iBelieve

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

Archive for the tag “Forgiveness”

Meager Offering


I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

When Jesus heard that John the Baptist, his cousin, was beheaded, He boarded a boat to be alone. I can only imagine His thoughts about John. After all, he was preparing the way for Jesus by baptizing people. He was given the honorable task of baptizing Jesus.

John suffered a horrible death. His work on earth was done.

The crowds may not have realized the relationship between Jesus and John. They may not have known why Jesus pushed off shore for some alone time to grieve. What they did know about Jesus was his ability to heal. So they chased after Him and when He saw them, He had compassion on them and went ashore.

Jesus often told people around those whom he brought back to life, such as His friend Lazarus, to feed them. Jesus spent a good portion of the day healing and reviving those who sought His attention on that hillside.

It was time to feed the crowd that followed Jesus that day. To me, this indicated new life and giving His people strength to go forward to show others who may be nonbelievers, how to believe.

A young boy, who happened to be nearby, packed a little lunch for himself that morning not knowing he would be handing it over to Jesus. He had a meager offering of five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus blessed it, multiplied it, fed the large crowd and had left overs.

What meager offering do you have to hand over to Jesus today?

I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

If Jesus healed you or a loved one, restored a sour relationship, or has given you peace over a situation out of your control, grab a bite to eat because you have been given new life. Celebrate and give God the glory He so deserves.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Mark 6:41-44

Reference Check


Have you ever been asked to be a reference for someone for a job they were applying?  Read more…

Deadly Thought Bubbles


via Daily Prompt: Bubble

 

thought_bubble

What’s in your thought bubble?  Take an honest assessment.  Are your thoughts often prideful, judgmental, harsh, or unkind toward other people?

Job 10:4  In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Prideful, judgmental, harsh, and unkind words become tools that kill.  They knock the wind out of brainstorming sessions, they suspend creative processes, chip away at self-esteem, and drown out dreams.  They start fights and end relationships.

Proverbs 15: 29, 31 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.  Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. 

Confess your prideful and judgmental thoughts.  Do not let the harsh and unkind words rest on your tongue to become arrows that kill.  Seek the forgiveness of those you have hurt.

Tomorrow is a new day and guess what…?

Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

What’s in your thought bubble?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!”

The Perfect Contractor


via Daily Prompt: Interior

I often watch home renovation shows.  They always find houses that are filthy and unkempt with rooms that are too small or not properly inspected or licensed for an addition.  They recognize walls that can be torn down to open up the space and bring in more light.  By the end of the show, the professional room staging team embarks on the space and the houses look inviting and livable once again.

As a child, my heart began as one big open room, but as I grew, I began to build walls based on what the world was teaching me and how I reacted to people and situations in my life.  I was busy building room after room and I became a pro at compartmentalizing my space.  At the base of my heart I tossed in filth and it spread all over.  The times when my heart would break, I tried patching it with false promises but the cracks would never seal.  My heart was so filthy and the rooms were unkempt and too small, it became a place in which I could never invite anyone in to be with me.

I remember the day I said to myself with tears cascading down my face, “I cannot fix my heart alone.  I need help”.  The moment I uttered those words, I had a knock on my heart.  I could only open the door enough to have my tear-filled left eye peer out to see who was there.  It was Jesus.  I let him in and watched as He squeezed effortlessly through the tiny space the open door would allow.  I let him look around and he took his time surveying the space.  He ran his clean hand along the ridges of my filth.  He did not rush, he did not even blush.  It was as if he expected to see such a terrible layout and that He knew exactly how to fix my mess.  He cleared a space at my table and wrote out his quote and handed it to me before he squeezed out effortlessly through the door.

The details of my renovation were as follows:

First Observation:  Your heart is in dire need of repair and rebuild due to the amount of sin it has incurred.  There are too many tiny rooms and compartments contained within and I can knock down walls to let the light in. The cracks along the outer rim can be sealed by my love.  Your heart will not last much longer in the condition it is in.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)  Therefore, I propose to get started as soon as possible.

Tools needed:  Have faith in God. (Mark 11:22)  By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. (Hebrews 11:30)  I am the way and the truth and the life. (John:6a)  You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. (John 13:7)  Unless I wash you, you have not part with me. (John 13:8b)

Total Cost:  “This is what is written:  The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”  (Luke 24:46-47)  I did this for you and your bill is paid in full.

My heart has since been renovated.  Walls have been knocked down, light shines everywhere and the Holy Spirit came in and professionally staged the space.  All cracks have disappeared and invitations have gone out.  I have room for you in my heart.  Will you join me?

 

 

 

God’s Not Dead 2


I just spent a snowy April afternoon Read more…

Kairos Tuesday


I read a quote from a Facebook friend recently that said something like, “If we were given today all the things we thanked God for yesterday, what would we have”? Read more…

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