples.

I was listening to a talk show on Moody Radio yesterday called Chris Fabry Live, and a caller mentioned that two people that night actually betrayed Jesus. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss and Peter denied knowing Him after His arrest.

This caller made me think about all the times I betrayed Jesus in my life. Judas could have asked for forgiveness and it would have been given. This breaks my heart to know that out of the guilt he felt, he hung himself without any attempt to seek forgiveness. Peter, on the other hand, recalled Jesus’s words predicting his betrayal, and he wept, asked for forgiveness, was granted it and used this as a stepping stone to witness for Christ.

Friends, it is not too late for you to ask for forgiveness for denying or betraying Jesus in your lifetime. As the events unfold for Jesus on this Good Friday, His arms will stretch out as wide as they can on the cross. His arms are opened wide for everyone to fit inside His embrace which never lets go.

Psalm 22:7 “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver–let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

Lent Thus Far


February 14 was Ash Wednesday; the first day of Lent.  By my own will, I got in line to receive the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead from my Pastor.  While drawing the cross on my forehead he said, “Remember from dust you came and to dust you will return”.  Those words, along with the cross symbolically marked on my forehead, humbles me and starts me on my Lenten journey.  I am a Christian who observes the forty days of Lent.

It is common to make a penance during this church season.  This year I have chosen three ways to sacrifice which is minute in comparison to the sacrifice of life that Jesus offered for our sins.  I gave up chocolate, Facebook, and my game apps, i.e., Words With Friends, GSN Games, Solitaire, and Wood Puzzle.  Compared to Jesus’s life, these seem so unimportant, but let me explain.

Chocolate is a big one for me to give up because I simply just love chocolate.  Walking through the grocery store, I have to pass by the three sectional displays of Easter candy.  “Yes!” I exclaim in my head because I avoided eye contact with the Lindt Chocolate Bunny.  Thinking I am safe, I get in line to pay for my groceries and I cannot avoid my next temptation, the impulse-shopping candy display.  Uniformly lined up in their easy-to-display boxes I spy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&Ms, Carmelo, Nestle Crunch, and Kit-Kat…drool.  I pretend to look at the neighboring magazine rack, yet from the corner of my eye I see the delicious-looking calorie-counting candy bars that at any other time of the year would find themselves riding along the checkout lane, getting bagged and in the car to their new home.

So, yes, chocolate is hard for me to ignore and give up.  Every time I want a bite of chocolate, I bite my lip and say a little thank you prayer to Jesus for dying for my sins.

Giving up Facebook is a new one for me this year.  Even though social media is an avenue to keep in touch with family and friends, I took a look at how often I am on Facebook and realized I had a lot of wasted time.  I know you are thinking, “Wait, you said you are not on Facebook, but I am reading this blog from her Facebook link.”  Right you are, but I have the ability to link the blog to the Facebook page I created.  There is no reason for me to go on Facebook to see my blog or do anything with it.

With the extra time I have from not scrolling through Facebook, I have been able to focus more time on the two Bible Studies I attend.  I realize that I am missing out on important information regarding family and friends, but am thankful for the people that have kept me in the loop of such information via email and text messages.  I will certainly cut back on Facebook time after Lent is over.

I REALLY miss my word puzzles, and other games.  I feel like my mind is a little mushy without being able to play Words With Friends.  But again, I was spending way too much time on my games.  I would play them as I fell asleep at night, which is currently spent taking inventory of the day and thanking God for all that happened and seeking His forgiveness for all the things that I should have done.  I also have more prayer time in the mornings as I drink my coffee.  I am not scrolling through Facebook or rearranging letters to form a high-scoring word with my friends at breakfast.  I am immersed, instead, in the Word (the Bible).

Although the ashes on my forehead have since been washed away, I continue to be humbled by the sacrifice of Jesus.  I don’t think I could give up my life as Jesus did, so I do what I can with giving up things that have been a big part of my life.  Stripping myself of worldly pleasures helps me to focus on future heavenly treasures.

Have you given anything up this Lent?  Why or why not?  Let me know if you need motivation to keep going, I will be your cheerleader.  We can do this together!  We are more than half way done.  Easter is almost here!

Thank you, Jesus!

