Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Watch What You Say


Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs
16:24

As a writer, I love words. In fiction, I love finding just the right words for my character to use
when they speak to each other.

But one thing I discovered. I wasn't as careful when I chose the words I said to myself. I realized that I said things to myself that I wouldn’t allow even the most evil character use. And that negative self-talk was having a huge negative affect on me. Unfortunately, I was beginning to believe the things I said to myself,and it was pulling me under.

Maybe you do the same thing.

     “I’m so stupid.” 
     “I should just quit, I’ll never amount to anything.”
     “I’m ugly.”
     “I don’t know why anyone would want to hang out with me.”
     “I can’t do anything right.”

Statistics tell us that when we speak negative things to someone close to us, it takes anywhere
from eight to sixteen positive things to outweigh one negative remark. This holds true when we
talk to ourselves.

The truth is, each of us is unique and precious to God.

He paid the ultimate price to bring us back to Him. How can we denigrate what God esteems?
Think about how different your outlook might be if you spoke respectfully to yourself?

Join me today as I make the decision to watch my language.


Edie Melson is a woman with a passion to share what the love of God looks like in practical application. Her books reflect her heart to help others hear from God and find His path for their lives.

She’s penned numerous titles, including While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military and coming this summer, While My Child is Away, Prayers for
When Were Apart. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog or writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine. Connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Love at The Cross

 Romans 5:8 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.                                 

I want you to go back with me two thousand years. You're Mary, Jesus' mother. You're standing there as they nail Him to that cross and you're watching the lashings they're giving Him time and time again. Jesus goes from seeing you as His mother to seeing you as someone needing a Savior. I can't even begin to imagine the grief and pain Mary was experiencing. Seeing her only son being tortured and beaten right in front of her was horrible. But ladies, as horrible as that was, the greatest thing happened three days later. Mary went back to the tomb and found that it was empty! It wasn't the nails that held Him there, it was love. It was His love for us all. With Easter approaching, let us not forget the sacrifice of love He shows.Thank You Lord for your gift of love. Help us to always keep that at the forfront of our minds. 
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Not Guilty

Romans 8:1 NKJV ere is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

The time had come to close out the conference. I had asked La-Tan to repeat the song Not Guiltyfrom a previous time of worship during the weekend. The first time hearing the song, the words
struck a cord with me. As the song was being sung, I stood to my feet and walked to the front of the room. Once there, I knelt down in prayer. The words began to really wash over me. For the
last few years, I've experienced shame in different areas of my life. Most recently, it's been in the area of weight and also the feeling of never doing something good enough. All that shame and guilt, I was carrying on my shoulders and it was choking the life out of me. As the words sank into my Spirit, the Lord began to speak to my heart. "I love you. I gave my life so you wouldn't have to carry all the guilt and shame. Give it to me." As I began to let the Lord heal as only He can, the strangle it had on me began to lift. I realized that in the Lord's eyes-the only one that
matters-I don't have to carry that shame. I can be free. There are still day when I have feelings try to creep in, but I release them to the Lord. Ladies, today you too can also release all the guilt and shame you feel. You wern't meant to carry it.

Father, thank You for taking all of our shame and guilt upon Yourself. Thank You for releasing
us for that bondage. I pray for my sister. Help her release those feelings over to You. In Jesus
Name, Amen

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Hand In His

Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

While attending a writers conference, God gave me a special picture. As the worship leader began to sing, God's presence took over the room. Sitting in the middle of the front row, La-Tan
Murphy took my hand and pulled me to my feet. As I stood, a picture began to take shape. I sawJesus take my hand and start to lead me through Heaven for the first time. As I turned to hug
La-Tan, I could picture the Lord hugging me and saying, "child, welcome home." Ladies, whether you're at a writers conference, in a church service or in your home, God has you in the palm of His hand and He's saying to you, "welcome home, my child."
Father, thank You for always welcoming us home. Thank You for the mental pictures you bring to our mind. Let us never lose the feeling of being welcomed by You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pain


Pain

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Pain is a relative term. As an RN on a busy orthopaedic unit, I learned that the slightest twinge can make a grown man cry. But I live with more than twinges, my nursing career sidelined by a pain that gnaws at me day and night. My pain begins with a capital “P”.

I walk a hard road. Not one system in my body is untouched, and no one knows why, but God meets me in my pain. Jesus understands because He suffered too. In the midst of my pain, God gives me Himself. When I can’t take another step, He carries me. In the middle of the night God speaks to me. When I feel like giving up, God reminds me that He has a purpose for me.

