Saturday, March 26, 2016

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, living and learning from Him. They saw the healings and miracles and knew 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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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

Monday, March 21, 2016


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,


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Events of Holy week in Scripture

We will be blessed this holy week if we read, study, meditate and pray on the events of this week as recorded in Scripture. Today I’m listing Sunday through Thursday. Meditate on His life 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

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Palm Sunday Baptism

Early in the morning Dot lay in bed thinking about the special Palm Sunday ahead. She glanced out her window enjoying the sunshine, then noticed snow on a tree limb. She jumped out of bed and ran to the window. Snow covered everything in sight. Who ever heard of it snowing on Palm Sunday?

Dot and her parents and younger sister walked to church through a foot and a half of snow. So much snow had fallen that the streets hadn't been cleared. Dot enjoyed Sunday school and worship and, though attendance was low, she knew it would be an extra special day.
That night Dot and her family walked to church again through the snow. Dot's heart beat a little faster than usual now, in anticipation. She remembered the minister’s description of Palm Sunday with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a little mule. The people had strewn palm branches in his path and shouted with praise and joy, "Hosanna to the King!" The minister said they should do everything with love and joy and praise for Jesus in their hearts and shout "Hosanna to the King."

When they arrived at church Dot went to a little room next to the sanctuary. Her friends were already there and women from the church helped them get dressed. Dot slipped into her white robe and just then the organist began playing the prelude. Dot's heart beat a little faster, because she knew this was such a special moment in her life - one she would always remember. Dot was going to be baptized that night.

The service began. Dot's best girl friend, Kitty, went first and came out dripping wet, but smiling. One of the boys went, and then her turn came. She stepped into the water slowly and confidently. The minister took her hands. He talked about the meaning of baptism and asked her if she loved Jesus and wanted Him as her Lord and Savior. Dot replied, "Yes" in a low whisper, but her heart was beating a loud and joyous "Yes" within her.

Dot didn't fully understand all that baptism meant, but she knew Jesus was the Son of God and died for her and rose again. She knew baptism meant she would try to do whatever Jesus wanted her to do and she would be different because Jesus would live in her heart.

The minister said, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" as he gently let her down into the water. As she came up out of the water she heard the congregation singing "My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine" and she knew for the first time what that song meant.

After church she heard people say, "What a shame it had to snow on Palm Sunday." But Dot didn't feel that way. She knew this day couldn't be hurt by outward things like snow. That night she had proclaimed to all the members of her church that she wanted Jesus to be the King of her life - just as the people the first Palm Sunday had proclaimed him King. Dot wanted to do as the minister had said they should that morning and live with a song of love and joy and praise for Jesus in her heart always.

"Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord!" Luke 19:38 NLT



Friday, March 11, 2016

Why Go To Church?

Many people today call themselves Christians but are no longer involved in a church. Many see no reason to go to church. As Easter approaches I hope readers who match this description will go back to church and renew their faith. I hope those who didn’t grow up in church will also go during this special Holy season. Here are some reasons why going to church is a great idea.

Going to church every Sunday will give you a weekly time to worship God and think about the meaning and purpose of life. Though we can worship God anywhere we strengthen our faith and that of others when we are united in worshipping. Joining in worship together, with songs, praises and prayers, connects us with each other and with the God of the universe – if we let it. Come to church with an open mind and pay attention to the words that are sung and prayed and taught. Pay attention to the friendliness and comfort offered by God and by his people.

Do you know Jesus? Come to church and get to know him. He said “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. Take a chance and come and get to know about him and then decide if you want to ask him into your heart.

A weekly worship service helps keep us honest with ourselves about the way we are living our lives. And it keeps us honest before God. It takes us out of our self-centered concentration on our own needs and inspires us to serve others. It encourages our spiritual growth. There are no lone ranger Christians. Without support and connection with other believers the fire of the spirit is apt to burn out.

Church attendance offers us community. The church is like a family. Meeting with other believers week in and week out creates strong friendships; close bonds are formed. This lifts and feeds us and we have more resolve to live for Christ the rest of the week.

The church teaches us the Word of God. This is the way we grow in knowing who our God is. We also learn about the traditions of our faith and the suffering of those who kept our faith alive through the ages. Our problems shrink in comparison. We focus more on our Holy God and seek his face more. Worship fills us with His Spirit and this inspires and encourages us throughout the week.

