A special episode co-hosted with my husband Larry, in which we look at the last recorded words that Jesus actually spoke from the cross. I give background information, and Larry interprets and explains each phrase and it's effect.
Tonight's podcast and the Scripture references and notes are available on the podcast page
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Discussions about Faith and Reason, using Science and Bible History. Wife and mother, Former Teacher, Overcoming a Disability.
My Website and blog is found at www.reason2believehim.com
My poetry is at:
"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
I believe in the resurrection of Jesus. This has great magnitude for my life. Because He came to earth in flesh, died and was resurrected, I am free from everything that would have me bound. I am saved from sin and the death of hell, and I am promised eternal life. This hope is something worth talking about.
I recently had Travis Barton on my Podcast. Travis is a missionary to Mexico, partnering with Feed My Lambs, International. He is a singer/songwriter as well. I was given the privilege of helping him translate a couple of his songs, and he has recently posted a YouTube video of him singing live, one called "Crucificado" to the outreach to the small community of Tierra Blanca I have included the YouTube live English version as well. The song is a hauntingly lovely reminder of our reason for worshiping Jesus Christ.
"Tierra Blanca, Mexico is a community that suffered an earthquake about a month and a half ago. Thru out the community people built make shift homes out of pallets and other scrap material next to rubble that use to be their homes. We had an opportunity to minister to this community and saw a great response to the gospel."- Travis Barton, from his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/travisbartonmusic
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.
The video I uploaded last night on the Resurrection and Divinity of Christ was slow in loading, but I think that Peter's sermon in Acts two clearly illustrates the way that the resurrection is integral to salvation. As Christians, we can not afford to walk away from the foundational truths of Christianity. The Blood, and the Cross, and saving Grace will never go out of style.
Looking at the video of Travis singing in Mexico, I am struck with the sight of men, women, and children in other lands and tongues, hearing about the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ. The Gospel should not be limited to those who walk our walk and talk our talk. It is beautiful to see the Gospel transcending languages and cultures, like on the day of Pentecost. We have something real here, this thing called salvation is a precious commodity that needs to be shared, not stocked. Carry it wherever you go, and share it with all you meet.
The story behind the four women who were at the foot of the cross as Jesus died, in it's beautiful correlation to Mothers everywhere is told as a prequel to "Mother's Day."
Tonight's Podcast and more notes and info about the Four Women Beneath the Cross is available at: http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ or, you can listen on the player below.
Angels in shining clothes, heavy stones moved, empty grave, unused burial spices, scattered reports, unbelieving shock, faithful amazement; all the things that make up Resurrection Sunday. That and a risen Lord. But, they found Him and a fire was relighted inside each of them, and it spread across continents, into the very rooms we sit tonight. Bread, the broken bread. No longer was He the unleavened bread, but He was now filled with new life.
The cartoon above is poignant on multiple levels. How many times have you felt like you were hanging on by a thread? But, the little bird buddies are not just wondering if he is going to be ok. No, they are marveling at the fact that he is holding on, afraid to fall, when all he has to do is let go and fly. Have you ever considered what Easter means to us? There is more to Easter than a 2000 year old funeral, and even more than a miracle resurrection from the grave. Jesus' resurrection validates your resurrection from all that has you defeated, buried, held under. In short, death can not hold us, not in the ground and not in life. Nothing that is dead in our lives can stay dead. Jesus is the living God of the resurrection. Our battle is won, and death can not hold us. With the words of Mark Snyder and Jeff McCullough, remember that you are freed from death. Let go and let God.
Death Could Not Hold You,
From the One Redemption EP
Produced by Tree Hill Collective
Written by Mark Snyder & Jeff McCullough
Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others came with them.
Notice in Luke 24:1 that some disciples were at the tomb early... prepared. They were prepared to finish embalming with spices. They weren't expecting a resurrection, but were prepared. And, so they received. And, so will you my friend. Happy Resurrection Sunday! God has blessed you!
There are two sides to every coin. We come to Christ “Just as we are.” But, somewhere beyond redemption, 12 changes are transacted by the ultimate price paid on Calvary. Three bodies were hung up on trees, three bodies were brought down and buried, and one body rose up out of the earth. From one side of the Cross to the other a colossal change took place in the lives of millions of followers in the 20 centuries since.
