1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8Then they remembered his words. (Luke 24:1-8)

Yes! He is alive! Just as he said! He overcame the grave and he is alive!

Put yourself in the place of these women. They were coming, hoping to properly embalm the Lord’s body, and they found the stone rolled away already. A stone which could not easily be rolled away. And where were the guards? The tomb had been sealed and guards placed outside. Where were they? Why did they leave their post? To leave an assigned post in those times would have been cause for the death of the soldiers. What had happened to cause this to happen? Matthew 28:2-4 tells us “2there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. Did they faint? It surely sounds like somehow these men passed out from what they saw! When word got back to the chief priests and elders, they told the guards to tell this story as they gave them a large sum of money to do so….(Matthew 28:13-14) “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” This makes me laugh. If they were asleep, how would they know who took the body? If the governor were to find out that they were ALL asleep on the job, no matter what the chief priest say to him, these men are in big trouble. Admitting to sleeping on the job? All of them at the same time? They are still in big trouble.

Let’s go back to the ladies who came to the tomb. Matthew tells us that the two ladies who came were Mary Magdalene and another Mary. Luke says there were more than two ladies at the tomb that morning. I don’t really think it matters how many were there, but ladies, isn’t it awesome to hear that WOMEN were the first ones to find out that the Lord had risen from the dead? These women ran back to the apostles to tell them what they had seen and heard. Have you ever been in a group of ladies who were so excited they were speaking so fast and probably didn’t make a lick of sense? I have a feeling that was what happened. Luke 24:11-12 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Jesus also appeared to Cleopas and another man on the road to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize him at first, but when he broke bread with them, they realized that it was He in their presence. Jesus then appeared in the presence of the 11 Apostles. In the flesh. Flesh and bones. He ate with them, opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he told them to stay in the city until they were “clothed with power from on high” (v.49)

Each of the four Gospels give different witness accounting of what had happened that Sunday morning, but they all concur on one thing. Jesus was alive.

Matthew 28:5-7 5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Mark 16:5-7 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

Luke 24:4-7 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ “

John 20: 10-18 10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Dear ones, we celebrate today because Jesus overcame the grave. It was written in the scriptures that he would be crucified, die and be buried, and rise again on the 3rd day. He was placed on the cross to take our place, to bear our sin, so that we would be sinless in the sight of God. It’s a free gift for you. The Lord died for you right where you are in this time. You don’t have to clean up anything. You don’t have to redeem yourself first to accept this gift. God loves you. It may be hard to believe with the sin we all bear, but he will never leave or forsake you. He wants you to be a part of his forever family. Put out your hands. Accept the free gift of His Son. Jesus didn’t die. He is alive today and will return for His people.

Happy Resurrection Day, my friends! He is risen INDEED!

The Darkest Day

Soon after Jesus and the Apostles finished their Passover meal, they traveled to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked his friends to pray. He moved slightly away from his friends and began to pray himself. Luke 22: 42 tell us in this prayer, he says, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

How many times have your prayers been all about what you want? Gosh, I know some of my prayers have been all about me. I know there are times when the Lord wants to hear from me…talk to me about my day, did you see any miracles today? But when I really need something, at times I am guilty about praying for what I want without thinking about whether or not it would be what God wants. Note, Jesus, even though in his human body may not have wanted to die, He still recognized that if it was his Father’s will, that was the way it should be done. Lately, I am trying to see life in that view. My prayers have added that phrase to them, “not my will, but yours, Lord.” “Lord, if it is your will….” No one can fault Jesus for that. How would you feel if you had never done one thing wrong, you were with God from the beginning of the universe, but you were about to take on and suffer for all the sins of the world and be separated from God….even though for a short time, but how would you feel? After this prayer, an angel appeared and strengthened Him. But dig this…when he was done praying, praying so fervently that he was sweating, he noticed that all of his friends were sound asleep….not praying, but asleep. He woke them up, imploring them to pray not to fall into temptation.

At that moment, a crowd of people arrive with Judas among them. He approached Jesus to kiss him. I love these words from our Lord, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” A kiss. A true sign of love for someone. In this time period, it was customary to greet someone with a kiss. Now a days, we would compare it to shaking someone’s hand or giving them a hug if we are very familiar with this person. The disciples were suddenly aware of what was happening. A sword was pulled, a man’s ear was sliced off, and Jesus cried “ENOUGH!” Jesus was quite aware that these men, the high priests, had ample opportunity to arrest him during the daylight, but they chose the secrecy of nighttime. At night time, it wouldn’t make a scene with all of his followers. The guards took Jesus away. Peter followed closely behind, but stopped by a fire outside of the high priest’s house. Three times, Peter denied knowing Jesus as people recognized him as a man who followed Jesus. Three times, just as Jesus had told him. As the rooster crowed, Peter sat and wept bitterly.

