Whining or Winning?

I have decided to turn the whining of my family in to a win. For example, when I say we are going to a museum for a family activity, all of my boys tend to start whining. As their mom, I know that one of the best things I can do for my family is open their eyes to new experiences. I can take them places they wouldn’t normally choose to go, to learn things they wouldn’t learn otherwise.

Now, my husband is NOT thrilled when I suggest these things, but thankfully I do the same thing with him that I do with my kids…

I replace their whining words with my own.

For example if my kids say, ” I can’t believe you’d MAKE us go do something so stupid! You obviously hate me if you don’t let me stay home and hang out with my friends!!”.

I translate that in to a winning response and reply, “What I just heard you say was, Thank you, mom, SO MUCH, for broadening my horizons and taking me places I might not have thought to go!”.

Then my husband will say something like, “I can’t believe you are forcing them to go with you. Just let them stay home and do whatever they want.”.

What that translates into is, “I am so thankful you allow us to do things with you. That you have the strength to push through all of our whining and be a great mom to our kids. I love you and your determination.”.

At this point, you might be thinking this is craziness. Or you might think it won’t work for me and that is okay. This works for ME.

When I verbalize the things above, and other ways of responding in a way I wish happened, it changes the feel of the conversation.

I remember that this won’t last forever.

I remember that I only have my family for a limited amount of time.

I remember I am their mom and they love me, even if they aren’t showing it in the moment.

I remember, these are memory making times.

I remember the days are long and the years are short.

How can you protect your heart when you KNOW you are doing the best thing for your family.

What I learned today…Look for the best in all situations. You can find good, or push through knowing, the negative will end. Be patient and do your best to be the best YOU you can be.

You are not responsible for what they say….but how you react to it.

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Day 8: HE IS ALIVE!!!

On Resurrection Sunday we reach the culmination of Passion Week.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event, the crux, you might say, of the Christian faith.

The very foundation of all Christian doctrine hinges on the truth of this account.

Early Sunday morning several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome are all mentioned in the Gospel accounts) went

to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away.

An angel announced, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” (Matthew 28:5-6, NLT)

On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made at least five appearances.

Mark’s Gospel says the first person to see him was Mary Magdalene.

Jesus also appeared to Peter, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all of the disciples except Thomas, while they were gathered in a house for prayer.

The eyewitness accounts in the Gospels provide undeniable evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. 2,000 years after his death,

followers of Christ still flock to see the empty tomb, one of the strongest proofs that Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead.

As you celebrate Jesus today, make sure to pause throughout the day to say , “Thank you!”.

 Happy Easter!

He is Risen!

He is ALIVE!!!!

 Read More – Sunday’s events are recorded in Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23.

What I learned today…I am so very thankful He is ALIVE!

Day 7: Jesus in the Tomb

Jesus’ body lay in the tomb where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath.

When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus:

“He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.

Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.” (John 19: 39-40, NLT)

Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court which had condemned Jesus Christ to death.

For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.

Similarly, both were deeply affected by Christ’s death. They boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they now realized Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah.

Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.

While his physical body lay in the tomb, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation:

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.

He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT)

Read More – Saturday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, and John 19:40.

What I learned today…We need to remember this time of pause. AND what am I willing to risk for the Kingdom?

Why Wait?!?!?!

Just Say Yes

Some people wait until the last second. They wait until they land in the hospital. Until they find out they have a life-threatening disease. They wait until they have more time. They wait until their death bed…to say, Yes, to Jesus.

Why? A lot of the time it is because they don’t want to follow all the “rules”. They don’t want to be held accountable, or KNOW that they will be held accountable. They don’t want to take the time to be “good” and follow what the Bible says…all of it.

They are also missing out on all of God’s promises.

They are missing out on years of being blessed in extraordinary ways.

They are missing out on hope.

They are missing out on an eternal family, that starts NOW.

What I learned today…I am so thankful I didn’t wait until the last minute. I had NO idea how amazing it feels to be in my forever family. Even the lows aren’t so low. I have HOPE.

