Go See This Movie!!! [Update: 3/21/18]

March 17, 2018

I Can Only Imagine

My husband and I saw the movie “I Can Only Imagine” yesterday, which was the opening day for the film.  How appropriate for the movie to begin on 3:16!  This wasn’t by accident!  It was purposely positioned to open on that date because of John 3:16!

Unchecked Copy BoxJhn 3:16“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.
 
I have always LOVED this song!  I had it on a WOW Christian CD and would play it over and over again!  It’s one of those worship songs that touches my heart and soul, and has much meaning for my life.
I’m glad that I had tissues in my purse!  There were obvious sniffles happening all around the theater!  There were also funny and moving moments that added so much to the story line!  Dennis Quaid was outstanding as the abusive father turned Christian believer.  I don’t want to reveal too much of the story line!  Go see this film!  It’s the best movie that I have seen in years!
If you go to the “Rotten Tomatoes” website, I suggest that you skip the so-called “professional” critics (because that is truly what they are – only CRITICS) and read the 8 pages of reviews by people who saw the movie!  On the left sidebar, you can also view three video trailers of the movie.
Here are just a few of some of my favorite movie-goer comments from the site:

March 17, 2018

It’s really sad to see the critic reviews of this movie. Then again, critics probably have very little use for the subject matter, the redemptive power of God. The film is tremendously made, finely acted, powerfully moving. The entire audience was in tears for most of the last 30 minutes of the movie. It will continue to create a buzz and has already outperformed the most optimistic estimates of its’ box office opening weekend. Do yourself a favor and go see the film. It just might hit you in the heart…unless you’re a jaded, snobby film critic, that is!

March 17, 2018

I loved this movie. It was an interesting story and well acted. It was funny and warm in places, while telling a story of forgiveness and success against the odds. Don’t let the “professional critics” steer you wrong. This is a movie worth seeing. J. Michael Finley was great in the role of Bart. Dennis Quaid did a fantastic job of a transformed soul. With a budget so much smaller than the movies it is competing with, it ‘s good to see this movie doing well and being appreciated, not for flash of Hollywood, but the humanity of Middle America. It is definitely worth seeing. I hope it continues to do really well. I loved it.

Vicki M

March 17, 2018

The professional critics disappoint me. Hollywood appears to be doing their best to discourage people from seeing this movie that promotes healing and redemption of the human spirit, while cheerleading movies that drag our souls down into the mire. Why? That is the question. One guy said the movie lacks complexity. What could be more complex than trying to understand an earthly father who says that you are no good while giving you the back of his hand and driving you away, and a Heavenly Father who works all things together for YOUR GOOD while declaring that Nothing can ever snatch you from the safety of His hands. Another reviewer said it’s a one note movie – the story too simple. I did not hear one note alone. I heard a symphony of stories coming from this young man’s life, and behind the scenes God working ALL THINGS together for his good. The story of a father and son, the story of a boy chasing his dream desperately trying to prove his worth, the story of something good coming out of pain and misery, the story of sin, failure, repentance, forgiveness, and redemption coming together to produce a song that touched hearts and lives across the planet… that continues to touch hearts for Christ. A message that will touch you, if you have a soul. I don’t understand how anyone could watch this movie and miss that the point is Jesus – living in the hearts of His believers, proving the Father’s overwhelming love for us all. That even for the worst of us – the cross is enough. Those reviewers got it wrong. I pray for them. I Can Only Imagine will be the Best Movie of the Year, and Best Christian Movie to date.

March 17, 2018

This is certainly a movie that secular critics would not understand. However, they apparently did not experience the repeated sniffles from a nearly sold out theater which ended in a standing ovation.

Bo B

March 17, 2018

Excellent movie that accomplished its goal. You know the song, even if you don’t realize it. The story effectively and emotionally told the story and ended with a moral lesson. Let go of your resentments and grudges. Forgive and you shall be set free. I am sure this is a movie I will watch many times in the years to come. I highly recommend.

March 16, 2018

This is the movie about the story behind the song America loves. So many parts of this movie are needed at the core of our country today. The story is about redemption, then forgiveness, and an abundant amount of love. What else could we want for our world today. The actors did an amazing job of taking an authentic real life situation and drawing you into this movie like no other film I have seen. If you want to see what real love is like and see an outstanding movie, do not wait. Go see it and be energized to forgive and love.

*******

Update 3/21/18!

One of the commenters here at my blog (screen name Looking Up) posted a video about Dennis Quaid and how he had come to faith in Jesus Christ!

