Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ascension Day

High and Lifted Up!
Scripture tells us that forty days after Jesus resurrection, that is, forty days after Easter, He ascended to heaven. This means that Ascension Day 2014 is this week on Thursday, May 29th.
The Scripture account in Luke reports:
Luke 24:50- 52 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continuously at the temple, praising God.

The Ascension of Jesus is also reported in Acts 1. Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus met His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Imagine their excitement, believing that now Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth and fulfill the great promise the Jews had clung to for centuries. Christ would be king, not just of Israel but of the whole world. Then the moment was upon them; their beloved Jesus was with them. Acts 1:6-12 then reports:

They asked Him,” Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times of dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood before them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

We need to take note today of this amazing event in history. Barclay says, “The Ascension was an absolute necessity. There had to be a final moment when Jesus was taken back to the glory that was his.” He notes that the end of his resurrection appearances had to come to a definite end rather than just peter out. Also he says, “If Jesus was to give his followers unanswerable proof that he had returned to glory the Ascension was absolutely necessary.”

There is much to ponder about this amazing event in history when Jesus returned to glory.

Blessings, Dottie

This post originally appeared here on Faithnotes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Red Words in Scripture

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Matthew 5:7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being care-full, you find yourselves cared for. The Message

What is merciful? It’s not a word we use much today but it occurs many times in the Bible. Lloyd Ogilvie says merciful is his favorite word to describe God’s nature. There are so many synonyms for merciful. They include: compassionate, forgiving, kindly, gentle, gracious, sympathetic, unselfish. These are all aspects of God’s nature. Think about this: God became mercy incarnate to show us his loving heart. Do we get this? Psalm 103 gives quite a description of God’s mercy. Here’s a section of it.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy being, praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

Barclay says the practice of mercy unites us with God; the failure of mercy separates us from God. So the ending of this beatitude is both a promise and a warning. Wow!

You are a God of mercy. You’re not remote or aloof. You know us, love us and care for us. Your compassion knows no bounds. Your mercy is unending. From the beginning of time we have disobeyed you, ignored you and abandoned you over and over again. Then you came to earth as Mercy Incarnate. You came and lived with us and died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. You showed us the merciful heart of God.

Even so I walked away from you for decades – yet you were merciful and forgiving and welcomed me back. I don’t deserve forgiveness. I don’t deserve your favor. Yet you shower me with it. Your mercy, forgiveness and grace inspire me to be merciful to others. Show me any area where I am not compassionate or forgiving. Help me see others as you do and be merciful.

Blessings, Dottie

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Teen Advice: Graduation Fears

Q. I'm a senior in high school and I can’t believe my high school days are almost over. I dread losing my high school friends. I know some of us will keep in touch but it will be different. I had lots of fun and free time in high school and I won’t have that any more. I also have no idea what I want to study in college. My friends say they’re worried but they seem more settled than I am. Are my feelings normal? What can I do to get over my graduation fears? (My Mom says I should be excited about graduating and trust God about my future.)

A. The graduation fears you’re experiencing are normal. Graduation from high school is a major transition point in life. Any major change may cause anxiety, and confusion and even depression in some young people. Often students are on edge when graduation is near. The expectation that they will now have to take on adult responsibilities is a scary reality. The student wonders can I make it in the “real world”? 
It’s good you are aware of the losses this change will bring into your life. Many deny their feelings or pretend all is fine. Change will impact all graduates. Even if you keep in touch with close friends after high school, there will not be the daily contact school affords. It’s normal to feel sad or unsettled about the changes, especially the loss of close friends. Your uncertainty about your college major is also common. Many students are undecided about their major even after a year or two of college.

Talk about how you’re feeling with a parent or a close friend. This will give you another perspective on your issues. Talk with a student advisor at the college you will attend to help you decide what courses to take. In most colleges you do not need to declare a major immediately. Many students change majors or seek a job after college in an area not related to their major. Even if you choose a major that doesn’t work out, it won’t be the end of your life. Many employers will train employees on the job. 
Have you thought of the positive side of the changes you face? Begin to think of college as a new and exciting adventure in your life. You may lose touch with some high school friends, but you will be meeting new people and making new friends in college. Though you will be busy and have to work hard, you will learn and grow from these new experiences. 

Take one day at a time as you go through the final weeks of high school and the weeks that follow graduation. You can’t solve all of the issues facing you at once. Take time to have fun with your friends during your last weeks together. 

There will be cause for celebration when you graduate, in spite of your feelings. You will have made it through high school - an achievement not everyone manages. You can feel pride and a sense of accomplishment in this. As your Mom said, be excited about graduating and trust God  for your future.
Congratulations graduate! Commencement doesn’t mean the end, it means a new beginning!

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, May 5, 2014


Q.  We have three children, ages 6, 8 and 10 and my wife works full time. The problem is she seems stressed out constantly even though I help her a great deal with the children and the chores. The children are affected by their mother’s moods. When she’s out of sorts, the children are at their worst. What can we do to have a happier, calmer family life?

A. Often mother’s moods set the tone for the family. This is because mothers usually have more responsibility for child rearing and a closer emotional tie to their children. In other words, it’s because mothers are so important to children. Mothers who work full time outside the home are faced with the formidable task of scrunching a full time job into the hours they are at home. The job at home is never done. There are always meals to prepare, laundry to be done, housecleaning needed, bills to pay, and child care.

Child care includes helping with homework, settling disputes, setting limits, supervising baths and bedtime routines, chauffeuring to activities, answering questions, deciding on requests, arranging medical and dental care. The list is endless. The mother of the family is expected to be cook, housekeeper, nanny, chauffeur, paramedic, policeman, interior decorator, purchasing agent, budget director, teacher, laundress, cheerleader, finder of all lost items, and dispenser of hugs and kisses.
Although most fathers, like you, are now helping a great deal with the child care and chores, the mom, in most instances, carries the major responsibility for making things go well at home. She is the one planning, organizing, remembering and scheduling the many tasks and activities of the family. 
Usually she is the one who is most torn between her duties at work and the needs of her children. This is because women are naturally care givers. They are sensitive to and focused on relationships. Men are able to compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings and be more focused on the task at hand. Men are naturally less emotional. In other words a mother’s moods are due to her more emotional nature and to the weighty job she manages as a mom.
There are a number of things husbands can do to help their wives and to make the family life run more smoothly. Don’t judge or criticize her. Instead, ask her what you can do to help ease things. Listen carefully to her answer and try to see things from her point of view. Plan together ways to simplify the tasks at home and make things easier and calmer for all of you. Recognize that a mother’s moods may be signs of exhaustion. She may be overwhelmed - at the end of her rope. When your wife is moody be comforting and affectionate. Offer to take over with the children and insist that she rest and unwind. 
A clever unknown author has suggested that mothers should be entitled to a complete overhaul every five years to keep them running smoothly. The author suggests that though most mothers can “run indefinitely on cheap fuel - coffee, pizza and hamburgers, an occasional gourmet meal in elegant surroundings will add to increased efficiency.”
The author goes on to say that a mother’s motor is very dependable. “She can start and reach top speed from a prone position at a single cry from a sleeping child. To keep that motor at peak efficiency regular breaks are recommended. A leisurely bath and nap every 1,000 miles, a baby sitter every 10,000 miles will do wonders.”....“Batteries should be recharged regularly. Unexpected gifts often do the trick.”...“Mothers need regular tune-ups. Compliments are both the cheapest and most appreciated.” 
Mothers are the heart of the family. Our mother’s love has shaped each one of us. This Mother’s Day let’s show our love and appreciation for all mothers. 

Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

This post originally appeared on Taber’s Truths.