Yes, twelve changes take place in the lives of those who lift Jesus up today. From the moment we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we experience a turn-around in the elements of our spirit man. All of us have spirits; some just haven’t flipped the coins that were paid and accepted the “change.” One man threw the coins on the ground… at the feet of the judges who condemned Jesus… Judas. Another, Peter, accepted the change that would be transacted in his life and turned over the coins to a new existence. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4, outlined a dozen of these two-sided coins Christians have turned over since redemption.
1. Hidden Things/ Things Manifested (2 Corinthians 4:2)
We exchange craftiness and deceit for truth. We walk in the truth of God’s Word.
2. Blinded Minds/ Enlightened Minds (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The lost are hid in the darkness while the Christian walks in light.
3. Proud Boasting/ Servanthood (2 Corinthians 4:5)
We no longer live our lives for ourselves, but become servants of God,
living for Him.
4. Frail Bodies/ Mighty Power (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Our spirits walk in unity with the spirit of God, though we are just human.
5. Trials/ Triumph (2 Corinthians 4:10)
We go through trials like Jesus, so we can have the victory like He did.
6. Death/ Life (2 Corinthians 4:11)
We carry the cross of Jesus, manifest His death in our lives, and receive
the rewards of eternal life with Him.
7. Past/ Future (2 Corinthians 4:14)
Jesus was raised up in the past; you and I will be raised up in the future with Him.
8. Grace/ Thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 4:15)
His grace operates through our thanksgiving.
9. Outward Man/ Inward Man (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Even if our body is failing us physically, He breathes life into us day by day.
10. Affliction/ Glory (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Our afflictions will lead us to an unimaginable glory to come.
11. Seen/ Unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We know that there is more to this life than meets the eye. There are things unseen.
12. Temporal/ Eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We don’t place our hope in the physical life now, but in the ethereal life in eternity.
Now, it sounds like we came just as we were, and put on the wedding garments. Matthew 22:11-14 All that remains is for us to accept the change. Allowing the spirit of God to work in our lives completes the transaction. This is the reason that we do not need to wait until we “get our lives straightened out” to come to church. We come just as we are, and Jesus will make us just like He is. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work… will perform it!
One of my favorite memory passages in the Bible tell me I am a Champion. Through Christ, I have this victory that overshadows all the trials I face. It is through this pair that I know the lie and the truth.
Revelation 21:7 (and 8) He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. This first of the two verses tell believers that we have an inheritance. We inherit the blood of a Champion!
I like most of Carman's music, and have heard him in concert, and met him at store signings, too. He has other songs that speak of victory. You see, Jesus shed His blood, that makes us clean, covered by the blood. Victory is such a beautiful word, but it is a bloody word. Victory is never won without a battle. Victors walk off a battlefield, the champions. Just like Lazarus!
Donating blood plasma for grocery money 20 years ago was not the highlight of my single-parenting memories. I remember worrying that my boss would see the needle marks and think I was a druggie that first year post separation. I was glad to leave that era behind with the yearly pay raises. In an odd time-wrap way, I learned from my doctor today that I will be undergoing plasma exchange procedures in a couple of months. My background knowledge of plasma comes from my donating for grocery money experiences. :)
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood...
This procedure, called Plasmapheresis, is a procedure to "wash the blood." The blood is removed from the body in tubes, the plasma is separated from the blood platelets, and suitable replacement liquids or donated plasma is mixed with the blood platelets and returned to the body. This will be done because TM is a Spinal Lesion triggered by an immune response. It is a rare disease that attacks often suddenly and severely from the body's defenses trying to fight off something else in the body. I've found quite a bit of info on the plasma exchange procedure online tonight. The video clip below explains TM better than most others I have seen.
Removing the plasma will remove much of the cells that are attacking my spine. From what I understand, this should provide temporary relief for the symptoms for a while before or if the cells re-multiply. Revelation 1:5 This reminds me of the fact that I am washed in the blood of Jesus. I rest in that fact. The whole thought association thing feels great, when I think about being washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Actually, I have done quite a bit of resting today. I was exhausted after returning from the trip to Riverdale, below Atlanta. I slept for a couple of hours, before moving to the recliner. Sitting here now, waiting on my hubby to return from work, I feel like I could sleep for another 12 hours. He will probably feel the same way, since he had to get up and drive me to the doctor this morning after working second shift last night. He's had very little sleep. Pray for him.
