Music Mondays- Break Every Chain- Tasha Cobbs at Passion City Church

There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain. Whatever bogs us down in life there is power in the name of Jesus. We can come to Jesus in confidence to find grace and mercy in our time of need.

There is no power greater than Jesus. He is the name above all names, and he loves us. He invites us to come to him to find rest for our souls. Let’s look to Jesus and not our circumstances. He has all power.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Rooms

In thinking about rooms in my life and what rooms mean, I wonder what rooms come to mind for my readers. When I think of rooms, to be honest, some rooms evoke pleasant wonderful memories, but some rooms I would prefer to forget and leave millions of miles behind me even though they are etched in my mind.

There was a room that as a child was a place full of dread. It was the room I learned to feel I was less than human. It was the room where I was berated and the room where sleep could be cruelly interrupted by a drunken fist. It was a room that led to me never feeling I really belonged anywhere and would always be less than.

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There were many rooms after that but none that felt like home. Never a room that felt settled for me. Never a room where peace resided until one day, in a room, the light of the world welcomed me.

It was a room in a friend’s house. He had a visitor that day, a young woman. In that room, she told me that God loves me. God loves me? What? I am garbage waiting to be hauled way. God loves me? That room led me to a journey of discovery.

As time went on I learned about the Upper Room where Jesus told his followers one evening before he was crucified that he longed for that time to share the first Lord’s supper with them. That room had great meaning for people like me. Jesus longed for me to know him and to join him too just like his disciples.

I learned about how Jesus taught his disciples that in his father’s house there are many places and that if he goes, it is better for them because if he goes, he will prepare a room for them.

Jesus drew me into his presence in a special secret room for me. It was a prayer room in a church that was filled with his presence and where he taught me that I am not garbage. In that room, I learned how he felt about many things. It was so wonderful that I never wanted to leave that room, but he wanted me to leave that room so I could help others to know about the rooms in his father’s house.

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But some rooms after that were again rooms I dreaded where doctors told me things like my liver and heart were not working well until they found the cause that a pill each day would keep me healthy.

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All of these rooms led me to the room that is so special to me. It is a room that has connected me to the world, a room at my church. In that room people from numerous countries have come for help with English and many have heard about how Jesus wants all to have a room in his father’s house in heaven. Many have come to believe in Jesus in that room. Much laughter has occurred in that room and also some tears. Shared life among diverse cultures has happened in that room. It is this room that I am most fond of in all of my life. This room feels like my home away from home until I reach my final homeroom in The Father’s house thanks to Jesus.

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But those doctors’ rooms came back last year as I went from doctor to doctor to find out once again that I had another autoimmune problem. Such rooms made my blood pressure go up.

The question I try to ask each day is this- Is there room in my heart for Jesus?

What room is special to you? Or is there a room that Jesus can help you overcome as he did me?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Journey to Healing: “Rejection” — Journey In His Word

Everyone in this world has encountered the enemy of “rejection.”  Rejection is the root cause for many of our character flaws such as, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, feelings of not be loved or lovable, etc. Photo by: Off Focus Rejection originates from how we were treated as children and how we internalized the acts done to […]

Journey to Healing: “Rejection” — Journey In His Word

Who Will We Choose?- John Chapter 18

Last week we looked at Pilate questioning Jesus in What Is Truth? Today we look at Jesus willingly undergoing humiliation that happened through two events, his mock trial and the people choosing Barabbas.

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After his arrest, Jesus was taken to the High Priest. The irony of Jesus being God in the flesh standing before the High Priest who was supposed to lead the people to worshipping God, you know as in Father, Son, Holy Spirt, does not escape me.

Annas was the father of Caiaphas who took over as High Priest from Annas. When Jesus was asked about his teaching and his disciples, his answer was basically that he had nothing to hide..

Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”

The response? Jesus was slapped in the face. A side note- imagine being the person who slapped Jesus in the face only to appear before Jesus on his throne. False religion demands respect from us without earning it.

When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

Jesus did not back down even though he knew what was going to happen.

 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

Later on after Pilate questioned Jesus, Pilate tried to find a way out of the whole thing by offering the people a chance of who to free, Jesus or Barabbas a rebel.

“I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

The choice of the crowd that was there?

They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

Isaiah prophesied about this over 700 years before Jesus came in Isaiah 53.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Jesus willingly allowed himself to be humiliated and rejected publicly because he knew it was part of his mission which was to suffer and die for us. He did so because he loves us that much.

The question is who do we choose? Who do you choose? Jesus? or something else?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- So Will I by Hillsong

The main thing I seek to do as we enter a new year is to keep my eyes and focus on Jesus. There are many problems that plague us in this time, but if we step back and remember that everything we see the stars at night, the mountains, birds flying in the air, whatever we see, Jesus created it. As John 1:1-3 says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 

The Word is a title for Jesus in John’s writings. Jesus created everything. I would like to encourage you to take time and ponder the awesome power of Jesus our Creator who is also our Savior.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Navigating The Coming Year- Psalms 23

We are entering a third year with this COVID pandemic. Not a very cheery thought at the beginning of the year, but please bear with me.

None of us knows what will happen this coming year whether it be blessings or struggles. As I shared in my post yesterday-Starting A New Year-Who Knows? – there is someone who knows-Jesus.

Building on that thought, let’s consider Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

This life is the valley of the shadow of death. Yes, there is beauty in this life and wonderful things that can happen, but for 100% of us, this life is temporary. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

We are all walking through this valley of the shadow of death. From the perspective of Jesus, death is but a shadow. He defeated death through his resurrection. Shadows cannot harm us. Nevertheless, we might be concerned about what could happen in this coming year.

