Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Christ's Suffering and Our Suffering: Is There a Connection? by Sally Pesta

 Greetings in our Lord and King Jesus Christ!!  Jesus keeps us!
 
I recently asked some Christian friends for their thoughts on Jesus' suffering and does it compare, if at all, with our suffering.  In this posting, a close friend of mine had some important things to say. 

Sally is a contributing author on this blog, and I am dedicating this writing to her parents, Marge and Sam Seward. These two people and the Lord God must be proud of this woman, Sally~ this daughter whose thoughts are very close to Jesus throughout her busy day and life, who gives of herself to her husband, children, siblings, nieces, nephews and more; to church, friends, and the community; works hard and well in a highly technical field, yet she always has time to encourage others, all along her path each day!  She is a true giver of herself to others showing us a Christ-like life. She comes into a room, and you immediately see and feel her presence of warmth, love, and standing firm in her Lord Jesus.  There is a saying that "Still waters run deep."  Well, my friend, Sally is deep, but she is not still!
Christ's Suffering and Your Suffering:
Is There a Connection?

I really have two trains of thought on this:
1. Sam
The pastor comes to see Sam and gets down and looks him in the eyes and says "God honors what you are going through Sam, God more than anyone honors and understands and you are going to receive Blessings beyond measure because of this suffering..."

Now on the one hand, I think,

God is making a 12 year boy suffer?

what kind of crap is that?

I listen with my head and don't understand a God like that...

Now on the other hand, I keep hearing

Kerrie Robert's song "before a heartache can ever touch our lives,

it has to go through God's hands..."  ***(Remaining words of the song are toward the end of this note from Sally.)

I know God did not have Sam hit on purpose by that car.

I also know that God takes all that pain and finds the good and when we allow our eyes, heart to open, we start to see it too.....

I listen with my heart and know that God has never left any of us,

never let any of us go....including Sam.

None of us.


2. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

May 2012 I came down with some hives....by July 2012, they were in waves and all the time... I called upon friends, pastors, family to pray for me. I know without a doubt that the only reason I am alive today is because of those prayers.

Why me?..... Why not me?

I have been in remission for over a year.

I feel guilty the days I forget to thank God for the healing...

I know that Jesus suffered unmeasurably in his earthly dying.

I cannot begin to understand that kind of pain.

I cannot begin to understand what my brother and sister in law feel about Sam's suffering. I do understand love that big for our kids....

I cannot begin to understand God sending His Son to suffer on purpose.

I know that I would humbly and frightened to death, take the place of that kind of suffering instead of willingly send my child.

The rest of Kerrie's song speaks volumes and says it so much more eloquently than I ever could....

***Kerrie Roberts - No Matter What

I’m running back to your promises one more time, Lord that’s all I can hold on to, I gotta say this has taken me by surprise, but nothing surprises you. Before a heartache can ever touch my life, it has to go through Your hands, and even though I, keep asking why, I keep asking why,
No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not,if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.
When I’m stuck in this nothing-ness by myself, I’m just sitting in silence, there’s no way I can make it without Your help, I won't even try it. I know You have Your reasons for everything, so I will keep believing, whatever I might be feeling, God you are my hope, and you'll be my strength,
No matter what, I’m gonna love You, no matter what I’m gonna need You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.
Anything I don’t have You can give it to me, but it’s ok if You don’t, I’m not here for those things, the touch of Your love is enough on its own, no matter what I still love You and I’m gonna need You
No matter what I’m gonna still love you, no matter what I’m gonna need you, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, if not, I’ll trust You, I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain, but if not, if not, I’ll trust you, no matter what no matter what no matter no matter what
 
Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold.
Proverbs 8:10

Sally Catherine Seward Pesta
 
Thank you so much, Sally!
Donna M.

Christ's Suffering and My Suffering: How Do They Connect? by Kim Darling

My dear Christian sister, Kim Darling, is a lady with whom the Lord connected the two of us through the Internet!  It didn't take long at all in our communications to realize that each of us love and live for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  God has used the Internet for His purposes, glory and kingdom.
 Every single time that Kim and I have corresponded, I go away feeling richer in the graces and glory of our God: pearls of wisdom she offers to me.  Recently when Kim and I finally spoke on the phone~~~hearing her voice was such a reward of love and sweetness to my ears and to my heart.
Kim's letter strikes to the core of our being on Jesus' suffering and ours, and how they are related.  Find deep words of knowledge and truth herein from someone who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength.  What a sweet pure-of-heart spirit Kim exudes.  She is precious to me, always and forever.  Be sure to read to the very end of her story because there is a conclusion that will surely touch your spirit. 
Enjoy, for the Lord is good!
 