Maybe you suffer too. I can’t tell you how to do it. We each have our own path to trod. God’s purpose for me is not His purpose for you, but I know He has one. I know because He enables me every day. I can speak love to a hurting soul. I can write a poem that touches a wounded spirit. I can understand when someone loses heart and offer a listening ear. If my aching body can minister to someone’s hurting spirit, I am blessed.

Father, speak to those who hurt today. The source of their pain doesn’t matter. Your comfort is for everyone. Thank you that for caring enough to teach me to trust You every day. My pain shows that You’re not finished with me yet. Help me honor You by facing this trial in Your strength. Enable me to finish well because Your grace is sufficient for my every need.

© Copyright Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, February 16, 2016





Norma Gail is the author of the Christy Award nominated contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:





Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Comparisonitis


1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I want to take you back to the very last facebook post or text message you received. What was it? Was it a friend telling you about how good her outing was that YOU didn't get invited to? Was it a picture where you believe she looks better than you? This past weekend, I got an official name for this deadly disease for most women. My dear friend, Brenda Blankenship refers to it as
"comparisonitis". If you're anything like me, you suffer with this every day. For me, it doesn't have to be a facebook post or text message. It can be a lady in the choir who is a better first soprano. 
It can be a friend who I think is a much better writer than me. It's a friend who has a book (or several books out long before I ever have my first one written. Ladies, God doesn't want us comparing ourselves to others. He made us each individually. He made us with our own talents and abilities. Today, let us take God at His Word that we're all unique in His sight.
Father, I pray for the sisters reading this post. Let each one of us know how special we are to You. Remind each of us that we're created with a very unique purpose and only You can fulfill it in
our lives.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No Place Like Home

 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2, NKJV)

Go back with me to a scene in a well-known movie, The Wizard of Oz. In this movie, Dorothy is looking for that sacred place, home. She tries to take the shortcut to get there but quickly realizes it's a bad idea. She finally understands that if she stays the course, she'll eventually make it home. That's how it is in life. We try to take the shortcuts, but each time we come running back to God wondering why we're in such a mess. This verse lets us know that He has a place prepared for us...if we'll only follow Him and stop trying to take the shortcuts. I know the shortcut may seem easier because we seem to be living on easy street, but I guarantee, it will catch up with us. Stay in His will and you'll make it home. As a dear friend of mine, Brenda Blankenship reminded me, "when you're in God's will, you're going to be in Satan's way."

Father, I lift up my readers. Give us all the strength to stay the course-the course you have planned for us. It's so much better than anything we could ever plan or any shortcuts we could take. In Jesus Name, amen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BELIEVE

La-Tan and I met last year at the 2015 Writers Advance Bootcamp and have loved one another ever since.  La-Tan and I pray that you will be encouraged in this new year to just believe! Welcome
La-Tan.



BELIEVE 

by

La-Tan Roland Murphy




 My dear friend, Paula, gave me a tiny charm years ago. One powerful word is etched on its silver facing:  BELIEVE.


 So simple.


 So powerful.


 But, let's get real:  Believing is painfully difficult at times.


 I thought maybe some of you might need to be reminded today of this one simple, powerful word:  BELIEVE.


 I do!

Perhaps, some of you are struggling to believe that your life counts. Matters. Makes any kind of difference - to anyone on the planet.


 Friend, I've "been there, done that, and bought the T-Shirt" - a few times. I'm pretty sure we all have.


 "I don't know what you are holding onto today that's hindering your ability to believe with abandon. I'm guessing life has beaten you up pretty hard. Maybe the one person you put your hope and trust in failed you, betrayed you. You're left questioning:  "How could God allow such pain?"


Most of us struggle to believe God has a good plan for our lives, especially when our way is rocky. Struggle to believe we are enough. God is enough. For all of our days - enough.


 Each night, we lay our weary heads on our pillows, drifting off to sleep, believing in something. Mostly the wrong things:  Our coworkers will be on time. Our boss will pay us what we deserve, and on-time. Our car will start when the key is placed in the ignition. The the sun will rise again tomorrow, without question.


 The crazy thing is, the largest portion of our pint-sized faith is invested in something, or someone, without the least bit of hesitation:  We choose to BELIEVE:  The airline pilot (we know nothing about) is fully capable. With seat-belts firmly clamped, we snuggle-in for travel comfort with magazines in hand, tiny packages of peanuts, and juice to wash them down. BELIEVING in the capabilities of perfect stranger - the pilot - as he maneuvers the aircraft some 30-40,000 feet above the ocean, through bitter storms.


 Let's be honest:  Sometimes it's difficult to snuggle into BELIEVING in a loving, powerful, omnipotent God. But, I choose to believe. I BELIEVE he is truly enough. I choose to confess with my mouth and BELIEVE in  my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and he will see me through every storm of life.


