Tag Archive | Jesus

The Day Before Easter

The gore that bore my sins
I want to look away
I want to hide the scars like eggs on Easter day.

But look at them I must,
if I would understand,
the truth that it’s MY sin
that pierced his sacred hands.

🎶 O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down;
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory,
what bliss ’til now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call thee mine. 🎶

Two thousands and twenty years ago, the night before the morning we celebrate as Easter, things looked pretty grim.
But joy comes in the morning…

Good Friday image

image from my art journal. 

Water me!

Water me!  photo credit: Julia Ekstrom

Water me!
photo credit: Julia Ekstrom


I’ve been feeling wilty lately. Just blahhhhhhhhhhhhh, like those flowers. Down deep in my soul.

My friend, Julia,  posted this pic of her wilting tulips with the caption, “Got water? …”

Which reminds me why I’m feeling so depleted — no water!

I’m not talking H2O, but W-O-R-D, as in God’s Word. The Bible is to the Christian what water is to the tulip — VITAL!

And we need to drink it in frequently.

One of Julia’s friends commented about the poor tulips, “They suck water like a Hoover vacuum.”

I’m thinking that’s how we should be with the Word of God, too. Vacuums! just sucking it up.

IF we wanna stand strong, that is.

Remember that song from Sunday school? “The B-I-B-L-E. That’s the book for me.  I’m gonna stand on the Word of God. The B-I-B-L-E.  Bible!”

Got water?  Yes! The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for you! And me!  Read it!

Question: Do you know the Bible’s author?  Click the pic below to be introduced. Then you can drink deep and stand strong, which will help you to keep calm and carry on!  =]

"Keep Calm and Carry on!" photo credit: Julia Ekstrom

“Keep Calm and Carry on!” photo credit: Julia Ekstrom


“Blessed is the man [or woman] who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He [or she] is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

~~Jeremiah 17:7-8~~



Do you see him?

I had a hard time getting a picture of him.

When  I tried to focus on the fuzzy antlers in the background, the camera would get distracted by an ugly branch in the fore….


Reminded me of how discouraged I’ve been lately about the long list of things I can’t eat.

Food allergies =/

My friend said, “Focus on all you can eat, not what you can’t.”

Good advice for all of life.

Focus on the CANS not the CAN’TS.

I was focusing on the ugly branch.

I should have been focusing on the antlers, instead.


   Let’s pray… Thank you, Father, for boundaries. You are the good Shepherd and know just where to put up a fence to keep Your sheep safe.

 Today I will choose to rest in Your boundaries and trust that You know what You’re doing.  But, I am just a dumb wayward sheep, after all, Father, so like that country song says, “Help me to help my stupid self.” =] In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know Jesus Christ? Not about Him, but really know Him? He has His eye on you.  Click the pic below to see how to start focusing your eye on Him:

I see you.  Stephen M. Young, photographer.

I see you. Stephen M. Young, photographer.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.They will come in and go out, and find pasture” ~ Jesus (John 10:9)

Fly Swatter Faith

Ecclesiastes 10:1 “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell…”

We’re supposed to be the aroma (perfume) of Christ in the world, but flies buzz about (temptations) that, when allowed in, stink up our testimony. How do we swat the flies? The same way Jesus did.  When He was tempted by Satan, He would smack him with the Word of God.  Look up Luke 4 to see for yourself.

That’s why it’s important to know His word, to have it at the ready like a fly-swatter hanging within reach.  You never know when you’ll need it.

Here’s some sample flies and how to swat them.  They may or may not be the ones I struggle with, I’ll never tell.  [ok, they’re mine, but don’t tell me I told you. 🙂 ]:

click pic for Flickr source

Fly: drink too many beers when the family goes out for pizza (3 instead of 1 or 2).

Fly Swatter: Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.> Proverbs 20:1

Fly:  Make my life as comfortable as possible.  Sure, pray for peeps in need, sometimes, when it’s convenient, but only help enough to appease my guilty conscience.  Keep it comfortable.