The church celebrates the 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. The church provides support through difficult times.

The church loves and teaches our children. If we want our children to know the great teaching of Jesus and the Word of God we must be active in a church.

Come to church because the Word of God ordains the church as His body on earth. Think of all you’re missing by staying home. The God of the Universe calls you to come!

Come on Easter to celebrate the most joyous Holy day the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He said he would live again and he did. After dying a terrible death on a cross he was seen again! He was seen on a number of occasions over a period of forty days. He dined with his disciples, walked through doors, cooked fish on a beach and ate it with his disciples. He taught them many more things and reconciled with Peter who had betrayed him. He told his followers he would be leaving but would come again. The disciples observed him being taken up into the sky. The life of Jesus is recorded by historians of the time as well as in the Bible. Take a chance on believing in Him.

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

Blessings, Dottie

Friday, March 4, 2016


Q. My husband and I are active in a church and have built our marriage on a strong faith in God. However, when I try to discuss questions or ideas about faith or talk about spiritual experiences my husband has nothing to say. He won’t even share his ideas about last Sunday’s sermon. I want to grow together spiritually and know my husband on a deeper level. I think this would strengthen our marriage and increase our sense of intimacy with each other. What do you suggest?

A. You raise a problem which many couples experience. Often women are more verbal about their faith and more comfortable with sharing intimate feelings, thoughts and experiences. Men often shy away from this. Your eagerness for more spiritual intimacy with your husband may seem like a threat to him. 
You can be thankful that your husband is involved in regular worship with you. When couples worship together it strengthens their bond with each other and with God. Let him know you appreciate the togetherness you have in this. A small change toward more intimacy that might be non-threatening would be to hold his hand during prayers in church and during grace at meals.  
When you talk with him about this issue use “I” statements, and share your own feelings. For example, “I was very touched by the sermon this morning, especially ....”  Or, “I realized something I need to work on spiritually when the minister talked about....” Avoid “You” statements and questions. For example, “Did you agree with....?”  What did you think about....?” He may feel threatened or attacked by your questioning him and by your dissatisfaction with him. 
Share your own thoughts about the sermon without digging for his response. You can hope for a response, but don’t do anything that to him would seem like a demand for a response. He needs to feel safe in order to open up and be more vulnerable. 
Is your husband willing to read a book about faith, read a daily devotional, read scripture or pray with you? These may be less threatening yet can lead you both into more spiritual intimacy.
Here are several books that can help with this issue:
The Spiritually Intimate Marriage by Donald Harvey. The author identifies problems that inhibit closeness and he offers ways to work with a spouse who isn’t ready for a deeper level of intimacy. 

Marriage Spirituality: Ten Disciplines for Couples Who Love God by Paul Stevens. The author presents ten spiritual disciplines that couples can practice together.

Experiencing God Together by David Stoop. This book offers a spiritual inventory for couples and covers a variety of topics including prayer, worship, service, confession and forgiveness. 

Becoming Soul Mates: Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy in the Early Years of Marriage by Les and Leslie Parrott. The Parrotts say that every couple has a restless aching not just to know God individually but to experience God together. They provide a road map for cultivating rich spiritual intimacy in your marriage. 

Quiet Times for Couples by H. Norman Wright. The 365 daily readings in this popular book are designed to open up genuine communication between husband and wife. Each devotion gives a framework for conversation, making it easier for couples to share about the deeper parts of their lives.

Couples Devotional Bible is also a very helpful resource to couples wanting to deepen their relationship with God and each other. Each weekday there is a brief devotional message, a scripture, and “Marriage Builder” questions for discussion.  A “Weekending” short devotion with scripture is offered for Saturday and Sunday.  52 weeks of devotions are woven through the entire Bible and are written by 140 well known contributors.

Move carefully and lovingly in sharing more deeply with your husband. Attending a couples retreat can also be very helpful in ramping up the spiritual intimacy in marriage. A Weekend to Remember and Marriage Encounter are two examples of couple’s retreats that are frequently offered. See also www.Smart for other ideas.

I hope these ideas help you and your husband grow closer together spiritually.

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

Blessings, Dottie