Tag Archives: Easter

go ahead…ash me one more time what today is….

ash-wednesday_2014

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on March 5, 2014, which is 46 days prior to Easter.  It marks the beginning of 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. 

Since I was raised Southern Baptist, I never was able to take part in this practice.  But this year, my church, North Phoenix Baptist Church will be hosting a Ash Wednesday Service for several denominations here in the Phoenix area.  If you are close, I invite you to attend the service at 6:30pm.

In the meantime…

I have found a waaay better explanation HERE for Ash Wednesday, called “Ash Wednesday for Newbies“.  Check it out because being a newbie myself, I don’t want you to ash me any questions I can’t answer…….(did you see what I did there?)

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it’s not about the bunny….

empty-tomb

As a Christian, our faith rests on the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 15:13-14, 17 “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty….And if Christ is not risen, your faith futile, you are still in your sins.”

For those of us who believe the Bible is an accurate account of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then we have a lot to rejoice about!    HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!!!!  FOR YOU AND ME!!!! 

Watch this beautiful…yet difficult video about the crucifixion of our Lord and remember…..THIS is what Easter is all about.

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last at the cross, first to the tomb…

Mary Magdalene.

I love that it was a woman who was the last one at the cross and the first one to go to His tomb.   Her story is told in all four gospels;  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

There is nothing romantic about Mary’s life.  She was born in a fishing town, Magdala, and is described as having seven demons living inside her.  At some point in her life she met Jesus and he cured her of her demons and she became a whole-hearted supporter of Jesus and His ministry.  And so, as our Lord hung on the cross, she stood with Mary, His mother.  She was with Him as they took His body from the cross.  She was with Him, watching,  when they laid His body in the tomb.  (Matthew 27:56, 61)

Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. (Matthew 28:1)  To her surprise, there was no one there.  An angel told her that Jesus had risen and to go tell the others.  As they hurried away, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” 

What an honor!  An honor that can’t be said of ANY of His disciples!  She was the first one to hear His voice.

In John 20:16, Jesus says, “Mary.”  

WOW….  She knew His voice and He knew her name

And guess what?  He knows your name.  No matter what kind of past you have.  No matter how many times you have sinned against Him….He reaches out His hand and pulls us out of whatever pit we have dug for ourselves.  Jesus gave Mary life and purpose and He can still do that for us today!

HE IS RISEN…The one that died for you and me has risen and He is my Lord and friend.  How I would have loved to be the first person that Christ spoke to after He rose from the dead.  Mary was loved and her love was rewarded.

God said, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

God rewards the person who is diligent. And for those who will take time in their day to seek the Lord, for those who will take time to read His Word, for those who will take time to wait upon Him, He will reveal His truths to them.

If you don’t know Him, and would love to know Him, here is a prayer that you can say to Him.  Remember, it isn’t the prayer that saves you, but Christ alone.

Dear Lord Jesus, I need you in my life. So many years I’ve tried to live without you. I know I am a sinner and have broken your holy commandments. Lord Jesus, I truly believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Thank you for paying the penalty for my sins. Thank you for rising from the dead on the third day. Here and now, with all my heart, I trust you as my Savior and my Lord. Come into my heart and save me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

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they brought Him to the place called Golgotha…

It’s Friday morning, 9 A.M. Killing time in Jerusalem.

Outside the Damascus Gate is a  road and on the other side of the road is a flat area near the spot  where the prophet Jeremiah is buried. Up above you can see a rocky outcropping  that, if studied at a certain angle, looks like a skull. Eroded into the limestone are two sockets for the eyes, a place for the nose  and maybe a place for the mouth.

Skull Hill, they called it. Golgotha.

Consider these three words from Mark 15:25, “They crucified him.” The word “they” speaks of the people who crucified our Lord. The “they” included the Romans, the Jews, and it includes you and me. We all had our share in the death of Jesus.

The word “crucified” speaks of the painful death he suffered. Crucifixion was the ultimate punishment in that day. It represented the final judgment of the world on Jesus: “This man deserves to die.” Though he had done no wrong, They crucified him anyway.

The word “him” speaks of the person who died that day. This was no ordinary man. As the centurion cried out when Jesus died, “Surely, this was the Son of God!”

I heard a story recently about a man who visited Golgotha and the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. Overwhelmed, he began to weep. “Have you ever been here before?” someone asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied. “I was here 2000 years ago.”

The song Were You There? asks a question we ought to ponder today:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Where you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Lord Jesus, we tremble to think of what you endured for our salvation. May we never be ashamed of Jesus or what he did for us so long ago. Amen. 

