Why is it that society has made depression and anxiety so taboo? Does it mean I am weak? Does it mean that I lack faith? Is it my fault? Am I the one to blame?… More
We’re excited to have Diane Swan as a guest writer this week!
Has God ever given you a word and then you wondered, “Was that really for me? Was that really from God?”
Maybe He spoke to a deep need that lays in your heart.
We’re excited to have Isabella Morganthal as a guest writer this week. Isabella’s message gets your heart and mind in tune and looking for Jesus. Take some time to read. Enjoy!
When I was fourteen, I remember attending a Christian music festival that impacted my life in many ways.
Every year since then I have continued to attend the festival. The worship, the life-changing messages, and the experience of it all made me feel like I was standing on top of a mountain, and not just the one I was literally standing upon. The worshipful nights of singing about our Creator while the sun would set behind the stage always made God feel so close like you could almost touch Him. His presence felt so near.
But the festival always ended.
This spring Ruthie and I led a study on finances. We had the best time meeting new friends and getting to know “old” friends better. And we learned a lot from each other about how to do better with our money.
One of the lessons was about contentment. You know, appreciate what you have and not being envious of someone that appears to “have it all”. The conversation quickly went to social media.
If you know anything at all about history (def not my favorite subject!), you know that a hundred years ago or even 50 years ago, women didn’t have many choices about what to do with their lives. Young ladies’ goals were pretty much to find a husband, have babies, cook and clean.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do any of those things. I’ve wanted all of those – except for cleaning. Nobody wants to do that – except for maybe a few crazy people like my friend Lindsey. Ha! Ha!
But today, women have soooo many choices.
It’s been accomplished!
Business as usual, that is, until 12:00 noon, when it got suddenly dark. That afternoon, a violent earthquake shook the ground. Then, dramatically, the massive curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was ripped in two by an unseen Hand, from top to bottom.
Let’s look back at the hours and history leading to this very moment.
Jesus was before Caiaphas the high priest and said…
“But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Caiaphas tore his robes and called it blasphemy, condemning Jesus to death. (Matthew 26:64-65)
This was a big deal!
If you refer to Exodus 28:31-32 and Leviticus 21:10-12 you will see that God gave Moses the command on how to make a seamless tunic for the high priest to wear and the instructions that the tunic should not be torn. Doing so would symbolize the end of his priesthood.
So when Caiaphas tore his robe! What a symbol that the man, who for years was responsible for presenting our sacrifice to atone for our sins was no longer suitable to do so.
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
John 19:23-24 ESV
So to bring it all together… The high priest that was set apart as Holy to atone for our sins. Tore his tunic. Symbolizing the end of his priesthood.
Do not miss this!
Jesus, His garment intact.
Caiaphas, his tunic torn…ending his priesthood
While the Roman soldiers gambled for the tunic of Jesus, that was woven together just as God had instructed Moses. Seamlessly woven one piece from top to bottom. It remained intact. Some believe that this very tunic is on display in Germany. Our new High Priest who came to sacrifice Himself for our sins his blood was spilled for us, His sacrifice is our atonement.
Back to the temple. The curtain that separated them from the dwelling place of God was torn. The place we were not suitable to enter, the place set apart for the Holy priesthood
(1 Kings 6:19-20)
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. Matthew 27:51 ESV
The curtain torn…there is now no separation between us and God.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Thank you Jesus for what you have endured to set us free from our sin. We don’t deserve it, yet you love us so much you died for us. Lord God, thank you for allowing us to come to you directly through your Son. May we live every day in the love that transpired on that cross. Let your love for us shine through us and into the world to make you known. Thank you! In Jesus name I pray.
Mary Bender and her husband Norman live in Greencastle, PA. They have three energetic boys, and one adorable little girl. Mary counts herself as being truly blessed to be saved by Christ, who equips her to be a stay at home mom to her four “littles.” In addition to being a wife and mother, Mary uses her God-given gifts to serve in women’s ministry at her church, LCBC, and as a life group leader. Mary also uses her passion for women’s ministry for serving on the board of directors for “The Connection.” It is Mary’s desire to serve and encourage women to have genuine faith while building a home and raising her children.
We’re excited to have Laura Acuna as a guest writer this week. Laura’s message for Good Friday gets your mind thinking and heart pumping. Take some time to read/listen. Enjoy!
As promised, here is a short devotion for Good Friday. I hope you are able to settle in and not rush on to the Easter celebration. Today is a good day to reflect on what He has done and what our response will be to His sacrifice.
The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings.
They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. Psalm 11:2
When I read this my mind went right back to one of the most painful chapters of my life. The poisonous arrows came out of nowhere. Straight through my heart.
Someone pulled me aside and told me that I needed to apologize to someone for what I had done and they shared the story they had been told. That I had wronged someone. Badly. I’ll call her “Her”.
This is the phrase that people avoid like the plague.
This is an honest phrase that can show us where we are lacking, and empower us to change, and be the best of what God created in us.
First let’s look at the seemingly negative ways that people avoid using “I Decided”.
Continue reading “Decisions”
Here’s what my family and I have been going through recently.
We moved two years ago. Two months after settling in, we decided to begin looking for a church to call home. We didn’t have any plan other than two churches that had been recommended and three which we Googled.
It was almost like the story of the three bears.
1st Church — Too big. Felt overwhelmed.
2nd Church — Too small. Too far away. Not many children. (we have three kids and at that time they were ages 3, 8 and 11)
3rd Church — Just right… Well, just right for my husband. As we walked out, he began saying, “I don’t know about you but this is where I am going from now on.”
And for what may have been the first time in our marriage…I didn’t object. Although, I felt the decision was rushed to call this church our home.
Growing up, my family met downstairs for breakfast promptly at 6:15 am. My dad would turn on the radio and adjust the dial to WTOP 1500, his favorite station for “up to the minute traffic and weather.”
If the dial wasn’t in the proper position, the voices of the announcers were difficult to decipher or we’d tune in to a different station entirely. Occasionally we’d hear nothing but static, signaling the antennae was out of alignment. My dad would manually move it left or right until the signal came in clear.
As a result of the morning traffic reports, my dad sometimes changed his route to work. As a result of the weather report, we’d decide what to wear. A day didn’t go by without us listening to that station. It’s something I still remember, now twenty-five years later.