The Great City of Nineveh

Dear Readers, 

I would like to share with you something I posted (a reply) on another Christians’ blog back in August.  I have always hoped my blog would be transparent and truthful, (that is why I am sharing this response) written mostly for the lost and hopeless among us!  A blog that intentionally does not mention denomination or religious creed! A blog I have shared my very personal life experiences with and shame!    A blog only to honor Christ… very little pics of me or my family….Christ only…Christ centered… and Christs’ love for all people… always!     The debate regarding homosexuality continues…never ending, sometimes (mostly) loveless and hateful toward each other.  This summer has been quite long and filled with utter hopelessness! I find myself now lost for words..unable to write anymore.  I have been the victim of attack from a Christian who I thought I was helping…I was also evaluated by a fellow Christian as to why I want to help people “spiritually”…and I lost!   God helps us all for thinking His Word…and His Gospel is only for a select group of people!  

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my blog!  It means more to me than you will ever know!  I have prayed for all of you and I love you all! I hope I have touched one soul… only one soul with my words…that truly was my only prayer!!  That was my intended purpose!!

The world we now live in is a very scary place…Christ did not promise this road..this life would be easy…but He does promise a glorious ending!  

again, I thank you and I love you all!! 

“And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.  And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand for their left…”

(Jonah 4: 10-11 ESV)

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I was doing a Google search on heaven and came across this post and truly, I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon it!  This is so sad to read…to digest. To realize the length of time this post has survived…to read the hatred and bickering between Christians….the hatred from Christians to those who are still lost and in darkness…and in great need of our Savior….and to those few who were/ are struggling with same-sex attraction/ homosexual lifestyle….and decided to share their thoughts through their painfully honest and transparent testimony…..It is in times such as this….I must remind myself to keep my eyes focused on Christ alone….and not on a fallen humanity! 

We are all sinners, and we must remember that at our very best, we all have nothing but filthy rags to offer.  We all spat on Him and beat Him beyond recognition!   We ALL nailed Him to the cross!   We must love without compromising Truth.  We must be Christ- like in how we approach everyone!  God humbled himself and became one of us in a darkened and fallen world to save us all.  Jesus was approachable to the lowest members of society in His time…prostitutes and tax collectors….they felt very comfortable approaching Him….He never compromised truth yet He was able to serve those who were in greatest need. 

Please remember the story of Jonah…Jonah had an extraordinary calling to deal with a group of people he did not want to deal with…but he reluctantly went to this group of people and preached the worst evangelical sermon ever…..Destruction is coming!  Destruction is coming!  Then, Jonah went and purchased a front row seat to watch them burn….but Nineveh repented! Jonah wanted more than ever to see those people burn as He cared more for their destruction then for their repentance!  Let’s not become like Jonah….wanting complete destruction of an entire group of people instead of hoping for eventual repentance….no matter how long that repentance may take…..we are all currently under the state of grace….

The issue is…where do people stand?  Are they dead in sin or alive in Christ?  If they are dead in sin, it hardly matters what sin it is….the Gospel must be the priority of the homosexual just as it is for the heterosexual!  The church is the place to hear the gospel!  The church is a place for sinners! Jesus can and will transform lives! Transformation may take time!   Christians need to serve in truth!  Christians need to serve also…. in love.  We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ!  We will all be asked about our lives while here on earth…..and how we all responded to the cultural issues and difficulties of our day…. Christ is not surprised by these issues….and He placed us as Christians in this exact moment in His creation for such a time as this!!  When I stand before Him, I pray I hear my Lord and Savior tell me…. “Well done good and faithful servant.”  As fellow Christians, I hope you all do too! 

 

 

 

 

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Death Grip

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“Jesus wept.”

(John 11:35 ESV)

There is probably nothing more tearfully heart wrenching than losing a loved one.  The grief endured when someone you love dies is excruciating and debilitating. You seem to exist in a surreal world temporarily suspended in time and space and hopeless to the stark reality you’re trying so desperately to avoid….your loved one is never coming back….

Not here….

Not now….

Not back here…

Not ever…

One distant memory of a most unfortunate death happened many, many years ago when I was still a young and inexperienced nurse working the midnight shift at a local hospital.  I stood quite fearful and reluctantly, beside an open incubator one cold and wintery night and gently caressed the very frail arm of a 14 ounce baby born way too soon…trying desperately to provide some sort of comfort to this beautifully perfect baby whose earthly life would ultimately be measured in mere hours….