Peter. The Rock. He denied the man whom he told he loved and would die for. Why did he do it? Why did he claim that he did not know Jesus? Fear? Fear of the unknown. Fear of what these people would do to him if they knew he was a Christ follower. In my last study on Tuesday, I told you that I had a confession to make about Peter. Peter will probably be the first person I seek out in Heaven after my Lord and Savior. Why? For so many years, I was very angry at Peter. Why would Jesus’ #1 man deny him? What was he thinking? How could he betray Jesus like that? That’s all I could see … his betrayal. I was Catholic at the time, and the biggest struggle I had was how Catholicism linked itself with Peter. The man who betrayed Christ. It has taken a lot of soul searching, but I have determined one thing….. I would have done it, too. Seriously. If I had just watched Jesus taken away by Roman soldiers, I probably would have denied him, too. Peter was afraid for himself. He was afraid of what would happen to him. He didn’t know at that time that they would crucify Jesus, but he knew something really bad was about to happen to him, and he didn’t want it to happen to himself as well. Would you want to be tortured? Thirty nine lashes. That’s what Jesus received for doing nothing wrong. Crucifixion was a punishment given to the WORST criminal offenders. Death by suffocation. I don’t want that, so if I just deny I know him, I am safe. Yes, I, Spicynutmeg, am Peter. What brought me out of this train of thought? Note in Luke 22: 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus knew that this was only a temporary betrayal. He told Peter that when he TURNS BACK, his job will be to strengthen the other apostles, his brothers in Christ. And he did. I will be asking Simon Peter for his forgiveness someday. Like Peter, right now in my life, I find it easy to say “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”, but when I am in a situation where I would be in this place, would I really be ready to sacrifice at that moment? I hope knowing what I know now that I would. I live in a country where Christians are not persecuted right at this moment in time. If it were ever to happen, I am glad to know that the Lord is there with me, praying that MY faith won’t fail.

As chapter 22 comes to an end and chapter 23 begins, Jesus is mocked and beaten by the guards watching over him, sent to Pontius Pilate who found no wrong in him, then sent to Herod who only wanted Jesus to act like a circus performer for him. When Jesus refused to perform miracles in front of him, he mocked him and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate still had nothing on him, but knowing that a large crowd was being incited over him, he told the crowds, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.


Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the crowds wanted a known murdered Barabbas released.


But he hasn’t done anything wrong to require the death penalty!


Pilate did as they asked. They led our Lord away. Crucified him on a cross between two known criminals. Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross. Nails through his hands and his feet. He was mocked and jeered at from the centurions. He was mocked and scorned by one of the other criminals on the cross. “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and save us!” At the sixth hour until the ninth hour, darkness fell on the land. The sun stopped shining. The temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. This was the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. God tore this curtain from top to bottom…no longer is man kept from God. God was now available to all. It was at this time that Jesus gave up his spirit and died.

Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. He took his body down off the cross, wrapped it tightly in linens, and laid Him in a tomb cut into a mountainside where no one else had been lain. Since it was time to prepare for the Sabbath, Joseph rolled a huge stone across the entrance and went away.

The chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate and asked that the tomb be made secure so that the body would not be stolen by Jesus’ followers. A seal was set on the stone and a guard was placed at the tomb. No one would be getting into that tomb. It was finished.

Lord! I should have been on that cross!  I am the one who deserves that punishment. Why did I do this???   I crucified your Son! How can I ever make this right?

Jesus’ Last Days

This past Sunday, we celebrated Palm Sunday. The story of the joy and celebration of the people as Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem always made me wonder…how could things have gone so wrong just a couple days later? How could these people who shouted “HOSANNA!” one day be the same voices screaming “CRUCIFY HIM!” just days later? I have my theory, but first let me give you the background. I’ll begin in Luke 19: 28-44

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.‘ ” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.

Such a wonderful and cheerful way to praise the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. These people had seen and heard of the miracles that he had performed. These people believed in him. He was their Savior, their Messiah. What happened then after the Passover?


He started with one of the Twelve. Yes, one of Jesus’ own closest friends, Judas, was the first to betray him. Luke 22:1-6 tells us Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Judas was the treasurer of the group. He was the keeper of the group’s money bag.  Why in the world would Judas want to betray Jesus? Had he not seen all the miracles he performed? Did he not believe that Jesus was the Messiah? If so, why would he follow the group for so long? Verse 3 tells us…“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. “ Satan chose him. The Sanhedrin was looking for a way to arrest Jesus without a crowd, and Judas provided the way. For that, he was paid 30 silver pieces. Maybe Judas was tired of going from town to town without any money, depending on others for food and shelter. I dont’ know, I’ll have to ask him someday what was going through his mind. I don’t condemn Judas like I used to….I feel for him. I realize now that he didn’t crucify Jesus, we all did.

The Passover was a huge deal to the Jewish, and it still is today. It celebrates the day that God sent the angel of death over Egypt and saved them from Pharoah. That tenth plague brought on such grief in Egypt that Pharoah had no choice but to let the Israelites go. It was the time of celebration, and Jesus and the Twelve were looking for a place to celebrate with a Passover meal. Luke 22:7- 38 continues, “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.” They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

I want to pause here for a moment to reflect on a few things. In these verses is where we get our Lord’s Supper, also called Communion or Eucharist. God used the lamb’s blood to save the Israelites in Egypt. His people sacrificed animals to the Lord to atone for their sins, but that was not good enough. We needed a Lamb to be sacrificed in order for all of our sins to be forgiven. This Lamb was God’s son. The purpose in breaking the bread and drinking from the cup was to symbolize the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us all. As the hymn goes, “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.” We needed that. Jesus knew that he was that Lamb. He taught the Apostles this at this supper so that they would always remember what he did for them. We do that same thing to this day. Some churches do it weekly. Others do it once a month. The most important thing to remember is not how often you do it, but the remembrance. Humbling yourself to realize that without God’s sacrifice, we would be eternally separated from Him. Abraham nearly sacrificed his only son, Isaac, but God stopped him and provided an animal fit for sacrifice. Isaac’s blood wouldn’t have saved us. Jesus’ blood saves us.

