burdens lifted

Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary

Too often we carry our burdens around by ourselves. I heard a preacher say that we live in a DIY society and it’s true with our Christian lives as well. We try to Do it Ourself. But God says we should bear one another’s burdens.

Do you know that 2 horses can pull three times the weight of one horse? So with us, if we share our burdens with one another the weight is much much lighter.

Not only that, If we share our burdens with Jesus, the weight is even lighter for he says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Hymn of the Week: “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”

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We Are Called to Be Different

We are called to be different.

These days many of us would prefer to melt into the crowd than to stand out as different. We would rather not stand out or bring attention to ourselves. But in truth, as Christians, we really should be different. Our lives should attract others to us. No, rather it should attract others to Christ.

Do It Different

Photo credit: Five Minute Friday

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

I recently read these scriptures from 1 Peter. They always prick my heart and cause me to look deep to see if my life is indeed different. However, this time it seemed to have even more meaning. The reason is that it was brought to my attention to whom and when this was originally written.

Perspective Changes Things

It was written by Peter to the Christians in Rome around 60 AD. The emperor of Rome at that time was none other than Nero. You know, the guy who let Rome burn. The guy who persecuted Christians horribly by placing animals skins on them and throwing them in with wild dogs to watch the dogs attack and devour them alive. Other times he dipped the Christians in wax, tied them to trees and burned them alive as candles for his evening parties.

When I think about the fact that Peter gave these strong instructions to persecuted Christians, I am ashamed that we are so timid to stand up for Christ because it may cost us something. We give in to the tiniest of temptations because we don’t want to be different or called out.

10 Ways to be Different

  1. Rid yourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. (2:1)
  2. Crave the Word of God. (2:2-3)
  3. Abstain from sinful desires (2:11)
  4. Submit to EVERY human authority. (2:13-14) Notice it doesn’t say “If you agree with them”.
  5. Love the family of believers. (2:17)
  6. Fear God.
  7. Honor the emperor. (This was Nero remember?) Are we honoring our president?
  8. Submit to your masters. (2:18) Can we change the wording to ‘Submit to your boss?’ even when they are harsh
  9. It’s commendable to suffer for doing good. Persevere! (2:20-21)
  10. Don’t retaliate when threatened or insulted. (2:23)

This is the first of Peter’s instructions to the Christian in Rome.

He goes on to address the way we treat our husbands and wives. Peter tells us how we should treat one another, being kind and compassionate and understanding. And then there is the idea that we shouldn’t repay evil for evil. He tells us that Christ gave us the perfect example and we should follow His example giving up all of our so-called rights just as He did for us. He took on suffering and we should do the same.

That is how we stand out. We stand up for what is right paying the price no matter the cost just as Christ did. Let’s make a pact to start be different from the world. Ask God to help you live more like Him in the coming year. If we all join together to live different lives think of the difference it will make!

From one Christian to another, let’s do this!

 

 

 

 

 

Discover the Meaning in Life

What Have You Discovered?

It’s Five Minute Friday! I’m joining the gang to write on a specific prompt. Today’s Prompt: Discover!

Discover With the Wisest Man on Earth

Even though he was the wisest man of all time, King Solomon discovered much in his life. It’s kind of comforting to know that the wisest man of all time discovered that life is pretty much meaningless. If it was meaningless for him, no wonder we feel that way!

I’ve been studying along on the FIRST5 app from Proverbs 31 Ministries. We just finished studying the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon. Solomon searched for meaning and documented his findings in this book of the Bible. He realized a lot of things about life. Continue reading

Different EASTER

A Different Kind of Easter

Diffferent Kind of Easter

Easter, for me, has always been a great day of celebration. A day of basking in the joy of the resurrection. But this year, it was different.

You see, life has changed a lot for our family recently. Easter 2015, my husband was pastoring a church as he had been for nearly 40 years. Our children and I were deeply involved in his ministry, especially when it came to planning a celebration service such as Easter. The four of us spent much time studying the significance of Easter. We spent many hours reviewing videos and music finding just the right words to make Easter fresh, new and alive. Something that would draw the people into the celebration, helping them realize what God had done for them. By the time Easter Sunday arrived, we were already filled beyond excitement. So ready to share the story and bring people to a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

But this time, it was different.

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Look up! Run the Race with Endurance

 

Jessie on depression

Guest Writer, Jessie Bongiorno

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders ….. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 

 

 

Ever since I began to share about my struggle with depression and anxiety – I have had so many people open up to me…. it is to these people I write these words…

I Love to Run

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When Your Dreams Are Thrown into the Pits

We all have dreams.

And we all have had our dreams dashed, usually by those closest to us.

Joseph had BIG dreams.

And his family didn’t like his dreams. They thought they were ridiculous and that Joseph was trying to lord it over them. So they threw him and his dreams into a pit.

I wonder how long Joseph lay in that pit before his brothers drew him out and sold him.

Long enough to realize that he had been bruised physically and emotionally, for sure. Here he was …. deep down in a well. It was cold and dark. He was sore, maybe a broken bone. Certainly, his heart was broken. His own flesh and blood had literally thrown him away. I imagine that he figured this was the end of his dreams AND of him.

Have you ever found yourself thrown into the pits of life with seemingly no hope for rescue?

I have.

I have been thrown into the dark, wondering “what went wrong?”

“What did I do that caused this terrible turn of events?”

“And, what should I do now?”, as I lick my wounds.

“How would I get out of this dark place?”

For Joseph, if we jump to the end of the story, we find a happy ending …. reconciliation. Tears of Joy.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.  Genesis 50

How did Joseph manage to remain kind and forgiving after such treatment?

David once wrote,

12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers.  Psalm 55:12

David’s faith in God is what kept his heart tender and forgiving.

Later in the chapter, David says

Psalm 55:12

Photo Credit : Iquiraisi @ Pixabay : Modified GGmandy

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22

He had his moment of despair, but then he turned to God before hate and vengeance could take control.

It had to be the same for Joseph. God had an amazing plan to work out for Joseph.

You see, Joseph was not ready, at seventeen, to become second in command in Egypt. There was training to be done. God needed to stretch and shape Joseph’s character. He did this through those trials. … being thrown into a pit, being sold as a slave, given leadership roles in a household, then thrown into prison and given leadership roles there. This was all training for the “BIG” job.

James told us this in his epistle,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

 Joseph allowed God to mold and shape him THROUGH the trials and in the end, he was ready to take leadership being 2nd in command in all of Egypt. As a result, he was able to save his family AND all of Egypt.

Joseph let go of the pain and took hold of God.

We must let go of one thing to grab hold of the other. We can’t have both.

As with clay, if it is hard and dry, it cannot be shaped. It must be pliable to allow the master to shape and mold. Sometimes even, a beautiful pot is taking shape, but The Master sees a flaw and he crushes the clay back down and starts again.

Can you see it?

Back in that cold, dark pit, Joseph did not know how God was going to turn things around. He only knew that it hurt. But God already had a plan for dealing with the hurt and turning things around.  Joseph’s part in all of this was to keep trusting God.

Prayer

Lord,

Help me, like Joseph, to remain pliable in Your hands that you may mold me and make me after Your will.

Amen.

Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone. A Faceook group has been created for support in these days. Come join us.

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after 

losing their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.

This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.

Joy in the WIlderness

Facebook Group for Hurting Shepherds

 

 

Holding on to Hope!

Mandy Farmer

Listen and worship Him with this old hymn, Have Thine Own Way