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Holy Week: Walking With Jesus

March 18, 2021

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Every year, I read through the Gospel accounts of what took place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday as I seek to wrap my heart and mind around those days.  Once again, I am inviting you to join me each day for a brief reading of Scripture that helps give us a meaningful grasp of what took place in the life of our Lord Jesus during Holy Week.

Thank you for joining me again this year as together we trace our Lord’s steps from Palm Sunday to Easter. Each day during this Holy Week, we will offer an audio recording of a compilation of Scriptures that helps us wrap our hearts and minds around our Lord’s journey from Sunday to Sunday.

 

To listen click here: HOLY WEEK: WALKING WITH JESUS 

To Download the full PDF of the Holy Week: Walking with Jesus Readings, Click Here

 

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CELEBRATING PURIM

February 22, 2021

“‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:12-14

Five centuries before Christ, a Persian official named Haman plotted to kill all the Jews living in Persia. When Queen Esther was asked by her Uncle Mordecai to intercede with King Xerxes on behalf of the Jews, she resisted in fear for her life. Mordecai famously replied, “Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) As a result Queen Esther did intercede, the Jews were saved when they were allowed to defend themselves, Haman was defeated, and Purim was established as an annual time of feasting and celebration.This year the Jewish holiday of Purim begins on Thursday, February 25, at sunset, and goes through sunset on February 26.

Once again, God seems to be stirring His people to turn to Him for deliverance from their enemies, both visible and invisible. Even though the event referenced in the following video took place February 21, I still want to share this with you. I am including also a link to the prayer that the Jews were praying that we can adapt as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

This is thrilling to me…

 

 

 

 

World Jewish Prayer video – click HERE

For written prayer – click HERE

 

 

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Those who honor Me…

February 4, 2021

Those who honor Me I will honor…1 Samuel 2:30

When Clyde Christensen was a quarterback at UNC, my husband Danny tucked him into our family where he became like a son to Danny, a little brother to me, and a beloved babysitter and friend to my three children. Clyde and his wife Debbie are pictured below with my two daughters, Morrow and Rachel-Ruth, over forty years ago!

After UNC, Clyde went into coaching and has been on staff with many NFL teams. On every team he established and led a Bible study while maintaining a strong witness with a sterling reputation as an excellent coach who truly loves his players.

He has honored the Lord his God, and is now being honored by God with favor as he is currently the quarterback coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tom Brady. Danny would be thrilled beyond words to know Clyde is heading once again to the Super Bowl.

Two months before Danny moved to Heaven, he enjoyed another special visit with Clyde at The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coaches Camp.

The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Times this past week where Clyde mentions my father and my husband: https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2021-01-29/peyton-manning-clyde-christensen-stories

He and his sweet wife Debbie have my love and applause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Prayer for our Nation – January 2021

January 22, 2021

**This prayer was originally posted on FOXNEWS 1.20.2021 – http://ow.ly/JPMw50DdGI8


There are times in prayer when I seem at a loss for words. This is one of those times. With all of the turmoil, confusion, anger, fear, division and upheaval as we transition to a new administration; with COVID keeping us confined and separated from each other, I know I need to pray, but how?  And so I have turned to the familiar prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, putting it into my own words:

Our Father.

You are seated on Heaven’s throne in glory, majesty, and supreme authority. You are in charge. You don’t make mistakes. You have promised that You will be with us, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.[1] You use hard times to get us to look up.  So we look up! Now! We turn to You! Thank You for Your promise that when we come to You through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ, You will hear our prayer because we are Your children. [2]

We reverence Your name. Yahweh. Yeshua. Jesus. You have declared that at the sound of Your name one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that You are Lord.[3] You have revealed that Your name is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.[4] You have been our Help in ages past, and You are our Hope for years to come. You are the God of our founding fathers. You are our God in whom we as a nation have put our trust.

We pray that You would exercise Your authority, fulfilling Your purpose on this earth…in this nation…so that Your will is carried out here as it is in Heaven.  Because we know Your will is good, perfect, and pleasing to those who live according to it.[5]  Your will works. All that is said and done outside of Your will is like chaff that the wind blows away.[6]

Now…with so many of us in dire financial need…with businesses shuttered and incomes shrinking…please. Provide for us. Give us what we need each day: food, clothing, rent, house payments, and other necessities. Protect us from this deadly pestilence. Restore health to those who are sick.

Many of us feel deeply hurt by others. In response, we choose to forgive those who have attacked us, slandered us, divided us, betrayed us, belittled us, wounded us and deceived us. We know that if we don’t forgive those who have sinned against us, You will not forgive us our sin against You. So we forgive one another. Now. As we do, heal our hearts.

We pray You would deliver us from any evil agendas and powers, either foreign or domestic, visible or invisible, that would seek to take advantage of us at this vulnerable moment. Protect us. Guard us. Defend us.  Keep us from giving in to temptation to believe the end justifies the means; to plot a course for this nation that is in opposition to You; to wound those who have wounded us; to seek revenge and retribution.  We need You now, more than ever.

Today we acknowledge that Yours is the glory and the power. You have the final word. You keep the books. You are the Judge of both the living and the dead.[7] One day each of us will stand before You and be held accountable for the way we have lived…what we have said and what we have done. Help us to live every day in the light of who You are with That Day on our minds.