The doctor also ordered me a motorized chair and physical therapy for walking. I hope this provides me more opportunities to get outside. I miss the outdoors, and I certainly miss the days of strength and energy. But, since I am so tired, I will say goodnight now, and ask for your prayers in the upcoming weeks for me and my loved ones. God bless you.
Today many will celebrate "Black Friday" as the day most businesses begin to make a profit for the year. It is said that until today, they operate "in the red," with expenses exceeding profits. As of the end of today, they will be in the black ink again, due to Christmas shoppers getting a jump on the holidays. Sounds good. Sounds a little hopeful actually. It would probably be a miracle if very many stores really see the black ink today at all.In this economy, I don't think the smaller businesses will do well this year. Debt piles up. Many small businesses have closed their doors for good in the last three years. I don't see one Friday making all that big of a difference.
But, then again, one Friday 2000 years ago made a magnanimous difference in the books of Heaven. We owed a debt without any real hope of ever paying it off. We were paying on the installment plan, spotless sheep here, turtledove there, only to have the debt rolled away for another year. Then we sank deeper in debt.
But, that one Friday, the ultimate purchase was made, the purchase that no one was waiting in line to make. Jesus Christ stepped out of the masses and was raised up into the sky on a cross to die for our debt. He hung between Heaven and Earth, as if to say, take me, not them Father! He took our sins on Himself. Now, we are in the black. We are debt free! What an awesome relief of our burden. I hope that you are in line for this purchase. First come, first served. One per customer, please. One size fits all.
Don't miss the bargain of the ages. You can literally pay nothing, and walk away with a steal of a deal. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9 Happy "Black Friday!"
I Corinthians 1:18,19-31
The subject of this passage as a whole deals with the two different views of the cross; the world vs. the believer. The conflict is in the acceptance of Christ’s cross, which is required for eternal life. Those who come under the blood willingly, now, are covered and their sins are remitted. Those who ignore or refuse the cross carry the guilt of their sin. But, even believers who have received the expurgation of the cross blanch at the idea of carrying the cross after redemption. We are afraid of the self-denial that comes with the cross. To carry your cross, you must lay down your pride, anger, rebellion, self-will, greed, and covetousness. That can be scary even to believers and foolishness to unbelievers. The world believes the highest wisdom is in providing self with the greatest happiness here on Earth. The world view is backward. Therefore, the cross is foolish, needless suffering. They look at it like religion and the church should meet my needs. Cross-carrying does not meet the needs of anyone's Earthly wants. Embracing the cross of Jesus is accepting that you are a sinner, and that Jesus died to set you free, and set you on the path to Heaven.
Thomas Akempis put it this way, “Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.”
1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down
his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (Notice how this verse mirrors John 3:16?)
God is the God of the Universe. He has made all things. He orders the laws of physics, mathematics, and all that we know is eclipsed by the surplus of His knowledge of this created world that we yet do not know. Some things in
Scripture stand out more readily than others. Some stories capture the attention of the casual reader, like dear sweet Jochebed and brave, heroic David. It's easy to see why children can become enchanted with the stories of the Bible. But, there is so much more in the Bible that remains unnoticed by casual reading. Bible reading becomes almost intoxicating when you dig deeper. It seems like the more you know, the more you have to dig to get a better taste. Like the harder drugs or alcohol bring a greater sense of euphoria. Or, so I've been told, as I have never experimented with even gateway drugs. So, just ignore any idotic thing I may inadvertantly say about drug usage, seeing that I am not well versed on that subject, and didn't really listen in Health class.
In the book of Numbers is an exciting story of redemption and desire, possession, and purchase. So, you think I'm lying now? The title is very misleading. Actually it is probably the most boring meaningless title for a book isn't it? Let me show you the real story. God gave birth to the nation of Israel in Genesis, the book of beginnings.
