Tag Archive | death

Victory in Jesus

Windows were open wide with a cool gentle breeze coming through. Coyotes were howling beyond the pasture fence as I drifted to sleep. I stirred when it began to rain, but was soon lulled back to slumber. Later, a death cry shriek jolted me awake! I recognized that squawk, and I knew instantly  I had one less guinea. I, however, did NOT expect nor need to see this out my kitchen door first thing this morning!!

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This is part of nature, but I’m ready for my dog to learn to share her barnyard! 

It seems there have been too many deaths in my corner of the country during the past several months. Deaths that have left a couple families with children to grow up without their dads; husbands and wives no longer have their soulmate; grandmas,  grandpas, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends have died leaving only memories and a noticeable void in community and family. I cannot begin to imagine the depths of grief my friends are facing.

There are so many “why” questions that keep running through my head that I will probably never have the answers until eternity. I do not know why God did not grant healing to the loved ones that so many prayed fervently believing God would work a miracle. However, my faith in God does not waver because I do not have enough faith to believe there is no God. I am also comforted knowing most of these friends lived their lives in a way that left no doubt they loved God wholeheartedly, placed their faith in Jesus Christ, and are spending eternity in the presence of God.

If you died today, where would you spend eternity?

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:22-26 NLT

 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 NLT

Do you believe?

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NLT

There is victory in Jesus!

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Camp and Tear-Filled Water Balloons

Reflections of the past week are full of so many thoughts and emotions I hardly know where to begin.  It was a hot week at camp with a couple water balloons filled with tears thrown in.

Studying the Beatitudes and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount really challenged us to check our ‘tudes (attitudes). I don’t know how anyone could return home without a deeper understanding and desire to make some personal changes.

I was especially challenged with the Lord’s Prayer.  Our speaker acted out a dialogue between himself and God. As he was praying, God kept interrupting with comments and questions. This illustration was to prompt us to seriously think about our prayers. Some questions I have asked myself are:

When I pray…
Do I really esteem God as Hollowed or Most Highly Honored?
Am I more concerned about myself than others?
Do I seek my will or “Thy [God’s] will” to be done?
Do I genuinely forgive others in the same way I want God to forgive me?

These questions definitely are causing me to pause when I bow my head.

Now for the water balloons filled with tears. Early in the week with camp not yet half over, I received two texts alerting me of not one, but two family tragedies.  The first was that my son-in-law’s Mother had a stroke, and the situation was very grim. She has not even celebrated her 50th birthday yet! The second message declared my cousin and baby both died due to complications with childbirth. This dear girl leaves behind a husband and two small children.

My heart breaks for these families, and there was and is nothing I can do except pray.  This was my opportunity to practice what I was encouraging my Jr. High girls to do. Always go to God first! Then if you need to do something or talk to someone, go. Too often we run to our friends first, but God wants to be the first one we take our troubles to. Pray, I did! With the reminder that life can be snatched so quickly, I was all the more diligent to make sure my camp girls understood that Jesus came to save the lost, and we are all lost to sin until we accept his forgiveness and let him be Lord of our life.

Although the past week had some tear-filled water balloons thrown, God is still the same yesterday, today and forever. May He be glorified!