In the name of the One who taught us to pray…Jesus.[8]

Amen

 

 

 

[1] Psalm 23:4

[2] John 1:12; 16:24

[3] Philippians 2:10-11

[4] Ephesians 1:21

[5] Romans 12:2

[6] Matthew 3:12

[7] 1 Peter 4:5

[8] Matthew 6:9-13

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Let’s Spread the Word

December 21, 2020

When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child…Luke 2:17

One of the sweetest blessings God has given me in the last few years was when I had the opportunity to stand in the shepherd’s fields at eventide, watching the distant lights come on in the little town of Bethlehem. After singing some Christmas carols with friends who had gathered, I read the following excerpt from God’s Story.[1]

This year, I want to share this with you…

After the last prophet had spoken, there was a great silence from Heaven. For over four hundred years. Each generation of believers hoped against hope the promise of a Messiah would be fulfilled in their time. Each woman who bore a son looked into the tiny infant face and wondered if he would be the One God would raise up to redeem the world to Himself. Under the tyranny of Roman occupation, with the sound of marching soldiers’ feet on the streets and the burden of Roman taxes to pay and the addition of Roman laws to keep and the sight of Roman cruelty to endure, the flame of hope in God’s promised Son flickered but did not go out.

The days and weeks and months and years passed with no word from God–until one night that had seemed to be no different from any other. The Roman governor had issued a decree for a new tax system that would require a more accurate census of the population. The decree ordered every Jew living in Israel to go back to the town or village of his origin in order to register. The entire population was in upheaval as people shifted from town to town in compliance with the Roman ordinance.

One such little town was teeming with an influx of those coming in to register for the census. It was crowded to overflowing with people short of necessary housing and also short of temper. Beyond the outskirts of the small village, in the rocky pastureland that surrounded it, on this particular night things seemed a little more serene. The black, velvety sky was clear and studded with sparkling stars that had looked down on Earth since the beginning of time. Shepherds appeared to be sitting idly by their flocks but in fact were keeping a sharp lookout for anything or anyone who might harm the sheep entrusted to their care. In the distance, the lights from the town could be seen and the noisy commotion could be heard as more people were coming into the town than the town could hold. On the clear night air, sound traveled easily, and somewhere from the direction of the village inn someone slammed a door.

And a baby cried.

Suddenly, the night seemed to split in two! Without warning, the shepherds were confronted by an angel, dressed in clothing like lightning, with wings that stretched from earth to heaven! The glory of God that permeated and pulsated around the angel enveloped the shepherds in white, golden light, and they were terrified! They heard a voice that rang with authoritative intensity yet thrilling clarity as the angel announced, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

The cowering shepherds’ petrified terror turned to astonished wonder as “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”‘

As the angelic choir returned to its heavenly home, the night resumed its normal appearance. The star-studded velvety sky still stretched like a giant canopy over the sheep, which were huddled together sleeping quietly. The lights and sounds from the little town once again could be heard on the night air. But something was very different. An electrified excitement–the climax of generations of hope–permeated the stillness of the night. The shepherds took one look at each other and knew they could not remain where they were. They were compelled to investigate what the Lord had said to them through the angel’s message.

They must have run at breakneck speed across the field, stumbling over rocks and bushes in the darkness, reaching the outskirts of the little town, out of breath, with hearts pounding in excited rhythm. Did they fan out through the streets, shouting to each other, “You take that street; I’ll take this one! Check every stable! Check every manger! If you find one with a baby in it, give the signal, and the rest of us will come. Quickly!”? As they searched the village, how long did it take them to find the little stable behind the inn where there was indeed a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, just as the angel had said? Did their sudden entrance startle the man standing guard over a young woman who had obviously just given birth? Before he could step forward to defend his charges, did the shepherds excitedly explain, “Sir, we don’t mean to intrude. But sir, you won’t believe what we just saw! We were just minding our business, keeping our flocks out in the pasture beyond the town, when an angel appeared to us and told us a baby had been born. Not just any baby, but the Baby, the Savior, the Promised Son of God  – the angel said the babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger in this town. And sir, we’ve been up and down this whole village, and your baby is the only baby we can find in a manger. Sir, we don’t want to bother you. We just want to see the baby. Could we please?”

The man must have motioned for the shepherds to come forward. The shepherds, in rough homespun clothes, smelling of sheep and campfire smoke, stepped up to the manger. They looked down at the tiny form lying on the hay. The Baby’s hair was still damp from birth; His dark little eyelashes curled against His chubby cheeks as He slept peacefully, His little rosebud mouth moving silently from time to time as though He had much to say, but not yet.

When did the shepherds realize they were gazing into the face of God?

 

The exclamation point to the very challenging year of 2020 is this Christmas! Like a grand crescendo, once again the angels message reverberates down through the millennia: Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.[2]

In these days of confusion and chaos, turmoil and trouble, fear and frustration, division and death, I pray God will fill your heart with joy and your life with praise for the Good News that a Savior has come. And He is coming again! Let’s spread the word…

 

[1] God’s Story, Anne Graham Lotz, p.269-271, Word Publishing,Nashville, TN 1999

[2] Luke 2:10-11


 

Click here to watch Anne’s God’s Story messages
{FREE for a limited time – rent using code: STORY2020

 

 

 

 

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