Praying we are overwhelmed with people prepared to take a leap of faith and say YES, JESUS, now. At Easter. All over the world.

Day 6: Good Friday’s Trial, Crucifixion, Death and Burial

Today we’ll trace Jesus’ steps on Good Friday, the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ’s journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.

According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.

Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations,  condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.

After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment.

Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns.

Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.

Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross.

His first words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).

His last were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV)

Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last and died.

By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (Ar·i·ma·thea \ˌa-rə-mə-ˈthē-ə\), took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.

Take a few moments to let the events of this day sink in…

and pray.

 

Read More – Friday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, and John 18:28-19:37.

What I learned today…I need to remember this day throughout the year, not just on this one day. I need to remember the true meaning of the cross every time I see one.

 

Day 5: Passover, The Last Supper

Our tour through Holy Week takes a somber turn on Thursday.

From Bethany Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast.

That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover.

By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how they were to love one another.

Today, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services.

Then Jesus shared the feast of Passover with his disciples saying, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.

For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16, NLT)

As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of the Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death.

During this Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine:

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ “ (Luke 22:19-20, ESV))

Later Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father.

Luke’s Gospel says “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44, ESV)

Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin.

He was taken to the home of Caiaphas (KAY-e-fes), the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus.

Meanwhile, in the early morning hours as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing his Master three times before the rooster crowed.

 

** If you haven’t experienced a passover supper, I would suggest you find one to go to in your area, or google directions and do it with your family, friends and/or small group. Is is an amazing experience!

Read More – Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38.

What I learned today…when we follow along in Jesus last days, it makes us feel even closer to Him and brings His story to life in remarkable ways.

Day 4: It’s Quiet

The Bible doesn’t say what the Lord did on Wednesday of Passion or Holy Week.

Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of the Passover.

Bethany was about two miles east of Jerusalem. Here Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha lived.  They were close friends of Jesus, and probably hosted him and the disciples during these final days in Jerusalem.

Just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave.  After seeing this incredible miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in him.

While we can only speculate, it’s fascinating to consider how our Lord Jesus spent this final quiet day with his dearest friends and followers.

What I learned today…take time with those I love, even during difficult times where I feel like I don’t have enough time and there is so much more to do. Quality time spent with others is priceless.

 

 

Day 3: Mount of Olives

Today our journey with Jesus through Holy Week takes us back to the Temple in Jerusalem and then to the Mount of Olives.

On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus taught them about faith.

At the Temple, the religious leaders aggressively challenged Jesus’ authority, attempting to ambush him and create an opportunity for his arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them: “Blind guides! … For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33)

Tuesday afternoon Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem due east of the Temple. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He taught in parables using symbolic language about end times events, including his Second Coming and the final judgment.

Scripture indicates that Tuesday was the day Judas Iscariot (iss-carry-ut) negotiated with the Sanhedrin (san hēdrin) to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

 Read more – Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

What I learned today…Even Jesus had false friends and ones who would betray Him. Even knowing what Judas would eventually would do, He still loved Him and taught Him up until the moment of betrayal. I need to love ALL others better. Not just the people who are nice to me.

Day 2: Jesus Clears the Temple

Today, we continue tracing the footsteps of Jesus, as Monday morning he returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit. (Matthew 21:18-22)Some scholars believe this cursing of the fig tree represented God’s judgment on the spiritually dead religious leaders of Israel. Others believe the symbolism extended to all believers, demonstrating that genuine, living faith is more than just outward religiosity. True faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person’s life.

When Jesus arrived at the Temple he found the courts full of corrupt sales people.

He began flipping over their tables and clearing the Temple, saying, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46)

On Monday evening Jesus stayed in Bethany again, probably in the home of his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

Matthew 21:12-17New International Version (NIV)

Jesus at the Temple

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]”

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[c]?”

And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

 Read more here- Mark 11:15–19, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-17.

What I learned today…Jesus showed us His temper when He was frustrated with the people in the temple. I love that He did that. It helps when I feel righteous anger!
AND I need to make sure my house and temple stay holy, asking God to test MY heart in all I do.