Tag Archive | Jesus

Secret Ingredient

The floating “I Love You” heart for our family tradition of 14 days of intentional acts of love has been tucked back in the drawer for another year. We don’t generally celebrate Valentine’s Day with roses, chocolates, wine and an elaborate night out, but we do enjoy being more intentional in the little ways we show our love to each other. Some days the paper heart shows up several times. Other days, it may only get passed once. Some expressions are easy to capture a photo others are not. These designated two weeks are a good reminder to not take love for granted, and to be mindful of ways we can show love every single day. If you want to know more about this tradition, you can read about it here.

The secret ingredient for any lasting relationship is love!

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Love others as Jesus has loved you!

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

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Hint of Light

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At first glance what do you see?

A bare, dark, all alone, ugly tree?

Look again, do you see that hint of light on the horizon? It is just enough light to make the tree pop, giving definition to each gnarly naked branch.

What’s going on in your life right now? Is it filled with joy and excitement for Christmas, or are you under a cloud of dread and gloom? Maybe you are in the midst of a trial that is weighing you down in darkness. Do you feel all alone? I’m told these are very common for many people around the holidays.

Do you think you can let a little bit of light in?

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Jesus wants to shine light on and through you. Call out to Him! He will light your path and lead you through this time of darkness.

 

Sunbeam

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Seeing these sunbeams radiating through the old barn wall, brought to mind a song I’ve not heard nor sung for many years. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom singing it to me.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for him each day;
In every way try to please him,
At home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for him.
Next time I’m with my grands, I may need to catch sunbeams with them, and then sing the sunbeam song.

Easy French Bread

Oh. My. Deliciousness!!! The aroma is pretty intoxicating as well!

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However, there is a bread much better than this.

Jesus, the Bread of life.
John 6:25-59

Teaching a  crowd, Jesus said,

“The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

“Yes, I am the bread of life!”

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

I have always appreciated and enjoyed a good, crusty bread, but I am humbled and grateful for Jesus. He gave His life so I may have eternal life.

Friends, do you believe?

 

Easy French Bread 

Combine:
2 Pkgs. rapid rise yeast
2 Tbls. sugar
2 tsp. garlic salt with chives
4 c. all purpose flour

Add:
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tbls. shortening
2 1/2 c warm water

Stir in 3-4 additional cups of flour, one cup at a time.
Knead 10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise 15 min.
Shape into 2 loaves, and place on greased baking sheet. Make 4-5 slashes across the top.
Cover with towel and let rise in warm place until double. (approx. 30 min.)

Bake:
Mix 1 egg and 2 Tlbs milk. Brush on loaves. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Maundy Thursday Ponderings

On this Maundy Thursday, I have pondered throughout the day. I wonder; if I had lived when Jesus did, would I have been in the crowd singing praises to Him. Would I have been the one to prepare the “Last Supper”. or clean the “Upper Room” and make sure it was ready for Jesus and his guests?

As the sun begins to set beyond the trees…

sunset                                                                                                              I wonder…

If I had been one of Jesus’ disciples, how would I have felt when he washed my stinky, filthy feet? Would I have been like Peter, protesting, and then requesting Jesus  wash my hands and head as well? What would I have thought when Jesus said “And you disciples are clean but not all of you”? (John 13:10b)

Would I have suspected Judas to be the one Jesus said would betray him?

Maundy means command.  Jesus said to the disciples,

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34,35 NLT

Would I have understood that Jesus wanted me to serve others in love? As Jesus, continued to teach, how much would I have understood. The figures of speech, would I have grasped their meanings? Would I have been able to say with the other disciples,  “Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.” (John 16:30 NLT)

How special I would have felt to hear Jesus pray for me and the other disciples. In fact, reading Jesus’ prayer (John 17), I do feel special, loved, cared for, and encouraged. I want to encourage you,dear reader, to read the account of the “Last Supper”. Much can be gleaned from the interaction between Jesus and his disciples immediately before the betrayal and Jesus’ arrest. Don’t miss out on this important part of the Easter story. Read John 13 – 17.

Joy to the World

Are you full of joy this Christmas, or are you struggling to be joyful about anything? For some this coming week will bring family and friends together in great celebration. For others, it may seem terribly long and lonely. Let’s be honest; some days are extremely difficult to be joyful. Those are the days I must intentionally find my joy in Jesus. He gives strength to get through the darkest times, and for that, as the psalmist writes, my heart is filled with joy,

The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7 NLT

Christmas is less than a week away, no matter what your circumstances, look for the joy of Jesus. In Luke 2, the angel brought the good news of great joy.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:8-12 NLT

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Forgive

Leading to Easter, I have looked for new or renewed insight in the death and resurrection of Jesus. As I read, my eyes and thoughts keep lingering on the word and action FORGIVE. Not forgive if…., or forgive when…., just forgive.

What a nightmare! Jesus was betrayed and disowned by some of his closest followers, friends, brothers. He then endured some of the most inhumane abuse. He was mocked, taunted, stripped, beaten….nailed to a cross to die while a murderer was set free. The mocking and taunting continued as he hung in pain. YET Jesus forgave.

 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NLT

Still, the verbal abuse continued. Two criminals were also crucified that day; one on each side of Jesus. One of those criminals joined in with the jeering. The other criminal reprimanded him, and said they were getting what they deserved, but that Jesus had done nothing wrong.

 But the other criminal protested, ‘Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?  We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’

And Jesus replied, ‘I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.'” Luke 23:40-43 NLT

Jesus forgave. This is the example we have of forgiveness. Jesus will forgive us, and He wants us to forgive others. In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” NLT   God holds us to the same standards we hold for others.

Do I forgive readily? Do I put conditions on my forgiveness? God forgives without condition. I should recognize my need to forgive others with the humility of having been forgiven for so much myself. I need to forgive whether the offender is remorseful, apologizes, or asks for forgiveness.

When we harbor unforgiveness, in the long run it hurts us more than the offender. We let it simmer and fester causing bitterness, resentment, and hate to build within us. It makes us miserable, and soon we make those around us miserable as well. In Hebrews, we are warned to watch out, and not let bitterness take root in our lives because it will cause trouble to many. (see Heb. 12:15)

Now, there are two things I want you to ponder. First, do you need to ask Jesus to forgive you? We all are sinners, and need His forgiveness. Ask Him to forgive you today. He will forgive you. Second, are you holding on to a grudge? Do you need to forgive someone? Don’t wait; forgive now!