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

This is one thing that Jesus taught that we still struggle with today. It has been the hardest lesson for me to learn. In our society today, we are so used to being first. My children struggle with this. The children I work with on a daily basis struggle with this (“I WANT TO BE THE LINE LEADER!”). We adults have this struggle, too. We have to keep up with the Joneses. We need more money…. he who has the most money wins, right? We need more things. I heard Jim Caviezel speak and one thing that I remember about this subject is for us to think of the rich man compared to the poor man. When each dies, who loses the most? You can’t take it with you. We are all important to God whether we have a lot or a little. First of all, he wants us to believe in His son. Secondly, he wants us to remember that Jesus came here to serve, not to lead. We are to model Jesus. WWJD was such a fad for awhile. Jesus wants us to give to others. Jesus wants us to put others before us, just as he did.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me. Some day when I am in Heaven, I have to find Peter and apologize to him. For so many years, I literally spent being mad that Peter actually did this. I will go into this more when this part of the story actually happens, but I will admit this…. In those days and times, I would have been a Peter, too. I am pretty sure of it.

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied. Everything was always provided for the Apostles while they were with Jesus. They all depended on the hospitality of others, so they all traveled light. Once Jesus is gone, they were going to have to provide for themselves and protect themselves. Jesus knew that once everything was complete, the Apostles and other Christ followers would not be safe. They would need protection.

I’m going to end this part for the day, so look for part 2 on Friday. I want to close this part of the study by saying that Jesus could return at any time. He has a free gift for you. The gift of salvation and eternal life. If you have not taken this free gift from Him, please prayerfully consider that God loves you so much. It grieves him to see us so blinded by our pride, trying to wade through life saving ourselves. In this time of recession, we are depending on the government to bail us out, but this is the time when the Lord is saying to us all, “I am all you need. I can provide all you need.” God will never give up on you, no matter what we say or do. Will you allow him to provide for you? He provided for the Israelites a way out of Egypt to the Promised Land. He will provide for you, too.

Is There Power in Prayer?

I was really humbled recently by a message my pastor gave at church on prayer. It also reminded me of emails I have seen by people writing in to us saying, “please don’t tell me to pray about it” or “I have prayed and nothing has changed” … well, has it? I grew up being taught that God answers prayer three ways…. yes, no or wait. Wonderful. So how do you know what he said when he doesn’t audibly answer you?

God is our Abba Father. Just like any daddy, he wants to give to us. But do we really know how to ask him for what we want? But I hear you saying, “Doesn’t God already KNOW what I want? Why should I ask him for it if he already knows?” Great question. Are you ready for the answer?

God wants us to ask because it REMINDS US where every good gift comes from. I am reminded of my kids with this thought. My son will sit around complaining to us about how all his friends get a bigger allowance a week than he does, when he sits around the house and does nothing to earn more than he does. What he forgets is when he needs new clothes, we buy them for him. He doesn’t have to provide his own. When he does us a huge favor, we usually reward him by getting him something he really wants…like a new ZEN MP3 player he has been asking for. He didn’t have to buy it. He doesn’t appreciate what we do give him and take that into consideration. We are like that, too. We get things from God on a daily basis that we don’t even thank him for. In this economy, do you have a job? Thank God for it. Do you have clothes on your back? A roof over your head? Food on your table? Thank God for it. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert, God provided manna for them every day. What did they do? Complain that they didn’t have water. He gave them water….there was always something new to complain about, but never once do we thank God for what he provides us already without asking. So when we have a real prayer need, God wants you to ask, so that when you receive, you will thank him and praise him for answering your prayer.

When you pray, do you really believe that God will give it to you? If you pray half heartedly, what does that tell God? “Well, God, I really need this, but I am not sure that you’ll give it to me.” If you need to know where your next meal is coming from, pray to God about it and believe that he will provide it. Have you ever heard of George Muller? He opened up orphanages for children in the mid 1800’s, never requesting financial support, but teaching the children about having faith in God for what they needed. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God (Wikipedia) George would pray for the needs and believed that the needs would be met. And they usually were. In the 1870’s, 2,000 orphans were being cared for in 5 homes by him and his wife. Doesn’t this show you how God answers prayer?

When you pray, are you in a right relationship with God? It always amazes me that when we have a crisis in our country, what is the first thing people always do? They start praying. They pray to  God, who they may never talk to on a regular basis, but expect him to answer when they need him most. “Why didn’t God save our home in this disaster?”  “Why didn’t God stop this from happening?”   Our leaders who try so hard to keep God out of our schools, want us to pray to God when we are devastated by tragedy. God bless America comes out more often than not during these times. Dear readers, God can answer everyone’s prayers. God can bless us all, but when we sin against him and when we are the biggest hypocrites about him until we really need him, he is more likely to answer someone who obeys him and has a personal relationship with him. Get to know God on a regular basis, not just when you need something. When you know him, you will believe that he will meet your needs and answer your prayers.

There are several verses in the bible that tell us that we need to be right with others before God will answer us. Mark 11:25, Matthew 5:23-24, and 1 Peter 3:7 all document the need to be sure that we are right with family, friends, neighbors and spouses so that it doesn’t hinder our prayer.

Be sure that your prayer leaves room in case what you want isn’t what’s best for you. God’s will is ALWAYS better than your own will. I know that I would LOVE to pray that God would give us the money to be able to afford better things…newer cars instead of used ones, a house of our own instead of a rental, but I do realize that if God felt that I needed it now, we’d have it. It isn’t His will that we have all this stuff right now. So when I pray, I always pray that God’s will be done, not mine. I had a dear friend that died of breast cancer. All the while everyone was praying for a miracle for her to be completely healed, I continued to pray that God’s will be done. My friend’s story reached A LOT of people on Caring Bridge. She wasn’t healed in this life, but God healed her when she stepped into Heaven. God has a plan for our lives. It doesn’t hurt to ask, believe that he can give it, but be sure to remember that God’s way is always the best way. If it isn’t in our best interest, then it won’t be answered the way we want it.