Psalm 40:8  I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.

 

 

The One About Friendship


I remember Mrs. James, my grade school music teacher.  She was instrumentally and vocally talented and it was her job to raise our interest in music and possibly find some talent percolating within.  I am pretty sure I was graded on simply showing up because I have not been blessed with a singing voice.

The old wooden upright piano was tucked in the corner and a few of the stronger boys were called upon to assist her in pushing it to the front of the room.  Mrs. James loved to jam out on that piano by teaching us African American Spirituals which always got us up dancing next to our desks.  She calmed us down by gradually slowing the tempo of the songs we were singing and when she got us to finally sit back down, she taught us a new song.  She started with the melody and then she taught us the words.   The song was simple:

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

When I was younger, I used to make friends as quickly as the beat of the African American Spirituals we sang. Not many of my friendships from that era have lasted simply because we changed as we grew, which is absolutely normal. Since then, I learned that common interests break the ice a lot more quickly than small talk ever will. As an introvert, I like meeting extroverts because they draw me out of my shell.

I treasure my friends. I am talking about the ones that no matter the span of time since we last talked, we are excited to see each other and we pick up where we left off, feeling like we never skipped a beat.

Spending the time it takes to get to know another person is never wasted time, in my opinion. Even if the friend was in my life for a short season, I know it was meant to be and I am thankful for the time we had together.

Truth be told, at times I feel blessed with many friends and at other times, I feel like I have no friends at all.

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

I have a “golden” friend that ranks higher than any other; His name is Jesus.  Although I knew of Him all my life, I didn’t really get to know Him until I was without a human friend I could easily reach out to during a dark period in my life. Jesus met me at my lowest point and did not judge me.  He walked me out of the darkness and showed me His light.

In an effort to get to know Jesus better, I joined Bible Studies and started listening to Christian music and Christian preachers on the radio.

Jesus is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the Great I Am.  Although He is seated at the right hand of God, is all-powerful and all-knowing, He became man to be an example in how to live.

He knows all about me and loves me anyway.  He is the coolest friend to have because he doesn’t care if my hair is messy or my pajamas don’t match.  He doesn’t care what kind of car I drive, but likes to help me get to my destinations safely.  Such greatness and He wants a relationship with me and He enjoys my company.  He listens, He loves, He died for me.  He loves to spend time with me and is available day or night and loves our talks.  Wherever, whenever; Jesus is the most available friend to me.  He doesn’t get jealous when I spend time with other friends of the earth, as oftentimes, He is the topic of conversation. There is nothing I do that will embarrass Him, and He doesn’t do anything to embarrass me.  Jesus must be an extrovert because he draws me out of my shell.

Jesus isn’t a “one-and-done friend.” In fact, He wants so badly to be friends with you too. If you don’t know who Jesus is, I would love to introduce you to Him.

In grade school, Mrs. James taught me about friendship in one simple song.  As I go through life, I continue to make new friends while cherishing my old friends.  I do not know who first said, “You become who you hang out with”, but I noticed the change in me the day I started really hanging out with Jesus.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Proverbs 22:11

Why This Blog?


The Daily Post Word Prompt – Funnel

I wrote in journals when I was younger.  Regrettably, I disposed of them along the way.  I wish I could go back and read and remember the specifics of my life that I felt so impelled to let out of my mind and onto a blank page.

I was raised in a Christian home; thank you mom and dad for this gift.  Religion has always been the corner-stone of my life.  I have attended many Bible studies throughout the years which helped me to grow my relationship with the Trinity.  The Father created me,  the Son died for me, and the Spirit guides me.

So why this blog?

I am a student of communication and I love to share information in an organized manner.  If I had an opportunity to share the Gospel in a public forum, I would not be shy to do so as I conquered my greatest fear of public speaking while I attended college.  However, I find that my thoughts are even more organized when I write.  Something happens to me as I lose all sense of time rearranging the alphabet into words that are easy to understand and absorb by my followers.

Why this blog?

I’ll blame the Holy Spirit.  When God wants you to do something, He does not let anything stand in the way.  Since my first post on June 5, 2010 I have found a calm presence within by letting the Holy Spirit use me.  Sharing personal stories with my readers shows that I am human, but in the painful stories, as well as the stories of joy, I find a way to praise God, which is what God wants us to do.

