4/18/14

He Is Risen!


But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." (Matthew 28:1-10)

This is a week of celebration.

Yes Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  He also came back from the dead, left an empty tomb behind and completed the victory achieved on the cross!

We have the opportunity to reconnect with the Father through the death and resurrection of His Son!

He Has Risen!

He Has Risen Indeed!

4/7/14

Eyes to See


"As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him."  (Matthew 20:29-34)

This was the passage of Scripture I was reading as part of my devotion time this past week.  I had to go back and read it a few times because it really resonated with me.  Though unplanned, it made it's way into my sermon on Sunday. It became an appropriate reference in conversation today with someone needing encouragement.

I think God was trying to get my attention.

Jesus certainly got the attention of the 2 blind men.

These guys were not about to let Jesus pass by without making some noise.  I can just picture a large crowd, the normal crowd noise, and 2 guys shouting to be heard!  "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

They were obviously loud because the crowd told them to shush!

Obviously they were not to be deterred because they cried out all the more.  They had no way of knowing if Jesus heard them but they were going to give it their best shot.

Jesus stops and asks what they want Him to do for them.  I like what they ask for....they asked for their eyes to be opened.  Think about that for a moment.  Let it sink in.  They asked for their eyes to be opened and Jesus touched their eyes.

It says they regained their site AND followed Him.

I believe their eyes were opened literally and also spiritually.  They saw Jesus and they SAW Jesus.  Jesus healed people but not everyone followed Him.  However these 2 guys FOLLOWED Jesus.  They had eyes to see, not just the world around them, but the King of Kings. 

I want to see what God wants me to see, who He wants me to see and how He wants me to see!

After reading this passage, my prayer is Lord, I want my eyes to be opened!

3/30/14

I Will Draw Near - Take 2

Earlier this month I posted the words to Sarah's new worship song, I Will Draw Near.

Today as she sat down to play it, our daughter Hanna joined her in singing what I feel is a beautiful song. I was able to record it with the words so you can follow along.


Song and Words are ©Sarah Apperson, 2014

3/25/14

The Pleasure of His Company


I have never read a book by Dutch Sheets before I received a copy of The Pleasure of His Company.  I was intrigued by the description of the book though and decided to give it a whirl.  My family is really glad I did.

When the book arrived I saw that on the back cover it said you could use it as a daily devotional.  I decided to do just that.  My wife had been asking me to read out loud to her like I did at various times in our marriage so I chose to read this devotional.  Soon my daughter began sitting in and it became an after breakfast family devotional time.

Dutch Sheets is a very engaging author in this book.  He mixes humorous personal stories with intriguing Biblical insights.  The more I have read from the book the more my family has said how much they like this particular book.  My 15 year old is asking me to read it every day and said we should buy all of our friends a copy! 

I wouldn't go that far but i will say that this is a book that challenges you to think outside the box at times and to re-evaluate your relationship with God.  Do you enjoy the pleasure of His company?  Yes or no you will enjoy this book and hopefully fall in love with God all over again.

I could say more about it but I will let my daughter's words end this review:  "This book is really enjoyable, well written and interesting!"

Hey, it hooked a 15 year old!

I received  a review copy of this book via Bethany House and Graf-Martin Communications.

3/20/14

A Bubble Wrapped Life! - Just A Thought #60


I love bubble wrap.  I think most people do.  It seems to bring out the child in us.  Popping those little bubbles over and over can be relaxing and fun.

Recently, I had many suggestions that I put my head in bubble wrap.  After receiving yet another concussion...I stopped counting after 6...my well meaning friends thought it might be the safest option for me.

I thought about it...

Seriously though, bubble wrap is used to protect fragile things in shipping and storage and people trust that if they wrap it, it will be safe.  I wish life was like that.  It would be nice if we could wrap our life in bubble wrap wouldn't it?  Nothing would get through...no sickness, no pain, no hurt.  A safe and secure life.

We would be immune from all the cares of this world...sure we might get a few bubbles popped but nothing would truly touch us.

Life isn't that easy.

So we learn to trust!

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

I could live in fear of another head injury but that won't stop it from happening.  I could try to protect myself in numerous ways but all that will do is cause me untold stress, fear and misery.  It wouldn't be much of a life.  

No, I prefer to trust in the Lord.  Not just when it comes to my noggin, but in all areas of my life.  

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Luke 12:25)

The answer is no one!  

God knows what I need day in and day out.  He knows what my life will be like today, tomorrow and until I breathe my last.  I choose to trust in the God of the universe, the creator of everything.  If I trust in the Lord I will be firmly planted and secure.  I will have peace even in the midst of hardship.  That is better than bubble wrap. 

3/12/14

Compassion International's iPad Magazine

Compassion International is broadening its impact.

You can now access Compassion Magazine via your ipad.

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Being able to have more content and to write your sponsored child via your Compassion iPad magazine is pretty cool.

If you have an ipad, make sure you add this to your device.

Compassion Magazine for iPad is free and currently available three times per year in winter (February), summer (June) and fall (October) and the latest edition is now available. To receive the iPad version of Compassion Magazine, go to:

MyAccount –> Magazine Preferences –> Check the box that says “Compassion Magazine iPad Version.”

Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/expand-your-world-with-our-new-ipad-magazine/#ixzz2vnhmy5JP

If you are not sponsoring a child through Compassion, what are you waiting for?

Just follow the link and change a life today:

http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm

3/1/14

I Wil Draw Near

My beautiful wife never ceases to amaze me.  She wrote this worship song last week for our upcoming Sunday service. Preceding the song will be Scriptures that contributed to her thought process.  I include those passages here and encourage you to spend time looking them up.

Here are the words to her song:

I Will Draw Near
 
Fountain of Life, flow over me
'till I'm filled with Your glory

Spirit renew the fire that once drew
me into the Holy of Holies

And I will draw near, as I wait here
I will return to my Father
My heart of stone, I lay at Your throne
That I may know You and be known

The sound of Your voice, fills me with joy
You turn sorrow to gladness

You don't disappoint, You never leave
and I am changed in Your presence

So I will draw near, as I wait here
I will return to my Father
My heart of stone, I lay at Your throne
That I may know You and be known

Only in You are justice and truth
and mercy binds me to You

How high are Your thoughts, How great are Your ways
Your covenant is my peace

Bridge:
You satisfy my soul with good
You bought my freedom with Your blood
Your fire consumes my sin
You captivate my heart

So, I will draw near, as I wait here
I will return to my Father
My heart of stone, I lay at Your throne
That I may know you and be known

© Sarah Apperson, 2014

Psalms 94:14; 107:9; 111:9-11 
Isaiah 31:3; 40:31; 54:10; 55:6-8
Jeremiah 2:13; 3:12; 3:19; 31:13
Ezekiel 36:25-27; 43:5
John 4:14 
Acts 2:2-4 
Ephesians 1:7-8
Titus 3:4-7
Hebrews 12:29