He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Easter Sunday sermon.

 

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol – Dead

The second worm in cigarette smoke – Dead

Third worm in chocolate syrup – Dead

Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive .

So the Minister asked the congregation –

What did you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,

‘As long as you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!’

That pretty much ended the service.  ;)

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The true meaning of Easter in a nutshell taken from http://www.evantell.org/the-gospel :

“The gospel in its simplest form is ten words: “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.”

The centrality of the gospel is not based on what we do for Christ, but what He did for us. He has provided a way for sinners to be pardoned instead of punished. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we can have a relationship with God that transforms our lives forever when we place our trust in Jesus alone.

John 3:16 offers a simple outline of the three things God wants us to know: His love, His gift, and His offer of salvation.

God’s Love – “For God so loved the world”

God’s love is so remarkable because He loves us not for who we are, but in spite of who we are. Harsh words, lies, selfishness—we are guilty of all of these and more. No matter what we’ve done, God still loves us. As sinners who have broken God’s commandments, we deserve His anger rather than his love. But God loves us so much that instead of turning His back on us, He turns His face toward us. Two thousand years ago, His love provided a gift only He could give.

God’s Gift – “that He gave His only begotten Son”

The gift is God’s Son—Jesus Christ. Because we have sinned, we deserve to die and be separated from God forever. The Bible identifies that place of separation as hell. But God gave His Son to take our punishment. Begotten means “one of a kind.” Jesus Christ is God’s unique son. He is perfect. Christ is our substitute. On a cross two thousand years ago, He died for our sins. As God, He came back to life, proving He had conquered sin and death once and for all.

Because the price for our sin has been paid, the way to God is clear and simple.

God’s Offer – “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Jesus did not mean “whoever goes to church, is baptized, helps the poor, or tries to live a good life.” Whoever is not just the wealthy business person, the pastor at church, the volunteer at school, the alcoholic, or the struggling single parent—it’s every single one of us.

The word believe means to “trust,” “depend,” or “rely on.” Knowing about Jesus is not enough. We have to place our trust in Jesus Christ alone to save us. That means we must trust Christ as our only way to heaven, the only way we can have a relationship with God.

There is nothing more important than your need to trust Christ. You can tell God you are trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior through a simple prayer. It is not a prayer that saves you; it is trusting Christ that saves. Prayer is simply how you tell God what you are doing.

Dear God, I know I’m a sinner. I know my sin deserves to be punished. I believe Christ died for me and rose from the grave. I trust Jesus Christ alone as my Savior. Thank you for the forgiveness and everlasting life I now have. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You can receive more info by contacting  gospel@evantell.org  

—From: http://www.evantell.org/the-gospel

 

Happy, happy, happy Easter, friends!  He is risen!

Because He lives,

Paula

 

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“Cancer Does Not Win if You Die”

Three Blondes were all applying for the last available position on the Texas Highway Patrol. The detective conducting the interview looked at the three of them and said, ‘So y’all want to be cops, huh?’ The blondes all nodded.
The detective got up, opened a file drawer and pulled out a folder. Sitting back down, he opened it and pulled out a picture, and said, ‘To be a detective, you have to be able to detect. You must be able to notice things such as distinguishing features and oddities such as scars and so forth.’ So saying, he stuck the photo in the face of the first blonde and withdrew it after about two seconds.  ’Now,’ he said, ‘did you notice any distinguishing features about this man?’

The blonde immediately said, ‘Yes, I did. He has only one eye!’  The detective shook his head and said, ‘Of course he has only one eye in this picture! It’s a profile of his face! You’re dismissed!’ The first blonde hung her head and walked out of the office.

The detective then turned to the second blonde, said, ‘What about you? Notice anything unusual or outstanding about this man?’ ‘Yes! He only has one ear!’ The detective put his head in his hands and exclaimed, ‘Didn’t you hear what I just told the other lady? This is a profile of the man’s face! Of course you can only see one ear!! You’re excused too!’ The second blonde sheepishly walked out of the office.

The detective turned his attention to the third and last blonde and said, ‘This is probably a waste of time, but … He flashed the photo in her face for a couple of seconds and withdrew it, saying, ‘All right, did you notice anything distinguishing or unusual about this man?’ The blonde said, ‘I sure did… This man wears contact lenses.’ The detective frowned, took another look at the picture and began looking at some of the papers in the folder. He looked up at the blonde with a puzzled expression and said, ‘You’re absolutely right! His bio says he wears contacts! How in the world could you tell that by looking at his picture?’

The blonde rolled her eyes and said, ‘Well, Helloooo! With only one eye and one ear, he certainly can’t wear glasses!’  😉

 

Excerpt from: https://aboundingrace.live/2017/03/13/cherishing-christ-through-cancer/

 

“John Piper once said, “Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ.”   …  If you are going through a really hard trial may I encourage you with the truth that everything God ordains in our life is for our good, and His glory.  We may not understand what God is doing, but our pain is never wasted.  Christ will complete His work in you.  He is making you more like His Son, Jesus Christ.  Trust Him, and fight for joy.  The Bible says that we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” as we run through this journey of life (Heb. 12:1).  Through Him who strengths us, let’s run this race with endurance, looking to Jesus, the author and founder of our faith. Through your trial right now, will you cherish Christ? “—OKSANA VIYUK


 

John 11:25 (NKJV)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

 

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Cor.15:4

 

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Good Friday 2017

 

 

 

 

John 3:16New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Reason to be full of HOPE!