The grief stricken mother was just outside our unit door and down the pastel pink and blue wall-papered hallway.  Her life so completely different just hours before.…But now, two earthly lives forever altered in a matter of minutes…of one soon to be taken and of one left behind… unbearable grief and excruciating sorrow…of dreams shattered and plans thwarted. This tragic loss so severe for it’s victim…it rendered her emotionally unable to speak a “temporary” goodbye…

Death

 So final is your grip…..

There was an unexpected death in the town of Bethany.  As this unfortunate news spread quickly, mourners came and gathered close to the grieving family.  Many who gathered there were visibly sobbing for this man who once was.  The sisters had sent word to the only One who could save him from his acute onset, but death had visited him quickly and he lay entombed for four days prior to His arrival. As The One approached, one sister fell to His feet in anguish and sorrow…the mourners also followed her there… standing behind and beside her as she mourned loudly at the Feet of our God…but all expressing the sorrow and grief that only death can bring….

When He looked upon the grief and anguish of the one sister who lay at His feet, and of those who believed, and of all those who would eventually believe, and also for those who would remain lost, He was deeply moved and greatly troubled…..as He filled with love and compassion for all who gathered there to openly grieve ….

And He gently began to weep….

Tears…slowing and quietly streaming from the Sovereign eyes of the only One who can bring us back to life….a deeply human expression from this Man of Sorrows…who is well acquainted with grief… who came to serve…who came to save….grief and sorrow He experienced as He mourned for a dying humanity…..and motivated by pure unconditional love for us….He willingly came and stepped into this darkness just to taste this bitter vial of death for one and all…..

Grief stricken tears actually touched the Almighty face of our God…

Death

Where is your grip now?

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“Often we say That Christ will meet us on the other side.  That is true of course, but misleading.  Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening.  We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.”

–Erwin Lutzer

 

 

Orlando Massacre!

My heart just bleeds and breaks for those precious lives lost in Orlando!!!!!!  I am totally speechless!!!!!  I am in mourning for those beautiful lives lost!!!!!  Absolutely NO respect for human life!!!    A fallen humanity…. And a completely godless society!!!

 JESUS……please…please…Come soon….I BEG YOU!!!!!

Please forgive me…. Jesus….Please forgive me….please forgive us ALL!!!!

Take me home Jesus!!! Please take me home….After almost 40 years….I can bear this hatred No MORE!!!!

Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… “

 

Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.” 

 

Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

 

Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. 

 
Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him we shall bestow a vast reward.” 

Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward. ” 

 
Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…” 

 
Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.”

Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” 

Quran (8:15) – “O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”  

 

 

Psalm 11:5 ESV    “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

 

Matthew 26:52-54 ESV  “Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”

 

Isaiah 60:18 ESV   “Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.”

 

Matthew 5:38-39 ESV     “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

 

Proverbs 3:31 ESV   “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.”

 

Hebrews 10:30 ESV “For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

 

Romans 13:4      “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

 

Romans 14:1 ESV   “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”

 

Genesis 9:5-6 ESV   “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

 

1 Timothy 3:3 ESV   “Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

 

Titus 3:2 ESV       “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

 

Psalm 55:15 ESV   “Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.”

 

Matthew 7:1-2 ESV   “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

 

“A new command I give you, Love one another as I have loved you so you must
love one another…”

….Jesus

“So not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me.”

…Jesus

 

“But I say to you…Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…”

…Jesus

 

“AND KNOW I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS YES… TO THE END OF TIME.”

….JESUS

 

Jesus ….I am ready to come home!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Pain and Suffering I

world suffering pic 1

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

–Jesus Christ

 (John 16: 33 ESV)

“Even if you were aware of children and felt compassion, when you have your own, it multiplies.  It breaks your heart to know that there are so many children in the world suffering so much.”

–Penelope Cruz

I have heard many people say they do not understand…they simply cannot even comprehend… why a loving God would allow so much suffering and pain in this world…so because of this seemingly perplexing inconsistency, many simply choose not to believe in God.   They conclude there can be no God existing in a world which experiences so much gut-wrenching pain and catastrophic suffering. Suffering is unavoidable.  Suffering does not discriminate…pain and suffering will eventually come to one and all.   Suffering seems to destroy everything in its path… it actually renders the sufferer unable to simply carry on with the very essential basics of life….it destroys….shatters…. overwhelms….it quickly takes life as we know it completely away……it can rob us of life itself….

