- QR codes and links at the end of each chapter that lead to videos with Sarah Mae and Sally talking about the chapter
- Practical steps to take during the desperate times
- Bible study and journal exercises in each chapter that will lead you to identify ways in which you can grow as a mom
- Mentoring advice for real-life situations
- Q & A section with Sally where she answers readers questions
I remember, as a child, decorating eggs in colorful dyes on this day. My thoughts were on upcoming family dinners, candy, egg hunts,pancake breakfasts, and pretty dresses.
Now, I see this day (love in action as never expressed before or since) in a whole new light. Because even growing up in the church, being a Christian most of my life, I cannot say the the reality of this day's remembrance truly burrowed into my understanding.
Time. Perspective. Experience.
These three, combined, opened my eyes to what Jesus truly did for me so many (many) years ago. And while I may enjoy the trappings which have grown around the commemoration of Jesus birth; I am (now) unable to observe THIS DAY with such superficial understanding.
There are no bunnies or eggs or colorful new clothes, which do more to recognize the emergence of Spring on this day, for me. No. I'd rather be mindful of the sacrifice born upon my behalf, with a nod of anticipation toward what's to come. Forgiveness. Salvation. Relationship.
All things made new.
"Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries[c] were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The Roman officer[g] and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee." Matthew 27:32-36 NLT
I went to church on Saturday night.
We had a guest speaker (a pastor from a sister church in Richland, MI). You see, our pastor took his wife and a whole SLEW of people on a trip to Israel this past week. I went on Saturday because my birthday was on Sunday -- (and yes) I wanted to be lazy. And I really wanted to hear this pastor from Richland. Even though I was being lazy and going on a Saturday night.
Which really doesn't make any difference to this story. It just always feels weird to be in church on Saturday.
I'm not going to tell you about the message the guest pastor preached (although it was a really good one based on the new book he's written which I will be reading and reviewing so STAY TUNED). Rather, it was the mini sermon shared by one of our church's associate pastor's which really sticks out in my brain today.
He was preparing the congregation for tithes and offerings by sharing the story of Jesus feeding the peeps from Mark 6:30-41 (NLT).
Now, I thought this was a very interesting Bible text choice. I could be wrong but most pastors (when speaking on this topic) tend to gravitate toward passages which speak about (drumroll please) tithing and giving. Specifically. Which (let's all be honest here) is when most of us tend to tune out.
Personally, I think televangelism has a lot to answer for in that regard.
This pastor, however, by using the story of a young boy willing to hand over his pack lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish, illustrates how God simply asks us to give from what we have so we can be an active participant in His work in this world.
You know, when I think of it that way it makes the notion of giving and tithing truly an act of worship. And isn't that what it's supposed to be in the first place?
So. I've been on what can only be called an impromptu sabbatical.
The whole thing started a few weeks ago. I've started running out of things to say or write. Therefore I stopped paying attention to my blog or sharing thoughts of any kind.
Not long after (of course) is when my data base up and DISAPPEARED.
My husband is still working to fix the situation but even so I've been woefully neglectful which has resulted in my being (might as well say it)---LAZY.
Now, I find myself back at the beginning (quite literally).
(Note to fellow bloggers: You stop writing or posting. People stop reading. Period. The internet waits for no man or woman to get their stuff together).
This means I'm out of options or excuses. Do I keep writing or let this thing go? Do I try to find new purpose or make this little corner of the internet an abandoned "ghost town" (pun intended for obvious reasons).
Thing is I do know where God is taking me (and my husband) on this journey. The problem is it's still a few years in the future so it doesn't seem real enough to share with anyone. Not really.
I don't know. Maybe that's fear or lack of faith talking (most likely the latter).
Therefore, I'm going to go for it. Hopefully, you will stick with me. Here goes:
My husband and I are preparing to go to Germany in two years as missionaries.
There is a lot about the whole thing I don't know but here is what I do. We will be working with an Assemblies of God church planting mission. It could take us two years of preparation (ie: getting out of debt, raising support) before we can go. We will be working with friends who invited us to join them (more on that soon).
And God is sending us.
It's big, life altering (when you consider I will be 50 by the time we get there), and takes me full circle to the calling which God placed on my heart when I was twelve years old. Yeah. You read that right.
Twelve years old.
So yeah. Kind of overwhelming when I stop to realize how far afield I traveled in my life. Which is also kind of amazing and cool. Because no matter how much I may have hemmed, hawed, and delayed by my own choices; it's evident God's got a good plan for me (and my husband) which will not be thwarted forever.
And that's a very good thing.
Well, if you have come to visit my blog in the last week you will have noticed some goings on.The blog literally disappeared for several days.
Database no where to be found. Four YEARS worth of words, thoughts, and emotions vanished for some unknown reason which we still have been unable to parse out.
Thankfully, my husband is a genius. He managed (through a lot of hard work and patience) to figure out how to access and save the original database.
As a result, he is diligently working to rebuild my blog. As a result of all this drama, we have decided it's time to take advantage of the situation presented to us.
You see, my husband is having to replace ALL of my original posts one at a time. It's going to take awhile but he believes it can be accomplished.
So, we got to thinking, since he was going to all that trouble it was time to give my blog a little face lift. Welcome to my new blog. I will still be writing about life, marriage, and my perspective on how the current trending interest in the occult affects us as Christians.
However, I will be letting go of some things while embracing the new direction which God has been directing my husband and I toward since July. I hope you will stick around, enjoy the new view, and work with us as we try to restore what was lost, even as an exciting new journey is added.
God is good, my friends. Big things are on the horizon.