In Exodus, the child Israel grew in bondage, like Joseph. God delivered His children from bondage in a mighty act of deliverance that took a series of plagues against Egypt to effect. The last of those plagues was the death of the
firstborn of all Egypt. Now, this would have convinced the hardest hearts to listen to Moses, to lose your firstborn child. But, those who were under the blood were saved. From that day of God's deliverance from bondage, God declared to Moses that all the firstborn of Israel would belong to Him, seeing that He had saved their lives from the plague of death.
You've heard stories where a person saved another person's life, and the saved man felt he owed his life of service to the man who saved him. That is exactly the case with Christians, and with the firstborn Israelites. But, the day comes, after the Israelites are in the wilderness and ready to move towards possession of the promised land, when God organizes the little band of men into a nation. Moses takes a census of the men of war above the age of 20 in Numbers 1, but doesn't count the Levites. God says the Levites will now be His to use as priests, instead of the firstborn of every family. Numbers 3:12,13.
Of course, God knows how to make a trade. He also keeps count of what belongs to Him. The firstborn were already his. He ordered Moses to count the firstborn, and a total of 22,273 is reported. Then God orders a count of the Levites, every male above one month of age. That's interesting. God only counted the men of war above the age of 20. But, when He was counting His own of the Levites, He counted even the babies. We all belong to God regardless of age.
But, back to the counting. I was totaling the numbers in the margin of my Bible as I read, when I first read this story several years ago. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Gershon's family numbered 7,500. Kohath's family was counted at 8,600, and Merari's family totaled 6,200 males. I totaled that to get 22,300. When I finished reading the counting...after I had already added... Numbers 3:39 gave the total as 22,000.
Notice that that number is different from the number of the total of the individual families. This could be due to several factors. I call the number recorded in verse 39, the "Total accepted Levitical count" because that was the
number accepted and recorded by Moses, Aaron, and God. The other 300 were not accepted in the number for some reason. It could be perhaps, that the firstborn Levites were excluded so that they would not be counted twice. Or those 300 may have been on "disability" for some reason or other. We know that God said the Levites with a handicap were not to be put to work in the temple, but were to be fed...God's disability plan for priests...they can eat without working. Leviticus 21:22. Regardless, they were not part of the accepted count.
Look back at the total number of the firstborn, 22,273. Without the 300 that were not accepted, God will be losing a total of 273 souls in the trade. They want to do the right thing by the God of the Universe when they calculate their gift. So, God tells Moses to set the redemption price at 5 shekels apiece for the 273 firstborn that are not replaced by acceptable Levites. This totals 1,365 shekels to be paid to God's treasury by the Israelites. Now, God has a tabernacle, priests, and a treasury.
It is noteworthy that 5 shekels, the redemption gift of a firstborn child, was a small amount, and was
equal to the amount that Joseph was sold into slavery for by his brothers in Genesis. And, Scientists calculate the worth of all our basic elements in any given human body to be about $4.70. So, don't think God is devaluing us. He is giving us a higher market value at the value of five silver dollars today. So, go ahead and sell out to God, since the world won't give you what Jesus did on the cross.
The part that grabbed my heart was the fact that God desired ownership of the Levites, and he didn't want them counted along with the rest of the Israelites, because they were his. Possessed, owned by God Almighty. But, he did not forget that these firstborn were His. These things were done as a type of Redemption at the cross.
Today, God has purchased and redeemed us off the slave market of sin. We belong to the God of the Universe. He paid a price for us in blood. He knows who is His. He counts us everyone. He talks about this ownership throughout Scripture. And, in the end, He will take us to Himself. Revelation 21:3.
We are instructed to care for the possession of God, which he purchased with his blood. Acts 20:28. Don't think you are not an overseer. Regardless of your position in church, somebody is watching you. Remember when we have baby dedications in church, the church is pledging to be an example in front of the child of a Christian, and not become a stumbling block before him as he is raised before God. Just like the parents are responsible for his upbringing, so are the fellow church members responsible for the example of Christianity that they show this child.
I think it is remarkable the way God seems to be jealous of His own people. Exodus 34:14. Romans 14:8. When one is lost, God will not rest seeking him. Luke 15;7.