Saturday, April 11, 2009

On the Verge of Legalism?

CurrentlyCalled Out of Darkness: A Spiritual ConfessionBy Anne Ricesee related

I had a rather intesting response made to one of my articles, well maybe not so much intersting as thought provoking. The person reading my article said something that made me think of legalism coming in, I had said I am aware that Chocolate Bunnies and Easter eggs, are not what Easter is about, but I stated too that I felt nothing was wrong with either. I enjoy hiding Easter eggs for my niece and my neighbors kids, and I enjoy seeing the kids open Easter baskets on Easter Sunday, just because Easter Egss have pagan roots does not mean that we are going to be condemned because we dyed a few Easter Eggs, or created Easter baskets.
Today the kids at our church, and the Saturday Kids Klub program celebrated Easter, gifts were brought in, Eggs were boiled and Dyed, plastic egss filled with Candy were hidden does that mean that we are doing something wrong? I would only say yes, if the true reason For Easter was not being celebrated, if we were not telling them about the Cross.
Jesus and the Cross are of course the reasons we celebrate and the fact that he rose, was our greatest gift, I do not think a few hard boiled eggs, and Chocolate Bunnies lessen the value of this day, only if we allow them to lessen them.
If we start going around thinking everything is evil, everything is wrong, then we are going to find ourselves trapped into legalistic views.
God Bless

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!All creation joins to say, Alleluia!Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!Sing, O heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!Where, O death, is now your sting? Alleluia!Dying once, He all doth save, Alleluia!Where your victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cruciftion Friday

Friday, April 10, 2009

CurrentlyThe Joy of Believing Prayer: Deepen Your Friendship with GodBy Joyce Meyersee related
Crucifction Friday
Luke 23
The Crucifixion
26As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30Then " 'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" '[d] 31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."[e] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
38There was a written notice above him, which read:sc THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
40But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[f]"
43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Jesus' Death
44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Jesus' Burial
50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
What a sacrifice Christ made for us. The pain the agony of Crucifiction is beyond words, I doubt most people could describe it today, and who would give up what Christ gave up, who would die in the shear agony of nails built by human hands, pierced to a tree, cut down and rebuilt in the shape of the Cross. It was once a sign of degregation, but when Jesus accepted to take the Sacrifice it became something more.
Jesus faced agony and horror, as he was crucified and then spent three days in Hell! Can you imagine the king of kings in the fiery pit, a perfect man, a perfect Christ, sacrificing three days of horror beyond words, so we may have a chance at forgiveness.
I think in this day and age we to often find ourselves wrapped in the Commericialism, Easter Eggs, Chocolate Bunnies, Dresses, now I do not think anything is wrong with giving those things, but when you give them I think you should also remember to tell them about what Easter is really about. Today was the day Christ was Crucified, but his Crucifction was not the end of the story, but only the begining.
Jesus rose again, as Mary Magdalene rolled the stone away from the tomb, she found the tomb empty, Christ had risen, and it was Mary who he revelaed himself too, our Savior risen!
Can you imagine what must have went through the minds of the disciples, not only that but to all who defied Jesus, what must have they felt?
I wonder how many fell to their knees in repentance?
We are free now because Christ died and rose again, all he asks is that we accept the gift of his blood!
Yet sometimes for some that seems to much to ask.
Hmm I wonder how they figure, I would not want to face the alternative!
Copyright Michelle R Kidwell

A Life Unveilled

Friday, April 10, 2009 Currently Relentless By Natalie Grant see related A Life Unveilled I believe in being upfront, so here it goes. I am a thirty one year old Christian, who is proudly a Conservative, I do not believe in Abortion, but before you get me wrong, I also do not believe it is my place to judge. We all have our own issues to deal with, so if someone has had an abortion I am not here to condemn them. Jesus said "He Without Sin Cast the First Stone." I would be unable to cast that stone, I am sorry to say. I work with the Children at my Church part time, and I am a full time Author, my fourth book A Sister's Justice released this year, by the Grace of God, a five year project paid off, praise the Lord. I also happen to have Muscular Dystrophy, but please don't think I want you to know this because I seek pity, because what good does Pity do? We all have our own crosses to bare right? I have a twelve year old niece who I pray will grow up with a faith in the Lord. I am so blessed to be part of her life. The fact that I am here is a miracle, I have had so many near misses, but the Lord has always pulled me out of that danger. I was blessed to meet Amy Grant and Vince Gill once, and at that time all worries about my health vanished, I was living a dream come true. They are both very nice and down to earth. I use my words to serve the Lord, to share my views. Another thing I must tell you is by no means do I seek to be politically correct, that is just not me, I am going to say what needs to be said, and say it plain and career. Well I guess that's a start, thank you for stopping by. In Christs Love Michelle