(from Keep Believing Ministries)

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a woman of grace…

Today I wanted to share an email I received from Pam Kanaly.  If you don’t know who she is, you should definitely check her out HERE.  She has one of the sweetest spirits I know and also has a huge heart for single mothers.  Her ministry is called Alive Ministries and is based in Oklahoma.  Check out their Survive ‘N’ Thrive Conference for single moms in Oklahoma City.  She also has a book/bible study called “Will the real me please stand up” that is fabulous and you will love her fresh approach and enthusiasm for the Lord……Ok.  let me share this as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday…

When I was a college student at Texas Tech, a friend of mine in ministry gave me a paper authored by Dr. Keith Maxwell depicting the cross and Jesus’ suffering from a medical viewpoint. The manuscript was penned from his perspective. He quoted, “What if Jesus came into my emergency room after the crucifixion?” He continued to expand on the idea that as a doctor he’d seen multiple life-threatening injuries with people hanging on to life by a shoestring: motorcycle accidents, gun shot wounds, barbed wire beatings, and much more. He somehow “thought” He was ready for what he would discover in his research.

 

I don’t like horror movies or gruesome stuff, especially when it involves someone I love, like Jesus my Lord. Goodness, at Easter I’d much rather focus on the loveliness of spring and the yellow daffodils. But not to take the time to remember Jesus’ suffering on the cross would rob me of a deeper Easter experience. After all, isn’t that what His followers should feel compelled to do?

 

Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, which meant He fully felt the pain of the cross in a physical way just like you and I would. Though we cannot begin to comprehend it, we can ask the Lord to enable us to glean from the research done on this subject.

 

– By the time Jesus was crucified, He’d been up well over 24 hours without sleep.

 

– Jesus had already that day walked 2 and ½ miles before He carried His own cross.

 

– Twelve to fourteen times in the world the phenomenon of a health condition known as hemathidrosis has been recorded with humans. One of them was Jesus Christ. It’s a condition due to severe stress and agony where a person actually exudes blood from every sweat gland. Instead of perspiring sweat, they drip blood and eventually die. However, in the case of Jesus He didn’t bleed to death. The cool Israeli night air chilled the capillaries constricting the blood flow, only prolonging the suffering.

 

– Scourging was a hellacious procedure invented by the Romans for criminals (forbidden to ever be imposed upon a Roman citizen.) The victim was stripped naked and tied by his wrists to a post with his back and legs exposed. Thirty-nine lashes from the neck to the top of the ankles were inflicted by two robust soldiers. At the end of the whip dangled leather straps, 6 to 7 feet long with a shod made of cattle bone at the end, similar to a sinker you would use for fishing. Upon each blow, it’d lift small shards of muscle out of the skin. Each lash embedded nine lacerations, two inches long and ¾ of an inch deep – perfect bait for the birds.

 

– Every strike made upon the flesh would have taken 180 stitches. Multiply that by thirty-nine lashes and you have 2000 stitches.

 

– Jesus was beaten in the face and head. Certainly His mouth was tattered thin like paper where His teeth were likely protruding through His lips.

 

– The cross itself was made of rough unfinished splinters of wood. Jesus carried the cross through the streets with the Romans’ purpose of total humiliation.

 

– Jesus was mocked as “King of the Jews,” and wore a crown of thorns. Each thorn, as sharp as an ice pick, was ½ inch long. Blows to the head hammered the crown into his head touching the outer bone of the skull.

 

– Jesus bore the wounds on His wrist and feet. Romans learned that if they drove spikes through the wrists instead of the palms, the arteries and veins would be avoided allowing the criminal to hold up his body weight. Such a procedure allowed the victim to hang on the cross longer. Crucifixion was never intended to kill quickly but to torment slowly.

 

– The tough part of hanging on the cross was breathing out. In order to do so, the sufferer would have to pull up against the spikes in his feet to get air, scraping his back against the splinters. Such a reality infers a deeper meaning on Jesus’ last words which were uttered in vigorous labor: “Behold your Son. It is finished.”

 

– Jesus physical suffering alone is beyond our ability to comprehend, but it was only a sign of a much deeper kind of suffering: His anguish of the spirit. When Jesus died, the face of His heavenly Father was hidden, and He was torn from the presence of God. He had enjoyed unbroken fellowship with The Almighty from all eternity and now faced hell itself.

 

Why did Jesus suffer?…..because all our sins were placed on Him. He took the punishment we deserved: judgment and hell. And why did He do this?…..because of His love for you and me and His desire for us to enter into a heavenly eternity.

 

Today Jesus Christ sits victoriously at the right hand of God. I rejoice. I celebrate. I shout songs and praises of glorious hallelujahs! His love for us is totally incomprehensible, and I receive it with intense appreciation (the best I know how). As long as God gives me the opportunity to breathe, I shall live for Jesus MY King.

 

Now, my beloved friend, with all that being said, I ponder: How will you approach good Friday and Easter morning?

 

Most reverently,

Pam

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they did it again…

Not only did they do it again….but they did it quite well!!

Remember THIS?

Well, now how about a little of THIS!!       GREAT JOB, GUYS…AND GALS of Igniter Media!

The Easter Season is coming upon us …

Remember what Christ did on the cross………for You and Me……don’t look to religion for answers…look to God!

Blessings!!

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