I want to be an encouragement to everyone that even though life is hard, it can be dealt with when you let God in your life.  Let Him funnel the Holy Spirit through you and see how your life will be different.  And your life will be different; I can attest to this movement.

For my long time followers, thank you for sticking with me.  If you joined me recently, thank you!  If you just found me today, please take a look at some of my previous posts.

The Holy Spirit is in this place.  And for that, I am thankful that God brought me here to be here for you.

John 14:26 (NIV)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

 

Where is God?


I have a hard time with God sometimes. I can pray to Him and I can also talk as if He was right next to me, like talking to a friend or a parent. But there are so many times I just want to see Him, though, you know? I confess often that I wish I had someone just like Him in the flesh to talk to, to share my troubles with and physically put my head on their shoulder while embracing in a hug.

I feel so bad for confessing that because spiritually, I know God is right here with me. Always. Putting his arm around me and comforting me. Spiritually I feel it, but physically I want to feel it more.

Then, out of the blue, a friend sends me a message telling me her “God sighting”, telling me that she thought of me when it happened.

It didn’t take long to have it hit me that God was speaking to me through my friend. The story she shared was so filled with the word of God to me, even though it was her own encounter with God. God answered my prayer and became a human.

I have a hard time with God sometimes, but am so thankful that he doesn’t feel the same about me.
Thank you God.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Exclaim – (v) to cry out, speak, or utter sharply or vehemently


One of my favorite exclamations is, “Oh my word!” Read more…

Prodigal Seeking God’s Forgiveness


Dear God:

When I am in your Word, I feel you close to me.  When I sit silently, I hear your sweet voice.

Please forgive me for taking a vacation from you this summer.  Rattling off excuses will be of no use.  The bottom line, I was selfish with my time.  Apple got it right when they named their products iPhone and iPad as they are hand-held me-focused toys with a few business uses.  I spent my time intertwined on the web commenting to friends on facebook and reading email after email in Yahoo all while my Bible sat on the end table in the front window getting a sunburn.

Please forgive me for taking you for granted.  I feel like I wasted this beautiful season without you near.  Recent days have not been good for me.  My smile flipped into a frown.  My aches turned into pains and when loneliness crept in, I realized I had not spoken with you in quite a while. 

I am sincerely sorry for neglecting you.  Thank you that you meet me where I am.  You are the Father running to meet His prodigal child.  I am going to end this blog to spend time with you. 

In Jesus’s Name I Am Forever Yours,

Kristine

I God

Acts 13:38 (NIV)

 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

In Memory of My Dad


Your sparkling blue eyes and friendly smile always lit up a room.

Your strong hands built bikes, fixed everything broken, threw an awesome knuckle ball, and changed into the best back-scratcher ever.

Your character, integrity, and wit cannot be duplicated.

Your time, talents, and treasures you shared gave every indication that Jesus lived in your heart.

I love you and miss you Dad.

My Dad, 1927-2009

1 Timothy 5:4(NIV)
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

Father’s Day


Hi Papason!

It has been nearly two years since we last saw each other. From what Jesus said in the Bible, you are experiencing great weather, you are walking around, dancing, running, enjoying time with your family and friends, no tears, no fears, you are living in a mansion, you get to see Jesus face to face, and spend time praising God with all the angels and saints. You are living the life that was prepared for you.

Life has gone on since your departure. I cannot lie; I was really in a funk for the first year after you left. I attempted grad school, but I could not concentrate. My mind’s eye focused on your final years of suffering as your earthly body deteriorated from illness. Time heals, if you let it, and I let it work for me.

Last night, I was looking at pictures from our time together. Oh, how I miss visiting with you! I wish I could hear your voice and your laugh just once more. You had such a great demeanor. You took on your Heavenly Father’s characteristic of unconditional love. You followed His leading on how to be a great father to your children and a loving husband to your wife.

Thank you, Papason, for the life you gave me. Thank you for many, many great memories.

Happy Father’s day! I look forward to seeing you again. I hope my room in the Heavenly mansion is next to yours.

Love,
Anna B

Deuteronomy 5:16 (NIV)
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

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