Lastly, be sure to pray in Jesus’ name. Think about it. God sacrificed a lot for us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. He has all the wounds to prove it in his hands, his feet and his side. His ultimate sacrifice makes it possible to have the most awesome relationship forever with his father, but he did tell us one thing in John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” Jesus is our intercessor with the Father. His name is precious and holy and it reminds me daily of his sacrifice for me.

Let me tell you of a recent prayer that was answered faster than any I have asked for in the past. I had a big problem at work that looked so completely impossible to fix. So one morning before work, I got down on my knees…something I rarely ever do I am ashamed to admit….and I prayed to God. Sincerely, earnestly, and broken, I asked Him for help in this situation and for him to show me His will in all of this. No sooner had I said amen, my phone rang. And on the other end of the line was the answer to my prayer. I found out later that I was the answer to this other person’s prayer as well. God knows what we need. He is waiting for us to ask him. For those of you who write us and say, “Please don’t ask me to pray about it”, we will continue to tell you to pray. We have all seen and felt the power that is in our prayers to God the Father. We have seen and witnessed all the blessings He can bestow on us. We have seen His miracles! I think at one time or another, each one of the Spice girls here at CN have seen miracles in our own marriages and our marriage beds, so yes, we will continue to tell you to pray. We have seen it’s power and want you to witness it, too.

The Mother’s of Moses: Jochebed and Pharoah’s daughter

Does it seem weird to you to see these two women’s name in the same study? They were as totally different as night and day…one was a Hebrew slave, one was an Egyptian princess. Both women play a vital role in God’s plan for young Moses, who would redeem his people and lead them out of Egypt. But it wouldn’t have ever been except for the faith and bravery of one woman, and the courage and determination of another.

This study takes place in the book of Exodus. Jochebed lived in a time when the Hebrews were growing and growing in numbers and they were out numbering the Egyptians. This worried Pharoah. What if their enemies would strike and the Hebrews would decide to fight against them with their enemies? At first he decided to work them harder, but the harder they were worked, the more they multiplied. He spoke to Hebrew midwives and told them to kill the Hebrew babies that were male when they were born, but the females could live. Since the midwives feared God, they came up with an excuse. The Hebrew women had their babies so fast that the midwives did not make it there in time to execute Pharoah’s plan. Finally Pharoah decreed that all Hebrew male babies were to be thrown into the Nile.

During this time, Jochebed became pregnant, and gave birth to a son. He was a beautiful baby and she decided to hide him. She was able to do this for 3 months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a basket, covered it with tar and pitch, put her son in it, and set the basket in the Nile river. His sister, Miriam, watched the basket from a distance.

I want to stop the first part of the story here for a second. I work with children all day. I know how difficult it can be to keep a newborn infant quiet. Babies are so fiercely dependent on their caregivers. When they are hungry, they cry. When they are wet, they cry. When they are cold, they cry. We all pretty much know the pattern. As they get older, they sleep less, so that means the chances of them crying are greater than when they were newlyborn. It must have been very hard work to keep a secret that there was a new baby in the house. My son was colicky when he was a baby. We could NEVER figure out why he was crying sometimes….no matter what we did, it never seemed to help. I don’t know if they had a remedy for gassiness, but I know they didn’t have Mylicon drops back then. How did she do it? How did she manage to keep this child a secret for three months? To me, that is so incredible. Walk into a church nursery or a daycare nursery. Babies are crying all the time. This woman was an incredible mom with a very strong sense of faith that God would help protect her son.

Back to the story. Now the Pharoah’s daughter came down to bathe in the Nile with her maidens, and she saw the basket amongst the reeds. After sending a maid to retrieve it, she opened the basket, and there was a baby inside it. She recognized it as a Hebrew baby. He was crying, and she felt pity for him. Miriam ran up to her and asked her if she wanted her to go get a Hebrew woman to nurse him. Miriam went and got her mother, brought her back and Pharoah’s daughter paid her to nurse the baby until he was weaned! What a wonderful story!

When we are at our lowest, not knowing what we need to do next, we need to look up to the Lord for our answer. Jochebed did just this. We don’t see these kind of problems in the western world today like she did. We do have our own unique problems though that somehow we just don’t know how to solve at times. Jochebed could never have possibly imagined that the Pharoah’s daughter of all people would find her son and have mercy on him and want to raise him as her own. But God already had that one figured out and taken care of. Hebrews 11:1 tells us

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Jochebed didn’t know what would happen to her son, but she had the faith to know that God was in control of it. Moses was rescued from the river. Did Pharoah’s daughter have faith? I don’t know that for certain. She was definitely used as part of God’s plan. She decided to raise a Hebrew child as her own, despite her father’s insistence that all Hebrew males be killed.

I would like to think that if I were in the same boat, that I would have done the same thing, but I cannot say I would. I have a Savior though that is alive and my faith, hope and trust are in him to help me through any situation I would find myself in. Do you have that faith? Do you believe that God can get you through anything? No matter what life throws at you, faith will lead you through.

Being a Mary in a Martha world

“Hi, my name is Spicy and I am too busy for Jesus.”