One of my favorite verses is in Jeremiah 9:23-24 (this is the Lord speaking), 
23 Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
Years ago I read this verse and was struck at how the Lord revealed what was in His Heart.  He wants me to Know Him.  This is not a superficial knowing. 
Another favorite verse is in Phillippians 3:10: (Paul says) 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. 
This verse is so loaded with amazing truths to peel away and meditate on, and I've tried to do this for years, but I knew it in my head, and God knew that in order for me to truly understand this, I had to go through the process of learning it experientially.
 
I'm slowly learning that we really don't come to know the Lord in the blessing but rather in the breaking.  Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
 
Suffering introduces a man to himself.  For me I thought I was so much further than I really was because of my head knowledge and my zeal.  I had to come to the place where I was bankrupt to help myself through what was ahead of me.  I was brought many times to the end of myself and at wit's end corner.
 
Intense suffering can do one of two things for the believer.  It can either drive us to God or drive us into utter despair.  The alternative is too frightening because we know there is no hope down that road.  In order to get through this, I had to think with a heavenly mind and not an earthly mind.  I had to preach to myself the truths and promises of God and not trust my feelings that are very bad counselors.  It's a fight every day not to take counsel with them.  Another verse that I CLUNG to was from the book of Job: Though He slay me, yet will I trust HIM.  I tried to say this out loud when I could hardly get the words out.  There were many nights of no sleep because of pain, and when you are at your weakest point, that is when the devil comes in to tempt you to fear and give up just like he did with Christ after He fasted and prayed.  I praise God for giving us the recipe to get through such desperate times!  He gave us the armor of God to clothe ourselves with to halt the arrows from hitting us.  Job 35:10 says, He giveth songs in the night(the joy of the Lord is my strength).  This quieted my heart in a desperate moment of sheer weakness.  Isaiah 30:15 says, in Quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
We have to quiet our hearts and preach to ourselves the truth over and over again.
 
There are a few things that made my suffering bearable, and we as believers have this readily available to us.  The first gift that the Lord gives us is the right amount of grace to go through it, and then God's constant presence and knowing that He was in full control and appointed this specific trial of faith for me.  When we suffer, there is very little anyone can do.  I had a precious husband who did all that he could and a loving and helpful mother and father, but they cannot take the pain away, nor live inside you.  It was a comfort to know that my Savior knows all of it. (Christ in me, the hope of Glory.)
 
Which brings me to one of the blessed truths that has helped me through my ordeal.  I spent the year in 1 Peter 1:3-...God has given us a living hope. 
(For full chapter
1 Peter 1:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+1&version=KJV )
It is alive and real and enlarged my heart.  When you are pressed out of measure, this is like medicine from Heaven.  We have a bright future with our Savior forever, and there will be no more pain, tears, or suffering of any kind.  Heaven is not here, it is there.  Life is very short.  I am so privileged to suffer in the path of obedience with my Savior.  He became ENOUGH. 

Psalm 73:25, 26
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.  26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
I am becoming more aware that when we are given the gift of salvation, we are automatically united with our Savior but union is not communion.  When we suffer, we are in the perfect position to commune with Him, and there is nothing more precious.  We get to experience just a glimpse of what He went through, and this builds a relationship instead of it being one-sided.
 
Suffering stretches out spaces in our hearts for more of God.
 
Malachi 3:6 says I am the Lord, I change not.  This is another benefit as our world around us is changing and deteriorating and when we lose our health, we lose the comfort zone of our normal self, and that is hard to deal with.  Blessing to know He doesn't change.
 
Afflication detaches my heart to this world and all that I look on to make it easy to exist here.  Heaven is not here but there.
 
Peace is sweeter after conflict and war!
 
Present afflictions tend to heighten future joy.
 
We have only one life to show the world both seen and unseen that we know a Great God, and He is the Creator and the reason for our existence.
 
My brain tumor turned out to be a gift.  It has been a wondrous blessing to trust God when nothing made sense. 


"I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattd all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne'er a word said she;

But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me."

Walked A Mile – Song Written by Barry Mann (Chorus taken from Poem by Robert Browning Hamilton) and Sung by Barry McGuire

Psalm 61:2
King James Version (KJV)
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Isaiah 43:2
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.



Romans 8:18 (KJV)
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

by Kim Darling!

When Kim sent me her typed letter that you have just now read, she wrote in her own handwriting in the margin:
"Each day I learn something new though there is no Period at the end of this as there is no Period at the end of all of God's children"
Donna M.

