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Sunday, March 27, 2016

All for You and Me!


“But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.” Isaiah 53:5 GNT

"Of the many paradoxes of Good Friday, one of the strangest is the way in which Jesus’ death transformed something totally ugly into something stunningly beautiful. Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for the worst of the enemies of the state. It was cheap--prisoners could be nailed to any tree and left to hang there till dead. It was public--the passersby could come by and gawk, suitably discouraged from committing such crimes. And it was excruciating--beheading was instantaneous, but a crucifixion victim could linger in agony for days. 

The Romans’ worst punishment was God’s choice for the punishing of his Son, whom he now considered to be the worst sinner of all time. The prophet Isaiah, seven centuries before Christ, was allowed to look into the future to see the strange way in which salvation for the human race would be won. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). There is no longer any condemnation or punishment for those who believe in Christ. His precious body was pierced by dreadful nails; his precious wounds bring you healing." 

This is an excerpt that I read earlier this week from bible.com. It brings some realities back to life for me. How about you? On this Celebration of His Resurrection Day, make it a point to not only thank Him for what He has done for you, but also to reflect on the pain that He took on for you... Whether you asked for it or not... Blessings!!


"In John 19:30, Jesus said, “Tetelestai . . .” which means, “it is finished,” the debt is paid, the punishment has been fulfilled!" (excerpt from the It Is Finished Was Just the Beginning devotion from Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale in Youversion

This morning alone, this word has set me on yet another level to journey... Tetelestai. I started merely thinking, "Ooh! That's a word I want to get tattooed!" And then I began to wonder where to put it, and then what would be the best reason, like why am I getting it and why am I putting it there because I am psycho- analytical like that... And I mean... PSYCHO and analytical separately and fully... So there's that...  anyway, that led me to look up the word in the Blue Letter Bible, which seems to be my "original text" go to. What I found was that the word was not the same. It was transcribed as "teleo" which also means finished. But there was a difference that I needed to understand and so Holy Spirit put in me this hunger to know why it was different and to learn which was which. *Side note: I wish I did this with more practical things like what I and my kids watched, what we listened to, what we read and even what we ate. Don't you?* 

As I jumped into trying to figure out the difference and which was right, I asked for guidance and for God to show me which was right. I went to my rusty, trusty Google and typed in asking what the Greek meaning to the biblical text of "It is finished" and this popped up: https://carm.org/it-is-finished and Holy Spirit used this to rock my existence!! 

Although I love to write and am a lover of certain English subjects in school, I never really grasped the concepts of certain grammar lessons or sentence structure and so I never paid attention to that portion because of it. But I just learned today the sentence structure of this one POWERFUL word is known as perfect passive indicative. Never heard of it either? Welcome to the non grammar boat! I almost went back to the Google list when I read that! But Holy Spirit had me stay on it and read (something I really hate doing if it has to do with learning). What I learned is this: the word tetelestai creates a "perfect tense which indicates that progress of an action has been completed and the result of that is ongoing and in full effect". Gibberish to English translation? Sure! It means that when something is done, when the work is completed and you still get results from it!! How about an example cause I think some may have let that fly by!! When you grow a fruit tree in your backyard and it begins to bloom and fruit is produced, the tree will continue to produce fruit long after you close your eyes on this side (unless someone tears it down). There's nothing else that you have to do!! It's done!! HOW INCREDIBLE!!!! 
So when Jesus said, "It is finished (tetelestai)," on the cross, he had fulfilled everything needed for our salvation!! We can't make ourselves anymore saved, anymore redeemed!! We DO need to carry our cross daily, we do need to remember that faith without works is dead, we do need to bring people to Christ, spread the Gospel, love our neighbors, love each other, care for those who need it, etc., but we cannot make one more deed that will ensure our salvation. We only need to grab hold of it, much like the fruit tree. We don't NEED to prune or cut or prim like we do, we just need to pick the fruit!! How AMAZING is our God!!! What really stuck out to me is the fact that God is an English Teacher!!! Hahaha!!!!

ABBA, thank You for Your teaching, Your grace, Your mercy with us such a slow moving people! Thank You for the gift of Your Son who not only lived in such a way as a blue print for us but fulfilled prophecies, gave himself up to be tried, found guilty and crucified, died on the Cross but also rose from the dead so that we could live as He loves in us!! I love You Lord!! You. Are. Worthy. To. Be. Praised!!! Amen!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Long Drive Home...

The Long Drive Home

This past weekend was exciting! I was going to see some long lost friends from school and get to visit my birth city that I had not been back to since I was 2! We planned and saved, we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s. Then the day was here!! I think I drove the entire way there, only stopping once for an hour to sleep (I figured out I can’t drive in the dark as much anymore). My daughters’ and I had so much fun! I was so excited for my classmates to meet two of the Terrific Trio (Son Me had to work)! We did everything our wallet allowed and some more! We bonded and more!

And then there was the drive home… I had been so excited to get there that I didn’t realize how hard the trip home might be. I seemed to have forgotten that this was the same weekend we sprang forward in our clocks and that ALWAYS through me off for a few days. And then I planned to make a few stops on the way home! No Bueno! I did well all day in driving, and then night time came… I struggled the entire time and what was a 13.5 hour trip became a 22 hour trip with all the stopping I did!

On the way there, I remembered driving and apparently blacking out because one minute there was a car in front of me and the next, there wasn’t! Only coming back home, I had to either succumb to the hypnotizing road in a perilous way or surrender my will to stay awake (which wasn’t very good) to God and allow Him to lead. Let me tell you, that was a struggle!! I never realized how much of a struggle surrendering all to Him was until the drive back! I wanted to keep going so that I could get my girls home. They slept most of the way and Mini Me was not feeling well, so it was just me and God. Talk about an Abraham wrestling night!

As the night went on and I realized that was not strong enough to do this on my own, He began to gently lead. I stopped more than I would have liked to, I rested more during the stops than I had decided and the night seemed to drudge on longer than a ship lost at sea looking for a lighthouse signal. I wound up driving overnight and it was horrific! But at the same time, I was at peace. I knew God had us… And then just as it began to be very heavy with fog and the view was even more skewed than it was with my eyes always closing, the dawn broke in! At that very moment, I was listening to a message where Tony Evans said even in a storm, the sun still shines. I wanted to post that on Facebook but couldn’t stop. Then as I drove past a mountain, I saw what he had just said! This is the picture I took, and the Scripture I heard…