Okay, I feel much better now that I have taken the first step. In all honesty, I am hoping that God opens my own eyes as I write this blog to something that I need to confront and fix. I am a Martha. I could be Martha from the Bible. If Hollywood were to cast the role of Martha in a blockbuster movie, I could play the lead. I am a shoe in for the job. I am so absorbed in the busyness of the day that I don’t take the time like I should to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him. I realized for a period of time that I had been neglecting God’s word, I made time before bed to read each night, but as time goes on, I get busy before bedtime and skip a night….then two…and before you know it, I am back to being out of God’s word again.

So here I am, facing the same problem again and writing a blog on it. What an expert I am. Like I said earlier, I am hoping that God’s wisdom will come out of my fingers here as I type to give me some insight on what I *should* be doing instead of what I feel like I *have* to do.

Our story today takes us to the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha of Bethany. Martha always opened her home to Jesus and his disciples when they were in town. But of course when she has visitors, that means a lot of work! While Mary sat at the feet of the Lord, Martha was very busy and distracted by all the work that she needed to do for her guests. Finally in frustration, Martha came to Jesus and told him, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40b)

The Lord, Jesus lovingly told her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

My husband did some cleaning of a bookcase of ours (yes, my husband is awesome, isn’t he?) and he came upon a book that I forgot I had. Of course, since it wasn’t a family heirloom (to him), he put it in the pile to go to storage. I rescued it from that fate! The book was a bible study that I did with a group of friends a long time ago, called Women of the Bible by Jean E. Syswerda. In the section she writes and asks questions about Martha, she lists the following things about tasks that kept women busy during the day from that time period. She lists the following:

*grinding grain for bread, then mixing, kneading and baking the bread for the day.

*purchasing meat at a market or preparing an animal from the household’s flock for meat to eat, then cooking that meat.

*carding, spinning and weaving threads of various kinds to make cloth for clothing, bedding and other household uses.

*sewing clothes for household members

*drawing the water for each day’s requirements.

*cleaning the house

*washing the utensils and dishes used in meal preparation and eating

*washing the family’s clothes

*teaching and disciplining and loving the children in the household.

Okay, let’s compare that to the modern woman’s day….

*wake up at 6am. Shower and get dressed

*wake the kids up, get them dressed and breakfast. Pack all the lunches for the day. *Wake the husband (if necessary)

*take the kids to school

*go to work from 9-5

*make dinner

*wash the dishes from breakfast and dinner

*check the kid’s homework, sign practice records

*get the kids their baths

*read bedtime stories and get the kids in bed

*clean up the house a bit

*go grocery shopping while hubby is at home with the kids

*get ready for bed

Both schedules look very busy, and honestly, if my husband looked at list #2, he’d say that he does most of that (which is true…but we’re not a typical family…didn’t I tell you he was awesome?) But for most women, wouldn’t you agree that schedule is true? Where in the world do you fit in time for reading your Bible?

Martha was the utmost hostess. She wanted the room Jesus stayed in to be clean, with nice fresh linens on the bed, the pillow fluffed just right, and everything ready to go for him. She wanted to make the best meal possible for him, after all, he is Jesus, ya know? She wanted her house to look neat and tidy for her guests. She was just downright busy! Whereas, the harder she worked for Jesus, the more frustrated she became at her sister, Mary. What was Mary doing, sitting there among the men listening to Jesus? Wasn’t her place to be helping with all the preparations? Couldn’t she see how hard Martha was working? Why wasn’t she helping?? Oh, I can hear all the voices in her head making her angrier and angrier at her sister. Finally, she just goes straight to Jesus and asks him to tell Mary to help her! And what does Jesus say? Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Was he telling her that a woman’s work is not important? No, of course not. But Jesus didn’t need a 7 course meal for dinner. Something simple would be perfect for the man who fed 5,000 people with 5 fish and 2 loaves. What he wanted was Martha’s time. He wanted Martha to take the time to sit at his feet and listen to him. He wanted to have a closer relationship with her. He wanted her to take the time to really get to know him. She was so absorbed in her works, that she couldn’t see what she was missing from her Savior. He wanted her to put HIM first in her life, not the things she could do for him. But did you notice one thing about Martha and Jesus? Martha was very frank with him. She did know him well enough to say what was on her mind without mincing words.

Jesus is more interested in our souls. He loves us and what he really wants is our time. He wants us to make time to get to know him intimately. He wants us to understand the depth of his love for us. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and all he asks in return is that we get to know him better and to strive to be more like him. How else can we learn to be more like him then to spend time in his word daily?

My challenge is not only to you, but to myself as well. In your busy, everyday world, it is so easy to be a Martha, to get wrapped up in all that you have to do, and we forget to make time to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn more about him. Take your busy schedule. Write it on a piece of paper. Find a time of the day where you book time to be with Jesus. Mary did.

Can you change from a Martha to a Mary? I challenge you to do this. I’ll start…..

“Hi, my name is Spicy and I will make time daily for Jesus.”

A lesson from Lot’s wife

Obedience. Now there is a word that we all *think* we can handle, but a lot of times, that word “obedience” or “obey” makes us really think hard….if I obey, will I loose all autonomy? Surely I don’t have to obey the speed limit if I am late for work, right? If my family were in the midst of a natural disaster, surely God would forgive me if I stole something to help me survive, right? Obedience is a very strong word, and I am hopeful in this study that we can all learn that when God asks us to obey him, that we should just do it.

This week’s bible study starts with the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just this morning, I had someone mention to me that she thought the U.S. today was becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. I can see where she is coming from. We are moving so far away from God in our society. There are so many things that God made sacred that as a people, we are just flat out ignoring and turning our back from, just like the people from Sodom and Gomorrah. Turn in your Bible to Genesis 19.