 I know... I'm standing on invisible tip-toes on my hand-made little "soap-box." But with good reason. You see, my heart is weary of watching the amazing people I love - living in despair and hopelessness. Because the truth is:  As we refuse to BELIEVE in the power of God's word and his sovereignty, our once confident heart breaks leaving us wide-open and vulnerable. Our belief system is gradually reshaped by opinions of others and worldly points of view. Suddenly:  Wrong seems right and right seems wrong as our belief system is broken.


 At my house, when something breaks (my computer for example), I google-search seeking answers written by the original creator.  Who better to know exactly how to mend the inner workings of my broken computer than the one who actually created it?


 When your life breaks, when my life breaks, instead of searching for answers to temporarily soothe our emptiness, let's agree to:  Simply choose to BELIEVE in the One who created us. The One who knows the number of the hairs on our heads. What if we sought for HIS original, sovereign truth - running to him for all of life's unanswerable questions?


 More than anything, this is what I want you to do today.  It's what I'm choosing to do:  Simply BELIEVE in the One who created you. Choose to believe His Holy Word holds all the answers, and all the mending-power needed for every broken experience life offers.  Choose to believe God has a marvelous plan mapped-out for a very special life - YOURS!


 My friend Paula BELIEVED these things and fought the good fight of faith while cancer ravaged her physical body. Now, she is experiencing the beauty of heaven healthy, strong, and free!


 CHOOSING to BELIEVE - regardless of our present pain, fixes our eyes on future joys.  Paula knew without a shadow of doubt her best days were ahead of her.


 No matter what you are going through, keep the faith. Greater things are yet to come. 


 Be:


 _Fierce.


 _Relentless.

and...


La-Tan Roland Murphy is a speaker, vocalist, and freelance writer with a passion for encouraging people to live life to the fullest.  As an established teacher of the word, La-Tan finds great joy in helping others discover their God given purpose.

She brings a unique style of humor to the platform, making her listeners feel as though they have known her for years.  With humility and vulnerability, La-Tan often shares her most embarrassing moments of life as a way of freeing others to be real.

 You can learn more about La-Tan by visiting : http://latanmurphy.com/


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Being Dedicated

Ruth 1:16 NKJV

But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

Imagine with me for a moment. Your husband has died. You're left with no way to support yourself. What do you do? Well, Ruth goes with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Once in the city, from Naomi's urging, one woman returns home. The other refuses to leave her mother-in-law's side. Ruth tells Naomi that wherever she lives, she will live also. Her people will be Ruth's and her God will be Ruth's God. What dedication Ruth showed to Naomi.

When it comes to God, are will as dedicated to Him? Do we dedicate ourselves to God as Ruth did to a human being? Ladies, if she could dedicate herself to another person in that way, why can't we do the same with the Lord? In this new year, let's strive to be more dedicated to God.

Father, help each of us be fully dedicated and sold out to You in this new year. As Ruth dedicated herself to Naomi, help us to sell ourselves out for You this year. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lord, I Need Your Hope


Lamentations 3:24
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I hope in Him!”

"You will need an assistant at Bootcamp next year." My dear friend reminded me of this fact after I had asked for her to step in and help get me to where I needed to be at this upcoming conference.  She explained that the people helping me would be missing out on valuable class time they'd spent a great deal of money to attend.  While my head knew she was right, my heart said otherwise.  I was comfortable with the ones I knew best assisting me.  As my emotions and depression began taking a firm grip, those feeling were running away from me faster than I could catch up.  Finally in absolute despair, I cried out to God.  "Lord, I need your hope and strength.  I can't make it through this alone." As I continued to call out the name of Jesus begging for a life preserver, once again my emotions settled back to bearable heights. My situation didn't change.  My need for an assistant was still there.  What changed was that I was finally letting God step in and take control of the situation.  I was finally realizing that no matter how much the depression and despair had me in its grip, God was still greater. His peace was greater.   

In your life, what has had you off balance emotionally? What has had you crying out to God for a life preserver? Let me encourage you, don't do it alone.  You'll wear yourself out.  Let Him take you by the hand and lead you through the troubled waters.


Father, thank You for providing a lifeline when we can't go on anymore.  I pray for each reader as she navigates the troubled waters of life.  Show her that she doesn't have to do it alone and

that You're there just waiting for her to cry out to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Walking Through The Valley

Psalm 23:4 NKJV 
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.


