Visiting The Place Of His Betrayal

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After traveling up to the Mount of Olives to admire the breathtaking view of Jerusalem lying before us, we slowly strolled downhill to spend a reflective time at the Garden of Gethsemane. It was as if we could almost touch time as we rubbed our fingers down the trunks of the trees that are over 2000 years old and would have been growing in the Garden when the Lord Jesus agonized in prayer before His crucifixion.

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If those trees could talk what would they tell us? Would we have grown weary as the disciples did? How often have we grown weary and fallen asleep during spiritual warfare?

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Our journey then took us up a row of steps, some of the only authentic stones in Jerusalem that are the actual steps He walked as He was ushered to the palace of the high priest Caiaphas after His arrest and betrayal by Judas.

We saw the place where Peter denied Him and heard the cock crow. My heart was convicted as I pondered how many times I have denied Him by my thoughts or my attitudes?

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It was an emotional and deep spiritual moment as we climbed down the narrow staircase down to the pit where He was imprisoned the night before He carried His cross to Calvary. The walls were spattered with blood. We don’t know but could this be some of the blood He shed for us?

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After we walked the Via Dolorosa following His road to Golgotha, we finished our day in prayer at the Wailing Wall with a deeper, sensitive  appreciation of the awesome cost of our salvation.

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1 Peter 1: 18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Thanksgiving for Family Unity!

At this time of the year as we are planning our thanksgiving preparations we often have thoughts of past thanksgivings floating in the air. As I picked up this photo of our first Thanksgiving together in the USA 1973, I was reminiscing of God’s faithfulness to our family through the years.

A photo of a close knit family even to our dress LOL but after all I was a dressmaker! Wow all that sewing! Guess it came from my Scotch-Irish background where the clans would all wear the same tartan to identify family unity.

However you don’t have to dress the same to have family unity. Unity in our families is more than our dress even more than our historical roots. Lasting unity in our families is due to deep spiritual roots when we all have the same Heavenly Father who doesn’t have any grandchildren – only children born of His Spirit whereby we cry out “Abba”.

Be thankful this season not only for your historical roots and parenthood but also for His love, grace and mercy when He adopted us, making our family unity stronger than anything the world or the enemy could use to disintegrate us.

Gratitude Unlocks the Fulness of Life

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Dear Father,

How can I say thanks for all the abundant blessings in my life? May I continue to have an appreciative heart.

Dear Child,

Having a thankful heart is living the abundant life!

Having a thankful heart is a life full of joy!

Having a thankful heart is a life that can be molded to My will!

Having a thankful heart is the life of a true worshipper!

                                        Thus saith Papa

Psalm 103:1-5  Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Joel 2:21 Fear not; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

 Why does God continually remind us to be thankful?

   1. A thankful heart is full of praise, which ushers us into His presence. 

   2. A thankful heart blesses the Father’s heart. 

   3. A thankful heart is a soft, pliable heart that God can mold to His image. 

   4. A thankful heart is a joyous heart that strengthens us spiritually. 

   5. A thankful heart remembers His faithfulness in the past thereby feeding our faith to

       trust Him for our future. 

   6. A thankful heart will be a good steward of blessings. 

When we cry unto the Lord, “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12); we are really crying out for a grateful heart! A complaining heart soon becomes a heart drowning in self-pity that will quench your joy. The fruit of thankfulness is joy and joy results in spiritual strength and fulness of life! “…neither be ye sorry;? for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Excerpt from my book “DEVELOPING A SECRET HISTORY WITH GOD” Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes and a book store near you.

 

CHALLENGE:       Be thankful lest the enemy steals the joy of the abundant life.

                             Be thankful that you may be conformed on the potter’s wheel.

                             Be thankful that you may enter His presence as a true worshipper.

“How can I say thanks for all the things that you have done for me,

Things so undeserved yet you gave to prove your love for me,

The voices of a thousand angels could not express my gratitude,

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to thee.

To God be the glory for the things He has done.”

by Andre Crouch

The above photo captures our joy as we celebrated God’s faithfulness during our 45 years together which was 8 years ago!!!

Recognizing God’s Voice

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

 

On October 31,1517, a German monk named Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg Church. These 95 Theses expressed his concerns over corruption found in the Catholic church. One of his primary concerns was the church selling “indulgences” to people in order to release them from having to serve penitence for their sins. An act which he considered to be people trying to buy their way into heaven. He held that salvation came by grace through faith alone, not by good works or payment.

This act opened up a debate with religious scholars of the time that eventually lead to the Protestant Reformation. On the 500th anniversary of his act of conscientious defiance, it is important to review how that moment changed the world religiously, economically, politically, socially, and intellectually. The upheaval stretched into every fabric of society, exceeding anything Martin Luther could anticipate. So widespread of an effect proclaims God’s hand was involved.

Although the Reformation of Christianity began a half-millennium ago, it has not completed its destiny.

Although the Reformation of Christianity began a half-millennium ago, it has not completed its destiny.

The Five Solae of The Reformation

which are

The Solid Foundation Of Our Faith

  1  Sola Scriptura “Scripture alone”

The Bible alone is our highest authority.

2  Sola Fide “Faith alone”

We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

3  Sola Gratia “Grace alone”

We are saved by the grace of God alone.

4  Solus Christus “Christ alone”

Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.

5  Soli Deo Gloria “To the glory of God alone”

We live for the glory of God alone.

We are a people who have forgotten our roots, and in many cases, we really don’t seem to care.

Numerous polls indicate widespread biblical and theological illiteracy.  Many professing Christians do not grasp the contents of Scripture. Even those who have read the Bible very often have no idea what it means and how the various parts go together.

We are not in a good place, but we are not the first to be in such a position. The people of Israel forgot the past with disastrous consequences. The medieval church forgot the past with disastrous consequences. But what do we do when we realize we’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere along our journey? We go back and seek to find the correct path. We should not view the past as something that is gone and therefore useless. We should look at the past more like the way someone on the second floor of a building looks at the foundation. The foundation was built before the remaining structure. It was built in the past. But the foundation is not something that can be discarded without catastrophic results.

“We all have spiritual historical roots as well as physical historical roots. God is not pleased when we belittle the orthodoxy of the past and the saints who went before us. Without them we wouldn’t have the faith we have today. We are building on the foundation of their faith with Jesus as the chief cornerstone. Do not tread upon those roots because in doing so we are blasting away our foundation.” 

An excerpt from my book “Developing A Secret History With God” Page 210

Book available on Amazon/ Barnes&Noble/ Walmart/Lulu/ itunes/ Kindle/ Nook/http wwwclfrance.com/ W.H. Smith UK/or a bookstore near you.
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