In this chapter, Lot is visited by two angels who stay at his house. The men in the town realize that there is someone new in town and want Lot to let them have relations with his male guests. Lot pleads with the men in town to leave the guests alone, even offers his virgin daughters to them instead, but the men of Sodom are in a wild frenzy to get inside to his visitors. The angels pull Lot inside and blind the men outdoors so they cannot find their way in. The angels warn Lot that he, his wife, and his daughters MUST get out of town fast. They have been sent to destroy the city. The next morning, Lot is told by the angels “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’ (Gen. 19:15) And they were serious….so serious that the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Gen. 19:16-17)

Okay, here is where the obedience comes in. What is it that the Lord’s servants told Lot’s family…. FLEE…DON’T LOOK BACK… DON’T STOP ANYWHERE… Have you ever heard the Lord speak to you? There have been times in my life when I stopped in my TRACKS where I was when I heard the Lord’s voice. I stopped immediately. Here are these very explicit instructions. Pretty simple and easy to follow, wouldn’t you say. FLEE … that word means run away as fast as you can…Just like Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife wanted him to lie with her. He RAN so fast that he left his cloak behind. DON’T LOOK BACK…. Pretty self explanatory…. Don’t turn around AT ALL. DON’T STOP ANYWHERE. That one is pretty strict. Keep going…and going and going…don’t stop ANYWHERE.  Yes, that means ANYWHERE.   These angels had told Lot that they had been sent by the Lord to destroy the cities. So Lot and his family know what is going to happen. So the angels drag them away from the city and tell them to keep on running. Don’t be a rubber-necker, staring at the accident as you go by… RUN!….Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:24-26)

NOOOOOOOOO!!! Don’t look back!!! Argh, she did anyway! Why didn’t she obey? Why didn’t she listen? Gosh, those are things I think about my kids all the time. It’s called our sin nature. Can you imagine what Lot’s wife might have been thinking while running away? “Just one peek. What could it hurt?” or maybe “Surely he didn’t mean to NOT look back at all” or how about this one “But…but … but… my home! My things! My life is all back there! And it is all GONE!”

Do you do these things, dear one? God gives us instructions through out the Bible. I am in a Hot Topics study at church right now about Fireproofing your marriage. Have you seen that movie or read the book? Awesome! But think about it… did Caleb think that porn could hurt his marriage? What was more important to him, his marriage or that boat he wanted to save all his money for? And Catherine wasn’t immune either…instead of communicating her needs to Caleb and having them fulfilled by him, she was ready to take the next step with another man. My Sunday school teacher said it best, “We feel like we have 80% of what fulfills us in our spouse at times, and we look elsewhere for the other 20%….and what happens? We leave the 80% for the 20%.” It’s so true! Ladies, we need to open our ears and listen to what our Lord has to say! Women, we are instructed to respect our husbands and submit to them. Sure sometimes they don’t deserve it, but what does God say? Just do it! Your husband has been told by God to love you like Christ loves the church…are you always loveable? Probably not, but God has told him to love you anyway. Do we always listen? Nope. If you were tempted by another man, could you flee or would you want to look back to get another glance? Both Exodus 20:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18 tell us very clearly “You shall not commit adultery”. When that 20% of a man comes your way, listen to God. Flee. Remember, he’s only 20% ladies. Only 20%. Your man is your 80%….God is your 100%.

We’re like children who love to touch that burner even though we are told not to. We like to run in the street when we’re told to STOP! Both of my kids favorite thing to tell me is “Nothing happened to me” when I tell them not to do something and they do it anyway. We take our free will as far as we can possibly go, trying not to get burned. God wants us to listen to him and just do what he tells us. Don’t be like Lot’s wife. If God tells you to flee, run as fast as you can. If God tells you to not turn around, don’t do it. What we don’t realize is that God has something much better in store for us if we only obey him.


I was listening to one of my favorite online pastors the other day, and his message was on betrayal. Have you ever been betrayed? It hurts like nothing has ever hurt you before. And what hurts worse is when you are hurt by someone who is closest to you. Maybe a spouse that has had an affair….maybe your spouse is a refuser….maybe your spouse is into pornography. It digs deep inside your soul and the pain is worse than childbirth.

Why does God allow such things? He didn’t create the pit you feel that you are in, but he allows it because there is a purpose in the pit. In today’s lesson, I want to focus on a few people of the bible who were in deep pits, how it affected their lives and what we can learn from them.

Think about a person from the bible who seemed to have it all, but soon found himself in a deep pit. And a pit with vipers in it, too. No, I am not talking about Indiana Jones, I am talking about Job. Job 1:1-3 tells us a little bit about him. In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.  He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. Job was a good man, feared God, and he was rich…not only in things, but he had full quiver there with 7 sons and 3 daughters. He was a blessed man. But what would happen to him if he lost it all? One day, Satan paid a visit to the Lord and the Lord talked to him about Job. Why in the world would God tempt Satan with a godly man like Job? Because God knows Satan and the omniscient Lord knows his servant Job quite well. So God gave Job over to Satan to be tested…to prove to Satan even when he lost it all, he still recognized God’s hand in it all. So Satan took away everything he had…his sheep? Fire from heaven burned them up. His camels? Taken away by the Chaldeans. His oxen and donkeys? Taken by the Sabeans. His servants? All killed except a few that survived to report what had happened to him. Surely not his children! Yes, all 10 of his children were killed in one full swoop while eating dinner at the oldest brother’s house. It reminds me of looking at a picture of a Hurricane Katrina victim after the storm. Lost it all. It’s all gone. What did Job do? At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”

I would pray that if this ever happened to me, I would praise God in the way Job did. He realized that all he had was not his. It belonged to the Lord. In the following chapters, Job was struck from head to toe with boils. Still he wouldn’t curse or denounce God. Job remained faithful to God no matter who tried to convince him otherwise. In the end, Job finds contentment in his relationship with God and all that he lost was restored twofold. Was Job betrayed? Maybe by his wife who asked him to curse God and his friends with their bad advice, but not by God. Never once by God.

