Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Is it I? Lord, is it I?"

"20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table
with the twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said,
'Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.'"
Matthew 26:20 NIV

This past Sunday my church did an illustrated sermon, The Living Lord's Supper.  As we were preparing for this, the 13 men that played the parts of Jesus and the Disciples were placing themselves in the various roles.  I told each of them that I wanted them to truly take on the persona of their respective character.  And as I told them this, I felt the Lord speak to me that I needed to take on the same.  So as each of these amazing men would come to the stage to play his part, I tried to imagine how that disciple must have felt.  When Jesus said that one of His own chosen would betray Him, each of them must have been pierced in his own heart thinking that it could be him.  I imagine Peter...taking his sword and threatening to pierce the one that would betray the Master.  I imagine Andrew, the one that brought so many people to Jesus.  Surely he must have wondered if he would now betray the One that he had served so faithfully.  Each of the 12 men must have had the past 3 years run through their minds.  Each of them must have wondered, "Is it I?  Lord, is it I?"  

Sometimes I think we read over the story quickly and fail to realize that it is so much more than a story.  This is an event in the lives of 12 men that had trusted in Jesus and had lived together for 3 years.  They depended upon one another.  They became family.  And now, one of them would betray, not only Jesus, but the entire family of men.  I cannot imagine the tensions in the room that night.  I can't imagine how each man must have felt as he looked around the dinner table wondering who was the betrayer.

On this Thursday before Easter, take a few minutes and try to imagine the scene.  Put yourself in the picture.  See, Judas was the betrayer, but in all reality, each and every one of us has probably been a betrayer of Jesus...maybe not to the magnitude Judas was, but certainly each of us has had opportunity where we have turned against Jesus.  Remember, it is OUR sin that put Him on that tree.

I pray that you truly put some serious thought into that last supper.  Let God speak to you through this event.

Have a blessed Easter.  Remember, He was crucified and buried but on the 3rd day...HE ROSE AGAIN!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

When God Hurts Your Feelings

Have you ever had your feelings hurt by God? You want something so badly but God's answer to your prayer is no or not now. It leaves you hurt and confused. Or maybe God has taken something away from you. Or perhaps you received a God-spanking, you know, those times when you have done wrong and God let's you know it.

Sometimes we may feel as though God has purposely done something to hurt us. When we feel this way, we need to remember Jeremiah 29:11.

God isn't out to hurt our feelings. He isn't out to make us sad. He has great plans for us, plans we cannot even begin to imagine. Sometimes He has to tell us no or not now, sometimes He has to take things away from us or change things up, and sometimes He has to discipline us. But all along we can have faith that God has the best in mind for us. He loves us and has a great plan to prosper us.

Has God hurt your feelings lately? Has something happened and you feel as though God doesn't care? Remember that He knows the plans He has and they are good plans.

It is time for our Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use the hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday! 

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. You must link back to W2W somewhere in your post.
3. You must visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blueberry Butterscotch Squares

By: Leah

So I've been missing for a few months but I am back again today with a delicious recipe for Blueberry Butterscotch Squares! I have a friend here visiting this week and we made them (rather she made them for us) and she loved them just as much as we do so I'm pretty sure you will be pleased with this recipe and hopefully it will be a keeper for your family as well!

Blueberry Butterscotch Squares

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c blueberries (frozen)
1 c butterscotch chips
1/2 c chopped nuts
2 T brown sugar


Mix flour,salt & soda. 
Cream butter until light & fluffy. Gradually add sugar. 
Beat in eggs, then stir in dry ingredients. 
Fold in blueberries.(It works better to mix hem into the batter if they were frozen although if you have fresh ones I would just wait until you have the batter in the pan and then press them into the batter. Spread mixture in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with chips, pecans & brown sugar. Bake at 350* for 30 mins. Top should be lightly brown.

I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Three Strands (Part 2)

Last week we talked about marriage being a union of three and that the union gives strength. This union is made up of God, husband, wife.

But how do we put God in the center of our marriage?

Here are five ways to put God at the center of your marriage:

  • Pray together. Praying together is the number one thing in putting God at the center. Daily hold hands and both of you pray. This is vital to a God centered marriage.
  • Pray for your husband. {And husband pray for your wife.} Each day pray that your husband would walk closely to God and strive to serve him. Pray for his health, relationships, job and integrity.
  • Read the Word together. Read the Bible together at least once a week, every day if possible. Even if it's only one scripture a day, read the Word as a couple.
  • Go to God. When conflict in the marriage arises, go to God. Pray that God would guide you and your husband in resolving the conflict according to His ways.
  • Worship together. Whether at church, in the privacy of your home or both, worship God together.
What are other ways that you put God in the center of your marriage?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Single Saturdays: When You Keep Reliving Your Past

By: Brenda

For several months now my past has consumed my thoughts like never before. It's not just one event or one season of my past. Framed scenes from different ages of my life fade in and out like they do when I'm watching a slide show of photographs on the computer.

The problem is that these memories have become obsessive. They're holding me back from living in the present. They're filling my soul with regret. They're keeping me in bondage to the past.

I've often heard that even destructive behaviors serve some positive purpose for us or else we wouldn't keep doing them. It sounds counter-intuitive, like how can eating a whole bag of chocolate in one sitting possibly be positive? I guess in some way, though, it is or I wouldn't have done it more than once (just as a hypothetical!). In regards to the thoughts of my past, I've been asking myself the question, "What is it that keeps me pushing "repeat" over and over again in my mind to relive regretful and even painful memories?"

I'm trying to be my own redeemer.

I just want a do-over. I really do. If I could have one wish in my life it would be to do my single years - from about 18 to 32 years old - again. Oh, what I would do differently!

I can't do them over, but in some twisted way, by imagining them again and again, I'm trying to. It's like if I replay the past enough times, and live it in better ways, then it will be made complete and whole and right. I'm trying to earn my righteousness instead of resting in the truth that the Cross earned it for me.

When Jesus died on the Cross, every thorn, every lash, every rock, every nail, every ball of spit, every drop of blood covered not only our present and future but also our past. He became sin for us so that we can live free of the bondage to sin.

But here I sit - still in bondage. So what does the Cross mean to me?

Something I've started doing when these thoughts from my past cement themselves in my mind and I can't seem to truly believe the truth of the Cross, is I imagine myself at the foot of the Cross. It looks something like this:

There He is on the hill of Golgotha. The sky is ominous. The clouds are thick. And there I kneel. My legs tucked under my body, my body hutched over so low that my face touches the ground. I reach my right hand out from holding my face and feel the wood at the base of the Cross.   
Then it comes. The first drop of blood falls on the back of my head, into my hair. Then there's another. Red drips down my forearm. And it continues, the sprinkling becomes gushing, and the blood of Jesus completely washes over me, covering me, and releasing me from the fate of death that should have been mine. My hair is soaked. My clothes are drenched. I kneel there, sobbing, in the pool of His blood.  
I am clean.  

The blood of Jesus is not just for remission of sin - our salvation. It is also for us to experience a clean conscience. Hebrews 10:22 says, "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."

This, my friend, is where Jesus wants us to live - at the foot of the Cross in constant awareness of His redeeming blood and the sprinkling that cleans our conscience.

You may be in a place today where the memories of your past just continue to fight for your conscience, preventing you from living in the freedom of the Cross. With Holy Week and Easter approaching us this week, imagine yourself kneeling right there at the Cross, and the blood of Jesus cleaning you through and through.

How are you keeping your conscience clean from the past?