The reason the Psalmist gives for “I will fear no evil” is “For you are with me.’ Jesus is with us-ALWAYS. He said so in Matthew 28

 I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Not only is he always with us, he is with us to guide us as the Psalmist said-‘Your rod and your staff they comfort me.’ The rod was used by shepherds to guide. The staff was used to defend. Jesus guides and protects.

So as we embark upon this new year, we can look to Jesus to always be with us, to guide us, and to protect us. If we believe in Jesus, than that wonderful promise from John 3:16 applies to us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus is with us now and has an eternal home prepared for us.

So as we seek to navigate another uncertain year, let’s look to Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Starting A New Year- Who Knows?

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Those were the words of advice from Bilbo Baggins to Frodo in Lord of the Rings. I love it for a New Years Day quote.

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If the past two New Years Days have shown us anything, it is that we have absolutely no idea what will happen in a coming year. The illusion that any of us can anticipate what will happen in a new year is gone.

Case in point New Years Day January 2020 I had no clue that everything would shutdown including my school and we would switch to online to finish the school year. I had no clue of all the things that would happen because of the pandemic. I had no clue that cities in the USA would be destroyed by rioters.

Another case in point New Years Day 2021 I had no clue that my colleague I had worked with for 7 years would retire last May and how intense the past semester would be because of it. I also had no idea that I would finally get diagnosed with what I had suspected for years.

On a more positive note I had no inkling that I would meet new people who would become my friends or colleagues at work. I had no idea that the Lord would bless me in the midst of the pandemic with a good year.

None of us has a clue what will happen in the coming year. The difference is the veil of illusion about that is gone, which in my mind is a good thing. Why?

Jesus is eternal. He does not have the boundaries of time, so he is with us now and in the future at the same time. He knows what will happen in the coming year including our own individual lives. Even better, he loves us deeply.

So my dear readers, the only advice I have about this coming year, no matter what it brings, is to look to Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What Is Truth? John Chapter 18

In our times of confusion the question Pilate asked Jesus in John 18 is so fitting. We are living in a time that ‘truth’ seems to depend on who shouts the loudest and who controls which media channel one watches. Depending on the issue, it seems that truth is not as important as opinion. Who do we look to in midst of all this confusion?

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When Pilate questioned Jesus, he first asked

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied with a question

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

Pilate wanting nothing to do with the situation responded.

 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus replied in his typical way of not answering the question he is asked but rather revealing the truth he knows.

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Pilate thinking he was getting somewhere made the statement

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus switches the subject again to reveal more about himself

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Pilate’s reaction is what we all feel during our time

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

Standing in front of Pilate was Jesus the creator of the universe, the eternal Son of God. Standing in front of Pilate was Jesus who said in John 14

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

There are issues in our time that we may never know the full truth about in this life, but there is someone we can look to in the midst of confusion who is the truth-Jesus.

Jesus never changes in his character as we read in Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus who suffered under Pilate did so willingly because of his love for us. Jesus chose to suffer and die for us. He could have stopped it but didn’t. That is how much Jesus values and loves us. In the midst of confusion, start by looking to Jesus. He loves us. He never lies. He always guides us. We can trust him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays Double Header- Rescue by Lauren Daigle and The Blessing byKari Jobe/Cody Carne

As we close out this year and look to the beginning of a new one, there is a predominant thought in my mind. It is about hope. I am not one to sugar coat things and simply be positive for the sake of being positive. After the past two years of an ongoing global pandemic and all that has come with it, the question is where do we look for hope.

Depending on what country, or in the USA what state, a person is in, we have seen varying degrees of governments bungling the response to the pandemic. I do not look to government for hope.

Scientists can’t seem to get a grip on the whole thing. I do not look to scientists for hope.

So who do I look to? My answer comes from Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Jesus is the only one who can give true eternal hope. I am sharing Lauren Daigle’s song as a wonderful reminder of Jesus’s rescuing power.

The second video I am sharing is The Blessing by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes. It expresses my heart’s prayer for you that God will bless you my reader this coming year.

Let us look to Jesus for hope in these troubled times.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Peter’s Failure/Our Failures Are Why Jesus Came- John Chapter 18

Last week’s post in the study from John was Jesus Healed Someone Even While Being Arrested. Peter cut off a man’s ear and then Jesus healed the man. Peter was impulsive at times. He had a tendency to say the wrong things at times. Jesus had told Peter that Peter would deny him three times.

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Peter cutting off the man’s ear and denying Jesus the third time tie together in John 18.

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?”  Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus would go on to forgive and restore Peter in front of the others after Jesus’s resurrection.

Peter’s failure and subsequent restoration underscore why Jesus came. Jesus came as a human baby to grow to be a man to become our Savior. Jesus came for us even though we fail, sin, have faults etc.

Jesus chose Peter knowing all of Peter’s faults. Jesus chose Peter knowing Peter would deny him. Jesus knew something else. Jesus knew the whole picture. He knew Peter would regret denying Jesus. He knew he would restore Peter.

Jesus knows our faults. He chooses to love us and chose to die for us to save us knowing we would mess up even after coming to know him as our Savior. But Jesus also knows the whole picture. He knows how he will work in our lives to help us grow. He knows one day we will be in heaven with him and sin no more.

Jesus came to be our Savior knowing our faults because he loves us. Remember that the next time you mess up. We all mess up. But Jesus loves us and walks alongside us knowing our faults because he loves us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.