Fly Swatter: “The love of Christ compels me, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, and one died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who loved them and gave Himself up for them.”  >2 Corinthians 5:14

See how it works?

Click pic for Flickr source

Let’s pray:

Father, thank you  for the Bible, Your Word, that is sharper than a two-edged sword, able to pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow and able to lay bare the thoughts and intentions of our hearts before Your eyes. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Help me to know which verses would make the best swatters for all the temptations and doubts that buzz around my head and heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the One who knows you better than you do? (does that make sense?!)   Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

see below for pic source



My daughter and I laid out in the sun today.  It’s just what the doctored ordered, according to an article I read somewhere: 20 minutes of sun exposure a day for optimal health.

As we laid there baking away, my daughter told me that in Spanish, sun bathing literally means, “drinking in the sun.”

Hmmm, I thought. That’s just what we need for optimal spiritual health:  Drink in the Son for at least 20 minutes a day. 🙂

“Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  ~~ Matthew 11:28

click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank you for sending Jesus, your one and only son, down here to earth to live, love, and die for us all.  

He’s the radiance of Your glory.  (Hebrews 1:3)

I want to radiate Your glory, too!  I want to look like someone who’s had lots of Son exposure!

 I want to “drink in” Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22) 

Show me how to accomplish this on a daily basis.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ask yourself:  How much Son-exposure do I get each day?  Could/should I get more?

Better question:  How much time do I spend Facebooking, watching TV, web-surfing?  Hmmmm. Convicting!

 Would trading a few of those minutes for a few minutes reading the Bible and praying lead to more “optimal spiritual health”?  

I’m not a doctor, so I’m not ordering it, just suggesting it as a loving blogger.  We’re all in this together. 🙂

Do you know the Son?  His name is Jesus and He’d love to know you!  Click on the pic for a quick introduction:

"Sun Bathers" see below for source...

“Sun bathers” gratefully borrowed from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nehmzow/4209753101/

Strength Building 101

Strength Building 101:

click pic for source

“Because He is at my right hand, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

The right hand = strength in the Bible.

So, if I want to build spiritual muscle, I need to make sure the Lord is my strength.

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

“The Lord is my strength and my shield.  My heart trusts in Him and I am helped.”  Psalm 28:7

How do I make sure the Lord is my strength? I do these simple exercises:

1. Deep knee bends, humbling myself before the Lord in prayer.

2.  Lifting my Bible every day and crunching through some verses.

 Like with all exercises, repetition is key, so I try to practice obeying what I read over and over again.  The more I do it, the easier it gets to do.

Here’s a great starter verse to practice every day, several times a day:

“Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” ~~ Psalm 62:8

Doing these simple exercises every day builds strong faith, and helps me to do the first part of that verse:

“Trust in Him at all times….” Psalm 62:8


Trust who?



at ALL times.




when I’m scared

and when I’m sad

when things are awesome

and when I’m mad.




Get it?

Got it.

Good. 🙂

Let’s Pray:

Father, thank you for loving me.

Thank you for being my Personal Trainer Who teaches me how to be strong faith-wise, and all other  -wises!

With your help, I can learn to trust in you AT ALL TIMES.

Help me to exercise my faith every day by lifting my Bible, crunching through some verses, and bending my knees to pray.   

Jesus, you are my personal trainer, my life coach, my savior, redeemer, and friend.  In Your name I pray, Amen!

Do you want to join Jesus’ gym?  Click on the pic below to see about getting a free pass. 🙂

**photo credit:Flickr**

What time is it?

What time is it?

“Timing is everything”, they say.  I don’t know who “they” are, but Jesus agrees with them.  —

:6 Now the Feast of the Jews, the Feasts of the Booths, was near.  Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing…Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.”

At just the right time, Christ came to the earth and at just the right time, he died for us.

 “You see, at just the right time, while we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly…” (Romans 5:6)

About time, King Solomon wrote:

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— (Ecclesiastes)

click pic for source

Let’s Pray:

Father, help us to use our time wisely; to stay in close contact with You so we know what time it is, and for what purpose under the heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ants, Slugs, and Spiders! Oh my!