How about returning back to a story I did a long time ago, but looking at it through someone else’s eyes. I talked about Sarai and her barrenness awhile back. She took matters into her own hand and gave her servant Hagar to her husband and Hagar bore him a son. Remember that story? (Genesis 16) No sooner had Hagar conceived a baby with Abram, Sarai flew into a rage about it. She was cruel to poor Hagar, so cruel that Hagar ran away. An angel of the Lord found Hagar and told her to return to Sarai and submit herself to her. The Lord would greatly multiply her descendants through her child. Even though Hagar was an Egyptian, she recognized that she was in the presence of the Lord and feared Him. She went back as she was told, but after Isaac’s birth, she was sent away again with her son. (Genesis 21) As she sat out in the wilderness, she cried out to God. God heard her and her son’s cries, and once again He sent her an angel. God opened Hagar’s eyes to see that a well of water was nearby and she filled a skin with water to give her son a drink. God was with her and her son, and Ishmael grew up in the wilderness and became an archer. Notice a theme…in her time of need, instead of cursing God, she cried out to God. She lived among Abram and his wife and must have learned so much about their God.  She was serving Sarah while she was pregnant with Isaac at age 90, so she saw God’s miracle with her own eyes!  Was Hagar betrayed? By Sarai and Abram, yes. By God, no way.

What about Joseph? Oh, my if there were ever anyone in the Bible who was betrayed, this young man was betrayed over and over and over again…first by his brothers who threw him into a pit (literally) and sold him to slave traders. Next in Egypt by Potiphar and his wife, the latter who accused him of trying to take advantage of her in Potiphar’s house. He was sent to prison for a crime that he did not do for a LONG time. Did Potiphar betray him? Sure! For believing his wife when he knew Joseph’s character. After all, he made him the head of all of his household! Why would someone he trusted to take care of his household betray him? But in the end, we learned that God had a plan in all of this to save his family during the famine. His dreams and visions came true.  While Joseph needed to be humbled from his boastful nature as a child/teen/young man, but while in his pit, he learned so much more about God’s faithfulness and was made stronger.  He was betrayed by a lot of people, but never by a faithful God who had a purpose for the pits Joseph found himself in. A purpose that was revealed in time.

Jesus. We all betrayed him, didn’t we? Why should he have to be thrown into the pit? He didn’t sin, not even once. Why did we betray him that he would have to die for us? That is one pit I am so glad to avoid, and try with all my prayers and strength to prevent friends, loved ones or others who may read this blog who don’t believe from being condemned to this pit for all eternity.  In all of it, God’s love for us provided a way out of our pit of betrayal of him. Isn’t it awesome that by believing in Jesus, we are eternally saved from the pit of hell?

I use a NASB Ryrie study bible for all these studies, and in it, Dr. Charles Ryrie had this profound thought….”If we know God, we do not need to know why he allows us to experience what we do. He is not only in control of the universe and all its facets, but also in control of our lives and he loves us. Though his ways are sometimes beyond our comprehension, we should not criticize him for his dealings with us or others. God is always in control of all things even when He appears not to be. “ Amen to that. And I am so glad to leave things in the Almighty’s hands instead of mine.

Sisters, sometimes we sit in the lowest place we think that we could possibly be. I want you to remember this….God doesn’t send us anywhere that he hasn’t been first. Psalm 23 isn’t just for funerals…think on this “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. “ (Psalm 23:1-4) Are you in a pit right now? Is it dark and you can’t see your way out?  Then look up!!!   Remember the Lord is there with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. You are precious to him…so precious to him and he loves you. Trust that he has a plan for your pit and that in God’s time, you will come out of that pit…stronger…stronger in faith and in life than you could ever possibly imagine.

Q&A: Is Spicy Sex in the Bible?

This is an email we received from someone who found our blog.

“God intended married sex to be spicy. OK, but where in the Bible did He say that?
Sorry but coming up with your opinion and then attaching God’s name to it doesn’t mean God is attached to it.”

Oh, where do I begin…

Well, let’s start with the Bible. Does the Bible say that God wants married sex to be spicy? In the very beginning this is what God said about married sex.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:24-25

Our first reference in the Bible to married sex is that we would separate from our birth families and unite as one with our husband or wife; unite physically and relationally. God desired that a husband and wife have no shame between them in the most vulnerable of situations; nakedness. Adam and Eve had freedom to explore and enjoy one another without shame, and this did not surprise God. He created them naked in the garden with all their sexual parts in full function. Can you imagine how great it would have been to be naked all the time, in the sun with your husband and not have to carry any emotional baggage? They didn’t work, so they weren’t tired. They walked around all day enjoying the Lord’s creation, chatting without the distraction of a phone ringing or an email coming in. They had all the time in the world to connect emotionally and physically, and they were still without sin. What ideal circumstances for which to build a passionate love life.

Further, if we step out of this story and into another, the Song of Solomon is an incredibly erotic and passionate love story. In this book of the Bible we look at the marriage of Solomon and his bride. Specifically we look at how they relate sexually. After the bride and groom in the story have had a sexually charged encounter this is what is written, believed to be the only time that God speaks out in the book:

Eat, O friends, and drink;
drink your fill, O lovers.

