And The Saints Keep Marching On…

FTI Faith WaterfallWhen life gets hard and it feels like we’re losing battles left and right, it can help to read again the stories of all the brave saints who have gone before us.

To let our minds travel back in time, with the author of Hebrews 11, so that the testimony of the faithful can reignite the faith in our own hearts.

It’s good to remember we’re not alone and that the grace God has poured out on his children throughout history continues today.

 

If you are discouraged, I hope this song by Sara Groves will inspire you to keep marching on.

Sara Groves – When The Saints (Official) from sara-groves on GodTube.

Urgent call to prayer – Spread the word!

Jesus prayed. He taught his disciples how to pray. He also taught about persistent prayer and never giving up.

Even when the situation looks grim, we cannot give up. We are called to pray because prayer moves the heart of God. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes us.

Today is an important day for Christians to unite together in prayer for our nation. The supreme court is hearing arguments over the re-definition of marriage. Here is a link to the AFA website where you can read more sign the pledge to pray.

I will prayIf my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

This Changes Everything!

I woke up this morning with these words and the following song on my brain:

The tomb is empty!

Jesus is alive and well!

This changes everything!

Or at least it should, right?

Got to church and guess what the title of the message was?

The Resurrection Changes Everything!

Can I hear an amen?

I hope you all have a blessed Easter and have a moment to enjoy
this great tune from Matt Papa…

A Matter of Life and Death

It has been a very long time since I’ve communicated in this space. And exactly one year and one day since I wrote the following post:

A Blessing For The Believing

FTI Blessed BelieversI went back and read the words and they seem to capture my current feelings pretty well. There are more than a few reasons for the recent silence. Maybe I’ll have a chance to share a bit of that later. But for now? The reason I find myself here today? Well, I guess you could say it’s a matter of life and death.

You see, I’ve been sifting through a sea of questions. The kind that seem to pop up in this “middle” stage of life. I want my days to count and I’ve been seeking God’s direction on where to go, what to do next.  I want to get it right. I don’t want to fail. Meanwhile, I feel stuck. Can you relate?

FYI, perfectionism is a killer.

Then there’s this man named Jon – a friend of ours – who has been a minister of the Gospel for years. My husband and I (along with many others) have been praying that he would be healed from the cancer he was diagnosed with last summer.

This morning, his sweet wife reported that just before midnight last night he breathed his last breath on this earth. Of course, I understand that Jon is now truly healed. He is enjoying the presence of Jesus. But my heart still hurts with the feeling of loss and I haven’t been able to keep the tears from bubbling up all day.

And I’ve been thinking about how Jon spent his last days. I don’t think he ever missed an opportunity to preach, even through the chemo. To observe someone with that kind of desire to do the Lord’s work, to see it through, right to the end – this is inspiring.

And so, as I enter into this holiday weekend, I find myself contemplating again the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to me. A few minutes ago, the scripture from John 10:10 came to my mind where Jesus  says, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I looked it up and read where Jesus is identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd and those who accept Him as His sheep and I remembered… One of the last sermons I heard Jon preach on was from this passage of scripture. It came just after his diagnosis and was about trusting Jesus.

And I guess that’s the only real way to live. Trusting in Jesus. Letting Him shepherd us through the hard times. Knowing that, through Him, we are free to live an abundant life without fear because He overcame death, hell and the grave once and for all so that all who believe in Him could do the same.

That’s what Jon did. He put His faith in Jesus, his hope in things unseen. He believed. He trusted. His motto was to just go, to keep moving.

The disciples got that too. Jesus’ last words to them echoed in their ears long after He ascended to heaven. He said “Go” so they did and the world was forever changed.

I have been given the same Great Commission.When it comes to sharing His message, there’s no time to waste. I can’t wait around until I feel qualified or think I’ve got everything figured out. God knows I’m not perfect and I will never have all the answers. So what? Like those early disciples and like my friend Jon, I can move forward and trust the Lord to guide me like the Good Shepherd He is.

I can “just go” because it’s not about me. It’s about Jesus. With Him there is hope. With Him, every day is a resurrection.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Why I Dig The Duggars – Daring To Be Different

I wiped away the tears but nothing could wipe the smile off my face as I watched the season finale of 19 Kids and Counting last week.

Why? Because, it makes the heart glad when you witness something good rising up out of a sea of overwhelmingly bad tv. It was like breathing fresh air to witness love, in it’s purest form, so sweetly presented through Jill and Derick’s engagement story.

Source

Source

But it seems that some people have gotten so used to the foul stench of garbage that they are unable to appreciate clean air anymore. They are the ones posting hateful comments online referring to the Duggar Family as “oppressive” and “scary.”

But I would argue that what’s really oppressive and scary are the alternative programs being shoveled into our living rooms. Here’s a little comparison.

FindingTheInspiring.com

FindingTheInspiring.com

Now, before I go any further, I have to admit that I had never really given the show a chance until this season because I just didn’t get it. My initial reaction? Oh, paleese!

I mean, I couldn’t identify with what I perceived as another “reality” show gimmick – the saga of a normal family turned baby-making factory. Frankly, I can understand some of the push-back. These people just aren’t normal by today’s standards (or lack thereof.)

But that’s the thing. They aren’t trying to live by the standards of this world. And neither should we if we are going to call ourselves followers of Christ. We should dare to be different knowing that we have been called out of the darkness to “live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)

But, hey, it’s not like I know them, so I’m not going to say I agree or endorse every little thing about the show. But I will say that this family appears to simply be trying to live out their Bible-based convictions, which as far as I can tell is something we could definitely use more of in our world.

And if it’s true that “The Duggars desire is to make Christ known and for others to see that the Bible is the owner’s manual for life,” then maybe this reality show is their way of being Salt & Light.

Maybe this is their chance to bring old fashioned things like modesty and purity back in fashion.

Maybe people, young and old, will be encouraged that there is a way to live Godly in a godless age.

Salt & LightAnd, maybe we can all use their example as a spark of inspiration to think about how we live out our own faith.

Today, let’s commit wholeheartedly to accepting the Word of God as our ultimate guide. Let’s dare to be different so that we can make a difference in the world.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

___________________________________________

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE DUGGARS AND REALITY SHOWS IN GENERAL? DID YOU SEE THE ENGAGEMENT EPISODE?

Okay, it took me way too long to find this clip of the song Derick had country music singer/songwriter Walker Hayes (a friend of his friend) write for the occasion. Unfortunately, the video ends before the proposal but at least you get to hear their story set to music (so romantic). sniff, sniff…

Here’s the link to view the video. (FYI, you cannot see it on the page at first…it will take a few seconds for the video to pop up.)

Enjoy!