Today is Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday. On this day, Christ ate the Passover meal with His disciples. On this day He washed their feet. On this day He suffered for our pains and sins. On this day He was betrayed by His friend. On this day He was abandoned by His followers. On this day His chief apostle denied knowing Him.
We can turn to Christ in our deepest agony, because He has walked the hardest road. We can bring our pains before His throne, for He has been acutely pained. We can come to Him with our terrible wounds and festering sores and find healing balm, because He has overcome all our foes and prepared a remedy. We can cry to Him from the depths of our lonely hearts, for He has known loneliness, deserted by all His mortal friends and, at last, forsaken by God. Because His suffering was infinite, His love is beyond measure.
How grateful I am to know that I can confide in and trust in the promises of a being who has known indescribable suffering and has developed indescribable, perfect love!
Holy God, you give us this meal of bread and wine in which we celebrate your great compassion; grant that we may work with you to fulfill our prayers, and to love and serve others as Christ has loved us; this we ask through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I can honestly tell you that I’m SO thrilled that tomorrow is Sunday! I feel like a little girl waiting for the clock to get to my bed time in anticipation for Christmas morning! In the past 3 years I’ve missed maybe 5 services. My seat sat empty last week and I can’t wait to sit there and worship with my family!!
When I Miss church I miss Christ’s power and Presence. God’s manifest glory and power is at work when we get together in obedience and fellowship. In church I can relate and meet with other believers, stand together, hands raised in surrender to God’s Glory!
When I miss church It also hinders my attitude. People who fellowship are more likely to be positive, productive, solid and faithful. Those who don’t fellowship are likely to be negative, destructive and unreliable.
Sunday can’t get here soon enough for me and tonight, I will turn the clocks ahead an hour becase God is speeding things up, just for me!
Come on Sunday!!
We all have times when our plans don’t work out. We get delayed, interrupted, and inconvenienced. It’s easy to get frustrated and fight against everything that doesn’t go our way. But I’ve learned that every interruption is not bad. Every closed door doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. Every delay doesn’t mean you’re not where you’re supposed to be. There is something I call a divine interruption where God, on purpose, will delay us to protect us from an accident. On purpose, He will close a door because it’s not His best. Sometimes, God will allow us to be inconvenienced so we can help someone else in need. We have to be willing to press through difficulty so we can be at the right place at the right time.
The next time you’re interrupted, delayed, or inconvenienced, don’t start thinking, “This is a pain. This is getting me off schedule.” No, get a new perspective. Look for what God wants to do because it could be divine interruption or divine protection. Trust Him today because He is directing your steps.
I recently encountered not leaning and trusting in God. After my surgery I didn’t lean on him for support, I was restless and upset that I had so much pain. After my surgery I was reminded by God through 3 different pastors that stopped by my room.
The first was the hospital Chaplin, he came by to see if I needed anything, at first I was hesitant but then asked if he would pray for my pain to go away. He reminded me of what I struggle with daily, PATIENCE AND STRENGTH. He said We receive this patience and strength by being filled with the Spirit. I know that the ultimate source of patience lives within me. My role is to trust that the Holy Spirit does live within me and I need to ask Him for strength to persevere in whatever situation I find myself in. PATIENCE
The second was my pastor from OneLife. It made my day for him to come by with his family. Most of you know how much I love his little girl, Mariclaire. She was a little scared at first then I mentioned I had jelly beans and her little eyes brightened up! While he was praying for me he mentioned the word REST and when they left they said get some rest. I need to remember when I go to God the rest He gives me will be deep, safe, holy, and everlasting. God understands me better than I understand myself. There is a need to recuperate, to heal and restrengthen, and to do those things that make me effective for the good works He has prepared beforehand for me to accomplish, I still need to make sure I take time to rest enough to be effective. REST
The third was a random guy that came through the door acting like I’ve known him for years. Coming towards me with his hand out shaking my hand saying “how are you? I just saw Scooter downstairs. Do you remember me?” I looked at him and said “you obviously don’t remember me either because I think your in the wrong room.” He looked at his little book, face a little flushed and said, “I’m very sorry, I’m a pastor and was making a visit to a church member in room 414 (I was 404). God would never forget me.
In the darkest of times, it is easy to begin to think that God has FORGOTTEN you. I’ve been there. Most of us have. We don’t see His hand, and it seems like everything that is going on goes wrong. We see grief and more grief and we don’t know when it will end. It is at times like these when we must trust God even more. Even when we can’t see Him at work. Even when our prayers return empty. Even when it seems like those that doubt God are right. In those moments trusting God may be the hardest thing to do, but it is the most important. FORGOTTEN
Have PATIENCE in The Lord, RESTING in his arms knowing he will never FORGET you. That night my pain subsided, the nurses came in every 4 hours instead of 2 and I was able to sleep peacefully.
.“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
Tomorrow morning is my big surgery day; it’s bitter sweet. The only thing that worries me is waking up with a headache, I can stand a lot of pain, not a headache!
Keep my surgeons in your prayers, Dr. Cameron and Dr. Cadigan, may God give them the knowledge and a sturdy hand to complete my surgery. There are plenty of other people who need your prayers instead of me. Pray for their salvation, a meal to give them strength and a blanket to keep them warm. I have God in my corner, that’s all I need!
I won’t have my cell phone, so don’t call or text, you can get an update from Rachel if you have her number! Otherwise I’ll update you on Wednesday when I get out!
God Bless you all!
The evidence of the grace of Jesus in our church through the years has been overwhelming. By His grace, we continue to make strides for His Kingdom in our city. We had two OneLife Church locations coming together as one.
