Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The Red Words in Scripture
I'm continuing my study of the promises of Jesus recorded in Scripture. These will continue every three or four weeks. 

Study notes in a couple of my bibles say that todays promise that the hungry and thirsty will be satisfied is not to be taken literally in a physical sense. There are many Christians today who are poor and lack food or who live in famine starved regions of the world or don’t have adequate water. In fact, Jesus was speaking at a time when food and water were scarce. Starvation and extreme thirst often plagued people then. Those who hungered and thirsted physically did so with desperate need. We are to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for Him, with a similar awareness of our desperate need for Him. When we hunger and thirst passionately we will be satisfied. We are to invite Jesus into every aspect of our lives, feed on him and drink of him. Not only will we be filled to over flowing but we will also have eternal life! Here are the passages about this.

Matt. 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matt. 5:6 You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. The Message

Luke 6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.

John 4:13-14 Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 6:35 I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:48-51 I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the dessert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:54-58 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that comes down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.

John 7:37 If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jesus certainly said a lot about hungering and thirsting for him. The Psalmist did also: Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for streams of water so, I long for you O God. I thirst for God, the living God. NLT

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. NLT

Thank you for this promise that if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, for Truth, for You, we will be satisfied. Do I hunger and thirst for you with all my heart? Am I passionately seeking you daily? Forgive me, Lord. Many days I don’t do this. Help me, Lord. Help me consistently and urgently seek you in silence, in prayer and in your Word. I know that you fill all my empty, hungry places inside and you quench my thirst when I turn to you. Increase my desire to feed on you and to drink from your water. I thank you that streams of living water flow from within me when I listen to and obey your Spirit. Help me seek you with a consuming passion. 

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Will Church Help Our Marriage?

Q. My husband and I are having some disagreements about going to church. We have been married seven years and have two children. I believe joining to a church will strengthen our marriage and help us to be better parents. My husband believes in God but doesn’t see any need to join a church. What do you think? How can we solve this difference of opinion?
A. Joining a church will support and strengthen you and your marriage. Church attendance creates a regular, structured time to think about the meaning and purpose of life and to worship God. Though we can worship Him anywhere, we strengthen our faith and that of others through group worship. When couples worship together it strengthens their bond with each other and with God.
Church attendance keeps us honest with ourselves before God about the way in which we live our lives. It takes us out of our self-centered concentration on our own needs and encourages us to give to others and to serve others. It encourages our spiritual growth.
Marriage cannot meet all our needs. Scott Peck in his book, Further Along the Road Less Traveled says, one of the greatest problems is that “We look to our spouse or lover to meet all of our needs, to fulfill us, to bring us a lasting heaven on earth. And it never works.”  Church attendance offers us community. The church is ideally an extended family. When you become actively involved in a church you form close bonds with others, seeing them week in and week out. The friendships, the feeling of belonging and support, lift our spirits and feed us so we have more to give to our marriage.
The church teaches us the traditions and suffering of those who kept our faith alive through the ages. This puts life in perspective and teaches us to take ourselves less seriously, an important lesson for most couples.
The church celebrates the special or holy days of our faith. We need symbols and rituals and a worshipping community to mark the passages of life: births, marriages and deaths. The worshipping community helps us keep our vows to each other and to God and helps us mourn our losses. 
Life is difficult. We will all face some problems, struggles and even tragedies in our lives. The church provides support through these times.
The church teaches our values and beliefs to our children. If we want our children to know God and to know the great truths of the Christian faith we must be active in a church. Our culture does not provide this teaching elsewhere.

Most importantly the church teaches the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we grow in Christ we are transformed. Without the church we drift away from God.
The church has many flaws and is not perfect. Many have been scarred by a church that shamed or judged or frightened them. Perhaps your spouse had a bad experience in the past. If this is true for your spouse talk over your past experiences with church. Listen carefully and encourage him to tell you about this in detail. Then tell him about your positive church experiences and about the reasons you would like to go to church together.

If he remains unwilling to go to church, go alone. Don’t beg, push or preach at your husband about church. He may be willing to attend occasionally with you. In time, as he sees how a community of love and faith affects you, your partner may join also.

A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Blessings, Dottie

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrection Doubt? No, He's Alive!

Christ the Lord has risen! He's alive! Do we believe this? The disciples spent three years with Jesus, traveling with him and learning from Him. They saw the healings and the miracles and believed He was the Messiah. But they didn't expect Him to die. They witnessed His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, though some ran away and hid. Some helped bury Him. Then they hid together and grieved.
Three days later they saw Him! Can you grasp the surprise, amazement, and yet belief in their voices?
Mary said, "I have seen the Lord! (John 20:18) She knew it was Him!     
The two men on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him until He broke the bread and revealed Himself to them. They said, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32) Their hearts burned within them even before they recognized Him. Does your heart burn within you in His presence?  
Thomas wouldn't believe the reports of the other disciples until he saw Jesus a week later. Then he said, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28) I imagine he said this with a hushed and humble voice. He may have even bowed before him. Wouldn't you? Do you now?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most essential doctrine of the church. Any who don't believe this truth are denying Jesus, Christianity and Scripture.     
He said He was the Son of God. (Luke 22:70) He said He would rise from the dead. (Luke 18:33) And He did. He said He would return and He will. (Matthew 24:30) What a marvelous faith we have.  
Blessings in the Risen Christ, Dottie

This post originally appeared here on Faithnotes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gethsemane, Arrest and Trial, Crucifixion and Burial

Today I’m listing the holy week Scripture from Thursday night to Friday. Ponder the meaning of these events. Jesus, the son of God died for us.