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“Why Do people hate God?  One, they hate the moral standard.  Two, they hate the way He’s transforming the world even in the midst of suffering and tragedy.”

–Kirk Cameron

Different cultures and religions have attempted to define suffering.  In fact, one way a culture serves its members is to attempt to define ways in which to face horrific pain and suffering.  Some cultures and religions teach pain and suffering stem from the failure of people to live rightly.  The doctrine of karma is an example of this.  Buddhism teaches that suffering comes not from past deeds but from unfulfilled desires and those actual desires are the result of the illusion that we are individual selves.  Some societies address suffering and pain with a high view of fate and destiny.  Circumstances in life are predicted by supernatural forces…as in Islam…the will of Allah.   Other cultures teach suffering is a battle between darkness and light.  Our own contemporary secular Western culture is greatly lacking when it comes to explaining why pain and suffering occurs.  Many Western people of today find the ultimate goal of life is happiness…and suffering prevents happiness from occurring…During the Enlightenment Period, there was a shift from the belief that people were created to serve God to the belief that God made the world for our benefit.  Our ancestors once believed suffering was a part of life…but today we find a world where the belief is that God is obligated to arrange things the way we would like them to be…..When suffering and pain is seen as senseless…victims and cultures of its destruction develop deep anger…and deep hatred…and this growing anger and hatred is known as ressentiment…..

“As I lay so sick on my bed, from Christmas till March, I was always praying for poor ole master.  Pears like i didn’t do nothing but pray for poor ole master.  Oh, Lord, convert ole master, Oh, dear Lord, change dat man’s  heart, and make him a Christian.”

–Harriet Tubman

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“I find the greatest songs in the world come out of pain, and I don’t like it!  Here’s what it does: its strips away all of your facade.  It makes you so honest.  It’s cleansing.”

–Lionel Richie 

Thus…pain and suffering has now become the single and strongest objection to the existence of God…..Why would a loving God allow pain and suffering in this world?

 Christianity differs from all other worldviews…..

Why?

  Because we have a God who Himself suffered and didn’t deserve the pain and suffering inflicted upon Him…..and the most difficult aspect of this to understand….to even begin to comprehend…..

God actually allowed this pain and suffering to happen…..

And what if ( just what if ) our acute awareness of pain and suffering is actually a clue that God does exist?

“Jesus wept.”

(John 11: 35 ESV)

To be continued…

 

Opposites Attract

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

(2 Corinthians 9: 15 NIV)

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Who among us can even begin to describe you, Dear Jesus…..our human limitation restrains us from comprehending and describing all there is to know about You…For You are Three in One….You existed before time began…You are both God and Man…You are the Alpha and the Omega…the First and the Last….the Beginning and the End (Rev 22: 13)…..who among us would dare to even begin to describe Your past, present, and future radiant Presence…..

You had no majesty that we should look at You and no beauty that we should desire You (Isa 53: 2) yet Your endless beauty abounds and leaps greatly within my own heart….I desire You in the morning and I desire You in the evening….. A desire I cannot fully quench….an allure so powerful and a charm so ever-present….who among us would dare to even begin to describe Your majestic splendor and beautiful magnificence….

You are found existing within the darkness, and You are found existing within the light…even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you (Psa 139: 12) ….I have no words to describe You… The Word….I cannot utter a mere sound when my thoughts turn to You daily…. You are indestructible yet personable….indescribable yet approachable…The Master yet a Suffering Servant….humble yet The most powerful….and You shine as blinding light in even the darkest of nights.

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You are a sinless friend to even the worst of sinners…. Your love is well beyond any human comprehension…. Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. (Luke 7: 34)  You dine with the recluse and despised… You give hope to the hopeless….and riches to the poor….You grant innocence to the guilty….You came to repair the damage done… from man’s wayward rebellion to gracious unconditional forgiveness…You even continue to mend what is broken… You give eternal life to the dying…. this indescribable gift that is free to all who simply seek it…a bloody sacrifice yet the greatest of all gifts… but still… the unbearable weight of every single human sin was upon You…the only One who did not sin… as You were spit on….ridiculed and mocked….

JESUS… YOU WERE SLAUGHTERED!

…and for our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21) You conquered death and now give eternal life to those who do not deserve it. For all of us do not deserve such love as this… I stand before you as filthy as a soiled stained rag… yet You always reach out to embrace me… ….who among us… no, not even I… would even dare to begin to describe Your incomprehensible love…

JESUS…how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Blessed be Your Name forever and ever!