On The Edge Again: On My Way to Heaven – Faith of Dennis Quaid

Left a comment there (still in moderation):

So glad I visited your blog and saw this post about Dennis Quaid! After seeing the movie “I Can Only Imagine” on opening day, I thought that Quaid’s performance as the abusive father turned believer was excellently done and very believable! Turns out, it was a genuine performance from his heart because he has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

Hope you are doing well, Looking Up, and when I think of your comments at my blog and your situation, I continue to include you and your son in my prayers!

God bless!

In Jesus
Christine
(Talk Wisdom)

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March 15, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

March 15, 2018

Truth2Freedom blog’s author has put together a great essay that explains why, we as born again believers in Jesus, know that He is the Savior of the world. Great passages for the upcoming season of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday!

Truth2Freedom's Blog

Christ’s Impression on the Samaritans

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (4:39–42)

Following the interlude of verses 31–38, the Samaritans reenter the narrative as the story builds to a powerful conclusion. Many of the villagers believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” Surely we can assume that…

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The Real Problem With Wheat

March 13, 2018

Occasionally, I have written about how GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and wheat gluten have wreaked havoc upon our health; especially concerning our digestive systems.  So often, we see commercials about probiotics in yogurt and supplements, as well as over-the-counter medications to deal with digestive problems.

Today, I just happened to be reading an article from Animal Wellness Magazine entitled, The Real Problem with Wheat. Quite eye opening! If we shouldn’t give dry dog food with grains in it to our pets, then why are we willingly eating it?

It was interesting to read that Americans ate healthy organic foods up until 1995. The spraying of Roundup on crops introduced all kinds of problems which are caused by “glyphosate.”

From the above link:

problem with wheat in canine diets

I recommend reading the entire article at the link, but here is an excerpt:

Why does glyphosate cause ill health?

Glyphosate is known to inhibit something called the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme. These enzymes are involved in detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Good intestinal bacteria are rendered impotent by glyphosate in wheat – perhaps another reason why so many people and animals need to take probiotics nowadays.

To quote the article in Entropy (“Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases”, Volume 15, Issue 4):

“CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. ‘Xenobiotic’ denotes a substance, typically a synthetic chemical, that is foreign to the body or an ecological system. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of wheat, and this helps explain the explosion of gastrointestinal and other health problems in both people and animals. other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body…. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease…. Glyphosate is the ‘textbook example’ of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.”

The addition of environmental toxins disrupts the body’s ability to heal and balance itself. The addition of Roundup to the diet from wheat and other grain products significantly disrupts the beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to excessive unhealthy permeability of the intestinal wall. If we understand that gut health contributes to 70% of immune function, the health consequences are even more substantial.

Hat tip:  Animal Wellness magazine

But, How Do We Love?

March 13, 2018

Here’s a question to answer:

Do we love (someone/others) because (______________ ) (fill in the blank)?

When first falling in love with someone, can it be “like breathing?”

Because of great “chemistry?”

 

Or,  do we love (someone/others) although (______________) (fill in the blank)?

Often, the thought that “we love although” happens when others hurt us.

I put that question in a search engine to see if it had been addressed elsewhere online, but after going seven pages deep, I did not find that exact phrase, however, I did find something close to it.  Lo and behold, it was written at a link to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

The question was written specifically, but the answer was more valuable because it was written as a general answer to that person’s question.

Here is a copy of the question:

I’ve heard that the Bible tells us to love others, but everyone in our family agrees that one of our cousins is impossible to love. He’s obnoxious and conceited, and no one likes being around him. How can you love someone you don’t like?

Here is a copy of the answer:

Yes, the Bible certainly tells us to love others, even if they aren’t very lovable! When Jesus was asked which were the most important of God’s laws, He summarized them in two commands: to love God, and to love others (see Mark 12:28-34).

But what does it mean to love others? All too often, I’m afraid, we confuse liking someone with loving them. In other words, we think loving someone is similar to liking them, only much stronger. And this isn’t necessarily wrong, as far as it goes; a husband (for example) should genuinely like his wife and enjoy being in her company.

Does this mean we can’t love someone who’s difficult to like? No, it doesn’t, not if we understand the kind of love God has for us. God loves us not because we’re perfect, or even likeable, because we aren’t. We fall far short of what He wants us to be, yet the Bible says He still loves us. And unlike our love for others, His love means He always wants what’s best for us, although we don’t deserve it.