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What Is Sin to One

We all have our own issues, our own crosses to bare, and a dear Sister in the Lord, a sweet elederly woman, once said something that got me to thinking.What is sin to one may not be to another. One's weakness does not mean it is anothers.I have heard the argument sin is sin, and that is true to a point, but if we are using somnething that may not be sinful as a weakness, as an obstacle in our own life, we may lean on something as a crutch instead of leaning on the Lord.I like what Hebrews 12 says about Sin:Hebrews 12God Disciplines His Sons 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."[a] 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13"Make level paths for your feet,"[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.Warning Against Refusing God 14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears. 18You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned."[c] 21The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."[d] 22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."[e] 27The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken?that is, created things?so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our "God is a consuming fire."[f]In this day and age it seems that even talking about sin, even mentioning someone may be wrong has become a taboo concept. In this day and age pushing ourselves to new limits, with so much staring at us, asking us to step into the world, even some of the greatest Christians fall.Several years ago I heard about an evangelist I once respected taking money from his "Charities" and pouring it into his pockets. I don't know what drove him to do this, well I do actually, it is one word greed. He had taken something good, a well known television show, that preached Christianity, and sullied it. I still watch some televangelists, but I can not watch this man. I do not know whether or not he repented, but I believed the allegations, and I believed he was guilty and in being guilty, I believe he added questions to both believers and non believers.Now by no means am I saying I don't sin, I have my own crutches, my own insecurities and weaknesses, but in the thirteen years of walking with the Lord, I have learned to move past them.God BlessMichelle~

Healed? Made Whole? Called Home?

Healed? Made whole? When that doesn't happen sometimes we grow frustrated, or are made to feel guilty because we aren't healed. Maybe a well meaning friend, or even head of church, tells us some sin is blocking us, that the Lord isn't healing us because of that.I don't believe that is always the case though, sometimes the Lord uses us even in our weakness, sometimes that weakness is what draws us closer to Him.I tend to take offense, (Maybe I shouldn't) when someone tells me that sin was blocking healing, because then I get to thinking about my dear friend who died, who suffered so much in her life, and I know that what she went through was not some kind of punishiment, instead what she went through made her stronger spirtually, it made her lean on Him more.The way my own condition makes me lean on Jesus more than before. In my sickness I found strength, and I find it everyday.There are moments when I questioned whether some sin, something in my life was blocking my own healing, and then I read so many stories of so many other Christians who had suffered far worse than I, and yet they remained, strong, steadfast in faith, and I find that sometimes it is in my own weakness that I am strongest.I know too that one day, I will receive that ultimate healing, that I will be Called Home to glory, a body made whole, my Spirit carried to the Lord!

At Jesus's Feet

The past several days I have been battling a cold bug, so I spent alot of time resting, but the one thing I continued to do was read, and right now it is Sheila Walsh's book Get Off Your Knees and Pray, that sits on my bedside with my Bible, I know that when you are sick it is as important to get your Spirtual nourishment.I find it a bit strange that during times of trouble some run away from God, instead of turning to Him. They want to turn to God only in good times, but when things get rough, suddenly we serve an uncaring God, but that is not how it works.They find it hard to believe that a loving God, could have our best interst in heart, when bad things happen. When the economy tanks, when we face loss, of home, of a loved one, whatever the case maybe. Matthew 21:22 (New International Version)22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."People tend to assume that this means God is going to answer all our prayers, and he does, but he is not always going to give us what we want, especially if what we want may harm ourselves or somebody else. The Lord really does have our best interst at heart, but sometimes we fall away from the Lord, but that is us falling not the other way around.Prayer is not always something we feel we want to do, the flesh gets in the way, and suddenly we feel ourselves drifting apart, We may have gone through a life changing event or maybe we have just hit a valley."Prayer is not always easy, nor is it always joyful." (Walsh 13)Sometimes we tend to think that prayer has to be a formal prayer, but often I find that when I go for a walk, I spend alot of time talking to the Lord, praying, and I often found that was the most joyful times of my day, but I have also prayed, when my heart was wrenching and my flesh was fighting every minute of it."it's not about how well we pray, but about who is listening to our prayers." (Walsh 33)I am reminded often of the importance of prayer, and not only as an everyday thing that we just do, but prayer, is our way of communicating With God, but it is not a one way communication, he speaks to us as well, but sometimes we get so wrapped up in life we forget to listen...."Prayer isn't supposed to offer a simple solution. It's meant to be a place to take our concerns and lay them at Jesus'es feet." (Walsh 40)1 John 1:8-9 (New International Version)8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.To Be Continued...---

Monday, April 6, 2009

One Nation Under?

President Obama saying that we are not a Christian nation got under my skin. Why are we forgetting the very foundation of our country? We were founded as a nation of people fleeting religious persecution. The earliest settlers among us were Christians.If we are no longer a Christian nation, I would like President Obama to say what he feels we are. I am a born again Christian, as are hundreds of thousands of others in this great nation, so I am sure I am not the only one who took offense in his comments.Our nation has changed in the years since our foundation, since the first people landed in Roanokke and a hundred or so years later on Plymouth Rock.When Obama speaks of the Bible he does not give us full facts. I think he needs to take a look at the foundation of this nation, at our forefathers. So often we hear that the Early Americans were not Christians, but that is far from the truth, before they signed the declaration of Independence, the signers of the constitution met daily for prayer. Yet that little fact is so often forgotten.God BlessMichelle R KidwellObama: America No Longer a Christian NationJune 23, 2008 by Jeff White Now that Barack Obama is the official Democrat nominee his past words are coming under more scrutiny. In a June 2007 speech Obama said "Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of nonbelievers"How much longer will God protect and bless this nation if we not only don't act like a Christian nation, but also openly proclaim we are not a Christian nation? Could this be why America is not mentioned in prophecy as a factor in world events during the end times?Not a Christian nation? Here's a sampling of quotes from just a few of the nation's early leaders:First Supreme Court Justice John Jay (served from 1789 to 1795)"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the priveledge and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (served from 1812 to 1845)"I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations."