WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Risen”

Running Home

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For just a moment, imagine that you can see the colors and beauty of a robe woven from all of your demonstrations of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It would take your breath away! Unique in design, for everyone shows kindness in a different way, your robe would be singularly remarkable and noteworthy.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Every small and unselfish act of kindness is noticed by God and used for His glory. A smile offered to a crying child, a dinner sent to a sick neighbor, even the helping hand offered to a stray dog is recognized. We are told to bind kindness and truth around our necks. A necklace to remind us that, with each new day, we are given opportunities to share the love of Christ.

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.Hebrew 6:10-12 (NKJV)

Additionally, we are called to put on our spiritual armor…. And it is called, “the armor of light.”

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  Romans 13:12 (NIV)

We walk in a world where mere hints of heaven’s beauty abound, and if we take the time to acknowledge it, we are often at a loss for words. Heaven and all of its glory are much more than we can imagine. It will take an eternity to see every beauty and wonder that Father God has created for us.

This knowledge of a better place, in another world, spurs us on. It comforts those who have lost loved ones and encourages those lacking hope and faith. We are but aliens in a foreign land while we live out our lives on earth.

We must run the spiritual race God ordained, and often it is a marathon. We see the finish line but the upward climb leaves us panting for breath. Panting to the point where we no longer have any strength to continue, so the heavenly hosts cheer us on and we continue the upward climb.

Our earthly beloveds run along beside us for as long as they can, but as the race comes to an end they no longer can follow. They assure us that it is well with them and that we must finish our race on our own. Parting is so hard, but we hear the call of angels and the voice of our Father. We say our good-byes and move towards the radiance ahead, dressed in our armor of light and wearing our robes woven from the righteousness we inherited through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Every kindness, selfless act of love, compassionate act, patient response, and gentle word of grace offered in this life will continue to live on in the hearts of those we leave behind. God will cause others to water the seeds that we have sown in His name. Parting with loved ones is just another lesson from God; it chips away at our sinful man, causes us to reflect on heavenly things, and serves to refine us into the image of His son.

Reminding ourselves that death is just part of the journey called life will indeed renew our hunger for our forever home, for in heaven we will no longer be aliens in a foreign land. In heaven, a new journey will begin. A journey where there is no more sin, death, pain, or sorrow. A journey full of adventure, service, wonder, and joy.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.Proverbs 3:3 (NASB)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) 

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4 (NKJV)

This devotion is dedicated to my wonderful mother…. Barbara Ann Hentschel Zelenka. She passed away on May 18th, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s Friday…. BUT EASTER SUNDAY IS COMING!

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Co. 15:3-4 (NIV)

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Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YByT6wfdhJs

 “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.  Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” 1 Co. 15:20-27 (NIV)

 

RISE… From Your Ashes… Rise!

Ps 30 Wailing 2 Dancing TL

Right after my brain surgery, I was alone while recovering in an assisted living facility in Phoenix, AZ. My life was so uncertain. My dream home in Oregon was sold, my teaching career seemed to be over, I didn’t know where I would live, ifI would ever recover my health, work, or live independently. MY LIFE WAS IN ASHES. Then….

While driving in my car I heard this song. Tears came to my eyes as I realized God had sent me a message of hope.

“Yes I will rise …..Out of these ashes, rise                                                               From this trouble I have found…..  And this rubble on the ground ….. I will rise”

When we need it most, our God will faithfully send us word that we are not alone. That with HIS strength… we will rise out of our ashes to new victories. Don’t ever loose hope, hang on…. you have yet to live the best day of your life!

“And provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 63:1 (NIV)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS5vlffO2EA

Strong:Hope In Lord TL

We Share In The Sufferings Of Christ

Easter-3 Croses

“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”  John 19:17-18 (NKJV)

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, understands our pain. He IS our friend and blessed Redeemer. When He left His heavenly throne and took on human form (for our sakes), He endured all the frailty found in our fleshly bodies. Not one abuse, sorrow, trouble, struggle or upset we experience was absent from His life. He lived them all. He is a Lord full of great compassion and understanding when it comes to mankind.

Jesus had siblings and is well aware of the ins and outs of family life.  There were bound to be jealousies and misunderstandings within His earthly family. Although He was without sin, He experienced the sting of insults from those closest to Him. He understands family dynamics.

He knew the pain of a friend’s betrayal. Disappointment was no stranger to our Savior. Emotional ties are often entangled with some sort of sin and can cause great pain, for love is a tender feeling. Surely Judas broke His heart.

If you have had to suffer through a desperate and painful time without the support of friends and family, Jesus understands your struggle. Did He not face His death with only His mother, His Aunt, Mary Magdalene, and the apostle John? Where were the rest of the apostles? Where were His earthly siblings?

When Christ carried His cross to Golgotha, He did so in a weakened state. His 40 lashes and beatings had weakened Him to the point of utter exhaustion.  Here comes a wondrous concept. Jesus, of the holy Trinity and God in flesh, could not physically carry His cross. It was too much for Him to bear. He experienced human weakness and the Roman soldiers compelled a Simon a Cyrenian to bear His cross. 

“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.  And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.”  Mark 15:21-22 (NKJV)

We are all expected to carry our own burdens in life but when a strain comes our way that is beyond our ability to withstand, God will send us help. He will provide ways to endure and carry on with the task He has assigned.

By showing kindness to those suffering, we share in their sufferings. Just as Simon helped to carry the same cross of Jesus, we are to carry the same cross of others when they are too worn to move forward. God permits us the blessing of sharing in His sufferings. This is a gift worth rejoicing over!

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! He knows our weaknesses and understands our limitations. He calls on and provides others to share in our anguish. In love, they willingly take on burdens we cannot shoulder or sustain. Through prayers, acts of love, and physical acts of assistance we can all share in each others trouble and connect as one church and one body, through the blood of our Savior.….. Jesus Christ.

Certainly it is by His wounds that we are all healed.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 (NIV)

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-17 (NKJV)

“No healthy Christian ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.”
― Oswald Chambers

The Thorn

Thorn

THE THORN

The thorn in my side
 daily reminds me of my weakness.                                                                                        Is not His strength made strong in me for His glory?

The thorn in my side keeps me humble and dependent upon Christ
.                                                                    Who better to lean on?

The thorn in my side causes me pain and sorrow.                                                                                                      He was a man of sorrows, why not I?

The thorn in my side reminds me of Jesus and the spear in His side. 
                                                                   Surely I can bear such a small wound as a thorn.

This thorn in my side allows me to share in the sufferings of Christ.  
                                                                   Is it not by His Stripes that I am healed?

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“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of *satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 CORINITHIANS 12:7-9  (NIV)                     

We all have thorns that we must bear and carry in this lifetime.  They are painful but beautiful too.  They bring out our godliness and magnify God’s provision and strength.  Refining will bring all the dross of our lives to the surface. Is your spiritual goal to be purified into the image of Christ?  Developing a Christ-like character takes a lifetime to accomplish but you can begin today.

 How then does one manage the pain of a personal thorn? It can be achieved through a complete and utter submission to the will of God.  Keeping your eyes focused on Him will draw your attention away from your suffering and help ease your pain. When walking in His footsteps you will find rest in His care and provision. 

Contentment will seep into your heart as you willingly laying down your desires, asking Him to make His your own. By casting all of your cares upon Him, burdens will lift and a spiritual balm will find it’s way to your wounds.  Healing will come but suffering will become a new joy for you to bear as you share in the sufferings of Christ.

You have been giving a free will.  You can choose the road that leads upward, keeping a righteous man from stumbling and going down to the grave.  Or you can choose to light your own lantern, attempting to be entirely self-sufficient.  This is not wise, as God wants us to be dependent upon His grace and mercy.  He did create us, so who are we to say that we don’t want or need Him. Do you really think you will be just fine on our own?  This is a pretty big planet and there is a mighty enemy looking to devour easy prey.

The Lord took up His cross and obeyed the will of His Father.  Surely we can bear our personal thorn and learn to obey God’s will as well.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” ISAIAH 53:5 (NKJV

Redeemed-Big Daddy Weave

UTR The Great I Am

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”  Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ4jOX6f_1s

REDEEMED

To buy or win back.                                                    

To free from what distresses or harms.                    

To free from captivity by payment of ransom                                                                                

To release from blame or debt.                                                

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/redeem      

Dear One,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Do you feel like you’ve been fighting a battle with no end?

Stop fighting… the battle has already been won!  Jesus conquered the grave to set us all free. YOU are REDEEMED… and FREE. Shake off the chains that bind you! He’s not done with you yet. He still has things for you to do!

Resurrection: God’s Victory Through Jesus

Jesus w:Mary & John He Is Risen

Luke 23:43 (NIV)  “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 Easter is a day of victory, love, hope, and promise.  Jesus suffered the incredible humiliation of the cross and endured great suffering for our sakes.  Let me mention just a few of the horrors He willingly suffered for our sakes, in the name of unconditional love.

Jesus endured the rejection and false testimonies of His chosen people.  His disciples denied and abandoned Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, only to follow Him at a distance.  (John alone stood at the foot of the cross with His mother, Mary.)  The Jewish people convinced Pilate to release Barabbas, a convicted murder, because they wanted Jesus crucified.

Soldiers spit at our Savior and made Him wear a crown of thorns.  They whipped him and mocked him and made him carry a cross to his place of death.  Nails through bone and flesh attached Him to a wooden cross.  After suffering separation from His heavenly Father, because of the sins He carried to the cross, He gave up His spirit.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (Jn. 3:16). This truly is a wondrous love!

There were two criminals crucified with Christ and both were guilty of their crimes.  One of the two men mocked Jesus and threw insults His way. However, the other criminal acknowledged his own sin and rebuked the other criminal for his scorn towards the Redeemer.

“Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”

He then asked Jesus to remember him upon entering His kingdom.  Jesus lovingly replied, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:38-43) 

This act of forgiveness and hope has given many believers comfort.  We do not know what happens in the final moments of a person’s life.  This story reminds us that it is never too late to be saved and rescued from the pit of hell.

While on our earthly journey, we are to walk by faith.  It is by grace that we are saved, but we are also told that faith without works is dead.  So did the criminal on the cross just manage to get into heaven by the seat of his pants?  Yes, probably so.  Did he have any rewards or treasure laid up once he got there?  After all, he wasn’t a follower and believer of Christ for very long. 

(Here is where I might surprise you with my thoughts.)  How many people were at the foot of the cross witnessing this dialogue?  I would say there were some, and they may have even decided to accept Christ as their Savior.  But now think about this:  How many people have heard this story long after the criminal entered paradise with Jesus?  I would say more than we could imagine.

I believe many have been comforted by this story of a last minute conversion.  Wouldn’t this alone earn him some treasure in heaven? Could this story be one that has led a multitude into believing that Jesus is the Son of God?  I am sure of it. 

It is never too late to give your heart to God, and start living FOR Him. If there is a lost soul you have given up on, remember there is always hope thanks to the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He won the battle over sin and death and died for us all, including the prodigal son.  Because of Jesus, our sins were nailed to the cross once and for all.  It is a free gift for all to receive, if only we choose to accept it. With an open heart and open arms, Jesus is offering salvation to everyone.  May His sacrifice and resurrection give you enough hope to carry you through another year. 

Romans 6:8-11 (NIV)
   ”Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

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