I’m going to have a lot of questions when I see Jesus face-to-face.  And one of the first is, “What’s with the ants, slugs, and spiders?!”

I have them all over and around my house these days.

Stomping and swatting has become the norm.

I  stomped on a few ants on the way to the fridge this morning, hopped over a few (million) slugs on the front step to get to the newspaper,

and, because we live in the woods,  I ALWAYS, always, always have to watch where I put my hands outside the house, ’cause I might feel this:

wolf spider with babies on her back

or this:

Black Widow Spider

I can understand God making chocolate, or mountains, or furry little kittens, but ants? slugs? and spiders?!

Well, today I start a three part series on the creepy-crawlies about my house.

My new motto is: If you can’t beat ’em, learn from ’em.

We’ll start with the ant.

Like I said, our kitchen’s been crawling with them.

So, I put out some poison on the counter.

Some sweet, sticky poison.

They swarmed it like a watering hole in desert!!!

They thought they’d found a little heaven on earth.


Reminded me of our toxic culture.  The movies, the TV shows, the music.  It’s so sweet.  So we suck it all down.

"There is a way that seems right...but in the end it leads to death." ~ Proverbs 14:12

And who gets the last laugh?

The Ant Prayer: “Jesus, You are truly sweet.  The Bread of Life, the Bible says.  Oh, may I taste and see that You are good. (Psalm 34:8)  Change my wants from cheap thrills to You. Fill my soul with food that will last. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.”  ~~ Proverbs 9:5

Do you know Jesus?  Click on the pic below to be introduced:

"I am the Bread of Life." ~~ Jesus (John 6:35)

Rod Blagojevich Hair and Other Poofy Thoughts

Gotta love hair products!

I put some in my hair last night and woke up with Rod Blagojevich hair — POOF!


My natural hair is kinda flat.

And so is my natural attitude sometimes, now that we’re on the subject.

Ever wish there was a product that you could use to fluff up a bad attitude?  Something you could “apply liberally, and comb through“?

Product? No.

But there is a Person…


And there’s power in that name!

Take yesterday, for instance. (oh, read on, it’s a short story.  You can take it.)

I was in the middle of a long bike ride with my husband.

My tires were full, but my attitude was FLAT.

I was moaning, “I hate this ride….I hate this ride…I hate this ride.” with every pedal stroke.

It was kinda catchy, but I needed a new song quick.  This one was bringing me down.

So, I started singing, “I love you, Jesus.  I love you, Jesus.  I love you, Jesus.” in rhythm with my pedaling instead.

Kinda like the song Buddy, the Elf, sings to his dad in the movie, “Elf”:

Nothin’ fancy.

But my insides poofed up.

I felt like I was riding along on a bicycle built for two;  Jesus in the front, doing all the work,  and me singing in the back.

Yup, there’s power in that name.


“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” ~~ Proverbs 18:10


“..at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW…every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~~ Philippians 2:10-11

Feeling deflated?

Speak the name of Jesus, liberally, call on Him.

Let His love “comb through” your heart and soul.

Your natural attitude will be transformed into…Blagojevich hair!   Poof!!


no matter what language you sing it in,

the Product’s guaranteed 🙂

The Late Keith Green

~The late Keith Green~

I After I typed that, “the late Keith Green”, I thought, no, he wasn’t late.  God sent him at just the right time — the hippie free-loving generation.  He fit right in with his big hair and beard, but the free love he shared was Jesus’.

He died in a plane crash when he was young but his message survived and still encourages today.

See what I mean?

“Just dare to believe in him.

There are so many people around who are afraid to believe because all they’ve seen of Jesus is “Church-ianity”…

all they’ve seen of Jesus is religion.

They’ve been turned off by the hypocrisy…

but there is a real Jesus.  And there are real Christians running around. ”  ~  Keith Green, singer/songwriter (1953-1982)