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Crucify Him!

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws, you lay me in the dust of death.”

(Psalm 22: 14-15 ESV)

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The patibulum was thrown down on the barren dark ground; as He voluntarily lays His bloody and savagely torn body upon its fierce death grip….

Surrendering completely… and remembering His promise…. His unconditional love for His friends who all but fled Him

Already scourged, disfigured, and beaten, He is covered in the thick spit of those who hate and mock Him

Seven inch nails are driven into His wrists as His knees are forcibly bent to pound that final nail into His blood stained feet….

The strain put on His wrists as they erect His cross immediately dislocates His shoulders and elbows

A slow death designed for maximum pain and humiliation….

The most painful and humiliating death ever created by man…..

Then quickly ushering in…. the impending difficulty of each deliberate exhale of breath…..and the impossibility to complete each full inhalation…..

The loss of blood and lack of oxygen causes severe cramps and spasmodic contractions as time slowly fades away

As sheering pain ricochets throughout His trembling and naked body as each second stands still

 And as He struggles to look through blinding tears over a dying and lost humanity,

 He sees the very few who mourn… but focuses on the multitude who seemingly glare at Him in their misfit triumph…

  As He thoughtfully takes the time to pray for them there

There in this awful place called Golgotha….

His shallow breaths of life He sustains only briefly as small areas of His lungs eventually collapse

Decreasing oxygen levels causes acidic conditions in tissues that only build

This fluid buildup in the lungs further accentuates His continual and shallow labored breathing…

A deep and crushingly excruciating pain….

He begins to notice within His chest

 As fluid and serum slowly compress His sinless and merciful heart

As His Heart becomes heavy….

As His Heart becomes stressed…..

And His Heart…. is failing…….

A man-made crucifixion so obscene……so excruciating…..so humiliating…..

That no man ever truly speaks about it…..

   No one ever truly speaks about its torments…..

Mourning II… “Do Not Weep”

“And the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still.  And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.”

(Luke 7: 13-15 ESV)

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What a profound story…indicating just how deep the compassion of Christ really is….Jesus and His disciples traveling to a village called Nain where they encounter another large crowd.  This large crowd though was not rejoicing for they were mourning the loss of a young loved one….and his funeral was already underway.  This crowd….in sorrow and grief over the untimely death of an only son….and his weeping mother already experienced the devastating loss of her husband…and now too, her only young son…. leaving her broken and shattered……alone and frightened……..grieving and in painful sorrow…….and financially and economically destitute….

This healing story found in Luke is quite different from the multitude of others documented in Christ’s ministry.  This widowed and grieving mother was not seeking help from Jesus……She was not searching for Jesus…and her faith was never commended…..She is simply part of the funeral procession for her only son…. there is no written account in the book of Luke that she even speaks to Jesus……or desperately calls out His name……she did not ask for healing as many others did….yet Christ sees her in this large crowd….and He immediately knows her whole life story……He instantly knows how broken and financially destitute she is……He knows she is now at the mercy of the “ever-changing” kindness of her neighbors to  provide for her some means of financial support……….

….And Christ feels compassion for her….and His message to this crying and widowed mother……

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“Do Not Weep.”

—Jesus

Jesus…The Son of the only Living God… the Prince of Peace….the King of kings……the Lord of lords….. He confidently intrudes this large crowd…..this sad funeral procession of last goodbyes… filled with hopelessness and sorrow…the smell of death and the pangs of utter despair……and placing His hand on the young sons’ open casket….. causing the casket bearers to pause and stand still as perhaps they too were temporarily taken back by His seemingly imposing gesture……and miraculously….. Christ not only brings back life to the dead…….He also brings back life to this widowed and weeping mother…..

This story of Christ’s compassion is a beautifully personal and deeply impactful one for me as I once was a child of divorce living in a childhood filled with financial struggle and daily hardship…..and as I watched closely…. and observed my hard-working mother tearfully strive to provide for me… I can honestly now say there is nothing I would change about my childhood days….for I am who I am because of those hard days……and I know without a doubt… Christ was there with me!!

Today, as more and more divorced, widowed, and single mothers and fathers are tearfully striving to provide a safe haven and shelter for their children yet find themselves living on the edge of poverty……If you see yourself as one of these many struggling parents who are tearfully striving……you must ask yourself…..

What message would Jesus give to you?

A Song For Today…..

Flashback to the 1970’s…

Thank you for the beautiful music Glenn!