"I'm sorry to tell you this, but Miss Thelma has just passed away." This was the news we received during our Judgement House a few months ago. To say we were in shock was an understatement. Miss Thelma was the type of lady who was a prayer warrior. She would pray over every pew and the choir loft each Sunday morning. With this news, our church began walking through a valley. As we walked through, we couldn't stay there. We had to keep going with what God was having us do. We couldn't stay in that place of sadness and grief; we had to move beyond it because God wouldn't want us to stay in a place of grief. Just as we couldn't stay in the valley from Miss Thelma's death, God doesn't want us to stay in the valley of financial despair, job loss or sickness. What valley are you facing today? Let me encourage you, ask the Lord to help you move forward in what He has for you.


Father, thank You for the valleys of life. But God, help each us to move past the valleys of our life. Give us the strength we need to move forward in what You have for us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Process of Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV)

 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


"My husband has had an affair and we've separated." These were the words I read in an email last year from a dear friend. What do you do? My reaction was to defend her and put the people involved in their place and let them know exactly what I thought of them. After awhile though, I had to put the situation in God's hands. You see, even though it wasn't my marriage, for my friend's sake, I wanted to step in and fix it. I had to come to the realization that no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't. I had to go through the process of forgiveness. I had to forgive her husband and also forgive the lady he had the affair with. I still have days where I want to ring their necks and tell them what I think, but I'm much closer to the forgiveness and grace point that I was before. What or who in your life do you still need to forgive. Though it won't happen overnight, if you let God take over and have complete control, you'll get there.


Father, help us each to forgive. We know it's a process Lord. In your time, show us the grace to release the people and the pain into Your hands. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Through It All

Some of you reading this article have possibly come to our morning show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and have heard me share my story. Some of you will be reading it for the very first time. This is not a story I necessarily like to tell because in the telling of it sometimes my mind will flashback to the most painful time of my life but by the time I finish, I can smile and say, “Thank You God for healing me. I know that You spared my life to tell the world what a Great God You Are and that You are still the same, yesterday, today, and forever.”

In late January of 2012, I was diagnosed with inoperable Colorectal Cancer. I had an idea that I had a major problem but wouldn’t speak it to anyone. The moment I heard I had cancer I knew that God would be my only hope and that He would have to see me through it.

My husband, RW, and I got home that afternoon and I sat down and began to write Scriptures of Healing. I made copies of what I had written and posted them in areas I knew I would be…the kitchen cabinets, my dressing table mirror, the kitchen table, the bedside table, and on the door of the bathroom cabinet.

In March I began treatments of chemo and radiation. It was the day before my 65th birthday and I had to go into the “Chemo Suite” and get my first chemo treatment and then they attached a chemo pump that would go with me until Friday afternoon when I would return to the “Chemo Suite” and would have it removed. This would go on every week for the next few months. On Mondays it would be plugged into my port, On Fridays it would be removed.

I don’t know if any of you have experienced a Chemo Pump but you are attached to it 24/7. You eat with it, you sleep with it, you shower with it (without getting it wet…that was an ordeal), and in my case…I performed on our show with it. Not only that but literally every minute, especially in the quiet of the night, you hear it go off as it shoots that medicine into your system.

Not only did I have this chemo pump on but everyday, Monday through Friday, as soon as the show was over, RW would get me into the car and take me to Knoxville to UT Med Center to the “Radiation Suite” to have a radiation treatment. You become quickly acquainted with other patients and their families when each of you is in the waiting room everyday at the same time each day. You tend to become another kind of family.

Three days after all of these treatments started, as I was getting ready to go to the theater for our show, I brushed through my hair and what a shock, the brush was full of the hair and I had a big bald spot where the hair had been. I continued to brush and finally just called my husband into the room. He came in and the look on his face said it all. I told him to go get his electric razor and just shave my head. He balked momentarily but did as I had asked.

I need to tell you that I have worn wigs off and on through the years and actually had several wigs. One I had specifically bought, just in case I needed it, for the possible hair loss. The others were older ones I had for several years to use on ‘bad hair days’.

Two months into radiation, I had third degree burns on the inside of my legs and in other private areas. I could no longer wear anything but caftans because if anything touched my skin, the flesh would peel off in layers of skin and would leave the most painful open skin with blisters.

I need to inject that up to this time, I had gone into the theater everyday to try to perform/sing. Why do I use the word perform? In the ministry that God gave us, we are in world of many people who don’t know Jesus Christ and His love. We don’t preach because these are people who have paid for entertainment and give them that but through that entertainment we give them Jesus, His love, and hope through Him. I share my testimony of God’s healing right before intermission and when we go out to the lobby after the first half, many people come to us and share their needs, their healing, ask for prayer, etc.

At the beginning of treatment, I would be able to barely get through a show, then it was about half of a show, then it became one song, and finally I couldn’t go in at all.