This is the way God wants us to love others — by seeking what’s best for them. No, your cousin may not be likeable, but have you ever asked God to change him? Have you ever gone out of your way to show love for him, even if he doesn’t deserve it? Open your heart and life to Christ’s transforming love. Then remember: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

 

I love you this much!

~ Jesus

Hat tip: Billy Graham.org.

Debating forgiveness: must a person admit wrongdoing before being forgiven? – Wintery Knight Blog

March 9, 2018

Relationships can be difficult and hard in this life. It takes work, but also a lot of love and forgiveness in order to get through disagreements, hurt feelings, and terrible things that can happen. No one has a perfect life, nor a perfect marriage.

I wholeheartedly agree that repentance is required in order for genuine forgiveness to happen. Without these facts, then reconciliation would be hollow and even non-existent!

God’s love for us was poured out through His Son Jesus at the Cross of Calvary. As believers in Him, we are instructed to love others, as He has loved us. The Bible doesn’t say to stop loving others when they make mistakes, especially when they are willing to ask for forgiveness and desire reconciliation with those that they have sinned against.
Jesus told Peter that we are to forgive not only seven times, but “70 times seven” times! Was Jesus utilizing hyperbole in order to get the point across that repentance, as well as reconciliation are required?
I read a devotional today that asks some pertinent questions.

“Today, when you look at your life, and the lives of those closest to you, do you see fruit and abundance? Or do you see another picture? Are you like a dried-up branch, devoid of any good works that speak of a godly source? Do your relationships suffer because you are at the center, not Jesus?”

The requirements of confession, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are all needed to be forgiven for our sins and become right with God through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Is this not the pattern that we should follow for the forgiveness of people in our lives during our journey in this world? If we don’t follow such a pattern, then how are we to bring others into God’s Kingdom?

The devotional ends with:

“Throughout the trials you face–whether big or small–cling to Jesus as the source and giver of life. May you remain in His love. And may His love fill you with abundance and cause you to bear fruit for His Kingdom.”
Amen!

Hat tip:  Wintery Knight

WINTERY KNIGHT

Two horses fight it out, may the best horse win! Two horses fight it out, may the best horse win!

I’ve listened to this debate three times because I liked it so much. I even ordered Chris’ book for my best friend Dina. She has listened to the debate, and is currently split between the two debaters. I am in firm agreement with the pastor Chris, although Remy has some useful things to say that I agree with.

Here’s a link to the debate page on Moody Bible Institute’s “Up For Debate” program with Julie Roys.

Details:

Should Christians Forgive No Matter What?

Should Christians forgive someone even if he’s not sorry?  Or does true forgiveness require repentance and a desire to reconcile?  This Saturday, on Up For Debate, Julie Roys will explore this issue with Chris Brauns, a pastor who believes forgiveness requires repentance, and Remy Diederich who believes it does not.

Although I disagree with Remy, I only disagree with him…

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I Can Only Imagine

March 2, 2018

Now here’s an upcoming movie (March 16th) that I am looking forward to seeing!  “I Can Only Imagine” is a song by Mercy Me that has inspired millions; and now we will get to see what, and just Whom, inspired the singer to write and sing that song – for his dad.

Published on Jan 11, 2018

J. Michael Finley, Dennis Quaid, and Tanya Clarke star in ‘I Can Only Imagine’. Take a look at a sneak peek of this inspiring movie coming to theaters March 16th.

I Can Only Imagine (About The Movie) – “The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness.”

Genuine Forgiveness Includes Reconciliation

March 2, 2018

A mother who has been suffering through a sudden estrangement situation with her son told me that his “break up with his parents” letter included the following comment:

“I forgive you, but I can’t be around it anymore.” 

According to the letter the mom had received, his grievances included perceived “unhealthy communication” and “crossing boundaries,” plus “convictions” regarding grievances which had never been shared with the parents while growing up.  But now, they have “come to light” and were included without much explanation in the letter written.  The son has ignored the pleas of his mother to at least talk it out, or even see a counselor together in order to understand the son’s convictions and grievances; some of which she has no idea in what he’s talking about.

The entire family has been suffering with grief over this for the past four months.  They don’t know whether or not this young man will ever come around and be willing to talk with them or see them again.  It’s a very sad situation!  This young man even wrote to his own sister and in a separate email message where he basically made her choose which side she and her husband were on; his or their parents!

I’m not trained as a counselor and I don’t claim to have all the answers to such a situation.  However, when I see human problems from a biblical perspective (which is something that, as Christians, we should always strive to do), I like to share it here at this blog in the hope that what is written might help someone who is suffering in an estrangement situation.