A Life Filled with Personal Suffering, Yet Joy, Love, and Closeness to God, including Notes on Christian Mentoring by Vicky Thomas

What can I say that is complete and enough about Vicky Thomas?  We have been ever-so-close friends for years now.  She invited me at a therapeutic pool to walk with her friends and her for exercise.  We eventually were members at the same church, and for several years before that, Jan Bracken, Vicky and I met at Vicky's home each Wednesday to worship and learn about the Lord God together.  Jan played the piano, and Vicky and I sang the best we could!  The Bible and prayer, including intercessory prayer for others, was our focus.  In due time we learned as much as we could to share the Salvation message of Jesus Christ.  Along with my mother, Phyllis Delvecchio, Jan and Vicky~~~she is my beloved friend and Christian mentor; we are extremely close sisters in the Lord!  Vicky is solid in her faith, yet soft, courageous and loving.  She has the compassion of Christ in her soul, and it shows.  What a treasure!  She has given me a great deal in study and understanding of the Word of God
 We have said it will be wonderful in Heaven when we have no time constraints upon us.

If you are suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually- have a wounded heart or your body is facing terrible trials, perhaps all of those difficulties at once- please take a cheerful and most truthful look into Vicky's walk with her precious God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!  He loves you more than we are able fully to know or explain at this time, and He is walking with you!!  The Holy Bible is full! of true stories of Jesus' life on earth and His dying love that He gave for you... and then He arose, just like the Scripture and the prophets had foretold!  For us, you and me and each human being, He did that!  You will learn a multitude in the Word of God. 