Just as God was pleased with the unity of Adam and Eve, so was He pleased with this union. He encourages the lovers to take pleasure in one another. He wants them to enjoy their sexuality as much as they can. In the Song of Solomon, we find that the couple enjoyed a wide variety of pleasures. The specifics of what they enjoyed are not as important as the fact that they had the freedom and confidence to express their desires, and to meet those of their spouse. They most certainly had a spicy marriage bed.

Perhaps it would be helpful to pause here and explore what it means to have a spicy marriage bed. It doesn’t mean that everyone has hot, steamy, intense sex every day, twice a day, doing everything that is talked about on our website. It means that your sexual encounters with your spouse, whatever they look like for you, are intentionally focused on growing in passion. A spicy marriage bed is where you can be honest about your desires and trust that your spouse is a safe place for you. A spicy marriage bed is one where you desire to meet the sexual needs and passions of your spouse and they yours. Husbands and wives who have impassionate love lives are really missing out on the beauty of God’s plan for our sexuality. This is why it is such a terrible and damaging sin for a husband or wife to withhold their passion. It robs their spouse from expressing a desire that God put in them.

We haven’t attached God’s name to our opinion about sex. We look to Him to guide us into how He regards sex and we submit what we know to His Word. For many years many of us lived under many lies, but we are on a journey with the Lord and our husbands to fully embrace who God made us to be. We don’t claim to have arrived at perfection, but we have caught a glimpse of where our marriages are going and are fill with hope at the thought of what amazing thing God could do with two lives submitted to Him, united to each other.

Where do I go for some rest???

My DH and I have been church hunting lately, found it was time for a change. I love it when you go into church not knowing what to expect, and God is waiting there, ready to speak to you! It’s been an incredible experience and I have learned so much more lately than I have in a long while.

In today’s study, I want to talk about something I mentioned in a comment on my Christians: Perfect? or Forgiven? article.  Burdens and loads.   I had an “ah ha!” moment when I heard this passage in a new light…. (Matthew 11: 28-30) — “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I have heard these verses before many times, but this was the first time I really got something from it.

First thing, we are all weary and burdened, aren’t we?  I mean, in today’s age we have our own lives…we may work (at home or outside the home), we may have kids who are in soccer, gymnastics, dance, softball, band lessons and concerts…we have a spouse who comes home just ready to eat dinner or ready to shed all his problems and such in exchange for some good lovin’ …there are baths for the kids, bedtime routines, homework to check and recheck, practice records to sign….whew!  We are weary by the end of the day, are we not, girls?     All of these things also create burdens for us that we sometimes feel like we have to bear all by ourselves, too.  Your husband is lying in bed naked, and all you want to do is go to sleep…  Where do we go for some rest???

Well, in this verse, Jesus tells us to come to him.   What in the world could Jesus do to help me with all my burdens and give me rest?  Oh, child, believe me, He can do it.  I am proof of it.

Let me take a step back here and give you a few definitions.   First of all, what is a burden?  A burden is something you cannot bear by yourself.  My pastor told me in life there are burdens and loads.  What is the difference between a burden and a load?  A load is something that is the right size for you to carry.   A grocery sack from the store is a load.  You can carry that.   Carrying in 10 grocery bags at one time…that is a burden.

In these verses, Jesus is asking us for a give and take relationship.   If we give him our burdens, he will share the load.    It reminds me of seeing oxen work in a yoke.    When using the yoke, the oxen become partners bearing the load together.   The work might be too hard for one to do on his own, but when pared together, the burden is much lighter.    When we take on Jesus’ yoke, he becomes the Senior partner in the deal.  The verse tells us to take his yoke and learn from him.  I decided to do some research on how oxen are trained, and I found this quote, “Training oxen requires taking two separate animals, (selected for their similarities in temperament and willingness to work), which have previously been their own masters, and making them a team, that will work for another master”   (www.prairieoxdrovers.com) Does this sound familiar?  How many of us try to be our own master?   I will raise my hand high and tell you that when DH and I were going through our marriage bed difficulties, I thought I could fix it myself.   I cannot tell you how many times I told him we didn’t need to see our pastor or a counselor.  I was a smart woman.  Surely I can fix this myself.   Well, desperate times led to desperate measures….I finally gave my burden to God.   And yes, when the Lord takes the lead in the yoke, the burden is SO much lighter.   I felt like a ten ton weight had been lifted off me, and it was exhilarating.

Part of our hope is that by reading the articles on our blog, that maybe we can help lift a burden from your life.   Sometimes one person’s burden is another person’s load, and we are so willing to yoke with you to help you.  Sometimes we have preconcieved notions about sex.   Sometimes it burdens us so much when we’ve got misinformation or wrong information about what is acceptable to God in our marriage beds.   Please let us help share your burden.  Write in to us  on the “Got Questions” thread with your burden if you do not want to post it publically.   You can respond to this article.   Whatever you feel most comfortable with, but know that is why God pressed upon us the need for people like us to carry other people’s burdens for a period of time until it can become a load for you.   We will pray for you and help in any way possible.

Lord, Jesus, thank you so much for being willing to carry our burdens for us.  You carried the biggest burden we have, our sin, to the cross for us, and for that we are eternally grateful to you.  Lord, help this blog and the ladies on it to thrive in our marriage beds.  Help us to bear others burdens for them when it gets to be too much for them.   We love you, Lord, and praise you for all you have done and will do for us.   In Christ’s precious name, AMEN!

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