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Worry Carries Tomorrow’s Load With Today’s Strength

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THE BATTLE OF MY LIFE by Joni Eareckson Tada

 

 

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. -Nahum 1:7


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God is good,
    a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes
    anyone looking for help (Nahum: 1:7 Msg)


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Nahum 1:7(AMP)

The Lord is good,
A strength and stronghold in the day of trouble;
He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him.

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Putting these versions  and a few others together and personalizing Nahum 1:7 a la Paula:

My Lord God is GOOD, totally and completely and absolutely good.  When the tough times and the trouble comes, He’s my strength, my refuge to run to right away, my stronghold, my protection, my place of safety and shelter.   He is THE #1 place for me to go.  He welcomes me, knows me to the core, understands me fully, and cares for me.  His Arms are wide open to me and He draws me in close and keeps me snuggled secure in His embrace as I trust Him .

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Letting Go of the Why and Remembering the WHO

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“God can’t change who we’re becoming until we let go of who we were.” –Bob Goff

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Katie Ganshert wrote:

 

 

“…Maybe it was time to stop trying to make the puzzle pieces fit. Maybe it was time to let go of the why and remember the Who.”

 

“Maybe comfort wasn’t to be found in the why.

Maybe comfort was to be found in the who.

A God who wept.”

 

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You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
-Isaiah 26:3-4

 

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I find comfort and relief in the realization that, in His strength, I can choose to let go of the “whys” of tough stuff and instead concentrate and fix my eyes and heart on the WHO is right by my side, helping me and teaching me and growing me through each and every thing He allows in my life.

 

In The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, I read:

“Grace waits in broken places. Grace waits at the bottom of things. Grace loves you when you are at your darkest worst, and wraps you in the best light. Grace seeps through the broken places and seeps into the lowest places, a balm for wounds.”

 

“Grace is grace when it gives us what we’d never ask for but always needed, and moves us to become what we always wanted. But hardly ever the way we wanted.”


Gratefully His,

 

Paula

 

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God’s Boot Camp

Even If (Mercy Me)

 

“They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now
Right now I’m losing bad

I’ve stood on this stage
Night after night
Reminding the broken
It’ll be alright
But right now
Oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now

But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength
To be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

You’ve been faithful
You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

It is well with my soul”

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 Here’s the song:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyLrl0SWe7s
 
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We got an email recently from friends also battling cancer.  I like the quote they shared by Charles Swindoll: 
“In a very real sense, God has designed a boot camp for His children, but it doesn’t last just 8 weeks or 10 weeks. Nor is it a weekend seminar we can take or a day-long workshop we can attend. God’s boot camp takes place periodically throughout the Christian life. And there, in the very center of obstacles and pain and solitude, we come to realize how alive God is in our lives—how alive and in charge. He will invade us, reduce us, break us…so that we will become the people He intends us to be.”
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2 Timothy 2:1-7The Message (MSG)

1-7 So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.


 

2 Timothy 2:1-7Amplified Bible (AMP)

So you, my son, be strong [constantly strengthened] and empowered in the grace that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, the sum of my ministry] which you have heard me teach [a]in the presence of many witnesses, entrust [as a treasure] to reliable and faithful men who will also be capable and qualified to teach others. Take with me your share of hardship [passing through the difficulties which you are called to endure], like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve. And if anyone competes as an athlete [in competitive games], he is not crowned [with the wreath of victory] unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer [who labors to produce crops] ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Think over the things I am saying [grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you insight and understanding in everything.

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I’ve been going through the rigors of God’s Boot Camp training, how about you?
May we learn and grow and not waste a single thing in the “Bootcamp” God’s got for each of us! 🙂
God’s Beloved Paula
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“…And She Laughs Without Fear of the Future”

 

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A few days ago I read through an old blog that has been “retired”  http://blog.prayfordaisy.com/   that was written by the parents of a precious 8 year old girl who passed away years ago after three rounds of cancer.  The blog is overflowing with God’s grace and merciful, loving care in the midst of immense pain, heartache, and suffering.  Below are direct quotes from Kate Merrick in the blog that I found to be poignant and applicable to my life:

 


 

“Love. Love your babies, your husbands, mothers, sisters. Love each day like it’s your last. All you mamas out there, you have been entrusted with the precious gift of a human life who depends on you. Enjoy your gift. Breathe in the scent of your child’s hair, breath. Let them cook with you and make a mess of the kitchen. Play hide and seek with them, build sand castles with them, take them on picnics, read to them!  Listen to them, value and respect them, never shame them.  Your words they will carry with them their whole life and you have the power to give them wings or stunt their growth. Motherhood can be tough but it’s worth it. It can be exhausting, boring, tedious, but never for long. You blink and they’re grown.”—Kate Merrick