***If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your
 Lord and Savior or are unsure, Vicky writes about doing that toward the end of this posting, and you, too, may have the Joy and eternal Life that is only available through God's Son!  For those of you who desire to pass on the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please read ahead and on through to the end.  You will have a glorious example of what to say in His Name to another seeking soul!  (Look just below the link here for Vicky's request on how to take Jesus Christ into your heart and life forever!!)
This posting is dedicated to our most lovely friend, Carol Graves, who has gone on to Heaven with the Lord~!  We miss her so, and she began those wonderful days that we had at Vicky's in the Word of God.  Jesus' blessings to her beloved husband Dr. Doug Graves. Carol and Doug helped to begin Community Life Church
in Shawnee, Kansas.
The body of this posting from Vicky has been moved to her new blog
~~~Active Mentoring in Christ~~~
Click here to visit the beginning of this exciting Christian blog!  (In the blue area below, you can see how to come to Christ!)
 www.activementoringinchrist.com






If you do not yet know Christ as your personal Savior, I encourage you to turn to Christ.  It is very easy to ask Christ for help and to turn your life around.  All you have to do is truly believe that Christ died and arose for your sins.  The Bible tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  -- Romans 3: 23.  There is no one who is not a sinner.  But God has given us a way to come before Him and spend eternity with Him after our life on this earth is finished.  God’s Scripture tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  -- Romans 6:23.  It is our choice, though!  We can choose eternal death or eternal life.  But how do we receive eternal life?  Well, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  -- John 3: 3. 

How can we be born again?  Well, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14: 3.    Jesus also said that we must repent of our sins which means we are to realize that we are not only sorry for our sins, but we want to turn our life around and no longer be controlled by our sinfulness.  We want to do that which is right and true, and so we ask God to forgive us of our sins.  Jesus said, “I tell you unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13: 5.  So repent and then “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  -- Romans 10: 9-11.  It is that simple!  In fact, God wants all to come to Him and to repent asking Christ into their heart.  Once you have believed, repented, and ask Christ to come into your heart you are a new creature, for the Scriptures tell us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  -- II Corinthians 5: 17.
***If you are not yet a child of God’s you have a choice to make.  Doing nothing is a choice, just as much as answering the door and asking Christ to Save you is a choice.  Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him and will dine with Him and he with Me.”  --
Revelation 3: 20.  
I pray that if you have not yet asked Christ into your heart, that you will believe on Him and repent of your sins.  For, without Christ in your life, you are truly lost both in this world and in eternity to come.  If you make the choice for Christ, you will not have to face life’s trials and tribulations alone and you will have a peacefulness that comes from knowing Christ as your Savior.  You will always have the strength to endure and overcome through Christ your Lord.
Vicky Thomas
Dear Reader, after you have finished Vicky's posting that was here originally and is now the beginning of her new blog, please do come back to mine!!  I do value your readership- YOU.  By clicking on this link, you will go directly to Vicky's posting from mine earlier, which now she has her own!
A Life Worth Living


Thank you so much, with love.
Donna M.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Wedding Invitation and GO! by Jan Bracken & A Salvation Prayer in Jesus Christ! & "It's About the Cross" the Ball Brothers!




Image result for running to my beloved image






Running to My Beloved
Thank you so much, Sylvia/Pinterest!
Sharing again from three years ago... More poems about our Lord God from our contributing author,
Jan Bracken! 
Relax and  enjoy her ballads.
A Note on Jan... What a lady, friend and mentor Jan Bracken is to me!  I have been blessed by this most special person who loves the Lord and Savior Jesus.  He is the Centerpiece of her life since she was a girl.  This amazing woman gives and gives in His Name: to her daughter and son-in-law and many family members, her church, and her friends near and far.  She prays unceasingly and yet, as a senior, continues as a teacher to preschool children on how to use the computer!  She has taught Sunday School and Bible studies her whole life, including doing missions work in Africa and supported missions, etc.  To our current church, well, we could not make it without her support in many ways, most including curriculum for KidzLife (Community Life Church, Shawnee, Kansas, www.communitylifechurch.com); she is the leader and teacher of the small group that I attend.  Jan spreads the Gospel far and wide; every time she and I meet for coffee or lunch, she takes out her Bible, and I am blessed yet again with truths of the Word.  Jan is the teacher of teachers!!  I wish everyone had a “Jan Bracken” in his or her life.  Although not that far apart in age, in many ways, as advisor/counselor/confidante, she has helped to fill the space in my life left by my own precious Christian mother who went to Glory with Jesus going on 7 years ago.  Warm and loving, always encouraging, Jan is a great help to the family of God.  I know Jesus must dote on her.
(***If your salvation is unsure, Jesus is calling you through these words.  Please do not wait.  There is a prayer at the end of today's posting that you can say from your heart and soul that will secure you to God forever and ever, and you will be with Him always in Heaven with your saved loved ones and many, many others!  You will get to do all the things that you wanted to do, with no tears, no regrets, no hurts, and that longing in  your heart will be filled in Christ Jesus.)
Two Poems

The Wedding Invitation
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit Cordially invites you to the

MOST BEAUTIFUL AND IMPORTANT WEDDING

Ever to be performed.

The Bride will be the church

And the Bridegroom:

CHRIST.

You must be clothed with His Robe of Righteousness and His Garment of Salvation.

Only those properly attired with be admitted.

The only gifts that will be accepted are the people that you have led to the Lord.

There has been a lot of advanced planning on this event;

Preparation began at the foundation of the earth.

The participants were also chosen at this time;

And now the Bride is being readied.

The time of this great event is known only to the Father. 

The Bride must be ready at anytime.

Do you want to be included in this celebration?

We, who are prepared, because we have accepted the invitation,

Have an awesome responsibility to help others be ready.

How many people are you taking to the Wedding?

We know that the time is near, 

So come quickly Lord Jesus.

Hope and pray we see you there.

The Bride must be ready at anytime.

Do you want to be included in this celebration?

Amen and Amen!

Jbracken2011

GO!
 His Ivory Palace my Savior left behind;

To Save a lost sinner like me.

With love and compassion for mankind;

He gave up his life on a tree.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Some 2000 years later/today,

What will you and I give?

First we need to fervently pray,

Then we need for Christ to live.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Will it be at the office pool?

Or in your own neighborhood?

Or at your high school?

Or will you be misunderstood?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Christ is coming back for His Bride.

In the wedding party, will you be?

To go, in Him you must abide.

You sure don’t want to be an absentee!

By accepting Christ into your Life;

You won’t be hung on a tree.

But you may run into some strife.

Don’t let that stop you from being free.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Jesus’ final word was “GO”,

Where have you been?

To Africa, Haiti or a country with snow?

Or next door, the grocery store or Berlin?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

How many quests are you bringing with you?

We can’t take our money, houses or cars.

I hope you are taking a guest or two.
As we fly to heaven through the stars.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It was so very important to our Soon Coming King,
Is it your top priority?
Or just a fleeting thing.
So Go into all the world with GOD’S AUTHORITY!!
JBracken2011

Jan's other full posting with The Healing is Always Christ
The second most read posting on this blog:
From Crib to Cross to Crown- Jesus.



The Ball Brothers sing, "It's About the Cross"


***A Salvation Prayer

If you are ready, pray this prayer or say one in your own words; talk to the Lord:



***Dear Father in Heaven, I know that you cannot have sin for you are completely holy. You are also patient and longsuffering, kind and loving. You made me because you simply want me to be made in Your image so that we can have a genuine, loving relationship

together.
I have fallen short, made mistakes, and sinned many times. You know that I am not perfect and cannot be perfect in this world, but I do want to say, "Yes, Lord!" I believe in You, Jesus, as my personal Lord and Savior. Please come into my life and make me a new creation. I know you love me more than I can fully understand at this time, and You can help me to grow and to live in your will for my life. I want to live always with You, not separated for eternity. Thank You,
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Donna M.
Have a great day!  Enjoy Life!
God will see you through all your days, all your trials, and you will be filled with a Joy that you can share with others and know that you have His Promise of eternal life in Glory!  For me, there is just nothing better than seeing His love and work in my life and the lives of others. Nothing in this world can outweigh it.