The crown

he scripture for today, April 8 (4/8), is 2nd Timothy 4:8 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-medium“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day ~ and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

The Apostle Paul was somewhere between sixty and seventy at this writing. He’d been converted probably in his thirties. He’d spent the past forty years telling people how to escape a place they didn’t believe they were going to and disrupting the religion they already had.  

Forty years of tolerating persecution, sometimes hungry and cold and beaten and hated. Forty years of seldom staying in a city longer than a few months, always on the go.  Forty years of never being satisfied with the number of people he had reached with the Good News of their escape from Satan, the Good News of a God who actually loved them, Good News of heaven.

Now he was in prison.

“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Oh, that we all could say this at the end of our life.

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0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnailREVELATION: A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD.  This is a history of the world before Jesus was born, especially the world of the Israelites. It is also an account of Jesus birth, ministry, and death. It ends with the final doom of Satan and the final victory of the church, the heavenly Jerusalem. The scriptures always interpret themselves; therefore, the author takes you through each scene with applicable background scriptures to magnify the meaning with unique clearness.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/36W2CqT 

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Easter Every Sunday. You gave me your name

Supper-Front Cover-MediumHow can I praise you enough? Tell me and I will do it. You are in my thoughts and my dreams. You are my light in dark places. You are my warrior, my comforter, my hero.  You make promises and keep them. Even when things do not seem to go right, you are still keeping your promises. Even when a thousand years have passed, still you are keeping your promises.  Even when I have forgotten them, you never do. You are truth, integrity, fidelity. You are justice tempered with mercy. You are all I need and more than I can fully understand. You are above and beyond all things. Most of all, you are in my heart.

Please forgive me when I complain. Nothing happens to me without your permission. Help me see how my problems can only make me stronger if I let them. You did not set me in a lazy world where I do not have to lift a finger. You set me in a world with work to do, places to go, people to see. When I grow lazy, make me take a second breath and get out there and get back to work. It is the only way I can become spiritually strong.

Thank you, Lord, Jehovah, materialized in Jesus, magnified in his works, glorified in his words. You did everything possible to save me from hell.  You go after me when I wander away. You shine your light when I go into dark places. You love me even when I forget you.  I am unworthy. Yet you made me and I am yours. You protect me and give me strength. You give me your perfection just by believing all this. You even gave me your name.

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Let him be good to you

The scripture for today, March 25 (3/25), is Lamentations 3:25 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-MEDIUM“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.”

That’s all?  Just hope?  I don’t have to have a deep, deep faith for God to be good to me? All I have to do is hope he exists? Hope he loves everyone. Hope he loves me?

Were you raised by atheists, or did you attend a university where professors criticize theists (believers in God)? Have you been told deity is just the essence of the universe with no personality? Are you confused by it all?  You can still hope there is only the One God who does exist, has personality, knows your name, and loves you.

Have you had a major tragedy in your life and can’t understand how a good God could allow that bad thing to happen (heaven on earth)? Do you live among people who believe all the gods in the world are the One God, so don’t pay special attention to any of them?

Amidst such confusion, is it hard for you to sort it all out and have faith in the One God of the Bible? What is faith anyway? It is the evidence of what you hope for.  If you cannot go so far as to say you have a deep faith in the One God, you can still hope! Keep that hope alive. Let the Lord be good to you.

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Road to Heaven-COVER-KINDLE-THUMBNAILTHE ROAD TO HEAVEN.  The long road to heaven began at the Garden of Eden. Through the centuries, God’s plan gradually came together to get that road built for us. The day Jesus came back to life, the road was done. Now what? As we walk on the road to heaven and draw closer, we realize the glories he has in store for us.  This book takes the reader through all the things God did to get us away from Death and back to Him, our creator and the lover of our soul.  To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:     https://bit.ly/326kyOh 

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Heart of my heart

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-MediumAh, my Lord God, you are the highest and greatest above all others. You are the epitome, the mountain peak, the inner depths of all.  You are so much more powerful than Satan. May you be now and forever. You alone are worthy of the world’s honor. You alone are true glory ~ on earth and in heaven. You alone are my Maker, my Sustainer, my Savior. The stars race through the firmament to be the first to magnify you. The oceans soar to the depths to be the mightiest to magnify you. The new-born baby basks in the memory of seeing you face to face and being rocked by you in the cradle of a womb. All things praise you. And I cannot wait to do so again tomorrow.

Help me, Lord, to find a balance. Help me not be judgmental and just not have an opinion as though nothing truly matters. Forgive me when I say anything that is hurtful. Help me compliment instead of complain. Help me be more like you.

I thank you, Jesus, for materializing and doing all you did to save me from my deserved punishment for my sins. You did not have to leave the comforts of your home to live in a dirty, smelly world. You didn’t have to give up being everywhere at once to be confined to a body. You didn’t have to jeopardize yourself on the cross. But you did. Such love. The agony and anguish you experienced in my place. Such love. I am not worthy. But you could not let me go. Oh, heart of my heart.

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0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailTHEY MET JESUS:  SHADOW OF DEATH.  Pilate was cornered by the people, Simon was cornered by the executioners. Jesus writhed in pain on the cross that should have been ours, and invaded hell to provide escape for us. The thieves struggled with their mortality, Joseph struggled with religiosity, The guards struggled with impossibility. Jesus saw the women, pursued Peter, And enlightened the depressed. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/2UcggRE   

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You forgive me anyway

000-COVER-KINDLE-MediumI lift up my praises to you, God of the universe. They swirl around the universe and finally to your throne. You are all might and power and everything good. You are right and just tempered with unimaginable mercy.  You alone are God. I will serve you all the days of my life. Take me to your home soon, though. How much longer will it be? A year? Ten years? Twenty? How long? Take me to your home and I will serve you there forever.