Forgiveness is Divine.

No wonder it has been said that, “forgiveness is Divine.”  Isn’t it so true that it is often very difficult for us imperfect and sinful human beings to forgive?  But when one forgives another, it is like a huge weight has been lifted off of the heart, soul and mind.  It releases all of that pain, resentment, and rage that once plagued us.  It’s difficult to explain, but when it happens in your life, you know it!

The second (and most important) action that follows forgiveness is reconciliation.  Without reconciliation, the term “forgiveness” is hollow and meaningless.  Man can still claim to forgive, but holding a grudge and refusing to return towards a relationship with one who has been forgiven demonstrates that there is still contempt, dislike, or maybe even hatred for the person (people) that one claims that they have forgiven.  Holding a grudge eats away at one’s heart, soul, spirit and mind!

Christians should not live that way.  They should not hold grudges or have contempt for those that they have loved before, claimed to have forgiven for a simple trespass, yet refuse to participate in a path towards reconciliation.

Our Model, in this respect, is Jesus Christ Himself.  Even when He was being crucified on the cross, (a most painful and excruciating form of punishment that leads to death) He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”  When Jesus died for our sins – the sins of all mankind – He was buried in a guarded tomb.  However, death could not hold Him down and after fulfilling His purpose on this earth, He rose on the third day.  Yes!  His glorious resurrection had a crucial purpose.  Those who would believe in Him and the reason why He died for our sins would join in with the joyous purpose of being reconciled back unto God!

Without the goal of reconciliation, the entire purpose of forgiveness of our sins would be meaningless, wouldn’t it?

If Jesus had listened to and obeyed the man in the crowd at Calvary who yelled, “if you are truly the Son of God, come down from that cross and save yourself,” then the entire purpose for which He was sent and born into this world would have been lost!  Jesus would have ended up going back to the Father, but He would have entered back into heaven alone, for all of eternity.  The offer and goal of salvation for mankind would have been lost.

Only the sinless Son of God could have (and did!) accomplish the plan of forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation for all who would believe in Him!

Jesus is the bridge that crosses the deep cavern that exists between sinful man and Holy God!  Without reconciliation in this manner, what good is there in forgiveness?  Answer:  it would be hollow, to say the least, and not a soul saving type of forgiveness.

This serves as a model for human relationships and the need to follow Christ’s lead towards forgiving one another.  Without reconciliation, it is hollow at its core.

God bless and may you find peace in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ,

~  Christine

Dan 9:24 – “Seventy weeks[fn] are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of[fn] sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

*******

Rom 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 – Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Rom 5:10 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom 5:11 – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

*******

2 Cor 5:18 – Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Cor 5:19 – that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:20 – Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
2 Cor 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

*******

Update

Also see:

Truth 2 Freedom: March 2 The Godhead Forever One

Billy Graham Is Now With Jesus in Heaven

February 21, 2018

November 7, 1918- February 21, 2018

When I turned on the TV this morning while making coffee and feeding our dogs, I heard the sad, but also celebratory news that Billy Graham has died at the age of 99.

As I listened to the Fox and Friends show, several people who knew Billy Graham for many years called in.  There was much information that I knew about Graham, but I also learned some new information about him.

Billy was included on a list of “most admired people” over 60 times.

Graham, who had been in ill health for a number of years, was regularly listed in polls as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World.”

He was non-partisan and had met and prayed with 12? ( I think) U.S. Presidents  over the course of his lifetime.  He was offered a cushy celebrity job and also encouraged to be a politician, but turned such offers down.  Thus, he became one of the greatest evangelists in my lifetime.

His Christian crusades took him from the frenzy of Manhattan to isolated African villages and according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, he preached to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history.

Thank you, Billy Graham, for all the decades where you preached the truth of the Bible and how Jesus Christ saves us from our sins.  Enter into the joy of the Lord!

Perhaps I can revisit this blog post later today.  I’m sure that there will be many posts to share, celebrating his life and ministry that reached millions of individuals all across the world.

The BGEA put his lifetime audience at nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories, with “hundreds of millions more” viewing him on television, video, film and webcasts.

“My one purpose in life,” he said, “is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ.”

Billy often told the audiences at his revivals:

“God Loves You.”

He also quoted the following Scripture:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Near the end of the F & F’s show on Fox, Brian Kilmede quipped:

“If he’s not in heaven, then we all are in trouble.”