One afternoon when I was so weak and burnt from the radiation, my Radiation/Oncologist came in as I was getting off of the radiation table. He told me that he was going to give me two weeks off of radiation and then we would pick it back up again as I had to finish the treatment. He said, “we’re going to pray and believe that God will regenerate your skin somewhat and we can get this done. But to be honest, if you live, you’ll be in a wheelchair the rest of your life with a colostomy.”

RW got me home that afternoon but I hadn’t told him anything that the doctor had said. I was too weak to even talk.

When he got me home and into our bedroom and I began to cry out to God. I was crying out the Scriptures that I had posted all over my house and I closed with, “God just go on and take me now, take me now! I’m ready to go! I can’t endure this any longer and I can’t put my family through anymore. But if You still have something left for me to do…I need you to heal me!”

On December 28, 2012, RW and I was in an examination room waiting for my Colorectal Specialist and the door opened, my doctor walked in, pointed his finger at me and said, “I pronounce you cured of Cancer!” My latest CT scan had showed the tumor was gone! Hallelujah!!!

On December 16th of 2013, after months of CTs, bloodwork, and numerous tests, RW and I were sitting across from my Oncologist and he said, “Donna, you are our Miracle patient. All of the doctors involved in your case have sat down and discussed it many times and we all realize it was your determination and your faith that made you Whole!

Yes, determination and faith works but be sure and add THE WORD OF GOD with it. What better prescription can you have.

And so as I share this rather lengthy testimony with you, I have to tell you that I must give a shorter version in the theater but we’ve seen God take it and use for His Glory. I know that is the reason God healed me and I know that He can do the same for you.

Blessings,
Donna Blackwood

Donna Blackwood likes to say she is one-half of the dynamic duo, the other half being her husband of 50 years, RW Blackwood.

The Blackwood Singers formed in 1967 where Donna joined her husband of two years traveling and singing all over America.  Donna has recorded on the Benson Heartwarming Impact label.  She 
has had several songs in the Gospel Charts in the early seventies, "Through It All", "He Was There All The Time", Find No Fault in Him" "Put Your Hand in the Hand", and several others as part of the Blackwood Singers group.

In the 1976, the group moved to Nashville where her husband signed the group to the Capitol recording label and had six Billboard Country Top 100 Charted Songs.

In the 1987, RW got a call from the Blackwood Brothers asking him to move back to Memphis and join the group.  Donna semi-retired to raise their two children, Andrea and Robbie, while RW was working with the Blackwood Brothers.

In 1990, the couple moved to Branson, Missouri and reformed the Blackwood Singers, with their adult children becoming a part of the group, singing the Ozark Country Jubilee and Shepherd of the Hills.

In the year 2000, RW and Donna moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to join RW's brother, Ron, and sing at the Louise Mandrell Theater.  RW's brother and his wife retired to Texas but Donna and RW remained in Pigeon Forge where they still perform their Blackwood Morning Show six days a week at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater.

In the year 2016, RW and Donna will be moving back to Branson, Missouri where they will rejoin their children and their eleven grandchildren. They will be performing at the Starlite Theater as the morning show opening in mid-March of 2016.

Donna shares her testimony of healing everyday at the theater and knows that God healed her to tell her story, to give people hope, to let them know that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Are My Strength

 Psalm 19:14 NIV  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 I want to focus on those last few words, "my strength and my redeemer."

Over the last few weeks, the Lord has had me focusing on the last part of this verse. I have had days where if I didn't have Him, I'd completely lose it. And I'm sure, with this, many readers, I'm not alone. Ladies, let me encourage you to lean on Him. When you feel like you can't take another step, let Him be your strength. Let Him take the battle. It's not ours to fight anyway, so let's stop trying.


Father, help us all to realize that You are our strength and redeemer. Help us to release those battles, those fears, to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Love At The Cross


John 11:25-26 NIV " Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die: and whoever loves by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

I want you to go back with me two thousand years. You're Mary, his mother. You're standing there as they nail him to that cross and you're watching the lashings they're giving him time and time again. Jesus goes from seeing you as his mother to seeing you as someone needing a savior. I can't even begin to imagine the grief and pain Mary was experiencing. Seeing her only son being tortured and beaten right in front of her was horrible. But ladies, as horrible as that was, the greatest thing happened three days later. Mary went back to the tomb and found that it was empty! It wasn't the nails that held him there, it was love. It was His love for us all. Though Easter has passed, let us not forget the sacrifice of love He showed.


Thank You Lord for your gift of love. Help us to always keep that at the for front of our minds. In Jesus Name, Amen.