When I fear what people can do to me, I allow them to harm me a thousand times over in my mind. I allow them to overcome me. Make me overcome my haunting fears. Help me love everyone instead, no matter how unloving, spiteful and hateful they are. Their lives must be so tortured. Make me overcoming all that in their lives with love because, as you said, “perfect love casts out fear.”

Ah, my Lord God, in deep gratitude that pierces my soul, I thank you for forgiving my many sins. I sin against you daily with bad attitudes that creep in. I am so ashamed and so weak. You forgive me anyway and I am not worthy of this. I fall at your feet and perpetually I whisper thank you.

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You stopped at nothing

Supper-Front Cover-MediumGod of heaven and earth, you are far above anything and anyone else.  You are our Creator.  You are perfection. I am so far below you in all things. But you are the lover of my soul, my protector, my comforter, my betrothed. Thank you. You deserve all earth’s praise and honor and glory.  All heaven praises you and I adore you.

Lord, I have been neglecting the lost. Why do I do that? Help me be alone with them and ask them about their relationship with God. Instead, I surround myself with my Christian friends. I need them, but the lost need me more. Forgive me when I become too comfortable. Oh, Lord, give me souls or else I die.

Thank you, God of my heart and soul, for loving me so. You stopped at nothing to save me, despite my rebellious ego that does sinful things you say will hurt me.  You are so good, and though I offend you every day, you keep coming back and loving me all the more. No human is able to forgive as often as you do ~ hundreds of times just in one year and sometimes in one month. How can I truly thank you? I fall at your feet unworthy and worship you.

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And can never die

Love Letters of Jesus & his Bride-mediumI magnify your very name. You are in my heart and soul. I long to be with you in your realm forever rejoicing, forever yours, forever at peace.  Even now I am with you laughing and crying and struggling and it is wonderful. To be on the side of the winner, my heart bursts. I can fight side by side next to you, for you are my betrothed. You are my spiritual darling, my spiritual sweetheart, the spiritual lover of my soul. Someday we will be wed. I do not understand it, but I can hardly wait. How amazing that the Creator of the universe calls me his own! You are my Lord, my Master, my Maker, my very Being.

God, help me let go. Help me be strong enough to not let anything others say or do convince me to not love them.  Lord, help me love them. Bless my enemies, for they are your enemies too.  Help me know the difference in what I want and what you want so that I am not persecuted justly.

Ah, my Lord. I see your holy blood that seeped out of your body. Your holy hands and feet that contorted in the shock of being assaulted by the spikes. Your holy back that was made pure meat when embraced by the scourger’s whip. Your holy brow that bore the mocking thorns. They gradually overcame your body and made it lifeless. But they could not overcome your spirit and your stubborn will.  They could not overpower the love that flowed from you that day. They could not overpower the soul that had been alive forever more and can never die. In worship you.

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Where I can see forever

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-MediumI praise you in the morning when the sun rises with glowing promise. I praise you at noon when everyone stops the bustle of the morning for a moment of respite and taking a deep breath. I praise you in the evening when all becomes quiet again and I rest once more, cozy in my bed knowing you are holding me in your protective arms during the darkness of the night. You are always there. And you make me feel as though I am the only person in the world. You are my dawn, my bright and shining sun, my moonglow.

Yesterday I was talking with some people who said they had met four friends while shopping. I was with them and said, “No, there were five friends.” Why did I do that? What difference did it make? All it did was fluster the person telling about it and confuse the people listening. I got them completely off the subject of chance meetings of friends and into an argument of how many friends we met. Lord, help me not say anything when it doesn’t matter.

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of my surroundings. Sometimes I am where there are mountains with white snow on top. Sometimes I am in valleys where green trees abound and there is grass to walk on and tickle my toes. Sometimes I am in a wide desert where I can see forever and the sky seems so much larger. How delightful you have made the earth with all its variations teasing and tantalizing me as I travel around your creation like skipping through verses of poetry.

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The pulse of the universe

Supper-Front Cover-MediumThrough the pulse of the universe praises rise to you, Lord God. All you created praise you. All material things. all good feelings, good knowledge, truth, love and life praise you. You made me in your image. May my efforts to remain like you be lifted up to your throne.  And someday, you will bring me home with the same image in which you made me ~ pure and innocent. Your heaven is all that is right and good because they are reflections of you. What will heaven be like? With you in the midst of heaven, it will be like riding the waves of your spirit.

Forgive me, Lord, when I secretly find fault with others. Secrecy does not mean you do not know. Cleanse my mind and my heart. Most things in the world do not matter. This world is just temporary. Help me speak only of what matters.

Thank you for materializing and coming to earth to demonstrate right living. No one quite understood before you came. It really helped. We saw the laws you gave Moses were to help us and help each other, not interfere with a fulfilling life. So, you lived the law perfectly because it was a reflection of you. How often during the day did you stop and pray?  How often during the day did you stop what you were doing so you could spend some time with an orphan? Did you carry around with you a bag of coins so you could drop something in the bowl of every beggar along the way? What was your everyday  life like? I do not know all the details. What I do know is in the sacred writings of the Gospel everything you did was good. Everything! Thank you for showing us you.

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Soaring to the heavens

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonMedium“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have you FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a moment. It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God. And in that same moment, he faced down Satan and conquered.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.

But how? God did not leave us guessing, for in Acts 22:16 Jesus told Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

Washing of rebirth is no more “water salvation” than the cross was “wood salvation.”  Both were physical things that accomplished spiritual outcomes. God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so, we worship him with unspeakable gratitude that soars to the heavens and fills God’s throne room.

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