 

 

 

“Sometimes the feelings and fears and stresses of our struggle are overwhelming and my heart travels north, while other times mercifully it stays put, safely in the niche of my ribs.  This week has held much soul searching, much exhaustion of our circumstances.  Upon waking, tears escaped my eyes and slid into my hairline above my ears.  My much loved husband gently reminded me (much kinder than Westley disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts so harshly says to Buttercup) that often, life is pain. It’s part of the human experience, and if you scratch the surface of anyone’s story you will find it.  No one is exempt.  We must face our fears, believing that we will be carried through and held up by the One who made us.  Do I only focus on what hurts and is hard and what is being withheld, or will I thank Him for what is good and right and given freely?  I must not believe God is my cosmic vending machine, spitting out only what I’ve inserted a crisp dollar for, but instead trusting God with where He takes us, not just with our desired outcome.  If I believe God is good and sovereign over my life as well as Daisy’s, circumstances need not dictate our general emotional state, need not cause us to roll into a ball and hide under the covers for longer than necessary.  God is my refuge and my strength. Yes, I’ve been singing this song for months, years; and this week I needed a fresh reminder.”—Kate Merrick

 

 

“…One last thought, as a parent and as a human being; opportunities to love surround us. When we take those opportunities time seems to stop, and in that timelessness is where memories are made and beauty is beheld.  We will never regret rising to the occasion.  I believe it has something to do with the fact that God is love and we are made in His image. Suffering isn’t what we are made for, but it can be fruitful in ways we could never imagine.  We love because He first loved us. “–Kate Merrick

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Good stuff, huh?

 After I read through highlights of that beautiful blog I found this link:  http://kmerrick.com/ to a trailer and the first chapter of a new book published that looks excellent, “And she still laughs: defiant joy in the depths of suffering” …… by Kate Merrick .  It looks like a great book.  John just ordered it for me.
 
 I appreciated this analogy and direct quote by Kate Merrick  from that first chapter in the link above.
 
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“…I realized that often I feel like one
of those baby birds. All scrawny and weak and feath-
erless and pathetic, unable to get my own nourishment,
mouth open wide, crying for something, anything. There
I am, sitting in shambles, poop everywhere, unable to fly,
crying out for something to get me through—to move
me beyond this state of helplessness. Jesus has been to
me like that mama bird: taking care of me, feeding me
tirelessly while I’m sitting scared and stuck. Day by day
he helps me to grow shiny feathers, until I will become
nourished by truth and ready to fly.”
—-Kate Merrick
“… So what shall I do? I shall look up,
open my mouth, and allow my All Sufficient One to feed my
soul. Looking to the Source I shall rejoice with laughing,
and mourn with weeping. I shall give from my emptiness;
I shall receive the offer of abundance. And I shall keep
right on going, moving ahead in life, taking steps of faith,
and keeping my eyes on the One who is invisible—who
has, in his generosity and continuous provision like that
mama bird, taught me to laugh without fear of the future.”
-Kate Merrick
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May we too, be like those little birds with mouths wide open to the All Sufficient One to feed our souls.

Paula

 

I hold you by your right hand- I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

 

 

 

 

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Gianna’s Gift

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Yesterday I got this email from a precious young woman who is a special friend of our girls:

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My Hair Donation in Honor of a Strong Woman I Know

Dear Paula and Family,

 
My birthday was March 4th,2017. I decided that I wanted to do something different to give back to those I have met throughout the years who have struggled from issues such as low self esteem, cancer, and suicidal tendencies.
 
So, I shaved all of my hair off. I will be sending it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths!
You may view the videos of me having it shaved off below, and feel free to share them with others:
 
 
 
Thank You Mrs. Paula for inspiring me as such as sweet, strong, woman of God.
 
I love you and will continue to keep you in my prayers. 😙
 
God Bless You,
Gianna
 
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Thank you dear Gianna for making the donation of your pretty hair ( to  http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/about-the-program ) in my honor and in the honor of others!  I was moved by your lovely gift that will bless someone else who has lost her hair as I have in my battle against cancer.   BTW, you rock the bald look with those gorgeous eyes and dazzling smile!  You are beautiful inside and outside, Gianna!  Thank you! We love you.
P.S. Gianna was not referring to me in her reference to honoring those with suicidal tendencies with  with her hair donation.  Just thought I’d clarify that so nobody worries about me in that regard. 🙂  I consider every day as a precious gift from God, am hoping to live ’til a ripe old age,  and won’t be leaving this earth one moment before He takes me Home Sweet Home.
 
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“How big is your God?

Is He big enough to heal your marriage or heal your child? Is He bigger than a positive MRI or a negative evaluation? Is He bigger than your worst sin, greatest fear, or biggest dream?

If He is bigger than all of those things, then pray like it.”

-Mark Batterson

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Where True Joy is Rooted

 

 

 

 

“True joy is rooted in a radical recognition that God is working His unstoppable, wise, and gracious plan, and that He will not relent until His will has finally been done!”–Tripp

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The Anima Series

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