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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter is over, now what?

                 According to Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, known as the "Father of church      history this is what happened to the disciples after Jesus left. 



Into All the World.
PETER and PAUL were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By Faith

Years ago I  sit outside that empty tomb where Jesus was laid after his death on the cross, trying to get my human mind to wrap around how it must have felt for those who saw him beaten till blood was dripping from his body.  Carrying his own cross up the hill. Then laid on that wooden cross, nails put in his feet and hands, more blood dripping, then topped off with a crown of thorns pushed down on his head, more blood. How could one live with so much blood flowing from his body? How could they know how important His blood was, the power it had, the significance it had.  Did any of the disciples think about the blood, it was everywhere, their Jesus was being crucified, the one they had walked and talked, ate meal with, traveled the roads of Israel with, he was slowly dying.   What went through their mind, did they remember He said it would be this way?

Image result for pictures of the garden tomb

Our first visit to Israel ended at that empty tomb which was so fitting after walking around the old city all day, we were so tired.   Then we walked down a small alley, seen a small sign that said, Garden Tomb above a door so we  stepped through it into a  simple shop.  On the other side of the shop is a big beautiful garden with paths winding down to a lower place where the tomb is.  There are natural places to sit, it quiet which was amazing to me because the city is right outside the walls of the garden.  But it's the natural doorway , cut out of stone, that ones eyes cannot leave. People are coming in and out and as I sit watching someone shut the wooden door and on it were these word, "He is not here, He has risen."  Tears begin to fall from my eyes and others as we read those words,  He is not here, He has risen

I have never forgotten that trip and the impact it had on me. But I was a believer of all I wrote before I saw it. By faith, I believe there was a garden tomb, by faith I believed who Jesus said He was, the Son of God, come to die for me and all who believe. By faith I believed He rose from that tomb and is now sitting at the right hand of His Father.  I am grateful it does not take our eyes seeing the place He was crucified or the tomb to believe that is where Jesus was buried and rose from.

Roman 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 



                 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mother and sneaky skills

One year has passed since my mother passed away, April 9, 2016.  This my favorite picture  of her because she was very happy at this time. Nothing pleased her more then to come visit me, spend a few days, maybe a week with us. When this picture was taken we only had our daughter, Tara Jo.  And we were living in the only house we ever owned.  Mom lived in southern Illinois and we lived in Louisville, Ky., she loved driving the 31/2 hours to our place for a visit.
My mother, even though saved,  loved to play bingo and the nickle slot machines and was known to buy a lottery ticket once in a while before she went into the nursing home. In fact she always had some change in her drawer which never added up to a dollar. She would take out that plastic empty margarine cup she kept it in,  shake it and say, as soon as I get a dollar I am going to have the boys, meaning one of my brother buy me a lottery ticket.  Then, what she said next always made me cry.  I'll get out of this place, meaning the nursing home if I win the lottery.  I knew it would be death that finally got her out of the nursing home.

In her nursing home they played bingo twice a week and she went faithfully. When I went home to see her she insisted I play too, two cards, just like everyone else.  I on purpose would lose because some of those residents would get upset if I won and they didn't, I was not a resident.   Mom would always say, well Jo, you just got some bad cards.  I depended on my sneaky skills when it came to bingo.

  When she got to where she could not drive and was in a wheelchair she would say, Jo, lets go to the gambling boat, I'll buy the gas, pay for a room so we can stay all night and even buy your food.   I regret not taking her once in a while when we were home, I really do.   She was not really a gambler but she loved the people everywhere,laughing, having a good time,  the excitement that she might win, and being with me. That is where my regret comes in, she just wanted  to do something with me that she enjoyed.

 She tried to be content winning a stuffed animal or some ceramic what not to put on a shelf that she did not have.   She saved all the stuffed animals she had won. They were stuffed in every drawer, extra space she had in her closet.  When I went to visit her we would go through them and she would pick out way too many for me to take home for the grandchildren.  Once again my sneaky skill kicked in. I would say yes to what ever she wanted to sent with me, load it up and take it back the person in charge of bingo. About three to four weeks later those things would appear on the cart again to be won by somebody.   She never remembered them.

Being a Missionary sometimes gets in the way of making people happy.  I remember Ace's language helper wife smoked and every time she knew Ace was going to town she would ask him to get her some newspaper. In Paupa New Guinea village people would roll the tobacco leaf in the news paper.  That woman loved my husband and she would laugh every time she saw him. I should have step out from behind the law and did what my husband did, showed a little grace.  I think I worried I would run into someone who supported us at the gambling boat and judgement would be heaped upon our ministry.  But  if that had happened then I could have said , I won't tell if you won't.  I remember our pastor telling us when we flew out of Las Vegas, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  

  Mom would never want me to live in  regret so I am choosing to put Philippians 3:13-14 into practice and look forward to seeing her in heaven. 

 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus



                                      

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Awakening




Related imageIt was one of those fall days when the sky was a beautiful blue, the leaves were almost all off the trees but what was left were colorful, it was cool, because it was October 26th.  When I went into  the church I don't remember the blue sky, or the leaves or even the weather, but that was before my awakening.  When  person has lived in darkness for 35 years they have no idea how the light of Jesus in their life will change how they view things.  The Bible has a term for this awakening, the scripture call it, born again.  It's as clear in my mind as if it happened a few minutes ago how colorful everything was, how clean I felt, yep, it's that born again feeling only Jesus brings when His Spirit penetrates our darken soul.

John 3:3 - Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 


Here is the best part, this awakening is happening all over the world because missionaries are taking the sweet pure gospel to these remote places and next door to their neighbors and to the people they work with.  What I want you to understand is, it's the same amount of light that comes into a person soul no matter where that empty soul lives. We are vessels God wants to use to share the light with others no matter where we live.



Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like  me
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see