In a way, that could be deemed a humorous comment.   Knowing how, why, and what Billy Graham preached for his entire life – the truth of the Bible and the saving grace of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – saves those who have confessed and repented of their sins.  There is no fear of condemnation.  The promises of Jesus Christ tell us that we will enter into the joy of the Lord when we pass from this life into eternity.

Unchecked Copy BoxJhn 3:17“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 25:21“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Have Faith in God’s Love

February 13, 2018

It is so heartening to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and find a post that I needed to read today.  I often think that God has a way of nudging us towards what we need to know, especially when in the throes of sadness, depression, loneliness – you name the angst.  Then along comes a fellow Christian’s sharing of Scripture which shares having faith in God’s love and brings peace.   Such peace eases the pain or suffering that one may be going through.

That happened for me when I read Raymond Candy’s post entitled Keys to the Kingdom: Receiving God’s Peace.

The entire essay is excellent and I encourage reading it all at his site. Here is an excerpt:

To have faith in God is to have faith in God’s love.

The Bible says that we did not choose God, but that God chose and called us. (John 15:16)

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  (John 6:44)

We would not have even wanted to come to God and be saved if He had not put it in our hearts to do so.

The Bible says that while we were in our mother’s womb He saw us and chose us. He ordained how we would look and he fashioned us in the way that would please Him. (Psalm 139)

When we were ready, He put it in our hearts to desire Him and come to Christ, and now that He has us nothing can separate us from His love.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  (Rom. 8:35)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  (Rom. 8:37)

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”  (Rom. 8:38)

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Rom. 8:39)

God loves us no matter what!

God’s love is not based upon anything that we have or have not done.

God doesn’t love us because we read the Bible, attend Church, spend time in prayer, or give offerings. He’s pleased that we do these things, but that is not what causes Him to love us.

God doesn’t even love us because we have quit sinning and love Him, for the Bible says:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Rom. 5:8)

God loves us simply because we exist.

 “We love him, because he first loved us.”  (1John 4:19)

He loves us because we are. Nothing can change His love for us. That’s what perfect love is. Nothing can affect it. Nothing can alter it. It does not change.

And it’s not a general, “love for all” kind of love. It’s a personal, intimate kind of love.

Before Christ died on the cross, God’s love was a love for all mankind.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

It was because of His love for all men that He gave His son, but now that His son has been given, God’s love for us is not only perfect but also personal.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  (Matt. 10:30)

Like a father admiring his child sleeping in the crib, our Heavenly Father looks upon us daily and counts the hairs upon our heads. He knows exactly what we will need before we even need it, and has prepared it in advance.

“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”  (Matt. 6:8)

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”  (Isaiah 65:24)

He who knows the ending from the beginning is never surprised or unprepared, but has already solved the problem before it even appears.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  (1Cor. 10:13)

The first step in having God’s peace is to understand and believe in God’s perfect love for us, that nothing can change or alter it, and that it’s not based upon anything except for the fact that we are His creation.

Because of His love for us, God will do whatever it takes to preserve us. Knowing and believing this will drive away all fear from our hearts and will prepare us to be filled with the peace of God that passes all understanding.

When I look at my precious granddaughter, sleeping in her crib either at her home or the nursery I set up in our home, it’s an overwhelming feeling of love that is difficult to describe!  Love, joy, peace, comfort, contentment, admiration, and the visions of her sweetness and how much she has grown in the 2 years, 3 mos. since she was born all bring tears to my eyes!  I just can’t help it!  That’s why I loved reading this paragraph:

Like a father admiring his child sleeping in the crib, our Heavenly Father looks upon us daily and counts the hairs upon our heads. He knows exactly what we will need before we even need it, and has prepared it in advance.

Yes!  God knew what I needed at this particular time in my faith-filled journey in this life and He led me to Mr. Candy’s essay today.

Here is what I wrote right after reading the essay:

Trying to figure out why certain people do things to hurt one another can be a daunting task.  Especially when someone who has shown steadfast love for you, but then suddenly does or says something completely out of character (especially when they claim to be a church attending born-again Christian), it can cause a huge amount of sorrow and grief; the kind of which is very difficult to overcome on your own.  That is when God’s love comes in precisely because it is the ultimate love that no man or woman could ever give.  God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the kind of love that surpasses all understanding.  It’s the type of love that never leaves you nor forsakes you.  It is never superficial or dependent upon the whims of mankind, which can change and shift at any moment during our journey upon this earth.

Nope!

God is my forever beloved and He is mine!  How do I claim to know this?  Through God’s written Word, the Bible, and His Living Word, Jesus Christ!