Gethsemane – In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweat blood and tears. Matt. 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40-46 He prayed “Let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.”

Arrest and Trial – Matthew 26:47-27:26, Mark 14:43-15:15, Luke 22:47-23:25, John 18:2-19:16. Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” Luke 23:4

Crucifixion – Matt. 27:27-56, Mark 15:16-41, Luke 23:26-49, John 19:17-37.
Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Burial – Matt. 27:57-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus body. “Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock.” Luke 23:53

In Christ, Dottie

This post originally appeared here on Faithnotes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Holy Week Thoughts and An Old Rugged Cross

This is the most holy week of the Christian calendar. Most churches will have special services this week to recount the events of the first Holy week, to commemorate the Last Supper, to honor our Lord's agony in Gethsemane, His betrayal and arrest and His suffering and death on the cross to redeem us. And three days later his resurrection!

Let the meaning of this week sink in to your soul in a deeper way than ever before. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you the amazing significance of this event in history. Wrap your mind and heart around the fact that Jesus, God in the flesh, the son of God, lived a sinless life, taught profound lessons in love, showed us God's unchanging character, and voluntarily died to save you and me. And he rose again. He's alive!

We can't stand in God's presence in eternity without Christ's blood covering our sins. Here's what Scripture says about the effect of Jesus sacrificial death on those who are in Christ:

God has forgiven you all your sins: Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the cross. And then, having disarmed all the powers ranged against us, He exposed them - shattered, empty, and defeated-in His final glorious triumphant act! Colossians 2:13b-15

              On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
            the emblem of suffering and shame,
            and I love the old cross where the dearest and best
            for a world of lost sinners was slain.
            So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
            till my trophies at last I lay down;
            I will cling to the old rugged cross
            and exchange it some day for a crown.

In Christ,


This post originally appeared here on Faith Notes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Events of Holy Week in Scripture

We will deepen our faith if we read, study, meditate and pray on the events of this holy week as recorded in Scripture. Today I’m listing Sunday through Thursday. Meditate on the life of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, as you read through these events.

Sunday: Jesus “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem occurred on Sunday with Jesus riding on a donkey fulfilling Zechariah 9:9’s prophesy. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you, righteous and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” See Matt 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19.

Monday: Jesus is anointed (for burial) at Bethany (John 12:1-9) and he clears the temple of the money changers. Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48

Tuesday: His authority is questioned. Matt. 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8. And Jesus teaches in the temple. Matt. 21:28-23:39, Mark 12:1-44, Luke 20:9-21:4.

Wednesday: Judas plots against Jesus. Matt. 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6

Thursday: Jesus and His disciples eat the Passover meal, the Last Supper, the first Communion. Matt. 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1-38. Jesus says to his disciples “This is my body, broken for you, do this in remembrance of me.” In John 14:1-16:33, He comforts the disciples, and in John 17:1-26 He gives His high priestly prayer, praying for them and for us – for our unity in Him.

This is a holy week with much to ponder about Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Blessings In Christ, Dottie

This post originally appeared here on my Faith Notes blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Best Books About Church - Part 5

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt invites Christians to examine their way of life compared to the lives of the disciples who left everything and followed Jesus. Platt challenges us to recognize our duplicity in twisting the gospel to fit our comfortable life styles. Defining what Jesus said and meant and illustrating the revolutionary results that come when we “believe and obey” Platt then describes “The Radical Experiment – a one year journey to authentic discipleship.”

I read this a year ago and need to read it again. This is a good book to read and reread It will help us persevere in a deeper walk with Christ.

Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God by David Platt takes Platt’s ideas from his book Radical and applies them to the church. Platt asks what happens when a church unites in exalting God above all else? “What happens when our primary aim is not to make the crowds feel comfortable but to exalt God in his glory?” This book can change our churches if enough Christian churches read it, study it and put it into action. Radical Together includes a group discussion guide. This is a challenging book. 

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit invades the Hearts of his People by Jim Cymbala is a powerful account of how God’s Spirit worked in the life of Jim Cymbala and his wife when they led a run down church with few members and no financial support. Through many struggles and thoughts of giving up they stayed the course and the Brooklyn Tabernacle is now an icon in the city of New York and the world. More importantly it has transformed the lives of many people from all walks of life.

Early on Cymbala decided that the Tuesday evening prayer meeting would be the most important gathering each week. He believes the prayer meeting is “the engine that drives the church.” Sound doctrine is essential, but we also need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to seek him with passion. The book is full of biblical illustrations and contemporary stories of changed lives. This inspiring, timeless book encourages all Christians to depend on the Holy Spirit.

Here are some choice quotes:

  • Boldness can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as “taught boldness.”  Pg 123
  • We are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.” Pg 124                                             
  • The old saying is true. If you have only the word, you dry up. if you have only the Spirit, you blow up. But if you have both, you grow up.  Pg 152
  • The Bible teaches that we are always drawing nearer to God or falling down. There is no holding pattern. Pg 164
I first read this book years ago and yet I still remember Cymbala’s charge to new members to stop anyone who says an unkind word of criticism about anyone. Pg 160
This is a small book you will read and reread. It is full of wisdom.

“On this Rock I will build my church.” Matt.16:18

Blessings, Dottie