Last night we had an Evening of Worship, we all joined together with one voice to lift up the matchless name of our King. We responded with singing. We responded with prayer. We responded with shouting and clapping. We responded with silence. We responded with communion. We responded with raising our hands in surrender to Christ. We responded!
A benefit of this response is the encouragement and Love of our Church family. Many of us worshiped among people we’ve never met. We demonstrated our expressions of worship that the name of Jesus Christ is the only thing needed to connect people from all backgrounds. My hope is that everyone left with a refreshed feeling of God’s unconditional Love, as a church, to pursue the vision that God has given us for our church and our city.
We gathered in anticipation. We look forward to when, for eternity, we will lift up the name of Jesus with “communities” from all over the world. We sang with the redeemed from centuries gone by and those with whom we’ve shared seats every Sunday – our hearts bound together for the glory of our King. As we gathered we got a glimpse, an ever so slight glimpse, of what it will be like to lift up His name with all of the souls purchased by His blood.
I invite you to come and join with us every Sunday as we make much of the One who has purchased our redemption. One church, many communities, one voice.
In the midst of my heartache and pain and rebellion and resentment, He is there. He is willing.
I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. It’s taken a lot to not give up and resort to my old, destructive coping mechanisms. It’s been hard to remember truth. It’s been hard to pray.
But He is. I’m reminded of His goodness daily. I’m reminded that I have purpose and destiny, and God will use my mess to bring Him glory.
I’m blessed that I get to choose whether I’ll wallow in self-pity or walk in power and truth. Choosing the latter. Choosing love. Choosing Jesus.
Driving home tonight after my community group meeting I couldn’t help but smile. I wish we could gather every night because when we get together we laugh, cry, share, act silly and praise God, no one judges us for our past we just love on one another. We had a couple of new ladies come and share a part of their stories. Cinderella made a couple of middle eastern dishes and other women brought treats to share. We had a guest speaker talking about a unveiling retreat coming up in April. I have a feeling if I attend with a couple other ladies that it would probably be the first time people got thrown out of a retreat; our personalities are so similar that we feed off of each other!
Setting aside the silliness of the evening we talked about how important it is to tell your story to others. Your story is the key to somebody’s deliverance and when you don’t share it, you deprive them of the strength, empowerment and hope they could gain from witnessing your victory. You build the faith of others by being a living, breathing, moving example of the life-transforming power of God.
God has put a life message within you. When you became a believer you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. You may feel you don’t have anything to share, but that’s the Devil trying to keep you silent. You have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into his family. The Bible says, “Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them.” (1 John 5:10) Your testimony is the story of how Christ has made a difference in your life.
I challenge you to share your story.
This past Sunday I listened to our pastor talking about the love he had for his grandmother and when he got all choked up I think everyone in the congregation felt his loss and his amazing love for her, I even saw tears lingering in the eyes of men. This is the kind of love God has for you, a love that you want everyone to feel.
We show God we love Him through obedience because actions definitely speak louder than words. I believe our level of obedience grows as we get to know and experience His love, goodness and faithfulness in our lives. Our desire to follow and obey the Lord’s commandments increases as we increase our love of God.
We all need to accept ourselves, embrace our personalities and even our imperfections, knowing that although we are not where we need to be, we are making progress. Jesus died for us because we have weaknesses and imperfections, and we don’t have to reject ourselves because of them. God wants us to love ourselves and enjoy how He’s made us!
Loving others is the only way to keep the God-kind of life flowing through you. God’s love is a gift to us; it’s in us, but we need to release it to others through words and actions. Left dormant, it will stagnate like a pool of water with no outlet.
The act of loving others is one of the most exhilarating things I have experienced. I feel excitement stirring in my spirit and soul when I plan to do something to make someone else feel loved and cared for.
Your loving kindness, Yahweh, is in the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. ~Psalm 36:5
Road Rage! I’m not a very good driver, as told by my children. I tend to “bug” people who are wanting to drive way too fast! Meaning, if your trying to get around me I’m the one that will drive parallel to the car next to me, if they speed up, I speed up! Yea you’ve done it too! Today I was sitting at a light minding my own business and this big 4 door truck pulled up next me, he is in a right turning lane but his wheels weren’t turned like he was turning! I thought to myself, no way dude are you cutting me off! He was inching forward every time he thought the light was turning green. I waited patiently, I saw the other side turn yellow and I knew it was on! I gripped my steering wheel with both hands, got my foot ready, light turned green and it was on!! We both took off, I wasn’t letting him in, he was honking his horn and flipping me off! I was laughing on the inside and stayed cool as a cucumber on the outside! I won and the car behind wouldn’t let him in either! Needless to say when the road became 2 lanes again he got up next to me, rolled down his window, I rolled down mine and he started cussing me out, I smiled and said, Jesus Loves You even through your hatefulness!! Rolled up my window and went on my way!
I am a little ashamed of myself for doing that but As I drove home I began thinking about not letting him “in”, what if I never let in or invited people to church or not tell them of Gods Love??? I love my church family, community group and I didn’t want to share it with anyone, it was big enough and it’s my joyous find! But God keeps whispering, tell them, ask them, share my love, (I kinda did to the man in the truck, does that count?) What kind of person am I not to share? I mean I wouldn’t want my worse enemy to burn eternity in hell, would you??
I was invited to follow Jesus. As a result of what God has done for me through Christ, I should naturally desire and long to share that message of God’s love and hope for everyone!
People invite people to programs, movies, games, barbecues, dinner, activities, whatever, all the time. We talk to people about what we believe in and What we are passionate about. . We live in a free country where inviting people to hear the gospel has no cost to the one inviting. Yet, on the other hand, it may have a significant eternal cost to the one not invited.
Thinking about how following God has made me a better person that if everyone knew about him and followed him that maybe, just maybe the world might be a little more peaceful!
Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32