These thoughts came to mind because of a struggle that I have been experiencing of late.  It has gone on for over three months now and it had the power to cause much grief and potentially harm my day to day life and even my current walk with God.  The details, at this moment in time, are not necessary to share here.  I think that many people have suffered the same type of pain, grief, and sadness due to a person refusing to answer a plea for genuine forgiveness and reconciliation.  But God is so good, that He doesn’t leave us alone in our grief!  He often alerts us and sends other people with whom we love – including family members and friends – who offer condolences for the pain being inflicted by another and suffered by us; as well as the comfort of words and prayer which can lift us up out of our doldrums, fear, anxiety, pain and sadness.  The people in our lives who do this are truly a God-send!  And, that is the point of this post.  If flawed, sin-infected (but now forgiven by Christ) individuals can do that for us, how much more can God Almighty’s perfect love and presence in our lives do for us?

Hat tip: As Seen Through The Eyes of Faith.

On The Street Where You Live

February 12, 2018

I read today that legendary singer Vic Damone has died.  He was 89 years old.

My dad often sang the song, “On The Street Where You Live.”  When I heard of Mr. Damone’s passing, I immediately was led to listen to that one hit song of his;  just because my dad used to start singing it in his recliner chair in our family room, but by the time he reached the crescendo part of the song he would be standing up singing and making motions with his hands.  He had a very good voice (of course, not as polished or professional as Vic Damone’s) and I know that when I was very young he participated in some plays and had singing roles at a neighborhood playhouse.  I was too young to go to the plays, but often saw photos of him acting and singing in them.  I wonder whether or not he had a role in “My Fair Lady” at the playhouse? I need to ask my mom, who is now 93 years young!  She has trouble remembering certain things these days, but she can often can recall several memories from decades ago! For example, she often reminds me about the one time she took me and my siblings to the beach in Long Beach Island, N.J.. I may have been, 4 or 5 years old? Anyway, she turned around and noticed that I was gone. In a panic, she started looking for me. Quite a while later, she found me; sunburned and not concerned that I was alone for so long. I wasn’t really very far from where we were set up on the beach and I was just playing with my pail and shovel in the sand. That was the LAST time she ever took us three kids to the beach alone!  When us kids were older, we used to spend family vacations in a rental house on Long Beach Island.  My dad wasn’t an avid “beach person,” but my siblings and I would often walk to the beach for a day in the sun and sea.  My dad and I were alike in one way; we both didn’t like to ride in boats because we would get sea sick!

Back in 2014, I wrote a post entitled, “Remembering Dad” here at this blog. It is a story about true events that happened where I was led (while feeling totally inadequate!) to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to be born again with my own father. My mom was in the room with us and recited the prayer of salvation along with my dad. He died at the young age of 71. The title of that song has increased significance in my mind because my dad was saved on the street where he lived.

Now that my mom is approaching her 94th birthday in April, she often tells me on the phone that she doesn’t fear dying because it “happens to everyone.” She asked me recently if she was a good mom. I replied, “of course you were, and always have been!” In any relationship, there are troubles, disagreements, and situations that we can’t have control over. She has endured a lot.  When my dad died in 1994, and when my sister died in 2011, they were two of the most difficult times in her life. She says that she hopes to see her daughter and her husband in heaven when it is her time to leave this earth.

The assisted living place where she currently resides conducts church services and Bible readings for the residents.  I’m so glad to hear that she often attends when she is feeling well enough to be present for the sermons.  I think they have really helped her and the fellowship has been very good for her.

I go back to visit her once a year.  For the past two years, my daughter and granddaughter came along with me!  So grateful for that!

 

Last July, we had a “four generations” professional photo shoot with Gram!

    Top photo:  4 Generations.                           Bottom photo:  My Mom (left) and her sister (right).

This coming April, our family is planning a 1920’s themed birthday party for her! The women will be dressed in flapper accessories, and the men will wear felt fedora hats and carry fake cigars like the “gangsters” used back then. My brother loved the idea and said he may go “all out” and wear a pinstriped suit to the dinner party! LOL!  Since many family members are spread out in different states, I hope that we can have a good turnout for this party and get-together.  I know that my dear cousin and her mom (my mom’s 98-year-old sister!) plan to be there!

Memorable times with family are some of the most important times in my life.  I’m sure, dear readers, that you each also have special memories!  If anyone feels inclined to share them, please do in the comment section!

Thanks for visiting and reading!

~ Christine


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